Colorado

The Supreme Court's new term will not include any cases that might decide the issue of same-sex marriage in the U.S., a development that comes after many lower and appeals courts have ruled against states' bans on gay marriage. Advocates on both sides of the issue have been calling for the high court to review the issue and make an official ruling.

The court's refusal of all the petitions related to bans on gay marriage means that the appeals courts' decisions allowing gay marriage can now take effect. They had been on hold pending a potential review by the Supreme Court.

Voters in Colorado will decide whether or not they want the state to require labels on foods containing genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs. The 2014 ballot measure highlights a much larger national conversation about the safety and prevalence of genetically modified foods.

If passed, food companies and farmers would need to affix on a food label the text: "Produced with genetic engineering" if the product contains certain genetically modified crops and their derived oils and sugars that end up in processed foods. Those in favor of the proposal, Proposition 105, claim consumers have a right to the information. Those opposed say it amounts to a fear campaign.

Steel mills, unions and the Democratic Party have defined politics in Pueblo, Colo., for decades. But that doesn't discourage George Rivera.

"When we look at values, when we look at who we are, especially as Hispanics, our values tend to be conservative," Rivera says.

Rivera, a retired deputy police chief, is going door to door for votes in a neighborhood east of downtown, near where he grew up. Last summer, he unseated local Democrat Angela Giron in the state Legislature, in a high-profile recall election that focused on guns.

Dawn Gioia lives just two blocks away from City Hall in Brighton, Colo., just north of Denver. She never expected to receive a thick envelope from Mid-Continent Energy in the mail, proposing she sell mineral rights for oil and gas drilling.

At first, she thought it was a scam.

"One of these forms asks you for all your tax information and Social Security numbers, so that was something that sort of caught me off guard," she says.

In many parts of Colorado when you dial 9-1-1 to report a fire, the firefighters who arrive to extinguish it are volunteers. These firefighters have other jobs, and serve half of the state’s population. But Colorado has an ever-shrinking pool of volunteers, leaving many communities at risk.

dontbealabrat.com

Colorado is trying to show teens about marijuana's risks, maybe. 

Craft beer sales have been growing by double digits, even as overall beer sales have flattened. And several independent craft beer makers — all based in the Western U.S. — are expanding production to the East. But to keep the flavor true, they have to tinker with beer's main ingredient: water.

Every day, a half-dozen employees of Oskar Blues Brewery file into a small room in Brevard, N.C. It's cluttered with boxes, petri dishes and test tubes.

A car accident crushed Brandon Coats' upper spine when he was 16, leaving him unable to walk. His muscles still spasm, disrupting sleep and causing pain.

"If I'm out in public it's embarrassing," Coats says. "It's always uncomfortable. If I smoke marijuana, it almost completely alleviates it" — more, he says, than other prescriptions.

Coats smokes at night, and says he was never high when answering customer calls at Dish Network. "I was really good at my job," he says.

Earlier this week, NPR ran a short series I did on America's land-based nuclear missiles. One diagram in particular raised a few eyebrows: It showed the location of a Missile Alert Facility, along with the silos for 10 nuclear weapons.

Megan McMillan
Laura Palmisano

Millennials are on the move. People in their 20’s and early 30’s are the most migratory age group in the United States, according to demographers and economists.

Megan MacMillan moved to Colorado from Canada four years ago. She’s 34 years old and just found out she’s a millennial.

The plague isn't just something you read about in medieval history books.

This past week, five cases were reported: four in Colorado and one in China.

The Colorado residents were diagnosed after coming into contact with an infected dog.

Kids, Children
Flickr.com/dis_patch

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released its annual report that assesses child well-being in the United States.

The publication ranked states on overall child welfare in four main categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. 

This year Massachusetts, Vermont, and Iowa ranked top on the list for child well-being while Nevada, New Mexico, and Mississippi ranked lowest.

