Colorado Senator Michael Bennet visited the site of flood mitigation efforts at the burned Flying W Ranch in Colorado Springs today to highlight the need for emergency watershed protection funding after last year’s devastating fire season. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports.

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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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State senators took the unusual move of voting to take away a portion of state money from the Colorado Energy office for the rest of the fiscal year…Democratic Congressman Jared Polis has introduced a bill in the House to end prohibition of marijuana at the federal level…Pueblo’s City Council is considering a proposal that would allow Fort Carson’s HAMET program, or High Altitude Mountain Environment Training, to rent space at the Pueblo Memorial Airport.

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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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More than 900,000 people across the country suffer heart attacks each year according to the Centers for Disease Control, and heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. For this month’s Healthy Conversation, we’re talking heart health. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin is joined by Lieutenant Colonel Karl Brewer, an internist at [...]

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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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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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A winter storm is bringing some much-needed rain and snow to the Front Range and northern mountains.

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Included are council pay, an elected Utilities Board of Directors, and an elected City Attorney.

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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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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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Colorado Springs officials held a neighborhood meeting Tuesday night, highlighting wildfire awareness, mitigation, and emergency preparedness. Speakers included Bret Waters, head of the city’s Office of Emergency Management, Christina Randall and Fire Marshall Bret Lacey with the Colorado Springs Fire Department, and Bob Cutter of Colorado Springs Together. This is the audio of the [...]

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Two children have died from flu in Colorado, one in El Paso County…El Paso County Commissioners gave final approval to an ordinance that bans recreational marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas of the county…Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing is now completely employee owned.

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January is national Cervical Health Awareness Month. Joining KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin for this month’s Healthy Conversation is Lt. Col. Anthony Sullivan, chief of OB/GYN at Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson. Sullivan says primarily, the most common issue when it comes to the cervix is abnormal pap smears. We begin by talking about [...]

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The El Paso County Department of Human Services is changing its practice to try and reduce the number of young people in care outside the home, or congregate care. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.

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For many in Southern Colorado, the Arkansas River is the lifeblood of healthy communities. But the region suffered through this year’s extreme and exceptional drought conditions. And as KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports, all along the Arkansas River, people are in some ways, holding their breaths to see what this winter brings.

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Crews from the Colorado Department of Transportation remain on full snow shift across the state, and are expected to remain on hand through tomorrow morning. As of early afternoon, CDOT says Eastern Colorado is the trouble spot, with a number of closures.

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Colorado Springs is not along the route for the 2013 USA Pro Challenge cycling race. The city has hosted stages the past two years, but as with the rest of Southern Colorado, is not among the 2013 planned stages.

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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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A lot of people take dietary supplements, everything from a multivitamin to herbs. For this month’s Healthy Conversation, KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin is joined by sports dietician Major Trisha Brooke Stavinoha to talk about how these supplements have the potential to create unintended consequences. We start by talking about what a dietary supplement is.

For [...]

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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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Denver-based Clarity Media Group has purchased the Colorado Springs Gazette in a deal announced today. The agency’s CEO will also serve as chairman of the paper. Dan Steever will stay on as President and Publisher, with plans to expand coverage. Steever says they’ve already started adding staff in the newsroom, and plan to grow [...]

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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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News

AFP/Getty Images
October 31, 2014 | NPR · Some of the weakest countries, such as Spain and Italy, are experiencing a broad drop in incomes and asset values. Deflation is a painful process that can be hard to reverse once it starts.
 

Courtesy of Dr. Curtis Chan
October 31, 2014 | NPR · If you’re like many parents, by tomorrow morning you’ll be facing a candy glut. One possible solution? Sell it to a dentist participating in a program that sends candy care packages to troops.
 

Science Source
October 31, 2014 | NPR · Big questions have bedeviled virus hunters for 38 years: Why do people differ in their response to Ebola? Is it becoming more or less dangerous? There’s now more evidence about who gets sick and why.
 

Arts & Life

October 31, 2014 | NPR · Kenneth Turan reviews Nightcrawler, a thriller set in the “nocturnal underbelly” of Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a young man who discovers the world of L.A. crime journalism.
 

October 31, 2014 | NPR · In 1965 the work of six local painters went on exhibit at the now-defunct Washington Gallery of Modern Art. The show launched a movement, and the painters’ work now hangs in major museums. One of those artists, now 97, lives in Arlington, Va.
 

October 31, 2014 | NPR · A new digital platform called Simpson’s World has all 25 years’ worth of the show. FX says it is trying to cater to both old-fashioned TV fans and people who watch shows on other devices.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
October 31, 2014 | WXPN · The Scottish soul singer, a best-seller in Europe, plays songs from his new album, Caustic Love.
 

Courtesy of the artist
October 30, 2014 | NPR · The song is the exuberant sound of a novice exploring the possibilities of alternative electronic dance music with no real rule book or manual at his disposal.
 

Mountain Stage
October 30, 2014 | NPR · Hear a live set from the banjo master, who’s long been expanding the instrument’s possibilities.
 

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