KRCC Local News

Colorado Springs local and Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico regional news from the award-winning KRCC Newsroom. Past series include Flash Point, and Healthy Conversation. Looking for recent KRCC daily newscasts?  Click here.

Colorado Springs City Council discussed a proposal at Monday's work session that seeks to formally oppose the relocation of refugees to the city unless the federal government can certify they pose no security threat.

Cases of ringworm in cats are on the rise in Pueblo County. The increase puts humans at risk of exposure, as the infection can be spread from a pet to its owner.

Maggie Spencer / KRCC

An informational meeting on the possibility of bringing passenger rail back to Pueblo is taking place tomorrow.

Southwest Chief efforts have received two federal grants in as many years totaling more than $48 million, about half of the funds needed to repair the current route.

Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace also heads the state's Southwest Chief Commission, which is tasked with coordinating efforts to preserve the line and ultimately bring it back to the steel city.

"We feel right now that the existential threat has passed us mostly," says Pace, "and we can now start focusing on the final piece, which is connecting Pueblo to the Southwest Chief route."

Pace says the community meeting will help citizens get involved with bringing the Chief to Pueblo, and layout what they still need to do to repair the line. That includes seeking state and federal funding, and applying for a third federal grant in April.

The meeting is set to take place Thursday, March 3rd at the Pueblo City-County Health Department at 5:30 PM. 

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Voters in eleven states went to the polls or caucused on Super Tuesday. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won Colorado's Democratic caucuses. He also grabbed victories in Oklahoma, Minnesota, and in his home state.

On the GOP side, Colorado Republicans did not take a preference poll for the presidential race.

IAN MACKENZIE / FLICKR - CREATIVE COMMONS

Colorado is on the road to becoming the final state in the country to legalize rain barrels, after Democrats reached an agreement on Monday with several Republicans who opposed previous versions of the measure.

Another attempt in Colorado to allow terminally ill patients to take medication to end their own lives recently failed for the second straight year in the Democratic controlled House.

With strong words for opponents and members of their own party, the sponsors of the End-of-Life Options Bill, known as House Bill 16-1054 [.pdf], pulled it before debate could begin on the floor. The reason behind the withdrawal was a lack of votes and proposed amendments for the bill.

A bill that would have allowed terminally ill patients to take medication to end their own lives has failed in the Colorado Legislature. The main sponsors asked lawmakers to defeat the bill before it could be debated by the full House.

"The choice we made today, was to give you the relief from having to have this conversation because we know many of you have deeply held convictions that make you uncomfortable with this bill," said state Rep. Lois Court (D-Denver). "We are doing you this favor, to not have this debate, but make no mistake the voice of the people of this state will be heard."

Colorado residents have vastly different health outcomes, based in part on where they live in the state. Rocky Mountain PBS News analyzed health data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to rank each of the state's 64 counties based on a variety of health indicators from obesity, to amount of exercise, to smoking and premature deaths.

Update 5.13.2016: Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed legislation finally legalizing rain barrels. Our original story continues below.

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Colorado is the only state in the country where it is illegal to capture rainwater for use at a later time. State lawmakers are once again debating whether to allow residents to use rain barrels to collect precipitation that falls from their roofs.

"This is really straightforward," said Representative Jessie Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge), one of the main sponsor's of House Bill 16-1005 [.pdf]. "You could use that water when you see fit, for your tomato plants or flower gardens."

Colorado lawmakers are divided over whether a hospital provider fee should be reclassified in the state budget so it doesn't count toward the state's revenue limit under the Tax Payer's Bill of Rights.

Updated 2/21/16

The closed portion of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon reopened Sunday evening, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. 

However, CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford said intermittent road closures are planned over the next several days. 

"We think we are going to be in this combination of the pilot car configuration open from 4 p.m. to 9 a.m then closing down from 9 a.m. til 4 p.m.," said Ford. 

Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce

Pueblo residents are being asked to participate in a first-of-its kind community survey. The Pueblo Collaborative Community Survey will help leaders assess which public services to invest in. It allows residents to rank the importance of ten different categories, including economic development, public safety, and health and human services.

After a large rock slide, state officials expect the closure of I-70 to continue until at least Saturday. The rock slide occurred in Glenwood Canyon early Monday morning, and then again Monday evening. Since then, the highway’s been closed.  Inclement weather is delaying efforts to remove dangerous conditions.

  

Colorado Springs officials are planning to apply for a grant to help property owners affected by landslides on the city's west side. 

KRCC

State legislators discussed a number of law enforcement and criminal justice bills this week along with some other controversial measures.

Dana Cronin

Woodland Park recently kicked off its yearlong 125th birthday celebration. Citizens were invited to eat chili and dress in period costumes. The event also featured a historical lecture and vintage photos of the city over the years. KRCC's Dana Cronin was there and brought back this audio postcard.

Ken Lund / Flickr / Creative Commons

The Great Backyard Bird Count is underway, and Saturday it's taking place at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. The bird count is a worldwide event to help take stock of birds in wildlife parks for fun and for science.

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs is set to reopen Monday after being closed for over two months.

The clinic closed in November after an attack by an armed gunman left three dead and others injured. The building sustained heavy damage to the entrance and interior, and repairs are ongoing.

U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation

A new interactive website from the U.S. Department of the Interior looks to educate the public on the effects of drought in the Colorado River Basin.

KRCC

State lawmakers are debating whether terminally ill patients with less than six months to live should be allowed to take medication to end their own lives. It's just one of several controversial bills being debated under the gold dome. 

Dennis McKinney / CO Division of Wildlife

Colorado could be the next state to allow hunters to wear florescent pink. A Democratic proposal to give hunters the option of wearing pink, in addition to orange, passed the Republican controlled Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee on Thursday.

Marijuana Cultivation and Water Conservation

Feb 4, 2016
Maeve Conran

    

With the legalization of marijuana in various states and forms, conservation groups and others are asking how much legal grow operations affect water consumption.  In Colorado, water managers and researchers are working together to answer that question.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

An avalanche killed a snowmobiler near Wolf Creek Pass earlier this week. With the recent snows, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center says there's increased avalanche danger.

El Paso County residents are being asked to submit input regarding voter service and polling center locations in preparation for this year's presidential election.

National Weather Service - Pueblo

The Winter Storm Warning that blanketed much of Colorado over the past several days is lifting piece by piece as the snowstorm moves out of the state. It leaves behind record-breaking snowfall in some places, and communities with closed schools and government offices.

KRCC

Roughly three weeks into Colorado's annual legislative session, a lot of bills are starting to get their first hearings.

Capitol reporter Bente Birkeland talks to other statehouse reporters about the upcoming week and how politics impacts the bills being heard in committees. 

City of Woodland Park website

Woodland Park is kicking off its 125th anniversary celebration this weekend. The birthday celebration is expected to feature a chili luncheon as well as a presentation by historian Larry Black on the city’s past. There will be vintage photos of Woodland Park on display and attendees are invited to dress in period costumes.

Parks.ColoradoSprings.Gov

A third workshop in Colorado Springs Thursday focuses on the fifty-year plan for Shooks Run.

GWWO INC./ARCHITECTS

It was standing room only Tuesday evening as more than 100 people came out to watch the unveiling of the design for the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

The Colorado State Fair has a new general manager.  Sarah Cummings recently picked up the reins to drive the annual celebration of state agriculture.  She comes from California, where she worked with and ran various fairs; she also grew up participating in them. KRCC's Andrea Chalfin sat down with Cummings on her first day on the fairgrounds to talk with her about the state of the State Fair.

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