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Capitol Coverage
7:09 am
Fri December 13, 2013

New Background Check Law Impacts Gun Sales

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Democratic state lawmakers say a new law requiring universal background checks for gun purchases is working well. Data from the Department of Public Safety shows 2% of private gun sales were blocked because of the law.

Seventy-two sales were stopped because the would-be buyer was convicted or charged with a serious crime; such as murder, sexual assault, possession of dangerous drugs and theft. 

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The Middle Distance
5:43 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

The Middle Distance 12.13.13: Small Talk About Christmas

The snow has finally stopped falling after four days of constant icy drizzle, but sidewalks are still packed with a three-inch sheet of frozen, thawed and refrozen precipitation. Pedestrians tread carefully, especially along sidewalks that have gone un-shoveled or in shady corridors where the sun rarely reaches the ground. It’s Christmas time in the city.

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The Big Something
5:01 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Laugh Lines: An Interview with Poet Tony Hoagland

Poet Tony Hoagland, author of “Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty," will read tonight at 7 p.m. in the Gates Common Room in Palmer Hall on the Colorado College campus as part of the  Visiting Writers Series. The Big Something’s Noel Black sat down with Hoagland to talk about the disconnect between poetry, entertainment and comedy.

Click HERE for complete event information.

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Capitol Coverage
7:56 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Response to Energy Industry Lawsuits

Colorado’s energy industry trade group is now involved on three fronts with lawsuits over voter approved fracking bans or moratoriums. The latest move involved the announcement of suits against Lafayette and Fort Collins. 

A lawsuit is already pending against the city of Longmont for a ban approved in 2012. Some in the state say a lawsuit is the wrong way to go.

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Capitol Coverage
11:18 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Experts Examine Economic Cost of Natural Disasters

A new study from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business shows that it may be difficult to quantify how droughts, fires and floods are impacting the state’s economy over the long term. But it’s safe to say natural disasters are already influencing public policy and are requiring communities to shift their thinking. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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The Big Something
4:05 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Disruptive Media: An Interview with Noel Maxam About the Future of Content

Tonight at 6 p.m. in the Richard F. Celeste Theatre at the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center here on the Colorado College campus, former Days of Our Lives executive co-producer and director Noel Maxam will discuss disruptive innovation in media from Network Television to Netflix. The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with Maxam about soap operas ant the future of local media.

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Connecting the Drops
7:11 am
Mon December 9, 2013

The Shoshone Power Plant: "A Big Dog on the River"

The Shoshone hydroelectric powerplant holds the largest historic water right on the Colorado River.
Maeve Conran

A complex series of agreements govern the distribution of water throughout the state.  Along the Colorado River, farms, cities & towns, and the recreation industry are all big players.  But everyone takes a backseat to a tiny hydroelectric plant that’s over one hundred years old.  It’s the Shoshone Generating Station, and it plays a critical role on the Upper Colorado.

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Culture
6:32 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

The Middle Distance 12.05.13: The Country Store

Waymires Store Interior by Stewarts Commercial Photographers, October 1947. Copyright PPLD. Image Number: 013-1013.
Credit

There’s a Facebook questionnaire circulating, asking participants to check off how many of 100 chosen worldwide destinations they’ve visited. I haven’t taken the quiz and if I did my score would be modest, even though I’ve visited some pretty exotic locales. But I find the older I get it’s not faraway places I long to see; I’m more drawn to places from the past, even if I have to recreate them strictly from stories passed down by family.

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Local News
7:52 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Warming Shelters in Colorado Springs, Black Forest

Update 12/05/13: The Red Cross Shelter in Black Forest has closed. Only one resident stayed on Dec. 3rd, and no residents on the 4th.
 

Original Post:

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Capitol Coverage
7:33 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Report: State Budget Picture Unbalanced

Colorado’s budget is not structurally sound, according to a new study released yesterday. Economists from Colorado State University say over the long term, the state will spend more money than it receives. As Bente Birkeland reports, the study points to a number of causes.

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Local News
7:38 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Browns Canyon Subject of National Monument, Wilderness Area Proposal

Proposed boundary for the national monument and wilderness area.
Credit / / Friends of Browns Canyon

Senator Mark Udall is expected in Chaffee County today to unveil new proposed legislation that looks to declare Browns Canyon a national monument and wilderness area. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer has more.
 

