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 reports on local issues and stories for the 91.5 KRCC News Department and oversees production of our music program, Air Check, our community-driven reporting series, Peak Curiosityand our literary interview show, The Converge Lecture Series Podcast.

In addition to 91.5 KRCC, Jake's stories have been featured on WBEZ, CBC Radio 1, and NPR stations across Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West. 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. 

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Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and three at-large city council members were sworn into their roles Tuesday at a ceremony on the steps of the Pioneers Museum in downtown Colorado Springs.

WAMU/Jason Quigley

On this episode of Air Check, Jake and Vicky invite Colorado College Professor of Math and Computer Science, Beth Malmskog, to sit in on the roundtable music review.  Prof. Malmskog knows quite a lot about prime numbers, but she also knows a thing or two about music, having hosted a music show at KRFC while in grad school in Fort Collins. 

City of Colorado Springs

A local Colorado Springs landmark will soon be getting a facelift.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Ballots have been mailed to Colorado Springs residents for this year’s municipal election. In addition to mayor and three at-large city council seats, voters will weigh in on a single ballot initiative -- Issue 1 -- which would grant firefighters a collective bargaining contract with the city.

www.troutsteak.com

On the March edition of Air Check, Jake and Jeff listen to some music with local musician and record producer Adam Hawkins during the musical roundtable discussion. Hawkins owns a recording studio in Colorado Springs called Right Heel Studios where much of the Pikes Peak region's local talent choose to lay down tracks. We also get a visit from the Denver-based bluegrass band Trout Steak Revival who play a couple tunes and talk with Vicky. Trout Steak Revival won the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Competition and are gaining national recognition for their music.

City of Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs has completed its first ever Tree Canopy Assessment.

The city used aerial imagery to map its trees and found that the canopy covers roughly 17 percent of Colorado Springs. The study also identified parts of the city that could benefit from more trees, including parks, medians, and the area surrounding a planned sports complex and the under-construction Olympic Museum near downtown Colorado Springs.

Michael Lionstar / Courtesy of Penguin Random House

For our fourth episode of the Converge Lecture Series Podcast, we're joined by writer Karen Russell.

A novelist and short story writer, Russell is perhaps best known for her novel, "Swamplandia!"

 

Set in the waterlogged wilderness of south Florida, it tells the story of a family of alligator wrestlers struggling to cope with tragedy and dealing with a string of bad luck that threatens their roadside theme park. It’s a book about grief and survival, and a haunting, deeply affecting coming-of-age tale.

Via Youtube

On this episode of Air Check, KRXP's alt rock ambassador, Coba, sits in on the roundtable review with Jake and Jeff to talk about favorite new releases, and Vicky hosts local musician Erika Ryann in the 91.5 KRCC studios. Erika's home on a windswept ranch in Larkspur, Colorado, provides the backdrop for her original tunes, and define the authenticity of her rootsy appeal.

Dan West / Colorado State Forest Service

Bark beetles are continuing to cause widespread damage to Colorado’s forests, according to a new study. The annual aerial forest health survey, jointly conducted by the Colorado and U.S. Forest Services, shows spruce forests are at particular risk.

 

Spruce beetles damaged 178,000 acres of Engelmann spruce forest last year, the report says. While that’s down from 2017, the Colorado State Forest Service warns that the beetles are continuing to spread to new, previously unaffected areas.

 

City of Colorado Springs

 

Colorado Springs City Council has given preliminary approval to a new comprehensive plan, called PlanCOS. The plan replaces a previous one dating back to 2001, and lays out a vision for future development in the city, which is expected to grow by more than 200,000 people over the next 20 years.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

 


A Colorado Springs man has been living at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church for the past week to avoid deportation back to his home country of El Salvador.

screen shot from "Whack World"

This month on Air Check, it's our annual year-end music review. We count down our favorite 5 songs of 2018, and we each pick a favorite in-studio performance from one of the many musicians and groups that played the 91.5 KRCC studios this year. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Some residents of Security, Widefield, and Fountain have elevated levels of potentially toxic chemicals in their blood, according to new research by the Colorado School of Public Health and the Colorado School of Mines. The chemicals, from a family of compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are believed to have leached into the Widefield aquifer from firefighting foams once used at Peterson Air Force Base. The aquifer has long been an important source of drinking water for southern El Paso County.

Ed Suominen / FLICKR All creative Commons

Colorado is launching a new nonprofit, called The Colorado Clean Energy Fund, to help finance clean energy projects in the state.

Facebook.com

On this episode of Air Check, we talk with members of the Out Loud Colorado Springs Men's Chorus about their mission to use music to build acceptance and community, and we capture a couple songs from the organization as well. Also, Dr. T, host of the Tuesday evening music mix from 10 p.m. to midnight, sits in on the music roundtable review, and shares his favorite new release from the 91.5 KRCC music racks.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

A task force charged with evaluating Colorado’s juvenile justice system released its final report this month. It points to shortcomings in the system and puts forth a number of policy recommendations.

Rocky Mountain Vibes

The Colorado Springs Sky Sox have a new name. The baseball team unveiled the new moniker Monday after months of build-up.

Broadmoor Images

 

Governors-elect from across the country are gathering in Colorado Springs this weekend for The Seminar for New Governors. The weekend-long conference, taking place at the five-star Broadmoor Hotel, is designed to help them prepare for their new jobs.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

The midterm elections brought ups and downs for both parties in Colorado Tuesday night. Democrats gained a majority across state government, while Republicans saw some ballot propositions veer in favor of fewer taxes and less regulation on the oil and gas industry.

via RomaRansom.com

On this episode of Air Check, UCCS Professor of Music Jane Rigler joins us for the roundtable music review and talks about the power of voice, and Grace Easly and Gordon Lewis of Roma Ransom stop in to play a couple songs in-studio and chat about their work and musical relationship.

Lynn Savarese / Courtesy of the author

 

For our third episode of the Converge Lecture Series Podcast, we're joined by writer Edwidge Danticat.

Danticat is the acclaimed author of many books of fiction and non-fiction, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, The Dew Breaker, and Brother, I’m Dying. She is also a prolific writer of short stories, essays, children’s books, and more.

Laura Bittner / Flickr/Creative Commons

Ballots are out and drop-off locations and polling centers are open for the 2018 mid-term election. For many voters in Colorado, the ballot is a long one. Here you will find links and information on how to vote, as well as information on the 13 statewide issues. 

Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn has represented Colorado’s 5th Congressional District since 2007. This year, he’s running for his 7th term in office, and he’s facing a challenge from Democrat Stephany Rose Spaulding.

Courtesy of Stephany Rose Spaulding

 

Ballots are out and voting is underway in Colorado ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm election. Here in Southern Colorado, Democrat Stephany Rose Spaulding is running to unseat Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn in Congressional District 5, which covers El Paso, Teller, Fremont and Chaffee counties, as well as parts of Park County.

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.

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