Colorado’s legislative session opened last week. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland discusses the beginning of the session with other political reporters, and touches on some of the bills that were introduced during opening week.
Investigators have released a sketch of a man they say is connected to an explosion outside a building that includes the offices of the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP.
The man is described as white, around 40 years old, and balding. Investigators say he was in the area at the time of the bombing and appeared to have carried something down an alley and returned to his truck empty handed.
Special Agent Thomas Ravenelle heads the FBI Denver field office and says they’re still not speculating on motive.
El Paso County Public Health officials say someone who traveled to Colorado Springs last month has tested positive for measles. The case may be connected to nine other measles cases in two other states where the patients visited Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park in mid-December.
One hundred lawmakers from across Colorado converged on the state capitol Wednesday for opening day of the annual legislative session. Freshman lawmakers from both parties were officially sworn in and both chambers which have new leaders.
Much of the day’s attention was focused on the Senate, where Republicans gained the majority for the first time in a decade. For all their gains, newly elected senate president Bill Cadman [R- Colorado Springs] gave a rather subdued speech – talking less about policy and more on building trust and civility among lawmakers.
The FBI is looking for a person of interest in an explosion outside the local chapter of the NAACP in Colorado Springs. KRCC's Andrea Chalfin reports.
The device exploded Tuesday morning outside the building that houses the offices of the civil rights organization and one other business. A gasoline can was placed next to the device, but did not explode. There were no injuries, and minor damage to the building.
Amy Sanders with the FBI says they’re investigating.
El Paso County is undergoing a master plan process to get public input for the new Falcon Regional Park.
The 215-acre park site is east of the Meridian Ranch Development near Falcon High School. A survey is the next step in the planning process, and it asked residents which amenities, like picnic pavilions, baseball fields and trails are the most important to include.
Elaine Kleckner is the Planning Manager for El Paso County. She says the park is not only important to the community of Falcon, but the surrounding areas as well.
In a series of interviews with legislative leaders, statehouse correspondent Bente Birkeland discusses the upcoming legislative session and the change of control in the state Senate. Morgan Carroll [D-Aurora] is going from senate president to minority leader.
Morgan Carroll on Republicans gaining control of the state Senate
Dickey Lee Hullinghorst [D-Boulder] will be the next speaker of the House. She discusses her priorities and her party’s agenda for the session, as a part of a series of interviews with legislative leaders.
Dickey Lee Hullinghorst discusses the Governor’s Oil and Gas Task Force
House minority leader Brian DelGrosso [R-Loveland] discusses his thoughts on the upcoming legislative session as part of a series of interviews with legislative leaders. DelGrosso was the minority leader for the last two years, and his party made gains in the house last November to narrow the Democratic majority.
It’s that time of year when ski resorts crank up snowmaking machines to bolster Mother Nature’s delivery. Some resorts depend on man-made snow more than others, and it’s possible the practice may be used more in the future.
Snow on Aspen Mountain reflects the early afternoon sun, as skiers zig-zag their way down steep terrain. Snowmaking manager Harry Lynk takes a snowmobile up a steep pitch before arriving at one of the resort’s snowmaking machines, or guns.
Demolition work has begun to remove the top 12 feet of a section of the Arkansas River Levee in Pueblo. It’s part of the first phase of a project to repair the aging structure and meet FEMA flood control guidelines.
Heavy equipment moves dirt and concrete as the contractors build a ramp to access the top of the levee. Part of the pedestrian path near the work area has been closed for safety reasons.
Consulting engineer Kim Kock says they expect the first critical section to be complete by mid February, despite the delay in beginning work.
The U.S Geological Survey says the High Plains Aquifer, also known as the Ogallala, is losing groundwater likely due to increased groundwater pumping.
The USGS released a report detailing an 8% decline between the years of 1950 and 2011. The overall average water-level declined about 15.4 feet. Between 2011 and 2013, the overall water level declined 2.1 feet.
Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has announced he will not run for a second term in April’s Municipal Election. KRCC’s Rachel Gonchar has more.
Bach was elected to a four-year term in May 2011, as the city’s first “Strong Mayor” under a new charter adopted the year before. The charter transformed city government from a council-appointed city manager model to a council-elected system that gives the mayor more control of the city’s operations.
The Army is looking to increase training activities at its Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeastern Colorado. As part of the process, officials are required to conduct environmental impact studies and open the reports to public comments.
