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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 12, 2022

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The Teller Institute in Grand Junction was one of the federally-run Indian boarding schools in Colorado.

Today is a big day for our Rocky Mountain Community Radio partner station KRFC in Fort Collins. After a successful capital campaign, the radio station is flipping the switch on a new radio tower, expanding their FM broadcasting power from 3 kilowatts to 50 kilowatts. Congratulations on this huge achievement in their 20th year on the air!

Social media posts by District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz are drawing condemnation from Mesa County residents. Blogger Anne Landman reports a selfie featured Haitz in a MAKE AMERICA FLORIDA t-shirt, promoting a super pac to help elect right-wing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to the U.S. presidency. The group promotes racist, anti-immigrant, anti public health, and anti-LGBTQ policies. It also supports laws restricting voter access to the ballot enacted in Republican-led states. Another Haitz post shows a cartoon of a pregnant woman in an exam room resting her hand on her belly and asking a doctor, “Is it a boy or a girl?” He answers, “That’s for the kindergarten teacher to decide.” Many saw Haitz’s post as denigrating transgender people, as well as insulting teachers. Angry reaction on social media was swift and voluminous. Readers expressed outrage at the lack of compassion displayed by the school board president whose election has reportedly led to three teachers quitting.

Montrose Regional Health is giving pay raises to retain staffers, hoping to attract new personnel in areas thinned out during the pandemic. Montrose Press reports employees received merit-based and market-rate raises. The hospital was able to use nearly two million from budgeted funds and they are hiring new physicians as their recruitment efforts pay off. The hospital is the second largest employer in the county.

The Plaindealer reports Ouray Silver Mine representatives told Ouray county commissioners last week they want to leave buildings up at the Revenue-Virginius site on County Road 26. The conversation centered on questions from Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety which gave the silver mine an amendment to a permit back in December. The state agency asked the mine to provide documentation from Ouray County proving the company is allowed to leave the buildings on-site since they are no longer used for mining purposes. Poppy Staub, who oversees environmental and government affairs for the mine, told the Plaindealer new investors are coming on, and they still want to restart the Revenue-Virginius. The mine neared full production last year, with nearly 200 employees. But a rockfall slowed and then halted ore production.

A new Interior Department report is sharply critical of the Indian boarding school system used as a tool to assimilate indigenous people during the 19th and early 20th centuries. For Rocky Mountain Community Radio, KSJD’s Lucas Brady Woods reports.

SPOT (:57)

Coloradans are on edge as climate change is fueling bigger, more destructive fires. Some forecasters say things could get worse this summer than they’ve ever been. Scott Franz has more on the latest fire outlook, and how lawmakers are preparing for it.

FEATURE (3:57)

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Gavin Dahl is a writer and producer with a passion for community media. He worked for KVNF from July 2020 to July 2022. He won awards and recognition for his KVNF reporting from the Colorado Broadcasters Association and Society of Professional Journalists. His writing has been published by The Montrose Press, The Sopris Sun, Boulder Weekly, Raw Story, Radio Survivor, Boise Weekly, and The Austin American-Statesman. He graduated from The Evergreen State College with a BA in media production and community organizing.
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