Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas says it’s expecting to add at least 850 factory workers statewide this year. 400 have already been hired. The announcement comes after one of the best years for orders placed with the company, and after leaner previous years led to a series of layoffs at its Colorado plants. In a statement, Vestas says 80 of those workers will be at its Pueblo facility, where they’re expected to reach full capacity this year. The company also says it expects by the end of the year to employ more than 2000 total workers in its four factories in the state.
Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Rail Service runs through southern Colorado and into New Mexico on its way from Chicago to Los Angeles. The route faces repair costs, and Colorado’s portion of that could be about 40 million dollars over the course of 10 years. As KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports, a new economic impact study breaks down what those repairs mean to Southern Colorado, and what it would take to add a train station in Pueblo.
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.
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.
The president of the group that led efforts to recall a state senator in Pueblo is running for clerk and recorder. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
Victor Head is currently the president of Pueblo Freedom and Rights which recently led a campaign to recall Democratic state senator Angela Giron.
The clerk and recorder oversees vehicle registration, marriage licenses, and county elections. Head says he wants to improve training for election judges and increase citizen oversight during the process.
Residents of Pueblo and Colorado Springs get to weigh in on a high speed rail study that looks at transportation from Pueblo to Fort Collins via the Denver International Airport. KRCC’s Martha Perez-Sanz has more.
The study looked at existing high speed rail technologies and various impacts and feasibility issues. It comes from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Transit and Rail.
Colorado voters have until 7 tonight to turn in their ballots in today’s election. For nearly a month, El Paso and Pueblo County Clerks have been collecting mail-in ballots.
Despite a slow start, Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz is optimistic about the turnout.
"I was really nervous going into today," said Ortiz, "because the voter turnout really wasn’t doing very well and it was pretty slow here in Pueblo County. We’re really excited, the last two days have been very heavy, and the voter turn out has gotten up above average."
A seven-mile section of I-25 through Pueblo is slated for improvements starting this spring. It’s the first part of a two-phase project called the New Pueblo Freeway. Some 165 people attended a recent public hearing for the project hosted by the Colorado Department of Transportation. KRCC's Shanna Lewis was there and has this report.
A pair of Republican state lawmakers took the oath of office yesterday, after winning historic recall elections last month. Gun control legislation was behind the recall effort. But even with two more Republican Senators at the state capitol, Democrats are still in control of both the House and Senate. Bente Birkeland has more.
Pueblo residents are invited to a public hearing tonight about some upcoming planned improvements on Interstate 25. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
The Colorado Department of Transportation along with the Federal Highway Administration are hosting the meeting which consists of an information session and an opportunity to ask questions and weigh in on the projects.
Planned improvements include fixing deteriorating roadways, widening the highway between 29th and Indiana Avenue, and adding shoulders.
The Pueblo City-County Health Department is reporting another West Nile Virus case. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer has more.
All four cases of the mosquito borne virus in Pueblo County this year have been confirmed within the past month.
Pueblo City-County Health Department director Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods expects the risk of mosquito bites and West Nile Virus to decrease as the weather gets colder, but still recommends precautions like draining standing water, avoiding the outdoors at dusk and dawn, and using deet.
Testing for lead and arsenic exposure is underway for a sampling of Pueblo’s south side residents this week. KRCC’s Shanna Lewis reports:
Federal staffers recruited participants who live within a half mile of the former Colorado Smelter. The smelter ceased operations in 1908, but slag – waste material from making steel – was left behind. The tests are aimed at children and women of childbearing age. Dr. Bruce Tierney is a medical officer with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
Voters ousted two Democratic state lawmakers yesterday in the first ever recall elections of state legislators. The recalls come in the wake of new gun legislation passed earlier this year.
Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs conceded around 9:30, calling the defeat symbolic. Morse was unapologetic over his stance on the new gun control measures, and says it was worth the political risk.
It’s election day for parts of El Paso and Pueblo Counties. State senators John Morse and Angela Giron are facing possible recalls. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin caught up with the El Paso County Clerk at Centennial Hall, where at mid-day, voter traffic was moving swiftly.
This is one of seven voting centers open today in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Clerk Wayne Williams says turnout today has been lighter at times than last week, but he says there could be an after-work rush.
Two Colorado cities have made the top ten of this year’s “Best Places for Business and Careers” list from Forbes. The annual list examines the 200 largest cities across the country, measured by their metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs. Denver landed at number 6, while Fort Collins came in at number seven. The rankings take into account data including past and projected job growth, income growth, and business and living costs. Colorado Springs landed in the top 100 at number 44, while Greeley also made th