KRCC Local News

News from the KRCC Newsroom.

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Health
2:37 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Measles Confirmed in El Paso County Patient

El Paso County Public Health officials say someone who traveled to Colorado Springs last month has tested positive for measles.  The case may be connected to nine other measles cases in two other states where the patients visited Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park in mid-December. 

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Public Safety
11:32 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Local Law Enforcement & NAACP, Mayor Release Statements about Explosion

Local officials have released statements in response to Tuesday's explosion outside a building that houses the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP, as well as a business.  

A joint statement distributed by the Colorado Springs Police Department comes from local law enforcement agencies and Colorado Springs NAACP President Henry Allen, Jr.:

 

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Capitol Coverage
7:32 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Colorado's Legislative Session Opens

Credit clipart

One hundred lawmakers from across Colorado converged on the state capitol Wednesday for opening day of the annual legislative session. Freshman lawmakers from both parties were officially sworn in and both chambers which have new leaders.

Much of the day’s attention was focused on the Senate, where Republicans gained the majority for the first time in a decade. For all their gains, newly elected senate president Bill Cadman [R- Colorado Springs] gave a rather subdued speech – talking less about policy and more on building trust and civility among lawmakers.

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Public Safety
5:33 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

FBI Investigates Explosion in Colorado Springs

The FBI is looking for a person of interest in an explosion outside the local chapter of the NAACP in Colorado Springs.  KRCC's Andrea Chalfin reports.

The device exploded Tuesday morning outside the building that houses the offices of the civil rights organization and one other business.  A gasoline can was placed next to the device, but did not explode. There were no injuries, and minor damage to the building.

Amy Sanders with the FBI says they’re investigating.  

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Parks & Recreation
5:28 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Falcon Regional Park Planning Underway

El Paso County is undergoing a master plan process to get public input for the new Falcon Regional Park. 

The 215-acre park site is east of the Meridian Ranch Development near Falcon High School. A survey is the next step in the planning process, and it asked residents which amenities, like picnic pavilions, baseball fields and trails are the most important to include.

Elaine Kleckner is the Planning Manager for El Paso County. She says the park is not only important to the community of Falcon, but the surrounding areas as well.

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Capitol Coverage
4:42 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Legislative Preview: Q & A with Morgan Carroll, Colo. Senate Minority Leader

Morgan Carroll, Senate Minority Leader
Credit Colorado General Assembly

In a series of interviews with legislative leaders, statehouse correspondent Bente Birkeland discusses the upcoming legislative session and the change of control in the state Senate. Morgan Carroll [D-Aurora] is going from senate president to minority leader.  
 

Morgan Carroll on Republicans gaining control of the state Senate

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Capitol Coverage
5:02 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Legislative Preview: Q & A with Colo. House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst

Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, Speaker of the House
Credit Colorado General Assembly

Dickey Lee Hullinghorst [D-Boulder] will be the next speaker of the House. She discusses her priorities and her party’s agenda for the session, as a part of a series of interviews with legislative leaders.

Dickey Lee Hullinghorst discusses the Governor’s Oil and Gas Task Force

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Capitol Coverage
7:44 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Legislative Preview: Q & A with Brian DelGrosso, Colo. House Minority Leader

Brian DelGrosso, House minority leader [R-Loveland]
Credit Colorado General Assembly

House minority leader Brian DelGrosso [R-Loveland] discusses his thoughts on the upcoming legislative session as part of a series of interviews with legislative leaders. DelGrosso was the minority leader for the last two years, and his party made gains in the house last November to narrow the Democratic majority.

DelGrosso on Spilt Legislative Control

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Capitol Conversation
7:44 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Capitol Conversation: Previewing the 2015 Session

 
State lawmakers return to the capitol for the annual legislative session on Wednesday, January 7th. Bente Birkeland gets a preview of what to expect as part of our Capitol Conversation series.
 

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Connecting the Drops
7:35 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Turning Water Into Snow

Harry Lynk walks toward a snow gun on Aspen Mountain
Credit Marci Krivonen / RMCR

It’s that time of year when ski resorts crank up snowmaking machines to bolster Mother Nature’s delivery. Some resorts depend on man-made snow more than others, and it’s possible the practice may be used more in the future.
 

Snow on Aspen Mountain reflects the early afternoon sun, as skiers zig-zag their way down steep terrain. Snowmaking manager Harry Lynk takes a snowmobile up a steep pitch before arriving at one of the resort’s snowmaking machines, or guns.

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Agriculture
4:28 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Conservation Funding Granted for Pueblo County Ranch

The Palmer Land Trust has received funding from Great Outdoors Colorado, or GOCO, to conserve a large working ranch just east of Pueblo.  

