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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Looking Up: In Search Of Totality...

Jul 24, 2017
nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal advises us on some of the best 'nearby' locations to catch the total solar eclipse on August 21st, 2017.  

Two weeks ago, in the first of several Looking Up episodes dedicated to the upcoming Solar Eclipse, I talked about how to safely view the partial eclipse here in Southern Colorado. In today’s episode, I want to urge you to get out of town! In other words, drive a few hours to see this stunning celestial event that most people won’t see in an entire lifetime.

Photo courtesy of Craving4More.

Ashley Sara DeKam, author of the blog Craving4More, wants to share her passion for cooking and self-proclaimed love language with Colorado Springs. A Colorado College alumni, DeKam considers herself a local since 1999 but designed her website during a brief stint living in Portland, Oregon.

Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Carol M. Highsmith [LC-DIG-highsm-11937]

Efforts to manage and preserve the Colorado River are getting a boost from the Walton Family Foundation, which has pledged $20 million over the next two years to fund projects aimed at water conservation and restoring river ecosystems.

Courtesy: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

The state parks program that puts backpacks with parks passes, binoculars, and guides into public libraries is in its second year.  "Check Out State Parks" officially launched last year in more than 280 libraries statewide.  This year, it's expanded to include many publicly funded college and university libraries. 

The state of Colorado collected $180 million in taxes from legal marijuana sales in the 2016 fiscal year.

But could the well run dry?

As of July 1, 2017, Nevada is the eighth state to sell recreational marijuana -- and it won’t be the last. California, the sixth largest economy in the world, will start selling pot Jan. 1, 2018.

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

The Environmental Protection Agency is requesting public comment on a proposed interim plan to begin clean up in the Colorado Smelter Superfund site in south Pueblo.

Jackie Fortier / KUNC

Three years after legalizing recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, lawmakers are turning to pot to fill some gaps in the budget. That's why lawmakers voted to increase a special use tax on recreational marijuana sales from 10% to 15% in 2017. But while the money can be a salve for some of Colorado's problems, it doesn't, and can't, solve them all.

Looking Up: If It Looks Like A Duck...

Jul 17, 2017
Credit & Copyright: Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT), Hawaiian Starlight, CFHT / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up we go hunting with Hal for one of the tightest and brightest of the open clusters in the sky , the Wild Duck Cluster.

It’s Duck Season! If you are a hunter, or watched a certain cartoon growing up, you’ve heard those words before. But I’m not talking about any terrestrial feathered friends, but rather the very remarkable and beautiful Wild Duck Cluster, now soaring in the southern Colorado sky.

This Sunday, July 16, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. the fourth annual BruFrouFest will be held in Denver, on the newly renovated quad in front of Tivoli Station. The largest pairing festival in the country includes a lineup of over 120 chefs, brewers and mixologists with the accompaniment of live music from six eclectic bands.

Co-founders, Myriah Conroy and John Heins, have a background in event production and designed BruFrou to be an avenue for premium culinary and beverage collaboration.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

With summer here, people are flocking to the outdoors, including the trails, campsites and reservoirs of the Colorado State Parks system. Last year, the parks hit a record number of visitors – 13.5 million.  But Colorado is struggling to keep up with the demand.

Steven De La Roche

Nina de Freitas is no stranger to the music business. Her father, Carlinhos Brown, is a popular Brazilian recording artist with several Latin Grammies and an Oscar nomination to his name. Her mother is a musician as well. Born in Brazil, de Freitas moved with her mom to the US at age 3, and has spent much of her life in Colorado. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Members of the Colorado Springs arts and music community are celebrating a new partnership between the Pikes Peak Library District and local DIY arts groups. Among them is Flux Capacitor, a popular local warehouse music venue, which was shuttered in December due to fire code violations.

Through the partnership, Flux Capacitor, or "The Flux,” and others will be able to host concerts and events in the Knights of Columbus Hall, a historic building owned by PPLD, located west of the downtown library at 25 W Kiowa St. The building has been largely unused for years. 

Hickenlooper file photo

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other climate goals.  Hickenlooper also says the state will join the U. S. Climate Alliance, which is a group of states looking to uphold the Paris Climate Accord.  President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord earlier this year.

Looking Up: Do Try This At Home (But Safety First!)

Jul 10, 2017
nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up we get the first of several episodes that will be dedicated to the total solar eclipse coming in August.  

One of the most remarkable things that can happen to the skies over the Untied States will take place next month, and so I want to give you a heads up so you can be ready. On the morning of August 21st, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the country! 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Several months prior to the Waldo Canyon Fire, Myrna Candreia had a premonition.  "Something inside me told me, 'You need to prepare for a fire,'" she recalls.  "I had developed this feeling inside that things weren't good. Maybe it was because of the drought we were having?"

One week before the fire, she went to Staples, bought boxes and set them up, but didn't fill them.  "I could have been fully prepared and a lot more prepared.  I wasn't.  I got a few things out," she says.

Courtesy of the City of Colorado Springs

Randy Royal remembers exactly where he was when he first spotted smoke rising from the Waldo Canyon Fire. It was Saturday, June 23rd, 2012. 

"I got called out around 10 or so in the morning for a rollover accident on Bijou and I-25," recalls Royal, who was a battalion chief with the Colorado Springs Fire Department at the time. "I cleared that, went to a high-angle at Garden of the Gods, and as I was driving down Highway 24, I looked up and the column [of smoke] was right in front of me."

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Parkside resident Mike Finkbiner was a roofing contractor during the original construction of the Colorado Springs subdivision, and says Mountain Shadows as a whole was "pretty well planned" when it was built in the 1980s.  It wasn't until 2002 that he moved into the community, and then to a different home in Parkside in 2005.

If you haven't yet purchased your tickets to our Blues Under the Bridge festival happening on July 29th, time is running out!

On Saturday, July 29th, the 11th Annual 91.5 KRCC Blues Under the Bridge Festival will feature five-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. 

Charlie Chambers / CR Photography

The Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media estimates that film production has generated more than $150 million in economic impact statewide since 2012. The Teller County Film Commission, a newly formed non-profit, says it wants to bring more of that money to the county.

Courtesy of Eddie Hurt

Eddie Hurt has been president of the Mountain Shadows Community Association since shortly after the Waldo Canyon Fire. In that role, he's played an active part in the effort to rebuild Mountain Shadows, the neighborhood that he and his family have called home for 12 years. Unlike some of his neighbors, Hurt didn't lose his home in the fire, but that's not to say he wasn't affected.

Flickr User: Pictures of Money / Creative Commons

Things are in limbo after Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell delayed a vote on the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. A group of 13 senators crafted the bill after the House passed their version of a health care bill in May to replace what is also known as Obamacare.

Based on what's in the Senate bill right now, Bente Birkeland spoke with Joe Hanel of the nonpartisan Colorado Health Institute to break down what the numbers could mean for residents and the state's budget.

Looking Up: Zeta O' Brother Where Art Thou?

Jul 3, 2017
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

This week on Looking Up Hal  reveals an 'inconvenient truth'. 

Can I tell you the dirty little secret of the nonsense known as astrology? Turns out, there are not actually 12 signs of the Zodiac, but rather 13. Yup, the Sun moves through 13 constellations each year, not 12, so astrologers just pretend that the constellation of Ophiuchus doesn’t exist. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Retired electrical engineer Barry Timmons and his wife relocated to Colorado to be closer to family, and lived in the Parkside neighborhood of Colorado Springs for three years before the Waldo Canyon Fire claimed his home.

"It's just a nice area, it was a nice little home," Timmons says.  "It was very conducive to us being a retired couple."

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