News

High winds have caused the closure of some recreational areas on National Forest land in Douglas County.

The Devils Head Fire Tower, campground, trailhead, and picnic area were closed after a blowdown occurred in the South Platte Ranger District of Pike National Forest.

The historic fire Tower is the only original Front Range lookout tower still in use today.

The damaged area covers around six acres of aspen, spruce, and Douglas-fir trees. Crews are assessing damages and working to remove fallen trees and dangerous snags from the area.

Born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1830, Emily Dickinson and Helen Hunt Jackson attended the same primary school, and received similar educational instruction in Philosophy, History, Botany and Latin. Later in life, Jackson, residing in Colorado Springs, would begin a correspondence with Dickinson after being introduced to her work by Atlantic Monthly Editor Thomas Wentworth Higginson. In this correspondence, Jackson would implore the reclusive Dickinson to share her work. With the exception of getting one poem of Dickinson's published anonymously, Jackson was largely unsuccessful.

Daisy McGowan is the Director and Curator at the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art in Colorado Springs. For GOCA's second biennial exhibition Bright Young Things, McGowan aims to reflect the diverse background of emerging artists working in the Colorado Front Range Corridor. The show will run from July 10th until August 29th, and feature collaborative performance, ceramics, photography, painting and work in other media from 8 artists.

On any summer weekend, a visit to one of the Pikes Peak region's many open spaces proves just how popular and valuable Colorado Springs' natural recourses are. In last week's episode of The Big Something, Susan Davies, Executive Director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition, and "Hiking" Bob Falcone, President of the Friends of Cheyenne Canyon sat down with Noel Black to discuss trail work, future projects, and what makes Colorado Springs' access to the outdoors so special. 

A burned American flag was discovered on a statue in front of Colorado Springs City Hall early Tuesday morning, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department.  An investigation revealed the flag to be the one typically displayed in front of City Hall. 

Investigators with the department have checked surveillance cameras to no avail, says CSPD Public Information Officer Lieutenant Catherine Buckley.  Buckley says they currently have no suspects for what she says is a misdemeanor crime. 

Universal Monster Picture

Jul 20, 2015
NASA

  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!

Last month we talked about the star Vega, one of three stars that make up the Summer triangle, visible to southern Colorado listeners in the East about an hour after sunset. 

Bob Wick, BLM California / BLM Flickr / Creative Commons

A last-minute change to an indoor venue due to stormy weather couldn't keep folks away from a dedication ceremony Saturday for Colorado's newest National Monument.  Supporters gathered in bleachers at the Buena Vista High School gym to hear from local, state, and federal officials as they celebrated the designation.
 

The nearly 22,000-acres of public land that stretches from Buena Vista to Salida in Chaffee County along the Arkansas River is well known for its recreation and wildlife. 

On Episode #6 of The Big Something, Susan Davies and Bob Falcone and open space coalition discuss trails and open space in Colorado Springs; Poet Robin Izer tells us about the fateful correspondence between Emily Dickinson and Colorado Springs transplant Helen Hunt Jackson; GOCA Director Daisy McGowen talks front range art in honor of the 2nd biennial Bright Young Things Exhibit; And Deepa Daya tells her amazing story of gaining physical sight at the age of 30.

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Urbanization of Agricultural Land

Jul 16, 2015
Maeve Conran

An additional 2.5 million people are expected to move to Colorado by 2040, the vast majority of them headed for the Front Range.   As part of Connecting the Drops, our state-wide water series, Maeve Conran looks at the impact on Colorado as its landscape changes from crops to houses.

The traffic on a stretch of I-25 north of Denver is the soundtrack to the changes that farmer Kent Peppler has seen happening in Weld County. 

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Mosquitoes in Pueblo have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

No human cases of West Nile Virus in Pueblo have been confirmed, but the Pueblo City-County Health Department says recent rainfall means more mosquitos.

