Update: 11:20PM: The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is reporting the body of an adult man has been found along Highway 24 near mile marker 297. They report the body was buried under a significant amount of debris along the westbound lanes of the highway. No identification is available at this time.
10:25 PM: Highway 24 is now reopened, with one lane in each direction.
With interest in urban homesteading on the rise, some traditional farm animals are showing up in city back yards. It started with chickens. Miniature goats might be next. While some worry about potential health effects, KRCC's Liz Ruskin went to one backyard east of downtown Colorado Springs to meet a woman who isn’t concerned.
Monycka Snowbird lives in a densely packed neighborhood of 1960s-era ranch and split-level homes, some with tidy yards, some overrun by weeds.
The oil and gas industry says it’s trying to focus on new ways to reach out to an increasingly skeptical public. Community concern is rising as hydraulic fracturing moves into more and more populated areas of the Front Range. At the Rocky Mountain Energy Summit in Denver, which brings together energy leaders from across the country, much of the discussion this year focused on public anxiety over fracking.
With thunderstorms in the forecast for the next few days, the possibility of flash flooding in El Paso County remains. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, the county is working to repair roads in the Black Forest area damaged in last weekend’s floods.
The county is placing road maintenance equipment in Black Forest so it can quickly remove flood debris and keep drainages open. County Spokesman Dave Rose says the big challenge is a large drainage system that runs south through the burn area and then along Shoup Road, an important east-west route.
Sally Ride, America’s first woman astronaut communicates with ground controllers from the flight deck during the six day mission of the Challenger. National Aeronautics and Space Administration., 06/18/1983 – 06/24/1983.
The White House announced today this year's Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients. Among the honorees are Ernie Banks, Daniel Inouye, and Sally Ride (posthumously). The Medal of Freedom is given to those "who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
Republican Weld county district attorney Ken Buck plans to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Udall next year. Buck filed the paperwork today and as Bente Birkeland reports, he’ll first need to win the Republican primary.
Oil and gas leaders are gathering in Denver this week to discuss innovation and controversy in their industry. Bente Birkeland takes a look at how the state’s water wars can shape the public debate over fracking.
A new study finds deployment-related factors like combat experience or days deployed have little or no influence on suicide rates. KRCC's Andrea Chalfin has more from one doctor who's researching suicide in the military.
Every Saturday morning, Shirley Epstein puts on her walking shoes and heads to a tree-lined park to join dozens of friends, and her doctor, for a long walk.
Epstein’s walk with her doc is taking place in Denver. But it’s part of a program being replicated across the state – from Grand Junction to Pueblo to Fort Collins to Greeley – as a national effort to “Walk with a Doc” has caught on among medical professionals and hundreds of their patients in Colorado.
Colorado Springs' Interim Fire Chief Tommy Smith will be moving to Redmond, Washington after accepting the chief position there. Smith stepped in as the interim head of the Colorado Springs Fire Department earlier this year when Chief Rich Brown stepped down. Smith is expected to begin his new duties in September, after Christopher Riley takes over the fire department. Riley was appointed as the city's fire chief last week, pending approval from city council. According to a press release at the time, there were no internal candidates for CSFD Chief.
Supporters of a tax increase for K-12 schools turned in petitions today to try and get the measure on the November ballot. They submitted twice the amount required by law. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
Sandbags will be available to homeowners facing impacts from potential flash flooding in and near the Waldo Canyon burn scar. They'll be given away free at the Verizon Wireless building on Garden of the Gods Road from 8 - 2 Saturday. The sand comes from last week's Olympic Downtown Celebration and its sand volleyball pit.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so for this month’s Healthy Conversation, we’re talking vaccinations. KRCC's Andrea Chalfin is joined by Lt. Col. Diane Heinz of Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, and we begin by talking about what back to school means for vaccines.
Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach gave his yearly “state of the city” address at a luncheon yesterday. He outlined a number of goals and accomplishments, and as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, he also used the occasion to press his plan to build four major tourism projects, including a downtown stadium and a U.S. Olympics museum.
A roughly billion-dollar education tax increase is likely to go before voters this fall. It’s part of a larger package of education reforms state lawmakers passed last session. Bente Birkeland talks to supporters about the challenges ahead, and how they hope the initiative won’t meet the same fate as a similar proposal.
When genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn’t take long for accusations to start flying. No one knew how the unapproved wheat ended up in the ground. A flurry of finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Colorado, which housed the same strain of wheat. The facility's been cleared of wrongdoing since then, but the investigation brings up questions of how secure these seed vaults actually are. KUNC and Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon took a tour of the Colorado vault, and has this report.
