91.5 KRCC Newsroom + Local Stories

Colorado Springs local, and Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico regional news from the award-winning 91.5 KRCC Newsroom.

Also, great stories from our producers, partners and people in our region. 

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Dana Cronin / 91.5 KRCC

The Arkansas River supports economies in Colorado from Leadville to La Junta and beyond. With base industries including tourism and agriculture, southern Colorado depends on the river's yearly flows. But climate researchers expect declines in those flows over time, leaving the Arkansas River and its dependents at risk of facing a future with less water.

Looking Up: King Snake

May 22, 2017
Image via bisque.com / EARTHSKY.ORG

This week on Looking Up we learn the tale of  Hydra the snake, the longest constellation in the night sky.

If you are keeping up with your action movies these days, you know of the danger posed by the evil organization, Hydra! In the world of Marvel Comics, Hydra is a big deal.

Image courtesy of Crave Real Burgers-Colorado Springs / Rocky Mountain Food Report

Colorado is known for it’s wild game so we want to know who does it best? We put it out into the universe to ask you where we could find the best buffalo burgers in the state. Rocky Mountain Food Report alongside The Food Channel and Sandwich America gave USA Today a list of our favorite spots and voters chose the top ten finalists.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Despite some setbacks, Colorado lawmakers are praising the now completed 2017 legislative session.  Lawmakers avoided major funding cuts to hospitals and took a step toward jump-starting condominium developments, but they failed to send a measure to voters that sought to raise the state's sales tax to fund road infrastructure repair.

Bente Birkeland spoke with Democratic Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran about some of the major pieces of legislation that passed through the Democratic House and Republican Senate.

The Youthful Nothings, via Facebook

The stages of a rock 'n' roll career can include: transcending suburban boredom, landing your first paying gig, releasing your debut record, long months on tour, a band break-up or two, periods of self doubt, and, eventually, looking back fondly on your years spent in beloved local bands, while also wondering why you didn't listen to your musician father when he told you it was going to be a hard road.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

CDOT will need ten times the $1.88 billion dollars awarded this legislative session for infrastructure projects around the state, says executive director Shailen Bhatt. That money was approved by lawmakers in a last minute deal after a sweeping transportation bill failed at the statehouse last month

91.5 KRCC

Colorado's annual 120-day legislative ended May 10. Lawmakers passed several bipartisan initiatives to restore proposed cuts to hospitals, and put more money into roads and schools. But many bills addressing key issues also failed.

Bente Birkeland talked with Ed Sealover with the Denver Business Journal and Brian Eason with the Denver Post about some of the highs and lows of the 2017 session.

Wikipedia

This week on Looking Up Hal gives some perspective on the amount of stars in the sky.  

One of the challenges in astronomy is getting your brain around some of the really big numbers involved in studying the night sky. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, contains between 200 and 300 billion stars. That huge number may be easier to visualize when I tell you there are more stars in the Milky Way than there are grains of sand on all the beaches and deserts on Earth. 

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

A White House source has told Fox News that nearly a dozen candidates are under consideration to replace ousted FBI Director James Comey, including Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.

Culinary Passport, the annual fundraiser for the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Culinary Federation, was held on Saturday, April 29, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church. The sold-out event had a bustling crowd and gave local chefs a chance to share some of their talents with an international approach. Each guest received a token upon entering to vote for their favorite dish of the night.

Colorado lawmakers waited until Wednesday, the final day of their annual session, to vote on what many people felt was their most significant bill: one addressing transportation. Democratic and Republican leaders wanted a deal. So did Gov. John Hickenlooper. And it took lawmakers until the last minute to hammer out a deal on transportation.

Nobody seemed to get everything they wanted, but Senate Bill 267 passed the house with a vote of 49 to 16 vote and is on its way to Hickenlooper for a signature. It adds about $2 billion for roads, but those who hoped to see  money go to mayors to address local problems, or to transit, were disappointed.

John Nowak / CNN

Comedian W. Kamau Bell uses humor to probe the dark corners of American culture. As host of the CNN show, "United Shades of America," he’s interviewed everyone from inmates in San Quentin prison to members of the Ku Klux Klan, exploring the racial, political, and socioeconomic forces that shape life in America. He also has a new book out, "The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell," hosts three podcasts, and is on a national stand-up comedy tour.

91.5 KRCC

Colorado's annual legislative session ends Wednesday, May 10. Several hundred bills have already passed this year, but some major items still remain. Bente Birkeland talked to statehouse reporters Ed Sealover with the Denver Business Journal and Nic Garcia at Chalkbeat Colorado about what's left to do.

Looking Up: Pinwheel Of Fortune

May 8, 2017
Image Credit: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope, European Southern Observatory - Processing & Copyright: Robert Gendler / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up we get face to face with M83, a beautiful galaxy , also known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy.

If you have a clear view to the south, you may just be able to catch a glimpse of a remarkable object in the southern Colorado sky – the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy!

This very cool object was first recorded in 1752, and Charles Messier added it to his famous catalogue of celestial objects, as M83, in 1781. This spiral galaxy, which we see face on, is special because of its beauty but also because of some very cool science associated with it.

https://www.seracahoone.com/

This month on Air Check, Sub Pop alumna Sera Cahoone hangs out with Vicky and performs a couple of songs, John Bueno from Pueblo’s Pulp magazine chats with The Brightest Quasar over a cup of coffee, local producer Bill Douglass talks about working with Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan, and Hannah Fleming explores the many stages of a rock and roll career with Chuck Snow and the Youthful Nothings. 

