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KVNF Regional Newscast: December 5, 2023

DMEA, Delta Montrose Electric Association
Laura Palmisano

Grand Junction Police arrested a suspect in an armed robbery that took place November 27 at a business on the 500 block of 29 ½ Road. According to initial reports, an armed individual entered the establishment, demanded cash from the register, and swiftly fled in a vehicle just before law enforcement arrived.

GJPD officers identified the vehicle associated with the robbery. Police arrested 52-year-old Eric Guice.

Guice faces charges of Aggravated Robbery, Menacing with a Real/Simulated Weapon, and Theft. He has been remanded to the Mesa County Detention Facility.

Colorado’s winter is off to a slow start. As of last week, Colorado’s statewide snowpack was about 60% of the 30 year median.

Last year at this time, snowpack stood at about 89% of the median. It’s still very early in the season, and this year, Colorado’s winter and spring will be impacted by strong El Niño climate patterns in the Pacific Ocean.

According to state climatologist Becky Bolinger, who spoke with the Colorado Sun, usually, an El Niño year brings wetter conditions to much of the state in September, October and November.

But that didn’t happen this fall.

Typically the El Niño also leads to drier conditions in the northern and central mountains, around areas like Steamboat Springs, and wetter conditions through the Eastern Plains and southern Colorado, like around Purgatory and Wolf Creek Resorts. Last winter, Purgatory (just North of Durango) had its longest ski season ever and saw more than 31 feet of snow.

The holiday season is known for “giving and receiving.” KVNF’s Lisa Young has a story about how one local electric cooperative is using “spare change” to make a difference in the lives of families and area nonprofits during the holiday season and all year round.

The Audubon Society is gearing up for its annual Christmas Bird Count which starts December 14.

Zach Hutchinson is the Community Science Coordinator with Audubon Rockies which covers Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. He says this will be the one hundred and 24th year the count has taken place.

"It started out as 20 participants back in 1900 and now you're talking tens of thousands of people that go out in this time span and join their local community members and count birds," says Hutchinson.

This is the longest-running citizen science project in the country and Hutchinson says this type of data gathering is invaluable.

"It helps scientists fill in gaps in data by saying, 'Hey, here's our problem. We need to gather this information about this species. We'll provide the training. We'll show you how to do it. We'll show you how to collect this information, we'll train you to the best abilities that we can so that you feel fully prepared, and then you can go out and do it on your own and send us that data.' And then we are getting more data than we could if it were just, you know, this small group of us trying to collect it because you just can't cover that much ground."

Bird watchers in the Rocky Mountains will be keeping an eye out for pinyon jays, whose population has declined by an estimated 80% in the last 50 years.

Hutchinson says this is largely because of habitat loss.

"The pinyon jay depends upon that arid pinyon juniper-type habitat. Where piñon pine starts to phase out, it's more of juniper or ponderosa-type habitat. So you'll find that throughout western Wyoming and then you get into the pinyon as you go into western Colorado. That habitat is being gravely impacted by a variety of human factors."

The Christmas Bird County will run through January 5. The local chapter, Black Canyon Audubon Society, is located in Delta. Visit them online for more information.

With the promise of long-term energy price solutions still a ways off, Coloradans are bracing for high winter energy bills. Eric Galatas of the Colorado News Connection 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/>