The nearly 500-mile Colorado Trail is adding a new section expected to be ready for hiking this summer. The section takes part of the Canada-Mexico Continental Divide Trail and incorporates it into the Colorado Trail.

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A bill to allow civil unions in Colorado could be headed to the Governor’s desk by the end of the week…Colorado Springs police and firefighters would get a raise, but the whole workforce would have to shoulder more healthcare costs. Those are among the proposals Mayor Steve Bach’s administration presented to City Council…The nearly 500-mile Colorado Trail is adding a new section expected to be ready for hiking this summer.

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67% of skiers and snowboarders in the country now wear helmets on the slopes, according to the National Ski Areas Association. That’s compared to 25% who wore helmets ten years ago. Rabah Kamal of Colorado Public News shares how helmets are preventing serious injury, but with limits.

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Manitou Springs City Council took the last step tonight to approve the legal opening of the Manitou Incline to hikers, beginning Friday, February 1st.

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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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The National Wildlife Federation recently released the results of their Hunters and Anglers survey. KRCC’s Kate Dunn says the report shows conservation continues to be an important issue for many sportsmen.

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With the election now only one week away, nearly a quarter of Colorado voters have already cast their ballots…Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has announced the formation of what he’s calling the Pension Solutions Team…El Paso County Health officials are reporting the first hospitalized flu patients this season…The National Wildlife Federation recently released the results of their Hunters and Anglers survey…and, more.

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Cripple Creek is a gold-mining town, ever since the first lodes were found in the 1800s. But, it’s also a gaming town, with limited-stakes gambling approved by voters statewide in 1991. KRCC’s Kate Jonuska traveled to Cripple Creek to investigate these two industries’ complex relationship with the city and with each other. She has [...]

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Authorities are assessing damages after a powerful, slow-moving storm made its way through eastern El Paso County yesterday, damaging homes and cars…Today is the deadline for Governor John Hickenlooper to sign or veto bills passed during this year’s legislative session…A bill in Congress aimed at clarifying the status of the Manitou Incline unanimously passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee yesterday.

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Governor John Hickenlooper has officially set Monday as the start of a legislative special session to address seven topics, including legalizing civil unions and funding Water Conservation Board projects…Colorado Springs Utilities has agreed to meet with a group of downtown business leaders regarding Drake Power Plant…and, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is considering reducing big game hunting for elk, deer and pronghorn sheep this year.

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As winter releases its hold on the region and gives way to warmer temperatures and the green leaves of spring, we thought it an appropriate time to visit the topic of Parks and Open Space.

You can hear listen to the full show here, or download by right-clicking this link.

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A handful of Republicans joined Democrats at the statehouse to defeat a bill that would’ve required people applying for public welfare to take a drug test in order to receive their monthly benefits…Governor John Hickenlooper took a helicopter tour of the Lower North Fork Fire that continues to burn southwest of Denver…and, warm temperatures [...]

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The Colorado Department of Agriculture, or CDA, is managing funds set aside by the United States Department of Agriculture for partially reimbursing farmers for organic certifications…The owners of a leaking uranium mine west of Denver are rerouting Ralston Creek to avoid toxic waste…and, a new zipline is being built at the scenic Royal Gorge [...]

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Senate Democrats rejected a Republican attempt to legalize gold and silver coins as usable currency amid fears about the nation’s financial stability…The Bureau of Land Management has raised fees for two popular campsites along the Gold Belt Scenic Byway.

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Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs City Councils agreed unanimously yesterday to approve an inter-governmental agreement for managing the Manitou Incline…and, Gov. John Hickenlooper is stepping into a dispute between local governments and the oil and gas industry over drilling by forming a task force to examine the issue.

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Jurors in Colorado Springs have convicted a woman accused in the death of a tow truck driver who was dragged by her vehicle…With the help of local hospitals, school districts, and other community players, the Pueblo Health Department has determined the health priorities they’d like to address over the next five years…and, Manitou Springs [...]

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The U.S. Postal Service is closing four mail processing centers in Colorado as part of a broader plan to consolidate or close facilities around the country, including centers in Colorado Springs, Alamosa, and Salida…Governor John Hickenlooper says he’s sympathetic to the legislature’s plans to give more money to rural lawmakers who have to stay [...]

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Much like the rest of the country, Colorado is getting older. The state’s group of baby boomers is reaching the golden years, and quickly. Some private companies in the state are starting to cash in on this aging demographic, on those people who might have a little cash to spare, and who will soon [...]

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Colorado Attorney General John Suthers says the state will get $205 million as part of a multistate settlement with the nations five largest national banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo…Frontier Airlines has announced plans to expand routes available at the Colorado Springs airport…The Colorado Springs parks board has approved a [...]

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Colorado lawmakers left the Capitol early today to take part in Republican caucuses across the state…Colorado sportsmen are backing proposed federal rules for public disclosure of chemicals in fracking fluids used in oil and gas drilling…and, the Federal Bureau of Land Management is revisiting an effort to protect sage grouse in Colorado.

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Aspen resident Neal Biedleman returned to climb Mount Everest earlier this year, retracing the steps he took on a trip there 15 years ago that turned into a tragedy. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen recently caught up with the climber, and has this report.

Aspen Public Radio and KRCC are both members [...]

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The Sangre de Christo Electric Association has brought in two more crews to help repair downed power lines in Custer and Fremont Counties…Colorado’s Democratic House leader is stepping down from the post to focus on his race against incumbent Republican Congressman Scott Tipton…and, Colorado parks and wildlife commissioners have adopted changes in [...]

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News

 Katherine Streeter for NPR
August 30, 2014 | NPR · A healthy man paid $150 for a battery of tests at his church. The findings frightened him and didn’t give his doctor any information that changed the man’s care.
 

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August 30, 2014 | NPR · Also in this week’s roundup, Amazon’s $1 billion purchase surprises some tech watchers. But we’re most excited about finding a way to avoid physical exertion at lunch.
 

ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 29, 2014 | KUHF · Requiring every center that performs abortions to meet all the standards of a surgical center is excessively restrictive, says the federal district court judge who blocked the state rule Friday.
 

Arts & Life

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August 30, 2014 | NPR · Prodigy, one half of the hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, is the curator of Infamous Books, an imprint of Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. His debut novel H.N.I.C. was published in 2013.
 

Photo Courtesy of Gov. Deval Patrick's Office
August 29, 2014 | NPR · The governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts will answer three questions about the annual art festival taking place in the desert of northern Nevada.
 

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August 29, 2014 | NPR · An earthquake in Napa Valley this week brought back old fears for author Gustavo Arellano. In his anxiety he’s revisiting the book A Crack in the Edge of the World.
 

Music

NPR
August 30, 2014 | NPR · The Kentucky native writes country music about loneliness, failed dreams, drinking and drugs. Here, he performs four of his songs with a thundering voice that makes the NPR offices shudder.
 

Getty Images
August 30, 2014 | NPR · Prodigy, one half of the hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, is the curator of Infamous Books, an imprint of Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. His debut novel H.N.I.C. was published in 2013.
 

Courtesy of the artist
August 29, 2014 | NPR · Take a deep breath, in black & white. Alice Boman’s fragile singing, mixed with ethereal images from the Swedish countryside, make for a small, laptop vacation.
 

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