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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 25, 2023

Jason Bechtel via Flickr (CC BY-NC)

CDOT began free shuttle services for commuters traveling between Paonia and Carbondale yesterday. The service is meant to assist commuters needing transportation from the North Fork Valley to the Roaring Fork Valley, and is a response to the road damage and safety closure on Colorado Highway 133 north of Paonia earlier this month.

When high water overwhelmed a culvert on Colorado 133, it collapsed the road above it, cutting off access between Somerset and Paonia. Help is on the way in the form of a temporary bridge, but the obstacle is affecting agriculture, industry and potentially tourism in the North Fork Valley, not just delaying daily travel. Delta County Commissioner Don Suppes says the sinkhole is a “big issue” affecting everyone in the area.

For now, the shuttle service will run through this Friday, May 26 and Tuesday, May 30 through June 2. Schedule times include departure from Paonia at 5 a.m., 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and shuttles will depart Carbondale at 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Paonia pick up location is at Paonia Town Park and the Carbondale drop-off and pick-up location is at the RFTA Carbondale Park & Ride. Shuttle service will not run on Monday, May 29 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. An updated schedule will be shared in time for the week of June 5.

Travelers who are not residents in the area are encouraged to use COtrip.org for planning an alternate route around the area. Motorists traveling to the Colorado Highway 82 (Roaring Fork Valley) or Interstate 70 can detour around the closure via US Highway 50 and I-70. All real-time travel impacts will continue to be posted to COtrip.org

A pair of Western lawmakers are proposing major reforms to the law governing hardrock mining on federal lands. It’s the latest attempt to update the Mining Law of 1872. The Mountain West News Bureau’s Murphy Woodhouse has more.

The end of this year’s legislative session for one local politician had its ups and downs. KVNF’s Lisa Young spoke with Representative Matt Soper about the challenges he faced, as well as several legislative successes.

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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/>