The country’s craft beer industry is growing at a tremendous rate. Last year, more than 400 breweries opened nationwide. In some states, like Colorado, there are so many craft breweries they’re beginning to blend together. As Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports, in such a crowded field, startups are trying a more unique approach.

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State lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill to regulate recreational marijuana next week. A task force is wrapping up its work with a slew of recommendations. The group hopes to learn from the state’s experience regulating medical marijuana. But as Bente Birkeland reports, there are still some big issues to iron out.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could soon issue a final ruling that aims to force oil companies to replace E-10, gasoline mixed with 10 percent ethanol, with E-15. This move could come just as widespread support for ethanol, which is made from corn, appears to be eroding.

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A controversial bill that could hold sellers and manufacturers of assault weapons liable in shootings will be introduced in the state senate today. It’s part of a package of Democratic gun proposals, but supporters acknowledge the measure faces an uphill battle. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Colorado Springs City Council will proceed with oil and gas regulations, despite calls among fracking opponents for a public hearing. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, council members on both sides of the issue feel time is running out.

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Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas is laying off workers at its Windsor and Brighton blade factories, the company announced today. The reduction affects 10% of Vestas’ statewide workforce of 1100 employees, and comes after Congress renewed a Wind Energy Tax Credit at the end of last year.

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Democratic leaders at the statehouse hope to introduce bills dealing with the impacts of hydraulic fracturing by the end of the month. This comes as Governor John Hickenlooper is touting Colorado’s current regulations on fracking as a national model. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Colorado’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has voted in favor of increasing the drilling setback distance between oil and gas wells and homes statewide. But the move doesn’t go far enough for the environmental community and goes too far for industry. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Vestas wind energy company plans to hire more than 100 workers at its Pueblo plant…Pueblo County emergency officials are running a biennial survey in a continuous effort to improve the readiness of people who live there…The Colorado legislature prints millions of pieces of paper each year, costing the state a hefty sum. But that could soon be a thing of the past. This year in an effort to cut down on costs, each of the 100 lawmakers received new iPads.

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Two children have died from flu in Colorado, one in El Paso County…El Paso County Commissioners gave final approval to an ordinance that bans recreational marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas of the county…Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing is now completely employee owned.

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A proposal to expand Medicaid to cover 160,000 more Coloradans will add roughly 12,000 jobs statewide, according to a rough estimate.

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The number of tech companies in Colorado Springs has grown by one. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, software maker Xledger announced this week that it has moved its North American headquarters here from Silicon Valley.

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Members of the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission wrap up a three day hearing in Denver today. At stake are new rules to oversee a new boom in oil and gas drilling, and at the heart of those rules, changing how far a drill rig can be from homes and schools. Bente Birkeland has [...]

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Flanked by Democratic leaders at the statehouse, Governor John Hickenlooper outlined his top job creation priorities for the upcoming legislative session and previewed the first house bill that will be introduced on Wednesday. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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During the election, voters told pollsters that their number two worry was the high cost of healthcare. At the same time, Colorado hospitals are spending billions of dollars on new construction. Colorado Public News did a survey and found fifty hospital building projects across the state, either underway or completed in the last three years.

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The ski industry runs on snow, some resorts more than others. Ski towns like Aspen and Vail still get business in spite of poor snow. Last year while many resorts took a huge hit, Aspen did well because of one type of guest: the international visitor. This sought after tourist books longer vacations, spends [...]

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We covered a lot of ground this past year with Western Skies, and this month we’re spending some time revisiting those stories and conversations.

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Denver-based Clarity Media Group has purchased the Colorado Springs Gazette in a deal announced today. The agency’s CEO will also serve as chairman of the paper. Dan Steever will stay on as President and Publisher, with plans to expand coverage. Steever says they’ve already started adding staff in the newsroom, and plan to grow [...]

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It was Thomas Edison who said, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Edison, of course, is one of the great American inventors. This month, we’re delving into that equation with a look at innovation.

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Vestas Wind Systems has announced it is closing its research and development office in Louisville. As KUNC’s Nathan Heffel reports, this comes after announcing the closure of two other such Vestas offices in Texas and Massachusetts.

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95 percent of parking meters in downtown Colorado Springs will now have longer time limits. As KRCC’s Katherine-Claire O’Connor reports, the goal is to help promote downtown businesses.

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The health care law now makes it more affordable for small businesses and nonprofits to provide health insurance for their employees. But only a small number of these employers are actually taking advantage of the opportunity.

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The state’s tourism industry kicks off a three-day annual conference today in Steamboat Springs….AAA says Coloradans are paying less at the gas pump than last week…Two of the four candidates in the race for the 3rd congressional seat will take part in a debate tonight night in Pueblo…Thirty-seven years after he was declared missing during the rescue of an American ship crew that was seized by the Khmer Rouge, a Colorado Marine native to LaJunta has been buried with military honors.

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News

AP
April 19, 2014 | NPR · The military’s training center at Fort Irwin in California is complete with mock Middle Eastern villages. But as the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan winds down, how will this facility change?
 

AP
April 19, 2014 | NPR · General Motors delayed a safety recall of more than 330,000 cars, newly released federal documents show. The Saturn Ions were found to have defective power steering systems.
 

AFP/Getty Images
April 19, 2014 | NPR · Search teams are digging through ice and snow on Mount Everest in hopes of finding Sherpa guides who are still missing. Survivors say the avalanche was like being trapped in a cloud.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Penguin
April 19, 2014 | NPR · Raymond Gunt is profane, rude, heartless and truly the Worst. Person. Ever. Author Douglas Coupland says he’s not exactly sure how the character, with no redeeming qualities, came into his mind.
 

Ricardo Solis
April 19, 2014 | NPR · The pink on a flamingo? Stripes on a zebra? Spots on a giraffe? All explained. Simply. Elegantly. Oddly.
 

Courtesy of Riverhead Books
April 19, 2014 | NPR · Lisa Robinson knows how to talk — and how to make others, especially musicians, want to talk. The veteran rock journalist speaks with NPR’s Wade Goodwyn about her four decades behind the scenes.
 

Music

April 19, 2014 | NPR · Canadian jazz saxophonist Christine Jensen has begun using a full “jazz orchestra” of up to 18 players, opening new horizons for her. NPR’s Arun Rath speaks with Jensen about her new album, Habitat.
 

Various for NPR
April 19, 2014 | NPR · The songs, videos and musical moments that stopped the All Songs host in his tracks. This week: A cat video, a live double rainbow and all the soles you can shake a camera at.
 

NPR
April 19, 2014 | NPR · A young Pakistani musician treats the guitar as a percussion instrument — with surprisingly shimmering results. He also performs a piano piece he wrote at just 16.
 

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