Health officials urge residents to take precautions to avoid contracting the virus, including draining standing water, using insect repellent, and dressing in long sleeves and pants.

Symptoms typically show up within two weeks and may include fever, fatigue, and headache. Residents are urged to seek medical attention at any sign of the virus.

Brian Fuchs, National Drought Mitigation Center; David Simeral, Western Regional Climate Center / U.S. Drought Monitor

Dry conditions across Colorado have largely disappeared, according to the latest U. S. Drought Monitor. 

Only a small portion of the state remains listed under the "Abnormally Dry"  classification, compared with more than a quarter last week.  Those remaining dry locations are in the northwest and southwest portions of the state.  

No portion of Colorado currently faces drought conditions.

The U. S. Drought Monitor shows about 98% of the state clear of all classifications of drought and dry conditions, compared with 59% one year ago.

Andrea Chalfin

Some lawmakers are rumbling about possibly moving the Colorado State Fair from Pueblo. Colorado's Legislative Audit Committee took up the issue of State Fair finances Tuesday, noting that the annual event has lost money each year for more than a decade. 

The Fair receives state and local support, but some committee members questioned Pueblo's commitment, and suggested it might make the Fair more financially viable if it moved.

Pueblo City Council President Steve Nawrocki says the city's contributions are on a rebound.

CDOT

A new bus service has launched that will help connect Front Range cities and locations along the I-70 corridor to Denver. Monday was its inaugural day of operation.
 

The new bus system from the Colorado Department of Transportation aims to provide an alternative and to help reduce traffic along interstates.

CDOT’s Bob Wilson says Bustang’s first day of service went well despite a few website and phone glitches, adding that CDOT expects the service will be popular.

Faster than a speeding bullet...

Jul 13, 2015
NASA

  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!

Something truly extraordinary is going to happen early tomorrow morning, something that is been planned for decades and will be over in a couple of hours – the New Horizons mission to Pluto! After more than nine years traveling through space, and covering over 3 billion miles, this piano – sized spacecraft is already changing what we thought we knew about Pluto. 

Fort Carson is faring better than many as part of the Army's efforts to reduce overall troop numbers by 40,000.

The Mountain Post will lose about 365 soldiers, a fraction of the 16,000 once deemed possible

In a statement, Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers called this good news for the city, and says it's "an indication of the importance of Ft. Carson in the overall defense mission.  It also reflects positively on the case Colorado Springs has made on behalf of Ft. Carson."

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The Colorado Department of Agriculture is introducing a new tool that aims to help farmers and consumers with local pricing.

Shoppers and sellers at local markets can now find average prices for items sold at farmers markets and through farm-to-school programs on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s website.

The new tool will aid producers in helping them decide how to price thei items, says Glenda Mostek, marketing specialist with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, adding that it will also help buyers.

Haze from smoke drifting south from wildfires burning in Canada continues to linger over Colorado, prompting the state's health department to issue a wildfire smoke health advisory for much of the Front Range. The advisory includes El Paso, Pueblo, Huerfano, Las Animas and Otero Counties, and is set to expire at 4 PM Wednesday. (UPDATE: The advisory has been extended until 9 AM Thursday.)

On the evening of June 17th, a young white man opened fire on a group of black churchgoers after bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, killing nine people.

A nebula with a ring to it..

Jul 6, 2015
NASA

  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!

Did you know there is a vast ghost cheerio floating in space above your head right now? It’s true!  It’s called the Ring Nebula, and it’s a spectacular and amazing thing to see. You’ll need a telescope to see it, so check out the calendar at CSastro.org for an upcoming star party.

In this segment from last week's episode of the Big Something, Noel Black brings you a profile of beloved Manitou artist Charles Rockey. He just released a book of fables and illuminations--Love Songs of Middle Time--that he’s been working on for the past 15 years. You can buy copies of the book at the Manitou Art Center, the Manitou Heritage Center, and Miramont Castle in Manitou.

