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Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Opponents of a controversial land exchange are appealing a judge's decision to dismiss their lawsuit seeking to stop the transfer of a parcel of public land known as Strawberry Fields to the Broadmoor Hotel. The appeal was filed Thursday afternoon.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife / Courtesy Kyle Davidson

A small fish native to Colorado and surrounding states is no longer a candidate for the threatened species list. 

The US Fish and Wildlife service officially categorized the Arkansas darter as "not warranted" for federal listing as endangered after a 12-month study.

Deric Stowell/Courtesy Daneya Esgar

Pueblo Chile enthusiasts continue to collect signatures aimed at helping to create a license plate featuring the chiles. 3000 signatures are needed for the license plate to be considered at the capitol.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Democratic Sen. Lucia Guzman, representing Denver in District 34, is the only legislative leader returning to her role, but it's something she didn't expect. Guzman said Democrats fully anticipated winning the majority in the Senate, but after the November election they are still one seat shy. The GOP holds a 18-17 seat advantage.

Courtesy of Kevin Grantham

Republican Sen. Kevin Grantham will lead the state Senate in 2017, where his party held onto its one-seat majority. Grantham is from Cañon City and represents District 2.  He says he's the first rural senate president in over four decades.

Maeve Conran / Connecting the Drops

About three years ago, flood waters rushed down the Big Thompson River through Estes Park and eastward to Loveland, destroying whole stretches of the river channel and adjoining roads. That flood echoed a similar one 40 years ago that killed 144 people, destroyed countless homes and decimated the riverbed. Now, roads are being repaired and the eco-system is slowly recovering. That recovery is crucial for the economy of local communities.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Candidates for Colorado Springs City Council can begin circulating nominating petitions beginning today, January 3rd. The City Clerk's office at the City Administration Building in downtown Colorado Springs is where candidates can pick up filing documents and nominating petitions.

Maggie Spencer / KRCC

A new state resource is geared toward helping communities with main street planning.  Colorado Downtown Streets is a book that has tips and guidelines for designing a safe and unique main street.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Republican Patrick Neville is only serving his second term in office, but he recently rose to the highest position in his caucus--House Minority Leader. Neville's selection comes as a surprise; Rep. Polly Lawrence, who has served in the legislature since 2012, was considered the heir apparent.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Democratic Representative Crisanta Duran will serve as the top lawmaker in the state House of Representatives next session, leading the 65-member chamber as speaker of the house. She will also be the first Latina to serve in that role in state history.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Officials at Peterson Air Force Base say they've finished drilling wells meant to help determine whether the base is to blame for potentially toxic Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs, detected in drinking water in southern El Paso County. 

Kerry Lannert / FLICKR - Creative Commons

An inspection of the more than 40,000 roadway guardrails throughout the state is now complete. The investigation was prompted by safety concerns.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

With increasing populations and out-of-state travelers, there are more drivers on Colorado's roads than ever before. Shailen Bhatt, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, shared some important takeaways on the new reality for Colorado motorists unless more money is found to fix roads and bridges, and build new road projects.

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Flux Capacitor, a warehouse music venue that has become a fixture in the Colorado Springs music scene over the last two years, announced Monday that the city's fire department ordered it to close its doors. The move comes amidst a nationwide crackdown on unsanctioned, artist-run event spaces--often referred to as "DIY" venues--in the aftermath of the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, which claimed the lives of 36 people earlier this month.

courtesy Colorado State University - Pueblo

The new Institute of Cannabis Research at Colorado State University Pueblo recently launched with about $1.1 million in state and local funding.

Holly Pretsky / KRCC

El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark called the state of the region strong and poised for continued growth and prosperity. The remarks came during an address in front of business and civic leaders.

Several hundred people descended on Colorado’s state capitol on Monday to protest the Electoral College process and watch the state’s nine electors’ vote. One elector was replaced after he failed to vote for Hillary Clinton. He could face up to one year in jail or a $1,000 fine.

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

President Barack Obama recently signed a new law that could benefit Colorado hiking trails.

The new National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act calls for a national strategy to utilize partnerships for trail maintenance.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers addressed city council Tuesday about a proposed initiative that would require voter approval for any future sale or trade of city-owned parkland. The initiative is called Protect Our Parks, or POPS, and it has been supported by many of the same people working to halt the so-called Broadmoor land exchange, which was approved by city council in May.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

A state court ruled on Dec. 13 that Colorado's nine presidential electors must vote for the winner of the popular vote in Colorado, Hillary Clinton. The court also said if a presidential elector fails to vote for Clinton, that elector would be removed and replaced.  

Two members of Colorado’s Electoral College filed a lawsuit (PDF) in federal court on Dec. 6 in an effort to unseat President-elect Donald Trump. The suit challenges laws that require Electoral College members in 29 states to vote for candidates that won the popular vote in their states.  

Kristen Wyatt / Associated Press

Three varieties of industrial hemp seed are the first to attain certification from the state for widespread use.  They meet the requirements to produce mature plants with less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Studies show that youth spend less than ten minutes a day outside in unstructured play.  In an effort to combat this national issue, Great Outdoors Colorado has awarded roughly $13 million in grants to communities across the state, to encourage children to appreciate, enjoy and take care of the great outdoors.

The Inspire Initiative, launched last year with six pilot projects, ties into the state plan of having every resident within a ten-minute walk or bike ride to a park or open space within a generation.

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

Pearl Harbor survivor and Colorado Springs resident Lt. Jim Downing is visiting Hawaii to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the infamous attack. 

In a presentation at Lewis Palmer Middle School before departing for Hawaii, 103-year-old Lt. Jim Downing said the first emotion he experienced as Pearl Harbor was attacked was surprise. He went on, "the next thing that I experienced was fear."

Greg Smith / Flickr

As the city works to stabilize the Sand Creek stormwater channel, engineers are looking for creative ways to make the structures even more useful. One idea is to create a trail for fat bikes. Those have particularly wide tires that can traverse sand and leave little impact.

Kate Dunn / 91.5 KRCC

The Manitou Incline is reopening to the public. The Incline closed in August for the second phase of its Trail Enhancement Project.

US Department of Energy / Screengrab: Better Buildings Challenge SWAP

The U.S. Air Force Academy is engaging in some friendly competition with the Naval Academy in Maryland to see who can become more energy efficient. It's all part of a Department of Energy reality show called Better Buildings Challenge SWAP.

Maggie Spencer / 91.5 KRCC

The annual holiday tradition of cutting down a Christmas tree on National Forest land is upon us.

Christmas tree cutting permits are available through local ranger districts.  On sale dates differ depending on location.

Colorado Army National Guard / Flickr

A recent realignment means a regiment of the Colorado Army National Guard is now part of the historic 10th Mountain Division.

Miguel Vieira / FLICKR-Creative Commons

Colorado parks have seen an increase in traffic in recent years as the state population grows, and has scheduled several meetings to discuss the fiscal challenges that presents.

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