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KVNF Regional Newscast: December 8, 2023

Colorado will have to hand over workers’ compensation data to the federal government despite a state law meant to keep it confidential. In a ruling last week, a judge ultimately decided that federal law supersedes a state statute and gives the Social Security Administration access to the data. An audit by the Social Security Administration in 20-20 found Colorado received excess federal payments for disability benefits.

The government requested more information from the state, but Colorado refused. The attorney general’s office claimed releasing the data would violate the Colorado Workers Compensation Act. With the recent court order, Colorado’s labor department has until the end of the month to submit the data.

Flags statewide were lowered to half-staff on Wednesday in honor of Cortez Police Sgt. Michael Moran, who lost his life in the line of duty on November 29. The officer was fatally shot during a traffic stop in Cortez, leaving behind two daughters and relatives.

While the suspect involved was killed in a subsequent exchange of gunfire, no one is currently in custody for Moran's murder. A private memorial service for Moran was held at the Cortez Recreation Center on Wednesday morning, and donations to support his family can be made through the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation's website.

If you hunted this season, you may hear from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The CPW is seeking feedback from elk hunters regarding over-the-counter (OTC) elk license rules as they conclude their review of the Big Game Season Structure. Surveys will be sent to 6,000 hunters, discussing the potential elimination of OTC elk licenses, a hotly debated topic according to the High Country Shopper.

The survey runs through January 2024, and targets resident and nonresident hunters, with equal representation from archery and firearm hunters. Findings will be presented at the March 2024 Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting, exploring opinions on proposed OTC license limits and their potential impacts.

For more information, visit the CPW's Big Game Season Structure Engage CPW webpage.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has been in operation for half a century. For KVNF, Laura Palmisano reports on the center's history and brings us a detailed look at what it does.

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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/>