Jake Brownell

Programming & News Producer

Jake Brownell is an award-winning reporter and producer covering the news and culture of Southern Colorado. 

A native of the Twin Cities, Jake landed in Colorado Springs by way of a philosophy degree at Colorado College. During his time at CC, he pursued an interest in radio as a DJ and then as manager at the school's student radio station, The SOCC.  After graduating in the Spring of 2012, Jake went on to intern with 91.5 KRCC's The Big Something, where he began to hone his skills as an editor, interviewer, researcher and writer--skills which he put to use first as a producer of 91.5 KRCC's Off Topic, and more recently as co-producer and host of The Big Something Radio Show and the documentary series, Wish We Were Here. Jake now oversees production of our music program, Air Check, our community-driven reporting series, Peak Curiosityand reports on local issues and stories for the 91.5 KRCC News Department. 

In addition to 91.5 KRCC, Jake's stories have been featured on WBEZ, CBC Radio 1, and NPR stations across Colorado. His work has been recognized with two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for News Documentary, as well as awards from The Associated Press Television and Radio Association, Colorado Broadcasters Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, and others. 

Ways to Connect

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Parkside resident Mike Finkbiner was a roofing contractor during the original construction of the Colorado Springs subdivision, and says Mountain Shadows as a whole was "pretty well planned" when it was built in the 1980s.  It wasn't until 2002 that he moved into the community, and then to a different home in Parkside in 2005.

Charlie Chambers / CR Photography

The Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media estimates that film production has generated more than $150 million in economic impact statewide since 2012. The Teller County Film Commission, a newly formed non-profit, says it wants to bring more of that money to the county.

Courtesy of Eddie Hurt

Eddie Hurt has been president of the Mountain Shadows Community Association since shortly after the Waldo Canyon Fire. In that role, he's played an active part in the effort to rebuild Mountain Shadows, the neighborhood that he and his family have called home for 12 years. Unlike some of his neighbors, Hurt didn't lose his home in the fire, but that's not to say he wasn't affected.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Retired electrical engineer Barry Timmons and his wife relocated to Colorado to be closer to family, and lived in the Parkside neighborhood of Colorado Springs for three years before the Waldo Canyon Fire claimed his home.

"It's just a nice area, it was a nice little home," Timmons says.  "It was very conducive to us being a retired couple."

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Carla Albers and her family moved into their Mountain Shadows home in 1990.  They'd always loved the westside and figured it would be a starter home, but ended up loving the neighborhood and the area.  

"It just ended up being up one of those neighborhoods where a lot of younger couples moved in with a lot of kids," she recalls.  "It was just a really great place to raise a family."

Their house was among the nearly 350 homes lost in 2012's Waldo Canyon Fire.

Steven De La Roche

July is America’s birthday month, and on this episode of Air Check we get a hint of Vicky’s playlist for 4th of July celebrations; Jake talks with Roberto Houston of Black Pegasus about his rapping career; local musician Nina de Freitas joins us for an in-studio performance and interview; we look ahead to the 11th Annual Blues Under the Bridge festival on July 29th, 2017; and we share our favorite new releases from the past month.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Cindy and Mark Maluschka moved into their home in Mountain Shadows in 2010. 

"We looked at a lot of houses before we found that house," says Cindy, "when we walked in we knew it was the house."

"It fit us really well," adds Mark. "It was a beautiful house."

During the Waldo Canyon Fire, hundreds of first responders took part in the effort to fight the fire and evacuate neighborhoods threatened by the blaze. It was a massive undertaking, requiring coordination among numerous local, state, and federal agencies.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

When the Waldo Canyon Fire broke out five years ago, Nick Gledich found himself in two roles. On the one hand, he's the superintendent of District 11.  A number of schools were threatened by the blaze; another served as a staging area for firefighters and first responders.  On the other hand, Gledich was also among the Mountain Shadows evacuees.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Polly Dunn moved to the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs after retiring from her job as a teacher in District 11. She lived there for several years before the Waldo Canyon Fire took her home in 2012. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Allan Creely and his wife Sally moved to the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs in 1998. Both Allan and Sally had retired from the military, and they saw Mountain Shadows as the perfect place to settle.

Christian Murdock / The Gazette via AP, Pool

Vice President Mike Pence spoke Friday to a crowd of roughly 1,650 people at the headquarters of Focus on the Family, an influential evangelical Christian ministry based in Colorado Springs. 

