President Barack Obama told ABC news today that he won’t make it a top priority to go after Colorado and Washington state for legalizing marijuana. But as statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland reports, the announcement still leaves many unanswered questions in Colorado.

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The state audit committee is the latest group to look into whether Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler misused public funds. The bi-partisan committee voted unanimously today to move forward with an initial investigation. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Energy regulators in Colorado are examining whether to increase the distance between oil and gas drilling sites and buildings such as schools and homes. They’re also considering a water-testing requirement that would need to be done before and after drilling takes place. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

Meanwhile, Colorado Springs City [...]

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Governor John Hickenlooper certified the election results of Amendment 64 today, which allows people 21 and over to grow and smoke small amounts of pot. As Bente Birkeland reports, the Governor also signed an executive order creating a marijuana task force to help state lawmakers craft new regulations.

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In our semi-regular sit down with Governor John Hickenlooper, he gives his take on statewide marijuana regulations, and explains why he doesn’t think the industry will be booming in the coming months. He also tells statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland why he’s not sold on a major overhaul to the state’s child welfare system in [...]

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During last month’s general election, Americans voted into office more gay and lesbian lawmakers than ever before. And in states like Wisconsin, Oregon and Colorado, gay and lesbian officials will hold some of the highest positions of power. Bente Birkeland takes a closer look at what’s driving the change.

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Newly-elected state lawmakers have spent the week at the capitol learning the basics of working under the gold dome. Freshman lawmakers are studying everything from the art of negotiating to the location of emergency exits. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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A state task force is forming to iron out the challenges of new marijuana regulations. The group will meet before lawmakers convene in January for the legislative session. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Democrats will control both state legislative chambers when the session convenes in January. Lawmakers will be dealing with several controversial issues, including crafting regulations for recreational marijuana. Bente Birkeland talks to fellow statehouse reporters about what to expect and how the dynamics are likely to change.

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Civil unions supporters in Colorado won big during last week’s election, successfully targeting and ousting three Republican lawmakers over their opposition to civil unions. And as Bente Birkeland reports, many in the GOP feel the issue contributed to their losses.

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Colorado Democrats made history today by selecting the first openly gay man to be the speaker of the state House of Representatives. Bente Birkeland has more from the capitol.

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Democrats now have control of both chambers of the Colorado state legislature, putting the GOP in the backseat when it comes to next legislative session. Republicans had hoped to expand their one-seat advantage in the House of Representatives. Bente Birkeland has more from Denver.

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Going into Election Day, Republicans in Colorado hold a 2-point lead in early voting. The trend marks a contrast from the presidential election of four years ago when Democrats had the early voting edge. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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Both presidential campaigns are working overtime in the home stretch to try to mobilize their bases and get voters to the polls. In Colorado where the race is seen as a tossup, the ground game will be especially important. Bente Birkeland talked with grassroots volunteers from both campaigns out on the front lines.

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For the first time in years, the upcoming state budget will not be centered on making deep cuts. Governor John Hickenlooper unveiled his budget proposal today. It doesn’t include any major cuts and instead asks lawmakers for more money for education and economic development projects. State employees would also see a pay raise. Bente [...]

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Not only is Colorado a key swing state in the presidential election, this fall voters will also be deciding on a host of other races and issues. For instance, down ticket candidates will determine the makeup of the state legislature, and voters will also decide whether or not to legalize marijuana. Bente Birkeland talks [...]

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With the election now only one week away, nearly a quarter of Colorado voters have already caste their ballots. Early in-person voting ends on Friday. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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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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The presidential race is tightening and both candidates are making a final push in key swing states including Colorado. More than 10,000 people filled Red Rocks amphitheater last night to see Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is holding a rally in Denver today. Bente [...]

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Most Colorado voters are expected to cast their ballots before election day this November 6th. Early voting begins today and mail ballots have already been sent out across the state. Bente Birkeland examines the trend of early voting.

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Supporters and opponents of legalizing marijuana in Colorado faced off earlier this week during a two-hour debate. Colorado Christian University hosted the event. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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The first wave of Colorado voters will begin casting their ballots for the November election this week. County clerks sent out mail ballots to thousands of voters across the state on Monday. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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In an effort to give the public more information on the impact of oil and gas drilling in their communities, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources is launching a new public database on water quality near drilling well sites. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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News

Courtesy of Current Biology, Yoshizawa et al.
April 17, 2014 | NPR · A team of international scientists have found four species of insects with reversed sex organs. The females’ anatomy may have to do with their need for nutrients that only males produce.
 

Reuters/Landov
April 17, 2014 | NPR · A new study looking at the nests made by chimpanzees in Uganda found that they prefer a type of tree that gives them a firm and secure sleeping platform.
 

Meg Vogel/NPR
April 17, 2014 | NPR · On the eve of Easter and National Jelly Bean Day, let us probe the mysterious origins and unexpected ascendency of the humble candy. And to celebrate, we’ve sampled Jelly Belly’s newest flavors.
 

Arts & Life

Sony Pictures
April 17, 2014 | NPR · The film Heaven Is For Real tries hard to be about faith, but mostly winds up being about not bothering anybody. It’s a shame, because it’s a lost opportunity to say something interesting.
 

Meg Vogel/NPR
April 17, 2014 | NPR · On the eve of Easter and National Jelly Bean Day, let us probe the mysterious origins and unexpected ascendency of the humble candy. And to celebrate, we’ve sampled Jelly Belly’s newest flavors.
 

AFP/Getty Images
April 17, 2014 | NPR · The master of magic realism was the region’s best-known writer. His novels were filled with miraculous events and characters; love and madness; wars, dreams and death. He died Thursday at 87.
 

Music

April 17, 2014 | NPR · Aimee Mann and Ted Leo began performing together in 2012, when Leo was Mann’s opening act. Mann began joining Leo onstage during his set. Their debut album is “The Both.”
 

Courtesy of Republic Records
April 17, 2014 | NPR · The Secret Sisters’ new album, Put Your Needle Down, displays their sophisticated, timeless sound and the country-twang influences of their hometown, Muscle Shoals, Ala.
 

April 17, 2014 | NPR · A reader asks, “Will there be a place for cassette tapes in the future? What should I do with cassette tapes — especially those beloved mixtapes — that don’t have a place to live anymore?”
 

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