91.5 KRCC Newsroom

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

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Hart Van Denburg / CPR News

Thousands of people waited for President Donald Trump in the finger-numbing cold outside the Broadmoor World Arena on Thursday morning. The president wasn’t scheduled to arrive for another nine hours, but the line had been building since the night before.

Andrew Kenney/CPR News

Local GOP officials expect President Donald Trump’s “Keep America Great” rally on Thursday to draw a packed crowd to Colorado Springs.

The Broadmoor World Arena fits just over 8,000 people. All the free tickets have been claimed online, according to organizers. Seating inside will be first-come, first-served. At 9:30 a.m., local law enforcement reported the parking lot at the venue was at capacity.

Light pollution is usually associated with big towns and cities. But a new kind of light pollution map shows it’s also a problem in rural areas, including in the Mountain West.

 


Gazette

In Colorado Springs, there are over 100 unsolved homicides dating back to 1949 that have surpassed the one-year investigative grace period, designating them as "cold cases." Someone, somewhere has the answers that could crack these cases wide open, and detectives are eager to hear from those individuals who might have information.

This week on KRCC Presents...Colorado Cold Case, it's another segment of 2017 unsolved homicide of Nate Czajkowski.  Listen in as we examine Colorado cold cases Sunday evenings at 6 p.m.

Al_HikesAZ / Flickr

A new degree program in Colorado aims to train business leaders for the fast-growing outdoor recreation industry in the Mountain West.

At a public hearing last year in Boise, Idaho, recent transplant Alicia Peterson urged lawmakers not to tighten vaccine requirements. 

"I, this last year, ripped my whole family from the only home I've ever known, which was California, for these very reasons," Peterson said. "I left for health freedom."

According to the Idaho Statesman, Peterson isn't alone. An investigation by the newspaper found about two dozen others who said "they moved to Idaho because of the state's limited regulation—specifically, the ease of getting a vaccine exemption for schoolchildren."

On a frigid Tuesday evening, Brent Yatkeman is scrambling to save an avalanche victim buried in the snow somewhere on a ski hill near Park City, Utah. 

CDC

The Colorado legislature is considering a new bill that would require private health insurance companies in the state to cover in vitro fertilization – or IVF – for patients struggling with infertility. It would become the most comprehensive coverage for infertility in the Mountain West. 

Creative Commons Zero - CC0 / Pixabay

Recognizing the youth mental health crisis in the Mountain West, some states are debating bills that address the problem from both inside and outside of schools.

CSU-Pueblo

Starting this fall, a state university in Colorado will offer a bachelor's degree in the science of the cannabis plant, among the first programs of its kind in the nation.

Fred Dunn / Flickr

As states in the Mountain West and beyond debate the merits of private prisons, Colorado is considering a bill that would look at ways to phase them out. 

Nearly 40 hospitals in the Mountain West are being penalized for having high rates of infections, patient injuries or other complications from hospital stays. That’s according to data released last week from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


We hope you will agree that KRCC presented some truly memorable music underneath the Colorado Avenue Bridge during the past thirteen years.  Every summer since 2006, KRCC's Blues Under the Bridge Festival featured artists the likes of Koko Taylor, Robert Belfour, Charlie Musselwhite, the Holmes Brothers, Bettye LaVette, Los Lobos, Booker T. Jones, Chris Thomas King and the Blind Boys of Alabama, along with local musicians like John-Alex Mason, Jake Loggins, Grant Sabin, Hazel Miller, Mike Clark and Sugar Sounds, the Informants, Austin Young, and Jeremy Vasquez. 

The festival became a regular showcase for authentic blues music in a gritty urban setting - under a bridge and in front of the Union Pacific - Rio Grande railroad tracks in downtown Colorado Springs. It also happened to be a wonderful coincidence that the venue under the Colorado Avenue Bridge was only a stone's through away from where artists like Billie Holiday, Muddy Waters, Louis Armstrong, and Etta James had performed between 1948 and 1975 at Fannie Mae Duncan's Cotton Club.

Todd Meir

For our sixth episode of the Converge Lecture Series Podcast, we're joined by writer Anthony Doerr.

A writer of short stories, memoir, and novels, Doerr is perhaps best known for the book, All The Light We Cannot See. Released in 2014, that book earned Doerr a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and was a huge commercial success, living on the New York Times Bestseller List for 130 consecutive weeks.

Dana Cronin / 91.5 KRCC

The federal government has authorized $28 million for the Arkansas Valley Conduit (AVC) — a pipeline that would deliver cleaner water to an estimated 50,000 people to communities in southeastern Colorado.