The Arkansas River runs through Browns Canyon, and if passed, the bill would declare 22,000 acres of land from Nathrop to Salida a national monument and an additional 10,500 acres as protected wilderness.

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Capitol Coverage
7:25 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Energy Industry Works to Shift Public Opinion

Colorado’s Energy industry is continuing to make the case that hydraulic fracturing is safe and a critical part of the state’s economy. They’re stepping up efforts following the recent passage of fracking bans and moratoriums in three Front Range communities. The outcome of a ban in Broomfield has yet to be determined.

“Merely the fact that they qualified shows that there’s not enough education out there on these issues,” said Jon Haubert, spokesman for Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development – or CRED.

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RMCR News
8:01 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Measuring Climate Change in Aspen-area Open Space

Scientists hike snowy trails to reach one of two soil moisture towers located on Pitkin County Open Space properties.
Marci Krivonen Aspen Public Radio

In the future, forests near Aspen and across the state will likely look a bit different.  Already, mountain shrubs are replacing some Aspen stands and changing the complexion of the region.  Pitkin County is now tracking these shifts on open space properties.  Two Aspen-area non-profit organizations are helping. The new data is thanks to a pair of towers that’s tracking things like soil moisture and temperature. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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The Middle Distance
10:04 am
Wed November 27, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.29.13: Season of Contradictions

"Tejon Street at Night" by James and Helen McCaffery, ca. 1950s. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 266-10084.

(This column originally ran on December 3, 2010. Kathryn Eastburn will return next week.)

‘Tis the season of contradiction. Bare black tree limbs, frozen earth, and neighborhood houses lighted up like Vegas. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a constant string of economic forecasts based on how much we might or might not spend on stuff we don’t need in this holiday season.

Meanwhile, 28 million jobless Americans lose their federally funded unemployment benefits, barely raising a peep.

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Capitol Coverage
7:32 am
Wed November 27, 2013

As Hollywood Goes Digital, CO Works To Save Rural Theaters

The Sands Theater in Brush got a $20,000 grant from the state, and will need to come up with an additional $30,000 to convert digitally.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Theater projectors are going where most of the dazzling special effects in summer blockbusters have gone: All digital. In 2014, Hollywood will no longer release movies on traditional film stock. Theaters must convert or be forced to close – including those in rural Colorado.
 

That’s easier said than done in smaller towns versus a big city cineplex. Colorado is putting up $200,000 to try and save 13 rural movie theaters.

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Local News
7:28 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Impacts of Winter Weather on I-25 Construction

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CDOT’s I-25 expansion project is working to add a 3rd lane in each direction between Colorado Springs and Monument by the end of the year.  As KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports, the recent winter weather is slowing progress.

The department planned to complete construction on the section between Woodmen Road and Interquest Parkway by Thanksgiving. CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson says much of the necessary work to do so is not possible during wet and cold conditions.

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Healthy Conversation
8:36 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Healthy Conversation: Alzheimer’s Disease

The Centers for Disease Control says Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.  KRCC's Andrea Chalfin is joined this month by Major Douglas Langford, a neurologist at Fort Carson.  They start by defining what Alzheimer’s is and how it’s different from other forms of dementia, or even just getting older.
 

For more information:

Centers for Disease Control: Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's Association
 

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RMCR News
7:05 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Details Emerge in Ouray Mining Accident

Sunday’s mining accident near Ouray was one of the worst in recent Colorado history. Two miners died and nearly two dozen were injured.  More details about what happened are starting to come out. Reporter Samantha Wright with the Telluride Watch newspapers has been covering the accident. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher spoke with her about the emerging details.  Listen here:
 

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The Middle Distance
5:24 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.22.13: Switching It Up

This year, for the second time in my life I won’t be having Thanksgiving dinner at home. Many years I considered going out and letting some wonderful chef at a restaurant feed my crew, but that just never seemed right. What if they served oyster stuffing? What if there were no mashed potatoes? What if there was no pecan pie? Thanksgiving, after all, might be about the Pilgrims and a bountiful harvest and giving thanks for being alive and all that good stuff, but isn’t it really about doing it the way you’ve always done it? About being a kitchen Nazi?

