With Colorado’s legislative session right around the corner, statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland took some time to profile some of the new leaders at the Capitol. We begin with her profile of Governor-elect John Hickenlooper, who refers to himself as an unlikely politician. While the successful geologist turned brewpub owner may not have predicted a career in politics, many who have known him over the years say it’s a path that seems to fit. They paint a picture of a great storyteller with a funny exterior, who is also driven and ambitious; a man who is not afraid to think big and do things his own way. Bente Birkeland reports.

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December 6, 2016 | NPR · The president-elect also formally introduced retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as his pick to lead the Defense Department. Congress is also moving to fast-track a waiver he needs to be confirmed.
 

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December 6, 2016 | NPR · Amid their recent victory, people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline are huddling in shelters in North Dakota as a brutal winter storm bears down on them.
 

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December 6, 2016 | NPR · Alex Jones, whose radio show is carried by more than 160 stations, has also said the Sept. 11 attacks were an inside job and the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school never happened.
 

Arts & Life

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December 7, 2016 | NPR · The principal of a Miami middle school that artists adorned with murals two years ago says the art has led to better attendance and enrollment. This year, it’s an elementary school’s turn for murals.
 

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December 6, 2016 | NPR · The Undoing Project tells the story of two Israeli psychologists who made some surprising discoveries about the way people think. According to the Moneyball author, it’s all about framing.
 

December 6, 2016 | NPR · Once a day until December 25th, NPR’s “Monkey See” blog is highlighting a small, good thing that happened in pop culture this year.
 

Music

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December 6, 2016 | NPR · Film composer Ennio Morricone, known for his use of harmonica and whistling on Western scores, has re-imagined his most popular sounds with help from the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.
 

December 6, 2016 | FA · Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly released recording of the ’80 Montreal concert in which Dizzy Gillespie is joined by jazz legends Milt Jackson, Hank Jones, Ray Brown, James Moody and Philly Joe Jones.
 

December 6, 2016 | FA · The country star plays songs and talks with Fresh Air about his grandfather’s work in the coal mines. Yoakam’s latest album, Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars … features bluegrass versions of his hits.
 

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