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.

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.

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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.
 

Field Outdoor Spaces / Flickr/Creative Commons

A bill that would allow people to collect rain that falls from their rooftops remains hung up in the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee after the chair said he wasn't comfortable with the measure. It's not clear when the committee will vote on it.

The same thing happened last year when the rain barrel bill vote was delayed. And while the bill eventually cleared the Senate Agriculture Committee over the objections of the Republican chair, it failed on the final day of the 2015 legislative session when time ran out.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Colorado's next Lieutenant Governor is poised to be Donna Lynne, a top executive at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. Governor John Hickenlooper made the nomination on Wednesday, and he said Lynne, an Executive Vice President at Kaiser, would be very capable filling his shoes if he doesn't end up finishing his second term as Governor. Hickenlooper has long been rumored as a possible cabinet pick for a Democratic President.

National Weather Service

Modified post:  

Northern El Paso County remains under a blizzard warning until 8 PM.  Southern El Paso County is under a Winter Weather Advisory until 6 PM.  Public safety groups are urging people to stay off the roads.

The fast-moving storm closed routes along the Front Range, including Interstate 25 from North Academy to County Line Road in Denver.  Check current route statuses here with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

One of the latest rankings for Colorado Springs highlights the city as among the thinnest nationwide of large metropolitan areas.

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Several police reform measures are making their way through the statehouse, and lawmakers are also looking at how best to address the problem of sexting among teenagers.

A planning grant totaling more than $80,000 was recently awarded to the Southern Colorado Economic Development District for creating jobs in Southern Colorado.

USGCRP

A recently released study suggests droughts in the southwest could last longer and have more severe impacts in the future.  The study, performed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), compared 35 years of observational data to existing climate models.

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Colorado's four-month long legislative session is half way over. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to other statehouse reporters about some of the surprises so far, and what lies ahead.

Environment Colorado / Screen Grab

An environmental advocacy group has a new interactive extreme weather map that charts natural disasters across the nation and in Colorado. 

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.

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