Two Colorado cantaloupe farmers are asking a federal judge for probation rather than jail time. Two years ago, a deadly listeria outbreak was traced back to cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in southeastern Colorado. Brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen own the farm and in October pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. These federal charges can carry penalties of up to six years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.
El Paso County’s senior population is expected to jump an estimated 179 percent over the next thirty years. KRCC’s Elaina Formby has more on a new report identifying possible ways to help support the growing demographic.
According to a report from the Innovations in Aging Collaborative and Peak Vista Community Health Centers, El Paso County’s seniors are challenged by gaps in transportation, healthcare, and housing options.
School safety experts briefed lawmakers on the joint education committee yesterday. They asked the state to focus on preventing school violence rather than simply trying to stop it. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
Penrose-St. Francis is now the first hospital in southern Colorado to attain Magnet recognition for its nursing. According to a press release from the hospital, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, or ANCC, currently recognizes less than a tenth of the nation’s hospitals with Magnet distinction. Hospitals must apply for the credential and undergo a rigorous review process, including onsite. To maintain the rating, facilities must reapply every four years and demonstrate improvement in patient care and outcomes.
Active and retired miners are eligible for free health screenings in Pueblo this week through the Miners Clinic of Colorado. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
The screenings consist of physical exams, questionnaires, and chest X-rays, among other tests. Current miners are eligible for the Black Lung Clinic, while miners that worked in the uranium industry before 1972 are eligible for the Radiation and Exposure Screening and Education Program or RESEP. Other criteria apply.
State lawmakers are expected to debate the repeal of a controversial renewable energy bill today. As Bente Birkeland reports, Senate Bill 252 was one of the most hotly debated bills last legislative session.
The president of the group that led efforts to recall a state senator in Pueblo is running for clerk and recorder. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
Victor Head is currently the president of Pueblo Freedom and Rights which recently led a campaign to recall Democratic state senator Angela Giron.
The clerk and recorder oversees vehicle registration, marriage licenses, and county elections. Head says he wants to improve training for election judges and increase citizen oversight during the process.
A newly elected Republican state senator wants to strengthen the shield law for journalists. The measure would mean reporters would not have to reveal confidential sources. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
Colorado’s fledgling recreational marijuana industry has a new set of rules to live by. And as KUNC’s Luke Runyon reports, many of them deal with food safety.
Until now, products infused with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, didn’t have to be tested in a lab. But manufacturers of so-called “edible marijuana products” must now test their creations for foodborne pathogens like E.Coli and salmonella, plus a test to see how potent it is.
Education and recovery from natural disasters are some of the top priorities for lawmakers this upcoming session. As Bente Birkeland reports, legislators in both parties have already introduced dozens of bills.
State lawmakers are back to work under the gold dome for the annual legislative session. As part of our capitol conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to political reporters about the first few days, and the Governor’s state of the state address.
Governor John Hickenlooper says Colorado has weathered a tough year but showed the world what it means to come together and be strong. The Governor gave what could be his final state of the state address on Thursday – before facing reelection in the fall.
The Governor’s speech began on a somber note as he remembered the tests Colorado faced in 2013. The head of the State’s Department of Corrections was gunned down. Natural disasters plagued the summer and fall – and then there was December’s shooting at Arapahoe High School…
Officials in the Pikes Peak region are seeking volunteers to help staff call centers in the event of another large emergency. The effort comes from Pikes Peak United Way 211, the City of Colorado Springs, and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.