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State

Colorado state news and state government coverage from our correspondents on the Front Range. 

Heavy rains have caused road closures, mudslides, power outages, gas leaks and more across Boulder County and along parts of the Front Range. We're following developments.

In two historic recall efforts, Democratic State Senators John Morse and Angela Giron lost their seats in the State Legislature Tuesday evening.

Two prominent Democratic state senators could lose their jobs after lawmakers passed sweeping gun control laws following the theater shooting in Auro, Colo., and the Newtown school shooting in Connecticut. Gun rights activists collected enough signatures to force the historic recall elections.

The recalls follow a combative and bitter legislative session. Among the most controversial measures passed were universal background checks and limiting high-capacity magazines to 15 rounds.

Roger Adams

Colorado’s elected leaders in Washington have differing opinions on whether to move forward with American-led missile strikes in Syria. President Obama wants Congressional backing before he approves of any military intervention. But, he may have to work hard to get some of Colorado’s delegation on board.

Elise Thatcher

Early in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, Aspen Public Radio spent some time with the official drug tester for the International Cycling Union.  You can hear that story here. New testing procedures are in effect in an effort to show the sport is trying to clean up after years of doping scandals.  In the second report, we take a look at the competing agencies tasked with making sure the athletes are clean. [Note: see above for photos of drug testing chaperones during the 2013 USA Pro Challenge.]

Online Obamacare Tools

Aug 27, 2013
Creative Commons

New applications to help low income Colorado residents find health care services and health insurance are now online: http://cohealth.co/blue-guide

“The tool is really designed to do two main things, one is to help uninsured Coloradans find affordable health care services near them”

Marci Krivonen

This fall voters across Colorado will decide how recreational marijuana should be taxed. The state legislature referred a special sales tax and an excise tax to the ballot. As Bente Birkeland reports, while the initiative has broad support, there are some who worry it goes too far.

Aspen Cyclist Wins Pro Challenge

Aug 26, 2013
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.

How ARE Cyclists Tested for Doping, Anyway?

Aug 22, 2013
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.

Cyclists Throw Down the Gauntlet for Pro Challenge

Aug 18, 2013
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.

Fractivists Push for Statewide Moratorium

Jul 14, 2013
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.

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.

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