91.5 KRCC Newsroom + Local Stories

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Also, great stories from our producers, partners and people in our region. 

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A Reconnected Lyons Looks Toward Recovery

Sep 17, 2013
Maeve Conran

The town of Lyons in Boulder County is one of the areas hardest hit by recent floods. There is no water, sewage, electricity or gas in the town and most of the bridges that connect the town north and south have been destroyed. The entire population of just over 2000 people has been asked to leave to allow officials to assess damage and begin reconstruction. Maeve Conran spoke with town administrator Victoria Simonsen by the banks of the St. Vrain, which charts a new course through the town.



Oil & Gas Industry, Regulators Scramble in Post-Flood Colorado

Sep 17, 2013
Theresa Gilbert/Weld Air and Water

Weld County in northeastern Colorado, one of the most drilled in the nation, was also among the hardest hit by this week’s historical floodwaters. State regulators and oil and gas industry workers are now scrambling to assess the damage and mitigate the health and environmental impacts.

“At this point – as access continues to be limited and emergency responders remain focused on lives, property and roadways – we have limited information about specific impacts or particular locations,” said Todd Hartman, spokesman for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).

As the remaining flood survivors continue to be airlifted out of towns cut off by flooding, the focus is beginning to shift to recovery. Specifically on the very reason they have to be airlifted: roads.

After rain pummeled flooded communities over the weekend, long awaited sunshine poked through the clouds Monday. Towns are just starting to dry out from days of heavy rain and flooding.

Flood Warnings Along the Arkansas

Sep 16, 2013

A flood warning is in effect for the Arkansas River at La Junta after days of continuous rainfall along the valley and in the Pikes Peak region. KRCC's Maggie Spencer has more.

The river is expected to exceed its 11-foot flood stage tonight, and crest just over 12-feet by midmorning Tuesday. The National Weather Service says flood stage means some agricultural flooding. Officials there say residents should stay away from flowing water and riverbanks. The warning came this morning and expires Wednesday.

State and federal officials say it’s still too early to determine the scope of damages in the wake of Colorado’s devastating floods.

Update, 11:48 am: The suspect is in custody. Advisory lifted.


Update, 11:38 am: The affected schools Colorado Springs School District 11 are no longer on lockdown, with the exception of Community Prep.

Rain ground recovery efforts from days of massive flooding across Colorado to a halt Sunday. Helicopters were prevented from conducting additional search and rescue efforts in Boulder and Larimer counties.

Colorado remains under the spell of water. Steady rains Sunday hampered evacuation and rescue efforts and brought renewed warnings to a flood weary Front Range.

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Update, 7:00 PM Monday: CDOT has reopened Manitou Avenue to traffic at the U.S. 24 interchange.  In addition, the ramps from U.S. 24 to Manitou Avenue are open. The culvert has been cleared of debris, and CDOT will continue to monitor it.

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As flooding moves east across Colorado and rains are once again in the forecast, the recovery efforts continue.

For a second day flood waters, goaded by heavy rains, impacted large swaths of the Front Range. When skies finally broke, many were stranded, hundreds were in need of rescue and four lives were lost statewide.

Colorado Springs officials have released initial damage assessments following this week's flooding.  Officials note that potential rain this weekend may produce further damaging incidents, and assessments will be ongoing.  Their list is as follows:

Damage assessments are underway in Colorado Springs as heavy rains continue to move through the Pikes Peak region and throughout the Front Range. Officials are urging residents to remain aware of weather conditions as rain is predicted throughout the weekend.
 

Director of Emergency Management Bret Waters says the city and regional partners have been preparing for these kinds of events for some time now, and it’s important to stay prepared.

Andrea Chalfin

The White House has approved an emergency declaration for flooding throughout the Front Range, making federal aid available to communities hardest hit by recent heavy rains.  As KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports, while Northern Colorado has so far borne the brunt of the damages, post-Waldo Canyon fire mitigation efforts in El Paso County have largely come undone.

Rains Pummel Front Range

Sep 12, 2013
Andrea Chalfin

A Flash Flood Warning remains in effect for the Waldo Canyon burn area until 8:30 PM Thu 09/12/13.

Officials have their eyes to the sky as heavy rains continue to hit much of the Front Range.  Manitou Springs has had an Incident Command Center open off and on since 9:00 last night.  The ICC is open again this afternoon as officials stay ready for more rain.

Emergency responders in Colorado Springs recovered the body of an adult male early this morning from Fountain Creek after heavy rains overnight. 