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Local News
7:32 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Sheriff Disputes Claims Black Forest Fire was Intentionally Set

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El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa is disputing statements made by Black Forest Fire Chief Bob Harvey that this summer’s wildfire that destroyed more than 500 homes and killed two people was caused by humans and "likely intentional."  

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The Big Something
4:56 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

The International Experimental Cinema Exposition Returns to Colorado Springs

The 13th International Experimental Cinema Exposition comes to the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center beginning tonight and running through the weekend. I spoke spoke with Festival Director and Colorado Springs native Chris May about the history of this prestigious event.

Click HERE for complete details.

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Capitol Coverage
8:24 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Mixed Results for Governor in New Poll

Less than a year away from the 2014 election, a new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Governor John Hickenlooper edging out his Republican challengers, but as Bente Birkeland reports, reaction is also mixed to some of his policies.

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Transportation
7:34 am
Wed November 20, 2013

High Speed Rail Meetings in Pueblo, Colorado Springs

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Residents of Pueblo and Colorado Springs get to weigh in on a high speed rail study that looks at transportation from Pueblo to Fort Collins via the Denver International Airport.  KRCC’s Martha Perez-Sanz has more.

The study looked at existing high speed rail technologies and various impacts and feasibility issues. It comes from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Transit and Rail.

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Local News
5:25 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Parks & Wildlife Commissioners Talk Drones

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission talked drones at their meeting last week in Lamar. As KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports, any potential vote won’t happen until next year.
 

The Commission is looking ahead with regards to the use of drones in hunting. Spokesman Randy Hampton says they’ve not seen it in the field yet, but the commission is looking to implement proactive regulation.

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Local News
10:53 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Colorado Springs' SD11 Approves Sale of Building

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Colorado Springs’ District-11 School Board approved the sale of Abraham Lincoln Elementary to a local developer in a unanimous vote Wednesday.  KRCC’s Kate Dunn has more.
 

Lincoln Elementary shut its doors in May after the district decided to consolidate several underused schools.           

School Board Director Al Loma says local developer Bob Elliott’s proposal would re-purpose the school building and turn it into a mixed-use space for businesses, senior living, and eateries.

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Capitol Coverage
9:42 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Colorado GOP Seeks National Convention

Colorado Republicans say they’re putting in a bid for the state to host the next Republican National Convention in 2016. As Bente Birkeland reports, planning is still in the early stages and already several western cities are also competing for the chance to host.

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7:35 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Take Peek Behind the Curtain

Lead in text: 
Ever wonder how local news and information blends into national programming like Morning Edition and All Things Considered? Take a peek behind the public radio curtain...
The latest 99% Invisible is a public radio geek's dream -- a behind-the-scenes look at the 'broadcast clocks' of public radio shows. Reporter Julia Barton goes behind a live broadcast of All Things Considered , and gives you a feeling for the roiling anxiety and fear that goes into the production process behind getting public radio, the gentlest sounding of media, out on time.
The Big Something
5:15 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.15.13: In The Bedroom

The earliest bedroom is corner-mounted in a brand new post-World War II house built of native Kentucky limestone. Your mother has arranged a maze of chests of drawers and beds for her three little girls — so close in age they seem part of one big whole — to offer them equal amounts of relative privacy. The effect is of a nest, a tiny space barely big enough to turn around in, where you hide the things you don’t want to share. In winter, it is cozy and dark. In summer, a large and very loud electric fan fills the window frame, blowing hot air out by day and sucking cooler air in by night.

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Capitol Coverage
8:52 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Lawmakers Consider Bill Proposals

State lawmakers will review proposed bills to deal with water issues, wildfires and poverty today. The measures are the product of months of hearings at the state capitol. Bente Birkeland has more.

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Local News
8:09 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Parks & Wildlife to Consider Banning Drones for Hunting

The use of drones to help hunt wildlife may soon be illegal.  KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
 

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles to help locate and kill game is not regulated, but the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is expected to take up the issue before the practice becomes popular.

Director of the Colorado Outfitters Association Dick Ray says he sees the possible move as proactive and that drones take away from the true purpose of hunting.

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