newsroom

Southwest Chief
7:33 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Railroad West: Threat of Losing the Chief Could Mean the Return of Passenger Rail to Pueblo

Freight traffic comes in along the Arkansas River in Pueblo, behind the Union Depot
Shanna Lewis KRCC

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief rolls through parts of Colorado, New Mexico and Kansas following the historic Santa Fe Trail as it travels between Los Angeles and Chicago. But unless needed repairs are made to the tracks, this section could be rerouted to neighboring states. Yet, the threat of losing this train may be the catalyst that ends up bringing passenger rail service back to Pueblo after a long hiatus.

Read more
Public Safety
10:29 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Colorado Springs Fire Department Battling Blaze at Martin Drake Power Plant

Colorado Springs firefighters work on a blaze at the Martin Drake Power Plant
Credit CSFD

Investigators are on the scene at the Martin Drake Power Plant in downtown Colorado Springs after a four-alarm fire broke out this morning at the facility. The fire department reports two Utilities workers suffered minor injuries, one of whom was transferred to the hospital.  There are no reported injuries to firefighters.

At a press conference this afternoon, Fire Chief Chris Riley said only one of the plant evacuees suffered a minor injury.

----

Read more
Capitol Coverage
7:08 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Marijuana Edible Proposal Watered Down

Credit clipart

A bill to require stricter labels for edible marijuana products faced a setback on Thursday. Members of the Senate Health and Human Services committee voted to study the issue rather than move forward with new labels. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
 

Read more
Capitol Coverage
7:06 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Wildfire Prevention Proposal Likely to Fail

Credit clipart

One of the key wildfire prevention measures of this year’s legislative session is in jeopardy of failing. The proposal has cleared the house, but as Bente Birkeland reports it faces new opposition in the senate.
 

Read more
Capitol Coverage
4:45 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Electronic Data Search Warrants in Colorado

Credit clipart

Colorado voters are likely to decide whether law enforcement agencies need a warrant to search electronic records, such as data stored on cell phones. Lawmakers are trying to refer a measure to the November ballot. The U.S. Supreme Court heard hearing two cases on the issue yesterday. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
 

Read more
Southwest Chief
3:22 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Southwest Chief Advocates Seek Federal Grant

Credit Maggie Spencer / KRCC

A new collaborative effort that crosses state lines has pledged more than $9 million as part of a grant application that would help keep Amtrak’s Southwest Chief on its current route through Southern Colorado.  KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports.
 

Read more
Parks, Trails & Recreation
7:30 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Parks Master Planning Underway in Colorado Springs

A map of Bear Creek area road and trail closings is posted at the end of High Drive.
Credit Michelle Mercer / KRCC

Approximately every ten years, Colorado Springs undertakes a Master Planning process for the parks system. As KRCC’s Michelle Mercer reports, this time around, the economic downturn and recent natural disasters are affecting the planning process.
 

Read more
Capitol Conversation
9:04 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Capitol Conversation: Session Nears its End

Bente Birkeland
Credit D. Utterback

Colorado's annual legislative session is close to wrapping up for the year. As part of our capitol conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks with statehouse reporters about upcoming measures that will soon be decided.
 

Read more
Southwest Chief
7:30 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Railroad West: In Trinidad, Freight and Passenger Rail are Linked

Tracks leading into Trinidad, Colorado
Maggie Spencer KRCC

Trinidad is the last stop on Amtrak’s Los Angeles-bound Southwest Chief before the train makes its way through Raton Pass and into New Mexico. The route is at risk though, and could be eliminated from Colorado and Northern New Mexico entirely.   As KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports, many in the southern Colorado region see the passenger train and freight lines as inextricably linked, tying together the town’s history with the opportunities for future economic development.
 

Read more
Capitol Conversation
4:52 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Vaccine Bill Stripped Down

The state senate significantly watered down a vaccine education proposal on Wednesday. Many parents came to the state capitol to testify that the original bill was a government overreach.
 

House Bill 1288 requires schools and day care centers to collect data on the number of children immunized and the rate of exemptions. But the bill originally required parents to take an online education class or get a letter from a doctor or public health official before opting their children out of vaccines.

