Dozens of school superintendents told lawmakers on the house education committee Monday that Colorado needs to do more to restore K through 12 budget cuts. After a 2013 ballot initiative failed to pass and solve the state’s funding challenges, the problem now falls into the laps of lawmakers. A bi-partisan bill to begin pumping more money into schools got its first hearing at the capitol.
News last week that Republican Congressman Cory Gardner is entering the U.S. Senate race to try and unseat Democrat Mark Udall sent shock waves through Colorado’s political landscape. The move has caused some Republicans to drop out of the race. As part of our weekly Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to reporters about the change.
If you drew a line straight up through the middle of a map of the United States, across the fruited plain, that line would come within 100 miles of the shooting locales of two American films currently contending for Oscars in multiple categories: Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, filmed in and outside a number of the state’s eastern plains towns; and August: Osage County, filmed largely in a big old house in Osage County on the border of Oklahoma and Kansas.
Veteran Journalist Katherine Boo will be speaking tonight at Shove Chapel on the Colorado College campus. A staff writer for The New Yorker, and former reporter and editor at the Washington Post, she’s received numerous awards for her work, including a Pulitzer prize for Public Service and a MacArthur Genius grant.
Wednesday’s surprising race swap between Representative Cory Gardner and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck may demonstrate a game changer for Colorado’s Republican Party. Colorado State University political science professor Kyle Saunders says the solidly Republican 4th Congressional District is a more natural fit for Ken Buck. He thinks Gardner has a better opportunity to win the Senate race against incumbent Democrat Mark Udall.
Opera theater of the Rockies opens its production of Lakme this Thursday at Armstrong Hall on the Colorado College campus. We sat down with three of the cast members to talk about its incredibly difficult aria and the fact tha the flower song is better known than the opera itself.
Celebrated novelist Zadie Smith will speak tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. in Armstrong Hall. Winner of numerous awards, Smith is the author of the novels “White Teeth,” “The Autograph Man,” “On Beauty,” and, most recently, “NW.” This event is part of the 2014 MacLean Symposium on Globalization, Culture, and Literature. Colorado College Professor Heidi Lewis spoke with Smith by phone.
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, countries around the world have moved to slash government spending and reduce national debt. Dr. Mark Blyth, professor of International Political Economy at Brown University, argues that this is exactly the wrong way to approach the problem of slow economic growth. Dr. Blyth is in town to speak at Colorado College, and he sat down with The Big Something’s Noel Black to discuss his latest book, “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea”.
Lawmakers are rolling out a new bi-partisan funding plan for K through 12 schools, but many in the education community are not board with it. As part of our capitol conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to statehouse reporters about the education agenda this session, and some unusual alliances it's creating.
I will be 60 years old in just a little over a month. I have lied about my age for decades, pretending always to be a year older than I really am, to soften the blow of aging, to get used to the idea. But this year I am claiming 60 because it feels important, an urgent starting line.
On your mark: You have limited time left to get your life’s work done.
Get set: Be clear about what that work is. Don’t kid yourself and don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
School superintendents in Colorado are concerned about the state’s legislative agenda this session. Nearly every school district in the state wrote a letter asking lawmakers to focus exclusively on restoring budget cuts to schools and drop bills they’re calling unnecessary. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
The Black Forest Fire/Rescue District has released some of the findings from an independent investigation into Fire Chief Bob Harvey’s response during last year’s devastating blaze. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports.
Four of the six Republican candidates seeking to replace Governor John Hickenlooper in the fall faced off in their first formal debate last night at the Denver Post. As Bente Birkeland reports, they touched on a host of topics – including the two missing candidates.
Construction on U.S. 24 through Ute Pass started today resulting in lane closures until April. KRCC's Rachel Gonchar reports:
Flood mitigation construction along the eastbound route has all traffic shifted to westbound lanes. The Colorado Department of Transportation says it will stay that way for around two weeks until it’s completed. The traffic will then shift to the eastbound lanes so the work can continue on the other side.
UPDATE: According to Chaffee County Sheriff spokeswoman Laura Smith, an x-ray of the explosive device determined it was a "practice round" and nothing suspicious. The Buena Vista Police Department re-took custody of the scene, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will take the device back to the crime lab for processing. Streets have reopened and the investigation is ongoing.
An explosive device in the back of a pickup truck closed streets and around the Buena Vista stoplight.
"The library and nearby buildings were evacuated, streets were closed and a code red alert was broadcast to the community. Schools were also locked down as a 'precautionary measure,' [BV Police Chief] Tidwell said."
The article goes on to say that El Paso County bomb squad is on its way to Buena Vista.
"We had a lady that came to the PD this morning after 7 and reported that there was an explosive device in the back of her pickup," Tidwell said. The woman apparently parked her vehicle to clean the library, and discovered the what she believed to be an explosive device when she returned to her car.
It takes water to produce electricity, but how much water varies a lot depending on the fuel source and the power generating technology. In Colorado, around half a percent of our total water usage is used to generate electricity.
It’s a small percentage, says Stacy Tellinghusen, water policy analyst for Western Resource Advocates, a non-profit conservation group, but adds that it’s not inconsequential.
Larry Davidson was a country boy. He wore pressed jeans and a big belt buckle, scuffed cowboy boots, and plaid flannel shirts. We were twelve and in sixth grade at a brand new school on the edge of Nashville, Tennessee, set between half-built subdivisions of split-level houses and rolling farm meadows dotted with grazing horses and cows.
The ReMINDers are a hip hop duo from Colorado Springs. The group consists of Aja Black and Big Samir, a married couple who have gained recognition over the past few years with their records ReCollect (2008) and Born Champions (2012). They’ve toured the country and shared the stage with legendary hip hop acts like Big Boi, Nas, KRS-One, and Mos Def. Mercedes Whitman, intern at the Big Something, talked to Samir about the group’s career, as well about why they’ve chosen to maintain their roots in Colorado Springs.
Colorado is embarking into uncharted territory as the Department of Transportation creates its first public private partnership along U.S. Highway 36. CDOT officials say they don’t have the money to repair and maintain all the state’s roads and bridges and this agreement is necessary. But as Bente Birkeland reports, several lawmakers have serious concerns and want to slow down the project.
Two are dead in separate avalanches in Colorado this week. KRCC’s Elaina Formby reports.
One avalanche caught two snowmobilers, killing one near Kebler Pass, west of Crested Butte. Another avalanche by the North Fork Swan River, south of Keystone Ski Resort, caught two skiers. One escaped, the other, a man in his 40s from the Front Range, was found dead at 11:30 this morning.
A new poll released by Quinnipiac University suggests Colorado voters believe marijuana legalization is hurting the state’s reputation. But as KRCC’s Nat Stein reports, voters still continue to support the laws.
51% of polled voters in the state say legal pot is bad for Colorado’s image. Only 38% say the new laws are helping.
Last summer Colorado officials rolled out a new state brand and logo. It’s popular among some groups but received mixed support at the state capitol. A Republican bill to send the branding question to a vote of the people failed at the statehouse. As part of capitol conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to reporters about the back story and where the branding issue goes from here.