Colorado

NEWS
2:24 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Recreational Marijuana Is Now Legal In Oregon

In Oregon, people can grow up to four marijuana plants per household.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 3:42 pm

Recreational marijuana is legal in Oregon as of today.

People 21 and older can now possess up to an ounce of pot when away from home and up to 8 ounces at home. It's also legal to grow up to four plants per household.

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NEWS
3:28 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Colorado's Evolution Toward Marriage Equality Has Been Incremental, But Quick

An excited crowd outside of the U.S. Supreme Court following the 5-4 decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide, June 26, 2015.
Elizabeth Harball used with permission

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 5:25 pm

Current and former Colorado state Democratic lawmakers are praising the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing same sex marriage nationwide. In the 5-4 decision, the court ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"Today is an amazing day for America and equality, said Democratic former Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino, who served as Colorado’s first gay speaker and helped pass a bill to make civil unions legal in the state.

"I knew we would get to this day in my life time, but never thought it would come so quickly. I am so proud of our nation's ability to move towards full equality for all people. The work is not done to end all discrimination but today was a gigantic step forward."

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HEALTH
5:18 pm
Wed June 10, 2015

Wet Weather Could Lead To More West Nile Cases, Health Officials Say

Credit Mesa County Health Department

May was the wettest month on record, according to federal data. Colorado also saw its fair share of precipitation last month. 

This increased moisture could mean more mosquitoes and this has health officials concerned. 

The insects reproduce in standing water so when it rains a lot in can create ideal breeding habitat for them. 

Thomas Orr, a regional epidemiologist at the Mesa County Health Department, says more mosquitoes could lead to more cases of West Nile.

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POLITICS
2:10 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

Advocates Push To Bring Solitary Confinement Out Of The Shadows

A guard looks over an empty inmate cell at the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Conn., in 2001.
Steve Miller AP

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 7:53 am

By last count, the Justice Department estimates about 80,000 U.S. inmates live in some kind of restricted housing.

That means being confined to a cell for about 22 hours a day.

"You are going to eat, sleep and defecate in a small room that's actually smaller than the size of your average parking space," said Amy Fettig, a lawyer who runs the Stop Solitary campaign for the American Civil Liberties Union. "And you're going to do that for months, years and sometimes even decades on end."

Fettig said solitary confinement is brutal and expensive.

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NEWS
2:07 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

The Unfinished VA Hospital That's More Than $1 Billion Over Budget

Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs, speaks in April at the construction site of the VA hospital in Aurora, Colo. The unfinished hospital is more than $1 billion over its original budget and congressional funding runs out this week.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 4:57 pm

A decade ago, plans were drawn up for a huge Veterans Affairs hospital near Denver intended to replace old and crowded facilities for nearly 400,000 vets in Colorado and neighboring states.

The original budget was $328 million, but that was totally unrealistic, the VA now acknowledges. So how much did it finally cost?

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HEALTH
3:07 am
Thu June 4, 2015

State Obamacare Exchanges Experience Growing Pains

An Access Health CT location in New Britain, Conn.
Courtesy of Access Health CT

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 9:50 am

The states that set up their own insurance marketplaces have nothing to lose in King v. Burwell, the big Supreme Court case that will be decided by the end of June. But that doesn't mean those states are breathing easy.

With varying degrees of difficulty, all of the state-based exchanges are struggling to figure out how to become financially self-sufficient as the spigot of federal start-up money shuts off.

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POLITICS
4:16 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

The Ballooning Importance Of The 'Latino Vote,' In 3 Charts

People vote on Election Day 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 9:29 am

As 2016 campaigns heat up, Republicans are working to boost their momentum among Latino voters, and the numbers make it easy to see why.

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NEWS
12:16 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Do We Talk Funny? 51 American Colloquialisms

Jennifer Maravillas Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 7:25 pm

Has American English become homogenized? Have our regional ways of saying particular things — sometimes in very particular ways — receded into the past? Or do we talk as funny as ever?

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AGRICULTURE
1:45 am
Tue May 12, 2015

Sheep Ranchers Count On American Muslims To Keep Lamb On Menu

Sheep are sold in small lots like this one at the Centennial Livestock Auction in Fort Collins, Colo.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 1:23 pm

Sheep ranchers, feedlot owners, and processors in states like Colorado, Nebraska and Illinois are banking on America becoming a more diverse place.

Specifically, they want American Muslims to buy more of their lamb.

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MUSIC
10:06 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Willie Nelson: 'Ain't Many Of Us Left'

In his new memoir, It's A Long Story, Willie Nelson writes about his early career as a DJ in Fort Worth. He can still recite what he'd say on the air.
David McClister Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 7:14 am

The first thing you notice when you get on Willie Nelson's tour bus is a pungent aroma. Parked outside a gigantic casino and performance venue in Thackerville, Okla., Nelson offers NPR's David Greene a joint, which Greene declines. Nelson says he understands.

