State

Colorado state news and state government coverage. 

Elise Thatcher

The USA Pro Challenge finished up in Denver on Sunday. After a week crossing Colorado, competitors in the international bike race made several laps in the heart of Denver. In the end though, it was a far different finish than a year ago.

It was a moment three years in the making. After two near misses, pro cyclist Tejay van Garderen finally clinched the yellow winner’s jersey.

Announcer Brad Sohner: “These folks love seeing Tejay van Garderen win, you gotta feel the love in Colorado!”

Tejay van Garderen: “Yeah, let me feel that love one more time!”

Elise Thatcher

All week, the USA Pro Challenge has flashed across TV, computer, and mobile screens… thanks to a film crew on motorcycles. Now we bring you what it’s like to be, literally, in the middle of the peloton. On Stage 2 of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher rode in a team car with the Champion System pro cycling team.

  

Every day, before a race begins, the Champion System team meets in their RV. A handful of cyclists sit quietly, suited up in racing jerseys, looking pensive. General Manager Ed Beamon lays out the strategy.

Elise Thatcher

Cycling is trying to prove it’s clean. The sport has had a public relations disaster as one after another rider has admitted to doping in years past... including icon and superstar Lance Armstrong. But organizers and younger athletes maintain the sport is far cleaner now, partly because of the kinds of tests used to catching athletes cheating. Aspen Public Radio took a look at what that actually involves.

Elise Thatcher

The USA Pro Challenge kicks off in Aspen and Snowmass Village today. More than a hundred and fifty top cyclists will compete in the third edition of the race. Many explored the Roaring Fork Valley on two wheels this weekend... and all of them were within arm’s reach during Saturday’s opening ceremonies.

<<Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines”>>

Congressman Scott Tipton - In Conversation

Jul 18, 2013
Chris Janjic

Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO) who represents Colorado's 3rd Congressional District was a speaker at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner hosted by Pitkin County Republicans.  He stopped at Aspen Public Radio's studios for an interview.  He spoke with APR's Roger Adams about:

Forest fire prevention

Western water rights

Rebuilding the GOP

and, his recent reelection.

Elise Thatcher

Oil and gas activists peppered Governor John Hickenlooper with questions this weekend. At first they protested outside the St. Regis hotel, hoping to catch Hickenlooper and other democratic governors in a conference. When Colorado’s governor didn’t come out to talk, demonstrators followed him to the Aspen Institute... where Hickenlooper appeared to get flustered after a barrage of questions.   

Marci Krivonen

The lawsuit 55 Colorado sheriffs filed to overturn two new gun laws goes in front of a judge today. The laws went into effect July first. Now, an attorney representing the sheriffs will ask that parts of the law that limits gun magazines be put on hold. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

The sheriffs and other plaintiffs in the case, including one retired police officer, want the new laws completely struck from the books. One law limits gun magazines to 15 rounds. The other mandates background checks for all gun transfers.

File photo

Colorado State Senator Gail Schwartz, of Snowmass, yesterday (Tuesday, 6-25) introduced the candidate she hopes will replace her in an election a year and a half from now. Aspen Public Radio’s Rebecca Kruth reports. 

Schwartz is term limited and will not be able to run in the next election. She met with Pitkin County Democrats in Aspen to announce Kerry Donovan of Eagle County as the candidate for Schwartz’s seat on the 2014 ballot.

Schwartz says it’s “critical” that Democrats maintain a majority in the State Senate in Denver and that Donovan is right for the job.

Images & Information on Colorado Wildfires

Jun 24, 2013

As emergency crews work to handle fires in several areas around Colorado - there's a place you can go to find more information, as it happens, and see how things are developing.

The Colorado Department of Emergency Management has created a website and mapping tool through google maps.

You can see the Colorado Department of Emergency Management site here. The map is below.

Aspen Public Radio will keep you up to date on-air and on-line as the stories develop.