Read more
Awards
4:36 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

KRCC News Wins Regional Edward R. Murrow Award

The Radio Television Digital News Association, or RTDNA, has recognized KRCC News with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism. 

News Director Andrea Chalfin received the honor in the Breaking News category for her coverage of flooding in Manitou Springs.  Here’s the original report from August:  A Weekend of Flooding and Community in Manitou Springs.

Read more
Capitol Conversation
10:34 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Capitol Conversation: Dems Scuttle Abortion Rights Bill

Credit D. Utterback

Democrats at the state capitol scuttled an abortion rights bill just before the senate was about to debate it on the floor. It was broadly written and would have banned Colorado from "enacting any policy that denies or interferes with and individual’s reproductive healthcare decisions.” As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland analyzes the political motivations behind the measure and why Democrats reversed course so quickly.
 

Read more
Ludlow
5:33 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Remembering Ludlow 100 Years Later

A deceased John Bartolotti, who died at Ludlow
Credit Jodene Parlapiano

This Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most deadly days in labor history -- the Ludlow Massacre. Southern Colorado coal miners went on strike for safer working conditions in September of 1913.  It ultimately led to violent conflict between the miners and the companies they worked for. On that day in April a century ago,  21 people died - including women and children.
 

Read more
Southwest Chief
7:35 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Railroad West: La Junta as 'The Junction'

Replicas and remnants of La Junta's railroad past are scattered all over town.
Credit Martha Perez-Sanz / KRCC

La Junta, Colorado is about the 30th stop en route to Los Angeles from Chicago on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief. As the Southwest Chief’s rails are aging and expensive repairs are needed, La Junta is at risk of being removed from the train’s historic route.
 

Downtown La Junta is sprinkled with cafes and small artisan shops. There’s the Otero Museum, which documents the history of the region, and the Koshare Indian Museum, which hosts native dance programs. Bent’s Old Fort is just eight miles from downtown.

Read more
Connecting the Drops
10:15 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

ICYMI: Connecting the Drops Call-In, Water & Energy

Water & Energy was the topic of a statewide call-in program associated with Connecting the Drops, a year-long collaboration on Colorado water issues from KRCC and other member stations of Rocky Mountain Community Radio, as well as the Colorado Foundation for Water Education.  Guests were Ken Carlson, professor of civil & environmental engineering at CSU; Sloan Shoemaker, head of the Western Slope conservation group Wilderness Workshop; and Kent Holsinger, an industry attorney specializing in water and energy issues.  Hosted by KGNU's Maeve Conran.

Read more
Elections
4:09 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Republicans Whittle Down GOP Candidates

Republicans gathered in Boulder for their state assembly on Saturday and narrowed down the list of candidates for Governor. As Bente Birkeland reports, the party also nominated people for other statewide races and for the U.S. Senate.
 

Read more
Capitol Conversation
3:55 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Capitol Conversation: Pending Measures

Bente Birkeland
Credit D. Utterback

Lawmakers at the state capitol have some big-ticket items to iron out before the session wraps up in May.

As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to statehouse reporters about some of those measures.

Read more
Journalism
2:34 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Gazette's Philipps Wins Pulitzer

Dave Philipps

Colorado Springs Gazette reporter Dave Philipps has won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for his series "Other than Honorable," which appeared in the paper last May.

From the Pulitzer Prize website:

Read more
The Dust Bowl
8:51 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Grapes of Wrath Turns 75: The Dust Bowl Then, and Conditions Now

Prowers County, Colorado. Dust storm circa 1935
Credit Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, [LC-USF343-001617-ZE] / Library of Congress

John Steinbeck’s classic the Grapes of Wrath turns 75 on Monday.  The novel takes place during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and follows the Joad family as they leave Oklahoma and head to California.  Portions of Colorado were also a part of the Dust Bowl, and certainly the state is no stranger to blowing dust.

