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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 13, 2022

San Juan Cinema in Montrose reopens next Friday. Misty Hunter, whose family also owns and operates the Fox Theater in Montrose, will open the San Juan for the summer, though no decision has been made on whether to keep it open longer. They’re considering a seasonal approach. Moviegoing is up with many blockbusters on the way.

The Montrose County School board voted this week to change policy on sex ed. Now, instead of parents signing an opt-out form for students to forgo the curriculum, parents will need to opt-in, with two weeks notice. Board President Sarah Fishering was the only school board member who voted against the new policy. She told the Montrose Press the pregnancy rate in Montrose County had dropped to 21 per 1,000 female teens in 2020, but that remains nearly double the statewide rate of 12.5 per 1000. She says she wouldn’t be surprised if teen pregnancy starts to move in the other direction in the Montrose school district. A committee will review the health curriculum next year.

The rising death toll of captive wild horses in Cañon City has hit 142 after federal caretakers failed to provide vaccinations. Veterinarians say not much can be done to prevent more deaths as flu and bacterial infections run their course through the herd. BLM officials told the Denver Post they’ll investigate why 445 horses hauled from northwestern Colorado to Cañon City last summer weren’t fully vaccinated against equine flu. They continue roundups. Critics say treatment of wild horses is inhumane.

Last week Pitkin County sent a letter to Colorado Counties Incorporated, the organization that represents county governments, complaining about alleged incidents of misogynist conduct at a recent meeting as well as CCI’s backroom politics. Aspen Times reports Pitkin County Commissioner Kelly McNicholas Kury voiced concerns at a recent commissioner meeting, saying several incidents were, quote, “beyond the pale” at CCI meetings she attended. The county is reevaluating ongoing membership in CCI. Pitkin County pays $30,000 dollars annually for membership in the organization, which works on policy advocacy, lobbying on county governments’ behalf on legislative issues. CCI Executive Director John Swartout acknowledged some incidents occurred at recent statewide meetings that run counter to the organization’s code of ethics. He credited McNicholas Kury for pointing them out. Pitco Commissioners were disturbed that Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters received airtime at a CCI event and were uncomfortable with the association’s too partisan approach to lobbying on proposed legislation on collective bargaining at the statehouse. The county pointed out Peters is under indictment for seven felonies and three misdemeanors for election technology tampering. Swartout countered Peters popped into a meeting with the county clerks’ association, uninvited.

May is known as Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and it is also Older Americans Month. This year the theme is Age My Way. I asked Eva Veitch, director of community living services at Region 10, to tell us more about this. Region 10 is a council of governments serving six counties, Delta, Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray, Hinsdale, and Gunnison Counties. The nonprofit focuses on economic development including startup business loans and resource development, broadband, regional transit, and community living services for older adults. I started off by asking Eva about this year’s Older Americans Month theme, Age My Way.

FEATURE (4:27)

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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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