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: 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. 

Colorado Springs Fire Department / Screengrab

The Colorado Springs Fire Department is encouraging residents to keep up with wildfire mitigation as officials raise city's fire danger level to moderate.

91.5 KRCC

The Springs Echo launched in January. The idea is that people who would otherwise be panhandling can sell the papers instead.

Looking Up: Bee-lightful, Bee-licious, Bee-lovely

Jan 30, 2017
Bob Franke / Nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal shares the beeswax on the Beehive Cluster. 

Ever wonder what’s the buzz about what’s up in the southern Colorado sky right now? Well, part of it could be coming from a stellar apiologist -- the Beehive Cluster.

91.5 KRCC

It is unclear how the Trump administration's freezing of grants and awards from the Environmental Protection Agency will impact programs in Colorado.

We talked with Peter Marcus with ColoradoPolitics.com and Luke Perkins from the Durango Herald about how politicians are reacting—and working together—in the face of potential funding losses.

Google Street View

Downtown mogul Perry Sanders, attorney to the famous and owner of the Mining Exchange, the Antlers, the Famous, Springs Orleans and more is offering the full VIP experience for locals with the establishment of his new 365 Grand Club.

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

An elite bike race is coming back to Colorado Springs this August. 

The new "Colorado Classic" is a four-stage men's race that will take place in Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, and Denver this summer and feature professional athletes from around the world. There will also be a two-day women's event in Colorado Springs and Denver.

Steve Wilson / Flickr - Creative Commons

This post has been updated, first on Sat 1/28/17 to expand the story.  Last updated Thursday 2/2/17 to reflect that the bill has been introduced at the statehouse.
 

The state's Southwest Chief Commission, which has been working since 2014 to find ways to preserve and expand a long-distance Amtrak route that runs through southern Colorado, is setting its sights on passenger rail along the Interstate 25 corridor and Colorado's Front Range. 

More Gun Training in Schools Advances

Jan 26, 2017

A measure that would encourage schools to offer  additional training for security guards, and pave the way for more teachers to have guns in schools cleared its first committee on Jan. 24.

During the opening days of the 2017 Colorado legislative session, lawmakers and the governor outlined their priorities for the good of the people in the centennial state. But are elected officials in line with your priorities and concerns?  We asked Coloradans from across the state to weigh in.

Coloradans hope politicians work together

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to pass an ordinance that makes it illegal to stand on certain city medians. 

Looking Up: The Great Bright Hunter

Jan 23, 2017
evilestmark / openclipart.org

This week on Looking Up guest host Bruce Bookout presents this month's archeo-astronomy lesson  on Orion.

Rising high in the winter skies of southern Colorado is the great hunter of the sky - Orion.  Look after sunset to the east for three bright stars in a row surrounded by a rectangle of four other bright stars.  Let’s hunt through the world on Orion’s legend.

Lawmakers have introduced the first set of bills of the legislative session-over 200 so far. As part of our capitol conversation series, Kristen Wyatt with the Associated Press and Joey Bunch with ColoradoPolitics.com talk about what proposals stood out to them.

Thousands of people gathered in Denver on a sunny, crisp Saturday in January for a planned rally. Many in the crowd, made up of about 80 percent women, held up signs such as “Lets [sic] Make America Smart Again,” “We Shall Overcomb,”  “Build Bridges Not Walls” and “We need a leader not a tweeter.”

Will Rutledge

We’ve long been fans of chef Brother Luck, from enjoying his talents at RMFR’s first anniversary party to breaking the news of his coming downtown restaurant during a recent dinner celebrating Luck’s appearance on the Food Network's TV program Chopped.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs City Council is considering raising the rate they charge Comcast as part of a cable franchise renewal agreement with the company. 

If passed, the move would mean customers would likely see a slight increase on their bills.

Councilman Bill Murray says all communities charge cable companies for right of way land use, and Colorado Springs charges less than most.

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

Standing on certain medians in Colorado Springs streets could soon be illegal if a proposed ordinance passes at City Council.

Partnership for Community Design

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!

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