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NEWS
11:50 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Nepal Death Toll Tops 5,000; At Least 1.4 Million Need Food Aid

A man prays Tuesday morning next to rubble of a temple destroyed in Saturday's earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Adnan Abidi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 5:32 am

Updated at 8:55 a.m. ET

More than 5,000 people are confirmed dead from Saturday's earthquake just outside Kathmandu, Nepal. Nearly 11,000 more were injured, according to Nepal's National Emergency Operation Center.

From Kathmandu, NPR's Kirk Siegler reports that strong tremors are continuing:

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NEWS
2:03 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Opening Statements To Begin Monday In Colorado Theater Shooting Trial

An artist's sketch of Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes, from an April 2013 court appearance.
Bill Robles Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 4:39 am

It's been nearly three years since 12 people were killed in Aurora, Colo., at a midnight premier of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

James Holmes' legal team admits he was behind the massacre, but there are two key questions: Was he insane, and should he be put to death?

Tom Teves says his son Alex made a split-second decision to shield his girlfriend when the gunman stormed the theater and began firing into the crowd.

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ARTS
8:07 am
Fri April 24, 2015

'Vermilion' Finds New Magic In The Old West

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 12:29 pm

History may be written by the victors, but alternate history is written by anyone with a lust for the past — both established and imagined. Molly Tanzer's imagination is keener than almost anyone's. Her new novel, Vermilion is a work of alt-history that finds a fresh kind of magic in the mingling of fact and fantasy. In the book's wild vision of 1870, the North won the Civil War with the help of a race of intelligent, talking bears. A similarly endowed species of sea lion keeps shop in the streets of San Francisco.

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NEWS
11:16 am
Mon April 20, 2015

'This Is Going To Be Too Hard': Keeping Kids From Using Pot

Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 9:00 am

Public perceptions of marijuana have come a long way. Once a symbol of the counterculture, pot has become part of the culture.

In Colorado, it's part of everyday culture.

Colorado has allowed medical marijuana since 2001, but voters amended the state constitution in 2012 to allow private marijuana consumption for adults aged 21 or older. The first-ever stores to sell state-regulated recreational pot opened their doors on Jan. 1, 2014.

The law has raised serious concerns for parents and those working with kids to keep young people away from drugs.

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NEWS
3:01 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Anti-Test 'Opt-Out' Movement Makes A Wave In New York State

A school bus passes a sign encouraging parents to have their children opt out of state tests in Rotterdam, N.Y.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:25 am

Across New York state this week, some students are refusing to take a test, and they're not getting punished for it. The test is a Common Core-aligned, federally mandated exam, and students, parents and educators are part of what they're calling the opt-out movement.

Opt-outs made news last week in several states: Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, to name a few. The objections are similar everywhere. But no state is posting numbers like New York.

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HEALTH
9:31 am
Fri April 17, 2015

The State Of The Cancer Nation

Matt Stiles and Christopher Groskopf/NPR

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 6:40 pm

While a cure for cancer remains elusive, we already know how to keep many cases of the disease from developing in the first place.

People can reduce cancer risks by keeping a healthful weight and avoiding cigarettes.

But smoking, obesity and other major cancer risk factors remain common, and they still vary widely across the country.

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NEWS
8:16 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Civilians Can Record Police Encounters, But When Is It Interference?

Cellphones were used to record a 2012 confrontation between protesters and police in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 12:50 pm

The arrest of South Carolina police Officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Walter Scott in North Charleston this week, came shortly after the release of a cellphone video recorded by an eyewitness.

The filming of police by civilians has also sparked controversy, and it often causes confusion about what is legal.

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AGRICULTURE
2:58 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Farmers, Trade Association Debate Merits Of Organic Marketing Fund

Produce is often accompanied by signs like this one at a King Soopers grocery store in Fort Collins, Colo. But customers are often confused by their meaning, which is one reason the Organic Trade Association is trying to raise money for a "checkoff" to pay for consumer advertising and research.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 1:05 pm

Pesticide-free? Nurtured with organic fertilizer? No antibiotics?

Ask any shopper, and you're bound to find mixed answers for what an organic label means.

Now, an association is trying to draw funding from something called a "checkoff" to pay for consumer advertising and research. For a checkoff to work, each farmer pays a small amount. For example, a penny-per-bushel of wheat or a dollar per cow would generate millions of dollars in pooled funding that could pay for splashy ad campaigns.

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HEALTH
2:00 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Sodium Sleuths: Do Southerners Eat More Salt Than The Rest Of Us?

