Nucla — Brad Campbell took the best job he could after graduating high school, working at the local coal-fired power plant for up to $42 an hour. He got married, bought a house and paid it off in three years. When he learned Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association would close the Nucla plant early, in […]
A 120-year-old water tunnel beneath the mountains is the Uncompahgre Valley’s lifeline. We went inside.
MONTROSE — After more than a half-hour splashing through the dank dark of one of the world’s longest irrigation tunnels, Dennis Veo grins in the sunshine showering the cliffs of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. “The guys who did this were dang sharp,” says Veo, the operations manager of the Uncompahgre Valley Water […]
As record-setting real estate sales continue in Colorado resort towns, buyers are now looking way down valley
The blistering pace of real estate sales is continuing in Colorado’s high country, with every resort community setting new records in each month this year. “It’s been crazy,” Crested Butte broker Frank Konsella said, “way past everything in 2019 and 2020.” Last year saw record numbers of home buyers paying highest-ever prices for properties in […]
Colorado wants to help after coal leaves town. It’s going to take time. And a lot of money.
A state plan to support the economies of 11 Colorado counties where coal mines and power plants are closing anticipates a price tag of at least $100 million to help workers and their communities. The state wants to help coal communities however it can, but the people who spent more than a year developing the […]
In Colorado’s hard-to-count communities, census outreach and coronavirus support are one and the same
To say that 2020 has not been a normal year to take a national census — well, it doesn’t quite capture the full extent of the situation. The Census Bureau’s normally nonpartisan operations have been repeatedly undercut, whether it’s in the form of chronic underfunding, the federal administration’s fear-stoking attempt in 2019 to add a […]
A former mining camp is converting into a boutique getaway, sparking hope in Montrose County’s West End
NATURITA — The flashing lights bounce off the rusting water tank as the DJ’s thunderous bass resonates across the desert. A couple dozen well-spaced revelers, young and old in wigs and glitter and outrageous costumes, frolic beneath the glowing Milky Way. A friend leans over to Natalie Binder as they absorb the scene from the […]
We now know how many billions of gallons of water Colorado will save by closing coal-fired power plants
The closing of 30 coal-fired generating units across the West – including 10 in Colorado – could free-up more than 76 billion gallons of river and groundwater a year in the increasingly parched region, although utilities appear cautious about giving up their water rights. An analysis by the Energy and Policy Institute, a non-profit, utility […]
Don’t use coronavirus antibody tests for workplace decisions, western Colorado health officials say
Some Ouray County employers have asked workers to get coronavirus antibody tests in order to return to work, against the advice of medical experts who question the value and accuracy of the tests. In the last seven weeks, 27 people have had blood drawn at Mountain Medical Center for the testing, which measures whether people […]
Coronavirus canceled Memorial Day ceremonies. But in Montrose a lone trumpeter stepped up to honor the fallen.
MONTROSE — Daniel Pumphrey walked among the decorated graves of fallen warriors Monday morning soaking in the warm Colorado sun, a flat-finished trumpet tucked under his arm. Pumphrey normally plays before a crowd on this day, Memorial Day, yet with people told to stay away because of the ongoing threat of the coronavirus, he prepared to […]
Warnings are working (for now) to keep visitors out of Colorado’s high country. But tickets, legal battles loom.
Police in Colorado’s mountain communities are doing a lot of educating and even issuing written warnings to violators of local and state health orders designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But if mask mandates, closures, restrictions and locals-only access rules linger for months, warnings will soon turn to tickets. And that worries Western […]