High Plains Public Radio

Colorado

RJ Sangosti / The Denver Post

Autumn is just around the corner and the Denver Post has published a list of perfect drives for seeing Colorado’s beautiful fall colors. Rocky Mountain State Park provides an added bonus in addition to its breathtaking leaves. Elk herds can be seen congregating in the meadows during the fall, with bulls emitting their high-pitched bugle call.

Stephen Collector / Getty Images

The recent anti-fracking effort in Colorado has failed, reports CNBC.

Fracking opponents in the state had been rallying to get two measures onto the ballot that would further regulate the controversial energy extraction process. On Monday word came that both initiatives failed to make the ballot.

Joey Bunch / The Denver Post

Yet another ballot measure could be coming to the November ballot in Colorado. This week a campaign was launched to have a reference to slavery removed from the state’s constitution, reports The Denver Post.

The disputed clause, written in 1876, states: “There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime.”

Getty Images

Two anti-fracking measures could find their way onto Colorado’s November ballot. But that’s not necessarily good news for the state’s Democratic Party, reports Politico.

John Leyba / Denver Post/Getty

Last Monday, anti-fracking proponents in Colorado turned in a petition featuring nearly 200,000 signatures. That means the state is one step closer to having two statewide fracking referendums on the ballot this fall, reports CNBC. The petition reached the requisite signature number over the weekend thanks to a last-minute push by advocates.

The effort is supported by a grassroots coalition called “Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking.”

The Gazette

Colorado and Kansas are two of the most welcoming states toward refugees, according to a new study.

Researchers from the International Rescue Committee combed through tweets from all 50 states looking for positive and negative language regarding refugees. Colorado ranks eighth for having the most positive tweets regarding newcomers fleeing terror and hardship, reports The Gazette. Kansas performed even better, landing at fourth on the list.

Caldwell Banker/Denver Post

Late rock-and-roll legend Joe Cocker’s Colorado ranch will go to auction on September first, reports The Denver Post.

50states.com

Monday is Colorado Day—the anniversary of the day Colorado was admitted to the United States. In celebration, TheDenverChannel.com has published some facts about the Colorado state flag.

The flag as it appears today was adopted in 1911 by an act of the state’s General Assembly.

Creative Commons

The Prowers Journal has published a helpful timeline to help Colorado voters understand important upcoming dates in the 2016 election.

Yesterday (July 14th) was the last chance for an unaffiliated candidate to file a petition for nomination. The final opportunity for a write-in candidate to do so is next week, on the 21st.

thebrittanyfund.org

Two years ago Brittany Maynard, moved to Oregon so she could “die with dignity.” She had an aggressive brain tumor and was in extreme pain, and her story became international news and landed her on the cover of People magazine. In Colorado, some observers who had loved ones experiencing similar pain thought it deeply unfair that Maynard was able to lawfully end her torment while their family members continued to suffer.

Creative Commons

Pot opponents in Colorado had been gearing up to for a battle to try to force a vote on whether marijuana dealers in the state should require less-potent pot. Their proposed initiative would have also warned pot shoppers that the drug could cause brain damage and paranoia. But now these opponents have decided to give up the fight, reports Colorado Public Radio.

Backers of the measure announced Friday that they have been unable to raise enough money to advertise their plan.

KDVR

Ever dream of owning a ghost town? Now’s your chance!

The deserted town of Cabin Creek, Colorado, in rural Adams County, is now available for purchase on Craigslist, reports KDVR. “We've had so many people look it`s been amazing,” said the current owner of the town, James Johnson. The road-side village along Highway 36 is available for the tidy sum of $350,000. For that price, you’ll get an old service station, a café, an abandoned motel, and a small house.

Chelsea Self / Glenwood Springs Post Independent/AP

Bud Gardner is a fixture in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The grizzled-yet-affable man has worked for the city for the last 23 years. He’s a jack-of-all-trades for the city government, mending potholes and fixing water lines.

Daniel Weber / Creative Commons

Gun permit applications have skyrocketed this year in Colorado, reports Colorado Public Radio. Compared with 2015, the number of applications from people seeking to obtain a concealed weapons permit in the state has nearly doubled in 2016.

Cyrus McCrimmon / Denver Post

The most organized and widespread effort yet to battle marijuana in Colorado is underway, reports The Denver Post. The state Supreme Court last week cleared the way for a ballot measure that would set new potency and packaging limits on recreational marijuana. If passed, pot packaging would have to include warnings that the product carries a risk of “permanent loss of brain abilities.” Under the measure, pot potency would also be tightly controlled.