The Black Forest Fire earned another distinction Thursday as fire officials announced they had discovered the remains of two persons in the fire zone. The other Colorado fires are beginning to wind down.

With new evacuations overnight, firefighters continue to battle the Black Forest Fire while other fires in Colorado are seeing some containment or slower growth.

Senator Schwartz Talks Renewable Energy, Water and Hemp

Jun 12, 2013
gailschwartz.com

Senator Gail Schwartz of Snowmass Village is looking back on a productive legislative session about a month after it wrapped up. The democrat introduced 35 bills. Most were successful in a democratically-controlled Statehouse. Her bills ranged from water conservation to making hemp a viable commercial product. I sat down with her to discuss these efforts. We began with House Bill 252, one of the most hotly contested measures this session. The now-law requires 18 rural electric cooperatives from Montrose to Gunnison, increase the amount of renewable sources they use.

Two days after the one year anniversary of the High Park Fire and ahead of the Waldo Canyon anniversary, Colorado’s wildfire season has started in earnest.

@millie_hamner (Twitter)

 

The latest legislative session in Denver was the first Lawmaker Millie Hamner spent representing Pitkin County. It was the democratic representative’s second term, but a redraw of legislative maps in 2011, broadened her district to include Pitkin County. A former superintendent of schools, she now chairs the education committee at the Statehouse. Her most controversial bill this session centered on funding for k-12 education. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with her about it shortly after the session ended on May 8th.


 

 

Aspen Valley Hospital

 

 A recent Aspen City Council meeting shed light on a national problem regarding health care for seniors. Earlier this month, over a discussion on the expansion to Aspen Valley Hospital, Mayor Mick Ireland raised the issue of Medicare. He wondered if private physicians renting space in the newly renovated Hospital would be required to care for Medicare patients.

 

Rose Richards/Colorado Public News

 

The number of people who commit suicide with a gun in Colorado is four times higher than the number of gun-related homicides. Public health professionals and gun manufacturers are considering measures to reduce the number of suicides -- including “smart guns” that can only be fired by the owner. Colorado Public Radio’s Rabah Kamal has more.

Colorado Rolls Out Obamacare

May 22, 2013
Roger Adams

This story has been updated at 3:00 PM 5/22/13: scroll down to the end for the latest information.

Later today (Wednesday 5/22/13) the Colorado Division of Insurance will release the list of health insurance companies that want to be part of Colorado’s health exchange.  So far 19 companies have applied to be included.  The exchange is mandated by the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, that was signed into law three years ago.  The act requires that everyone have health insurance starting January first of next year.  The health insurance law survived a Supreme Court challenge and Republican efforts to repeal it. Now, it’s coming into force. Over the next several months we will be reporting on how the new law will affect you. We begin with an explanation of the health care exchange.  Aspen Public Radio’s Roger Adams reports.

Jesse Lujan

Colorado is one of nearly twenty states putting together a kind of cooperative health care purchasing program. It’s called an exchange, and it’s starting under the recent health care overhaul often called "Obamacare". Enrollment starts in October and it could mean big changes for Native Americans in Colorado. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher recently spoke with Ernest House Junior. He’s Executive Director of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs. House started by explaining what health care options Native Americans have now.

Roger Adams / Aspen Public Radio

The nation’s immigration system is seriously broken and in need of a comprehensive overhaul.  That was the message from a forum on immigration held in Aspen yesterday.  Supporters of a comprehensive immigration bill now before the US Senate outlined how they believe the measure will solve many current immigration problems. Aspen Public Radio’s Roger Adams was there and filed this report.

More details are available on what happened during the April 20th deadly avalanche on Loveland Pass. It was the worst accident of its kind in more than a half a century. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center released their final report on Wednesday April 24th. In it are some painful details--like the lone survivor waiting four hours to be dug out, and the slide being powerful enough to wreck car. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with CAIC Executive Director Ethan Greene.

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