Colorado

Updated at 3:55 p.m. EDT Thursday

Police have apprehended a man they say went on the run Wednesday after fatally shooting two men and a woman at a Walmart outside Denver as hundreds of terrified customers ran for cover.

Merchandising giant Amazon wants to open a second headquarters – called Amazon HQ2 -- outside of Seattle. Colorado is pulling together what it hopes is a winning bid, but it’s a competitive venture.

“This has gotten the attention of the nation for that matter -- and North America, so we’re competing internationally,” said J. J. Ament, the CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.

While Colorado’s congressional delegation had mixed reactions to President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, many continue to show bipartisan support for the policy. The executive order, signed by President Obama, gave children brought into the United States illegally a chance to stay in the country legally.

The state of Colorado collected $180 million in taxes from legal marijuana sales in the 2016 fiscal year.

But could the well run dry?

As of July 1, 2017, Nevada is the eighth state to sell recreational marijuana -- and it won’t be the last. California, the sixth largest economy in the world, will start selling pot Jan. 1, 2018.

Jackie Fortier / KUNC

Three years after legalizing recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, lawmakers are turning to pot to fill some gaps in the budget. That's why lawmakers voted to increase a special use tax on recreational marijuana sales from 10% to 15% in 2017. But while the money can be a salve for some of Colorado's problems, it doesn't, and can't, solve them all.

Hickenlooper file photo

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other climate goals.  Hickenlooper also says the state will join the U. S. Climate Alliance, which is a group of states looking to uphold the Paris Climate Accord.  President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord earlier this year.

Flickr User: Pictures of Money / Creative Commons

Things are in limbo after Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell delayed a vote on the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. A group of 13 senators crafted the bill after the House passed their version of a health care bill in May to replace what is also known as Obamacare.

Based on what's in the Senate bill right now, Bente Birkeland spoke with Joe Hanel of the nonpartisan Colorado Health Institute to break down what the numbers could mean for residents and the state's budget.

A new website and program from the state is geared toward streamlining the process of professional credentialing for active-duty military personnel and veterans looking to start licensed careers in Colorado.  It's called "Veterans Occupational Credentialing and Licensing," or VOCAL, and it's run by the state Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), which oversees more than 50 professions.

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.  

In July of 2016, The Broadmoor welcomed its new director of operations and experienced master chef, John Johnstone, stepping into the role of Vice President of Food and Beverage.

Colorado officials have highlighted seven shovel-ready road and water projects should the Trump administration secure roughly $1 trillion in infrastructure funding. The National Governor’s Association sent that list, along with projects from 48 other states and territories, to the Trump administration on Feb. 8.

Colorado’s list includes adding two urgent projects -- an express lane heading west into the mountains on I-70 and adding capacity lanes along the northern and southern parts of I-25. It also includes water projects and one to expand rural broadband.

During the opening days of the 2017 Colorado legislative session, lawmakers and the governor outlined their priorities for the good of the people in the centennial state. But are elected officials in line with your priorities and concerns?  We asked Coloradans from across the state to weigh in.

Coloradans hope politicians work together

A doctor handed Melissa Morris her first opioid prescription when she was 20 years old. She'd had a cesarean section to deliver her daughter and was sent home with Percocet to relieve post-surgical pain. On an empty stomach, she took one pill and lay down on her bed.

"I remember thinking to myself, 'Oh, my God. Is this legal? How can this feel so good?' " Morris recalls.

Daniel Hoherd / FLICKR (Creative Commons)

New US Census Bureau data shows Colorado's population continues to grow steadily. 

91.5 KRCC

As the 9am bell rings at Chavez Huerta Preparatory Academy - a charter school on Pueblo's west side - kids make their way between small classroom buildings scattered about the campus. In a little room in one of those buildings, a handful of students tune up for their morning music class.

