KRCC Local News

News from the KRCC Newsroom.

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Capitol Coverage
9:04 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

As Election Nears, Critics And Supporters Spar Over Education Tax

Governor John Hickenlooper meets with members of the business group Colorado Succeeds, which has endorsed the measure.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:31 am

With just over three weeks until the election, the campaign asking Colorado voters to approve a $1 billion tax increase to pay for improvements to public schools are planning what they call a robust door-to-door operation.

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Local News
8:33 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Healthy Conversation: Prescription Medications

Many people are prescribed medications to treat different kinds of conditions, and it’s not always about simply feeling better.  For this month’s Healthy Conversation, KRCC's Andrea Chalfin is joined by Dr. Steven Lang, a family physician at Fort Carson to talk about prescription medications.

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Local News
5:56 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Airports Contribute $36.7 Billion Annually Statewide

Credit CDOT: 2013 Economic Impact Study for Colorado Airports

A new study details the economic impact of regional airports on the state.  KRCC’s Kate Dunn reports.

The study comes from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division.  It shows while payroll and economic output continue to rise, the total number of jobs has fallen below 2003 levels.

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Capitol Coverage
5:00 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

New State Senate President Elected

State Senate President-Elect, Morgan Carroll (D)
Credit Colorado General Assembly

State senate Democrats unanimously elected a new president to lead the chamber next year following the September recall of John Morse. As Bente Birkeland reports, Morgan Carroll will become only the second female senate president in state history.

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Capitol Coverage
4:43 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Another State Lawmaker Targeted for Recall

Colorado senate Democrats blasted gun rights groups today for trying to recall another state lawmaker. Two Democrats were ousted in September over support for stricter gun laws. The latest campaign targets Westminster Democrat Evie Hudak.
 

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Local News
8:33 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Funds Still Available from FEMA Despite Government Shutdown

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is still in Colorado working with counties, including El Paso, to assist with recovery efforts.  So far, the agency has approved more than 38 million dollars in assistance across the counties declared major federal disasters after last month’s devastating floods.  Renee Bafalis is the FEMA Public Information Officer assigned to El Paso County, and she came by the KRCC studios to talk about their efforts.  KRCC's Andrea Chalfin began by asking about the availability of assistance, despite the government shutdown.
 

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Local News
7:30 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Colorado's Health Exchange, What it Means for You

Despite the government shutdown, a big new part of the federal health care law is still going into effect.  New marketplaces for health insurance, or “exchanges,” have been open for one week today.  Health reporter Eric Whitney has been following developments closely, and came by the KRCC newsroom to talk about what’s happening, and what the new requirement to have health insurance means for people in Colorado.

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Local News
7:51 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Expansion Plans for I-25 in Pueblo

Map of the planned I-25 project, known as the New Pueblo Freeway, from the Introduction in the New Pueblo Freeway Final Environmental Impact Statement. Available at i25pueblo.com.
Credit I-25 Pueblo / CDOT

A seven-mile section of I-25 through Pueblo is slated for improvements starting this spring. It’s the first part of a two-phase project called the New Pueblo Freeway. Some 165 people attended a recent public hearing for the project hosted by the Colorado Department of Transportation. KRCC's Shanna Lewis was there and has this report.

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Capitol Coverage
3:14 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

New GOP State Senators Sworn Into Office

A pair of Republican state lawmakers took the oath of office yesterday, after winning historic recall elections last month. Gun control legislation was behind the recall effort. But even with two more Republican Senators at the state capitol, Democrats are still in control of both the House and Senate. Bente Birkeland has more.

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Local News
9:34 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

USAFA Officials: Shutdown is 'Completely Disruptive'

Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, superintendent of the US Air Force Academy, addresses the press about the government shutdown.
Credit Andrea Chalfin

With more than 1000 civilians furloughed at the United States Air Force Academy, officials there are calling the government shutdown 'completely disruptive.'

Almost 20% of specialized academic courses are suspended, and others combined.  Other activities are curtailed. Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson says operationally, while things like safety and medical continue, they’re having to account for some of the basics of life, like laundry and toilet paper.

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Capitol Coverage
7:10 am
Thu October 3, 2013

State Says Fracking Operations not Impacted by Flooding

During a hearing on water issues late last week, state officials said they’ve inspected 70 percent of the oil and gas wells damaged by recent flooding. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Local News
7:06 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Public Hearing in Pueblo for I-25 Expansion

Pueblo residents are invited to a public hearing tonight about some upcoming planned improvements on Interstate 25.  KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.

The Colorado Department of Transportation along with the Federal Highway Administration are hosting the meeting which consists of an information session and an opportunity to ask questions and weigh in on the projects.

Planned improvements include fixing deteriorating roadways, widening the highway between 29th and Indiana Avenue, and adding shoulders.

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Capitol Coverage
5:18 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Annual Tourism Conference in Telluride

State tourism officials are in Telluride this week to discuss ways of promoting Colorado. As Bente Birkeland reports, Colorado is coming off a record breaking year for visitors.

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Local News
4:43 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Pueblo Reports Fourth West Nile Case

The Pueblo City-County Health Department is reporting another West Nile Virus case. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer has more.

All four cases of the mosquito borne virus in Pueblo County this year have been confirmed within the past month.

Pueblo City-County Health Department director Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods expects the risk of mosquito bites and West Nile Virus to decrease as the weather gets colder, but still recommends precautions like draining standing water, avoiding the outdoors at dusk and dawn, and using deet.

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Local News
9:30 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Civilian Workers of Area Military Installations Impacted by Shutdown

Civilian workers across military installations in the Pikes Peak region are feeling the effects of the federal government shutdown.  At the Air Force Academy, more than 1,000 civilians are furloughed, while 450 employees are exempt and will continue to work.

