Bente Birkeland

Bente Birkeland has covered Colorado politics and government since spring of 2006. She loves the variety and challenge of the state capitol beat and talking to people from all walks of life. Bente's work has aired on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, American Public Media'sMarketplace, and she was a contributor for WNYC's The Next Big Thing. She has won numerous local and national awards, including best beat reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. Bente grew up in Minnesota and England, and loves skiing, hiking, and is an aspiring cello player. She lives in Lakewood with her husband.

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Capitol Coverage
7:10 am
Thu October 3, 2013

State Says Fracking Operations not Impacted by Flooding

During a hearing on water issues late last week, state officials said they’ve inspected 70 percent of the oil and gas wells damaged by recent flooding. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Capitol Coverage
5:18 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Annual Tourism Conference in Telluride

State tourism officials are in Telluride this week to discuss ways of promoting Colorado. As Bente Birkeland reports, Colorado is coming off a record breaking year for visitors.

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Capitol Coverage
8:17 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Flooding Fuels Fracking Debate

Dottie Rawsky and other members of Our Broomfield man an informational booth.
Credit Bente Birkeland

In November, voters in several Front Range communities will consider whether to ban or delay fracking. Many of these same areas are also recovering from September's devastating flooding.

There's renewed attention on the fight over fracking thanks to Colorado's flooding. Recent figures show that 12 spills have polluted the South Platte with 37,000 gallons of oil.

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Capitol Coverage
5:20 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Governor Provides Update on Flood Recovery

Governor John Hickenlooper told local officials this morning that many of the state highways and roads closed due to recent flooding have reopened. But as Bente Birkeland reports there's still a lot more work to do.

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Capitol Coverage
12:14 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Wildfire Committee Meets

Credit clipart

Colorado fire fighters say the state needs to make major changes in order to protect the public from increasingly devastating wildfires. As Bente Birkeland reports, state lawmakers are hoping to tackle the issue during the next legislative session.

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Capitol Coverage
7:43 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Colorado's Economic Recovery

Colorado’s economy is steadily rebounding according to the latest economic forecast. And as Bente Birkeland reports, the pace of recovery is expected to pick up next year.

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Capitol Coverage
6:50 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Governor Appoints Recovery Chief

Colorado has a new chief recovery officer to help oversee rebuilding in the wake of massive floods. Governor John Hickenlooper made the announcement on yesterday, saying the goal is to have state and U.S. highways reconnected by December 1st. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Capitol Coverage
6:27 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Udall, Bennet Seek Federal Aid

Colorado Senator Mark Udall pledged to seek full federal support to help restore the state after flood waters devastated parts of the foothills and Front Range. Udall and Senator Michael Bennet both addressed the U.S. Senate yesterday describing efforts on the ground. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.



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Capitol Coverage
7:06 am
Thu September 12, 2013

What the Recall Election Means for Next Session

Gun rights activists in Colorado are savoring what they call a sweet victory. On Tuesday Democratic Senate president John Morse and Senator Angela Giron were voted out of office for supporting stricter gun laws, in the first legislative recall in state history. As Bente Birkeland reports, the election could change the dynamic under the gold dome.

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Politics
1:39 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Colorado Voters To Decide 2 Lawmakers' Fates In Recall Elections

State Sens. Angela Giron and John Morse, both Democrats, face recall elections Tuesday. The battle in Colorado has attracted major players from across the nation, reflecting the sustained intensity over the issue of gun rights.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:01 pm

Two prominent Democratic state senators could lose their jobs after lawmakers passed sweeping gun control laws following the theater shooting in Auro, Colo., and the Newtown school shooting in Connecticut. Gun rights activists collected enough signatures to force the historic recall elections.

The recalls follow a combative and bitter legislative session. Among the most controversial measures passed were universal background checks and limiting high-capacity magazines to 15 rounds.

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