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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 11, 2023

Gavin Dahl

The City of Montrose is looking to increase light efficiency while decreasing light pollution, according to the Montrose Daily Press. The answer comes in the form of a street light replacement project that includes LED lights. The first part of the upgrade project will cost the city $110,000, but per the city, thousands more per year will be saved in energy costs. The project covers DMEA-owned light fixtures around the city and is expected to span the next four years, totaling $440,000. While efforts will reduce light pollution, city officials noted that the project is not intended to achieve a dark sky community status. The upgrade includes shielded lighting and lower light levels where possible, along with using light that serves a purpose, which all meet certain principles of the International Dark-Sky Association’s Dark Skies Responsible Outdoor Lighting.

Cedaredge Town Administrator Kami Collins is pushing for a big pay raise for the town’s staff, reports the Delta County Independent. Collins’ request includes increasing staff salaries by a total of $290,000 per year plus benefits. While a significant ask, she insisted the increase was critical to retaining staff, comparing the town’s salaries to neighboring town salaries. The proposal for a new wage scale comes six months after the board approved the current scale, and as Collins indicated, it became clear that the current scale under-compensated for the post-COVID-19 inflation that would happen in order to get people to go back to work.

KVNF’s Lisa Young recently spoke with Paonia Chief of Police Matthew Laiminger and Fire Chief Blake Kinser regarding high water concerns in the North Fork.

Water is scarce in much of our region. So every spring, one tribe spends days cleaning ditches that are vital to irrigating their farmlands. But aging infrastructure and the effects of climate change are making it harder for farmers to get enough water – even after the cleanings. The Mountain West New Bureau’s Kaleb Roedel reports.

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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/>