KRCC Local News

Colorado Springs local and Southeastern Colorado and Northern New Mexico regional news from the award-winning KRCC Newsroom. Looking for recent KRCC daily newscasts?  Click here.

The deadline for the first marijuana tax funded scholarship in Pueblo is fast approaching, but there haven't been many applicants yet.

Shanna Lewis / KRCC

Work on the Arkansas River levee that protects downtown Pueblo from flooding is winding down for the season. Planning for the next phase is underway.

Holly Pretsky / KRCC

 
According to a 2015 survey by a local advocacy group, there are more than 1,000 people experiencing homelessness in Colorado Springs. In the city, a new law that some say targets the homeless has now entered its enforcement phase.


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Lawmakers in both parties have unveiled a proposal to bring a presidential primary back to Colorado. It's estimated to cost between five to seven million dollars to conduct, and the heads of both the state Democratic and Republican parties and the Governor support it.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

The Governor's commission studying American Indian representations in public schools released its report this week. The group recommends that public schools do not use American Indian mascots, but if they do, they should partner with a tribe to make sure it is done in a respectful way. Right now thirty Colorado schools use some type of American Indian mascot or imagery.

The commission went to four schools to bring American Indian and non-American Indian people together, community members, school boards, and students. This follows failed attempts at the statehouse to ban these types of mascots.

Southeast Colorado received some much needed precipitation after experiencing some pretty dry conditions.

U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service/Public Domain

The threatened lesser prairie chicken has seen population improvements, according to a new report.

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A bill that would force school districts to allow medical marijuana on school grounds is making its way through the state legislature. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland speaks with other statehouse reporters about the issue.

Bernie Sanders will be assured the majority of Colorado's delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Hillary Clinton though, still has momentum in the state with the support of super delegates, like Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. The support of party insiders means Clinton will likely have 37 delegates from the state versus Sanders' 41.

Which still makes it an open question for Colorado: If the state is pulling for Bernie Sanders, but the super delegates lean for Clinton, will voters opt to support Clinton if she's the nominee?

National Weather Service

Winter weather returns to Colorado this weekend as much of the state braces for heavy snowfall.

The El Paso County Office of Emergency Management is urging people stay home, especially in the northern and eastern parts of the county.  Currently, Highway 24 from Colorado Springs to Limon is closed.  Eastbound Woodman from Marksheffel to Highway 24 in Falcon is also closed, as is Highway 94 from Enoch Road to Punkin Center. (UPDATE 3:40 PM: Hwy 94 from Enoch Rd. to Punkin Center has reopened.)

Colorado Democratic Party

Colorado Democrats are set to gather in Loveland tomorrow to elect their final group of delegates to the National Convention in Philadelphia this summer. Bente Birkeland talked to Colorado Chairman Rick Palacio about the process and divisions within the party...

A new study shows that fewer Americans are visiting libraries. But library districts in Colorado Springs and Pueblo aren't quite seeing the same trends as the national numbers show.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Colorado schools may soon be forced to allow students to use medical marijuana in a non-smokeable form while on school grounds. It's already allowed under state law, but so far no districts have created policies to enable students to take the medicine, which has left many families frustrated.  

Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon is fully open nearly two months after rockfall caused major damage.  

In mid-February, I-70 closed for nearly a week. Then it reopened to head-to-head traffic followed by single-lane openings in each direction.  

The National Forest Service is deciding on possible moth mitigation near Cheyenne Mountain.  The Tussock Moth feeds on Douglas firs and spruce, and emerges during cyclical outbreaks that last anywhere from 2-4 years. 

Just three months out from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Republican Party remains very much divided over their candidates for president. Ted Cruz closed Donald Trump's lead Saturday, sweeping all of Colorado's 34 open delegates at the GOP state assembly in Colorado Springs.

Republicans here though are as split as anywhere else in the country over the race.

Jeffrey Beall / Flickr/Creative Commons

Two new sections of the Santa Fe Trail are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The segments are located within the Comanche National Grasslands in Otero County.