KRCC’s Rachel Gonchar has more.
 

The conservation group says the 25,000-acre BX Ranch south of Boone is one of the largest working ranches in Pueblo County.

Palmer Land Trust Executive Director Rebecca Jewett says this funding will help preserve that history.

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Pueblo
4:43 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Construction Begins on Levee

Work on the Arkansas River levee begins in Pueblo.
Credit Shanna Lewis / KRCC

Demolition work has begun to remove the top 12 feet of a section of the Arkansas River Levee in Pueblo. It’s part of the first phase of a project to repair the aging structure and meet FEMA flood control guidelines.
 

Heavy equipment moves dirt and concrete as the contractors build a ramp to access the top of the levee. Part of the pedestrian path near the work area has been closed for safety reasons. 

Consulting engineer Kim Kock says they expect the first critical section to be complete by mid February, despite the delay in beginning work.

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Water
3:19 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

USGS: Ogallala Groundwater Levels Continue to Decline

The U.S Geological Survey says the High Plains Aquifer, also known as the Ogallala, is losing groundwater likely due to increased groundwater pumping. 

The USGS released a report detailing an 8% decline between the years of 1950 and 2011. The overall average water-level declined about 15.4 feet. Between 2011 and 2013, the overall water level declined 2.1 feet.

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Colorado Springs
2:25 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Mayor Bach Won't Seek Second Term

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach
Credit file photo

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has announced he will not run for a second term in April’s Municipal Election.  KRCC’s Rachel Gonchar has more.

Bach was elected to a four-year term in May 2011, as the city’s first “Strong Mayor” under a new charter adopted the year before. The charter transformed city government from a council-appointed city manager model to a council-elected system that gives the mayor more control of the city’s operations.

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Pinon Canyon
11:19 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site DEIS Public Comment Period to Close

The Army is looking to increase training activities at its Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeastern Colorado. As part of the process, officials are required to conduct environmental impact studies and open the reports to public comments.

Today, Monday December 15, is the last day to submit public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed increase in training.

You can view the DEIS here [.pdf].

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Pueblo
4:09 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Former Smelter Site in Pueblo Designated by EPA as Superfund Site

The former Colorado Smelter site in south Pueblo is now designated a Superfund Site by the Environmental Protection Agency. As KRCC's Shanna Lewis reports, this means the federal agency will investigate and clean up toxic waste in the area.

In 2010 state health department tests found elevated levels of lead and arsenic in properties surrounding the smelter - which closed more than 100 years ago.

The EPA’s Chris Wardell says residents have a variety of concerns about the Superfund listing, ranging from costs to the effect on real estate values.  

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Water
4:05 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Draft Water Plan for Colorado Unveiled

Governor Hickenlooper releases the draft water plan for the state. It's open now for public comments.

Governor John Hickenlooper unveiled a draft of the state’s first ever water plan on Wednesday. The goal is to create a comprehensive water strategy to protect rural farm economies and bring more water to millions of people along the Front Range.The plan has been a decade in the making and supporters say it will help the state meet water demands as the population grows.
 

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Capitol Coverage
8:07 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Lawmakers to Consider Physician-Assisted Suicide

Credit file

Colorado is one of several states that will take up the issue of physician-assisted suicide. The topic is once again in the national spotlight with the recent death of Brittany Maynard. The terminally ill 29 year-old moved to Oregon to take advantage of that state’s Death with Dignity law.

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Health
4:54 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Pueblo Sees First Flu-Related Death; Vaccine Encouraged

Pueblo County Health officials say a resident there has died from issues related to the flu, and 60 have been hospitalized since October. Statewide, cases are occurring a month earlier in many locations. KRCC's Tucker Hampson reports. 
 

About 100 people have been hospitalized so far this year statewide as compared to 85 at this time last year.  Lisa Miller, state epidemiologist for the Colorado Department of Health, says a change in the flu virus may have lessened the vaccine effectiveness, but it’s still important.

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Capitol Coverage
7:53 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Restoration at the State Capitol

Restoration efforts inside the state capitol
Credit Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Colorado’s state capitol is getting a major upgrade. A two-year renovation of the building’s signature gold dome was recently completed – and on the inside, work is underway on both the House and Senate chambers. As with any remodeling project, workers have uncovered some interesting surprises along the way.
 

The state capitol opened in 1894 and several restoration projects have been undertaken since then. The most recent work began because of a radiator…

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Sand Creek Massacre
6:45 am
Thu December 4, 2014

In Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Sand Creek, Governor Hickenlooper Apologizes

Tribal leaders and others gather outside the state capitol to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre.
Credit Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Governor John Hickenlooper has apologized on behalf of the state of Colorado for the Sand Creek Massacre. The Massacre happened in the early morning of November 29th, 1864.  U.S. Calvary soldiers converged on a sleeping group of mostly women, children and elderly Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. The 150 year-old event is one of the most notable incidents of violence against Native Americans in the history of the west.
 

