Lead Stories


Thu May 28, 2015

Wyoming's Smart Grid Reality Hasn't Caught Up To The Promise

Power transmission lines march across the Shirley Basin in central Wyoming.
Stephanie Joyce Wyoming Public Media

Early in his presidency Barack Obama made a pledge to modernize the nation's power grid, comparing its state at the time to early roads before the Interstate system.

"It was a tangled maze of poorly maintained back roads that were rarely the fastest or the most efficient way to get from point A to point B," the president said.

$3.4 billion in stimulus money from the 2009 Recovery Act was promised to do for power what the Eisenhower administration did for roads. The new grid would be smart and efficient, bringing the tech revolution to electricity. It would incorporate more renewable energy. It would have the ability to fix blackouts more quickly. It would save customers a lot of money.

So whatever happened to that plan?

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Thu May 28, 2015
Arts Ed

Universities Aim To Change 'Starving Artist' To 'Working Artist'

Students in Colorado State University's LEAP program argue legal issues, including copyright infringement, in a recent Law and the Arts class.
Stacy Nick KUNC

Patrick Weseman already has two bachelor's degrees; one in math and one in music. After graduation though, Weseman realized he didn’t really want to be a mathematician – or a musician for that matter.

“I wanted to start thinking of my life a little more practically,” he said.

That desire brought him back to school and into a program mixing the arts and practical business sense. These entrepreneurial programs are preparing the folks who will work both in front of, and behind, the curtain.

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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 LeBlanc, 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 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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