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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 21, 2024

US Postal Service public hearing meeting in Grand Junction
WCAL #600
US Postal Service public hearing meeting in Grand Junction

Proposed changes in Postal Service operations at the Grand Junction facility are on hold until at least January, reports the Daily Sentinel. The delay came after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy agreed to a request from U.S. senators in several states. The Postal Service is conducting reviews at nearly 60 plants.

Last month, the Postal Service said it planned to proceed with converting its Grand Junction Processing and Distribution Center into a Local Processing Center. Outgoing mail processing would be routed to the Denver Center to save money. Critics say the change will result in delayed local delivery that will have to be shipped to Denver and back on Interstate 70 known for its frequent closures due to accidents, snowstorms and occasional mudslides in the canyon.

Teachers and staff at Montrose County School District RE-1J will see an increase in salary and benefits for the upcoming school year. According to a press release from the district, an agreement with the Uncompahgre Education Association features a historic increase in total compensation for teachers and all MCSD staff, exceeding $6 million. The increase represents an average annual salary increase of 12.6%.

Over the past three years the school district and labor association have negotiated a three-year increase of over 34% in salaries and benefits for all staff. In addition, starting teacher salaries have increased 31% in three years (from starting at $37K in 2021 to a starting salary for first year teachers of $48K in 2024; starting paraprofessionals have seen an increase of almost 49% in three years (from starting at $12.10 an hour in 2021 to $18 an hour in 2024).

A new species of prehistoric mammal has been discovered in Colorado. Researchers at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science unearthed the fossil in the Coral Bluffs area
of Colorado Springs. The creature was about the size of a chinchilla and lived 65 million years ago. That’s shortly after dinosaurs went extinct – a period that we don’t know much about due to a poor fossil record. This new discovery will help to fill some of those gaps. The species is part of a group of animals that gave rise to modern hoofed mammals like deer, cows and pigs.

A proposed co-housing project in Ridgway will not become a reality. For KVNF, Brody Wilson shares the details.

Feature: Wildfires and other climate-fueled disasters are straining insurance markets. Recently, officials met in Boise to compare notes on how to avoid what some call the “uninsurable future.” The Mountain West News Bureau’s Murphy Woodhouse was there.

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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.