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Today on Colorado Edition: a new poll looks at how Americans feel about red flag legislation. We'll look at the numbers and what they mean for Colorado. Plus, we dive into the state's standardized test score data and meet a sculptor in Loveland hoping to break the bronze ceiling with a work dedicated to the suffragette movement. Finally, we'll celebrate National Radio Day. 

Update at 1:43 p.m.

The Deer Creek Canyon Park fire in Jefferson County is 100% contained.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says area roads have been reopened to residents. Fire crews are still working the blaze and smoke is still visible.

Today on Colorado Edition: 66 motorcyclists and 10 bicyclists have died on Colorado's roads so far this year. We discuss tips for driving, motorcycling and cycling safely. Plus, we learn about the future of abandoned oil and gas wells in the state. At the same time, a long-abandoned plot of land along Highway 36 moves towards development. Finally, a high-security plant destroys the U.S. Army's chemical weapons in a race against the looming threat of climate change. 

Half a dozen men in hard hats watched as their drill rig rose more than 100 feet high. On top, an American flag fluttered in the sun. At the work site just east of Interstate 25 in Adams County, the crew was preparing for the start of an unusual job.

Instead of drilling a mile beneath the surface to extract oil, they were about to rip a well out of the ground. In its place, they'd leave cement plugs strong enough to seal the hole for thousands of years.

Coloradans on both sides of the political aisle are celebrating the approval of a new reinsurance program that is expected to dramatically reduce health insurance premiums for some residents.

"By bringing down rates, we'll make a dent in the number of uninsured, and today we're really seeing the hard work we did this legislative session is coming to fruition," Gov. Jared Polis said last month.

Reinsurance is often described as insurance for insurance companies.

Many parts of the Mountain West are news deserts -- and it’s getting worse. More than 20 counties in our region have no local newspaper. The ones that are left are struggling. And research suggests news deserts contribute to low voter turnout and increasing partisanship

One hundred and fifty years ago, a group of explorers led by Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell set out to document the canyons of the Green and Colorado Rivers. It was the first trip of its kind. To commemorate the journey, a group of scientists, artists and graduate students from the University of Wyoming called the Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploring Expedition has been retracing his steps this summer. 

A pair of scientific reports out this week looked at air pollution and how it’s changed in recent years. The Mountain West looks clean compared to other parts of the country, at first glance.

Outdoor recreation offices in the West are spearheading a national network to promote the industry along with The National Governors Association.  

Wells built to bring underground water supplies to the surface are being dug deeper to tap into dwindling aquifers, according to a new study.  

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. 

Tensions between oil and gas companies and communities along the Front Range are heating up again. So far this year, at least eight cities and counties have temporarily stopped processing new drilling permits in the wake of a new state law. The latest is Boulder County, where commissioners will hear public testimony on Tuesday on a new nine-month moratorium.

The Mountain West has disproportionately high rates of depressive disorders and suicide. Researchers are trying to find out why. Turns out, the mountains themselves might have something to do with it. 

Most of the offices inside the state Capitol are locked and dark this time of year as lawmakers enjoy some time off. But there was recently a flurry of activity in Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet's office as she prepared to lead a new committee of lawmakers who will try to make classrooms safer in the wake of the deadly shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch.

People are protesting the U.S.’s treatment of immigrants, with vigils planned across the country for the night of Friday, July 12. Collectively, the national event is called “Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps.” 

Some presidential candidates like Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg are seeing their profiles and poll numbers rise after last week’s debates in Miami. But others, including former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, are making headlines for the attention they’re still not getting.

Colorado State University has ushered in a new and historic era. Joyce McConnell is the 15th president of the CSU System's flagship institution in Fort Collins and the first woman to serve in the role. As the university heads into its 150th year, KUNC's Stephanie Daniel spoke with McConnell to learn more about her vision for the future.

Update posted June 26, 2019 at 5:48 p.m.: A spokesperson with Clayton Homes says the company has reopened conversations with the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center about the properties they own in Dearfield. "Our hope is to find a way to support their goals while moving ahead with plans to establish affordable housing in the area," said a statement.

About a century ago, African-American settlements sprang up across the West. Now, one of those sites in northern Colorado is set to host new houses.

The Black American West Museum, based in Denver, owns a number of properties in what used to be the town of Dearfield, Colorado. But a national homebuilding company, CMH Homes, Inc., also known as Clayton Homes, is now taking steps to turn other parts of the town into new residences.

Groundwater pumping is causing rivers and small streams throughout the country to decline, according to a new study from researchers at the Colorado School of Mines and the University of Arizona.

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 neurodegenerative illness called chronic wasting disease is spreading among deer and elk in our region. Now, researchers at Colorado State University say they’ve found a new way to study the disease -- and another indication that it might eventually become capable of sickening people.

Gov. Jared Polis has signed an executive order aiming to increase vaccination rates in the state.

“We all know why we are here and what the problem is,” Polis said Thursday during a press conference at an urgent care center for children in downtown Denver. 

On this week's Colorado Edition, a look at how the "hate state" was transformed into a leader in equal rights. Plus, a look at what happens to a rural community when the young people move away, a program that teaches athlete-level physical conditioning for musicians, and a review of the new movie The Fall of the American Empire.

A state-by-state effort to start using the popular vote as the deciding factor in presidential elections is getting some mixed results in the months after Colorado joined the cause.

The leaders of the national popular vote compact are celebrating Oregon’s decision this month to join the group. If the governor approves the change as expected, the Beaver state will become the 15th state to join the initiative.

Top politicians are in Vail, Colorado, this week for the annual meeting of the Western Governors Association.

It's the unofficial start of summer, and crowds are flocking to national parks and public lands in search of the perfect Instagram shot. We also look at a different kind of crowd — of the home-buying variety — vying to purchase a limited supply of real estate in northern Colorado, and explore how climate change is threatening national security at the North Pole.

That and more in this week's episode of Colorado Edition.

Keegan Kellogg sits at the front of his classroom, facing about 20 students. He points to their next assignment written on a letter-sized piece of white paper.

"It says, 'I learned a bunch in…?'" Kellogg asked.

"Kindergarten," replied the students.

Kellogg teaches at Jackson Elementary School in Greeley. Greeley-Evan School District 6 has offered free, full-day kindergarten for about 15 years. Next year, all school districts in the state will be able to offer the same.

Out on Colorado’s Eastern Plains, the sound of hammers and saw blades cuts through the steady silence. A construction site hums next to a solitary cluster of nearly 150 newly built homes and 48 apartment units.

In the small town of Wiggins, where a pair of grain silos are the tallest structures for miles, the population of less than 900 hadn’t grown in over a decade. But with this new development, the town’s on track to double in size by the middle of 2020.

There’s evidence that bee and butterfly populations are in decline, a phenomenon that some have dubbed the “insect apocalypse.” In response, the Colorado Department of Transportation has brought in a bug expert.

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