Local News

Capitol Coverage
7:36 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Colorado Legislature Opens 2014 With A Call For Collaboration Rather Than Confrontation

Lawmakers get reacquainted before the new legislative session opened at the Colorado capitol Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 4:08 pm

As the 2014 legislative session opened Wednesday, newly elected state Senate President Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) – the second woman to hold the position – urged lawmakers to problem solve and skip the shouting matches in her opening day speech.

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Capitol Coverage
7:27 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Capitol Conversation: Previewing Legislative Priorities

Credit file

Last legislative session state lawmakers tackled a host of controversial issues from changing how Colorado funds K through 12 schools, to new renewable energy standards for rural utilities. Democrats who control both chambers and the Governor’s office also passed stricter gun laws.

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Capitol Coverage
7:31 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Capitol Conversation: Session Preview

State lawmakers return to the capitol on Wednesday and they face a tough political climate. Several members are running for higher office. The makeup in the senate has also changed since last session: two Democrats were recalled for supporting stricter gun laws, and another Democrat resigned rather than face a potential recall election. Bente Birkeland discusses how politics will shape the legislature as part of our ongoing Capitol Conversation series.

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Audio Postcard
8:35 am
Sat December 28, 2013

'Cowboying' at the Chico Basin Ranch: An Audio Postcard

The main grounds of Chico Basin Ranch
Martha Perez-Sanz

Chico Basin Ranch sits on the high prairie just 30 miles southeast of Colorado Springs. The sprawling family-run, working cattle ranch spans 87,000 acres and is home to animals both tame and wild. KRCC's Martha Perez-Sanz wanted to know more about the life of a modern day 'cowboy' and has this audio postcard from a visit to the Ranch.

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Audio Postcard
8:35 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Trail Maintenance in Garden of the Gods: An Audio Postcard

Volunteers gather for trail restoration work
Eliza Densmore

The Rocky Mountain Field Institute held its last trail maintenance event of the year in mid-November at Garden of the Gods.  Around 75 volunteers from all parts of the Colorado Springs community showed up to help.  KRCC’s Eliza Densmore was there and has this audio postcard.

  The Rocky Mountain Field Institute is participating in IndyGive! KRCC is a partner in IndyGive!

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Manitou Incline
8:33 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Hiking the Incline in the Winter: An Audio Postcard

The view from the parking lot
Kate Dunn

People come from far and wide to hike the Manitou Incline, especially now that it’s legal.  Rain, shine, or even snow, everyone who makes the trek has his or her own motivation.  Along with her friend Mariel Dempster, KRCC’s Kate Dunn made the journey during the cold and snowy weather we recently had in the Pikes Peak region, and brought back this audio postcard.
 

The Incline daily record holder, Greg Cummings, was known for making the trek 601 times in a year. 

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Holiday
8:35 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Christmas Tree Hunting in Pike National Forest: An Audio Postcard

Maggie Spencer

It’s an annual tradition in the Rocky Mountain Region for folks to search for holiday trees in the National Forests.  Permitting has largely closed for the season, but KRCC’s Maggie Spencer recently set out into the Pikes Peak Ranger District with fire prevention officer Dawn Sanchez and found the Gurzi’s of Colorado Springs on the hunt for their tree. She brought back this audio postcard.

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Capitol Coverage
7:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Lawmakers Reflect on Gun Laws

Credit clipart

State lawmakers are once again heading into a legislative session following a school shooting. Colorado passed controversial gun laws earlier this year in the wake of the Aurora theatre shooting and the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Bente Birkeland takes a look back at the gun legislation and talks to lawmakers who are taking stock of things.

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Local News
10:11 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

El Paso County Commissioners OK Zoning Request for Wind Farm

El Paso County Commissioners have approved a zoning request regarding a proposed wind farm in the eastern part of the county.  Here’s the press release:

Following a day long public hearing, the Board of El Paso County Commissioners this evening gave its approval to a zoning request that will clear the way for the development of a large wind farm in eastern El Paso County.

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Harvest Public Media
12:47 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Developers Look to Farms to Sell Suburban Homes

The Bucking Horse subdivision in Fort Collins, Colo., will include a working CSA farm, complete with historic barn, farm house and chicken coop.
Luke Runyon KUNC and Harvest Public Media

For decades, housing developments in the suburbs have come complete with golf courses, tennis courts, strip malls and swimming pools. But make way for the new subdivision amenity: the specialty farm.

