Western Slope


Wed March 18, 2015

With Gratitude Veterans Craft Canes For Fellow Vets

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 3:33 pm

Vietnam veteran Gary Gratton carves an eagle head.
Laura Palmisano

Throughout history, the eagle has symbolized strength and courage.

It’s been called “the king of the skies” and in mythology it was often a messenger for the gods.

And now the eagle is also becoming a symbol of gratitude.

Military veterans on the Western Slope are handcrafting canes decorated with the head of an eagle for fellow veterans. 

Gary Gratton leans over a lathe. He’s sanding a piece of basswood shaped like an eagle’s head.

Gratton retired from the Marines as an officer. He spent some of his career fighting in Vietnam.

"I’ve spent 27 years serving my country," he says. "Now I want to serve my community." 

Gratton volunteers at the Warrior Resource Center in Montrose.

There he helps coordinate the Eagle Head Cane Program.  

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Wed March 11, 2015

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Expansion Stumbles In Committee

Senator Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) and Margery Grandbouche with Hilltop Community Resources, which operates the Get Real Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program testify in support of a bill to expand the program statewide.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

A bill to expand a teen pregnancy prevention program for low-income youth failed in the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday on a party line 3-2 vote. Republicans defeated the measure, one that was sponsored by one of their own.

"I guess this is my big thing is let's take an inventory of what we're doing before we throw another layer on there," said Senate Finance Committee chair Tim Neville (R-Littleton).

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Wed February 4, 2015
Oil and Gas

Will Colorado's Oil Economy Go Boom Or Bust? History Has Answers

Bo Insogna Creative Commons

The year so far has been a veritable roller coaster of low oil prices, layoffs and production cutbacks across Colorado. Only recently has the price of crude begun to rebound with Feb. 3 marking the highest settlement rate in 2015.

Experts are quick to weigh in with predictions over what the future holds for the oil and gas industry. Many hope to divine answers from key indicators like rig counts and drilling permit applications. Another set of answers can be gleaned from Colorado's last oil bust in the 1980s.

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Fri January 23, 2015
Western Art

Watch This Colorado Chainsaw Artist Turn A Log Into A Buffalo

Jim Hill KUNC

In about 20 minutes, Travis Reed of High Country Carvings can turn an ordinary log into something extraordinary. An owl, a grizzly or in this case, a buffalo.

At first blush that may not seem amazing, until you realize that over that 20 minutes Reed's tool of choice is a chainsaw.

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Wed January 21, 2015

How Rural Colorado Roots Helped One Solar Company Become 'The Fastest Growing'

The new solar garden Clean Energy Collective built for Poudre Valley REA.
Poudre Valley REA

Just five years ago, as recession gripped the country, a tiny Colorado energy company, opened up its first solar project. Sited in the rural town of El Jebel, population less than 4,000, Clean Energy Collective's effort was called a community solar garden -- smaller than a solar farm, but big enough to power a neighborhood.

Now, Clean Energy Collective, which just cut the ribbon on a brand new solar garden in Fort Collins, is the fastest growing solar company in the country. Its founder and head Paul Spencer said its roots in the state's rural Roaring Fork Valley (it is now based in Louisville, outside Boulder) are what allowed it to try out a new energy model that is taking root across the country.

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