Oil and gas wells have moved into urban and highly populated areas of Colorado – in some cases literally bumping up against residential back yards. Yet the number of permits being issued by the state actually has dropped in half over the past several years.

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Text of the Press Release:

With the Waldo Canyon Fire nearly 100% contained, it is important for residents to be vigilant regarding post-fire flash flooding. The burn area is our watershed, with steep canyons that drain into Fountain Creek. With a good percentage of the vegetation in that area gone and charred debris left behind, [...]

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Colorado Springs – The spread of the Waldo Canyon fire has forced the Postal Service to relocate postal operations for affected customers to pick up their mail. The decision impacts approximately 1130 Post Office Boxes and 850 street deliveries.

If you live in Green Mountain Falls, CO, 80819, mail pickup will be out of [...]

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UPDATE 6:49 pm, 6/24/12

Manitou Springs: effective 8 PM (CORRECTION from immediately) you may return to your homes. Crystal Park- still mandatory evacuation; (EPC Sheriff source for both info)

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Update: US 50 is now reopen; Spike Buck Fire is contained.

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All residents evacuated due to the Springer Fire near Lake George can now return home, but Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation area and Camp Alexander remain closed. The fire remains at 87% containment.

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Prompted by 180,000 unnecessary deaths per year in U.S. hospitals, a new listing of hospital safety scores finds most of the 33 rated in Colorado don’t make the top grade.

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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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The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union says the costs of health insurance have become so high that many people who work in Colorado’s rural areas carry policies that only cover them in case of a dire emergency. So the union is seeking to do for healthcare what it has done successfully for milk, livestock and equipment: Form a co-op.

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Dentists are warning pregnant women to take care of their teeth, for the sake of their babies. Pregnant women with cavities and gum disease have an increased risk of having premature and low-birth weight babies. They also have a good chance of passing on their bacteria and bad habits to their children….

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Colorado is promoting its relatively healthy residents to lure new businesses to the state, arguing that able-bodied people are more productive and may cost less to insure.

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Kelli Rose is 46 and healthy, with never a day in the hospital. But still, the only health insurance available to her has a $15,000 deductible and would cost up to $500 a month.

Asked if she has $15,000 in the bank in case of a medical emergency, Rose just laughs.

Health insurance has become so expensive that this Monument woman, like many other Coloradans, has decided it is just not worth the cost. So she lives without insurance.

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Most Colorado hospitals reported strong profits to the federal government for 2010, as consolidation has given them clout to demand more money from insurance companies.

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Colorado’s oil and gas boom combined with a cash-strapped state government has caused a backlog of 1,800 pending air pollution control permits for oil and gas equipment.

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The federal government is cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado for the first time, today ordering 23 dispensaries near schools to shut down within 45 days or face criminal prosecution and seizure of their property.U.S. Attorney John Walsh sent warning letters to the unidentified dispensaries and said in a news release that many are closer than 1,000 feet to K-12 campuses.

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Lawmakers to tackle a hodgepodge of healthcare-related bills
By Erika Gonzalez
Colorado Public News

Colorado lawmakers expect to consider numerous healthcare-related issues this session, from tougher “truth in advertising” requirements for medical providers to imposing more stringent standards for food sold in public schools.

But with Colorado’s rising Medicaid costs [...]

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Study: 30 percent of Coloradans need mental health care

By Cara DeGette
Colorado Public News

Nearly one in three Coloradans has some type of mental illness.

That’s according to a report released Wednesday by a group called Advancing Colorado’s Mental Health Care, funded by several Colorado-based foundations. The report estimates that 1.5 [...]

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‘Consumer-friendly’ insurance website difficult to maneuver

By Dick Woodbury
Colorado Public News

Would you like to know why health insurance rates have jumped so much in Colorado? Good luck.

Last month the Colorado Division of Insurance, which regulates health insurance companies, rolled out a new website. The site – funded with [...]

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Focus on the Family says it is talking to abortion rights groups
By Carol McKinley
Colorado Public News

Focus on the Family President Jim Daly, a leading opponent of abortion, has been meeting with abortion rights groups to look for common ground to reduce the number of abortions. Those conversations are [...]

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News

istockphoto.com
September 17, 2014 | NPR · New research shows that foliage can be beneficial in the workplace. Now show us your pet desk plant.
 

September 17, 2014 | NPR · Delwar Hossain Sayedee will instead spend the rest of his life in prison. He was convicted last year for his role in the violence surrounding the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.
 

AP
September 17, 2014 | NPR · The largest, spreading through the Sierra Nevada forest northeast of San Francisco, has engulfed nearly 20 square miles and is only 5 percent contained.
 

Arts & Life

 Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
September 17, 2014 | NPR · Also: a biography of Joan Rivers; the nonfiction longlist for the National Book Award is announced.
 

September 17, 2014 | NPR · We’re hard to shock these days, but reviewer Michael Schaub says Lauren Beukes’ new novel, Broken Monsters, is flawlessly tense and scary in its tale of a terrible murder in Detroit.
 

WBUR
September 17, 2014 | WBUR · Amy Clampitt was named a MacArthur genius in 1992. Today, the home she bought with her award money is used to house rising poets in tuition-free residencies.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
September 17, 2014 | NPR · Sure, Beach Slang’s got a Goo Goo Dolls thing going on. But the shimmering “Dirty Cigarettes” feels lived-in, even ugly, by comparison.
 

Half Japanese
September 17, 2014 | NPR · Half Japanese’s video for “Our Love” is a sprawling, energetic celebration of new love. The band’s new album, fittingly titled Overjoyed, is its first in 13 years.
 

September 16, 2014 | NPR · One of the important thinkers in present-day jazz is taking his cue from the 1920′s on his latest project. Pianist Jason Moran has released All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller.
 

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