State lawmakers are expected to debate the budget this week. It begins in the senate, and as Bente Birkeland reports, this is the first time in years the legislature will be able to significantly restore some cuts.

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The story of wildfire doesn’t end after the flames are gone. Wide ranging effects are ongoing such as the the possibility of flooding, victims’ recovery efforts, changes to building codes and more.

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Governor John Hickenlooper signed a trio of gun control bills yesterday, just hours after news broke that Colorado’s top corrections officer had been gunned down in his home. While the moment was overshadowed by the news of Tom Clements’ death, gun rights groups say they will use the gun legislation as part of a [...]

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Governor John Hickenlooper has ordered flags lowered to half-staff in memory of Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements, who was killed last night at his Monument home. A gunman killed him when he opened his front door. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Ex-Pat Australian Poet Cally Conan-Davies now spends part of the year in the Pikes Peak Region. Along with her quick wit and nimbly turned lines (see “Ace” below), she’s also an accomplished amateur photographer with an fresh eye for the unexpectable details buried in the ordinary. In this slide show, we’ve gathered a [...]

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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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The head of the National Rifle Association met with state leaders in Colorado yesterday. Democrats unveiled a package of proposed gun control legislation earlier this week. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Projections show Colorado still has a long way to go if the state hopes to avoid another dry summer. Water experts briefed state lawmakers on the latest drought conditions, saying it looks grim. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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One of the biggest topics right now across the state is oil and gas development, specifically, hydraulic fracturing. Communities, industry, and the state are all working to ensure their interests are protected. But it’s a complicated issue, and often contentious. This month for Western Skies, we’re holding a magnifying glass up to fracking, the rules, regulations, and community concerns. (This month’s image by artist and rig-worker, Streeter Wright.)

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Early this week, the U.S. House of Representatives nixed an amendment to a Hurricane Sandy relief bill that would have provided aid to victims of the 2012 wildfires in Colorado. KDNK’s Ed Williams spoke with Senator Michael Bennet, who co-sponsored the amendment.

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Governor John Hickenlooper announced new initiatives yesterday to try and make Colorado better prepared for wildfires…Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall is urging the US Forest Service to accelerate their acquisition of eight new firefighting air tankers ahead of this year’s wildfire season…Three Chinook helicopters have been delivered to Fort Carson for a new combat aviation brigade.

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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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Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) spoke on Marketplace Morning Report from American Public Media on immigration reform this morning. Find out here where you can listen to the segment.

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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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Snowpack conditions in the Arkansas River Basin continue to be below normal. The latest numbers released today show the snow to water equivalency at about 3.5 inches. This time last year, that number was pushing six inches. Overall, the basin is about half of where it should be. Across Colorado, the numbers are much [...]

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Two Southern Colorado groups are representing the Centennial State today’s Presidential Inaugural Parade. KRCC’s Martha Perez-Sanz caught up with them last week and has more.

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Special Election in Salida

On January 14, 2013 By

Salida residents are taking part in a special election tomorrow. The town is considering whether or not to become a home-rule city. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, the question has stirred some controversy in this community of 5,300.

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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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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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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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News

AP
January 25, 2015 | NPR · The actor who most famously plays Mr. Bean wrecked the high-performance car back in 2011. Luckily, he wasn’t seriously injured. But it did cost him $1.4 million to get it fixed.
 

ITAR-TASS/Landov
January 25, 2015 | NPR · Petro Poroshenko says that the only way forward in ending the conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east is to revive a cease-fire agreement forged in September in Minsk.
 

AP
January 25, 2015 | NPR · The president recommends more than 12 million acres of the region receive the highest level of protection available for public lands.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Tom Toro
January 25, 2015 | NPR · Tom Toro was a directionless 20-something film school dropout. Then, after an inspired moment at a used book sale, he started submitting drawings to The New Yorker and collecting rejection slips.
 

Courtesy of Liveright Publishing
January 25, 2015 | NPR · Falling in love with your handsome pen pal, moving overseas to marry him, then finding out he’s part of a terrorist organization: That’s the Bunjevac family story, told in a new graphic memoir.
 

January 25, 2015 | NPR · Every answer today is a word starting with the letters A-R, which you will identify from its anagram. For example, given AR plus ROB, the answer would be “arbor.”
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
January 25, 2015 | NPR · The film director is known for composing and performing his own soundtracks. On Lost Themes, he reaches beyond the movies to craft a collection of understandably cinematic-sounding music.
 

Courtesy of the artist
January 25, 2015 | NPR · An arresting, frozen-moment splay of images and emotions, Phil Elverum’s latest album as Mount Eerie feels less like a meditation and more like a slow-motion mauling.
 

Courtesy of the artist
January 25, 2015 | NPR · The Israeli singer has a compelling, unusual, wholly original voice. On Gold Shadow, his first official release in North America, he writes with passion and poetry.
 

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