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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 18, 2022

Julia Caulfield
Demonstrators rally in support of reproductive rights in Telluride, Colorado on May 14, 2022.

An audit by three state agencies found dangerous prescription practices at Mind Springs Health. The mental health nonprofit serving 10 counties on the Western Slope was castigated in a 22-page report released Thursday. CoLab reports it was the culmination of a review launched in January by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the state Department of Human Services and the state Department of Public Health and Environment. Auditors found patients were prescribed multiple controlled substances, including stimulants and benzodiazepines, at high doses, increasing the potential for overdose and addiction. There was also a practice of prescribing high doses of sedatives without adequate monitoring or documenting patients’ levels of sedation. Mind Springs failed to communicate with patients’ other health care providers to make sure they weren’t contraindicating prescriptions. And the mental health center failed to perform drug screens or use a statewide prescription drug monitoring program to guard against overdoses. The Centers have not closed, however, they are on a corrective action plan put in place by Rocky Mountain Health Plans.

The Town of Paonia swore in David Weber as its final trustee at their meeting last Thursday. Delta County Independent reports Weber was one of three individuals who expressed interest in the vacancy left by Tamie Meck. Letters of interest were also submitted by Bill Brunner and Walter Czech. Weber has lived in Paonia for over 30 years and previously served two terms as a trustee, focusing primarily on water issues.

Delta High School Senior Travis Cantonwine, editor of the Delta Paw Print student newspaper, and a previous guest on KVNF’s Local Motion, told Westword, the Denver newsweekly, that a recent opinion piece he wrote as a member of the LGBT community about the School District’s handling of sex ed curriculum was not well received. Soon after publication, the school cited a district policy allowing prior review of controversial articles by administrators. Cantonwine put the Paw Print on hiatus and worked with the nonprofit Student Press Law Center to push the school board to revise its policy to remove the threat of censorship. Colorado is one of fifteen states with a student free expression law that protects free speech in public schools. The Paw Print is back.

Access to abortion in the U.S. could soon be left up to states if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade, which has made abortion a right in the U.S for five decades. Over the weekend, thousands marched across the country to demonstrate support for reproductive rights and protest the expected decision. KOTO’s Julia Caulfield reports from the march in Telluride.

FEATURE (5:21)

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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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