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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 17, 2023

Commissioners (l-r) Mike Lane, Wendel Koontz and Don Suppes
Zoom meeting screen shot
Commissioners (l-r) Mike Lane, Wendel Koontz and Don Suppes

A Redvale man drowned while kayaking the Dolores River last Wednesday, reports the Montrose Daily Press. While the cause of death appears to have been drowning, the manner of death is under investigation and an autopsy has been scheduled for the 72-year old Richard Zehm. Zehm was kayaking just over 6 miles south of Bedrock with a friend when the pair struck a rock and overturned. The victim’s friend survived and flagged down assistance from nearby kayakers, who helped recover Zehm and moved him to a boat ramp, where first responders were on-scene. Responders included the sheriff’s office posse and Nucla-Naturita Fire and EMS. Montrose County Sheriff Gene Lillard said the rivers were running extremely fast due to the large amount of snowpack in the mountains, and reminded recreationists to use caution out on the water.

U.S. Highway 550 will be closed north of Durango next Saturday during the annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, according to a CDOT news release. Motorists are urged to leave Durango early if traveling to Silverton or points beyond, since U.S. 550 will be closed between Purgatory Ski Resort and Silverton from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. to accommodate cyclists. Travelers heading south from Silverton, Ridgway or Montrose on U.S. 550 should also be aware the highway will be closed just south of Silverton. Motorists will not be permitted to travel within the closure points after 8:30 a.m. The highway will reopen at 1:30 p.m.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife began engaging with the public as alternatives are considered to the current big-game hunting season structure, according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife division. As part of the Big Game Season Structure planning process, CPW will hold public meetings in a town hall style across the Southwest Region in Durango, Gunnison, Monte Vista and Montrose. Topics planned for discussion include alternatives regarding over-the-counter archery and rifle elk licenses, Rifle season date structures for deer and elk, Early season archery and muzzleloader date structures, adding rifle deer opportunities to the first regular rifle season, and adding a second regular rifle buck and doe pronghorn season.

Delta County Board of County Commissioners met Tuesday for its regular business meeting. Among the topics at the meeting was a letter from the county to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The letter drew concern from one environmental group located in the North Fork Valley. KVNF’s Lisa Young has more.

Kids are flocking to their local playgrounds as it starts to warm up. But for some kids, finding a park they can access can be challenging. Emma VandenEinde of the Mountain West News Bureau met one family trying to create a park that everyone can play at.

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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/>