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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 24, 2022

Smoke filled skies overlooking the aftermath and tragedy of a wildfire that blew through a Colorado town. As many as 80% of the homes lost to wildland fires could have been saved if their owners had followed a few simple fire-safe practices.
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Smoke filled skies overlooking the aftermath and tragedy of a wildfire that blew through a Colorado town. As many as 80% of the homes lost to wildland fires could have been saved if their owners had followed a few simple fire-safe practices.

KVNF is a proud member of Rocky Mountain Community Radio. Yesterday RMCR announced Maeve Conran will serve as the network’s first Managing Editor and Producer. Maeve brings fifteen years of broadcast news experience as a radio news director at KGNU in Boulder, podcast producer, and TV program director. Recently she served as Project Coordinator for RMCR’s collaborative news project highlighting Fossil Fuels transitions. As RMCR’s new Managing Editor, Maeve will collaborate with journalists at a dozen public radio stations, increasing our capacity to cover, produce, and distribute regional news. The Managing Editor position is funded in part by a three-year grant from the Colorado Media Project. Aspen Public Radio has agreed to host Maeve in her new role, so she will technically be an employee of RMCR member station Aspen Public Radio, reporting to veteran news director Brent Gardner-Smith.

More than 2,000 Afghans have resettled in Colorado since troops left Afghanistan last August, but administrative backlogs and red tape are making it difficult for families to reunite with relatives still overseas or get permanent residency in the United States. Denver Post reports Congressman Jason Crow and other members have advocated for the “Afghan Adjustment Act.” At a virtual event hosted by the Truman National Security Project, Anna Hanel of the resettlement organization the African Community Center, noted many of the Afghans able to evacuate and come to Colorado were granted temporary parole status for two years until they can apply for special immigrant visas or asylum. Asylum is far more complicated because many documents needed for requests were destroyed in the war. Backlogs are causing delays, and in the meantime, families are split between Denver and Kabul and can’t apply to be reunified before their status changes. The Afghan Adjustment Act could simplify getting green cards and residency.

Ballots for Colorado’s June 28th primary elections will be mailed out in two weeks. Unaffiliated voters can choose whether to cast a Republican primary ballot or a Democratic Party ballot. The last day for voters to change political affiliation is June 6th. The simplest way to check your own registration status is at Go Vote Colorado. As of May 1st, 42 percent of CD3 voters were unaffiliated, with 31 percent Republican and 25 percent Democrat, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. In the Third Congressional District race, three Democrats face off next month. Meanwhile, moderate Republican challenger Don Coram, a state senator from Montrose, is hearing from voters who have changed their registration from Democrat to Unaffiliated so they can attempt to defeat far-right Republican incumbent Congressmember Lauren Boebert in the primary. Colorado Sun reports Coram has finally hit the campaign trail now that the state legislative session has adjourned. His campaign manager DJ Key told the Sun voters have been telling Coram they’re switching affiliation, quote, “everywhere we go.” But former Colorado Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams told the Sun, Coram is going to have to make his case very aggressively this late in the process. Even though Boebert has alienated some centrists, she is still very popular, adding the fact that she has accomplished very little in terms of legislation doesn’t matter to voters. Boebert’s campaign has over 2 million dollars on hand, Coram has 55 thousand dollars. But DJ Key told the Sun, quote, “she has the dollars, but we know that dollars don’t vote.”

The Simms fire near the Montrose and Ouray County line is now 100 percent contained. The fire broke out Thursday during high winds, burning over 370 acres and destroying a home, an RV, and an outbuilding. The cause remains under investigation.

Colorado officials say now is the time to prepare for wildfires in your neighborhood. Eric Galatas at Colorado News Connection from Public News Service has more.

SPOT (1:59)

It's been a hard couple of years. Many in our community struggle with mental health or addictions. Next, Kate Redmond speaks with a clinician in the area who offers an innovative program.

FEATURE (2:03)

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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.
Kate Redmond was reared on a ranch in Routt County, Colorado in a large and boisterous family. Kate has enjoyed a career in audio and lighting, with previous stints at The Vilar Performing Arts Center, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and Strings Pavilion. Her interests include alpine skiing, yoga, poetry, mosaics, and she's currently writing a memoir about her time in Uruguay. After several years as a KVNF volunteer, she joined the staff in December 2020. She left the KVNF staff at the end of June, 2022, to take a position at KSUT in Ignacio, CO.
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