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KVNF Regional Newscast: March 2, 2023

Gavin Dahl

The Housing Resources of Western Colorado is hosting a free “Homebuyer 101” educational session, both in English and Spanish, on March 15 and 16, according to the Montrose Daily Press. Like the rest of the state, housing is at a premium in Montrose, and renters and prospective buyers alike tend to encounter high prices and low inventory. Ricardo Perez, executive director of Hispanic Affairs Project, said COVID and inflation have hit the whole community and that, for the immigrant community HAP serves, the top issues are economic and housing. The meetings will take place at the MADA building in Montrose.

The Town of Paonia was denied a Great Outdoors Colorado grant that would have funded park improvements, reports the Delta County Independent. Key points for the rejections were improved demographics, demonstrated community support, urgency and balancing needs of the town regarding water issues. Town officials noted that installation of a skate park has been discussed multiple times over the past 12 years, but derailed by town administrators. The Paonia Parks committee consensus was to quit relying on grants and start making it a reality.

Activists shed light on homeless issues facing Grand Junction in an event attended by nearly 80 people at the Mesa County Central Library on Tuesday. The Daily Sentinel reported that local advocacy group Solidarity Not Charity organized the event to address the stigma surrounding homelessness. The event follows last week’s Common Sense Institute report that homelessness in Grand Junction increased 43% between 2019 and 2021. Grand Junction’s homeless population is 14% higher than Denver’s, and one activist called the issue a “landlord’s” market, and it’s one that doesn’t accommodate low wages, he said.

Most states in the Mountain West are seeing a rise in how much they’re spending on food, according to data from the Census Bureau. Colorado and Wyoming saw massive decreases in spending from January to February, whereas consumers in New Mexico are spending more than $20 more on their groceries.

The first ever after school Satan Club in the state of Colorado will launch Monday at Paonia K-8. The after school club billed as “ a focus on free inquiry and rationalism” is the product of The Satanic Temple, a nontheistic religious organization in the United States. KVNF's Lisa Young has the details.

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Cassie moved to Montrose from Texas in April 2020, right before COVID changed the landscape of the world as we knew it. She brought her love of people and a degree in broadcast journalism to the Western Slope, where she built a strong foundation in local print news. She’s excited to join the KVNF family and grow as a reporter. For Cassie, her job as a journalist is to empower the community through knowledge and information. When she’s not researching and reporting, Cassie loves to spend time with her cat, Jasper, and paint something new.<br/><br/>