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
December 21, 2014 | NPR · Brazil and the U.S. played to a 0-0 draw in the final of the International Tournament of Brasilia, giving Brazil the first-place finish overall. None of the games were televised in the U.S.
 

Reuters/Landov
December 21, 2014 | NPR · Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who ambushed two NYPD patrolmen, spoke to people on the street just before the shooting took place, according to a police official.
 

Courtesy of Amelia Wolf
December 21, 2014 | NPR · American Jewish college student Amelia Wolf spent Hanukkah last year in Ramallah. As the holiday approached, she was lonely — until her Palestinian hosts got wind of how she was feeling.
 

Arts & Life

Coffee House Press
December 21, 2014 | NPR · Valeria Luiselli, who was born in Mexico City and lives now in Harlem, released two slim, multinational books this year: the essay collection Sidewalks and her time-jumping novel Faces In The Crowd.
 

AP
December 21, 2014 | NPR · The actress stars in the new film Into The Woods, in theaters Thursday. On screen she’s a natural. But as a kid, she had a stutter so severe she could hardly say her own name.
 

Feral Films, Inc.
December 21, 2014 | NPR · A filmmaker invited white residents of Buffalo, N.Y., to speak candidly about race. Karen Grigsby Bates finds the results are thought-provoking, often surprising and sometimes disturbing.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
December 21, 2014 | NPR · How do you make a Christmas album without succumbing to formula? “Put a little Outkast to it,” the soul singer says.
 

December 21, 2014 | NPR · In the 1960s, the Beatles sent their most loyal fans a Christmas gift every year — a flexi-disc. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to music writer Colin Fleming about the annual holiday single.
 

KCRW
December 21, 2014 | KCRW · The singer and guitarist revisits “Hi-Fi,” from his much-loved breakthrough album, Transistor Radio.
 

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