A new model for suburban development is springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement. Farms, complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees, are serving as a way to entice potential buyers to settle in a new subdivision.

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Capitol Coverage
7:09 am
Fri December 13, 2013

New Background Check Law Impacts Gun Sales

Credit clipart

Democratic state lawmakers say a new law requiring universal background checks for gun purchases is working well. Data from the Department of Public Safety shows 2% of private gun sales were blocked because of the law.

Seventy-two sales were stopped because the would-be buyer was convicted or charged with a serious crime; such as murder, sexual assault, possession of dangerous drugs and theft. 

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Capitol Coverage
7:56 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Response to Energy Industry Lawsuits

Colorado’s energy industry trade group is now involved on three fronts with lawsuits over voter approved fracking bans or moratoriums. The latest move involved the announcement of suits against Lafayette and Fort Collins. 

A lawsuit is already pending against the city of Longmont for a ban approved in 2012. Some in the state say a lawsuit is the wrong way to go.

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Capitol Coverage
11:18 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Experts Examine Economic Cost of Natural Disasters

A new study from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business shows that it may be difficult to quantify how droughts, fires and floods are impacting the state’s economy over the long term. But it’s safe to say natural disasters are already influencing public policy and are requiring communities to shift their thinking. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Connecting the Drops
7:11 am
Mon December 9, 2013

The Shoshone Power Plant: "A Big Dog on the River"

The Shoshone hydroelectric powerplant holds the largest historic water right on the Colorado River.
Maeve Conran

A complex series of agreements govern the distribution of water throughout the state.  Along the Colorado River, farms, cities & towns, and the recreation industry are all big players.  But everyone takes a backseat to a tiny hydroelectric plant that’s over one hundred years old.  It’s the Shoshone Generating Station, and it plays a critical role on the Upper Colorado.

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Local News
7:52 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Warming Shelters in Colorado Springs, Black Forest

Update 12/05/13: The Red Cross Shelter in Black Forest has closed. Only one resident stayed on Dec. 3rd, and no residents on the 4th.
 

Original Post:

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Capitol Coverage
7:33 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Report: State Budget Picture Unbalanced

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Colorado’s budget is not structurally sound, according to a new study released yesterday. Economists from Colorado State University say over the long term, the state will spend more money than it receives. As Bente Birkeland reports, the study points to a number of causes.

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Local News
7:38 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Browns Canyon Subject of National Monument, Wilderness Area Proposal

Proposed boundary for the national monument and wilderness area.
Credit Friends of Browns Canyon

Senator Mark Udall is expected in Chaffee County today to unveil new proposed legislation that looks to declare Browns Canyon a national monument and wilderness area. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer has more.
 

The Arkansas River runs through Browns Canyon, and if passed, the bill would declare 22,000 acres of land from Nathrop to Salida a national monument and an additional 10,500 acres as protected wilderness.

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Capitol Coverage
7:25 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Energy Industry Works to Shift Public Opinion

Colorado’s Energy industry is continuing to make the case that hydraulic fracturing is safe and a critical part of the state’s economy. They’re stepping up efforts following the recent passage of fracking bans and moratoriums in three Front Range communities. The outcome of a ban in Broomfield has yet to be determined.

“Merely the fact that they qualified shows that there’s not enough education out there on these issues,” said Jon Haubert, spokesman for Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development – or CRED.

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RMCR News
8:01 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Measuring Climate Change in Aspen-area Open Space

Scientists hike snowy trails to reach one of two soil moisture towers located on Pitkin County Open Space properties.
Marci Krivonen Aspen Public Radio

In the future, forests near Aspen and across the state will likely look a bit different.  Already, mountain shrubs are replacing some Aspen stands and changing the complexion of the region.  Pitkin County is now tracking these shifts on open space properties.  Two Aspen-area non-profit organizations are helping. The new data is thanks to a pair of towers that’s tracking things like soil moisture and temperature. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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Capitol Coverage
7:32 am
Wed November 27, 2013

As Hollywood Goes Digital, CO Works To Save Rural Theaters

The Sands Theater in Brush got a $20,000 grant from the state, and will need to come up with an additional $30,000 to convert digitally.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Theater projectors are going where most of the dazzling special effects in summer blockbusters have gone: All digital. In 2014, Hollywood will no longer release movies on traditional film stock. Theaters must convert or be forced to close – including those in rural Colorado.
 

