Megan Verlee

This week, as part of the Nation Engaged project , NPR and some member stations will be talking about what the 2016 primary season has revealed about voters' confidence in the American electoral system. Voters unhappy with the political system this year and unsure about whether their vote matters have big complaints how the country's two main political parties choose their candidates. A recent Associated Press-NORC poll found that about 40 percent of adults had hardly any confidence...

Wyoming is sometimes called the Equality State — it had the nation's first female governor and was the first territory to give women the right to vote. But that legacy isn't visible on the floor of the state Senate. Just one of the 30 state senators is a woman. "I am the queen of the Senate. I have my own little tiara," jokes Bernadine Craft, a Democrat who represents the mining town of Rock Springs. Overall, just 13 percent of state lawmakers in Wyoming are women, the lowest rate of...

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: In Colorado, a jury has returned its verdict on James Holmes, the man on trial for killing 12 people and wounding more than 70 others in a movie theater three years ago. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We the jury find the defendant, James Eagan Holmes, guilty of murder in the first degree after deliberation. CORNISH: It's clear the jury rejected the defendant's insanity defense....

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: We're waiting this afternoon to learn the fate of James Holmes. He's the gunman who killed 12 people in a Colorado movie theater three years ago. After a day and a half of deliberations, the jury says it has reached a verdict. It will be read later today. Colorado Public Radio's Megan Verlee joins us now from Denver. And Megan, remind us the scope of the charges that the jury's considering. MEGAN...

It's Sunday evening, and services are just getting underway at the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver. Nearly 200 worshipers sit in circles of plastic chairs around a simple altar table. Together they follow traditional Christian rites. They sit. They stand. They sing. The congregation here resembles the crowd at a downtown bookshop — hipsters and college professors, gay couples and Democratic grandmas. But even in this crowd, the congregation's pastor, with her short, moussed hair...

A student armed with a shotgun opened fire at a Colorado high school, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said Friday. Police said the shooter injured two fellow students at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., before killing himself.

West of the city of Colorado Springs, trees charred by the summer's wildfire scar the steep foothills. The Waldo Canyon fire destroyed more than 300 homes in June. Now, that devastated neighborhood is coming back to life, with construction workers swarming over half-completed houses. While many of its former residents are preparing to move back, some just want to move on. In the days after the fire devoured their homes, shell-shocked residents tried to wrap their minds around what had just...

Aurora, Colo., became a familiar name this summer, in the wake of a mass shooting at a local movie theater. But there's much more to this Denver suburb than the recent tragedy. Just ask Ethiopian immigrant Fekade Balcha. Balcha's apartment, on Aurora's north side, sits in a dense neighborhood of squat brick apartment buildings and tiny homes. "You see, in our apartment, there are Russians, Mexicans, Africans," Balcha says. "From Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, and something like that." Aurora is...