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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Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

The recent events in Las Vegas have many people wondering what they can do to help address gun violence in this country. For some, it means calling their congressperson or signing petitions. For one man in Colorado Springs, it means offering people a symbolic way to dispose of their firearms. His organization, founded in 2013, is called RAWtools, and it takes unwanted guns and turns them into gardening tools.

Four years ago state lawmakers – and the governor – created a law to help undocumented children follow their American dreams. They allowed them to pay the significantly cheaper in-state tuition to go to state colleges instead of higher out-of-state prices. The requirements: They must graduate from a Colorado high school that they’ve attended for three years and promise to pursue citizenship.

“This is an issue that has been a challenge in our state and our country for many years,” said Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, one of the main sponsors of Senate Bill 33.

The Blue Star announces that they will temporarily close as of Saturday, October 7, with plans to reopen at an undisclosed location in downtown Colorado Springs in 2019.

The Blue Star says it’s an opportunity to “reimagine and renovate” but “the guiding principles will continue to be the foundation of the reinvented restaurant.”

National Forest Service, Pike & San Isabel National Forests

After more than five years of being closed to the public, portions of the Waldo Canyon burn area are reopening.  The Waldo Canyon Trail and Trailhead along Highway 24 remain closed.

Colorado’s first special session in five years ended after two days with no legislation passing. The governor had called lawmakers back to the state capitol to fix a mistake in the most extensive and heavily lobbied bill of the 2017 session, Senate Bill 267.

Statehouse reporters Ed Sealover with the Denver Business Journal and John Frank with the Denver Post talk to Bente Birkeland about what went wrong and what it could mean when lawmakers return to the capitol for the regular session next year.

A political gamble taken by Gov. John Hickenlooper to fix a mistake in a bipartisan bill that he signed has come up short. After two days and $50,000 from taxpayers, no legislation was passed during the special legislative session.

Even before lawmakers began, Republican Senate leaders were steadfastly opposed to it. They thought the issue wasn’t an emergency, wasn’t well thought out or planned, and didn’t think the Governor had done enough to loop them into discussions to try to broker a compromise.

On Oct. 2, members of Colorado’s legislature are set to gather for a special session.

Gov. John Hickenlooper has been clear on why he thinks a special legislative session is needed. Some tax revenues, he said, are not going to places like the Denver Zoo and museums because of a mistake in a bill he signed earlier this year.

On Saturday, September 30, Focus on the Beer and The Little London Show present Colorado Springs’ first Cafe Craft Coffee and Beer Invitational at Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m..

The event brings the best of the liquid craft industries together and gives participating brewers and roasters the chance to marry their styles and create a beer that amplifies the characteristics in both specialty beverages.

Claire Holt

Some of the biggest names in contemporary poetry and literature will be coming to Colorado Springs as part of a new lecture series called Converge. New York-based poet Marie Howe kicks off the series this Sunday, October 1, at the Pinery at the Hill in Colorado Springs. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

 

Local musician Jackson Jason leads something of a double life. The 19-year-old lives in Widefield, Colorado, where he grew up, and works as a janitor at Fort Carson. He spends a lot of his free time making music, but says most of his friends and family aren’t too interested the sample-based electronic tracks he produces.

But on the internet, it’s a different story. In online communities dedicated to sharing music – on sites like Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Youtube, and Reddit – he has a huge following. Fans from around the world have flocked to his music, and his tracks have generated more than a million plays on Soundcloud alone. 

In the summer of 2002, water pumps in Colorado’s San Luis Valley stopped working.

The center pivot sprinklers that coax shoots from the dry soil and turn the valley into one of the state’s most productive agricultural regions strained so hard to pull water from an underground aquifer that they created sunken pits around them.

“This one right over here,” says potato farmer Doug Messick as he walks toward a sprinkler, near the town of Center. He's the farm manager for the valley's Spud Grower Farms. “I came up to it one day and I could’ve driven my pickup in that hole.”

