Austin Cope

Morning Edition Host/Reporter

Austin grew up in Cortez and hosted a show on KSJD when he was 10 years old. Since graduating from Montezuma-Cortez High School in 2010, he has lived in Belgium, Ohio, Spain, and northern Wyoming before returning to the Cortez area. He enjoys live music, outdoor activities, and listening to NPR every morning when he wakes up.

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The grand finale of the Fourth of July fireworks show in Cortez was interrupted for  15 minutes Tuesday night after the fireworks trailer caught fire. Cortez Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Bittle tells KSJD a charge detonated too close to the ground and ignited part of the trailer. The show’s organizer, Keenan Ertel, immediately cut power to the fireworks’ electronic ignition system to allow firefighters on scene to extinguish the blaze, which did not injure anyone or spread beyond the trailer. The show resumed after crews finished safety checks.

Austin Cope / KSJD

Few immigration cases in the United States are simple. That includes the case of Mexican immigrant Rosa Sabido, who is taking sanctuary at the Mancos United Methodist Church as she sorts out her immigration status. She can’t become a citizen because a large backlog in citizenship applications has made the wait to receive citizenship longer than the time she can legally remain in the U.S.  After a long and complicated process of applying to various visas and work permits that allowed her to live and work in the U.S.

Austin Cope / KSJD

The U.S. Congress started its Fourth of July recess at the end of last week, which has given lawmakers and the country a bit of time to reflect on how to move forward with the debate on how to change the country's healthcare system. Republican proposals in the house and the senate have centered around large cuts in federal funding to state Medicaid programs, though the actual proposals are still under negotiation. To talk more about the potential local impacts of this proposal, KSJD’s Austin Cope sat down with Kent Rogers, the CEO of Southwest Health System. 

Austin Cope / KSJD

Along with fireworks, barbecues, and time with family, the Fourth of July holiday can give people time to reflect on the idea of patriotism and what it means in our modern world. A quote from John F.

Austin Cope / KSJD News

The path to demolish the old Montezuma Cortez High school has experienced more than a few bumps in the road, including deciding whether to demolish it all, then funding the demolition, and most recently, figuring out what to do with the waste material. But, it’s still on track, and still not as easy as you might think, considering the building is full of the hazardous material asbestos. To find out what’s next, KSJD's Austin Cope talked with Jamie Haukeness, the school district official in charge of supervising the demolition process