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Big Bill Broonzy was an amazing guitarist and competent vocalist who went from Country Blues in the 1920s, through a period in the 1930s and 40s of urbanizing his sound to appeal to working class African-Americans, to a return to a more acoustic and folkish style in the 1950s.

In that final guise he became a hero of the 50 sand 60s American Folk music revival and an international star.

Courtesy of Fort Collins Symphony

Why rent when you can own?

That’s the question the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra is asking after spending decades renting several of its larger, more expensive instruments. In fact, the only instruments the symphony truly owns is a bass drum and a tam tam, said FCSO music director Wes Kenney.

“Anything else either belongs to (our venue), the Lincoln Center, or we're having to beg, borrow or rent it,” Kenney said.

A professional symphony renting its instruments may sound a little strange, but it’s not as uncommon as you might think.

courtesy Dog Eat Dog Films

Where to Invade Next is, of course, satirical. Michael Moore again plays the wily naïf who asks astonished, wide-eyed, innocent questions, although he is neither naïve, wide-eyed, nor innocent. It's his game; those who either love Moore or hate him know it's his game, and Moore plays it exceptionally well.

Even if half of what Moore claims in his new movie is true, the film still exposes much about who we Americans are and how we treat ourselves and others in our world.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

The middle of winter is when the stream of locally grown fruits and vegetables in the Midwest begins to freeze up.

Nicole Saville knows first-hand. Saville is the produce manager at Open Harvest, a grocery coop in Lincoln, Neb. The store promotes food grown by local farmers, but this time of year there just isn’t much available.

“We can get kale and some culinary herbs this time of year,” Saville said. “Otherwise the only other local option is a soil mix in our garden center.”

That means the bunches of carrots, bags of onions, and piles of pears on shelves from Lincoln, Nebraska, to Ames, Iowa, to Columbia, Missouri, made a long trip to get there.

courtesy of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce

Almost everyone who lives in Northern Colorado has probably heard of Loveland's Valentine remailing program. The U.S. Postal Service says the program, which turns 70 in 2016, is the largest of its kind in the country, handling between 150,000 and 200,000 pieces of mail each year.

Beginning as early as December, cards and letters start pouring in from all over the world. For about two weeks before Valentine’s Day, the sound of stamping fills the Loveland Chamber of Commerce.

Stephen Butler / Flickr - Creative Commons

A bill to expand a state program to offer driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants in Colorado will be introduced at the state capitol later in February. The original law [.pdf], which Democrats passed when they controlled both chambers in 2013, allows undocumented immigrants who have lived in Colorado for at least two years and have paid taxes to get a license, if they pay an extra fee.

"I want to know when I'm driving that the people driving next to me know the same rules as I do. Especially when you come from a different country, road signs might look different," said Rep. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont), sponsor of a new bill that would expand the program to 32 driver's license offices across the state.

"They deserve the opportunity to show that they are willing to be a part of our community, willing to play by the rules."

Jim Hill / KUNC

State lawmakers are debating whether terminally ill patients with less than six months to live should be allowed to take medication to end their own lives. It's just one of several controversial bills being debated under the gold dome.

courtesy ShortsHD

If you catch a glimpse of the crowd on Oscar night, you can see eyes glaze over when the nominees for best short films are named. Live action or animation – it doesn't matter – the crowd acts as if it's time to snooze. Yet the shorts bring a lot of enthusiasm from audiences around the country. Sometimes the films are worth it, but other times, like this year, I think they're not.

Anita Martinez, Colorado Parks and Wildlife / Division of Wildlife

Colorado could be the next state to allow hunters to wear florescent pink. A Democratic proposal to give hunters the option of wearing pink – in addition to the traditional safety orange – has passed the Republican controlled Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee.

"I hunt because it's a treasured time with my dad and my brothers," said Senator Kerry Donovan (D-Vail), a big game hunter and sponsor of Senate Bill 68 [.pdf]. "And the stories that happen in hunting camp are the stories that my family tell over and over again."

Holsteins, the black and white spotted dairy cattle, are known for their long, lanky limbs and calm temperaments.
Luke Runyon / KUNC, Harvest Public Media

America's dairy farms are doing more with less. There are fewer dairy cows today than just a few decades ago, but today’s cows are producing more milk than ever.

Part of the increase is due to genetics. Dairy cows have been bred to be larger, hungrier, and more productive. That focus on genetics to produce more milk has some prominent livestock advocates ringing alarm bells.

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