Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Postal Workers Rally To Save Their Industry

by Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction - Postal Service employees plan to rally in Colorado to warn about the impact of proposed cuts. The Communications Workers of America Union's Denver chapter says the rally on Tuesday is part of a national effort seeking support for Congressional action to shore up the struggling agency.

Union officials say cuts in service are not necessary, and the postal service isn't broke. They also said warnings of a possible taxpayer bailout are unfounded.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Final Western Slope Honor Flight Touches Down in Grand Junction

Hundreds of People Pack Airport for Hero's Welcome Home Rally

Grand Junction - It is a hero's welcome home at Grand Junction Regional Airport Thursday night as more than 90 World War II veterans come home from their trip to Washington, D.C. It's all part of the fifth and final Western Slope Honor Flight.

The Honor Flight touched down a few minutes ahead of schedule Thursday night and what was there to greet the veterans can only be described as a hero's welcome home.

This was the final flight, the final mission for the Western Slope Honor Flight organization. Over the years the group has sponsored five flights and made trips to the memorial possible for hundreds of veterans.

This trip was a 36-hour whirlwind tour of the capital, but it was the welcome home that left these veterans speechless, and as they walked through the hundreds of cheering people, one message was very clear.

"They are true heroes, and we are so honored to be here and to honor them," a member of the Western Slope Boy Scouts of America said as he cheered on the passing veterans.

Organizers say this flight was bittersweet because it is the last one they are organizing from here. Congressman Scott Tipton presented Kevin Wodlinger with a special honor during the trip. He is the person who founded the Western Slope Honor Flight.         

Wine Industry Booming, Grand Valley at Center of the Growth

by Matt Kroschel

Palisade - Boom and bust.

It has been a Colorado industry model since the days of the gold rush. Winery owners are hoping their boom is here to stay.

“We are seeing huge growth, and it is really starting to pick up around here,” owner Sue Phillips, at Plum Creek Winery in Palisade, said.

For the past 28 years Phillips has been perfecting her blends and refining her tastes. Now, the hard work paying off.

“Our wine is doing very well. We are gaining national notice from the industry,” Phillips added.

But this success is not just at Plum Creek. Across the state, 100 wineries have sprung up. At the Cross Orchards CSU extension office in Orchard Mesa, growing grapes is a real science and for growers the end product is only getting better with time and experience.

“We are seeing second generation growers and wine makers starting to work here and they are using the last couple of decades worth of experience and producing a lot better blends and flavors,” Stephen Menke with CSU Extension Office told NewsChannel 5.

80% of the grapes grown in Colorado come from the Grand Valley, and more than half of all the wineries are located here on the Western Slope.

Back in the tasting room at Plum Creek, Phillips is just trying to keep bottles on the shelves as the industry tries to keep up with the growing demand.