Michael de Yoanna

I joined KUNC in 2016 to oversee news operations just as the station changed its format to round-the-clock news and information. I got my start as a journalist at the turn of the century, working as a newspaper. I took the advice of my mentors and didn't get too comfortable at any one place, working in several newsrooms along Colorado's Front Range, learning a little more about the state each place I went. I spread my wings as a freelancer after that. I worked for many publications, including Salon, 5280 magazine in Denver and my own, now-defunct bloggy news site that, among other things, ran cartoons rejected by the New Yorker. I also got my first taste of broadcast journalism, working for "48 Hours Mystery," "60 Minutes" and, eventually, a day job as a producer at the investigative desk at 7News in Denver. My first story in public radio was a collaboration with KUNC in a subject I've long explored -- the treatment of injured troops returning home from war. It won a national Edward R. Murrow award, one of the many awards over my career I've been lucky enough to win. In 2017, I won a Columbia-duPont award for my investigation into the same subject with NPR Investigative Correspondent Danny Zwerdling. 

During World War II, the U.S. military assembled a special group of troops trained to use chemical weapons.

"The big day is still to come," says the narrator of a U.S. War Department training film. "It will be when Hitler, with his back to the wall, frantically uses gas as a last resort."

It was the worst kind of warfare imaginable in the years before the atomic bomb.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe recently sounded a bit like a politician from the Cold War era, when tensions were high between competing global powers.

"National Defense Strategy directs our national military to prepare for the return of great power competition," the Republican senator from Oklahoma said. "This means we must be prepared to deter and, if necessary, decisively defeat potential near-peer adversaries. Obviously, we're talking about China and Russia."

In 2002, voters in Colorado supported sweeping changes to state campaign finance laws. The goal was to rein in the influence of money in elections. The law contained a strong preamble about how large campaign contributions could corrupt politics and give special interests, corporations and the rich disproportionate influence.

Then along came the millionaires running for governor, spending millions of their own dollars on their own campaigns.

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."

This year's governor's race is like no other in Colorado history -- at least in terms of money. The $29 million contributed so far to candidates shatters prior records. A large chunk of that money comes from millionaires, spending big in hopes of being elected to a job that pays $90,000 a year.

"There actually are no limits to what an individual can contribute to their own campaign," said Steve Bouey, a manager with the elections division of the Secretary of State's Office.

On their first wedding anniversary, Mike Klingner asked his wife, Jane Adams, a favor. He was getting ready to leave for the Vietnam War as a pilot.

“Mike said the night before he left, ‘If I’m killed in action, I want to be buried in Arlington,’” Adams said.