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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 31, 2022

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Questions remain about the Simms Fire outside of Montrose earlier this month. There is now a federal moratorium on prescribed burns, put in place a day after the Simms Fire blew up and got out of control, burning down a house, outbuildings, and two RVs. The fire is now under review, just like the Calf Canyon Fire in New Mexico, that state's largest wildfire in history, which also started from a prescribed burn. Residents in the area of Wildcat Canyon and Government Springs Road on the border of Ouray County and Montrose County called 911 multiple times, only to be rebuffed. The Ouray County Plaindealer reports some members of the community are former or current firefighters, and warned as early as 2:38 pm on Thursday, May 19th that the fire was out of control. At that point a patrol had walked away from the fire. Ouray District Ranger Dana Gardunio and Fire Staff Officer Sean Stafford told community members at a public meeting they followed an approved burn plan that included exhaustive requirements for measuring fuels moisture and weather conditions. The Plaindealer reports the Stauffer family, who lost their home, euthanized their cat due to mortal burn injuries.

There are now two reported cases of monkeypox in Colorado. Denver Post reports the second case is awaiting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmation. Both cases have been found in young adult males. The first had traveled to Canada. Friday’s presumptive case is a close contact from the first case, according to health officials. Monkeypox often begins with a fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion. Then a rash typically develops within three days. Health officials say risk to the public remains low and there is an effective vaccine available. It can be administered soon after exposure, to minimize the illness. Monkeypox is rarely fatal.

Downtown Paonia is zoned as a commercial district. But two projects will add new apartments along Grand Avenue. At the Paonia Trustee meeting last week, board members discussed the issue. Kate Redmond reports.

SPOT (1:51)

An overwhelming majority of Coloradans view rising costs of living as a serious problem. A new Colorado Health Foundation poll shows around 1 in 3 have worked multiple jobs, or more than they wanted, to pay for housing. Shannon Young at KGNU spoke with public opinion insights officer Jace Woodrum about the findings.

FEATURE (3:44)

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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.
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.
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