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. 

-------------------------------------------------
Looking for recent 91.5 KRCC daily newscasts
Subscribe to 91.5 KRCC News in iTunes.
Subscribe to 91.5 KRCC Newscasts in iTunes.
Subscribe with an Android device.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

The recent terrorist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 worshippers has had ripple effects across the globe, including here in Colorado Springs.  

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.

The basement of the state Capitol is ground zero for legislative strategizing. Lobbyists take over the small cafeteria and crowd around tables with lawmakers for several hours. Some walk into the bathrooms still talking on their phones about legislation. It’s here in this noisy basement where the oil and gas industry has been mounting fierce opposition to stronger regulations on the industry.

Water leaders from the seven states that make up the Colorado River basin are one step closer to finalizing a drought contingency plan. Representatives from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, California and Arizona met in Phoenix Tuesday to sign a letter to Congress asking for federal approval of the plan.

Like many of the refugees who have resettled in Greeley, Colorado, 35-year-old Abul Basar is employed by JBS.

It’s a massive meatpacking plant that processes thousands of cattle per day and employs over 3,000 people. After a year of working on the plant’s processing line, where he disembowel cow carcasses with a large electric knife, Basar injured his right hand.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

The City of Colorado Springs is working to clean up downed limbs and trees from the blizzard last week, with a rough cost estimate to remove and replant the damaged trees reaching as much as a quarter of a million dollars. 

High snowpack in the southern Rocky Mountains this winter will likely stave off a shortage declaration in the Colorado River watershed in 2020, relieving pressure on water managers attempting to navigate future scarcity.

New data from U.S. Bureau of Reclamation models show a lessened risk of a key Colorado River reservoir dropping far enough to trigger a first-ever shortage declaration. Snowpack in the Upper Colorado River Basin is at 138 percent of the long-term median, a level not seen in mid-March since 1997.

Colorado lawmakers are now more than halfway through the legislative session, and they’ve debated at length over oil and gas regulations and how the state votes for presidents.

But one issue has been notably absent so far from the agenda: Transportation funding.

It’s been four months since voters rejected two tax measures that would have provided billions of dollars worth of funding for the state’s roads and bridges.

Liam Neupert

Students went on strike Friday, March 15, in more than 100 countries around the world and every state in the Mountain West region. They want action on climate change.

After days of fierce partisanship at the state Capitol, Democrats in the Colorado Senate advanced a bill Wednesday that will give local governments more control over oil and gas drilling operations.

But as the bill heads over to the House for more debate, there are signs it will undergo some more changes in the coming days.

Colorado Department of Transportation

Interstate 25 between Colorado Springs and Denver is fully open as of around 3:00, although drivers are still urged to proceed with caution. Some roads, particularly in the eastern and northeastern plains, remain closed.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

UPDATE Thursday, 3/14/19, 6:10 a.m.: Many roads throughout Colorado remain closed after yesterday's severe winter weather, including northbound Interstate 25 at Woodman. Officials are still encouraging residents to stay home, and, if they must go out, to check routes. You can also check the latest closures here.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office / Creative Commons

El Paso County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday in favor becoming a Second Amendment Preservation County. It’s just the latest of several other counties across the state speaking out against a so-called red flag bill currently in the legislature. The state measure would allow law enforcement to remove firearms from citizens deemed to be a danger to self or others.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

Haven Coleman perched on the steps of the Colorado state capitol in a puffy jacket and hat. The 12-year-old looked tiny against the gray stone columns rising up at her back. With her mom standing nearby, she held up a simple sign. On it, she had written the words “School Strike for Climate” in big black magic-markered letters.

Jeffrey Beall / Creative Commons 2.0

Several Democratic hopefuls for 2020 say they support legalizing marijuana at the federal level. But the potential nominee from our region who oversaw the legalization of the drug is his state, has reservations.

Mike McBride / Flickr-Creative Commons

A growing number of Colorado counties have declared themselves as Second Amendment sanctuaries in response to a so-called red flag bill making its way through the state Legislature. Custer, Fremont, Montezuma, Otero and Weld counties have said they would not enforce the legislation should it become law. Teller County has also denounced the measure, although commissioners there did not claim a "sanctuary" title.

Researchers studying wild black bears have found that eating human food could have a deep impact on the animals’ bodies.

Ecologists tracked 30 wild black bears around Durango, Colorado over a few summers and winters. They also tested their hair and blood.

They found that bears that foraged more on human food hibernated for shorter periods of time.

A study in the medical journal BMJ found a strong association between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of mass shootings.

Paul Reeping is an epidemiologist with Columbia University and first author on the paper. He says researchers had already looked at the relationship between gun laws and outcomes like suicide or homicide.

Abigail Beckman / 91.5 KRCC

Starting in the late 80s, rainbow trout in Colorado began dying off because of a parasite that causes whirling disease. By 1997, wild rainbows in the state had all but vanished. The disease is caused by a water-borne parasite that infects young trout and some species of salmon, causing deformities of the skull and spinal column. The infected fish swim in circles, hence the name whirling disease. Ultimately, it leads to death.

Water is again flowing through faucets in the Western Slope town of Paonia.

Town administrator Ken Knight told residents at a meeting Tuesday evening enough water is being treated and kept in storage to return service to the more than 1,500 people who rely on the town for drinking water. Some residents have been without drinkable tap water for nearly two weeks after officials discovered leaks in water pipes.

Lawmakers who have launched an effort to repeal Colorado’s death penalty argue that it unfairly targets minorities and does not prevent violent crimes. Add to their list of concerns that an innocent person could be put to death.

“The death penalty is unjust,” state Sen. Angela Williams told reporters Tuesday at the Capitol. “It is costly. It is immoral.”

Tom Arthur / Creative Commons 2.0

At least one state in our region is poised to join the movement to change how we vote for our president. Colorado’s Governor, Jared Polis, is expected to sign legislation soon.

When Paonia resident Jon Howard went turn on the dishwasher last Friday morning, there was no water to clean the dishes.

Same thing when he went to the bathroom, wanted to take a shower or fill up a glass from the kitchen sink.

Updated at 10:57 a.m.

Former two-term Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced his 2020 presidential bid in an online video on Monday, pitching himself as the centrist antidote to a dysfunctional, divided Washington.

He joins an already crowded field of Democratic contenders including senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders.

Noelle Cerone has noticed a disturbing trend at her high school situated in the mountains just north of Steamboat Springs.

“I know a lot of kids who have changed over time because they have gotten addicted to the nicotine in vape pens,” the Steamboat Mountain School junior wrote this week in a letter to state lawmakers.

Creative Commons Zero - CC0

A bacterial infection that infects Canada geese called "new duck disease" has turned up in the Mountain West.

Democratic lawmakers will introduce a bill soon that would give local governments in Colorado more control over oil and gas drilling operations.

The legislation from House Speaker KC Becker and Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg would not increase the setbacks between oil wells and homes. But the lawmakers say it will give cities and counties the ability to increase those setbacks themselves.

woodley wonderworks / Creative Commons 2.0

Several Mountain West states are considering legislation that would change sex education in their schools and they are all taking very different approaches.

Updated at 1:55 p.m., Feb. 26, 2019:

As a measles outbreak continues in Washington state, a congressional hearing Wednesday will discuss the preventable disease, now considered to be a “growing public health threat.”

Several states are considering legislation to encourage higher rates of childhood vaccines. The response in our region is mixed.

Former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran has launched a campaign for a U.S. House seat that fellow Democrat Diana DeGette has held for more than two decades.

Duran is hoping voters in the district are ready for change.

Pages