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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.

Courtesy: El Pueblo History Museum

A new exhibit at El Pueblo History Museum in Pueblo explores what may be the oldest high school football rivalry in the west -- between Pueblo's Central and Centennial High Schools. 

Hyperloop One

High-speed transportation along Colorado's Front Range just moved a small but significant step forward, as a route connecting Cheyenne, Wyoming to Pueblo, Colorado was selected as one of ten winners worldwide in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

From PTSD to traumatic brain injuries, the invisible wounds of war can be just as devastating as the physical ones. And for some, that service-related trauma can lead to other issues, including problems with the law. In Colorado's 4th Judicial District, which encompasses El Paso and Teller Counties, there’s a court program designed for vets with trauma who've been charged with certain misdemeanors and low-level felonies. It's called the Veterans Trauma Court, and it was recently recognized as a national leader among similar programs around the country.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

The Imagination Celebration is giving area residents the opportunity to connect to distant lands and cultures from right here in Colorado Springs. As part of the annual What If Festival in downtown Colorado Springs this Saturday, the Imagination Celebration has stationed a "portal" -- a golden shipping container outfitted with a camera, microphone, and an eight-by-eight-foot projection screen -- at the Pioneers Museum. The portal functions like a giant, community Skype box, linking up with other portals stationed in places as diverse as Gaza, Berlin, and Brooklyn.

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.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Colorado Springs Tuesday to protest the Trump administration’s decision to end the program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The program was created by the Obama administration in 2012, and allowed certain people who had entered the United States illegally as children to apply for work permits and protection from deportation. 

Colorado is a resilient state. The unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation and the population along the Front Range is booming. It’s easy to see the impact of a strong economy in Denver. Construction cranes are up all over the city and it’s harder than ever to find affordable housing.

But it’s a different story in many parts of western Colorado.

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

Pueblo property owners will see a 35% increase next year in the fees they pay to repair and maintain the aging Arkansas River levee. Construction costs to update the levee are higher because the levee extended deeper into the riverbed than expected.

Hickenlooper file photo

Governor John Hickenlooper is denying that he and Ohio Governor and former GOP presidential candidate John Kasich are exploring a possible unity party presidential bid in 2020.  The speculation comes from national media sources, including CNN, which say Hickenlooper would run as Vice President. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

The long-awaited solar eclipse wowed viewers across the country Monday. Here in Colorado Springs -- though not quite in the "path of totality" -- clear blue skies made for great viewing of a 90% partial eclipse, and crowds gathered across the city to catch the spectacle.

Sen. Cory Gardner held three town hall meetings on Aug. 15. He faced criticism for his lack of public appearances and his votes to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in all of them. The events in Colorado Springs, Greeley and Lakewood are the first solo in-person town halls held by the Republican this year.

Kevin Kreck / Associated Press

The Colorado Classic takes off from Colorado Springs Thursday, bringing nearly 175 professional cyclists from around the world to the Centennial State.  Colorado Springs hosts the first leg, with the women's race kicking off mid-morning Thursday, and the start of the men's race set for the afternoon.  Both starts take place downtown at Tejon and Pikes Peak, with peak road closures occurring on Thursday along the route between downtown and Garden of the Gods.

Steve Wilson / Flickr - Creative Commons

The state commission tasked with looking into passenger rail on Colorado's Front Range is getting to work.  The committee is an expansion of the previous Southwest Chief commission, and still tasked with working to preserve and improve the long-distance Amtrak route that travels through southern Colorado, as well as connect it to Pueblo.

After President Trump tweeted that the U.S. military would no longer “allow or accept” transgender people to serve, troops on the ground were left with uncertainty. Military leaders say the policy won’t change until top Pentagon officials figure out how to implement it.

Emma Shinn is a 41-year-old Coloradan and veteran. She served in the Marine Corps for 20 years before retiring in 2014. When she served there was a ban on transgender people. Last year, she transitioned.  

Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Carol M. Highsmith [LC-DIG-highsm-11937]

Efforts to manage and preserve the Colorado River are getting a boost from the Walton Family Foundation, which has pledged $20 million over the next two years to fund projects aimed at water conservation and restoring river ecosystems.

Courtesy: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

The state parks program that puts backpacks with parks passes, binoculars, and guides into public libraries is in its second year.  "Check Out State Parks" officially launched last year in more than 280 libraries statewide.  This year, it's expanded to include many publicly funded college and university libraries. 

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.

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

The Environmental Protection Agency is requesting public comment on a proposed interim plan to begin clean up in the Colorado Smelter Superfund site in south Pueblo.

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.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

With summer here, people are flocking to the outdoors, including the trails, campsites and reservoirs of the Colorado State Parks system. Last year, the parks hit a record number of visitors – 13.5 million.  But Colorado is struggling to keep up with the demand.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Members of the Colorado Springs arts and music community are celebrating a new partnership between the Pikes Peak Library District and local DIY arts groups. Among them is Flux Capacitor, a popular local warehouse music venue, which was shuttered in December due to fire code violations.

Through the partnership, Flux Capacitor, or "The Flux,” and others will be able to host concerts and events in the Knights of Columbus Hall, a historic building owned by PPLD, located west of the downtown library at 25 W Kiowa St. The building has been largely unused for years. 

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.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Several months prior to the Waldo Canyon Fire, Myrna Candreia had a premonition.  "Something inside me told me, 'You need to prepare for a fire,'" she recalls.  "I had developed this feeling inside that things weren't good. Maybe it was because of the drought we were having?"

One week before the fire, she went to Staples, bought boxes and set them up, but didn't fill them.  "I could have been fully prepared and a lot more prepared.  I wasn't.  I got a few things out," she says.

Courtesy of the City of Colorado Springs

Randy Royal remembers exactly where he was when he first spotted smoke rising from the Waldo Canyon Fire. It was Saturday, June 23rd, 2012. 

"I got called out around 10 or so in the morning for a rollover accident on Bijou and I-25," recalls Royal, who was a battalion chief with the Colorado Springs Fire Department at the time. "I cleared that, went to a high-angle at Garden of the Gods, and as I was driving down Highway 24, I looked up and the column [of smoke] was right in front of me."

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.

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.

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."

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