Today, Monday December 15, is the last day to submit public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed increase in training.
The former Colorado Smelter site in south Pueblo is now designated a Superfund Site by the Environmental Protection Agency. As KRCC's Shanna Lewis reports, this means the federal agency will investigate and clean up toxic waste in the area.
In 2010 state health department tests found elevated levels of lead and arsenic in properties surrounding the smelter - which closed more than 100 years ago.
The EPA’s Chris Wardell says residents have a variety of concerns about the Superfund listing, ranging from costs to the effect on real estate values.
Governor John Hickenlooper unveiled a draft of the state’s first ever water plan on Wednesday. The goal is to create a comprehensive water strategy to protect rural farm economies and bring more water to millions of people along the Front Range.The plan has been a decade in the making and supporters say it will help the state meet water demands as the population grows.
Colorado is one of several states that will take up the issue of physician-assisted suicide. The topic is once again in the national spotlight with the recent death of Brittany Maynard. The terminally ill 29 year-old moved to Oregon to take advantage of that state’s Death with Dignity law.
Pueblo County Health officials say a resident there has died from issues related to the flu, and 60 have been hospitalized since October. Statewide, cases are occurring a month earlier in many locations. KRCC's Tucker Hampson reports.
About 100 people have been hospitalized so far this year statewide as compared to 85 at this time last year. Lisa Miller, state epidemiologist for the Colorado Department of Health, says a change in the flu virus may have lessened the vaccine effectiveness, but it’s still important.
Colorado’s state capitol is getting a major upgrade. A two-year renovation of the building’s signature gold dome was recently completed – and on the inside, work is underway on both the House and Senate chambers. As with any remodeling project, workers have uncovered some interesting surprises along the way.
The state capitol opened in 1894 and several restoration projects have been undertaken since then. The most recent work began because of a radiator…
Governor John Hickenlooper has apologized on behalf of the state of Colorado for the Sand Creek Massacre. The Massacre happened in the early morning of November 29th, 1864. U.S. Calvary soldiers converged on a sleeping group of mostly women, children and elderly Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. The 150 year-old event is one of the most notable incidents of violence against Native Americans in the history of the west.
A commemoration of the Sand Creek Massacre took place today at the Capitol. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.
150 years ago on the eastern plains of Colorado, the US Army, led by Col. John Chivington, killed by some estimates 200 Cheyenne and Arapahoe, mostly women and children. Today at the Capitol was the final day of a healing ceremony, where Governor John Hickenlooper publicly apologized for the massacre.
Explosions, drones, and full-brigade size exercises with armored vehicles are all a part of the Army’s proposed Enhanced Readiness plan for its Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeastern Colorado. The goal is to get troops trained on new gear. It’s a controversial plan that some say opens the door to expansion, a notion that’s long been a thorn in the side of many nearby residents.
Colorado Springs residents have until December 8th to apply for the council seat recently vacated by Joel Miller. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.
Applicants must live in District 2 [.pdf], be at least 25 years of age, and both a US citizen and registered voter. The new council member will be expected to attend numerous meetings and events and meet the required minimum 30-35 hours of work a month.
Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 3:25 pm
The Bureau of Land Management, environmentalists, and the energy industry have reached an agreement on a proposal to drill for oil and gas on the Roan Plateau. The new plan cancels 17 out of 19 oil and gas leases that were issued in 2008. Two previous leases at the top of the plateau, and a dozen at the base will remain in place.
"These measures allow us to protect the plateau but harness some of the energy resources," said Governor John Hickenlooper.
Most Colorado cities and farms get water from snowmelt in the Rockies. That’s not the case in Northeastern Colorado. This food-producing powerhouse depends on an ancient, underground reservoir called the Ogallala.
Ever since the Ice Ages, the Ogallala’s been slowly accumulating water. Modern farmers, though, pump so much water that this “timeless” aquifer is starting to run out. Someday up ahead, Northeast Colorado may have to curtail some crops, and some farm towns might become ghost towns.
The start of a massive repair project on the Arkansas River levee in Pueblo is being delayed until December due to historic preservation concerns and some delays in the funding.
The project’s consulting engineer Kim Kock says the state historic preservation officer has said the levee could be deemed historic because it was constructed in response to the deadly 1921 floods and used methods of that time period.