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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 17, 2022

Kate Redmond
Town trustee Paige Smith poses for a photo in Paonia.

Early last year in the middle of the pandemic, the Montrose County School District faced a second health hazard: asbestos. Montrose Press reports a roofing contractor, Skyline Roofing Incorporated out of Utah, improperly handled materials containing asbestos at Centennial and Olathe Middle Schools in a roof replacement project during 2019 and 2020. The School District filed a lawsuit against the construction company in Colorado District Court last summer. An inspector found roofing debris caused by the contractor in the building’s plenum, above the ceiling where air circulates. The MCSD school board voted last week to accept an $815,000 dollar settlement with Skyline after receiving legal advice during an executive session. Mitigating the asbestos cost the district over a million dollars and caused students to be thrust back into remote learning.

Congrats to The Ouray County Plaindealer. They have another staffer joining the weekly newspaper on June 1st through the nonprofit Report for America program.

The Arise art and music festival, set for rural Pueblo county over Memorial Day weekend, has been canceled. County officials denied the organizers a permit to hold the event. Arise moved from Larimer County this year after seven events at Sunrise Ranch near Loveland. The festival was planned for private property owned by festival producer Luke Comer. He said he had the support of his neighbors to hold the event, which would have featured bluegrass, electronic, funk, jam, reggae and rock bands, alongside activities like art, theater, sustainability classes and yoga. Comer told the Pueblo Chieftain the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office stonewalled signing off on the permit application, forcing organizers to cancel on short notice. The festival would have brought an estimated one million dollars worth of economic activity to Pueblo County. Arise calls the cancellation excruciating.

The Denver City Council voted 9 to 3 yesterday, adopting an ordinance banning concealed carry permit holders from bringing a gun into any city facility or public park. The Denver Post reports the ban drew opposition, with critics saying there is no data suggesting concealed carry permit holders have contributed to a rise in crime in the city. District 9 Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca forwarded an amendment that would have left parks out of the new restrictions, concerned about the challenges of enforcement and potential racial profiling by Denver Police. Her amendment failed at last night’s meeting.

Five mysterious cases of hepatitis in small children in Colorado are part of a new national trend. The best-known causes of hepatitis are viral. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 109 potential cases across the country as of early May. There have been 5 deaths nationwide, and 14 kids have required liver transplants. The Colorado Sun reports none of the kids who were brought to Children’s Hospital by their parents who noticed signs of jaundice have died or required a liver transplant.

COVID-19 cases are increasing in most of the country, but it’s hard to say how much. The Mountain West News Bureau’s Madelyn Beck reports.

SPOT (1:04)

Zoning issues on a couple of much-needed new housing projects in Paonia may require a Special Review by the Board Of Trustees. The Board didn't get to it last week, and questions remain. Kate Redmond reports.

FEATURE (3:24)

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Gavin Dahl is a writer and producer with a passion for community media. He joined the staff of KVNF in the summer of 2020 and has since won awards and recognition for his 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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