Jake Brownell

Programming & News Producer

Jake Brownell is an award-winning reporter and producer covering the news and culture of Southern Colorado. 

A native of the Twin Cities, Jake landed in Colorado Springs by way of a philosophy degree at Colorado College. During his time at CC, he pursued an interest in radio as a DJ and then as manager at the school's student radio station, The SOCC.  After graduating in the Spring of 2012, Jake went on to intern with 91.5 KRCC's The Big Something, where he began to hone his skills as an editor, interviewer, researcher and writer--skills which he put to use first as a producer of 91.5 KRCC's Off Topic, and more recently as co-producer and host of The Big Something Radio Show and the documentary series, Wish We Were Here. Jake now oversees production of our music program, Air Check, our community-driven reporting series, Peak Curiosityand reports on local issues and stories for the 91.5 KRCC News Department. 

In addition to 91.5 KRCC, Jake's stories have been featured on WBEZ, CBC Radio 1, and NPR stations across Colorado. His work has been recognized with two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for News Documentary, as well as awards from The Associated Press Television and Radio Association, Colorado Broadcasters Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, and others. 

Ways to Connect

User Thomson200 / Wikimedia Creative Commons

Colorado Springs has finalized the purchase of 64 acres of open space near Blodgett Peak on the city’s northwest side.

Colorado Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

A Southern Colorado pioneer is set to be inducted into the Colorado Latino Hall of Fame this month. Maria Teresita Sandoval, an early settler in the area, is being recognized for her role in founding the city of Pueblo.

Matt Chmielarczyk

On this episode of Air Check, local photographer and musician Matt Chmielarczyk joins us in the musical roundtable review, and the Rev. Freakchild talks with Vicky about his musical and spiritual journey and plays a couple songs live in studio.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

As Colorado Springs continues to grapple with a growing homeless population, City Council is looking at spending $500,000 to expand capacity at the city’s shelters.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

The Colorado Supreme Court won’t hear a lawsuit over a controversial land exchange between the Broadmoor Hotel and the City of Colorado Springs. Plaintiffs say it may be the end of their years-long fight over a parcel of parkland called Strawberry Fields.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers delivered his annual State Of The City address Friday. In an upbeat, 35-minute speech, Suthers highlighted the city’s strong economy and touted recent rankings in U.S. News and World Report, including one that called Colorado Springs the “most desirable place to live” in the country.

Niels Sienaert / Creative Commons, Flickr

Traffic fatalities are up significantly in Colorado Springs this year. The city has counted 38 traffic deaths so far in 2018, compared to last year’s record high of 39 overall.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

 

With more than 4 million listings worldwide, Airbnb is considered the largest lodging company in the world. And its impact has been felt in cities all over, including Colorado Springs. As Airbnb and other sites have increased the demand for so called “short term vacation rentals,” these properties have sprung up across the city -- but there are currently no laws on the books to regulate them. Colorado Springs officials are looking to change that.

Jesse Greco Johnson - GoFundMe.com

On this episode of Air Check we invite Amy Triandiflou, who is helping to organize this year's Porchfest, to join us on the musical roundtable review, and we get an in-studio visit from burgeoning talent Joseph Lamar.

Milan Suvajac / Wikimedia Creative Commons

Some residents of Manitou Springs have filed a lawsuit against the city over a proposed deal to repair and reopen the Cog Railway. The suit argues residents should have the opportunity to vote on the proposal.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

 

El Paso County’s Board of Commissioners approved a settlement with the ACLU of Colorado at its regular meeting Tuesday morning. The suit was filed on behalf of a woman held in jail for nearly a month because she couldn’t pay a $55 administrative fee.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

 

At a two-day forum held by the EPA in Colorado Springs, local water officials, state health representatives, and residents of El Paso County called on the agency to take action to regulate a group of potentially toxic chemicals known as PFAS (also called PFCs). The chemicals have been linked to certain cancers and other illnesses, and were detected above safe levels in drinking water in Security, Widefield, and Fountain in 2016. Authorities believe the contamination came from PFAS-containing firefighting foams long used in training exercises at Peterson Air Force base.

Matt Chmielarczyk

This month on Air Check, Jeff, Jake and Vicky return to the roundtable to share their favorite recent releases, and we visit with musician, actor, and author Chris Thomas King, perhaps best known for his role as blues musician Tommy Johnson in the film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

City of Colorado Springs

Downtown Colorado Springs will soon be home to two new sports and events centers, according to plans released by the city Wednesday.

National Weather Service

--- Updated 6:20 p.m. --- 

Flash flood warnings have been issued for Cripple Creek, Midland, and La Veta.

