Lead Stories

7:35am

Tue March 31, 2015

7:00am

Tue March 31, 2015
Politics

Tax Break Study Bill Introduced At The Colorado Statehouse

Jim Hill KUNC

Under current state law Colorado provides 186 tax breaks ­— everything from vending machine food to dairy equipment, affordable housing, livestock feed, and fuel for light, heat, and power.

"I think it's worth us taking a look periodically to make sure we are being responsible to the tax payers with their tax money to say where is it being spent and are we getting a good return on the investment," said Representative KC Becker (D-Boulder).

With that in mind, Colorado lawmakers want to see whether the state is getting its money's worth from all those tax breaks designed to create jobs and boost the economy.

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5:00am

Tue March 31, 2015
Food

The U.S. System Is A Patchwork, Should Food Safety Regulators Be Consolidated?

Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Neb., makes everything from organic cake mixes and cornbread, to pizza and burritos. Any time something with meat is being made, a USDA inspector has to be called ahead of time.
Grant Gerlock Harvest Public Media

Walking through the warehouse of food processor Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Nebraska shows how complicated the food safety system can be. Pallets are stacked with sacks of potato flour and the smell of fresh baked apple-cinnamon muffins is in the air.

Heartland Gourmet makes a wide range of foods from muffins and organic baking mixes to pizzas and burritos. That means business manager Mark Zink has to answer to both of the main U.S. food safety regulators, the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

The product being made determines which agency is in charge. Apple cinnamon muffins fall under the authority of the FDA. A cheese burrito or cheese pizza is also FDA. But a beef burrito or pepperoni pizza has to meet USDA guidelines, rules formed by a totally different agency.

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2:20pm

Mon March 30, 2015
Transportation

State Audit Says U.S. 36 Partnership Is A Good Value For Taxpayers

A worker on U.S. 36
Colorado Department of Transportation

A state audit [.pdf] of the U.S. 36 express lanes project has found that procurement delays cost the state of Colorado an additional $5 million, but that overall "it provided the best value for taxpayers."

The audit report also targeted poor communication and a lack of transparency as additional issues.

The U.S. 36 project is a set of highway improvements partly funded by a private company. It is the first public-private partnership pursued by the Colorado Department of Transportation, and has been a contentious effort, with lawsuits filed and pushback from state legislators.

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1:59pm

Mon March 30, 2015
Parallels

Cholita, An Abused Bear In Peru, Gets A New Home In Colorado

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 6:48 pm

Cholita, an Andean bear, was abused in a circus in Peru and is now in a small zoo. An animal welfare group has now received permission to take Cholita to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado, along with more than 30 former circus lions.
Courtesy of Animal Defenders International

A badly abused Peruvian bear named Cholita is coming to a sanctuary in Colorado. Animal Defenders International announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expedited the request and she will be on her way next month.

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