The 2010-2011 season marks Lawrence Leighton Smith’s 11th year as Music Director of the Colorado Springs Symphony and Philharmonic, and his final one on the job. What should have been a triumphant retirement year for Smith has been darkened by news of his recent diagnosis with Binswanger’s Disease, a form of dementia. But Smith was [...]

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A bill that would let illegal immigrants who graduate from Colorado high schools pay in-state college tuition cleared the Democratic controlled senate education committee on a party line vote yesterday. The committee room was packed, and an opponent of the controversial bill even asked that all non-citizens be removed from the hearing room. Bente Birkeland [...]

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Top leaders in the Democratic controlled senate say parts of Governor John Hickenlooper’s budget are dead on arrival…and, Action 22, a group that represents 22 southern Colorado counties, opposes another element in the Governor’s proposed budget that would close a prison in Las Animas. The group says the Fort Lyon Correctional Facility is in an [...]

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Crews have contained a grass fire that was threatening buildings near Ellicott in El Paso County…Crews are beginning to remove rock from US 50 west of Cotopaxi, and aim to have the highway reopen by the weekend…Army officials say President Barack Obama’s budget proposal includes $477 million for destroying obsolete chemical weapons stored in [...]

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In Colorado Springs, the city clerk says candidates should return corporate contributions (Gazette, KKTV). Area school districts react to proposed cuts in the state budget (Gazette). The National Trust for Historic Preservation recognizes the city in its annual list of “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” (Gazette).

The Pueblo Board [...]

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Public schools will likely bear the biggest brunt of the cuts if the Governor’s budget is approved by the legislature. Those cuts come at a time when many traditionally under-performing Colorado schools are starting to win praise for turning things around. From Rocky Mountain Community Radio member station KUNC, Kirk Siegler reports.

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Governor John Hickenlooper released a budget plan for next year that met with Republican praise and Democratic concern. Hickenlooper is proposing the deepest cuts in state history for K-12 schools. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Governor John Hickenlooper released his budget today and is proposing the highest cuts to K-12 schools the state has ever seen…Crews are working on cleaning up a rockslide on U.S. 50 that occurred yesterday (see photo above)…and, Army leaders will gather at Fort Carson tomorrow for a symposium on rear detachments.

(Image courtesy CDOT)

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Tuesday Index

On February 15, 2011 By

A portion of U.S. 50 between Cotapaxi and Howard remains closed due to a rock slide (KRDO, KXRM, Chieftain).

In Colorado Springs, a ruling prohibiting corporate contributions to campaigns surprises council members (Gazette), while one mayoral candidate files a complaint over corporate contributions other mayoral candidates received [...]

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A measure that would make it tougher to change the state constitution cleared a senate committee yesterday. Supporters of the proposal say the constitution is already too complicated and initiatives cost millions of dollars to defeat and defend in court. But as Bente Birkeland reports, Libertarian and Tea Party groups say the measure infringes on [...]

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Movies like How the West Was Won starring Henry Fonda and Gregory Peck, the original True Grit with John Wayne, and Sleeper with Woody Allen and Diane Keaton have given places like Canon City, Denver, Durango, and Bent’s Old Fort near LaJunta visibility on the silver screen. But as other areas began offering large [...]

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One of the more controversial bills introduced in the state’s legislative session is scheduled to die before it even gets a hearing. A Republican house member says he plans to kill his own bill that would have adopted an Arizona style immigration law. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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State lawmakers will get their first chance this week to shape the federal health care law for Colorado. The Affordable Care Act requires states to set up new “health insurance exchanges.” Exchanges are new marketplaces where coverage will be very cheap for people who don’t make much money. That’s what many in health care are [...]

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The Colorado Department of Education says 72.4% of the class of 2010 graduated high school on time, which means within four years…A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block a prayer luncheon at the Air Force Academy…and, the Mountain Metropolitan Transit service has replaced 30 passenger vans.

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Latest snow fall may not help moisture conditions (Gazette).

A look at campaign finance for city council positions in Colorado Springs show a wide gap (Gazette).

Peyton firefighters quit, citing safety issues (Gazette, KRDO). Harrison D-2 officials hear concerns about a plan to close Chamberlin Academy ( Continue Reading

Rainbow Falls lies along Fountain Creek above Manitou Springs, but because of visits by people with spray paint, many have come to know it by a different name: Graffiti Falls. KRCC’s Kate Jonuska set out to explore efforts to clean up the area, and discovered what some see as art, others see as vandalism.

This [...]

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Colorado Republicans will have a new state party leader after chair Dick Wadhams unexpectedly dropped out of the running for a third term. Bente Birkeland examines the impact of his decision and what it means for Republicans across the state.

*Denver Republican Attorney Ryan Call, legal counsel for the state GOP, announced his candidacy for [...]

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Colorado’s two U.S. Senators are backing the President’s call for a line-item veto to eliminate what he thinks is wasteful spending…The Justice Department says it’s reviewing a request by Colorado and 12 other states looking for the government’s help obtaining supplies of a scarce execution drug…and, a federal judge is hearing arguments on whether to [...]

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The High Country News takes a look at President Obama’s record on environmental issues in the west*. Snow returns to the Front Range (Gazette). Challenges face John Salazar, Governor Hickenlooper’s choice to direct the state Agriculture Department (Chieftain).

In Colorado Springs, the notion to examine the city’s pension obligations fails [...]

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The job of balancing Colorado’s roughly 1.1 billion dollar budget shortfall largely falls on the shoulders of just six lawmakers. This bi-partisan group sits on the powerful joint budget committee that’s charged with writing the budget. Most of the members are new to the committee this year, and for the first time in several years [...]

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A Democratic state senator is trying to expand Colorado’s hate crimes law to include the homeless. The measure cleared the senate judiciary committee yesterday on a party line vote. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Colorado is almost one month into the legislative session and despite some occasional flare-ups over minor measures, lawmakers have gotten off to a relatively slow start. For now, leadership in the split legislature seems to be taking a more cautious approach to the session. Bente Birkeland analyzes the dynamic as part of our capitol conversation [...]

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Western Skies returns with a look at arts. Listen to a conversation on the state of arts in Colorado Springs, the history of the Broadmoor Arts Academy, and take a gander through a rural community that looks to film production as a piece of their economic future. These are only a few of the topics [...]

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