Some state lawmakers spent time at the former Fort Lyon Correctional Facility near Las Animas today, considering whether to repurpose the prison under a proposal from Governor John Hickenlooper…Colorado’s Latino and black residents are falling further behind the state’s white residents in some of the most important measures of social progress…and, Hundreds of people turned out for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. marade in Denver today.

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A federal district court judge has issued a preliminary injunction against Colorado Springs’ new panhandling ordinance. The rules were set to go into effect tomorrow. The city passed the ordinance in late November on a vote of 8-1, prompting a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU.

In a statement, ACLU [...]

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On November 27th, the Colorado Springs City Council voted to ban all forms solicitation from the downtown blocks between Nevada and Cascade from Boulder to Cucharras. While there’s no telling at this point whether the ban will actually go into effect, as the ACLU is currently challenging its constitutionality, it seems an opportune moment to [...]

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The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, has filed a federal lawsuit in Denver after the Colorado Springs City Council yesterday voted to approve a panhandling ban…While Washington lawmakers wrestle with the fiscal cliff, Colorado Senator Mark Udall continues to press fellow members of Congress for an extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit.

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The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, has filed a federal lawsuit in Denver after the Colorado Springs City Council yesterday voted to approve a panhandling ban.

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Colorado Springs City Council yesterday gave initial approval to regulations concerning oil and gas drilling within city limits…Council also voted in favor of a ban on panhandling in the downtown area…Fort Carson is hosting nearly 300 soldiers and 30 helicopters from Fort Riley in Kansas for high altitude training…Firefighters battling the Fern Lake Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park have ordered more resources to help contain the blaze.

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Colorado Springs City Council tonight passed a ban on panhandling downtown, which will go into effect in a matter of days. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports.

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Hickenlooper signs assistance bill into law: Starting Aug. 8, Colorado hospitals will no longer be allowed to charge their highest prices to the poorest, uninsured patients. A bill banning the widespread practice was signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper Monday afternoon.

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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 state of Colorado is considering a bill that would require people applying for public welfare to take a drug test in order to receive their monthly benefits. Similar measures have been proposed by states across the country, even though the practice has often been challenged in the courts. Bente Birkeland takes a look [...]

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As the economy continues to sputter, more people are finding they need assistance making ends meet. This month, we’re taking a look at some of the programs, organizations, and issues facing the Pikes Peak region with a look at social services.

You can download the full episode, or listen to it here.

You [...]

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State Budget Slammed as More Coloradans Need Medicaid

Jump to Southeastern Colorado’s County Numbers

By Carol McKinley
Colorado Public News

In the years since the recession started, another 280,000 Coloradans qualified for government assistance with health care through Medicaid. From Colorado Public News, Carol McKinley reports that the state has [...]

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Colin McCarey, student manager of the Colorado College Community Kitchen talks to us about running a soup kitchen in an economic climate where demand is higher than ever before.

The CC Community Kitchen has been selected as one of the beneficiaries of the annual Indy Give campaign, you can find out more by visiting Continue Reading

Governor John Hickenlooper released his budget for next year today. It includes further cuts to higher education and K through 12 schools…and, low-income residents can begin applying for assistance with their home heating bills, but the requirements will be tougher this year.

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Poor Coloradoans are more likely to die younger than the state’s wealthiest residents, according to a recent study by the University of Washington…and, artist Christo’s plan to hang nearly six miles worth of fabric over parts of the Arkansas River along U.S. Route 50 is largely intact under a version that federal land managers [...]

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The Bureau of Land Management has scheduled a hearing next month on allowing the Army to continue using the Pinon Canyon training site…It’s been nearly two months since the state’s Hunger Free Hotline started, but it’s already seeing a big response…and, Frontier Airlines is canceling flights from the Denver International Airport for the fifth [...]

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Colorado Senator Mark Udall says he is beyond frustrated that negotiations to raise the federal debt ceiling have come to a standstill…Colorado has received a $12 million grant from the federal government to improve public housing…and, University of Colorado economists say their prediction that Colorado will add about 10,100 jobs this year appears on [...]

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A homeless hate crimes bill is making its way through the state senate. Supporters of the measure argue that homeless people are targets and crimes against them are particularly harmful…A train tanker that had been leaking hydrochloric acid in Colorado has been moved away from homes. The evacuated will remain out of their homes, [...]

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A new report from the non-profit Colorado Children’s Campaign paints a stark picture of the recession’s impact on children. The state’s childhood obesity rate is increasing; so is the rate of childhood poverty. But the report does point to some bright spots, such as fewer teens smoking or using marijuana and other drugs. Bente [...]

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A Democratic state senator is trying to expand Colorado’s hate crimes law to include the homeless. The measure cleared the senate judiciary committee yesterday on a party line vote. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Colorado Democratic lawmakers say they’ll try to reverse a decision cutting off free breakfasts for needy children…Two rodeo events some consider cruel to animals are up for debate in the Colorado legislature…and, a Denver seminary is offering a master’s degree for military chaplains aimed at helping them assist servicemen and women suffering from post-traumatic stress [...]

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New census data shows that the number of neighborhoods with a significant number of people living in poverty has doubled in Colorado over the last decade….Colorado regulators have approved the pending merger between CenturyLink Inc. and Denver-based Qwest Communications International Inc….The Army has extended the public comment period for a plan to station helicopter combat [...]

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Colorado’s new Republican lawmakers don’t start work until the new Congress convenes next year, but Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton have been in Washington this week learning the ropes at “freshman orientation.” And, Colorado’s five major food banks distributed more than 76 million pounds of food last year and are on pace this year to increase [...]

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News

AFP/Getty Images
December 17, 2014 | NPR · For the Japanese, Christmastime means sponge cake. But a nationwide butter shortage has lead to mandatory butter rationing, forcing cake bakers to seek out substitutes.
 

December 17, 2014 | NPR · President Obama commuted the prison sentences of eight people who were convicted of drug-related crimes Wednesday, in a move that also saw 12 presidential pardons issued.
 

Baltimore Sun/TNS /Landov
December 17, 2014 | NPR · American Alan Gross had spent more than five years in a Cuban prison where he suffered ill health. Then, on Tuesday, his lawyer, Scott Gilbert, told him in a phone call that he was going home.
 

Arts & Life

Universal Pictures
December 17, 2014 | NPR · Louis Zamperini was an Olympian before he enlisted in World War II and became a prisoner of war. Jolie says he told her to “make a film that reminds people that they have greatness inside themselves.”
 

Sony Pictures Entertainment
December 17, 2014 | NPR · As an African-American Annie arrives on movie screens, critic Bob Mondello looks at other cross-cultural reinventions, from Pearl Bailey’s Dolly to the Americanization of Carmen as Carmen Jones.
 

December 17, 2014 | NPR · In Gay Berlin, Robert Beachy describes the rise of a gay subculture in the 1920s and ’30s, how it contributed to our understanding of gay identity and how it was eradicated by the Nazis.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
December 17, 2014 | WXPN · Hailu Mergia, a keyboard player and Ethiopian music star who lives in the U.S., will get you anywhere you need to go in our nation’s capital.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 17, 2014 | NPR · The World Cafe host’s favorite albums from this year abide by his mantra: they put good songs first, and present them simply and authentically.
 

Courtesy of the artists
December 17, 2014 | NPR · The results are in! St. Vincent’s self-titled album was by far the most popular record in our listener poll for the best music of 2014. On this week’s show, we count down the Top 25.
 

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