91.5 KRCC

On this episode of Air Check we dive into the local punk music scene with the local group Cheap Perfume,  Vicky hosts the Denver based band Paper Bird for an in studio performance and interview, Jake heads to the Chavez Huerta Preparatory Academy in Pueblo to uncover the makings of mariachi music, and Mike Love of the Beach Boys talks with Vicky about lyrics on demand and meditating with the Beatles and Maharishi. All that, AND three of our favorite new songs. 

Laura Bittner / Flickr/Creative Commons

Still need to cast that ballot?  For many voters in Colorado, it's a long one.  If you're still weighing state issues, 91.5 KRCC wants to help.  Here you will find information and links on how to vote, as well as information on the nine statewide issues facing Colorado residents this November.

While the presidential race has taken up a lot of attention, local elections in Colorado deserve some time in the spotlight.  In the state legislature, Democrats hold a three-seat majority in the House, and Republicans have a one-seat majority in the Senate.

Colorado is receiving a $12 million grant to assist youth and their families with serious mental, emotional, and behavioral issues. 

Matt Larson is in his mid-thirties and already concerned about what will happen at the end of his life. A year ago, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was treated, but there’s a 50 percent chance it could return. If it does, he wonders at what point he would want to die. In November, Colorado voters will decide whether terminally-ill patients can legally end their lives.

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado

A new mobile app looks to incentivize users to help out the environment.

The app, called YourCO, will allow users to log do-it-yourself conservation projects, such as picking up trash or turning down the thermostat, and earn badges and rewards along the way.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

C.J. Boyd is a man on the move.

For the last eight years, the bassist has been on permanent tour--living out of an old ambulance converted to run on veggie oil, playing night after night in coffee shops, bars, art spaces, punk houses, and just about every other imaginable venue. And that's just how he likes it.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado is among a handful of states where voters are being asked if the minimum wage should be increased. Proponents say the bump for the lowest-paid workers would help struggling families. Many businesses say it could prompt layoffs.

LOVELAND, Colo. - Ashley Harrison held her baby son in a sling as she stood in line for the Donald Trump rally on a windy but warm fall day in Colorado. She’s a part owner of two 7- Eleven stores in Windsor and Milliken. She thinks Trump would give them tax breaks.

 

“You know all the support small business can get is the best because those are the job creators,” she said before Trump’s rally at Loveland’s Budweiser Events Center “We just really hope that we can get a conservative in office because that brings back our freedoms, and that’s what America is built on and you know: less government is better.”

Deric Stowell / Courtesy Daneya Esgar

The Pueblo Chile Growers' Association and Pueblo County are working together to get a new Colorado license plate approved that would feature the Pueblo chile.

Associated Press / AP

Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and now it's back to work.

For everyone out there who's back at the office in body, but not in spirit, we bring you a selection of songs about work from the notoriously labor-averse genres of punk and new wave.

Jake Brownell

On Episode 7 of Air Check, Portland band Ages and Ages drops by for an interview and in-studio performance, Bob Slade, host of KRCC’s Retro Fix, shares some of his favorite songs about work in honor of labor day, we discuss the ever-changing industry of music retail with Judy Negley and Shawn Mayo of Independent Records, Dick Fairley interviews local jazz guitarist, Wayne Wilkinson, and we cop to some guilty pleasure songs.

Bar/None Records

Local band Eros and the Eschaton are doing big things in the Colorado Springs music scene. Their brand of shoegazy indie rock has impressed fans, record label execs, and music writers around the country, and they've achieved a degree of critical and commercial success rarely seen by bands in the Pikes Peak Region. 

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Colorado has, for several presidential elections, been cast as a swing state. The political pundits call it purple—a mix of Democratic blue and Republican red. This year, however, the tone has changed. Pundits say the state is trending blue and won't be a battleground.

Try to tell that to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Or, to his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Both campaigns have made stops in Colorado a priority coming out of last month's party conventions.

Chr. Barthelmess, photographer, Fort Keogh, Montana. / Library of Congress, Public Domain

The statehouse recently voted to commemorate four historical African American army units. 

A resolution to designate a portion of Highway 24 in Colorado Springs as the "Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Highway" passed unanimously in the state house and senate along with a recognition of the units' importance in the state's early history.

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