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RMCR News
3:09 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

State Steps in So Recovery Work Can Continue Despite Shutdown

As a government shutdown furloughs thousands of federal employees in Colorado, the state is reaching into its own pocket to ensure that work can continue on some roads and bridges damaged by flooding. Today, Governor John Hickenlooper said the state would pay the salary costs for 120 National Guard engineers, with some reimbursement coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"We want to make sure that we don't lose a single day in trying to get these roads open and getting these communities back together again."

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Local News
7:21 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Search for Missing Hiker Suspended

The search for a missing hiker in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains has been suspended after eight days, according to Custer County officials. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports that hiker Mark Stice of Arvada has not yet been located.
 

Stice’s wife reported him missing more than a week ago when he failed to return from a camping and hiking trip that began the week prior.  Search teams found the hiker’s vehicle at the South Colony trailhead south of Westcliffe. 

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Capitol Coverage
8:17 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Flooding Fuels Fracking Debate

Dottie Rawsky and other members of Our Broomfield man an informational booth.
Credit Bente Birkeland

In November, voters in several Front Range communities will consider whether to ban or delay fracking. Many of these same areas are also recovering from September's devastating flooding.

There's renewed attention on the fight over fracking thanks to Colorado's flooding. Recent figures show that 12 spills have polluted the South Platte with 37,000 gallons of oil.

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Local News
5:28 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

El Paso County Reports First West Nile Case

El Paso County health officials are confirming the first human case of West Nile Virus in the county this year.

A man has been diagnosed with the virus in what Dr. Bill Letson, the El Paso County Public Health Medical Diretor, calls a pretty average year for incident rates.  

There may be one or two more cases, according to Letson, but mosquito activity is winding down.

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Capitol Coverage
5:20 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Governor Provides Update on Flood Recovery

Governor John Hickenlooper told local officials this morning that many of the state highways and roads closed due to recent flooding have reopened. But as Bente Birkeland reports there's still a lot more work to do.

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Local News
4:49 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Center

FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Center opens today for residents of El Paso County affected by recent flooding. KRCC’s Martha Perez-Sanz has more.

The Center takes the place of the city’s recovery facility after the federal Major Disaster Declaration was expanded last week to include El Paso County. FEMA spokeswoman Renee Bafalis calls the Center a “one-stop-shop” that aims to help residents with insurance and medical needs, among other concerns. 

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Capitol Coverage
12:14 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Wildfire Committee Meets

Colorado fire fighters say the state needs to make major changes in order to protect the public from increasingly devastating wildfires. As Bente Birkeland reports, state lawmakers are hoping to tackle the issue during the next legislative session.

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Pueblo
8:12 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Testing for Toxins in Pueblo

Testing for lead and arsenic exposure is underway for a sampling of Pueblo’s south side residents this week. KRCC’s Shanna Lewis reports:

Federal staffers recruited participants who live within a half mile of the former Colorado Smelter. The smelter ceased operations in 1908, but slag – waste material from making steel – was left behind. The tests are aimed at children and women of childbearing age. Dr. Bruce Tierney is a medical officer with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. 

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Capitol Coverage
7:43 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Colorado's Economic Recovery

Colorado’s economy is steadily rebounding according to the latest economic forecast. And as Bente Birkeland reports, the pace of recovery is expected to pick up next year.

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Local News
1:06 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

El Paso County Included in Major Disaster Declaration; Federal Aid Available

El Paso is among the three additional counties added to the federal Major Disaster Declaration after last week’s devastating flooding.  That brings the total number of counties eligible for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to seven.  

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Flood Coverage
7:05 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Heavy Rains Help Ease Drought

Recent flood waters have left behind plenty of damage, but there is one silver lining. Rains recharged the soil, which the 2012 drought left bone dry. KUNC’s Luke Runyon has more…

While there are still pockets of dry areas in the state, the drought has been almost completely wiped out in the foothills and northeastern plains of Colorado. State climatologist Nolan Doesken says these types of weather extremes happen. Colorado may have been drenched in rain, but Doesken says that can change in a matter of months.

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Capitol Coverage
6:50 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Governor Appoints Recovery Chief

Colorado has a new chief recovery officer to help oversee rebuilding in the wake of massive floods. Governor John Hickenlooper made the announcement on yesterday, saying the goal is to have state and U.S. highways reconnected by December 1st. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Local News
11:52 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Boil Advisory for Water in Manitou Springs

Update, Sat 11:30 AM: ​The boil advisory is now lifted.

Update, Fri 5:15 PM: The boil advisory for Manitou Springs is still in effect, but for certain neighborhoods only. The city says the lower section of Crystal Hills Boulevard and Vias Subdivisions require some follow-up testing, which is expected to be complete tomorrow morning. Other areas, including the downtown business district, are no longer under the boil advisory.

Streets specifically affected by the continuing boil water advisory are:

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Connecting the Drops
2:57 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

ICYMI: Connecting the Drops, Special Call-In Program on the Colorado River

On Sunday, September 15th, KRCC aired a special one-hour call-in show on the Colorado River as part of our year-long Connecting the Drops collaboration.  The guests were Taylor Hawes, director of the Nature Conservancy's Colorado River Program, who recently testified before the U.S.

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Local News
7:06 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Flood Damages in Colorado Springs Likely to Exceed $10 Million

Days of rain have left Colorado Springs with infrastructure damages that could cost over $10 million.  KRCC’s Martha Perez-Sanz reports that number will likely rise as officials continue to assess the situation.

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