91.5 KRCC Newsroom

Colorado Springs, Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico regional news from the award-winning 91.5 KRCC Newsroom.

Also, great stories from our producers, partners and people in our region. 

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Amy Gray

For the second time this year, kids around the world are striking from school to demand action around climate change. And it’s happening just before world leaders gather at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City. There were only a handful of strikes in our region last time but this time there are several dozen.

Along with its new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado, the Bureau of Land Management is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to our region. But, there is some confusion on the specifics.

As kids across the country head back to school for the year, the question of how to keep students safe is constant and ever-evolving, especially when it comes to mass shootings. One recent active shooter training at Pinnacle Charter School in northern Colorado focused on three actions: evacuate, barricade, and fight.

Standing on blue gym mats, under bright fluorescent lights, a trainer and a student lean in, heads close.

Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control

Our region is leading the way on training helicopter pilots to fight fires at night.  There are costs and hazards involved but the move could also help firefighters get the most threatening blazes under control more quickly.

Courtesy photo / Decker Fire Facebook Page

Heavy smoke is possible along Highway 50 as a result of the Decker Fire, burning roughly 9 miles south of Salida. The fire grew to just under 850 acres over the weekend. There are currently no evacuations or closures.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

DENVER (AP) — The number of children and teens killed by gun violence in Denver is rising, and so is the number of youth charged with gun-related crimes. 

Instructor Graham Dunne is holding up some printouts with faces on them. He tells his students they're smaller than real heads.

"Here's some useless knowledge from being a sniper," he says. "The average human head is 6 inches across by 10 inches high. These are probably half that."

We're at the Flatrock Regional Training Center in Commerce City, Colorado. Usually the people training here are law enforcement, but today they're teachers, principals, bus drivers, coaches and school administrators — 13 of them.

Screenshot. / https://danforcolorado.com

DENVER (AP) — A third Democrat is bowing out of Colorado's crowded Democratic Senate primary after John Hickenlooper entered the race.

Courtesy photo / https://www.facebook.com/CenturaHealth/

DENVER (AP) — A Christian-affiliated health system in a court fight over Colorado's assisted suicide law says the state can't stop religious organizations from disciplining employees who encourage the option in violation of its beliefs.

Abigail Beckman / 91.5 KRCC

As he delivered the annual State of the City address on Thursday, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers was interrupted several times by people calling for justice in the officer-involved shooting death of De’Von Bailey last month.

Mike Procell / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado is poised to get a new state park. The new recreational area will include an iconic mountain peak and lots of wildlife in Southern Colorado.

Abigail Beckman / Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The FBI says it's reviewing the fatal police shooting of a black teenager in Colorado Springs to determine whether it involved a civil rights violation.

David Zalubowski / Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A U.S. human resources company has reported Colorado leads the nation in complaints based on religious discrimination.

Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser says his state hasn't agreed to a settlement with Purdue Pharma or its owners over the national opioid epidemic.

A new blazing fast internet connection in Paonia is making it easier for Americans who live far from Colorado to order cowboy hats that make them look like their favorite Western movie stars.

Mike McBride / Flickr-Creative Commons

An effort to recall two Democratic state senators has ended after backers informed the Colorado Secretary of State's office that they will not be turning in the signatures they collected.

The House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing today on the Bureau of Land Management's plans to move headquarters out west. Congressional Democrats are among those skeptical that the move is the right choice. That includes Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva.

It takes a lot of grit, and good pair of ski goggles, to live in Ophir, Colorado.

Winds can reach 70 miles per hour during the winter in this old mining town nestled in a box canyon near Telluride. And sometimes, residents have to park well short of town and hike through the big snowdrifts to get back home.

Editor's note: This story is the first of a three-part series looking at the state of Colorado's efforts to get rural households connected to high-speed internet.

NORWOOD- People living in the small farming town of Norwood have done some strange things to stay connected to the internet.

For example, librarian Carrie Andrew said the security cameras at the library once captured a young man arrive on his bicycle after hours to utilize the building's blazing fast Wi-Fi.

Screenshot: U.S. Space Command Facebook Page

A ceremony Monday at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs marked the official re-opening of the U.S. Space Command. 

Late summers in southeastern Colorado are usually synonymous with golden honeydews and cantaloupes, as the Rocky Ford melon harvest gets underway. But as evening temperatures cool, another lesser known ritual begins — the annual tarantula migration.

KUNC’s Esther Honig traveled south hoping to catch a glimpse of the spiders on their journey. 

A recent report looking at the best states to work in doesn't show the Mountain West in a particularly good light. Only one state in our region ranked in the top half.

National Park Service

A congressional watchdog agency has decided that the Interior Department broke the law by using entrance fees to keep national parks open during the government shutdown this past winter. 

Karla Selene Pérez Zavala / Creative Commons 4.0

Last month, the Trump administration said it would start deporting gravely ill immigrants here temporarily for medical care. This week, it backtracked a little. But 20 Attorneys General sent a letter to the administration saying they’re not satisfied. 

The sight of dozens of plastic tubs being unloaded from a white truck in front of the state Capitol on Friday morning attracted a crowd of curious out-of-state tourists and political activists.

The tubs contained recall petitions targeting Gov. Jared Polis, and the crowd gathered around them quickly learned the groups trying to remove the governor from office failed to get the 631,000 signatures they needed to put Polis' fate on the ballot.

Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex / U.S. Air Force

The Pentagon is diverting $8 million in construction money from Peterson Air Force Base to help pay for fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Finding a river in the West that still behaves like a Western river -- one that rises and falls with the annual rush of melting snow -- is tough. 

Many of the region’s major streams are controlled by dams. Their flows come at the push of a button. Instead of experiencing dynamic flows, dammed rivers are evened out. Floods are mitigated and managed, seen as a natural disaster rather than an ecological necessity. 

jimmywayne / Creative Commons 2.0

As the Mountain West continues to see a disproportionate number of youth suicides, one tribe in Southwest Colorado is opening up a new mental health center on its reservation to deal with alarming rates there. 

Courtesy photo / Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Communities in the lower Arkansas River Valley have had issues with drinking water for years, including discoloration and poor taste. Recent data shows that two dozen water systems in the valley contain radioactive contaminants and are in violation of the Clean Water Act. There’s a possible solution though — the Arkansas Valley Conduit. It’s a pipeline that would deliver cleaner water from Pueblo Reservoir to the rest of the region. It’s been in the works for decades but has yet to be completely funded.

lewispalmer.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado school board is calling for an investigation into the state's sexual-education law, saying a recent update overrides the authority of local school districts.

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