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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 23, 2023

 Lone Cone Library in Norwood was packed with residents opposing a possible new solar farm.
Screenshot via Zoom/Cassie Knust
Lone Cone Library in Norwood was packed with residents opposing a possible new solar farm.

Authorities recovered so much stolen property from an Olathe home last week that the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office needed a U-Haul to collect everything. According to the Montrose Daily Press, Gunnison County is the lead investigating agency for the cache of items reportedly stolen in Cimarron. Last Tuesday, Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office deputies served a search warrant at the Hickory Road address in Olathe, with assistance from the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office. Gunnison deputies located suspect Branden Distel, a road crew involved in U.S. 50 construction, and arrested him on suspicion of burgling homes in Cimarron earlier this year. Several items — including generators, a hot water heater, firearms and 14 sets of big game horns — had been taken from two homes in Cimarron.

Delta County and surrounding municipalities are strongly urging residents to be extremely cautious around rivers and streams as warmer weather is rapidly melting extensive snowpack in the mountains, leading to high runoff. Residents are warned not to swim in or attempt to float in area rivers. Fire departments and other first responders have limited swift-water rescue capabilities and a response to any water-related accident may take quite some time, due to limited river access. Per the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, heavy releases from Crystal Dam and other reservoirs upstream from Black Canyon means the Gunnison River is flowing high, fast and cold these days.

Friday’s peak flow of around 4,600 cubic feet per second (CFS) is many times higher than the typical flow seen in Black Canyon. Last winter's heavy snowpack has contributed to rushing rivers throughout the area, as well as much-needed water to resupply the area's drought-ridden reservoirs.

Rural firefighters in our region will be able to “breathe easier” thanks to a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. KVNF’s Lisa Young has the details.

A proposed solar farm just southwest of Norwood (in San Miguel County, Colorado) is drawing criticism from the community. OneEnergy Renewables responded to complaints about the solar farm’s proposed location. For Rocky Mountain Community Radio, KOTO’s Julia Caulfield brings part two of this report.

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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/>