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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.

CDPHE

In a newly released survey, the state Health Department says nearly 14% of Colorado adults currently use marijuana.

Of those who currently use pot, one third use it every day. About 19 percent drove after using. Slightly more than half of Colorado adults have never tried marijuana.

The survey also showed young adults aged 18 to 24 are ten times more likely to use pot than older adults over the age of 65.

The National Weather Service in Pueblo says Colorado Springs received a record breaking 3.16 inches of rain Monday.  The old record, set more than a century ago in 1914, was 2.27 inches.  The record-breaking day comes after a record-breaking month of May, which, for the most part, removed southern Colorado from lingering drought conditions. 

Brett Levin Flickr / Creative Commons

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday that companies can legally fire employees for using medical marijuana, even off duty.

The decision is based on the case of Brandon Coats. He is a quadriplegic who takes medical marijuana to control muscle spasms in his legs. Dish Network fired him from his job as a customer service representative in 2010 after he failed a random drug test. Coats then sued for unlawful termination. Business groups praised the court's decision.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

After a mild and wet spring, temperatures along the Front Range are expected to soar this week and that has fire managers on edge. The Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture are using this lull in the fire season to call for changes in how the federal government funds wildfire suppression.

While Colorado has experienced much needed rain, fire officials are still expecting an average fire season.

Heart of the Scorpion

Jun 15, 2015
earthsky.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!

Did you know that there is a time bomb waiting to go off in the night sky right now? And it’s a big one – the supergiant star Antares! 

On this episode of Critical Karaoke we are talking about “cover songs.”  Songs that were written and recorded by one artist, but go on to be re-recorded and re-performed by many other artists in many other genres—it is kind of like karaoke of existing songs, but it is critical?  Join us as we discuss covers of "No Diggity" by Blackstreet; "King Porter Stomp," first composed and performed by Jelly Roll Morton; and “The World Turned Upside Down” by Leon Rosselson.  All than and more, including a special "cover band" name pop quiz.

Developing Colorado with Water Conservation in Mind

Jun 10, 2015
clipart.com

Finding enough water to meet the demands of the booming Front Range has city planners closely looking at how new developments can be built with water conservation as a key component.  With the second draft of the State Water Plan scheduled for release in July, many water advocates are hoping to see the issue of land use addressed.
 

Colorado has experienced massive population growth in the last few years, and that trend is projected to continue.

KRCC

The deadline for bills that passed during the state's legislative session to become law or get vetoed was Friday. Measures are either signed by the Governor or become law without his signature. Some proposals have large signing ceremonies, while others are done quietly. Bente Birkeland talks to state capitol reporters about some of the measures.
 

Glamorous Glob

Jun 8, 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 that you have a planetarium in your pocket? If you have a smart phone, you have the universe at your fingertips. 

There are wonderful and free interactive sky maps available for both iPhone and Android users. You can use these programs to find interesting things in the sky by simply holding your phone over your head and letting it guide you to some of the wonders of our universe.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

The Department of Defense has approved plans to modify and increase training at the Army's Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site in Southern Colorado.  The Record of Decision [.pdf], signed May 1 and made available last week, approves what's being called "Enhanced Readiness Training," to include brigade-size exercises an

clipart.com

A measure to eliminate immunity for public schools for shootings, deaths, sexual assaults and other series injuries that happen to students on school grounds was signed into law on Wednesday. Previously schools had absolute immunity.

The law would cap damages at $900,000 for multiple injuries per incident. Governor Hickenlooper says the state has experienced its fair share of tragedies in schools and hopes the law will make students safer.

Jason Turner / Photo courtesy: Pueblo Nature and Raptor Center

A member of the endangered California condor species was found far from home in a backyard near Colorado Springs.  The large bird was taken to the Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo after being picked up by the Ellicott Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and transported via Colorado Parks and Wildlife volunteers.

Diana Miller, director of the Pueblo Nature and Raptor Center, said the bird was in good condition, despite being a little thin.

It was sent Tuesday morning to the Peregrine Fund in Arizona to be reintroduced into the wild.

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