That’s easier said than done in smaller towns versus a big city cineplex. Colorado is putting up $200,000 to try and save 13 rural movie theaters.

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Local News
7:28 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Impacts of Winter Weather on I-25 Construction

Credit clipart

CDOT’s I-25 expansion project is working to add a 3rd lane in each direction between Colorado Springs and Monument by the end of the year.  As KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports, the recent winter weather is slowing progress.

The department planned to complete construction on the section between Woodmen Road and Interquest Parkway by Thanksgiving. CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson says much of the necessary work to do so is not possible during wet and cold conditions.

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Healthy Conversation
8:36 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Healthy Conversation: Alzheimer’s Disease

The Centers for Disease Control says Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.  KRCC's Andrea Chalfin is joined this month by Major Douglas Langford, a neurologist at Fort Carson.  They start by defining what Alzheimer’s is and how it’s different from other forms of dementia, or even just getting older.
 

For more information:

Centers for Disease Control: Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's Association
 

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RMCR News
7:05 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Details Emerge in Ouray Mining Accident

Sunday’s mining accident near Ouray was one of the worst in recent Colorado history. Two miners died and nearly two dozen were injured.  More details about what happened are starting to come out. Reporter Samantha Wright with the Telluride Watch newspapers has been covering the accident. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher spoke with her about the emerging details.  Listen here:
 

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Local News
7:32 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Sheriff Disputes Claims Black Forest Fire was Intentionally Set

Credit clipart

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa is disputing statements made by Black Forest Fire Chief Bob Harvey that this summer’s wildfire that destroyed more than 500 homes and killed two people was caused by humans and "likely intentional."  

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Capitol Coverage
8:24 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Mixed Results for Governor in New Poll

Credit File photo

Less than a year away from the 2014 election, a new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Governor John Hickenlooper edging out his Republican challengers, but as Bente Birkeland reports, reaction is also mixed to some of his policies.

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Transportation
7:34 am
Wed November 20, 2013

High Speed Rail Meetings in Pueblo, Colorado Springs

Credit clipart

Residents of Pueblo and Colorado Springs get to weigh in on a high speed rail study that looks at transportation from Pueblo to Fort Collins via the Denver International Airport.  KRCC’s Martha Perez-Sanz has more.

The study looked at existing high speed rail technologies and various impacts and feasibility issues. It comes from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Transit and Rail.

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Capitol Coverage
7:34 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Hickenlooper Proposes New Oil And Gas Air Quality Regulations

A drilling rig nestled in the greenspace between developments in Frederick, Colo., Aug. 2013.
Jim Hill KUNC

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:15 pm

Calling them ‘groundbreaking,’ Governor John Hickenlooper proposed new statewide air quality rules for oil and gas drilling Monday. The rules aim to reduce air pollution from methane emissions.

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NPR News
1:04 am
Tue November 19, 2013

After Floods, Some Colo. Rivers Aren't Where They Used To Be

Excavators work to restore the original channel of Left Hand Creek. The creek's diversion structures sit clogged with mud, debris and stagnant water.
Jim Hill KUNC

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 10:51 am

In Colorado, farmers are scrambling to recover from September's historic floods — floods that decimated miles of roadways, cut off entire towns and sent rivers and creeks into areas they'd never been before.

Like Tim Foster's immaculate front yard.

"It was beautiful," he says. "I had four large blue spruces. We had hundred-year-old cottonwoods all along the bank. We had our irrigation and our pumps. It was just gorgeous."

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Local News
5:25 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Parks & Wildlife Commissioners Talk Drones

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission talked drones at their meeting last week in Lamar. As KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports, any potential vote won’t happen until next year.
 

The Commission is looking ahead with regards to the use of drones in hunting. Spokesman Randy Hampton says they’ve not seen it in the field yet, but the commission is looking to implement proactive regulation.

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NPR News
4:11 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Details Emerge About Colorado Mine Accident And Safety Record

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:43 pm

One of the men killed at the Revenue-Virginius mine in Ouray, Colo., on Sunday was trying to find the other miner who died.

New details of the incident from the Mine Safety and Health Administration were released Monday. The agency says in a statement that "preliminary information" indicates "that a miner entered an area of the mine where an explosive had been previously detonated."

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