Governor John Hickenlooper announced new initiatives today to try and make Colorado better prepared for wildfires. State officials say they’re also planning for a drought this summer and a potentially bad fire season. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Governor John Hickenlooper says a lack of water in Colorado poses a series challenge for the state’s tourism industry. The Governor answered questions from industry representatives as part of the annual tourism day at the state capitol. Bente Birkeland has more.

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The gun control debate sounded off both inside and outside the state capitol yesterday. Gun control advocates rallied at the capitol, and Democratic state senators struck down the first gun bill of the legislative session. The measure would’ve allowed school employees to carry concealed handguns. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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A measure to allow civil unions in Colorado is expected to easily pass the state legislature this year, and as Bente Birkeland examines, the tenor of the debate is much different than in previous attempts. As part of our Capitol Conversation series, she talks to fellow statehouse reporters about the new dynamic, and whether [...]

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Illegal immigrant students in Colorado are one step closer to receiving in-state college tuition. The measure passed the senate education committee yesterday. The issue has long been divisive at the legislature. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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A measure to give Colorado gay couples many of the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples cleared its first committee at the state capitol on yesterday. After being at the center of a political storm last year, the bill passed easily on a party line vote. Bente Birkeland has more from the state [...]

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A bill to allow civil unions in Colorado gets its first hearing at the capitol tomorrow. The measure’s passage is certain, but a large crowd is still expected to testify before lawmakers. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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This year’s legislative session got off to a slow start, but that’s about to change. Two of the biggest items for Democrats are scheduled for hearings in the coming days. As part of our capitol conversation series, statehouse Bente Birkeland has this sneak peek at what to expect.

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Colorado’s Speaker of the House says he expects lawmakers to act on several of President Barack Obama’s recommendations to curb gun violence. Governor John Hickenlooper has also called for a broad discussion on guns during the legislative session. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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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. 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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Colorado Democrats are once again trying to pass a bill to give illegal immigrants who graduate from Colorado high schools in-state college tuition. Students currently pay out of state rates. Similar measures have failed in the past, but supporters expect the bill to easily clear the legislature now that Democrats control both chambers. Bente [...]

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State lawmakers have already introduced more than 100 bills on a wide variety of topics since the legislative session began last Wednesday. From the state capitol, Bente Birkeland has more on the first of many gun measures.

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Nearly a third of this year’s state lawmakers are newly elected, and they’ll be expected to debate a host of complex issues from Medicaid to marijuana, gun laws to the death penalty. As part of our capitol conversation series statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland takes a look at the first week of the session, and [...]

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Governor John Hickenlooper called for universal background checks for all gun sales during his third state of the state address today. He also touched on several other issues, including regulating marijuana, hydraulic fracturing, and reforming the state’s mental health system. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Today’s opening ceremonies of the Colorado legislature were marked by the typical pomp and circumstance as in years past. But even before it started, the 2013 session made history as one of the most diverse groups of lawmakers ever to gather under the golden dome. Bente Birkeland has more.

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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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State lawmakers return to the capitol’s gold dome on January 9th. As part of our capitol conversation series, statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland talked to fellow reporters about some of the key issues to watch out for, and the new political dynamic.

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Republicans in Colorado are coming off a difficult election after losing control of the Colorado state house. Bente Birkeland talked to the next House Minority Leader Republican Mark Waller to see how he’ll motivate his caucus during the session and work with Democrats.

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Democratic state lawmaker Mark Ferrandino will make history next legislative session by becoming Colorado’s first openly gay Speaker of the House. Capitol reporter Bente Birkeland sat down with him to discuss his priorities for the session and his new role.

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Tackling the issue of low water supplies and increasing demand will be a top priority for lawmakers during the upcoming legislative session. As part of our series on snow, Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland takes a look at some of the proposals being floated around and talks to state leaders about preparing for the worst.

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Colorado’s Senate minority leader Bill Cadman will be the only legislative leader returning to the same post when the session convenes January 9th. Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland talked to him about how he sees the session playing out and what’s on his agenda.

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News

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July 28, 2014 | NPR · The bill would overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs and provide extra funding to hire more doctors and nurses. Lawmakers are expected to unveil their plan this afternoon.
 

AP
July 28, 2014 | NPR · Despite a demand from the United Nations Security Council for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire, fighting continued in Gaza, where the death toll has surpassed 1,000.
 

July 28, 2014 | NPR · Recent polls show more than 8 in 10 Jewish Israelis support the military operation, even as the death tolls climb. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ratings are soaring.
 

Arts & Life

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July 28, 2014 | NPR · Also: an excerpt of Haruki Murakami’s new book; notable books coming out this week.
 

AP
July 27, 2014 | NPR · In the Land of Love and Drowning, the islands are a magical setting for three generations of one family living through the modern history of the territory as it passes from Danish to American hands.
 

Courtesy of Silverstone Auction
July 27, 2014 | NPR · The Harrier Jump Jet is known for vertical take-offs and landings. It also has an accident-prone track record, but that didn’t dissuade one pilot from buying his dream plane.
 

Music

July 28, 2014 | NPR · Brothers Kenny and Curt Thompkins were inspired to record an album in a racquetball court after hearing the acoustics there last year. The result appears in their new album, out this week.
 

Bettmann/CORBIS
July 28, 2014 | NPR · One hundred years after the start of World War I, hear a range of pop and classical music from artists of the era. Some music reflects the war’s violence, some gives solace.
 

Courtesy of the artist
July 27, 2014 | NPR · Inspired by the birth of a child and a new career, Austin Lunn’s triumphant, ebullient new album as Panopticon steps outside his curveball mixture of metal and American folk.
 

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