Colorado Ski Country USA, Jack Dempsey / AP photo/ CPR

Though it may seem like summer to most, in the mountains of Colorado it’s still winter. Two prominent Colorado resorts have extended their ski seasons well into June, reports Colorado Public Radio.

About 120 acres of terrain will be opened to skiers and snowboarders this weekend at Aspen Mountain. Aspen also offered bonus skiing on Memorial Day weekend.

Chalkbeat.org

Just as the state of Colorado is embarking on a number of critical education initiatives, Education Commissioner Rich Crandall shocked the state by suddenly announcing his resignation last week. Crandall had only been on the job for four and a half months, reports Chalkbeat.org.

Theo Stroomer / New York Times

Llooking for something to do this weekend? Why not head out to southern Colorado and wrestle an alligator?  The New York Times recently profiled the Colorado Gators Reptile Park in the San Luis Valle. At the park, people of all ages engage in gator grappling.

hungerfreecolorado.org

Colorado has an exceptionally low enrollment rate for people eligible for food stamps, reports Colorado Public Radio. And now, because of the lack of response, the state’s food stamp administration is receiving close scrutiny from the federal government. Colorado has even drawn sanctions from Washington for its low enrollment rate.

Bloomberg News

Following Texas’s lead, Colorado’s Supreme Court has ruled that local municipalities in the state are not allowed to ban fracking, according to The Wall Street Journal. Cities like Fort Collins and Longmont had previously sought to halt the controversial drilling technique. But now the state’s high court has deemed those local laws “invalid and unenforceable.”

Prowers Journal

Recent precipitation has helped to alleviate drought conditions across parts of Colorado, reports The Prowers Journal. Parts of the central mountains and Front Range saw as much as 3 inches of precipitation. And there’s more good news: short and long term forecasts favor continued precipitation. And reservoir storage looks good, so there are no immediate concerns for water providers.

Business is booming in Colorado, reports The Prowers Journal. According to a new report, in the first three months of the year business formation has rebounded. Colorado employment is also projected to expand over the next two quarters. The news was a welcome relief after two consecutive quarters of business decline.

Brent Lewis / The Denver Post

More people are on the move in Colorado than in any other state, reports The Denver Post. In fact, one in 10 Colorado households lived in another county or state than they did the previous year, according to a study of 2014 tax returns.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

In the wake of the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado officials approved a number of new gun control laws. The measures passed the Colorado legislature in 2013 and were signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper. The new laws were immediately challenged by supporters of gun rights. But now, reports Reuters, a federal appeals court has ordered a lower court judge to dismiss the challenges to the gun legislation.

Source: WalletHub  

American state capitals aren’t always the most exciting places in the nation. Often, these cities serve as seats of government, and not much more. Think Carson City, NV, or Charleston, WV. But the economic website Wallethub has found that many state capitals are, in fact, thriving—and they’re great places to live. The site has now ranked the best and worst state capitals to live in, and High Plains states did fairly well in the rankings.

In fact, Austin, Texas, is listed as the most livable state capital in the country, and Lincoln, Nebraska, came in second. Colorado cracked the top 15, with Denver coming in at number 13. Topeka had a decent showing, landing at number 20, just ahead of Oklahoma City at number 21.

ewea.org

Wind energy is exploding nationwide, and Colorado is hoping to be a big part of the revolution. In 2015 the US wind industry had its third-best year in terms of new wind farms built. Across the nation, the industry installed almost 9,000 megawatts worth of wind turbines, reports Denver Business Journal. That’s a 77 percent increase over the previous year. Colorado installed wind turbines capable of generating 400 megawatts worth of renewable power.

David McNew / Reuters

Of regional interest, in a world where marijuana is legal in many places, the way the drug is viewed by the public is changing. And along with these perceptions, the ways in which marijuana is sold, delivered and consumed are also changing.

americanaddictionnetwork.com

Colorado ranks among the best states in the nation when it comes to education, a booming economy, and the well-being of its residents. But there’s another factor where Colorado rates above average, and this one isn’t something to be proud of. Deaths from drug overdoses in Colorado are above national rates, reports Colorado Public Radio. And some counties are among the nation’s highest.

Prowers Journal

Colorado’s unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in December to 3.5 percent, reports The Prowers Journal. During the same period, the national unemployment rate remained unchanged from at 5.0 percent. Two southeast Colorado counties—Baca and Kiowa—had the lowest posted unemployment percentages in the state. Otero County had an exceptionally high rate, at 6.7 percent.

CPR / Hart Van Denburg

Colorado’s construction industry continues to thrive, reports Colorado Public Radio. Four out of five construction firms in the state expect to hire more workers this year, according to a new survey by the Associated General Contractors of America. Colorado construction is at higher levels than the national average. 81% of all firms surveyed plan to add workers.

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