Colorado

Music is blaring and grills are firing up at a parking lot awash in navy blue and orange outside Empower Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver.

Todd Endicott of Lafayette stands outside an ambulance turned Broncos fan-mobile. He outfitted this orange and blue rig for tailgates. It’s plastered in life-size stickers of players, and the football team’s logos, vintage and new. 

Proposition CC is pitting lawmakers who are seeking more money to pay for roads and education against residents who think government spending should have a limit.

Last updated Sat., Oct 19, 7:45 a.m.

At last update, officials say the blaze has grown to 8,694 acres and remains 30 percent contained. Officials says current cost of fighting the fire has reached $16.4 million.

Earlier this week, authorities in Chaffee County have lifted additional evacuation notices for some residents living near the Decker Fire. As of 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, evacuations for CR 101, Bear Creek were shifted to a pre-evacuation status.

Officials say CR 101 will remain closed to traffic, with the exception of residents living on the road. CR 108 remains closed to all traffic, with the exception of residents of Boot Hill and Methodist Estates.

On Tuesday, the evacuation notice for Chaffee County residents of Silverheels Drive and directly west of there was reverted to pre-evacuation status. 

In Fremont County, residents of Swissvale and Wellsville were be allowed to return to their homes earlier this week, but remain on pre-evacuation notice.

 

An array of radio towers sits behind security fences amid farms and pastures north of Fort Collins. This is home to WWV, the country's oldest radio call letters. The station's high-frequency broadcasts can be heard around the globe if you have the right kind of radio.

Now playing: pulsing sounds, every second, followed by an announcement of the exact time.

The station is run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, which is home to the atomic clock. WWV is capable of more than telling time. It could, if need be, save the world.

Kirsten Toft is a senior at the University of Denver. As a full-time student, she has two jobs and works at an unpaid internship. 

But she has to rely on her school’s food pantry and can barely afford what she’s doing. 

“I need to get by,” she said. “I need rent, pay my bills.” 

Sometimes her family will help her out, but it’s rare — her mother has helped with rent about four times in the last two years. She describes her parents as “not the wealthiest” and has a younger brother who’s also in school. 

A vast majority of Coloradans, 93.5%, have health insurance, but more are struggling to pay their medical bills, according to a new report from the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) based on a survey of 10,000 households.

Researchers are looking into what may be a peaceful solution to the timeless struggle against a Mountain West rodent. They’re giving prairie dogs birth control. 

Gov. Jared Polis announced Thursday his administration plans to turn the country's tallest mountain peak east of Interstate 25 into Colorado's newest state park.

Fishers Peak, which stands at 9,633 feet near the city of Trinidad in southern Colorado, has been privately owned and off limits to the public.

Gov. Jared Polis recently signed an executive order creating the Office of Future of Work at the Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). As outlined in a press release, this office will be a central point for the state's efforts to respond to Colorado's rapidly changing economy and workforce.

Colorado Edition co-host Henry Zimmerman spoke with KUNC's Stephanie Daniel to learn more about the new office.

Editor's note: This story is the first of a three-part series looking at the state of Colorado's efforts to get rural households connected to high-speed internet.

NORWOOD- People living in the small farming town of Norwood have done some strange things to stay connected to the internet.

For example, librarian Carrie Andrew said the security cameras at the library once captured a young man arrive on his bicycle after hours to utilize the building's blazing fast Wi-Fi.

Communities in the lower Arkansas River Valley have had issues with drinking water for years, including discoloration and poor taste. Recent data shows that two dozen water systems in the valley contain radioactive contaminants and are in violation of the Clean Water Act. There’s a possible solution though — the Arkansas Valley Conduit. It’s a pipeline that would deliver cleaner water from Pueblo Reservoir to the rest of the region. It’s been in the works for decades but has yet to be completely funded.

You might not know it but there’s a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose job includes killing wild animals – to the tune of millions each year.  It used to be called Animal Damage Control. Now it’s simply called Wildlife Services. Depending on who you talk to, the agency is controversial and secretive or, well-managed and essential.

