Local News

Local News
4:14 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Clerks in El Paso, Pueblo Counties Say Voter Turnout Appears Up

Colorado voters have until 7 tonight to turn in their ballots in today’s election. For nearly a month, El Paso and Pueblo County Clerks have been collecting mail-in ballots.

Despite a slow start, Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz is optimistic about the turnout.

"I was really nervous going into today," said Ortiz, "because the voter turnout really wasn’t doing very well and it was pretty slow here in Pueblo County. We’re really excited, the last two days have been very heavy, and the voter turn out has gotten up above average."

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Local News
10:10 am
Tue November 5, 2013

USA Pro Challenge Returns to Colorado Springs; 2014 Route Hits Monarch Mountain and Woodland Park

The USA Pro Challenge cycling race will return to Colorado Springs next year after the city was left out of this year’s race. As KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports, that’s not the only regional location hosting a stage next year.

Cyclists will face a circuit race in Colorado Springs in the 4th stage of the event after ending the previous day’s ride atop Monarch Mountain.

After a one-year hiatus, Amy Long with the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitor’s Bureau says they’re expecting even more excitement around next year’s event.

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Capitol Coverage
10:35 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Wildfire Committee Crafts Legislation

A new state committee tasked with studying wildfire issues has wrapped up its work. The bi-partisan group of lawmakers is recommending a tax credit to encourage people to mitigate fire risks and a proposal to give individual counties more authority to cut down hazardous trees. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Local News
9:50 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Hwy 24 Traffic Stops Continue Tuesday

Credit clipart

Traffic stops along Highway 24 continue today as the Colorado Department of Transportation works to stabilize slope lines. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer has more on the rock slide mitigation efforts. 

Traffic will be stopped both eastbound and as crews conduct a rock-scaling project near Cave of the Winds. CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford says crews are removing loose rock from the slope of the canyon on the north side of the highway.

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Local News
7:30 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Remembering Lawrence Leighton Smith

Credit Colorado Springs Philharmonic

Lawrence Leighton Smith passed away last week at his home at the age of 77.  Smith spent more than a decade as Music Director of the Colorado Springs Symphony and Philharmonic.  After making the decision to retire following the 2010-2011 season, Smith was diagnosed with Binswanger’s Disease, a form of dementia.  During his final season with the Philharmonic, KRCC’s

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Harvest Public Media
7:33 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Prison Dairy Serves Up Buffalo Milk

The Four Mile Correctional Center in Cañon City, Colo ., is home to what may well be the country’s largest water buffalo dairy.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Past the razor-wire fences, beyond huge metal gates, behind thick walls, you’ll find one of the most unique dairies in the country. The Four Mile Correctional Center in Cañon City, Colo., is home to what could very well be the country’s largest herd of domesticated water buffalo – buffalo milked for their rich, frothy milk.

At the Four Mile dairy, inmates run the milking parlor, not a farmer in overalls. And it’s not black and white cows dotting the landscape, instead it’s water buffalo with big, curved horns.

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Capitol Coverage
11:17 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Flood Recovery Committee Prepares To Meet

Flooded areas are seen from a U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Boulder County, Colo., Sept. 18, 2013.
U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jecca Geffre/Released

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 3:03 pm

A bipartisan committee of 12 Colorado lawmakers will soon meet to examine the state’s response to September’s devastating Front Range floods.

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Local News
7:15 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Huerfano County Looks to Establish Volunteer Team

Despite the numbers of people who stepped in to volunteer during this summers East Peak Fire, Huerfano County is looking to be better prepared when it comes to organizing volunteers.  As KRCC’s Kate Dunn reports, the county wants to set up a pre-established a team that would be ready in the event of any disaster.

The call went out in early September for 20 to 25 people to help fill the Community Emergency Response Team, but Huerfano County’s emergency Manager, Diego Bobian says recruitment has been slow.

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Local News
7:06 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Wetland Restoration Projects Awarded Funds

Restoration projects awarded funds
Credit Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has selected 18 wetland restoration projects around the state to receive a total of $700,000 in grant money. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports on two in southern Colorado.

The East Plum Creek restoration project near Castle Rock is receiving $50,000 to help with bank widening, revegetation, and erosion prevention and another $12,400 will go to the Dinosaur Island Trench Project west of Lamar.

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Connecting the Drops
7:33 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Buy & Dry: Selling Agricultural Water to Growing Cities

Carver Ranch in Mesa County was bought in the 1970s by Ute Water District for its water rights.
Maeve Conran

Water has always been a source of conflict in the arid West, but in recent years the conflict between agriculture and growing cities has escalated as both entities compete for this limited resource. KGNU’s Maeve Conran has this story as part of our year long series Connecting the Drops.

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Capitol Coverage
7:34 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Voters To Weigh In On Colorado Marijuana Taxes

Marijuana indvidually bagged and ready for use in this photo dated April 20, 2013.
charenton Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 2:43 pm

Colorado is preparing for the state’s first recreational marijuana stores to open this January. In the meantime, voters still have the final say on how the new product will be taxed through Proposition AA.

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Local News
7:35 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Broadmoor Bluffs Takes Part in Evacuation Drill

A sign alerts drivers to the pending evacuation drill.
Andrea Chalfin

Colorado Springs officials held a neighborhood evacuation drill for residents of Broadmoor Bluffs over the weekend.  Fire officials say that neighborhood has stepped up mitigation efforts in the past year and a half, but because of topography, the amount of fuels, and housing density, Broadmoor Bluffs is one of the highest risk neighborhoods in the city’s wildland urban interface.  KRCC News embedded with first responders and a family that chose to participate in the drill.  We start with reporter Kate Dunn.

Residential

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Local News
8:02 am
Fri October 18, 2013

UCCS Ranked for Women in STEM

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was ranked 50th among nationwide public and private universities for the number of women enrolled in or graduated from STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and math, programs. KRCC’s Martha Perez-Sanz has more.

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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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