Lead Stories


Tue August 4, 2015
Arts & Life

At High Plains Chautauqua, History Is A Youngin's Game, Too

Martin Lahman answers questions during a recent Young Chautauqua event.
Stacy Nick KUNC

For many kids, summer means stepping away from the history books. But for Greeley's Young Chautauquans, it means stepping into them, and breathing new life into characters from the past.

For 9-year-old Martin Lahman, that means portraying Grand Canyon explorer John Wesley Powell. The youngest Young Chautauquan performing at the 16th annual High Plains Chautauqua, the fourth-grader got his start at the age of 6.

"I saw a young Mark Twain do it and he was just fascinating and so I thought that maybe I could do the same thing," Lahman said.

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Tue August 4, 2015

Monsanto, World’s Largest Seed Company, Sets Off A Corporate ‘Feeding Frenzy’

Monsanto brought its RoundUp Ready corn to market in the late 1990s.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

The world’s largest seed company is attempting to swallow up the chemical operations of Syngenta, the world’s largest producer of pesticides and other farm inputs. Monsanto’s proposed deal signals a change in focus for the agricultural giant, and could have ripple effects across farm country.

By its own admission, Monsanto lags behind in chemistry research. To boost its research in chemistry, and possibly find new ways to combine chemicals and biotech crops, Monsanto wants to buy the Swiss chemical company.

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Mon August 3, 2015

Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law Struck Down As Unconstitutional

Under Idaho's ag gag law, undercover investigations of agricultural operations was a criminal act.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

An Idaho District Court judge has struck down that state’s law that criminalized undercover investigations of agricultural operations. These types of laws are known colloquially as “ag-gag.”

In his decision, Judge B. Lynn Winmill writes that the Idaho case comes down to First Amendment protections for free speech.

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Mon August 3, 2015

Obama's Clean Power Plan Is Out, What Does It Mean For Colorado?

Screencap from President Obama's speech from the White House on the Clean Power Plan, Aug. 3, 2015.
White House YouTube

Speaking at the White House Monday, President Obama released the final version of the nation's Clean Power Plan. It calls for big cuts of greenhouse gas emissions nationwide, but allows each state to meet those reductions in its own way.

Some states have already taken steps to reduce their emissions, and Colorado, with a fairly aggressive renewable energy standard, is ahead of the game, say most experts.

"It seems to me that Colorado is already largely on a path that will meet or come close to the requirements of the Clean Power Plan," said Paul Komor, Energy Education Director at the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Mon August 3, 2015

Labor Dept's Wage Proposal May Roil Colorado's Sheep Industry

A sheep herder returns to his cabin near Meeker, Colo., July 14, 2015. The federal government has proposed tripling the minimum wage for sheep herders in Colorado by 2020 to $2,441 a month.
Joe Mahoney Rocky Mountain PBS I-News

From Moffat to Alamosa counties, Colorado is a big player in the nation's sheep industry.

The animals thrive in the state's high, dry mountains. Colorado ranked third in the value of sales of sheep and goats at $87 million in 2012, the latest data available, according to a 2014 USDA fact sheet.

Sheepherders – mostly immigrant guest workers from South America on H2-A visas – are responsible for the health of the flocks, day to day. The workers aren't subject to minimum wage like other farm workers. Instead their wages are set specially by the federal government at $750 a month in Colorado, a wage that has increased by only $50 in the past 20 years for most states, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Now the sheep industry is girding itself for what it sees as a storm.

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