Open space is coveted territory for hikers and mountain bikers. Hitting the trails in Westminster or Jefferson County can mean less traffic than a trip up the mountain to a crowded Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Open space is wild-looking land set aside for preservation with the idea that it won’t be developed. Typically, voters weigh in on a tax to buy, manage and maintain it. And the city also doesn’t carve up the land into a park with picnic tables, baseball diamonds and jungle gyms. 

Around 100 peaceful demonstrators gathered Saturday morning near downtown Colorado Springs to march in protest against police brutality. 

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An armed suspect barricaded himself in a Cheyenne Wells, Colorado home yesterday, forcing road closures and a daylong standoff with law enforcement before he was arrested.

Water managers on the Colorado River are facing a unique moment. With a temporary fix to the river’s scarcity problem recently completed, talk has begun to turn toward future agreements to manage the water source for 40 million people in the southwestern U.S. 

On the floor of Pueblo’s Steelworks Center of the West — now a museum in what was the Colorado Fuel and Iron company steel mill’s medical building — three stripes in different colors run from room to room. They helped the mill’s many non-English speakers navigate their way to the appropriate service.

The Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office is seeking public comment on a draft management plan for 658,000 acres of public lands in Eastern Colorado, including land along the Arkansas River.

https://www.colorado.gov/governor/gov-polis

An effort to recall Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has gained traction with the Secretary of State’s approval Monday.

As The Denver Post reports, the group Dismiss Polis is gathering signatures to oust Polis and on Monday, received approval from the Secretary of State’s Office to begin printing the petitions and distributing them to supporters.

One morning in mid-February, David Herz went to turn on the faucet in his farmhouse outside the small western Colorado town of Paonia, and nothing came out.

“I thought, ‘Oh, f---. We got a problem,’” Herz said.

A clear, surging mountain stream is an iconic Colorado image, even as water can be pretty scarce in this typically arid state. It's a pristine reputation that several companies have tried to capitalize on.

Sara DeMeola asked Colorado Wonders if bottled water in Colorado has become big business.

“It’s hard to find much information on where bottled water comes from or how much bottled water companies have bought into the water rights of the West,” she said.

Several years ago, art teacher Jessica Ruby started to notice something concerning at the end of each class she taught.

“I would give them their art and they would walk by my trash can and throw it away on their way out of my room,” said Ruby, who teaches at Pete Mirich Elementary in Weld County School District RE-1. “I thought, ‘What’s happening? What’s making them do this?’”

Kristen Lewis keeps a brown cardboard box in her office at Boulder High School. It’s filled with vape pens like JUULs, the leading brand of e-cigarettes, dozens of the pods that carry nicotine liquid, and a lonely box of Marlboros.

“This is what I call the box of death,” she said. “This is everything that we’ve confiscated.”

The law that governs today’s hardrock mines on public lands in the West is nearly 150 years old. New legislation this week from House Democrats would enact significant reforms. 

Jenny Sanchez is a first-generation college student.

"My mom stopped at sixth grade and my dad stopped freshman year of high school and they didn't continue from there," she said.

The 19-year-old is a freshman at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), studying biology and pre-med. She wants to be a pediatrician one day.

Update, April 16, 2019: Lawmakers on a House committee advanced a bill to tighten the state's school immunization rules.  The bill passed 7-4 along party lines and now goes to the full House.  The vote came at 4 a.m. Tuesday morning after a marathon session of testimony.  Hundreds turned out to share their views, filling the halls and listening in from overflow rooms.

About 100 people gathered outside the Greeley Chamber of Commerce on Friday to protest a bill that could tighten regulations on the oil and gas industry.  

“It’s just kind of sneaky,” Weld County resident Jolene Luster said about the bill. “We don’t understand it and it’s going to affect a lot of people. And we need to make sure that it doesn’t go through.

Multiple road closures have crippled Colorado's interstate system, with blizzard conditions shutting down large sections of I-25, I-76 and US-287 as a major winter storm officially called a "bomb cyclone" sweeps through Colorado. Wind gusts of 80 mph have been reported at Denver International Airport.

At least one state in our region is poised to join the movement to change how we vote for our president. Colorado’s Governor, Jared Polis, is expected to sign legislation soon.

Colorado teens vape more than teens in any other state studied by federal researchers and at twice the rate of the national average. That's according to federal research on vaporizers, or e-cigarettes, and it leads health experts to warn that teens either misunderstand or underestimate the risks.

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