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A new species of tick, the longhorned tick, has arrived in the U.S.

In other parts of the world it’s been known to carry diseases that can sicken people and livestock. In East Asia the tick can carry a nasty hemorrhagic fever called SFTS. A study in China looking at SFTS cases there found that 16 percent of people who were diagnosed with the disease died of it.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

The 2018 midterms could be the year of the woman and possibly the independent as well - especially in Colorado.

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.

Photo Courtesy of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs is reopening Saturday after a severe hailstorm on Monday caused significant damage, injuries, and even killed some animals. Zoo officials said a fifth animal, a peahen named Katy Perry, died as a result of the storm.

By Jeffrey Beall / Creative Commons 4.0

Some Steamboat Springs, Colorado residents are welcoming the Interior Department Secretary with a protest Friday evening.  Ryan Zinke is the keynote speaker at the Steamboat Institute’s annual ‘Freedom Conference,’ a private event.

Creative Commons 2.0 / USDA

A new study shows air pollution like soot, dust and smoke is down around the country with one exception: wildfire prone areas like the Mountain West.  

Photo Courtesy of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo says two additional animals were killed in a hail storm early this week that caused significant damage and injured animals and people. In a press release, Jenny Koch, the zoo’s marketing director, said a meerkat pup that was missing underground has not been recovered, and they assume it has passed away.

“One of our peacocks also passed due to hail injuries,” Koch said.

The Denver Post wasn’t dying, says Larry Ryckman; it was being murdered.

“We were under attack by our own owners,” says Ryckman, who was until recently senior editor of news at the newspaper.

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.

As Colorado’s population has grown, so has the oil and gas industry. Its presence is an unavoidable part of the landscape. That’s why volunteer Patricia Nelson said she has spent part of her summer collecting signatures for Initiative 97.

Throughout the Western U.S., water conservation is in the toilet.

And that’s a good thing.

Phoenix Haus

Today’s jobs report that puts unemployment at a low of 3.9%  is not necessarily good news for companies competing for potential workers, especially in rural areas, where it’s already challenging to attract labor. Businesses and governments are coming up with creative solutions.

Capt Darin Overstreet / [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As record wildfires rage across the West, funding for fire prevention science is in jeopardy. Under President Donald Trump's 2019 budget proposal, cuts to various programs will be significant.

A recent study is helping researchers understand the role of wind in the largest forest fires.


On a recent Tuesday morning at the West Jordan library outside Salt Lake City, Peter Sadler was carefully stabbing an orange with a syringe.

Gov. John Hickenlooper wants the federal government to withdraw a proposed rule that restricts conversations health care professionals can have with their patients.

On July 30 Hickenlooper sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asking that it remove the "Compliance With Statutory Program Integrity Requirements" rule.

Climate change is causing temperatures to rise, fanning the flames of wildfires across the region. But when it comes to extreme weather in the region, there’s a new kid on the block — tornados.  

Lance Cheung / USDA, public domain

A coalition of advocacy and labor groups have sent a petition to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They’re calling for specific standards to protect construction, farm and other outdoor laborers from extreme heat. Right now there are no specific protections in place.  

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

Hay prices are spiking this year, driven up by a drought-induced shortage of the crop. It’s affecting ranchers across the board, but horse owners in particular are feeling the pinch. Horses eat higher quality hay, so it’s harder to get. It’s forcing horse owners in Colorado to buy more hay from neighboring states like Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana and that’s driving the cost up even more.  


Steve Johnson / Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0

Westerners in many states are using less water.  However that’s not the case in the Mountain West. In Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho, home usage went up; in Montana it stayed the same. Experts say these figures are based less on population growth and more on state water policies.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

The House just passed a bill to create a 9-1-1 type service nationwide for suicide prevention. This change could be especially important for our region, which has some of the highest suicide rates in the country.

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.

The Pew Research Center is reporting that more than a third of large newspapers laid off staff in the last year or so, including in our region.

When The Denver Post laid off about a third of its newsroom earlier this year, senior editor for news Larry Ryckman left to start something new, The Colorado Sun.

We're In Drought. So Why Can We Still Water Our Lawns?

Jul 24, 2018
clipart.com

Smoke-filled skies. Record-breaking heat. Brittle forestland closed to the public. And yet, for some Colorado residents conserving water remains optional, even as the state grapples with widespread drought and wildfire. 

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:

PARTNERSHIP FOR COMMUNITY DESIGN

The new comprehensive plan for Colorado Springs, known as PlanCOS, is out in draft form, and the city is seeking feedback. City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler is the Vice Chair of the PlanCOS steering committee and says the plan is long overdue.

Dr. Christopher Paddock; public domain license / CDC

A new study out of Colorado State University shows that disease-bearing ticks are more widespread than previously thought, but the Mountain West is still relatively safe.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order this week requiring that abandoned oil and gas equipment be plugged up or removed. 

The move comes about a year after an old natural gas pipeline leaked methane into a home in Firestone, Colorado. The home exploded, killing two people and injuring another.

Pikas are fluffy mammals that live at high altitudes across the West. They squeak when danger nears. The squeaky fluff-balls are considered indicators of climate change because they’re so sensitive to heat. Scientists say they have found some of animals in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are behaving strangely.

Jessica Castillo Vardaro, a wildlife biologist with the University of California, Berkeley, studies pika genetics, a field that can involve some unusual data collection methods.

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