Local News

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

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

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 Wed November 20, 2013 5:34 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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Local News
10:53 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Colorado Springs' SD11 Approves Sale of Building

Credit clipart

Colorado Springs’ District-11 School Board approved the sale of Abraham Lincoln Elementary to a local developer in a unanimous vote Wednesday.  KRCC’s Kate Dunn has more.
 

Lincoln Elementary shut its doors in May after the district decided to consolidate several underused schools.           

School Board Director Al Loma says local developer Bob Elliott’s proposal would re-purpose the school building and turn it into a mixed-use space for businesses, senior living, and eateries.

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Capitol Coverage
9:42 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Colorado GOP Seeks National Convention

Colorado Republicans say they’re putting in a bid for the state to host the next Republican National Convention in 2016. As Bente Birkeland reports, planning is still in the early stages and already several western cities are also competing for the chance to host.

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Capitol Coverage
8:52 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Lawmakers Consider Bill Proposals

State lawmakers will review proposed bills to deal with water issues, wildfires and poverty today. The measures are the product of months of hearings at the state capitol. Bente Birkeland has more.

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Local News
8:09 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Parks & Wildlife to Consider Banning Drones for Hunting

The use of drones to help hunt wildlife may soon be illegal.  KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
 

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles to help locate and kill game is not regulated, but the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is expected to take up the issue before the practice becomes popular.

Director of the Colorado Outfitters Association Dick Ray says he sees the possible move as proactive and that drones take away from the true purpose of hunting.

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Local News
2:53 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

New Trail Maps Available from Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has released 60 new trail maps that now highlight new trail uses and features. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer has more.

The new trail maps integrate more information than the earlier versions and are now online.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton says the maps’ compatibility to GPS make them more helpful to trail users.

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Local News
2:47 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Public Lands Open for Holiday Tree Permits

Permits to cut down a holiday tree on public land are up for sale again.  As KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports, some are available now.

The Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service are selling $10 permits with a limit of two per household. Tree-cutting isn’t allowed in wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, or at developed campgrounds, but US Forest Service spokeswoman Barb Timock says the annual practice is aldo beneficial the environment.

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Local News
6:27 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Pueblo County Maps Flood Damages

Pueblo County has released a new interactive map showing flood damage for the past year. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports. 

The main purpose of the map is to share information with state agencies and FEMA.  

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Capitol Conversation
4:50 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Capitol Conversation: Election Results and Impacts on Education

Colorado voters support taxing recreational marijuana, but gave a crushing defeat to a proposed billion-dollar tax increase for public schools. In this special election edition of Capitol Conversation, Bente Birkeland analyzes the long- term impacts of the election results with political reporters.

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Capitol Coverage
9:26 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Voters Mixed on State Issues

Colorado voters gave a mixed reaction at the ballot box on a pair of statewide tax increases during yesterday’s election. As Bente Birkeland reports, voters didn’t want to tax themselves to pay for education, but were overwhelmingly willing to tax recreational marijuana to help rebuild schools.

Supporters of Amendment 66 waged a vigorous get out the vote campaign flush with outside money from the likes of Bill Gates and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

It wasn’t enough to convince voters to say “yes.”

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Local News
4:14 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Clerks in El Paso, Pueblo Counties Say Voter Turnout Appears Up

Colorado voters have until 7 tonight to turn in their ballots in today’s election. For nearly a month, El Paso and Pueblo County Clerks have been collecting mail-in ballots.

Despite a slow start, Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz is optimistic about the turnout.

"I was really nervous going into today," said Ortiz, "because the voter turnout really wasn’t doing very well and it was pretty slow here in Pueblo County. We’re really excited, the last two days have been very heavy, and the voter turn out has gotten up above average."

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Local News
10:10 am
Tue November 5, 2013

USA Pro Challenge Returns to Colorado Springs; 2014 Route Hits Monarch Mountain and Woodland Park

The USA Pro Challenge cycling race will return to Colorado Springs next year after the city was left out of this year’s race. As KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports, that’s not the only regional location hosting a stage next year.

Cyclists will face a circuit race in Colorado Springs in the 4th stage of the event after ending the previous day’s ride atop Monarch Mountain.

After a one-year hiatus, Amy Long with the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitor’s Bureau says they’re expecting even more excitement around next year’s event.

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Capitol Coverage
10:35 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Wildfire Committee Crafts Legislation

Credit clipart

A new state committee tasked with studying wildfire issues has wrapped up its work. The bi-partisan group of lawmakers is recommending a tax credit to encourage people to mitigate fire risks and a proposal to give individual counties more authority to cut down hazardous trees. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Local News
9:50 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Hwy 24 Traffic Stops Continue Tuesday

Credit clipart

Traffic stops along Highway 24 continue today as the Colorado Department of Transportation works to stabilize slope lines. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer has more on the rock slide mitigation efforts. 

Traffic will be stopped both eastbound and as crews conduct a rock-scaling project near Cave of the Winds. CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford says crews are removing loose rock from the slope of the canyon on the north side of the highway.

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