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KVNF Regional Newscast: February 29, 2024

Adam Frisch (D) for CD3_ Meet n' Greet in Delta
Lisa Young
Adam Frisch (D) for CD3_ Meet n' Greet in Delta

One Colorado pro-abortion group is collecting signatures across the state hoping to protect abortion access through a constitutional amendment. Ballot Initiative 89, slated for the November 2024 general election, seeks to protect abortion from governmental interference and require insurance companies to pay for abortion care.

KVNF's Lisa Young spoke with a volunteer for Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom during a recent Adam Frisch campaign event in Delta. Frisch, a Democrat, running for Colorado’s Third Congressional District, encouraged attendees to sign the ballot initiative petition.

Proponents say people enrolled in state health insurance plans such as teachers, firefighters and other state employees should have access to abortion coverage. The measure, if passed, would lift a ban on public funds for abortions. According to Colorado Newsline, approximately 1 million people who work at public institutions like hospitals, universities and the Capitol itself would be able to use their work health insurance to pay for an abortion.

Opponents to the measure say Initiative 89 seeks to protect the abortion industry and not women. They say the measure will force taxpayers and the government to provide health insurance to state employees to cover abortion procedures, even as many Coloradans struggle to pay excessive out-of-pocket health care costs.

TOP STORY: The remains of the adult female found near the Smith Mountain trailhead on February 18th have been identified as Samantha Bartolo, age 40 of Delta, according to the Delta County Coroner’s Office. Bartolo was reported missing by family members on November 12, 2023 after she had not been heard from in several days.

Search and Rescue Teams from Delta, Montrose, Mesa, Gunnison and San Miguel Counties performed an exhaustive search around H-75 Rd near the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation area but did not locate Bartolo.

The Sheriff’s Office is waiting for a final autopsy report and is investigating Bartolo's death as “suspicious” until additional information or new evidence is obtained.

Cedaredge Board of Trustees approved a $1.7 million dollar construction contract with Pioneer Excavating, LLC for the Northridge waterline replacement project to replace roughly 20,000 linear feet of waterline, reports the Delta County Independent.

The Northridge project has been in the town’s capital improvement plan since 2013. The out-of-town residential area north of town utilizes the town’s water as customers. Over the years, the town has experienced significant water loss due to old lines in the area.

The contract with Pioneer Excavating covers pre-construction planning, replacement of the old water lines slated for mid-March with substantial completion by Nov. 1 and final completion by Dec. 1.

The total cost of the project beyond Pioneer Excavating’s purview comes to an anticipated $2.3 million. The project is funded in part by about $249,000 in water fund reserves and unrestricted money in the water fund. A reimbursement policy for Northridge is pending.

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it a crime to falsify votes from the electoral college during a presidential race. KUNC’s Lucas Brady Woods it’s one of several measures intended to increase election security ahead of November’s election.

The embattled Uinta Basin Railway, a proposed short line that would connect Utah's oil fields to the national rail system, has lost key federal permits over the past seven months. But, proponents are not giving up. For Rocky Mountain Community Radio, K-D-N-K's Amy Hadden Marsh has more.

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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.