When you flip on a light switch, odds are, you're burning coal. But as the fracking boom continues to unleash huge quantities of natural gas, the nation's electric grid is changing. Power plants are increasingly turning to this low-cost, cleaner-burning fossil fuel.
Bill Pentak stands in the middle of a construction site, looking up at his company's latest project towering overhead — a new natural gas power plant.
New York state's Seneca Lake is the heart of the Finger Lakes, a beautiful countryside of steep glacier-carved hills and long slivers of water with deep beds of salt. It's been mined on Seneca's shore for more than a century.
The Texas company Crestwood Midstream owns the mine now, and stores natural gas in the emptied-out caverns. It has federal approval to increase the amount, and it's seeking New York's OK to store 88 million gallons of propane as well.
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that companies can legally fire employees for using medical marijuana, even off duty.
The decision is based on the case of Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who takes medical marijuana to control muscle spasms in his legs. Dish Network fired him from his job as a customer service representative in 2010 after he failed a random drug test. Coats then sued for unlawful termination.
The marijuana industry has a pesticide problem. Many commercial cannabis growers use chemicals to control bugs and mold. But the plant's legal status is unresolved.
The grow room at Medical MJ Supply in Fort Collins, Colo., has all the trappings of a modern marijuana cultivation facility: glowing yellow lights, plastic irrigation tubes, and rows of knee-high cannabis plants.
"We're seeing a crop that's probably in it third or fourth week," says Nick Dice, the owner.
State wildlife officials say rainbow trout populations in Colorado are finally on the rebound after they were hard hit by whirling disease in the 1990's. KVNF’s Laura Palmisano spoke to Eric Fetherman, an aquatic research scientist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, to learn more about the recovery of the fish.
The town of Olathe recently received a large grant for a walkway expansion project.
Olathe got nearly $226,000 through the federal Transportation Alternative Program. The Colorado Department of Transportation distributes the funds to communities.
"The scope of the project is to provide additional walkway for a section of town that has a high volume of pedestrian traffic," Patty Gabriel, Olathe’s town administrator, said. "And, it would connect our Olathe Middle & High School with our Olathe Elementary School."
In prison, Brian Nelson lived in solitary confinement. That meant 23 hours a day in a small cell. No human contact, except with guards — for 12 years straight.
Then, his prison sentence for murder was over. One moment he was locked down. The next, he was free.
NPR and The Marshall Project, an online journalism group that focuses on the criminal justice system, investigated the release of tens of thousands of prisoners from solitary confinement to find out how many prisoners, like Nelson, go straight from solitary to the streets.
Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 12:42 pm
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There's a serious problem in the American economy: Big corporations are doing well, but real household income for average Americans has been falling over the past decade — down 9 percent, according to census data.
"That's not good for America," says Harvard economist Michael Porter. "That's not good for America's standard of living. That's not good for our ultimate vitality as a nation."
It's been a month since Colorado lawmakers wrapped up their 2015 legislative session at the state capitol, but the work is far from over. Many of the bills that failed this year will likely be back next session and some long-standing issues may already be poised to go before voters in 2016.