Agritourism A Growing Opportunity On The Farm

Jul 20, 2014

Farms aren't just for food any more. With the local food movement growing, more savvy farmers are putting a price tag on more than those organic tomatoes. They are instead marketing and selling the “farm experience” in the form of agritourism attractions.

Mutton Busting A Rodeo Tradition For Rough And Tumble Kids

Jul 17, 2014

A furry beast, a brave rider and a roaring crowd make up the list of ingredients for the Western rodeo tradition known as “mutton busting.” Think of it as bull-riding, but for 6-year-olds, and the furry beast is actually a wooly sheep.

Governor John Hickenlooper has formally pulled the plug on the possibility of a special legislation session to consider stricter rules for the oil and gas industry. Hickenlooper said there weren't enough stakeholders on board for a bipartisan solution.

The National Governors Association held its annual summer meeting in Nashville, Tenn. this week, and the collapsing highway trust fund was the centerpiece issue.

flickr.com/veganflower

Audio Pending...

Six months after the first retail marijuana stores opened in the state people in Colorado are using a lot of pot, according to a recent report. 

In Colorado, where President Obama's approval rating is low and the Senate race is tight, Democratic incumbent Mark Udall largely bowed out of the spotlight of the president's visit Wednesday.

But as Obama made the rounds speaking about the economy and raising money for Democratic congressional candidates, he also spoke about the women's issues that could be key to Udall's electoral success.

At a morning outdoor rally in Denver's Cheesman Park, Obama emphasized just how much is on the line in the midterms.

The U.S. unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since September 2008. 

mark udall
Laura Palmisano

Editor's Note: This story aired in July and was rebroadcast in October. 

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., campaigned in Montrose at a voter meet-and-greet Tuesday. 

Udall faces Republican challenger Cory Gardner in a hotly contested race that could decide which party controls the Senate. 

KVNF's Laura Palmisano was at the event and brings us this candidate interview. 


North Fork of the Gunnison
Laura Palmisano.

The North Fork of the Gunnison River flows through southwestern Colorado. It’s a waterway the feeds into the Gunnison River, a tributary of the Colorado River, which supplies drinking water to millions of people in the West.

Colorado lost the bid to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. 

The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday that Denver and Kansas City lost the bid to host its 2016 convention. The committee has selected Cleveland and Dallas as host contenders. 

CPR reports, the two finalist cities had an edge over Denver—tax money to help pay for the convention. Dallas has $25 million in public funds and Cleveland has $10 million.

The race to be Colorado’s next Governor is officially underway. Former Congressman Bob Beauprez will challenge Governor John Hickenlooper in November after winning a four way GOP primary race. Beauprez captured a four-point lead over his closest challenger, Tom Tancredo.

bing cherries, cherry
Laura Palmisano

The summer fruit harvest season has started in western Colorado. Cherries are usually the first fruit ready for picking in the North Fork Valley.

vote, voting
Laura Palmisano

Tuesday was the final day to cast your ballot for Colorado’s 2014 primary election. 

Loveland voters will soon become the sixth Front Range community to weigh restrictions on hydraulic fracturing. The June 24, 2014 special election asks voters to decide whether to impose a two-year moratorium on fracking, the process of pumping sand, water and chemicals that are proprietary to oil companies into the ground to extract resources.

Colorado’s primary election is Tuesday June 24, and in many ways it marks the beginning of the political season that will culminate in November. Two GOP primary races are being closely watched.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison
NPS

Under the Department of Interior’s Payment In Lieu of Taxes program Colorado communities will receive $34.5 million this year.

There’s often a divide between Colorado’s rural lawmakers and those representing larger communities along the urban Front Range. That dynamic was apparent during the 2014 legislative session with Republicans routinely blaming Democrats for waging what they said is a "war on rural Colorado."

On this week's Local Motion, KVNF's Laura Palmisano takes us on a drive around Grand Mesa with geologist Andres Aslan. On the drive, Aslan talks about the geological history of the mesa and why it's landslide prone. He also discusses May's massive landslide on the edge of the Grand Mesa near Collbran that claimed the lives of three men.

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