The salty suspects: Some 70 percent of the cheeses, soups, cold cuts and pizzas we buy at the grocery store exceed the Food and Drug Administration's "healthy" labeling standards for salt. Since we eat so much bread, it is — perhaps surprisingly — the top contributor of sodium to our diets.
iStockphoto; Deborah Austin/Flickr; Beckman's Bakery/Flickr; iStockphoto; The Pizza Review/Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 3:02 pm

It's not the salt shakers on our tables that explain why Americans consume way too much sodium. It's the processed foods we buy in grocery stores.

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NEWS
5:14 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Colorado Lawmakers Don't Want Marijuana Going To People On Welfare

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 3:22 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NEWS
5:40 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Colorado Allows Sales Of Powdered Alcohol

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:58 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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AGRICULTURE
1:32 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Colorado Primed To Become The Silicon Valley Of Agriculture?

A drone built by Agribotix, a Boulder startup, flies over a farm in Weld County, Colo. The drone has a camera that snaps a high-resolution photo every two seconds. From there, Agribotix stitches the images together, helping the farmer see what's happening in a field.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:31 am

Colorado is famous for its beer and its beef. But what about its farm drones?

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POLITICS
4:03 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Would Automatic Voter Registration Increase Turnout?

Advocates are looking to a new Oregon law as a model for increasing voter turnout.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Go to renew your driver's license in Oregon, and you will now be signed up to vote automatically.

It's the first state in the country with that sort of law, which is designed to make voting easier, and stands in contrast to the trend seen in the past several years in more conservative states.

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POLITICS
5:03 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Obama, 2016 Contenders Deal With Changing Attitudes On Marijuana

Polls show changing American opinion on marijuana, and it's having an effect on politics.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 9:26 am

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on pot politics is narrowing, President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday.

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NEWS
3:14 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

When Pot Goes From Illegal To Recreational, Schools Face A Dilemma

Schools in Colorado are trying to find effective ways to teach the health effects of marijuana use. "When it's legal for your parents to smoke it or grow it," says one educator, "that changes the conversation."
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 9:21 am

Like many schools across Colorado, Arapahoe Ridge High School in Boulder has seen an increase in overall drug incidents since recreational marijuana became legal.

While public schools aren't required to report marijuana incidents separately from other drugs such as cocaine, evidence compiled by Rocky Mountain PBS I-News suggests more students are using marijuana.

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NEWS
11:26 am
Fri February 20, 2015

On Behalf Of Two Coloradans, D.C. Group Sues State Over Marijuana

charenton Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:40 pm

The state of Colorado is facing new lawsuits over recreational marijuana legalization. The Washington D.C. based Safe Streets Alliance is suing the state in federal court to try and close down the industry.

"It is illegal under federal law to sell marijuana and in this country federal law is the supreme law of the land," said David Thompson, the lead attorney for the Safe Streets Alliance.

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AGRICULTURE
10:21 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Why Some States Want To Legalize Raw Milk Sales

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that unpasteurized milk can cause serious illness, because it's a fertile breeding ground for harmful germs like salmonella and E. coli. But such warnings haven't deterred raw milk enthusiasts.
Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:20 pm

The federal government banned the sale of raw milk across state lines nearly three decades ago because it poses a threat to public health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association all strongly advise people not to drink it.

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ENVIRONMENT
9:42 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Tackling Water Quality (And Taste) In Sterling, Colorado

The City of Sterling spent $30 million on a water treatment plant that went into operation November 2014.
Maeve Conran KGNU

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 11:33 am

Coloradoans pride themselves on the quality of their drinking water, most of which originates high up in the Rocky Mountains. On the Eastern Plains though, many communities have water that not only tastes bad, it's out of compliance with federal drinking water standards.

At the J and L Cafe in downtown Sterling you'll find diners sipping glasses of tap water as they enjoy lunch. Just a year ago, that wasn't the case.

"You couldn't hardly drink it," said diner Kathy Orchid, she never used to drink the tap water. "It's much better [now]."

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NEWS
2:36 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Kids' Solo Playtime Unleashes 'Free-Range' Parenting Debate

People who practice free-range parenting say it makes kids more independent, but others see it as neglect. State and local laws don't specify what children are allowed to do on their own.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 12:57 pm

Parents have made news recently after being detained for purposefully leaving children on their own, prompting renewed debate about so-called "free-range parenting."

That includes Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, a Silver Spring, Md., couple who are being investigated after they let their children, ages 10 and 6, walk home from a park last month by themselves.

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ENVIRONMENT
10:56 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Colorado Sues Feds Over Gunnison Sage Grouse Listing

Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the listing of the Gunnison sage grouse.

Last November, the grouse was listed as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. 

After the announcement, Colorado along with environmental groups and local governments threatened to sue. 

On Wednesday the state filed a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the listing.

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