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KVNF Regional Newscast: December 19, 2023

A new state law is having unintended consequences with a major insurance company. Allstate says it will only offer services in English next year in an attempt to comply with Colorado’s requirements around language representation.

The law was designed to fix language gaps that make it hard for non-English speakers to access insurance. For example, if an insurer advertises in Spanish, it also has to provide policy documents and applications in Spanish.

Colorado Newsline reports Allstate’s Spanish-language websites and automated phone options will also be unavailable to Coloradans. Lawmakers behind the state law say the company’s response is contrary to the intent and will only exacerbate barriers to insurance.

The U.S. Postal Service in Colorado's mountain towns is facing severe staffing and service challenges, as revealed by an audit covering 13 delivery units and a Grand Junction processing center. According to the Ouray Plaindealer, issues include delayed mail, staffing shortages, and outdated facilities causing delivery problems.

Employee retention has struggled due to stagnant wages and high living costs. The delivery issues in Ridgway were temporarily due to a staffing shortage and a carrier needing time off.

A U.S. Postal Service spokesman said another carrier was brought in from Olathe to help with the backlog. Deliveries are expected to return to normal soon.

Lower basin states are acknowledging a "structural deficit," to the Colorado River, citing imbalance between demand and supply as the cause of strain of the river.

This agreement, made in Las Vegas last week, responds to water overuse, causing reservoir strains like Lake Powell and Lake Mead. However, the exact fix for this imbalance remains unclear and won't immediately resolve shortages across the Southwest, says the Daily Sentinel.

Negotiations for new post-2026 guidelines among seven basin states aim to address flaws in managing the river. Efforts to include tribes in decision-making also signal a shift toward more inclusivity in our region’s water agreements.

The "Community Safety Center" in Delta, which will house the Delta Police Department station is currently on schedule and within budget. KVNF’s Lisa Young has more

Almost 40% of all food in America goes unsold or uneaten… while millions of people struggle to afford groceries. But a concept called “food rescue” tackles both issues at once — keeping some items out of the trash while helping to feed people in need.

For Rocky Mountain Community Radio, Aspen Public Radio's Kaya Williams has more on one of those projects in the Roaring Fork Valley.

This story was produced with assistance from the Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps. It’s supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. It was shared with us via Rocky Mountain Community Radio, a network of public media stations in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico, including KVNF.

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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/>