Ali Budner

Updated Tuesday, 9:35 a.m.

Southern Colorado is recovering from thunderstorms that caused widespread flooding, mudslides and other damage Monday.

Officials warn that more storms are possible in the region Tuesday, but the National Weather Service says those storms are expected to be "less widespread/less severe" than Monday's.

The National Weather Service provided this radar look at Monday's storms:

ozomatli.com

This week on Air Check we invite Rosanna Taylor, marketing guru at The Black Sheep, to sit in on our musical roundtable, and we bring you an in-studio session with the band Ozomatli, who dropped by 91.5 KRCC during their recent tour through Colorado Springs.

PART ONE: Musical Roundtable

Jeff's Pick:

Nickodemus  - "Will You Still Be Here?"

Lewis "Lew" Tilly / Pikes Peak Library District, Digital Photo Archive, Image no. 099-10711

 


"Everybody Welcome” was the catchphrase of Colorado Springs businesswoman Fannie Mae Duncan.

United States Drought Monitor

Hot, dry weather is forcing fire bans across southern Colorado. Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs are the latest to enact restrictions.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

On this episode of Air Check, we invite local DIY promoter and metal guru Bryan Ostrow to sit in on the musical roundtable and tell us about the upcoming 71Grind Fest, and we bring you an in-studio performance and interview with Josiah Johnson of the Head and the Heart, along with his two traveling music partners, Aviva Lipkowitz and Chelsea Coleman.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs is launching a new program aimed at stemming panhandling and pushing money toward local aid agencies. City officials say it’s designed to encourage effective giving.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

 

The Colorado Springs park system fell four spots this year in a national ranking put out by the non-profit Trust for Public Land. The organization cites below-average park funding as a primary reason. 

The ranking looks at the 100 largest cities in the country, and evaluates them based on factors including park acreage, accessibility, and amenities. This year, Colorado Springs ranked 46th.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC


Peak Curiosity is a community-driven reporting series from 91.5 KRCC. We ask listeners to submit their questions about the Pikes Peak region and Southern Colorado, and then we answer them. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to submit your question!

Briffaut

On this  episode of Air Check, Dr. Steve Hayward -- co-host of A Day In the Life on 91.5 KRCC -- joins us for the musical roundtable discussion, Paulina Ukrainets talks with Colorado Springs based musician Gwen Wolfenbarger, AKA Seal Eggs, about her music and inspiration, and we have an in-studio performance from Briffaut playing a song from their newest release Helsinki.

Blue Flower Arts

 

For our second episode of the Converge Lecture Series Podcast, we're joined by poet Richard Blanco.

If you watched the second inauguration of Barack Obama in 2013, then you're familiar with Blanco's work. The White House asked him to write and read a poem for the occasion, making him one of only five writers ever to have held the title, “Inaugural Poet,” a distinction he shares with Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. He was also the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to hold the position.

El Paso County PIO, Twitter

 

Conditions across southern Colorado are dry, and they’re expected to stay that way as we move into the summer months. That has officials preparing for what could be a difficult fire season.

El Paso County PIO, Twitter

--- Update 4/19/18, 9:45 p.m. ---

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is reporting that the #117Fire has been completely contained.

--- Update 4/19/18, 7:30 a.m. ---

The #117Fire is now estimated at 60% containment, with little to no growth. It remains nearly 41,000 acres. The state's Type II team has officially taken over command of fighting the fire as of 6 a.m. There's a new fire information phone number: 719-428-5223 (from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.).

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

It’s been nearly two years since residents in southern El Paso County learned their drinking water contained potentially unsafe levels of chemicals known as perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs (also referred to as PFAS). The chemicals were long used in products ranging from non-stick pans to industrial fire fighting foams, and they’ve been linked in recent years to certain cancers and other health conditions.

Ohio-based attorney Rob Bilott has been working on cases related to PFC contamination since the late 90s, and is credited with helping to bring the issue to light nationally through his litigation in West Virginia. He’s not affiliated with a local lawsuit against manufacturers of the PFC-containing firefighting foams thought to be responsible for contamination in the Widefield aquifer, but he’ll be speaking about the issue at Mesa Ridge High School in Widefield on Tuesday, 4/17, at 7 p.m.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs is the second best place to live in America, according to a new ranking out from the U.S. News and World Report, and city officials are celebrating the recognition.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

On this week's episode of Air Check, local audiophile and music enthusiast Chris O'Shea sits in on the musical roundtable discussion, Low Cut Connie talks with Vicky and plays a couple songs in studio, and we suggest a few concerts that we think you might enjoy attending in the near future.   

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