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Local News
8:31 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Volunteers Train for Phone Ops During Large Emergencies

Trainings for volunteer call takers during large emergencies in the Pikes Peak region are taking place this week.  It’s a collaboration between Pikes Peak United Way 211, the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.  KRCC’s Martha Perez-Sanz was at the first gathering and has this report.
 

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Local News
6:32 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

"Making Colorado" Brand Sees 250 Registrants

Credit brandColorado

250 companies have registered for Colorado’s new branding program since its launch last year, even as the logo faces a legislative challenge. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
 

“Making Colorado” looks to have a unified logo for products made in the state. The logo is currently under legislative review after mixed reaction. 

Chief Marketing Officer Aaron Kennedy says the new registrations are a great start and it’s too early to tell what may come of action at the statehouse.

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Capitol Coverage
3:56 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Democrats Strike Down Background Check Repeal

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The gun debate that riveted the state capitol last session once again took center stage yesterday. As Bente Birkeland reports, emotions were strong, but compared to last year, fewer people came to the capitol to testify on a key gun bill.

Republicans have vowed to repeal a package of gun control proposals that the Democrats passed. The first bill in their sights? The bill that brought universal background checks and fees for gun purchases to Colorado.

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Capitol Coverage
7:55 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Guns Stay Hot Topic at Statehouse

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After dominating last year’s legislative session, state lawmakers are once again beginning to debate the issue of guns. Republicans are taking the lead this time around, trying to repeal many Democratic bills including stepped up background checks.
 

The background check law was part of a larger package of gun control bills Democrats passed in the wake of the Aurora Theater shooting and shooting in Newtown Connecticut. Republicans say Democrats overreached.  

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Capitol Conversation
7:01 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Capitol Conversation: Measures Start Moving through Statehouse

Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland

Some of the meatier bills of the legislative session are beginning to move through the statehouse. As part of our capitol conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to political reporters about what's on the horizon.
 

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Business
9:33 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Group Releases Vegan, Vegetarian Business Directory

Vegans and vegetarians in the Pikes Peak region now have a directory of like-minded businesses. KRCC's Martha Perez-Sanz reports.
 

The directory comes from the Colorado Springs Vegan and Vegetarian Group, which recently sprouted to over 600 members. Lead organizer JL Fields says members became curious about how they could take their vegan or vegetarian lifestyles beyond personal eating choices.

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Capitol Coverage
8:51 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Lawmakers Debate Bar Closing Hours

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Communities across Colorado could soon decide whether to extend bar hours beyond the current 2 am closing time. But some feel a statehouse proposal to change the law could do more harm than good.  

Under the bill cities and towns could allow bars to stay open as late as 4:30 in the morning. Supporters - say the 2 am closing time is dangerous because it dumps thousands of people into the streets and behind the wheel at the same time...

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Colorado
8:32 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Avalanche Warnings Issued Throughout Colorado's Rockies

As heavy snow continues to fall across the Rockies, the risk of avalanches has prompted  warnings from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.  Forecaster Dr. John Snook says natural and human triggered slides in Colorado’s backcountry are likely, and says we're nearing "the most extreme we've seen so far this winter."

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Local News
7:58 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Study Finds Higher Rate of Texting & Driving Among Never-Deployed Military

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A study by USAA finds higher rates of texting while driving among service members who have never been deployed than among those who have.  KRCC’s Elaina Formby reports.
 

The company’s study shows more than half of active-service military who have never been deployed admit to texting while driving, as compared to 39% of those previously deployed. The rate dips another five percent for service members within six months of returning from deployment.

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Local News
7:38 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Connect for Health Colorado: On Track to be Self-Sustaining

Officials from Connect For Health Colorado say they’re on track to be self-sustaining when federal subsidies run out next year. KRCC’s Nat Stein on the latest from the state’s health insurance exchange.

Almost 69,000 Coloradoans have gotten health insurance through the state’s new insurance marketplace. That includes a significant uptick since the end of last year.

CEO Patty Fontneau told lawmakers on Thursday the exchange won’t need to charge high fees on premiums, due to the enrollment numbers. She also says the exchange plans on trimming staff to help cut costs.

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Local News
6:57 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Pueblo Landlord Fined for Code Violations

A landlord in Pueblo has pleased guilty to code violations in rental properties. KRCC's Eliza Densmore reports.
 

The Pueblo Police Department’s Code Compliance Unit executed the case. The 14 units held a total of 70 code violations, including problems with plumbing, pests, and fire protection systems.

Code Enforcement Manager Karen Willson says the property was a source of complaints for several years and that substandard housing is a detriment not only to tenants, but to the wider community.

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Local News
8:45 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Superfund Status Sought for Pueblo Smelter Site

Governor John Hickenlooper is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to put an area near the old Pueblo smelter site on the national Superfund list. KRCC’s Rachel Gonchar reports.
 

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Capitol Coverage
7:54 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Mug Shots Bill Moves Forward

A bipartisan committee at the statehouse has moved forward a bill to make it easier to remove people’s mug shots from commercial websites if they were never convicted of the crime for which they were arrested.
 

Supporters of House Bill 1047 say it’s wrong for businesses to post mug shots and force people to pay to take them down.

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Sports
2:43 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Pikes Peak as Dreessen Peak? Gov. Hickenlooper Renames 14ers in Honor of Broncos

Governor Hickenlooper's proclamation designating 14ers as Broncos for Super Bowl Sunday

Governor John Hickenlooper today issued a proclamation that temporarily renames Colorado’s 14ers after members of the Denver Broncos.  According to a press release from the governor’s office, the state’s tallest peaks will go by their new names for one day only, this Sunday when the Broncos play against the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

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Harvest Public Media
7:44 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Colorado Imposes Food Safety Rules On Marijuana Industry

A marijuana plant glows purple under grow lights at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, CO
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

 
Colorado made history when it opened up licensed marijuana retail shops. Aside from just legalizing the purchase of smoke-able marijuana, it also means pot brownies have the potential to be big business.

