Colorado

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.

Gov. Jared Polis wants to leverage Colorado's stronger than expected revenue projections to pay for full-day kindergarten next school year.

He's asking lawmakers to approve $227 million in the budget for the kindergarten classes.

Polis says the spending will allow 30,000 families to stop paying tuition.

State Transportation Commissioner Rocky Scott says his lunch conversation at a Colorado Springs steakhouse took on a sobering tone Monday when the discussion turned to the state’s road funding woes.

“I don’t think we’re going to solve this before I leave the commission,” Scott said.

Three weeks after voters rejected two transportation funding measures, Scott and some of the other commissioners who oversee the state’s road improvement budget still sound resigned.

Two members of Colorado's Democratic House delegation are adding some suspense to Nancy Pelosi's quest to become speaker.

This week, Congressman Ed Perlmutter signed a letter with 15 other House Democrats opposing Pelosi's bid.

New cars sold in Colorado will have to run cleaner and average 36 miles per gallon by 2025 thanks to new emission rules adopted Friday.

The move was supported by ski areas and other businesses that have called on the state to take steps to combat the effects of greenhouse gases and climate change.

But some local government leaders and auto dealers in the state are afraid these new rules will have unintended consequences.

The National Park Service is donating more funds to preserve, restore and increase education about Japanese American internment camps scattered across the U.S.  Most of them are in the West. 

The outdoor recreation industry is growing faster than ever, especially in our region. In fact, new statistics show this sector grew faster than the overall U.S. economy.

Mark Twain was reputed to have said “too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” Colorado seems to agree.

State tax records show spirit sales up 35 percent since 2010, meaning hard liquor sales have grown three times faster than beer in that time. That’s not a knock against the state’s love affair with craft beer. Beer sales, which grew 9 percent, are weighed down by weak domestic brand sales.

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The Colorado Rockies are packed with natural beauty, huge vistas, pretty flowers and adorable critters.

But when I backpacked the 160-mile Collegiate Loop on the Colorado Trail last month, I discovered a great little community of strangers out on the trail. Here are just a few of the notables I met on the trail.

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A Colorado couple is warning other parents after their 3-year-old was locked in a washing machine filling with water.

As The Washington Post reports, Alan and Lindsey McIver’s 2-year-old daughter Kloe was locked inside a washing machine last week. It is believed that the toddler crawled inside and then her 4-year-old brother Jace shut the door.

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Colorado’s gubernatorial race is pretty much a free-for-all, based on Tuesday’s caucus.

As The Denver Post reports, a significant number of Democratic and Republican voters appeared undecided about their favorite candidates and remained split on which offers their party the best chance to win in November.

Caucuses are held across the state in places like schools, churches and community centers to give candidates the opportunity to qualify for the June primary ballot.

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Health care costs for Coloradans are above average, according to a new study, and highest in the state’s eastern plains.

A study by the national Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement found that Colorado’s health care costs are 17 percent above average when compared to Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon and Utah. The cost of outpatient services in Colorado was even higher at 30 percent above average

50states.com

Some Colorado lawmakers are trying to clear the backlog in the state’s driver’s license program for people living in the US illegally.

As The Denver Post reports, a proposal introduced last week would allow applicants to use a Social Security number as part of their application instead of just an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, because allowing only the latter, advocates say, has cut out a host of otherwise eligible applicants.

Lottery Funds Helping Outdoor Colorado

Jan 16, 2018
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Lottery proceeds in are benefitting open-space projects in Colorado, making it more likely that a proposed bill to make the state lottery permanent will pass.

As The Denver Post reports, a new study found that grants from Colorado Lottery-funded Great Outdoors Colorado directly supported 11,800 jobs, providing $507 million in labor income and, by protecting land and water and open space for recreation, helped spur $392 million in spending on sporting goods over the past decade.

Colorado Ill-Prepared For Economic Downturn

Dec 4, 2017
50states.com

Colorado is among the least prepared states in the country for the next recession.