The Colorado Springs Police Department noticed a body in the water near Nevada and Las Vegas Streets while conducting flood patrols and notified the city’s fire department.  The Heavy Rescue Team recovered the remains shortly before 5 this morning.  Identification and official cause of death are pending.  A flash flood watch remains in effect for El Paso and Teller Counties through midnight.

Voters Oust Morse, Giron

Sep 11, 2013

Voters ousted two Democratic state lawmakers yesterday in the first ever recall elections of state legislators.  The recalls come in the wake of new gun legislation passed earlier this year. 
 

Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs conceded around 9:30, calling the defeat symbolic.  Morse was unapologetic over his stance on the new gun control measures, and says it was worth the political risk.

Voting Centers Open Until 7PM in Recall Elections

Sep 10, 2013

It’s election day for parts of El Paso and Pueblo Counties. State senators John Morse and Angela Giron are facing possible recalls. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin caught up with the El Paso County Clerk at Centennial Hall, where at mid-day, voter traffic was moving swiftly.

This is one of seven voting centers open today in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Clerk Wayne Williams says turnout today has been lighter at times than last week, but he says there could be an after-work rush.

Recall Election Today

Sep 10, 2013

Two state lawmakers face a recall election today for supporting stricter gun laws. As Bente Birkeland reports, it’s the first time state lawmakers have ever been recalled in Colorado.
 

For polling locations in El Paso County, click here.
For polling locations in Pueblo, click here.

Christo Continues Pursuit of 'Over the River'

Sep 9, 2013
Over the River

World-renowned artist Christo still hopes to do an ambitious art installation in Central Colorado. Well known for The Gates, a New York City Central Park installation in 2005, he’s currently pursuing a project called Over the River. In it, fabric panels would be suspended over sections of the Arkansas River. Christo’s work is often controversial, so it’s no surprise the proposal has met stiff opposition here.  Christo recently spoke in Snowmass Village. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher was there, and has this report.
 

Marci Krivonen

Once again this summer, the Western United States saw plenty of forest fires. Some continue to burn. When the flames are extinguished, the dollar signs emerge, and states handle fire suppression costs differently. In Colorado, it depends on what kind of land is burning and how big the blaze is.

Voters who live in Senate District 11 in El Paso County can start heading to four polling centers at 8 this morning to cast early ballots in the special recall election. Included locations are the Main Office at the Citizens Service Center on Garden of the Gods, Southeast at Powers and Airport, downtown Colorado Springs on Cascade, and another on North Union.  Three other locations are scheduled to open on Monday.

A contentious real estate transaction in Old Colorado City is now a thing of the past as Iowa-based Kum & Go announced this morning that it's canceling plans to purchase property from Goodwill between 23rd and 24th Streets.

Rethinking Reservoirs

Sep 4, 2013
Maeve Conran

All around Colorado, new collaborations are emerging around water storage and water use.  Partnerships with reservoirs are turning out to be key in terms of environmental stewardship, river protection, and healthy communities that rely on water.  As part of our year long series Connecting the Drops, KGNU's Maeve Conran looks at some of these collaborations that have produced tangible results.
 

Portions of Pikes Peak Closed this Week

Sep 3, 2013

Portions of Pikes Peak will be closed this week to shoot the next installment in the Fast and Furious franchise. Another closure is expected this fall, as Hyundai is scheduled to shoot a car commercial there. Donald Zuckerman is the Colorado Film commissioner. He says that before the film incentive program, Colorado wasn’t even being considered by the movie industry.

Recall Elections Bring National Attention

Sep 3, 2013

Both sides of the gun debate in Colorado are pouring a lot of resources into the historic recall elections of two Democratic lawmakers. And as Bente Birkeland reports, next week’s September 10th elections in Pueblo and Colorado Springs are drawing national attention to the fight over gun control.
 

Shanna Lewis

The Colorado State Fair is well underway in Pueblo.  KRCC's Andrea Chalfin went down to catch some of the judging, from produce to rabbits and Pet Rock Olympics. But of course, the State Fair also has rides and games.  Here’s an audio postcard of some of the sights and sounds of the Colorado State Fair.

The Colorado State Fair runs through September 2nd, in Pueblo.

Inside the Peloton During the USA Pro Challenge

Aug 26, 2013

The USA Pro Challenge moved through Colorado last week, flashing across TV, computer, and mobile screens, thanks to a film crew on motorcycles.  But there are also team cars on the road, and Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher hitched a ride with one of them.  She has this story of what it’s like to be literally, in the middle of the peloton.

The USA Pro Challenge wrapped up in Denver yesterday, with Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team taking the overall win.

Poll Shows Mediocre Support for Gov. Hickenlooper

Aug 23, 2013
File photo

A new poll shows mediocre approval ratings for Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper as he begins his bid for reelection. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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