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Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

The number of seniors in El Paso County is expected to grow by 39% this decade.  As this so-called senior tsunami hits the Pikes Peak region, eventually, some will likely move into nursing homes. But more and more nursing home residents are actually under the age of 65.

Brennan Linsley / AP

A recent study suggests climate change could slow the rate at which snowpack melts. That could mean less water available for future use.

91.5 KRCC

A proposal to get more money for Colorado's aging and congested transportation system is on its legislative journey. The bipartisan bill, a top priority for legislative leaders and the governor, would send the question of a sales tax increase to voters and allow the state to borrow $3.5 billion for roads and infrastructure. The first committee hearing lasted about seven hours.  

Wednesday was a long day at the State Capitol. Eighty people signed up to testify on a massive transportation funding bill that if passed, would ultimately end up before voters in the fall.

During a more than seven-hour hearing before the House Transportation and Energy Committee people expressed lots of thoughts on how to improve Colorado’s roads -- and how to pay for them. Lawmakers also offered several dozen changes to House Bill 1242 but, in the end, the measure passed along party lines.

Public Domain

A recent study suggests the Colorado River could see a 35% flow reduction by the end of the 21st century due to the effects of climate change.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

The Colorado Springs Fire Department is mourning the loss of Christina Randall, who led the department's wildfire mitigation efforts.  Randall died unexpectedly over the weekend while attending a conference in Reno, Nev.  focusing on the wildland-urban interface, which is where forests meet urban areas. 

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Parks and open space are vital to the economy, according to organizers of an event this past Monday called "State of the Outdoors." 

There are plenty of things that lead to distracted driving along Colorado’s roadways: eating, putting on makeup or changing the station on your radio. Texting and driving is one distraction state lawmakers want to crack down on. 

91.5 KRCC

Colorado's latest revenue forecast shows that state lawmakers will have to fill a larger budget gap than anticipated -- a $696 million gap. Bente Birkeland spoke with other statehouse reporters about what this could mean for the state budget.

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.

Courtesy of Dani Johnson

The body of Army Specialist Darlene Krashoc was found in a parking lot behind a restaurant in 1987.  Now, the 30-year-old unsolved murder of a Fort Carson soldier is getting a second look due to new DNA technology. 

City of Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs City Council District 5 lies in the center of Colorado Springs. It's home to the Olympic Training Center, Palmer Park, the old North End, and the Knob Hill neighborhood.

Incumbent Jill Gaebler is facing a challenge from Lynette Crow-Iverson.

The City of Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs City Council District 4 is in the southern part of the city, bound by Powers on the east, Platte to the north, and encompassing the southern part of Circle Drive.

There are three people vying for the seat, including incumbent Helen Collins.  Collins declined to be interviewed for this piece.  Her challengers, in the order they appear on the ballot, are Yolanda Avila and Deborah Hendrix.

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. 

Lawmakers are midway through this year’s legislative session and the big issue at the halfway mark is what to do about funding transportation. Democratic and Republican leaders are backing the idea of asking voters this fall if they support a tax increase to address those needs. The issue is poised to dominate the second half of the session.

“If there is going to be a long-term solution to transportation infrastructure it’s going to almost certainly require something that the voters are going to weigh in on,” said Senate President Kevin Grantham, a Republican. He made that comment late last year, prior to the January start of the session, and has kept the promise, backing House Bill 1142, which would add millions of dollars for transportation needs.

The City of Colorado Springs

District 2 in Colorado Springs is located in the northernmost part of the city.  It borders the Air Force Academy, moves north past Interquest Parkway, and hits the eastern border at a portion of Powers and Black Forest Roads.  Current seat-holder Larry Bagley is not seeking re-election, and the district has only one candidate. 

91.5 KRCC

Legislative leaders have coalesced around a bill that, if approved, would ask Colorado voters to approve a sales tax increase to fund road, bridge and transit projects. The bipartisan transportation bill is dividing the GOP, with opponents saying Colorado hasn't done enough to tighten its budget and find efficiencies.

The City of Colorado Springs

District 1 in Colorado Springs is situated northwest of downtown.  It borders the Air Force Academy and contains Garden of the Gods and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Incumbent Don Knight, retired from the Air Force and defense industry, is facing a challenge from local businessman Greg Basham.  91.5 KRCC sat down with Knight and Basham separately to talk with them about the challenges facing their district and the city, taxes, and their visions for Colorado Springs.

Deric Stowell/Courtesy Daneya Esgar

A bill that would create a license plate honoring the Pueblo chile is moving forward in the senate. 

David Zalubowski / Associated Press

As Colorado's legislative session reaches the halfway point, lawmakers have introduced more than 400 bills. Many bills cover controversial topics and are short-lived, though the debates and hearings can last hours. So why do lawmakers spend so much time on legislation that never sees the light of day?

For some, it's intended to send a message. Others are aiming for long-term goals.

COURTESY OF SENATE PRESIDENT KEVIN GRANTHAM

A top Republican joined with Democratic leaders at the Colorado legislature Wednesday evening in an effort to find solutions to ongoing transportation woes.

To do that, lawmakers are proposing a bipartisan bill, HB1142, that would send the question to voters, asking for a 0.62-cent sales tax increase. That money would go towards priority infrastructure projects, as well as to provide funding to local governments for transit, roads, trails, and potholes.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

The master planning process is underway for a section of North Cheyenne Canyon called Strawberry Fields, which the city of Colorado Springs traded to the Broadmoor Hotel in a controversial land exchange last year. The plan, which is being developed by local company N.E.S. Inc, will establish parameters for future management and trail development on the 180-acre property.

With reports of more recent youth suicides in Colorado Springs, one local suicide prevention group says the numbers are high. 

91.5 KRCC

State lawmakers are leading an effort to change how the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) is calculated. The goal: Let Colorado keep more of the tax money it collects.  Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland talked to John Frank with The Denver Post and Charles Ashby with The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel about how the measure could free up millions of dollars for transportation, education and health care, and why it faces an uphill battle. 

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Advocates say Senate Bill 40 does something simple: It brings the Colorado Open Records Act into the 21st century by requiring state agencies to provide information in a digital format , such as a database or a spreadsheet, where feasible.

"These are the people's records. We are the custodians, we are the stewards of these records," said Democratic Sen. John Kefalas of Fort Collins. He's the main sponsor of the bill.

For some, the issue is more complicated.

Daniel Hoherd / FLICKR (Creative Commons)

Colorado Springs ranks 11th in the country for birthplace diversity according to a recent study. That means many of its residents weren't born here. 

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

"If you put an entire community in danger, that shouldn't be a felony?" asked  Republican Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling during a packed committee hearing on Feb. 16.

The topic of debate was Senate Bill 35, a measure that would increase the penalty for tampering with oil and equipment and attempting to interrupt operations.  Since it was first introduced, SB 35 has generated a lot of public interest. It has consistently been one of the "most accessed bills" on the state's legislative website.

U.S. Air Force

The 21st Space Wing located at Peterson Air Force Base was recognized for excellence in space and cyberspace missions.

El Paso County Sheriff's Office

UPDATE: As of around 7PM Monday evening, all evacuations have been lifted.  Residents must have ID to reenter.

Deric Stowell/Courtesy Daneya Esgar

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

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