Cortez CO

TV pilot being shot in Montezuma County

Aug 21, 2020
Mark Duggan

A television show pilot that will be shot in Montezuma County this fall aims to put the area on the filmmaking map. It's also an opportunity for the show's creators to revel in the Four Corners backdrop they call home.

Novelist Chuck Greaves, who lives southwest of Cortez, and director, Félix Enríquez Alcalá, a recent transplant to Mancos, both say they want to showcase the region's diverse beauty in the show, called “Badwater.”

Mark Duggan/KSUT

 

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in some parts of the country. But in Colorado, new cases and hospitalizations are trending downward. We wanted to know how one area health care organization is handling the pandemic, from preparing for a possible spike in cases to balancing public health with a desire by some to return to normal. KSUT reporter Mark Duggan reached out to Tony Sudduth to find out more. He's the CEO of Southwest Health System and Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez.

Not every resident in the Four Corners region has access to financial assistance from the federal government. One local grassroots organization is helping to fill those gaps. KSUT’s Sarah Flower reports:

 

More information on the Four Corners Mutual Aid Network  can be found here.

Mark Duggan/KSUT

Hunger is hard enough. It's even more difficult to face during a global pandemic. As unemployment has skyrocketed, so has people's reliance on food programs. From daily meal services to community food pantries, volunteers say they've seen a sharp increase in people lining up for feeding services.

One program in Cortez is known as Grace's Kitchen. It's part of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. Doug Bleyle, the Priest-in-Charge at St. Barnabas, says the program has been serving food to disadvantaged communities for more than 20 years. During the pandemic, they've switched from a dining room environment to sack lunches. With social distancing.

KSUT Reporter Mark Duggan talked to Bleyle about how Grace's Kitchen keeps people fed during a crisis.

After three years of preparation, KSUT has realized its dream of connecting the two sister tribes of Southwest Colorado: the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute, through Tribal Radio. A new FM signal broadcasting from Hermano Peak on Ute Mountain in Towaoc went live on Thursday, May 14 at 100.9 FM.

Testing kits for COVID-19 are still difficult to come by in some parts of the country. Regionally, one diagnostic lab is providing unlimited tests for COVID-19 antibodies. KSUT’s Sarah Flower reports: 

 


Library of Congress

The flu pandemic of 1918 had a profound effect on the world. In Colorado, it led to quarantines and even armed guards keeping visitors away from some towns. We take a closer look at the response to the flu in part two of our conversation with Fort Lewis College History Professor Andrew Gulliford. And we examine a more recent viral outbreak in the Four Corners. KSUT’s Mark Duggan reports:


Mark Duggan/KSUT

The pandemic has been particularly hard on small businesses. But some are relying on their regular customers and government loans to weather the storm. 

KSUT's Mark Duggan talks to two business owners in the Four Corners about the challenges of keeping the doors open:

 


courtesy of Denkai Animal Shelter

Animal adoptions are up nationwide. Especially now, people want the companionship and therapy that comes with having a pet. KSUT's Mark Duggan spoke with Floss Backburn, Founder and President of the Denkai Animal Sanctuary in Cortez to learn more:

 


Mark Duggan/KSUT

Even in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, the job of educating children continues. Developing online learning has been challenging for school officials. But as KSUT's Mark Duggan reports, it's also been a success:

 


Photo courtesy of Andrew Baxley/Osprey

A number of businesses in the Four Corners have stepped up to make face masks and other supplies during the coronavirus pandemic. KSUT's Mark Duggan profiles their efforts.


Mark Duggan/KSUT

School districts in the Four Corners have had to pivot quickly to online learning during the coronavirus pandemic. But they're also working to provide kids with food. KSUT's Mark Duggan explains:


Mark Duggan/KSUT

Health officials in Montezuma County are preparing for an increase in confirmed cases of the COVID-19 infection. That includes ramping up testing, making room for more patients, and rallying the community to help. KSUT's Mark Duggan spoke with county health director Bobbi Lock to get the latest: