Screenshot from a shared video of the proceedings

The alleged gunman in Friday’s shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood appeared in court for the first time today. KRCC’s Jake Brownell attended the hearing at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center, and has this report:



As reporters and cameramen awaited the first advisement hearing of Robert Lewis Dear, a line of squad cars formed across the street, in front of the El Paso County Coroner's office.

Ahh! Capella

Nov 30, 2015
Babak Tafreshi/

This week Hal gives a preview of some of the wonders of the winter night sky.

Some of the most beautiful things in the night sky appear during the winter months. And they’re worth bundling up for, so southern Colorado and northern New Mexico listeners, grab a scarf and head outside, because beauty awaits.  


Authorities have identified the civilian victims of Friday's shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic on the city's northwest side as 35-year-old Jennifer Markovsky and 29-year-old Ke'Arre Marcell Stewart.  Officials previously identified UCCS Police Officer Garrett Swasey as another fatality.

Stewart was a veteran of the Iraq War who recently left the military.  Markovsky is being described as a kind-hearted, lovable person. 

Swasey's family released a statement Sunday, thanking people for their support and asking for privacy.  

A resource center is opening today to assist people directly impacted by Friday's shooting incident.  It will open today at 1:00 at the Mortgage Solutions Financial Center, 3650 North Nevada.  Support personnel will be on hand from the police and fire departments, sheriff's office, District Attorney's office, as well as mental health and spiritual care professionals.

Andrea Chalfin

Vigils are being held in Colorado Springs Saturday for the victims of Friday's shootout at the Planned Parenthood clinic on the city's northwest side. Governor John Hickenlooper has ordered flags lowered to half-staff until further notice. 

Three were killed Friday as a gunman holed up in the clinic for hours.  Among the dead are two civilians, and Officer Garrett Swasey, a six-year veteran of the police department at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

UPDATE Saturday 4 PM: Updated information from the city says four civilians were transported to hospitals with gunshot wounds during the incident.  Five law enforcement officers, four with the Colorado Springs Police Department and one from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, were also taken to hospitals with gunshot wounds.  Three additional police officers were injured.  All are in good condition and expected to make full recoveries.

Noel Black

44-year-old Officer Garrett Swasey has been identified as the police officer killed in today's incident. Swasey was a six-year veteran of the UCCS Police Department, and was responding in support of the Colorado Springs Police Department.

UPDATE: 7:00 PM MST:  Colorado Springs police are confirming three fatalities, two civilians and one police officer from UCCS.

Four other civilians and five officers are in the hospital in "good condition."

HSPPR Pet of the Day: Misty

Nov 25, 2015

Hi there. I’m Misty, a 6-year-old spayed tortie Siamese mix. Yes, I’m beautiful, but my beauty is much more than skin deep! I enjoy affection and am very friendly, and I would love to while away the hours bathing in the sun of your windowsill. I get a little nervous around very young children; in fact, I spent so much time hiding from the young child in my last home that they brought me here to HSPPR to find a new, more mature home. I have lived with cats and dogs before, but I got along a little better with my doggie friends.

Fostering Fish Recovery in the Colorado River Basin

Nov 24, 2015
Laura Palmisano

Some native fish in the Colorado River and its tributaries are struggling to stay afloat.  Invasive species, dams and water diversions all complicate the recovery of endangered fish in those waterways.  One long-standing program ties together federal and state agencies with regional groups to help these cold-blooded creatures make a comeback.

Drones to Take to the Sky in the San Luis Valley

Nov 24, 2015

Two different drones will take flight over the San Luis Valley following Federal Aviation Administration approval. 

The FAA has approved the launching and testing of two drones in an 8000 square mile airspace near the airport in Alamosa County.

Brian Argrow, professor of aerospace and engineering sciences at The University of Colorado Boulder, was involved in getting FAA approval. "Everyday there's some new application that people are using the drones for and this is all in the interest of tapping into this market," he said.

Deputy Chief J. Petersma / Falcon Fire Department

Crews from several El Paso County area fire departments responded to a grass fire in the eastern part of the county Tuesday afternoon.  The El Paso County Sheriff's Office says its dispatch office sent out nearly 130 reverse 911 calls to nearby residents, and a voluntary evacuation was put in place for residents bound by Shear, Edison, Fossinger, and Yoder Roads.

Blue Woman Group

Nov 23, 2015
Lorenzi /


This week Hal talks about M45 (The Pleiades Cluster, AKA The Seven Sisters).   

The Pleiades is an open star cluster that is one of the most beautiful objects in the night sky. And, every year in the month of November the Pleiades rise around sunset and set around dawn, so they are visible all night long. You can see this bright little cluster of stars, often called the seven sisters, though most people only see six, by looking to the northeast after sunset. It’s the fuzzy patch above and to the right of the bright red star Aldebaran, which in turn is above and to the right of the constellation Orion.

On this episode of The Big Something, author Brett McCracken discusses his book Hipster Chrisitianity, When Church and Cool Collide ; Daniel James Brown shares the incredible story of how a young team of working class American rowers beat the odds--and the Nazis--at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin; Rock Climber Alex Honnold talks about his career climbing some of the most iconic rock walls in the world, with no rope; and we bring you an episode of the show HumaNature from Wyoming Public Radio about a search and rescue mission in the Rocky Mountains.


Bustang is expanding to some weekend service starting Saturday.


A national crowd-sourcing project from the U.S. Geological Survey that began in Colorado is offering map enthusiasts an extra incentive to contribute to the National Map during International Map Year.

The Boys in the Boat celebrates the 1936 U.S. men's Olympic eight-oar rowing team and the nine working class boys who transformed the sport, and galvanized the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers from the American West, the boys took on and defeated successive echelons of privilege and power. Colorado College Professor Steven Hayward spoke with New York Times best-selling author Daniel James Brown about the book in advance of his "Journalist-in-Residence" on Wednesday, November 17, 2015.

Nicole Nicoletta is Manitou Springs' newest mayor after the completion of the official election canvass.

After El Paso County election officials considered military and overseas votes, which were due by November 12, a 10-vote margin still separated Nicole Nicoletta from Coreen Toll.

Ryan Parsell with the clerks office says the race was close, but says it wasn't "close enough to trigger a recount.  Close enough certainly to generate a lot of interest in what the procedure is or would have been if a recount had been necessary."

Juvenile Attention

Nov 16, 2015

This is “Looking UP! in southern Colorado,” from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. I’m Erick White, 6th grade student at Sabin Middle School, and there are lots of reasons to look up!

This month we have a meteor shower visible to listeners in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico: the Leonids. 

A study of the 2012 Waldo Canyon wildfire recommends that crews fighting similar fires that spread into urban areas be trained in both structure protection and traditional wildland firefighting tactics. 

Alex Maranghides, fire protection engineer for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST says the investigation shows defensive measures specifically designed for the wildland urban interface, or WUI, can benefit firefighting efforts.

Lt. Governor Joe Garcia to Step Down

Nov 10, 2015
Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Colorado's Lt. Governor Joe Garcia announced Tuesday that he is stepping down from the position next year, after five years on the job. He also heads the Colorado Department of Higher Education and will leave that post to helm a higher education policy group for the western U.S., called the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

Spinnin' Wheel, Spinnin' True

Nov 9, 2015
Manfred Konrad


   This is “Looking UP! in southern Colorado,” from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. I’m Hal Bidlack, and there are lots of reasons to look up!

Lots of us like fireworks. One of my favorites are the spinning pinwheels shooting sparks off in every direction. Did you know there’s a galaxy looks like it’s doing that in southern Colorado skies right now? 

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

Colorado Springs residents can expect to see road repairs taking place after ballot measure 2C was approved with 65% of the vote. 

The measure allows for a .62% sales tax increase to go toward road maintenance, and is expected to draw around 50 million dollars a year in revenue.

Mayor John Suthers said he plans to appoint a five person advisory committee to review progress, and added that the Public Works Department will issue occasional updates.

Trails to Get a Facelift After 2D Passes

Nov 5, 2015
Colorado Springs

Voters overwhelmingly decided to allow Colorado Springs to retain $2.1 million in excess revenue to repair and improve eight stretches of trail throughout the city.

The targeted trails include Shooks Run, Skyline, and the Sand Creek Trails.

Karen Palus, head of the city's Parks and Recreation Department, said the improvements will include trail resurfacing and increased signage. Palus also said they’ll try to minimize the impacts to trail users.

The polls are closed and ballots are being counted across the state on a variety of issues.  These results are not final as ballots are still being counted.

Results as of 5:40 AM Wednesday.

Statewide, Proposition BB, which would allow the state to keep tax revenue from marijuana, is passing with 67% of the vote in favor.

In Colorado Springs, voters have approved Issue 2C with 65% in favor.  It will increase the sales tax by .62% to help pay for road repairs and is expected to raise about $50 million annually for five years.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Department and Colorado Springs Police Department have released the identities of the victims from Saturday morning's shooting incident. 

33-year old Noah Harpham killed three before being killed by police in a shootout.  The original victims have been identified as:

35-year old Andrew Myers
42-year-old Jennifer Vasquez
34-year old Christina Baccus-Gallela. 

Hauty Toity

Nov 2, 2015
NASA, ESA, and P. Kalas (University of California, Berkeley and SETI Institute)

This is “Looking UP! in southern Colorado,” from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. I’m Hal Bidlack, and there are lots of reasons to look up!

Lots of us get lonely sometimes, and wish we had more friends around. If you’ve ever felt this way, imagine how the star Fomalhaut must feel. 

Roads Update 9:42 PM Sat 10/31/15: All roads are now open. 

Roads Update 7:20 PM Sat 10/31/15:  Platte and Wasatch are open.  There are still closures on Prospect.

Original post:

Authorities are keeping several city blocks closed near downtown Colorado Springs through much of Saturday as they investigate an incident that resulted in four fatalities, including the death of the suspect.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Camping fees for Colorado Parks and Wildlife are going up to help keep up with rising maintenance and utility costs. 

The fee increase will be anywhere from $2-$10 a night depending on the campsite, with the exception of primitive campsites that don't have electrical outlets or restrooms nearby.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Manda Walters says even with the added cost, she doesn't see visitor numbers dropping.

Milken Family Foundation

A middle school teacher in Pueblo County is one of up to 40 nationwide to win a Milken Educator Award.

Former Staff Sergeant Ryan Moore has taught for seven years after spending six in the Army.  The 8th grade science teacher at Liberty Pointe International in Pueblo West was surprised by the award, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000. 

Moore says his teaching philosophy is based on relationships.

"Through relationship teaching, you learn about these kids, you learn about their home lives, you learn about their struggles, you learn about their successes," says Moore.  "And when you do that, teaching becomes easy because you know how to reach them.  And it also becomes easy because you want to help these kinds once you know them."

Moore says he genuinely loves his work and the people at his school. 

Milken Educator Awards come from the Milken Family Foundation, which cites Moore's classroom imagination and leadership as some of the reasons for the award.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Dozens of watch parties were held across the state Wednesday night as the GOP presidential contenders held their third debate at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

At the Epernay Lounge in downtown Denver, business and grass roots Republican groups hosted about 150 people. The crowd mostly consisted of moderate Republicans; many were undecided and had several possibilities for support.