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KVNF Regional Newscast: July 22, 2022

The Colorado River carves through a giant mud flat created by sediment left behind as Lake Powell retreats. (Luke Runyon/KUNC)

This is KVNF’s Regional Newscast for Friday, July 22nd. I’m Stephanie Maltarich.

On Tuesday Delta County Independent reporter Lucas Vader reported construction is on schedule for the new Delta Police Department building. The city purchased a vacant State Armory building earlier this year, and police chief Luke Fedler says he’s hoping the building will be ready for the department by early 2024. The restored building is around 13,000 square feet compared to the current 4,500 square foot facility.

New transportation is on the horizon for people traveling from Montrose to Ouray according to the Ouray County Plaindealer. Ouray City Administrator Silas Clarke says the $5 roundtrip van service was made possible by a combination of funds. The Colorado Department of Transportation, a match from the City of Ouray, the Town of Ridgeway and Ouray County, combined with grant funding that was approved in a July 14 meeting. The van will start shuttling passengers on Memorial Day Weekend next year. Local officials hope increased transportation options will bolster the local workforce.

Fire crews in Gunnison County were able to subdue the above-ground portion of a wildfire caused by an underground coal mine fire, but as KBUT’s Christopher Biddle reports local officials are still wary of flare-ups this summer.

SPOT (:39)

National Parks were big draws for tourists last year. Visitors lined up across the country to enter the National Park System more than 297 million times – up 25 percent from 2020. These visits meant a lot of spending in nearby communities.

Rocky Mountain Community Radio’s Justin Higginbottom reports on a new study that crunches the numbers.

SPOT (:53)

In 2021 the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park saw over 300,000 visits that brought over $21 million in funding and 250 jobs.

The seven Colorado River basin states have until mid-August to drastically cut their water use. Federal officials say that’s necessary to keep the river’s giant reservoirs from going empty. If state leaders fail to come up with a plan, they could be facing a federal crackdown. From KUNC, Luke Runyon has more on what that might look like.

FEATURE (4:04)

This story is part of ongoing coverage of the Colorado River, produced by KUNC, and supported by the Walton Family Foundation.

(:05) And that wraps up Friday’s KVNF Regional Newscast. Thanks for tuning in.

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