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Colorado once turned to comedy to warn residents about the dangerous mixture of drugs and driving. Early advertisements featured actors who got so high, they were trying to start grills without propane. The ads warned that although grilling while high is not illegal, driving while high is.

But as more drivers under the influence of drugs get into fatal car crashes in Colorado, state officials are hoping a new, more simple advertising campaign will help reduce impaired driving.

In 2007, years into a record-breaking drought throughout the southwestern U.S., officials along the Colorado River finally came to an agreement on how they’d deal with future water shortages -- and then quietly hoped that wet weather would return.

But it didn’t.

Thomas Hart / Flickr Creative Commons

The economic outlook for Colorado Springs and El Paso County continues to be positive. According to a forecast by Dr. Tatiana Bailey with the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, the gross metropolitan product (GMP) is expected to grow faster than the national GDP by about 1 percent, as it has steadily done for the past few years. 

Cathy Kipp was at a recent back-to-school night at Kruse Elementary School in Fort Collins. She was handing out flyers and printed information about Amendment 73.

"This is game changing," said Kipp, a member of the Poudre School District Board of Education. "This would be the best increase in public school funding that we've been able to get in decades in Colorado."

Abigail Beckman / 91.5 KRCC

For a few hours on Sunday, October 7th, vehicles were not allowed Garden of the Gods. A gloomy, crisp morning didn’t keep people away from the park’s second so-called Motorless Morning. Bikers, runners and walkers roamed freely throughout the park, appreciating the landscape and the wildlife—and no one seemed to miss the traffic. 91.5 KRCC’s Abigail Beckman was there and has this audio postcard...

A class action lawsuit is alleging the U.S. Olympic Committee headquartered in Colorado Springs tolerated sexual abuse, exploitation and forced labor. 

The U.S. Olympic Committee is not specifically named as a defendant in the suit, but that could change as the suit moves forward. 

On Friday, an intergovernmental organization hosted a hearing in Boulder, Colorado on the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the U.S. That group faces some of the highest violence and sexual assault rates in the nation.

Colorado's gubernatorial candidates didn't need to say a single word Friday night on the downtown Denver debate stage to start drawing a contrast with one another.

Democratic candidate Jared Polis walked onto the stage wearing blue tennis shoes, while Republican Walker Stapleton wore shiny black dress shoes.

The two men also clashed at the microphone when the cameras started rolling.

A computer science major in college, 25-year-old Garrett Hause would fit in at a Silicon Valley startup. But he said he prefers to stay busy and work with his hands, so he decided to do something different.

Last year he took over his grandparents’ farm in Lafayette, Colorado and replaced the fields of alfalfa with five acres of hemp.

The Environmental Protection Agency is making $20 million available for states and tribes to voluntarily test drinking water for lead at schools and childcare facilities.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

This Sunday morning, Garden of the Gods will once again be closed to vehicles. Motorless Morning is an opportunity for cyclists and pedestrians to take in the park without the sounds, commotion and worry of traffic. 

In addition to electing a new governor this November, Colorado voters will also decide the fate of 13 statewide ballot questions, including two specifically aimed at funding transportation projects.

But beyond that shared goal, propositions 109 and 110 differ greatly.

There’s good news for hemp growers across the U.S. who are preparing for harvest. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration removed some cannabidiol, or CBD, from the most restrictive class on Thursday, allowing for the first cannabis-derived pharmaceutical to be sold in U.S. markets.

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.

National Park Service

The National Park Service is donating more funds to preserve, restore and increase education about Japanese American internment camps scattered across the U.S.  Most of them are in the West. 

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.

Creative Commons Zero - CC0 / Pixabay

The flu epidemic was especially deadly last year. And our region was no exception. Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died in the U.S. from the flu virus last season, including a record high of 180 children.  

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.

The Mountain West is a pretty conservative place. So when Democrats win here… it’s big news. And now two Democratic governors from the region are mulling a run for president.

Colorado’s John Hickenlooper and Montana’s Steve Bullock are both moderate progressives, both won in fairly conservative places, and both are kind of wonky.

“They’re not that person who can command a crowd,” Lee Banville, a political journalism professor at the University of Montana, says.

Creative Commons 2.0 / Trailsource.com

The outdoor recreation industry is growing faster than ever, especially in our region. In fact, new statistics show this sector grew faster than the overall U.S. economy.

Walking through forests across the Mountain West, you might not realize you’re walking past historical artifacts big enough to crush you. These artifacts are pine and cedar trees that have had their bark peeled off in a special way. The trees are a bit of a mystery to archaeologists, and one they’re running out of time to solve.

Creative Commons Zero - CC0 / Pixabay

The Trump administration just relaxed Obama-era industry regulations for methane leaks from oil and gas operations on federal lands. But reactions to the change in the Mountain West are mixed.  

The ongoing trade war with China is feeling close to home these days. Mounting tariffs on outdoor recreation gear may hit the wallets of folks in the Mountain West who love going outside.

On Monday, the Trump administration announced $200 billion dollars worth of new tariffs on products from China.

“This is going to include backpacks, sport bags, leather ski gloves, bikes and some camping equipment,” Rich Harper, a trade analyst with the lobbying group Outdoor Industry Association, said.

Our region has attracted the attention of the Terminator.

“I’m right now on a campaign to terminate gerrymandering,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger in a video from Budapest, where he’s shooting his latest film.  

Schwarzenegger is raising money for efforts in four states, including two in the Mountain West, to end the political practice.

We hear about gerrymandering a lot these days, but not necessarily an explanation for what it is. It’s complicated, but not impossible to explain.

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.

A new campaign aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding men’s mental health is underway in El Paso County. The initiative is called Man Therapy and it uses humor to cut through what experts say is a tendency among men to avoid seeking help.

Cliff Redish is a political exile. He lives in a world that's colored Republican red and Democrat blue. He used to be a Democrat, but now he's unaffiliated. Perched on a barstool in a pub in Carbondale on Colorado's Western Slope, he's hesitant to even talk about it.

"We're so divided," Redish said. "It's just unbelievable. It's hard to even bring this up in a bar right now."

Creative Commons Zero - CC0 / MaxPixel

Nearly three hundred names have been added to the Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Colorado Springs. Occupational cancer claimed many of those lives.

NASA.gov

Teams of people from the Mountain West, including firefighters and Red Cross volunteers, have already been deployed to the East Coast in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

A leaked memo this week from the Interior Department shows Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to give states more clout over wildlife management on public lands, unless it conflicts with federal law.

 


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