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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Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

Oral health falls under Governor John Hickenlooper's Top 10 Winnable Battles for health in Colorado. Consuming fluoride in water is one safe and inexpensive way to help prevent dental decay, according to public health experts, and it was discovered right here in Colorado.

Charles Gatebe / Nasa flickr

Researchers at NASA have launched a new project to pioneer technologies for measuring snowpack. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Grammy-nominated David Bromberg took a 22-year hiatus from music, went to violin-making school, and returned to tell the tale. 

Penrose-St. Francis Courtesy of Chris Valentine

Penrose-St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs ranks among the best in the country for the 10th time in a row.

Cora Lubchenco / State of the Rockies Project

Voters in the West care about conservation of public lands and the environment according to a recently released poll

91.5 KRCC

Colorado is roughly a third of the way through the four-month long legislative session. John Frank, a reporter for The Denver Post, and Peter Marcus with ColoradoPolitics.com sat down with statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland to take stock of the big issues this session.

Courtesy Jodene Parlapiano

After a 90-year absence, a Rockefeller has returned to Pueblo. Once considered the wealthiest family in the world, the Rockefellers are often blamed for the 1914 Ludlow Massacre - a notorious event in labor history when striking coal miners and their families were killed in southern Colorado.

Looking Up: Width & Wisdom

Feb 20, 2017
NASA, ESA, and L. Lamy (Observatory of Paris, CNRS, CNES) / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal takes us planet hopping. The final destination will be the planet Uranus.

Some things in the southern Colorado sky are very easy to spot – the moon, super-bright Venus and pretty bright Mars. But other things are much harder to spot, especially when city lights make viewing harder. So today I want to tell you about a little trick you can use this week to find one of the more difficult to spot items, the planet Uranus, using the much brighter and easier to spot planet Mars, in the early evening sky. 

COLORADO SENATE REPUBLICANS

A Colorado newspaper is fighting claims that it peddles fake news stories. The publisher of Grand Junction's Daily Sentinel is accusing a state lawmaker of defamation and threatening a lawsuit. If filed, legal experts said it would be the first of its kind, potentially setting a legal definition for what is considered fake news and what is not.

Chef Terence Rogers of TBD Foods in Denver is bringing back casual, in-home dinner parties with an intimate setting located right inside his own quaint Cheesman Park apartment.  We got to attend the winter smoke-out dinner on Friday, February 3, enjoying a self-serve, barbecue-inspired dinner at a table of six.

Courtesy of Steelworks Center of the West, Pueblo, Colorado

David Rockefeller, Jr. will speak in Pueblo February 17 at a fundraiser for the Steelworks museum. It's the first time in 90 years that a Rockefeller has been to southern Colorado.

Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, [LC-USF343-001617-ZE] / Library of Congress

A new study looked into what would happen if the modern agricultural industry was to experience a 1930s Dust Bowl style event.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

In the last decade, Democrats have attempted to repeal Colorado's death penalty four times. Their latest attempt on Feb. 15 was amid contentious debate.

heartshapedmusic.org

Ryan Flores, known for his solo classical guitar, didn't actually play one until he was 21 years old. His first guitar was a large, hundred dollar "thick-neck guitar" which was not only difficult to play but "showed all my mistakes," he says. 

John Suthers State of the City 2016 / Colorado Springs

UPDATE: 2/16/17. The Senate Finance committee passed SB-153 on a 4-1 vote. The bill now heads to the full Senate.

Original post 2/14/17:

A proposal to study whether it's viable to create passenger rail from southern Colorado to Fort Collins has cleared its first hurdle at the state legislature.

Ed Suominen / FLICKR All creative Commons

Pueblo City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution today that places a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035.

91.5 KRCC

A proposal to repeal Colorado's healthcare exchange and move to the federal program has prompted a lot of debate at the State Capitol. It has also set off a larger fight about the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Looking Up: Show Your Work!

Feb 13, 2017
Merlin 2525 / free clipart

This week on Looking Up Hal comes clean, astronomically speaking.