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs Utilities is researching the possibility of closing its Martin Drake Power Plant sooner than a previously established 2035 deadline. Early results from a new survey suggest public support for such a move.

City of Colorado Springs instagram / cityofcos

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers delivered his third annual State of the City address Friday, remarking on the city's successes in the past year and challenges moving forward.  He began by reflecting on his previous State of the City addresses, saying that the city has moved from one of great potential to one that is beginning to actually achieve that potential. 

Motif Jazz Cafe originally found a home in Old Colorado City, Colorado, but made the conscious business decision to close for almost a year in search of a new location. They chose to reopen in February at Country Club Corners in the same restaurant and shopping center as Duca’s Neapolitan Pizza. With a fresh start at 182 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.

For only the second time during his tenure as governor, John Hickenlooper is calling lawmakers back to the Capitol outside of their regular session. He wants them to fix an error that is keeping thousands of dollars from getting to the Denver Zoo and regional transportation districts.

But a special session may not lead to a simple fix.

Courtesy of the City of Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs City Council president Richard Skorman has issued a formal proclamation designating October 9th, 2017 as Indigenous Peoples' Day. The move places Colorado Springs in the company of such cities as Portland, Minneapolis, and Denver, all of which have voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on the federal holiday known as Columbus Day.

Kyle Cunningham / 91.5 KRCC

Public radio listeners come in all shapes, sizes, and species.

Over the years, we've heard from many people who say they like to leave 91.5 KRCC on for their dogs or cats to listen to while they're away at work. But recently we learned of a new group of loyal quadrupedal listeners right here in Southern Colorado: goats.

Merchandising giant Amazon wants to open a second headquarters – called Amazon HQ2 -- outside of Seattle. Colorado is pulling together what it hopes is a winning bid, but it’s a competitive venture.

“This has gotten the attention of the nation for that matter -- and North America, so we’re competing internationally,” said J. J. Ament, the CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.

Courtesy: El Pueblo History Museum

A new exhibit at El Pueblo History Museum in Pueblo explores what may be the oldest high school football rivalry in the west -- between Pueblo's Central and Centennial High Schools. 

The Wobbly Olive is set to open another location in January 2018 at 2611 W. Colorado Ave. The second installment finds a home in the historic district of Old Colorado City, Colorado, right next door to TAPAteria and across the street from Jake & Telly’s Greek Taverna.

Hyperloop One

High-speed transportation along Colorado's Front Range just moved a small but significant step forward, as a route connecting Cheyenne, Wyoming to Pueblo, Colorado was selected as one of ten winners worldwide in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

From PTSD to traumatic brain injuries, the invisible wounds of war can be just as devastating as the physical ones. And for some, that service-related trauma can lead to other issues, including problems with the law. In Colorado's 4th Judicial District, which encompasses El Paso and Teller Counties, there’s a court program designed for vets with trauma who've been charged with certain misdemeanors and low-level felonies. It's called the Veterans Trauma Court, and it was recently recognized as a national leader among similar programs around the country.

Dionne Roberts / Rocky Mountain Food Report

Mother and daughter duo, Michelle and Turu Marx, co-owners of Coquette’s Bistro & Bakery, have been on a path to bring accessibility to gluten-free dining since opening the first location eight years ago in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The decision to specialize spurs from Michelle’s own profound results from the dietary changes she implemented after suffering from unexplainable health issues.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

The Imagination Celebration is giving area residents the opportunity to connect to distant lands and cultures from right here in Colorado Springs. As part of the annual What If Festival in downtown Colorado Springs this Saturday, the Imagination Celebration has stationed a "portal" -- a golden shipping container outfitted with a camera, microphone, and an eight-by-eight-foot projection screen -- at the Pioneers Museum. The portal functions like a giant, community Skype box, linking up with other portals stationed in places as diverse as Gaza, Berlin, and Brooklyn.

While Colorado’s congressional delegation had mixed reactions to President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, many continue to show bipartisan support for the policy. The executive order, signed by President Obama, gave children brought into the United States illegally a chance to stay in the country legally.

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