Courtesy of Senga Nengudi

Colorado Springs-based artist Senga Nengudi is currently showing her work at one of the art world's most influential international exhibitions, the Venice Biennale. It's the latest in a recent string of high-profile showings for Nengudi, who's been living and working in Colorado Springs for nearly 30 years. As curators will tell you, the recognition has been a long time in the making.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

If you’ve spent any time in the Broadmoor neighborhood of Colorado Springs, you’ve probably heard a chorus of musical chimes float down Cheyenne Mountain to the valley below.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Emergency officials in Colorado Springs are calling on folks living in the city’s wildland urban interface to be prepared for wildfire. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

On this episode of Air Check, three more favorite songs from Jeff, Jake and Vicky, a talk with the Denver-based band the Flobots about their musical mission, we have a listen to the swan songs of I Sank Molly Brown during their last live performance as a band at Right Heel Studios, Jake and Jeff investigate the musical history of the Will Rogers Shrine on the side of Cheyenne Mountain, and three must-see concert events of the summer/fall music season. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

CDOT will need ten times the $1.88 billion dollars awarded this legislative session for infrastructure projects around the state, says executive director Shailen Bhatt. That money was approved by lawmakers in a last minute deal after a sweeping transportation bill failed at the statehouse last month

John Nowak / CNN

Comedian W. Kamau Bell uses humor to probe the dark corners of American culture. As host of the CNN show, "United Shades of America," he’s interviewed everyone from inmates in San Quentin prison to members of the Ku Klux Klan, exploring the racial, political, and socioeconomic forces that shape life in America. He also has a new book out, "The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell," hosts three podcasts, and is on a national stand-up comedy tour.

https://www.seracahoone.com/

This month on Air Check, Sub Pop alumna Sera Cahoone hangs out with Vicky and performs a couple of songs, John Bueno from Pueblo’s Pulp magazine chats with The Brightest Quasar over a cup of coffee, local producer Bill Douglass talks about working with Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan, and Hannah Fleming explores the many stages of a rock and roll career with Chuck Snow and the Youthful Nothings. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Handbells have been around for centuries. Originally invented for church bell tower players to practice their songs, they took on a life of their own in handbell ensembles, where groups of musicians play carefully choreographed arrangements on the tuned bells. For this story from the latest episode of Air Check, 91.5 KRCC’s Vicky Gregor and Jake Brownell visited a local handbell group to learn more about the music.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Left-of-center candidates made out well in this month's Colorado Springs City Council election. Progressive favorites Richard Skorman, Yolanda Avila, and Jill Gaebler beat their more conservative challengers, and left-leaning David Geislinger was elected following an unopposed campaign. Together, along with at-large representative Bill Murray, these four could comprise a new, more liberal majority on Colorado Springs City Council. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Congressman Doug Lamborn, Republican representative for Colorado’s 5th District, took questions from constituents at a heated town hall forum in Colorado Springs Wednesday. Half-an-hour before the meeting was scheduled to start, police were already turning away attendees at the Stetson Hills police substation, saying that the 110-person capacity had been met in the community room where the forum was to be held.

Brian Turner / Flickr / Creative Commons

Colorado’s 4th Judicial District is being recognized for the work of its Veterans Trauma Court. The court serves vets in El Paso and Teller Counties, and has been selected as one of four “mentor” courts around the country.

NOAA Historic Photo Library / NOAA

Peak Curiosity is a new, community-driven reporting series from 91.5 KRCC. We ask listeners to submit their questions about the Pikes Peak region and Southern Colorado, and then we answer them. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to submit your question!

Beth J. Harpaz / AP Photo

 

Colorado Springs resident Craig Carnick had a front row seat to one of the great eras in American music. Back in the 1960s, he worked the night shift as a recording engineer at Motown Studios in Detroit, Michigan.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

April's episode of Air Check announces NPR's Tiny Desk Series move to Colorado Springs--just kidding. But it does bring Colorado Springs musician and Alex Koshak back from a tour with Esme Patterson, where they performed at the real Tiny Desk in NPR's headquarters in Washington D.C. John Craigie, modern-day troubadour, drops in to play a few songs from his new album No Rain, No Rose; Craig Carnick tells the story of Motown Studios where he worked the night shift as a recording engineer in the 1960s; and the Bells of St. Vrain share the art of handbell performance.  

NEA Staff / NEA

Fort Carson has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to increase art therapy offerings at the base.   

The money will go toward hiring a full-time, licensed creative art therapist to develop visual art and music therapy programs for service members dealing with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Flux Capacitor Facebook Page

In the last 6 months, Colorado Springs said goodbye to several beloved DIY spaces.

Colorado Springs City Council District 6 is the smallest council district by population, but the biggest geographically. It encompasses large swaths of undeveloped land on the city's east side, including the Banning Lewis Ranch property, as well as the Colorado Springs Airport, Peterson Air Force Base, and the northeastern neighborhoods of Stetson Hills, Ridgeview, Norwood, Old Farm and more. The district is poised for a lot of new development, which was a recurring theme in our conversations with candidates for the District 6 city council seat.

Coloradosprings.gov

Colorado Springs City Council District 3 comprises the Westside, Downtown, the Broadmoor, Cheyenne Canyon and the Nevada Ave/HWY 115 corridor spanning south to Fort Carson. Councilman Keith King has represented the district for the last four years, but decided not to run for reelection, leaving an open contest for his vacated seat. 

Pages