Lead Stories

5:00am

Wed April 1, 2015
Housing

Colorado's Fast Recovery Brings Growth And A Housing Crunch

Houses don't stay on the market for long in hot neighborhoods, like this pending property in Denver's Washington Park.
Jim Hill KUNC

Northern Colorado is the fastest growing part of a fast-growing state. A recent release from the U.S. Census Bureau found that Greeley was the fastest growing area in the country, at 2.6 percent. During that same period, from July 2013 to July 2014, Fort Collins was the 12th fastest growing, at 2.4 percent.

While growth is often seen as good for the economy, the speed of the change is creating a housing crunch. From Denver to Fort Collins, renters and buyers are being squeezed.

Essentially, this is a supply and demand problem. There are too many buyers and renters, and not enough apartments and homes.

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5:00am

Wed April 1, 2015
Oil Price Drop Fallout

What It's Like To Be In The Oilfield When Prices Fall

Neil LaRubbio on the job site.
Courtesy of Neil LaRubbio.

When oil prices fall, one of the first things cut is the number of drilling rigs – and the number of workers who man them. With falling rig counts in Texas, North Dakota and in Colorado comes more competition for the remaining jobs on drill sites.

Neil LaRubbio was one of those workers. This is his firsthand account as one of those fighting to keep his place in the industry.

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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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