Read more
Capitol Coverage
5:07 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Sponsor Pulls Cyber-Bullying Bill

Credit file

A bill aimed at creating new penalties for cyber bullying failed in the senate judiciary committee on Wednesday. The sponsor reluctantly asked lawmakers to postpone the bill, saying it needs more study. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
 

Read more
Capitol Coverage
7:20 am
Thu April 10, 2014

'Student Success Act' Passes House on Initial Vote

Lawmakers have scaled back several provisions in a major education bill after hearing the concerns from school districts across the state. The Student Success Act initially passed the House on Wednesday with the new changes. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

Read more
Local News
5:21 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Study Examines Effects of Climate Change on Birds, Reptiles in the Southwest

Williamson's sapsucker, as pictured in the USGS report "Projecting Climate Effects on Birds and Reptiles of the Southwestern United States"
Credit Sally King / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A new study released by the U.S. Geological Survey looks at the effects of climate change on certain species in the American Southwest.  KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
 

The study focuses on twelve bird and reptile species in the southwest and how they’re expected to endure changes in breeding ranges and habitats.

Read more
Southwest Chief
7:33 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Railroad West: New Mexico's Legislative Perspective

Amtrak in Raton, NM
Credit Maggie Spencer / KRCC

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief runs daily from Chicago to Los Angeles, stretching across portions of Western Kansas, Southern Colorado, and Northern New Mexico.

Read more
Colorado Springs
7:06 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Colorado Springs Welcomes New Sister City

Colorado Springs has a new sister city in Greece.  KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
 

The city of Ancient Olympia on the southwestern coast of Greece is officially the seventh sister city of Colorado Springs.

Olympia is the birthplace of the traditional Olympic Games over 2,700 years ago and is now home to the International Olympic Academy.
 

Read more
Transportation
10:58 am
Tue April 8, 2014

County Groups Conduct Transportation Survey

A highway in Southern Colorado. Photo taken: April 2013
Credit Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

As the state examines how best to allocate transportation funding across Colorado, county-based regional advocacy groups, including southern Colorado’s Action 22,  are conducting a transportation survey. KRCC’s Elaina Formby reports.
 

The rise of hybrid and eco-boost vehicles has led to fewer gas station fill-ups and a marked decrease in gas tax revenue. Action 22 President and CEO Cathy Garcia says this decrease contributes to a growing divide between urban and rural parts of the state.

Read more
Agriculture
5:08 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Sunflower Growers Consider Higher Assessment Fees

Credit CSU Extension

Colorado's climate puts it among the top 10 states for sunflower production, but many of the state's farmers have cut back on planting sunflowers. Last year Colorado’s sunflower production dropped to a fraction of its high in 1999. Now, growers are considering how much they're willing to pay to help reverse the trend. Shanna Lewis reports farmers are voting on whether to double the fee on sunflowers.

 

Sunflower growers currently pay three-cents per hundred weight to support marketing and research on their crop. 

Read more
Capitol Conversation
3:25 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Capitol Conversation: State Budget Enters Final Stages

Credit D. Utterback

The state’s 23 billion dollar budget has cleared both legislative chambers. Now it’s up to lawmakers on the joint budget committee to iron out any differences. In this week’s capitol conversation Bente Birkeland sits down with statehouse reporters to discuss the major highlights in this year’s budget.
 

Read more
Capitol Coverage
4:46 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

State Senate Passes Bi-Partisan Budget

The state senate has passed the annual budget – and it cleared the chamber with more Republican support than in previous years. As Bente Birkeland reports, a conference committee will now meet to iron out differences between the versions the two chambers passed.
 

Read more
Capitol Coverage
10:45 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

State Senate Adds Money for Aerial Firefighting Fleet

Colorado’s $23 million budget is nearing the end of its legislative journey after floor debate in the senate Thursday. As Bente Birkeland reports, the senate made one noteworthy change to the house’s version.
 

Read more
Harvest Public Media
10:06 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

While Farm Life Changes, FFA’s Blue Jacket Stays The Same

The blue corduroy jackets sported by high schoolers in FFA have been a part of the group's brand since its founding in 1928.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

The blue corduroy jacket worn by high school students in FFA, formerly the Future Farmers of America, is an icon of rural life. To the average city dweller the jacket is a vestige of dwindling, isolated farm culture, as fewer and fewer young people grow up on farms. The numbers tell a different story however. In spite of that demographic shift, a record number of kids are donning blue jackets this year.
 

Read more

Pages