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Deric Stowell/Courtesy Daneya Esgar

A bill for a new license plate featuring the Pueblo chile will get its day on the House floor. 

A proposal to study whether passenger rail is viable along the Front Range has cleared the State Senate. It now heads to the House.

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

Oral health falls under Governor John Hickenlooper's Top 10 Winnable Battles for health in Colorado. Consuming fluoride in water is one safe and inexpensive way to help prevent dental decay, according to public health experts, and it was discovered right here in Colorado.

Charles Gatebe / Nasa flickr

Researchers at NASA have launched a new project to pioneer technologies for measuring snowpack. 

Penrose-St. Francis Courtesy of Chris Valentine

Penrose-St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs ranks among the best in the country for the 10th time in a row.

Cora Lubchenco / State of the Rockies Project

Voters in the West care about conservation of public lands and the environment according to a recently released poll

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Colorado is roughly a third of the way through the four-month long legislative session. John Frank, a reporter for The Denver Post, and Peter Marcus with ColoradoPolitics.com sat down with statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland to take stock of the big issues this session.

Courtesy Jodene Parlapiano

After a 90-year absence, a Rockefeller has returned to Pueblo. Once considered the wealthiest family in the world, the Rockefellers are often blamed for the 1914 Ludlow Massacre - a notorious event in labor history when striking coal miners and their families were killed in southern Colorado.

COLORADO SENATE REPUBLICANS

A Colorado newspaper is fighting claims that it peddles fake news stories. The publisher of Grand Junction's Daily Sentinel is accusing a state lawmaker of defamation and threatening a lawsuit. If filed, legal experts said it would be the first of its kind, potentially setting a legal definition for what is considered fake news and what is not.

Courtesy of Steelworks Center of the West, Pueblo, Colorado

David Rockefeller, Jr. will speak in Pueblo February 17 at a fundraiser for the Steelworks museum. It's the first time in 90 years that a Rockefeller has been to southern Colorado.

Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, [LC-USF343-001617-ZE] / Library of Congress

A new study looked into what would happen if the modern agricultural industry was to experience a 1930s Dust Bowl style event.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

In the last decade, Democrats have attempted to repeal Colorado's death penalty four times. Their latest attempt on Feb. 15 was amid contentious debate.

John Suthers State of the City 2016 / Colorado Springs

UPDATE: 2/16/17. The Senate Finance committee passed SB-153 on a 4-1 vote. The bill now heads to the full Senate.

Original post 2/14/17:

A proposal to study whether it's viable to create passenger rail from southern Colorado to Fort Collins has cleared its first hurdle at the state legislature.

Ed Suominen / FLICKR All creative Commons

Pueblo City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution today that places a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035.

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A proposal to repeal Colorado's healthcare exchange and move to the federal program has prompted a lot of debate at the State Capitol. It has also set off a larger fight about the future of the Affordable Care Act.

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.

President Trump’s battle with the media doesn’t show any signs of letting up. But, in Colorado, Republicans hope divisive rhetoric doesn’t impede their ability to get their message out. They’ve come up with something very un-Trump -- a model they say will improve their relationship with the media. 

“We really want to be more open and inclusive,” said Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert. He has started doing something old school -- something the president had been criticized for not doing enough of. He and the Senate president are holding weekly briefings with the press. That’s also something his predecessor in Colorado didn’t do. And the Senate GOP plans to hold its first ever off-the-record happy hour with reporters.   

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

In the midst of an ongoing national fight about the future of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a measure to replace Colorado's health care exchange is igniting passion in Denver. On Feb. 7, people rallied outside the state capitol to protest repealing the Affordable Care Act, while in the capitol, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 3, known as the 'Repeal Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Bill.'

Malika Ladak / Flickr-Creative Commons

The Colorado State Forest Service is reminding folks to keep up with watering their trees throughout the winter.

John Suthers State of the City 2016 / Colorado Springs

Among balancing the budget and finding money for transportation projects, lawmakers will decide if creating a passenger rail line along Colorado's Front Range—from southern Colorado to Fort Collins—is worth a look.   

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Lawmakers in both parties are trying to make it more difficult for homeowners to sue condo developers over construction defects. They hope it will lead to more condo development and lower rents. But despite widespread support for the concept, legislation hasn't been able to pass in previous years.

For this week's Capitol Conversation, we talked about the issue with Peter Marcus with ColoradoPolitics.com and Ed Sealover with the Denver Business Journal.

Chris Medina / Funky Little Theater Company

A Colorado Springs theater company is seeking submissions for its second annual theater festival featuring lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues. 

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

Repairs continue along the aging Arkansas River levee that protects downtown Pueblo from flooding. 

This winter contractors removed about 3,000 linear feet of concrete from the face of the levee and replaced about a third of it so far. 

Debate among Colorado lawmakers got heated on Tuesday during consideration of a symbolic measure to denounce President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring refugees entry into the United States.

The measure, considered in the Democrat-controlled House, ultimately passed by a voice vote. Some Republicans said privately that they felt stung by statements made ahead of the vote by Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat from Thornton. Salazar chided Republicans for not backing the measure – House Joint Resolution 1013 – accusing them of supporting civil rights when it is politically expedient. 

Colorado Springs Fire Department / Screengrab

The Colorado Springs Fire Department is encouraging residents to keep up with wildfire mitigation as officials raise city's fire danger level to moderate.

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The Springs Echo launched in January. The idea is that people who would otherwise be panhandling can sell the papers instead.

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It is unclear how the Trump administration's freezing of grants and awards from the Environmental Protection Agency will impact programs in Colorado.

We talked with Peter Marcus with ColoradoPolitics.com and Luke Perkins from the Durango Herald about how politicians are reacting—and working together—in the face of potential funding losses.

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

An elite bike race is coming back to Colorado Springs this August. 

The new "Colorado Classic" is a four-stage men's race that will take place in Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, and Denver this summer and feature professional athletes from around the world. There will also be a two-day women's event in Colorado Springs and Denver.

Steve Wilson / Flickr - Creative Commons

This post has been updated, first on Sat 1/28/17 to expand the story.  Last updated Thursday 2/2/17 to reflect that the bill has been introduced at the statehouse.
 

The state's Southwest Chief Commission, which has been working since 2014 to find ways to preserve and expand a long-distance Amtrak route that runs through southern Colorado, is setting its sights on passenger rail along the Interstate 25 corridor and Colorado's Front Range. 

More Gun Training in Schools Advances

Jan 26, 2017

A measure that would encourage schools to offer  additional training for security guards, and pave the way for more teachers to have guns in schools cleared its first committee on Jan. 24.

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