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KVNF Regional Newscast: July 20, 2022

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Photo: Utah State University graduate student Christine Sandbach releases a beaver into the Price River in Woodside, Utah on May 25th, 2022. KZMU News/Justin Higginbottom

(:05) This is KVNF’s Regional Newscast for Wednesday, July 20th. I’m Stephanie Maltarich.

(:23) On Monday afternoon the Montrose Press reported the arrest of 56-year-old Timothy O’Brien in Farmington, New Mexico. O’Brien is an inmate at the Delta Correctional Facility. On Saturday, he reportedly cut off his ankle monitor and stole a vehicle to escape while at his designated work site. O’Brien is one of five inmates to escape the minimum security facility since 2003.

(:24) On July 5 the Montrose Press reported Megan Hess pleaded guilty to mail fraud. Hess was indicted in 2020 along with her mother, Shirley Koch, for illegally selling body parts for research through Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors based in Montrose. And last Tuesday Koch also pleaded guilty to mail fraud. Many of the victims have expressed dissatisfaction with both pleas and subsequent sentences.

(:20) Reporter Dennis Webb of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel wrote about a large land conservation project in Delta County. The Colorado West Land Trust partnered with the Lazo family to protect 146 acres of wildlife habitat on Fruitland Mesa. The land was conserved at the wishes of Christopher Reid Lazo who died last October.

(:14) A few weeks ago, the Department of the Interior announced $36 million to help fund 27 water infrastructure projects. That’s after $25 million in similar funding last month. The Mountain West News Bureau’s Madelyn Beck reports.

SPOT (:51)

(:16) A partnership between governmental agencies and university researchers has modern-day trappers searching the state for beavers. But they aren’t after pelts. Instead, they’re using the large rodent to lessen the effects of drought. Justin Higginbottom for KZMU has more.

FEATURE (5:26)

(:05) And that wraps up Wednesday’s KVNF Regional Newscast.

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