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Sand Creek
4:51 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Gov. Apologizes at Sand Creek Massacre 150th Commemoration Ceremony

A commemoration of the Sand Creek Massacre took place today at the Capitol. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.
 

150 years ago on the eastern plains of Colorado, the US Army, led by Col. John Chivington, killed by some estimates 200 Cheyenne and Arapahoe, mostly women and children. Today at the Capitol was the final day of a healing ceremony, where Governor John Hickenlooper publicly apologized for the massacre.

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Public Safety
3:50 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Police Officers Hit by Car During Denver Ferguson March

Four Denver police officers were hit by a car while watching a high school demonstration protesting last week’s grand jury verdict in Ferguson.

The decision not to charge Officer Darren Wilson sparked demonstrations across the country, including in Colorado Springs.  

In Denver, nearly 1,000 East High School students walked out of class Wednesday and marched to the capitol. Students say the actual march was not planned.   

Still, officers shut down streets so students could cross.

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Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site
5:29 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Army Looks to Increase Intensity of Training Exercises at Maneuver Site

A sign at the entrance to the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site points the way to the public meeting.
Credit Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

Explosions, drones, and full-brigade size exercises with armored vehicles are all a part of the Army’s proposed Enhanced Readiness plan for its Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeastern Colorado. The goal is to get troops trained on new gear.  It’s a controversial plan that some say opens the door to expansion, a notion that’s long been a thorn in the side of many nearby residents.

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Colorado Springs
5:02 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Colorado Springs Council Accepting Applications for D2 Vacancy

Colorado Springs residents have until December 8th to apply for the council seat recently vacated by Joel Miller. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.
 

Applicants must live in District 2 [.pdf], be at least 25 years of age, and both a US citizen and registered voter. The new council member will be expected to attend numerous meetings and events and meet the required minimum 30-35 hours of work a month. 

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Oil & Gas
12:20 pm
Sat November 22, 2014

Agreement Reached For Colorado's Roan Plateau

Colorado's Roan Plateau
Courtesy of EcoFlight

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 3:25 pm

The Bureau of Land Management, environmentalists, and the energy industry have reached an agreement on a proposal to drill for oil and gas on the Roan Plateau. The new plan cancels 17 out of 19 oil and gas leases that were issued in 2008. Two previous leases at the top of the plateau, and a dozen at the base will remain in place.

"These measures allow us to protect the plateau but harness some of the energy resources," said Governor John Hickenlooper.

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Connecting the Drops
11:17 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Farming the Ogallala

A center pivot irrigation system near Wray, CO
Credit Shelley Schlender

Most Colorado cities and farms get water from snowmelt in the Rockies. That’s not the case in Northeastern Colorado. This food-producing powerhouse depends on an ancient, underground reservoir called the Ogallala.

Ever since the Ice Ages, the Ogallala’s been slowly accumulating water. Modern farmers, though, pump so much water that this “timeless” aquifer is starting to run out. Someday up ahead, Northeast Colorado may have to curtail some crops, and some farm towns might become ghost towns.
 

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Pueblo's Arkansas River Levee
2:30 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Work on Pueblo Levee Project Faces Slight Delay

Looking downriver at the Arkansas River and Pueblo Levee Mural near the 4th Street Bridge.
Credit Shanna Lewis / KRCC

The start of a massive repair project on the Arkansas River levee in Pueblo is being delayed until December due to historic preservation concerns and some delays in the funding.
 

The project’s consulting engineer Kim Kock says the state historic preservation officer has said the levee could be deemed historic because it was constructed in response to the deadly 1921 floods and used methods of that time period.

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Black Forest Fire
4:12 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Black Forest Fire Cause Undetermined; No Criminal Charges

Investigators say there’s not enough evidence to file charges in connection with last year’s devastating Black Forest Fire.

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Local News
10:02 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Wastewater Disposal Seen as Potential Trigger for Earthquakes

Land near the Colorado-New Mexico border has recently been caving inwards in an area where a 5.3 magnitude earthquake took place in 2011. As KRCC’s Dana Cronin reports, scientists at the United States Geological Survey are pointing to wastewater disposal as a potential trigger.
 

Higher magnitude earthquakes are a rarity in Colorado, making the 2011 quake of special interest to scientists. Research showed a possible cause as wastewater injection which involves the pumping of large volumes of fluid into the Earth, creating high-pressure conditions.

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