Food products infused with marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC, are available in stores across the state.

Marijuana, though, is still considered illegal by the federal government. The existing food safety system, which relies heavily on support from federal agencies, can’t ensure that marijuana-infused foods are safe.

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Local News
5:21 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Audit: School Meal Program Missed Funding Opportunities

Colorado’s School Meal Program missed out on federal money and grants that could have been used to help feed students in need, according to an audit released Tuesday. KRCC's Elaina Formby reports.
 

The Office of School Nutrition, or OSN, runs the School Meal Program in Colorado and is responsible for monitoring districts’ adherence to state and federal terms.

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Local News
5:08 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Cantaloupe Farmers Sentenced to Probation

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Cantaloupe farmers in eastern Colorado responsible for a deadly outbreak of listeria two years ago were sentenced today after pleading guilty to six misdemeanor charges in October. KRCC’s Nat Stein has more.
 

A federal magistrate in Denver sentenced brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen to five years of probation, starting with six months of home detention. Each brother also must pay $150,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.

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Local News
4:55 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Scientists Study Trinidad-Area Earthquakes

Scientists with the US Geologic Survey are studying the relationship between earthquakes, gas drilling and the practice of re-injecting waste-water into the ground. They're looking at area around Trinidad in Southern Colorado, where the number of earthquakes has been growing.  Trinidad currently averages about eight magnitude-3 earthquakes a year.

Geophysicist Justin Rubinstein with the USGS, says there appears to be a correlation to the waste water injection process, but  adds it happens at only a handful of the 35,000 injection wells across the country.

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Capitol Coverage
7:44 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Wildfire Legislative Proposals

Helping prevent and fight wildfires is one of the top priorities for Colorado lawmakers in both parties this session. But so far, substantial policy changes recommended by the Governor’s wildfire task force are being rejected. As Bente Birkeland reports, the current package of legislative proposals is not nearly as aggressive as some would like.
 

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Capitol Coverage
8:29 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Wildfire Measures Rolled Out

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Lawmakers and Governor Hickenlooper are touting a package of bills they say will help prevent and fight wildfires. Most of the measures stem from an interim committee that met in the off session. Bente Birkeland has more at the state capitol.
 

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Capitol Coverage
6:37 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Colorado Launches Bid for RNC

Colorado has formally launched its campaign to put in a bid to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. Republican leaders announced members of the host committee late last week. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
 

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Capitol Coverage
7:46 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Joint Tax Returns May Soon be Available for CO Gays & Lesbians

Gay and lesbian couples who are legally married in another state may soon be able to file a joint tax return in Colorado. Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
 

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Capitol Conversation
7:26 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Capitol Conversation: The Session Begins

It didn’t take long before tempers flared during the first full week of Colorado’s legislative session. In the state senate, party leaders had an intense back and forth about a Republican bill to repeal universal background checks for gun purchases. Bente Birkeland analyzes the dynamic as part of our capitol conversation series.
 

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Capitol Coverage
7:38 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Reimbursement for Recall Elections Unlikely

Now that Colorado’s historic recall elections are over, there’s an ongoing clash about who should foot the bill. The recalls of two Democratic lawmakers cost over $400,000. As Bente Birkeland reports, the Secretary of State’s Office says he can’t legally reimburse counties for the elections.
 

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Local News
7:26 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Cantaloupe Farmers Seek Probation

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Two Colorado cantaloupe farmers are asking a federal judge for probation rather than jail time.  Two years ago, a deadly listeria outbreak was traced back to cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in southeastern Colorado. Brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen own the farm and in October pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. These federal charges can carry penalties of up to six years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

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Local News
6:56 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Report Details Challenges and Support Opportunities for El Paso County's Aging

El Paso County’s senior population is expected to jump an estimated 179 percent over the next thirty years. KRCC’s Elaina Formby has more on a new report identifying possible ways to help support the growing demographic.
 

According to a report from the Innovations in Aging Collaborative and Peak Vista Community Health Centers, El Paso County’s seniors are challenged by gaps in transportation, healthcare, and housing options.

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Capitol Coverage
8:41 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Lawmakers Briefed on School Safety

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School safety experts briefed lawmakers on the joint education committee yesterday. They asked the state to focus on preventing school violence rather than simply trying to stop it. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
 

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Local News
6:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Penrose-St. Francis Recognized for Nursing

Penrose-St. Francis is now the first hospital in southern Colorado to attain Magnet recognition for its nursing. According to a press release from the hospital, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, or ANCC, currently recognizes less than a tenth of the nation’s hospitals with Magnet distinction. Hospitals must apply for the credential and undergo a rigorous review process, including onsite. To maintain the rating, facilities must reapply every four years and demonstrate improvement in patient care and outcomes.

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Local News
4:30 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Miners Eligible for Free Black Lung, RESEP Health Screenings

Active and retired miners are eligible for free health screenings in Pueblo this week through the Miners Clinic of Colorado. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
 

The screenings consist of physical exams, questionnaires, and chest X-rays, among other tests. Current miners are eligible for the Black Lung Clinic, while miners that worked in the uranium industry before 1972 are eligible for the Radiation and Exposure Screening and Education Program or RESEP. Other criteria apply.

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Capitol Coverage
8:42 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Renewable Energy Standard Target of State GOP Repeal Efforts

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State lawmakers are expected to debate the repeal of a controversial renewable energy bill today. As Bente Birkeland reports, Senate Bill 252 was one of the most hotly debated bills last legislative session.

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