Image courtesy of Four by Brother Luck.

Chef Brother Luck’s new restaurant, Four, with a Southwestern focus, opened on Monday, May 1, for dinner service with lunch service not far behind. We got an early glimpse with a chance to try small bites from the menu and some Colorado inspired cocktails.

“I feel a sense of pride for sure,” says Luck. “We’ve put a lot of effort into making this dream come to fruition. But the real work starts now.”

Ginger Campbell / Flickr All Creative Commons

The Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Office is creating a new management plan for 650,000 acres of land and resources across eastern Colorado.  The current plan is more than 20 years old.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Governor John Hickenlooper wants the state to reevaluate how it inspects oil and gas wells in the wake of a fatal home explosion in Firestone. An oil and gas flow line was found to be severed and leaking methane and other gases. Two people died and another was critically injured in the explosion.  

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

A recent report on bicycle accessibility shows some areas where Colorado Springs biking infrastructure could improve. 

The report is part of the city's Bicycle Master Plan. It found that only 0.7% of Colorado Springs residents commute on bikes, compared to 1.3% statewide. Among other things, it also brought up frequent high speed limits as an impediment to safe biking. 

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

If lawmakers won't address the issue of transportation, several groups say they will, through a ballot initiative asking Colorado voters to raise taxes to improve roads, bridges and transit projects.

One of the most important advocates of the plan to increase taxes in the legislature was an unlikely ally, the Senate's top Republican. But he couldn't prevent members of his own party from defeating House Bill 1242 at the end of April.

91.5 KRCC

Colorado energy regulators are trying to quell the public's fears after a house built near an oil and gas well exploded, killing two men. The explosion happened in the small community of Firestone, thirty miles north of Denver, where oil and gas wells are common.  State officials are still investigating the explosion and don't know what caused it.

Looking Up: The Trouble With Triples

May 1, 2017
Image Credit: ESO, INAF-VST, OmegaCAM; Acknowledgement: OmegaCen, Astro-WISE, Kapteyn I. / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal takes us on a trip to a galactic triplet.

If you are a baseball fan, you likely are very excited by triple plays. If you love burgers, a triple with everything sounds delicious. But if you are interested in looking up this spring, you can see the biggest triple out there – the Leo triple galaxy cluster!

Paravicini’s Italian Bistro has been a staple in Colorado Springs since 2003, and owns the title of “Best Italian” restaurant since 2005. Chef proprietor, Franco Pisani says his “success is from the ground up,” and now plans to keep growing his concept skyward with a rooftop bar to open in May.  

Appropriately named Sopra, which translates to “above,” the free-standing entity will offer a comfortable space for Paravicini’s patrons to wait, enjoy sharable plates and gives Pisani another kitchen to accommodate for new, creative dishes.

The largest oil and gas producer in Colorado has temporarily shut down 3,000 wells as an investigation into the explosion of a house where two people died continues.

KIRK SIEGLER / KUNC

Transportation funding, the highest legislative priority for the governor and leaders in both parties, failed in the Republican-controlled Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, April 25.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Earlier this month, Fort Collins Coloradoan reporter Nick Coltrain won the First Amendment Award in the Society for Professional Journalists' Top of the Rockies contest for a battle with Colorado State University. He wanted to know if there were inequities in pay between men and women.  He discovered there were, but only after a lot of work. The school provided him with a printout of all the information—150 pages of an Excel spreadsheet—rather than the files themselves.

Coltrain's struggle to convert the printouts into something he could analyze prompted a battle about the public's right to access data. On April 25, a senate bill to require electronic records be made available where possible advanced by a 7 to 6 vote in the House Finance Committee.

Blues Under the Bridge
KRCC

On Saturday, July 29th, the 11th Annual 91.5 KRCC Blues Under the Bridge Festival will feature six-time Grammy Award Winners the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Paladins, Bob Corritore and Big Jon Atkinson, Erica Brown with Movers and Shakers, and Mike Clark and Sugarsounds. 

Pre-festival parties will include Jeremy Vasquez and the Survivors on Wednesday, July 26th, the Paladins on Thursday, July 27th, and Bob Corritore on Friday night, July 28th. 

Tickets go on sale Monday, May 1st.

91.5 KRCC member tickets ONLY will be available at the 91.5 KRCC Offices, 912 N Weber St, for $40.

General public tickets will be available at Ivywild Drygoods, and online at Ticketfly.com.  There will be a limited number of VIP seats available for $91.50.

More about the 2017 91.5 KRCC Blues Under the Bridge Festival available here.

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

La comida es algo muy fuerte, or, Food is a very strong thing.

A fryer full of oil and empanadas bubbles inside Angie's Latin Food truck. It's parked in an empty lot on Chelton St. under a Walmart sign.

In the cramped space, Wilmer Adelid Machado and Olga Canales sidestep one another, taking orders at the window, talking to customers on the phone, and preparing traditional Honduran food with fresh ingredients.

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

Training is underway at Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeast Colorado with the Army's 1st Stryker Brigade.

Officials say this is the largest training exercise ever to take place at the site, with about 5,500 soldiers participating.

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