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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Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs city planners are asking for more public input on their PlanCOS initiative.

PlanCOS is an overarching road map for the city, looking at a broad range of issues including housing, economic development, and land use.

Looking Up: Eternal Twins

Apr 24, 2017
Wikipedia / via earthsky.org

This week on Looking Up guest host Bruce Bookout presents our monthly archeo-astronomy talk, this one is on the Gemini Twins.

Rising high in the winter skies of southern Colorado are the twin brothers of the sky - Gemini.  Look after sunset to the south for the two bright stars above Orion – Castor and Pollux.  Let’s double up on our knowledge of these guys.

91.5 KRCC

Colorado's legislative session is starting to wind down, but two of the major policy goals are unraveling.

Getting more money for transportation infrastructure projects and transit is one of them. A bill that would send a sales tax increase to voters cleared the Democratic House and its first Senate committee. But Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham now says he doesn't have enough Republican Party support for the measure to pass the Finance committee.

KIRK SIEGLER / KUNC

Tempers are flaring in the final weeks of Colorado's legislative session and some of the top priorities for lawmakers are in serious jeopardy of failing.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Handbells have been around for centuries. Originally invented for church bell tower players to practice their songs, they took on a life of their own in handbell ensembles, where groups of musicians play carefully choreographed arrangements on the tuned bells. For this story from the latest episode of Air Check, 91.5 KRCC’s Vicky Gregor and Jake Brownell visited a local handbell group to learn more about the music.

Steve Wilson / Flickr - Creative Commons

The state's Southwest Chief commission, tasked with preserving Amtrak's Southwest Chief long-distance passenger rail route through southern Colorado, is set to expand its mission.

An app that encourages users to support farmers and growers in southern Colorado is moving into its third year. 

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Left-of-center candidates made out well in this month's Colorado Springs City Council election. Progressive favorites Richard Skorman, Yolanda Avila, and Jill Gaebler beat their more conservative challengers, and left-leaning David Geislinger was elected following an unopposed campaign. Together, along with at-large representative Bill Murray, these four could comprise a new, more liberal majority on Colorado Springs City Council. 

91.5 KRCC

With just weeks left in the legislative session, bills are moving through the statehouse at rapid speed. Topics that have recently generated a lot of interest are teen sexting and oil and gas legislation.

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

Additional funds are needed to complete repairs on the Arkansas River levee that protects downtown Pueblo from flooding.

Karen Montgomery / Flickr.com - Creative Commons

Colorado is now the first state in the country to allow all Olympic athletes training in here to get in-state college tuition. Right now, it only applies to athletes living at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Colorado's $28.6 billion budget is nearing the end of its legislative journey. Each year, the six-member, bipartisan Joint Budget Committee crafts a balanced budget before sending it to the House and Senate for amendments. The JBC then has to reconcile those changes.

But in most cases, they go back to the original budget they spend months writing. This year, the House and Senate have added about 30 amendments to the so-called "long bill."

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Congressman Doug Lamborn, Republican representative for Colorado’s 5th District, took questions from constituents at a heated town hall forum in Colorado Springs Wednesday. Half-an-hour before the meeting was scheduled to start, police were already turning away attendees at the Stetson Hills police substation, saying that the 110-person capacity had been met in the community room where the forum was to be held.

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

Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River is a new book from David Owen, a staff writer with the New Yorker magazine and author of more than a dozen books.  His latest takes him on a journey across the west following the Colorado River: the dams, reservoirs and pipelines that help quench the thirst of seven states and parts of Mexico. 

Looking Up: Nothing To Crow About

Apr 10, 2017
Author: Till Credner / AlltheSky.com / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

This week on Looking Up Hal makes a toast at the Cup & Crow.

You’ve heard the expression, “I’ll drink to that!” but be careful with your toast, or you might end up stuck forever in the southern Colorado night sky, like the interesting constellation of Crater, the cup. [Crater isn’t a very big constellation, but it is interesting because of the lore surrounding it, and because of a couple of things in it.] 

91.5 KRCC

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is term limited and the race to succeed him in 2018 is already underway. Some big names have recently announced their campaigns and much earlier than usual. The moves could impact one of the biggest agenda items still facing lawmakers during this year's legislative session – transportation funding.

Ed Sealover, a reporter for The Denver Business Journal, and Peter Marcus, with ColoradoPolitics.com, spoke to Bente Birkeland about the race.

Brian Turner / Flickr / Creative Commons

Colorado’s 4th Judicial District is being recognized for the work of its Veterans Trauma Court. The court serves vets in El Paso and Teller Counties, and has been selected as one of four “mentor” courts around the country.

NOAA Historic Photo Library / NOAA

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!

While the Affordable Care Act “is going to remain the law of the land” for the foreseeable future, that isn’t preventing state lawmakers from debating health care reform efforts in Colorado. One key proposal is moving through the state legislature, however it’s not likely to gain enough traction to become law in part because of the national debate over Obamacare.

A proposal in the Republican-controlled state Senate seeks to do away with the state’s health care exchange – Connect for Health Colorado – and switch over to the federal exchange.  The exchanges are how individuals purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Courtesy: Bessamer Historical Society

Toxin levels at two south Pueblo parks within the Colorado Smelter Superfund area are normal, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

The ballots have been cast and the results are coming in. Numbers indicate a near 32% voter turnout across the city.   Current as of 12:53 AM (Wed):

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

The Colorado Springs Police Department says it's beginning widespread use of its body-worn camera program. 

Neighborly disputes are nothing new. There’s the dog next door that poops on your lawn. The house that throws loud backyard parties. The guy down the block who always plows through the stop sign.

But in Colorado, the introduction of legal, home-grown marijuana has elevated tension among neighbors to a whole new level.

Because of gaps in the state constitutional amendments that legalized cultivation of the drug for recreational and medical purposes -- and in the ensuing rules that sought to regulate it further -- some rural pockets in Colorado are seeing large-scale cooperative marijuana grow operations sprout up with little oversight.

91.5 KRCC

The $28.6 billion state budget is making its way through the legislature. It covers everything from roads and health care to schools and prisons. Despite many lawmakers wanting significant changes, it overwhelmingly cleared the Senate.

Looking Up: Royal Opposition

Apr 3, 2017
M. Procell

This week on Looking Up we hear about the king of planets heralding the arrival of spring.

Spring is here, and the stars that mark the warmer months are starting to appear in the southern Colorado Sky. But wait, what is that super bright star, rising in the east? To paraphrase the movie, that’s no Star! It’s Jupiter, making a bright and beautiful return to the night sky, after hiding in the daytime skies for the winter.  

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Colorado's budget handily passed the state Senate on March 29. It has bipartisan support and increased four percent compared to the previous year. In many ways, the debate was a microcosm of the entire legislative session thus far. It showed lawmakers working together, complex policy issues, partisan fights and political statements. It is balanced, as required by the state constitution, but reflects how Colorado lacks enough money to fully fund schools, health care and roads.

NEA Staff / NEA

Fort Carson has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to increase art therapy offerings at the base.   

The money will go toward hiring a full-time, licensed creative art therapist to develop visual art and music therapy programs for service members dealing with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Laura Bittner / Flickr/Creative Commons

Colorado Springs city elections are on April 4th. In addition to all six city council districts, there are three questions on the ballot.

Here's some information on those issues:

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