A bill authorizing the creation of a state firefighting air tanker fleet is on its way to the governor. But as KUNC’s Nathan Heffel reports, there’s no guarantee the fleet will be in the air anytime soon.

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Amidst a charged atmosphere of students and civic and government leaders at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Governor John Hickenlooper signed the Colorado ASSET bill into law today. KUNC’s Nathan Heffel has more.

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A bill that would allow people who’ve entered the country illegally to receive a Colorado driver’s license passed its first hearing by a state senate committee yesterday. Nathan Heffel has more from the State Capitol.

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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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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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The Colorado Oil and Gas Association has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn a fracking ban approved by Longmont voters. COGA says the ban illegally prohibits the ‘safe and responsible development of oil and gas.’ Earlier this month the state decided against filing a similar lawsuit, but says it supports the action taken by [...]

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The vast Niobrara shale formation, which covers much of northeastern Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, is now estimated to be a third bigger than first thought. Two of the largest companies drilling the field, Noble Energy and Anadarko, say the area may be capable of producing as much as 3.6 billion barrels of oil over [...]

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From wildfires to ranching and farming to next year’s water supplies, everyone is wondering what kind of winter Colorado is going to have. Over the next few weeks Rocky Mountain Community Radio partner stations are going to take a look at how snow, or the lack of it, will impact the state going into 2013. [...]

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Southern Colorado’s Congressmen are re-elected…County-wide measures in El Paso County pass…and more results.

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Vestas Wind Systems has announced it is closing its research and development office in Louisville. As KUNC’s Nathan Heffel reports, this comes after announcing the closure of two other such Vestas offices in Texas and Massachusetts.

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The state’s tourism industry kicks off a three-day annual conference today in Steamboat Springs….AAA says Coloradans are paying less at the gas pump than last week…Two of the four candidates in the race for the 3rd congressional seat will take part in a debate tonight night in Pueblo…Thirty-seven years after he was declared missing during the rescue of an American ship crew that was seized by the Khmer Rouge, a Colorado Marine native to LaJunta has been buried with military honors.

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Coloradans across the state turned out for watch parties last night, as President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor squared off in their first debate at the University of Denver. Statehouse reporter Bente attended a watch party in downtown Denver. She talked to fellow reporters and voters about the debate’s impact and whether it [...]

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The Environmental Protection Agency has given final approval to Colorado’s strategy to reduce air pollution, which relies heavily on switching some coal fired power plants to natural gas…Pueblo City Council voted last night to postpone indefinitely a decision on city employee benefits for domestic partners, the Chieftain reports…Colorado government leaders have marked 11 years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a service that also recognized the victims of the Aurora theater shooting and historic summer wildfires.

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The Environmental Protection Agency has given final approval to Colorado’s strategy to reduce air pollution, which relies heavily on switching some coal fired power plants to natural gas. The Regional Haze Plan is being praised by Governor John Hickenlooper for meeting national air quality standards. Tisha Schuller is President of the Colorado Oil and [...]

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Colorado Springs voters yesterday overwhelmingly approved plans to lease city-owned Memorial Health System to University of Colorado Health…Residents in and around the Waldo Canyon burn area looking to purchase flood insurance should do so before September 8th in order to take advantage of a waiting-period waiver…Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton was recently chosen to build and operate the next Mars Spacecraft.

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Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler says a list of nearly 4,000 registered voters he suspects are not citizens is not subject to public inspection because it is part of an investigation…Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach and his staff addressed city layoffs and community development yesterday at his monthly media conference…Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management is hosting a preparedness meeting tomorrow for residents regarding the post Waldo Canyon fire flood risk…More Colorado layoffs have been announced by wind turbine maker Vestas…Federal officials say a 22-acre marijuana farm was discovered by firefighters battling the Waldo Canyon fire.

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Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach and his staff addressed city layoffs and community development today at his monthly media conference…Federal officials say a 22-acre marijuana farm was discovered by firefighters battling the Waldo Canyon blaze…More Colorado layoffs have been announced by wind turbine maker Vestas…Stage Two of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge Race started in Montrose this morning.

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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.
 

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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