If you’ve listened to every episode of Looking Up since we started two years ago, either over the airwaves or online, or now by downloading episodes as podcasts on iTunes, you’ve listened to over 100 segments on aspects of astronomy ranging from interesting stars to giant clouds of glowing gas, to how ancient people looked up, to distant galaxies. And you may have asked yourself, how the heck does this Bidlack guy know all this stuff? 

Colorado officials have highlighted seven shovel-ready road and water projects should the Trump administration secure roughly $1 trillion in infrastructure funding. The National Governor’s Association sent that list, along with projects from 48 other states and territories, to the Trump administration on Feb. 8.

Colorado’s list includes adding two urgent projects -- an express lane heading west into the mountains on I-70 and adding capacity lanes along the northern and southern parts of I-25. It also includes water projects and one to expand rural broadband.

President Trump’s battle with the media doesn’t show any signs of letting up. But, in Colorado, Republicans hope divisive rhetoric doesn’t impede their ability to get their message out. They’ve come up with something very un-Trump -- a model they say will improve their relationship with the media. 

“We really want to be more open and inclusive,” said Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert. He has started doing something old school -- something the president had been criticized for not doing enough of. He and the Senate president are holding weekly briefings with the press. That’s also something his predecessor in Colorado didn’t do. And the Senate GOP plans to hold its first ever off-the-record happy hour with reporters.   

Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District, 001-240

Peak Curiosity is a new, community-driven reporting series from 91.5 KRCC. We ask listeners to submit their questions about the Pikes Peak region and Southern Colorado, and then we answer them. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to submit your question!

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

In the midst of an ongoing national fight about the future of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a measure to replace Colorado's health care exchange is igniting passion in Denver. On Feb. 7, people rallied outside the state capitol to protest repealing the Affordable Care Act, while in the capitol, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 3, known as the 'Repeal Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Bill.'

Malika Ladak / Flickr-Creative Commons

The Colorado State Forest Service is reminding folks to keep up with watering their trees throughout the winter.

John Suthers State of the City 2016 / Colorado Springs

Among balancing the budget and finding money for transportation projects, lawmakers will decide if creating a passenger rail line along Colorado's Front Range—from southern Colorado to Fort Collins—is worth a look.   

Looking Up: Dim & Dimmer

Feb 6, 2017
Robin Lee / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal puts the moon in a different 'light'.

Can we talk about a dark subject? One that is lurking in the shadows? Because on the night of Friday, February 10th something very unusual and a little dark will rise in the east – the Moon!

91.5 KRCC

Lawmakers in both parties are trying to make it more difficult for homeowners to sue condo developers over construction defects. They hope it will lead to more condo development and lower rents. But despite widespread support for the concept, legislation hasn't been able to pass in previous years.

For this week's Capitol Conversation, we talked about the issue with Peter Marcus with ColoradoPolitics.com and Ed Sealover with the Denver Business Journal.

Chris Medina / Funky Little Theater Company

A Colorado Springs theater company is seeking submissions for its second annual theater festival featuring lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues. 

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

Repairs continue along the aging Arkansas River levee that protects downtown Pueblo from flooding. 

This winter contractors removed about 3,000 linear feet of concrete from the face of the levee and replaced about a third of it so far. 

Rocky Mountain Food Report

A round-up of can’t-miss events this month:

• Haute Chocolate Hop: A 13-stop progressive gourmet chocolate tasting. Go online for a full list of the stops — which include shops, restaurants and art galleries — and what’s on the menu. $10. Friday, February 3, 5-8 p.m. Downtown.

Debate among Colorado lawmakers got heated on Tuesday during consideration of a symbolic measure to denounce President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring refugees entry into the United States.

The measure, considered in the Democrat-controlled House, ultimately passed by a voice vote. Some Republicans said privately that they felt stung by statements made ahead of the vote by Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat from Thornton. Salazar chided Republicans for not backing the measure – House Joint Resolution 1013 – accusing them of supporting civil rights when it is politically expedient. 

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