Colorado residents have vastly different health outcomes, based in part on where they live in the state. Rocky Mountain PBS News analyzed health data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to rank each of the state's 64 counties based on a variety of health indicators from obesity, to amount of exercise, to smoking and premature deaths.

Update 5.13.2016: Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed legislation finally legalizing rain barrels. Our original story continues below.


Colorado is the only state in the country where it is illegal to capture rainwater for use at a later time. State lawmakers are once again debating whether to allow residents to use rain barrels to collect precipitation that falls from their roofs.

"This is really straightforward," said Representative Jessie Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge), one of the main sponsor's of House Bill 16-1005 [.pdf]. "You could use that water when you see fit, for your tomato plants or flower gardens."

Colorado lawmakers are divided over whether a hospital provider fee should be reclassified in the state budget so it doesn't count toward the state's revenue limit under the Tax Payer's Bill of Rights.

Updated 2/21/16

The closed portion of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon reopened Sunday evening, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. 

However, CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford said intermittent road closures are planned over the next several days. 

"We think we are going to be in this combination of the pilot car configuration open from 4 p.m. to 9 a.m then closing down from 9 a.m. til 4 p.m.," said Ford. 

Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce

Pueblo residents are being asked to participate in a first-of-its kind community survey. The Pueblo Collaborative Community Survey will help leaders assess which public services to invest in. It allows residents to rank the importance of ten different categories, including economic development, public safety, and health and human services.

After a large rock slide, state officials expect the closure of I-70 to continue until at least Saturday. The rock slide occurred in Glenwood Canyon early Monday morning, and then again Monday evening. Since then, the highway’s been closed.  Inclement weather is delaying efforts to remove dangerous conditions.


Colorado Springs officials are planning to apply for a grant to help property owners affected by landslides on the city's west side. 


State legislators discussed a number of law enforcement and criminal justice bills this week along with some other controversial measures.

Dana Cronin

Woodland Park recently kicked off its yearlong 125th birthday celebration. Citizens were invited to eat chili and dress in period costumes. The event also featured a historical lecture and vintage photos of the city over the years. KRCC's Dana Cronin was there and brought back this audio postcard.

Ken Lund / Flickr / Creative Commons

The Great Backyard Bird Count is underway, and Saturday it's taking place at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. The bird count is a worldwide event to help take stock of birds in wildlife parks for fun and for science.

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs is set to reopen Monday after being closed for over two months.

The clinic closed in November after an attack by an armed gunman left three dead and others injured. The building sustained heavy damage to the entrance and interior, and repairs are ongoing.

U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation

A new interactive website from the U.S. Department of the Interior looks to educate the public on the effects of drought in the Colorado River Basin.


State lawmakers are debating whether terminally ill patients with less than six months to live should be allowed to take medication to end their own lives. It's just one of several controversial bills being debated under the gold dome. 

Dennis McKinney / CO Division of Wildlife

Colorado could be the next state to allow hunters to wear florescent pink. A Democratic proposal to give hunters the option of wearing pink, in addition to orange, passed the Republican controlled Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee on Thursday.

Marijuana Cultivation and Water Conservation

Feb 4, 2016
Maeve Conran


With the legalization of marijuana in various states and forms, conservation groups and others are asking how much legal grow operations affect water consumption.  In Colorado, water managers and researchers are working together to answer that question.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

An avalanche killed a snowmobiler near Wolf Creek Pass earlier this week. With the recent snows, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center says there's increased avalanche danger.

El Paso County residents are being asked to submit input regarding voter service and polling center locations in preparation for this year's presidential election.

National Weather Service - Pueblo

The Winter Storm Warning that blanketed much of Colorado over the past several days is lifting piece by piece as the snowstorm moves out of the state. It leaves behind record-breaking snowfall in some places, and communities with closed schools and government offices.


Roughly three weeks into Colorado's annual legislative session, a lot of bills are starting to get their first hearings.

Capitol reporter Bente Birkeland talks to other statehouse reporters about the upcoming week and how politics impacts the bills being heard in committees. 

City of Woodland Park website

Woodland Park is kicking off its 125th anniversary celebration this weekend. The birthday celebration is expected to feature a chili luncheon as well as a presentation by historian Larry Black on the city’s past. There will be vintage photos of Woodland Park on display and attendees are invited to dress in period costumes.


A third workshop in Colorado Springs Thursday focuses on the fifty-year plan for Shooks Run.


It was standing room only Tuesday evening as more than 100 people came out to watch the unveiling of the design for the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

The Colorado State Fair has a new general manager.  Sarah Cummings recently picked up the reins to drive the annual celebration of state agriculture.  She comes from California, where she worked with and ran various fairs; she also grew up participating in them. KRCC's Andrea Chalfin sat down with Cummings on her first day on the fairgrounds to talk with her about the state of the State Fair.

The city of Colorado Springs is backing a new website dedicated to psychological trauma support.  It was created to help those affected by recent shootings in town, but is designed to help anyone who has experienced any recent trauma.

 The music director at the Colorado Springs Philharmonic has renewed his contract indefinitely.

The Philharmonic's Board of Directors unanimously decided to extend Josep Caballé-Domenech's contract, which was originally good through August.


Lawmakers have introduced the first wave of bills as part of the annual legislative session. Bente Birkeland talked to statehouse reporters about some of the most interesting pieces of legislation as part of our Capitol Conversation series.

Holly Pretsky / KRCC

Emergency response agencies recently partnered to simulate a blizzard and corresponding crisis conditions in El Paso County.  The exercise was dubbed "Operation Deep Freeze 2016."  KRCC's Holly Pretsky visited the command center at the Black Forest fire station and St. Francis Medical Center, two of the many participating locations.  She brought back this audio postcard.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

Governor John Hickenlooper announced Wednesday that the state will prioritize connecting and building 16 hiking and biking trails in all parts of Colorado. The goal is to connect and build missing trail segments to make it easier for people to access open space and parks.

It's part of the governor's Colorado the Beautiful initiative, unveiled in 2015.


Colorado lawmakers are back at the state capitol for the annual legislative session. Bente Birkeland discussed priorities from the Governor and legislative leaders as part of our capitol conversation series.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

On Thursday Governor John Hickenlooper delivered his 6th State of the State address to the state legislature. In his speech, he highlighted the need for people from all political stripes to work together to fix the state's big budget problems and discussed Colorado's economic gains and challenges.