It’s a low time of year in Colorado politics. No general election, no Governor’s race. The state capitol is quiet, and the hustle and bustle of the legislative session is long gone. But for senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs, this off election year is shaping up to be the busiest of his life. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
A conveyor belt transports potatoes from Shriver's storage shed to a bagging operation. This load of potatoes is headed for North Carolina.
Credit Maeve Conran
A Colorado Department of Agriculture inspector examines potatoes from Karla Shriver's farm.
Credit Maeve Conran
Karla Shriver stands by a pumping system that draws water from the aquifer.
Credit Maeve Conran
A hydro pump meter which shows how much water Shriver draws from the aquifer.
Credit Maeve Conran
One of the irrigation ditches on Shriver's farm. The ditches run dry by the end of May, which means Shriver relies solely on the aquifer for irrigation water for most of the summer.
Credit Maeve Conran
Steve Vandiver, General Manager of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, in his office in Alamosa. He’s charged with stopping the depletion of the aquifer in San Luis Valley, and is working to create subdistricts.
Credit Maeve Conran
Karla Shriver stands by one of the many pivot sprinkler systems that she uses to irrigate her farm, just north of Alamosa. She irrigates her land with water from ditches and the aquifer, and is concerned about the depletion of the aquifer.
In early July, Colorado designated 14 counties "primary natural disaster areas" due to agricultural losses caused by the recent and ongoing drought. Several of those counties are in the San Luis Valley in south central Colorado. Farmers there are now eligible for low interest emergency loans, but as KGNU’s Maeve Conran reports, that may not be enough for this agricultural hub, which is facing a long term water crisis that could permanently affect the entire valley.
The federal government has approved a major disaster declaration for the Royal Gorge Fire in Fremont County. The declaration means federal aid is available to deal with the effects, including unemployment benefits for Royal Gorge Bridge & Park employees and others who are out of work after this summer’s wildfire, who aren’t otherwise eligible for state jobless benefits. Aid is also available for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities. Governor John Hickenlooper’s office says a similar request for the Black Forest Fire is pending.
Living near the mountains, it’s easy to see changes in nature, especially in the snow. In recent years, dust from desert areas like Utah has coated some of the area’s snowpack. Scientists in Boulder say the amount of dust being blown into Colorado and throughout the West has increased over the last two decades. They measured calcium in rainfall to come up with their findings. Jason Neff is associate professor of geology at CU-Boulder and coauthor of a recent dust study. He told Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen the escalation of dust emissions is due to several factors.
Colorado Springs and El Paso County officials have released updated flood maps for areas in and near the Waldo Canyon burn scar. The maps detail expected flood effects after one-hour rainfall amounts of a half-inch up to two inches of rain. The assessments assumed debris in floodwaters would cause blockages at street crossings. Maps include Ute Pass, Manitou Springs, and Fountain Creek. Douglas Creek maps have not yet been updated. There’s a preparedness meeting tonight at six for residents and businesses along Fountain Creek at Al Kaly Shrine.
As gas and oil drilling are reaching all-time highs in Colorado, drilling is occurring closer to schools and residential neighborhoods, like this one in Fort Collins. Credit: David O. Williams/Colorado Public News
A former president of the Colorado Medical Society calls the current hydraulic fracturing boom in the state’s oil and gas industry an “experiment in motion” for the public at large – one that could lead to higher rates of cancer and other illnesses over the next 10 to 15 years.
Colorado Springs City Council voted yesterday to opt-out of recreational marijuana sales after listening to public comments and a plea from Mayor Steve Bach to opt-out. Bach called it a jobs killer, and cited concerns from the military. Bach also said it’s important to take a regional approach, mentioning other communities who have opted out of recreational marijuana sales like El Paso County, Monument, and Green Mountain Falls. If council decided not to opt-out, they would have voted on a moratorium. But Bach pressed for the ban.
The American farmer is getting older. Most recent census data shows the average age is 57. And while that tells us who is farming now, it also shows who’s not. While the farming community continues to age, fewer young people are filling the ranks. Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon asks the question: Do young people even want to farm anymore?
The quick answer is yes, just not in the same numbers as they used to. And surveys indicate many of them don’t want to farm in conventional ways.
The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder will begin mailing ballots in mid-August to registered voters in Senate District 11 for the upcoming recall election. A petition requesting the recall of Democratic State Senator John Morse was approved by a judge earlier this week. The ballot will pose two issues; one asking if Morse should be recalled. The second allows the voter to choose a successor candidate. In order for that vote to count, the first issue must not be skipped. Nearly 69,000 people are registered to vote in this election. Ballots are due by 7 PM, Sept. 10.