David Fulmer / Flickr - Creative Commons

"Colorful Colorado" may one day need to be referred to as "Crowded Colorado," given the number of people expected to soon move here.

Weld County's population is expected to double to half-a-million – and El Paso County will still be the largest county. It's not just the Front Range; A Rocky Mountain PBS I-News analysis of data from the state demographer and the U.S. Census Bureau shows seven of the 10 fastest growing counties will be on the Western Slope, including Eagle, Garfield and Routt.

The numbers show an estimated 7.8 million people will call Colorado home by 2040. All that growth will take a toll on the state's infrastructure as well as water and other natural resources.

Colorado Deptartment of Transportation

Drivers may soon see less traffic congestion along eastbound I-70 starting in December 2015 – if they are willing to pay. That’s when a 13 mile stretch of toll lane will periodically open between Empire and Idaho Springs. The part time toll lane will only be open when the Colorado Department of Transportation sees that traffic is getting backed up.

Here’s what you need to know about the new eastbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane.

Call him Lemon Henry Jefferson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Lemon Pledge or a dozen other parodies -- but definitely call him a Blues pioneer. When Jefferson passed away at age 36 he was called "Father of the Texas Blues."

Kerry Brown / courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

John Crowley’s Brooklyn is as respectable a movie as there is – which is not really a compliment.

It’s like a dog that got As in obedience school. The film doesn’t bark; it knows when to fetch, and most of all, it knows how to sit on its hind legs and beg. The movie overflows with nice – the people in the Irish village are nice; the people on the boat to America are nice; the guards at Ellis Island are nice; the Italian boy is nice; his family is nice, and on it goes.

by Mark Jarvis / Flickr/Creative Commons

Even with about a month left in 2015, it’s already been a record-setting year for visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park. Just over 3.9 million people visited the park between January and October – topping 3.4 million in 2014. Park officials say the number could easily top 4 million if trends continue.

"When you look back at what our visitation was last November and December [2014], we had roughly 170,000 people during those last two months," said park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson. "Given that we’re already really close, we’re assuming that we will likely hit the four-million mark – if not by the end of November, then certainly by the end of December."

At this point the park is less than 60,000 visitors away from hitting that milestone.

There's A Lot Of Energy Behind Agriculture (And That Thanksgiving Feast)

Nov 25, 2015
USDA / Flickr - Creative Commons

Have you ever stopped to wonder about the everyday energy that goes into the food you buy at the grocery store? Or maybe even behind a Thanksgiving feast? Behind that turkey leg you're dreaming about right now?

"Food is energy, it's just converted into a different form," Bright Agrotech CEO Nate Storey points out. "I mean when we eat a salad, we are consuming diesel and we're consuming electricity and we're consuming nuclear energy. It's an energy industry."

Up to a fifth of the nation's total energy use goes into growing, transporting, processing and eventually preparing our food. Often, the energy inputs behind agriculture are hidden.

Therese Glowacki / Boulder County

Wood infested with an invasive beetle is being used to heat some Boulder County buildings, including the jail.

The Emerald Ash Borer has been in Colorado for years now, but remained undetected until 2013, when it was found in the city of Boulder. So far, it’s the furthest point west that EAB has been detected, prompting a quarantine to keep Ash wood from leaving the county. No one has been able to stop or eradicate the EAB.

How Fast-Casual Eats Conquered Colorado

Nov 24, 2015
Luke Runyon / KUNC, Harvest Public Media

Colorado’s Front Range is the birthplace of a restaurant revolution, but it’s not the sort of fine dining you might be thinking of. In Colorado, fast-casual is king.

The Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins metro areas boast the highest numbers of fast-casuals per person in the country. The state is home to both industry pioneers like Chipotle and Noodles & Company, and buzzed-about newcomers like the recently renamed Modern Market and Smashburger.

The restaurants borrow ideas from both fast food and upscale sit-down restaurants, catering to customers who want food fast, inexpensive and customized. Their success -- having grown more quickly than either fast food chains or full service restaurants in recent years -- is part demographics and part economics.

lotherington / Flickr - Creative Commons

Move over turkey. Step aside stuffing.

Green Bean Casserole, an iconic Thanksgiving dish, turns 60 years old this year and it’s as popular as ever.

Love it or loathe it, the classic Midwestern casserole has come to mean more than just a mashup of processed food sitting next to the mashed potatoes.

For 30 years pianist and vocalist Rob Rio has delighted worldwide audiences with genuine boogie-woogie plus 1940s & 1950s inspired Jump Blues. When "hep cats" applied the term "chops" to mean virtuosity they must have been thinking of Rio.

Certainly Rob Rio is my definition of "chops." People around the World have shared my admiration, especially in Western Europe and the United States. His feeling and talent landed him in the Boogie-woogie Hall Of Fame in 2008.