Colorado

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.

Tanya Spillane / Flickr Creative Commons

A raft of new laws went into effect in Colorado last week, reports Fox 31 Denver.

One major law will mean money in the pockets of the state’s lowest-paid workers. The minimum wage jumped eight cents, to $8.31. The minimum for tipped workers is now up from $5.21 to $5.29. However, this is a small raise compared to the $15 wage some workers had asked for. The new rate is merely part of a state mandate that the minimum wage be adjusted for inflation each year.

While Colorado Booms, Many Eastern Counties Struggle

Dec 9, 2015
Colorado Public Radio

Colorado consistently ranks highly on lists of best places for businesses. And the state’s unemployment rate is 3.8 percent, the lowest in eight years and almost two percent lower than the national rate. However, some Coloradans aren’t sharing in the good times, including much of the eastern part of the state. Colorado Public Radio has published an interactive map that allows Coloradans to see how well their county is doing compared to neighbors.

Colorado Adopts Landmark Water Plan

Nov 23, 2015
Cyrus McCrimmon / Denver Post

Colorado adopted a landmark $20 billion water plan last week, reports The Denver Post. The new law hopes to accommodate rapid population growth in the state.

Hart van Denburg / Colorado Public Radio

Despite a booming economy in Colorado, the state is experiencing a $373 million budget gap, reports Colorado Public Radio. The gap is between what the state will owe and what it will bring in starting in July 2016.

Colorado Health Co-Op Folds

Nov 13, 2015

Rick and Letha Heitman, of Centennial are customers of the cooperative Colorado HealthOP, which is folding.Credit John Daley / CPR NewsEdit | Remove

ABC 7 News Denver

The Huffington Post has posted a news report from Denver's ABC 7 News about a popular exhibit at the Colorado History Museum concerning Colorado's civil rights struggle in the 1960s. While Colorado is not generally the part of the US that comes to mind when the words "civil rights" are mentioned, the Mile High City had its own turmoil, including protests and clashes with police. The exhibit's stay at the museum has now been extended.

You can view the video here.

Rural Colorado Struggles to Find Teachers

Oct 7, 2015
Jenny Brundin / CPR News

Colorado’s rural school districts are on the brink of crisis when it comes to finding enough teachers to fill the classrooms. Colorado is simply not producing enough teachers, reports Colorado Public Radio. Over the past five years, enrollments in the state's teacher prep schools are down 23 percent. Math, science and special education teachers are especially in demand. Colorado has begun to recruit educators in states with teacher surpluses, such as Michigan and Utah.

A New Colorado Water Law Is Put to the Test

Sep 30, 2015
Geoff Elliott / Grand Environmental Services

A groundbreaking 2013 Colorado law allows water rights owners to allocate water to a river during times of low flow. And now that law is being put to the test, reports National Geographic. The law is important because it challenges the old “use-it-or lose-it” rule of water conservation.

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