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With the election now only one week away, nearly a quarter of Colorado voters have already cast their ballots. Early in person voting ends on Friday. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol…


Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has announced the formation of what he’s calling the Pension Solutions Team. The goal is to provide the city with advice on achieving long-term sustainability of the city’s pension program. In a press release, Bach said the current pension situation could lead to General Fund insolvency, and needs to be changed to ensure long term sustainability.


El Paso County Health officials are reporting the first hospitalized flu patients this season. Three elderly people and one youth have been hospitalized, dating back to October 9th. Flu season typically peaks in January or February, and last year nearly 50 people in the county were hospitalized due to flu-related symptoms. The El Paso County Health Department is urging anyone 6 months of age and older to get vaccinated now.


The Wetmore Fire is 100% contained as of yesterday afternoon. The nearly week-old blaze burned nearly 2000 acres in Pueblo and Custer Counties, and destroyed 15 residences. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and the public may smell smoke in the area for the next few weeks.


The National Wildlife Federation recently released the results of their Hunters and Anglers survey. KRCC’s Kate Dunn says the report shows conservation continues to be an important issue for many sportsmen.

 

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Steve Hebert for ProPublica
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Nonprofit hospitals provide assistance to poor patients in exchange for tax breaks. But some still seize wages of poor patients with unpaid bills — even those who qualify for free or reduced care.
 

AP
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Cuba is one of the least connected countries on Earth, with 5 percent of residents online. But it could become the Caribbean’s largest market if the Castros open the nation up to the Internet.
 

December 19, 2014 | NPR · Marine scientists plumbing the deepest part of the ocean sent microphones and collection probes baited with chicken to the bottom of a trench near Guam. Now they watch, wait … and listen.
 

Arts & Life

The Weinstein Company
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Walter Keane made his name with wistful paintings of big-eyed children — paintings actually done by his wife. Tim Burton directs and Amy Adams stars in Big Eyes, a new movie about the Keanes.
 

iStockphoto
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Pearl shares the books she loved this year that you might not have heard of. Her list includes a Hollywood satire, two thrillers, a young adult novel and a nonfiction book about World War I.
 

Film Movement
December 18, 2014 | NPR · The film If You Don’t, I Will has some strong dialogue and performances, but its tale of a marriage in peril sags too often in its recounting of the journey.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
December 18, 2014 | WXPN · We speak with the head of Nacional Records about three essential latin alternative songs.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 18, 2014 | WXPN · David Dye sits down with Andrew Savage and Austin Brown to discuss their prolific year.
 

December 18, 2014 | NPR · Cuban rhythms and melodies have been part of what’s been called the most American of art forms — jazz — ever since Jelly Roll Morton first heard them in the port of New Orleans and used them in his music. Josephine Baker performed in Cuba and Nat King Cole recorded there. But the revolution made cultural exchange all but impossible and even supposedly open-minded artists and musicians took sides.
 

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