During the Cold War, the Army began making land acquisitions to develop a training site where mountain post soldiers could prepare for war in an environment similar to potential areas for deployment. The result was the establishment of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, an over 200,000 acre training area in Southeastern Colorado. More than 20 years later, in 2006, the Army sought to expand the site. Instead, they met a local organized resistance, and were unable to extend their training ground.  

Wolf Creek Pass is a multi-lane highway, winding through the San Juan Mountains between South Fork and Pagosa Springs. The high mountain pass is renowned for its grand views of the San Juan valley, river, and waterfalls, along with its National Forest access. In the last couple of years, however, the most noticeable part of Wolf Creek Pass is that much of the once thriving green spruce forest has now died off and turned red. In this segment from last week's episode of The Big Something, Emelie Frojen investigates.

 Last month, KRCC welcomed StoryCorps and their mobile booth back to Colorado Springs.  StoryCorps, a non-profit organization, dedicates itself to recording and preserving the oral histories of people from all backgrounds. They store these records at the American Folklife Center at The Library of Congress. In the following interview, Colorado Springs' first female mayor, Mary Lou Makepeace, and current Colorado Springs Councilwoman Jan Martin sit down together to discuss what it means to be a woman in politics.

Close Encounters

Jun 29, 2015
NASA

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!

A rare and remarkable thing is going to happen in Southern Colorado skies tomorrow, June 30th, and you have a front row seat to watch it happen.

On this episode of The Big Something Radio Programme, news director Andrea Chalfin speaks with the authors of a paper about the conflict between the military and ranchers in Piñon Canyon; Big Something intern Emelie Frojen looks into the beetle kill on Wolf Creek Pass; Former Colorado Springs Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace and former City Councilwoman Jan Martin look back on their careers in politics; And a portrait of Manitou artist Charles Rockey as he releases a book of fables and illuminations 15 years in the making.

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Shanna Lewis / KRCC

A lot of dirt needs to get moved to repair the Arkansas River levee in Pueblo, and plans for the repairs are changing so that dirt can be put to use on other projects. Those changes may affect efforts to preserve historic sections of the murals painted on the levee.
 

Originally plans called for reducing the height of the levee by 12 feet in phases, but now other projects can use the dirt quicker than first thought. Pueblo Conservancy District consulting engineer Kim Kock said that means they need to keep moving forward.

"VEGA - 4 1/2 Stars" - says Carl Sagan

Jun 22, 2015
en.wikipedia.org

  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!

There is a very bright star in the southern Colorado skies right now that you may have visited or read about, at least in science fiction stories, the star Vega! 

Vega has been visited by Capt. Kirk in Star Trek, and most famously as the location of an alien civilization’s transportation hub in both the book and the movie Contact.

Record-breaking rains leading to high water levels have prompted Colorado Parks and Wildlife to restrict access in some recreational areas. 

Boat ramps, shoreline access points and parking areas are limited at Lake Pueblo State Park. The department isn’t sure when they’ll reopen.

Near Lake George, the South Platte River is running usually high, resulting in the closure of Spinney Mountain State Park’s river access lot. The department is discouraging fishing along many areas of the river.

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It's been more than a month since Colorado lawmakers wrapped up their annual legislative session at the state capitol, but the work is far from over. Many of the bills that failed this year will likely be back next year, and some long-standing issues may already be poised to go before voters in 2016.

"I've worked on issues that have taken a couple of years to get through," said Representative Don Coram (R-Montrose).

The City of Colorado Springs is looking at the future of Shooks Run, a corridor located east of downtown between Fountain Creek and Patty Jewett Golf Course. 

The first of several public workshops takes place on Thursday, kicking off a 16-month collaborative planning process called Envision Shooks Run. 

The project will create a plan to address issues like drainage, multi-modal transportation, and urban planning to help improve infrastructure and enhance the corridor.

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