Lead Stories


Wed May 27, 2015


Wed May 27, 2015

Hickenlooper Stands By Embattled Human Services Director

Gov. John Hickenlooper and Department of Human Services Executive Director Reggie Bicha with an award the state won from the National Center for Adoption. Bicha has been under fire from state lawmakers who say they want major changes in the dept.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Earlier in May a majority of state lawmakers signed a letter to the governor expressing concerns over what they said are disturbing issues within the Colorado Department of Human Services. The letter states that the state is over prescribing psychotropic drugs to youth in corrections and foster care, and that the department fails to adequately supervise the county run foster care system.

In their first public appearance since lawmakers called for overhaul – or possibly firing the executive director – Gov. John Hickenlooper stood by Reggie Bicha.

"They are among the best in the United States, [that] doesn't mean they're perfect," said Hickenlooper. "Running a Department of Human Services is the hardest job in state government, because there's zero tolerance, it's like public safety. We all expect absolute perfection."

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Wed May 27, 2015

Since The Electrical Grid Isn't Sexy, It Has A NIMBY Problem

Casey Lemieux and Chelsey Crittendon are fighting a proposed Xcel Energy substation near their Thornton, Colo., subdivision.
Credit Dan Boyce / Inside Energy

Every year Bill LeBanc, a senior adviser with Colorado-based E Source, hits the streets with a video camera to chat with average Americans about energy. He usually starts with the basics like, "what exactly is electricity?"

Through those videos he finds that most utilities customers don't really understand electricity or most of them don't really care to. That's a challenge though for the nation's aging electrical grid. Public knowledge will likely play a bigger role in finding solutions to challenges like reliability, expansion and efficiency.

There are occasions though when greater knowledge actually leads to extra roadblocks for utilities.

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Wed May 27, 2015

Without Federal Input, Colorado Pot Is On Its Own With Pesticides

A cannabis plant grows at Medical MJ Supply in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Luke Runyon KUNC, Harvest Public Media

The marijuana industry has a pesticide problem.

Many commercial cannabis growers use chemicals to control bugs and mold. But because of the plant’s unresolved legal status, Colorado regulators are having a tough time making sure pot buyers don’t ingest those pesticides. The parts of the federal government that regulate agricultural pesticide use want nothing to do with legalized marijuana.

“In the absence of any direction, the subject of pesticide use on the crop has just devolved to just whatever people think is working or whatever they think is appropriate,” says Colorado State University entomologist Whitney Cranshaw.

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Tue May 26, 2015