As The Denver Post reports, a new analysis from Moody’s Analytics found that the state’s rainy day fund of $613 million is less than half the money needed for even a moderate economic downturn.

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The Colorado Department of Corrections is asking the state to add $11 million to this year’s budget to lease a private prison while it attempts to reopen a closed one in Canon City.

As The Denver Post reports, the department of correction’s supplementary budget shows it wants $10.9 million to open a 250-bed private prison because of an unexpected increase in prisoners.

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What’s the difference between a tax and a fee?

As The Denver Post reports, that's the question being asked in three major court cases in Colorado.  

Sean MacEntee / Flickr Creative Commons

What do High Plains folks hate the most?

There’s a new app called Hater that works like Tinder, except it matches users based on common things they loathe.

As The Houston Chronicle reports, according to the app’s users, the most common thing Texans hate is . . . “sleeping with the window open.”

This may come as a surprise, as there are so many things to hate in Texas, like rattlesnakes and poorly constructed tacos.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Emmanuel Garza moved from Texas to Colorado so his baby daughter could get the medical marijuana treatment she needed. Legislation to legalize the same treatment in Texas failed to pass during the regular legislative session.

By Alex Samuels, The Texas Tribune

Madelynn Garza had her first seizure at three months old.

50states.com

Political strategists from both parties are expecting the 2018 governor’s race in Colorado to shatter state campaign spending records.

Fueling this belief, as The Denver Post reports, is the entry of one – possibly two – wealthy candidates who could take advantage of Colorado’s campaign rules to overwhelm the opposition with money from their own pockets.

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Marijuana operations are currently prohibited in Prowers County, Colorado, but members of a local economic board recently discussed the dramatic tax growth other Colorado communities have seen from the sale of marijuana in their towns.

Polis throws hat in the ring for Colorado governor

Jun 12, 2017
Office of Congressman Jared Polis

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis joined the ever-increasing ring of candidates running for governor of Colorado.

Polis announced his plans to enter the race during an interview with The Denver Post on Sunday.

Polis, a Democrat from Boulder, says he wants to work at a state level to fight the Trump Administration – that he can do more good working in Colorado on renewable energy and improving education than he can in Washington right now.

Colorado budget bill heads to governor's desk

May 4, 2017
50states.com

Colorado’s $26.8 billion state budget bill headed to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk Wednesday after the Senate approved the final version on a 33-1 vote.

As The Denver Post reports, the Senate approved the final version of the budget despite reservations about a move to balance the budget by cutting $264 million from hospitals – a move that is worth double that once federal matching dollars are added.

Tim Drivas / Creative Commons

A train-hopping runaway adolescent showed up in Dumas, Texas, this week, complaining that she’d run out of candy.

As The Denver Post reports, 13-year-old Adelie Rivera, a resident of Lubbock, was on vacation in Colorado with her family when she decided to shed the shackles of bourgeois life and hop a freight car to freedom.

Unfortunately, Rivera had failed to supply her hobo sack with a sufficient supply of Skittles.

Blink while driving on Highway 34 east of Greeley, Colorado, and you might miss the former Great Plains town of Dearfield.

Abandoned towns from the early 20th century are far from unique on this stretch of plains. Withered storefronts and collapsed false-front homes are common. Boom and bust economics and harsh weather made it tough for turn of the century settlers to succeed long-term.

Standing high above the Eastern Plains of Colorado, east of Limon, stands the “World’s Wonder View Tower,” which during the town’s heyday, was a popular stop for tourists traveling through.

The Colorado Preservation, Inc., has selected the aging tower as one of three of the state’s site in danger of disappearing. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Colorado is being sued by an environmental group over the state’s controversial plan to kill mule deer predators.

Residents of Colorado will need to provide proof of ownership for certain recreational vehicles to meet a new requirement enacted by the Colorado Legislature to assure that stolen vehicles are not being bought or sold.

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