Abigail Beckman / 91.5 KRCC

The city of Colorado Springs is gathering reflections from community members on their personal connections to Pikes Peak. It’s part of a campaign called “My Mountain” leading up to completion of the Pikes Peak Summit Complex later this year. The city has shared audio versions of several stories with 91.5 KRCC, which we have edited for broadcast.

Today we hear from Atharva Vispute, a student at Rampart High School and one of the city’s 2019 Young Champion Ambassador. That means he’ll represent Colorado Springs during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay in our Sister City of Ancient Olympia, Greece, in March.

Updated at 6:00 p.m.

A bipartisan group of legislators say they plan to introduce a bill aimed at increasing childhood vaccination rates in the state. 

They say the bill would require parents seeking a vaccine exemption for non-medical reasons to use a specific form. Parents would also need to get the signature of a doctor or other immunization provider, or do an online vaccination education class. 

About one-third of Americans live in areas that regularly have unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to a new analysis out this week from Environment America, an organization of state-based environmental advocacy groups throughout the country.

As Gov. Jared Polis and Democratic lawmakers wage a war with hospitals over the rising cost of health care in Colorado, many residents like Jamie Harrison are still stuck paying high premiums on the West Slope.

"I think paying $1,700 a month for an insurance policy I don't use is not sustainable," Harrison said last week after finishing a day of skiing in Beaver Creek. "Something has got to give."

Every year, road crashes injure millions of Americans, killing tens of thousands and costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. According to a new analysis, states in the Mountain West could be doing more to curb crashes.

Screenshot from survey report / City of Colorado Springs

The master planning process for three downtown Colorado Springs historic parks moves into the next phase with a public meeting Tuesday.

Rural economies could get a massive boost under policies meant to decrease carbon emissions, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.

 


Google Maps

In his latest budget proposal, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis requested $7.2 million to begin transitioning the state away from private prisons. A big part of that plan was to close the Cheyenne Mountain Re-entry Center in Colorado Springs. It’s a medium security facility run by the GEO group, one of the largest prison companies in the country. 

History Colorado / Lost Highways

This Sunday at 6pm, KRCC Presents...Lost Highways, Episode 4 - The Dearest Field.

In the aftermath of the American Civil War, all-Black settlements sprang up throughout the West as formerly enslaved people and their descendants sought to build a better life. In this episode, Noel and Tyler look back at one of those communities in Colorado. 

InciWeb

A new and sweeping partnership is looking at preventing and preparing for worsening wildfires in the West. 

The Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative is a collaboration of 30 partners including utility companies, wildlife nonprofits, hunting groups, the Forest Service, and water management agencies with a mission to “increase the resilience of forests and communities.”

Every time thick, dark rain clouds move over the deserts that surround Las Vegas, there's an anticipatory buzz. Flora and fauna alike begin preparing for the rare event, lying in wait for the first few drops.

Todd Esque is usually waiting for them too from his office in Henderson, Nevada. He knows how much desert life depends on their arrival. So when they do come, he's smiling.

Note: KRCC is a member of the Mountain West News Bureau. In order to avoid a potential conflict of interest, this story was overseen by an outside editor.

Colorado Public Radio has signed a new agreement with Colorado College to help operate one of the state’s largest public radio stations, KRCC, an NPR member station based in Colorado Springs. 

Tim Reckmann / Flickr

Electric scooters can be a cheaper, more convenient alternative to getting around in cities. You don’t have to pay for parking or sit behind cars in traffic. And in some places you can rent them anywhere you go using your smartphone.  

When Blondie's Diner closes around 9 p.m. and a table of hunters finish their green chili cheeseburgers and head back to their hotel, the town of Naturita feels a bit like a ghost town.

There are two new marijuana dispensaries still open late with green neon signs, but on a November night at the start of hunting season, not many customers are partaking.

The only sound punctuating through the cold evening is a semi-truck idling in the parking lot of the Rimrocker Hotel, its driver trying to stay warm.

Update, Jan. 15 10:11 a.m.: The Department of Interior has provided a statement, which is now included in this story.

The Trump Administration’s Interior Department has largely ignored public comment on proposed rule changes, according to an analysis from the Center for Western Priorities.

The conservation advocacy group looked at ten proposals from Interior, including the easing of offshore drilling regulations and Endangered Species Act protections. What it found was that while more than 95% of public comments were opposed to the changes, the agency still moved forward on most of them.

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