© 2024 KVNF Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

KVNF Regional Newscast: January 19, 2024

Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors in Montrose, Colorado
Montrose Daily Press
Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors in Montrose, Colorado

The U.S. Attorney’s Office maintains that former Montrose funeral director Megan Hess was appropriately sentenced for her involvement in a scheme to obtain and sell human remains without proper consent.

She, and her mother, Shirley Koch, were convicted of not securing proper permission for body donations, misleading families with random cremains, and selling remains under false pretenses. Judy Cressler from Grand Junction was one of the family members impacted by the Sunset Mesa funeral home scandal.

Cressler’s father, a uranium miner from Nucla, passed away from lung cancer. Megan Hess and Shirley Koch, owners of Sunset Mesa Funeral Home, stole his body and sold it to the Global Anatomy Project in Saudi Arabia.

“We were given ashes of other people, (the) mixed cremains of other people,” Cressler previously told KVNF.

Hess and Koch pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud each. Hess was sentenced to 20 years, and Koch to 15 years in federal prison. Hess claimed the court abused its discretion.

The U.S. attorney’s office says that the families and buyers were defrauded and did not receive what they paid for, thus suffering economic harm. The government also contends that any legitimate services provided by Hess don’t offset the fraud.

Delta County has installed new fast-charging electric vehicle (EV) stations to support EV drivers both locally and along the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway.

This initiative is part of a state effort to expand EV charging infrastructure, and aims to address the lack of such facilities in rural areas. The project was fully state-funded, and a local vendor was selected for the installation.

The stations are located at:

  • the Delta County Public Library
  • Delta County Fairgrounds in Hotchkiss
  • Surface Creek Historical Society in Cedaredge
  • and near the intersection of Colorado 92 and H Road in Crawford

These stations are primarily for visitors and travelers in the county. Commissioner Wendell Koontz noted in a county press release on Wednesday the increasing local interest in EVs with adoption in Colorado growing by 50% annually. He added that rural areas are often the most underserved when it comes to EV support.
Montrose County is undergoing a significant transition in case management services.

The county announced yesterday that it would be the Case Management Agency for Long Term Care Services and Supports in Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties,

This goes into effect March 1.

A public meeting is scheduled for January 30, from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Montrose County Event Center. The event will provide more information about the transition, address questions and seek community input in shaping the future of case management services in our region. Attendees will hear from county staff and state partners.

Visit the Case Management Agency website for more details on the transition.

To avert future disasters like the 2021 Marshall Fire, we need to rethink how homes and other structures turn into fuel. Eric Galatas of the Colorado News Connection has more.

On today’s Farm Friday there’s a new inflation report showing food price inflation is slowing down to a crawl. USDA’s Gary Crawford has more.

Stay Connected
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/>