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KVNF Regional Newscast: January 5, 2024

Billy Goat Hop Farm Co-Owner Audrey Gehlhausen
Lisa Young
Billy Goat Hop Farm Co-Owner Audrey Gehlhausen

Colorado’s 2024 legislative session starts next week and Democratic party leadership is focused on legislation to address the state’s housing crisis. Last year, the party failed to pass a statewide land use bill to increase housing density. House Majority Leader Monica Duran says last year’s bill tried to do too much at once.

Specific housing legislation will focus on public transit, zoning and property taxes. Duran says there will also be bills around public safety, healthcare costs, climate change and economic inequities.

The Montrose Police Department is asking residents with security cameras to join a voluntary surveillance camera registry. Spurred by input from local business owners, this initiative aims to create a voluntary community registration database of surveillance cameras.

The Montrose Daily Press reports that the registry would aid investigations without seeking direct access to systems. Chief Blaine Hall told the Press that all registered information is confidential, and video only will be requested when needed for an investigation. Recent Montrose police department statistics show a decline in residential and commercial burglaries.

Hall attributes this decrease to increasing law enforcement’s presence around the community.

A trio of nonprofits in our region are looking to fill energy workforce gaps.

EcoAction Partners, Telluride Foundation, and San Miguel Power Association would train individuals for small-scale energy efficiency jobs, like installing heat pumps, solar panels, and electric vehicle chargers. The initiative would also offer certifications in related fields, according to the Ouray Plaindealer.

Participants, including high school students and adults from specified regions, can earn money for completing courses, aligning with climate action plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase renewable energy usage in the area.

Small nonfarming businesses in 16 Colorado counties are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. KVNF’s Lisa Young has the details.

On today’s Farm Friday, KVNF’s Lisa Young takes us to a unique and somewhat mysterious farm south of Montrose on highway 550. Billy Goat Hop Farm will be featured in an upcoming Local Motion.

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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/>