Grand Junction

CGP Grey, CC BY 2.0

The Mountain West has disproportionately high rates of depressive disorders and suicide. Researchers are trying to find out why. Turns out, the mountains themselves might have something to do with it. 

The Bureau of Land Management is officially relocating its headquarters to the Mountain West. That’s according to an announcement by Colorado Senator Cory Gardner.

 


Courtesy U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The internet loves certain things: rooting for an underdog, poking at humorless institutions, and coming up with ridiculous names

A flap over the name of Grand Junction’s minor league baseball team has all those elements in spades, which probably explains how it took over the internet this week. 

Grand Valley
Nelson Minar / CC BY-SA 2.0

Some depleted water reserves in Colorado are still recovering from one of the worst dry spells on record.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports the Ute District Water Conservancy District, which provides water for the Grand Junction area in western Colorado, announced Wednesday that most of Mesa County is now considered "normal," with the southern part of the county still experiencing "abnormal dryness."

Grand Junction
Paul Wasneski / CC BY 2.0

Union transit workers have accepted a new contract agreement, avoiding a strike at the public transportation agency in western Colorado.

The Daily Sentinel reported Friday that the union members at Grand Valley Transit approved the final offer from operator Transdev Services.

Grand Junction
Paul Wasneski / CC BY 2.0

The union for workers at a Colorado public transportation agency unanimously voted to authorize the union's executive board to call a strike if future negotiations are unproductive.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1776, which consists of 32 Grand Valley Transit bus drivers, dispatchers and utility workers, says its union leaders could set a strike date after the latest contract offer from Grand Valley Transit's operating contractor, Transdev Services, was deemed unsatisfactory.

Luke Runyon / KUNC

The temperature is hovering right around 90 degrees the day Dale Ryden and I float down the Colorado River near Grand Junction, Colorado. The water looks so inviting, a cool reprieve from the heat, but if either of us jumped in we’d be electrocuted.

“It can actually probably be lethal to people if you get in there,” Ryden, a fish biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says.

Clément Bardot / Wikimedia Commons

Pull out a map of the United States’ desert southwest and see if you can locate these rivers: Rio del Tizon, Rio San Rafael, or Rio Zanguananos. How about rivers named Tomichi, Nah-Un-Kah-Rea or Akanaquint?

Having some trouble? None of these names are used widely today, but at some point in the last 500 years they were used to label portions of what we know now as the Colorado River and its main tributaries, the sprawling river basin that supports 40 million people in seven U.S. states and Mexico, across one of the world’s driest regions.

Until 1921, the Colorado River didn’t start in the state that bears the same name. It began in Utah, where the Green River from Wyoming and the Grand River from Colorado met. The story of how the Colorado River finally wended its way into the state of Colorado less than a century ago is a lesson in just how fickle our attitudes toward nature can be.

Courtesy Chris Blumenstein

Vietnam War veteran Rodger Holmes became ill in 2014, at the height of a national scandal over long patient wait times at care centers and allegations of negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Holmes, who sought care for his Hepatitis C liver disease at the Grand Junction VA Health Care System, was among those to complain.  

"He lost a tremendous amount of weight," said Chris Blumenstein, who served as a VA social worker to Holmes. "He was losing his mental clarity, his mental sharpness, he couldn't remember things."

Holmes died in December 2014, but in response to concerns, the VA's national Office of Inspector General launched an investigation and released recommendations May 11, 2016.

Stephen Butler / Flickr - Creative Commons

A bill to expand a state program to offer driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants in Colorado will be introduced at the state capitol later in February. The original law [.pdf], which Democrats passed when they controlled both chambers in 2013, allows undocumented immigrants who have lived in Colorado for at least two years and have paid taxes to get a license, if they pay an extra fee.

"I want to know when I'm driving that the people driving next to me know the same rules as I do. Especially when you come from a different country, road signs might look different," said Rep. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont), sponsor of a new bill that would expand the program to 32 driver's license offices across the state.

"They deserve the opportunity to show that they are willing to be a part of our community, willing to play by the rules."

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