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KVNF Regional Newscast: February 23, 2024

Land Use Code Hearing Sign at Rogers Mesa Store
Lisa Young
Land Use Code Hearing Sign at Rogers Mesa Store

Delta County Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the 2024 updated Land Use Code following a public hearing February 21, 2024. Director of Community Development Austin Hanson provided a brief update highlighting one big change to the code.

Concerned citizens packed the Delta Family Center to challenge language and concepts presented in the updated code. Long time North Fork Resident Eli Wolcott, representing the Delta County Coalition, urged the Commissioners to continue to work on the code.

One Hotchkiss resident went beyond issues with code…directing comments against the three Commissioners. At the conclusion of the two hour public hearing Commissioner Don Suppes made the motion to adopt the code with Commissioners Wendell Koontz and Mike Lane in favor of the measure.

Several area health care providers in our area have stepped up to provide mental health care following the closure of Integrated Insight Community Care. The multi-county mental and physical health care provider closed earlier this month due to allegations of patient safety and financial concerns. Rocky Mountain Health Plans pulled its contracts from Integrated in mid-January. They offered help to the nearly 1400 hundred patients previously served by Integrated. Delta Health, River Valley Family Health Center and Axis have added staff and services to take on any of Integrated’s clients in the Delta area.

Each year, FFA chapters around the country celebrate National FFA Week. This year’s celebration takes place this week Feb. 17 -24. Congratulations to all our local FFA chapters.

On today’s Farm Friday I follow-up on last week’s conversation on mental health among ag producers with a conversation regarding a pilot program helping rural communities, farmers and ranchers identify a mental health crisis; intervene and communicate with someone who might be having thoughts of suicide and create a safety plan and secure their environment.

That’s Calandra Lindstadt, a rural health specialist with Colorado State University Office of Engagement and Extension, explaining the FEWER Colorado program. The hour and a half long program is funded by a grant from Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

Data shows that the three most common methods of ending life are asphyxiation, medication and firearms. Of the three, guns are the most lethal.

Montrose County saw 18 deaths by suicide in 2022, of those half were from fire arms. Lindstadt says while it can be difficult to talk about guns and suicide, the FEWER Colorado training respects gun owner’s rights.

FEWER Colorado training sessions have taken place in Mesa and Montrose County with roughly 20 participants. Lindstadt says she hopes the pilot program will become a permanent part of vital mental health training for Colorado Ag producers, their communities and families.

The next FEWER Colorado training will take place Thursday, February 29th in Cortez at the Lewis Arriola Community Center. This short course will teach participants how to recognize a mental health crisis, how to create safety options with an individual struggling with thoughts of suicide, and how to refer that person to resources and professional support.

If someone you know is struggling with mental health issues they can call 9-8-8 for assistance.

CORRECTION: The original story which aired on Feb. 23, 2024 incorrectly stated that F.E.W.E.R Colorado trainings included QPR training. F.E.W.E.R is its own specialized training and does not provide QPR training as suggested in the story. KVNF apologizes for the error.

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Lisa was born in Texas but grew up on a small farm in Olathe, Colorado and considers herself a “Colorado native after six years of age.” Lisa has seven years experience in media, beginning as a News Director for a small radio station on the Eastern Plains. Following her initial radio career, Lisa worked as a staff reporter for The Journal Advocate in Sterling, Colorado and most recently as a staff reporter for the Delta County Independent. Lisa is thrilled to join the award-winning News and Public Affairs team at KVNF.