The specific sites were chosen because of the clear visibility of the original trail, says Michelle Stevens, a program manager for the Comanche National Grasslands.

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Colorado is debating whether to form an Office of Fantasy Sports to regulate and create rules around pay-for-play fantasy sports leagues. The industry estimates that 800,000 people in Colorado are fantasy sports players, and 150,000 pay in the daily sports leagues.

Law enforcement is stepping up efforts this weekend as part of a statewide crackdown on distracted driving.

Colorado Republican Party

Republican Party activists are gathering in Colorado Springs this Saturday for the state GOP convention. The party will elect delegates to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. Senator Ted Cruz is already confirmed to attend. Donald Trump will not, but may send a surrogate to speak on his behalf.  Ohio Governor John Kasich has announced he is not coming.

In an interview with statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland, Steve House, the Chair of the Colorado GOP, says the state plays a pivotal role in who the Republican presidential nominee may be.
 


Colorado Suicide Prevention Commission, Department of Public Health and Environment

Statistics show that Colorado has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, and Pueblo County has above average rates in the state.  For one suicide prevention clinic in Pueblo that unexpectedly closed its doors at the end of 2015, economic, technological, and other challenges became insurmountable, leaving some to question the impacts of the closure.

Holly Pretsky / KRCC

Fire Station 22 in northern Colorado Springs officially opened Monday.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the station against a classic Colorado backdrop, the snowcapped Pikes Peak visible to the west.

KRCC

The Democratic controlled House passed the state budget on Friday with five Republicans backing it. The bill now heads to the Republican controlled Senate.  As part of our weekly Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to other statehouse reports about the debate and what to expect going forward.

Colorado lawmakers are only required to do one thing during their annual legislative session: pass a balanced budget. After several days of discussion, members of the Democratic-controlled House did just that. It had bipartisan support with four Western Slope Republicans and one Colorado Springs Republican joining the Democratic majority.

"It looked like the task would be daunting, but I think we just ended up with a really harmonic convergence of budget forecasts and certain events that occurred that allowed us to not to face as many dramatic cuts as we thought we were going to have to face," said Representative Dave Young (D-Greeley), a member of the bi-partisan joint budget committee that wrote the budget bill.

Tucker Hampson / KRCC

Colorado Springs residents packed the gymnasium at Gold Camp Elementary School on Wednesday evening to discuss the controversial proposed land swap with the Broadmoor that would include Strawberry Hill. They came to hear about the property appraisals and to see the building plans for the Broadmoor stable and pavilion intended for the meadow at Strawberry Field.

A new initiative to streamline public transit information across the nation has launched, and the Colorado Department of Transportation is planning to participate.  The initiative is called the National Transit Map, and its goal is to compile public transportation data, including localized bus and train routes and schedules, into a single repository.

Jake Brownell / KRCC

In January, the Colorado Springs Parks Department unveiled a plan to trade city land to the Broadmoor in exchange for several pieces of property owned by the hotel. Heralded by proponents as an opportunity to expand upon and enhance the city's park system, the plan has garnered criticism from residents who want the most significant parcel, known as Strawberry Hill, to remain in the public's hands.

National Weather Service- Pueblo

The National Weather Service is hosting its annual weather spotter preparedness and training sessions.

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State lawmakers are set to debate the annual budget, which funds everything from roads and schools, to healthcare and parks. This year Colorado has a shortfall, so that means making budget cuts. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to other statehouse reporters about some of the major budget issues.

Shanna Lewis / KRCC

As repairs on the aging Arkansas River levee move ahead, heavy equipment will cut through the image of a corn maiden, along with scores of other paintings that cover the 2.8-mile long levee.
 

Construction workers are taking extra care as they remove the corn maiden, and dozens of people gathered Thursday afternoon to say goodbye to this piece of local history.  Poets, drummers and a woman dressed in a ceremonial mask were among those watching the work from across the river.
 

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