Jackie Fortier

Growth and Economic Issues Reporter

One of my earliest memories is listening to Car Talk and eating a cinnamon roll at the breakfast table. I grew up with my ears full of NPR, but it wasn’t until I reached high school and started paying attention to the media landscape that I realized how unique it is.

I graduated from Windsor High School and earned my bachelor’s degree at Colorado State University in English. I decided to pursue a career at NPR and graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a Master of Arts in journalism. I am very excited to be a part of such a well respected and award winning station.

Ways to Connect

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

The conflict over oil and gas drilling -- as well as hydraulic fracturing -- has led to multiple protests, votes and court decisions in Colorado. Most recently, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman began proceedings to sue Boulder County over its lack of new drilling permits.

But the history of oil and gas development and regulation in Colorado is a long one. Here’s how we got to where we are today.

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

Citing the need for a “professional presentation” to Congress and the American people, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) announced the newly-formed Congressional Cannabis Caucus at a news conference Feb. 16. The caucus, which includes four Democratic and Republican representatives from states that have legalized marijuana, plans to focus on freeing up banking and tax regulations, opening up research dollars and removing marijuana from the federal list of illegal drugs.

KUNC File Photo

Boulder County is being sued by the state of Colorado over its continued moratorium on new oil and gas development. In a letter sent to Boulder County Commissioners Jan. 26, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman threatened legal action if the county didn’t begin permitting new oil and gas development including fracking, on unincorporated county land by Feb. 10. The deadline passed - without any permitting change from Boulder County - and a complaint, the initial legal document to begin a lawsuit, was received by county officials Feb. 14.

Ashley Jefcoat / KUNC

The City of Fort Collins is considering limiting how long a person can sit or lie on a public sidewalk or bench in Old Town in order to combat ‘disruptive behaviors’ in the iconic downtown area.

Officials are even considering banning the use of public benches in Old Town all together.

The proposed policy changes are in response to complaints from Old Town businesses and results from a 2015 resident survey, according to city policy and project manager Ginny Sawyer.

Jim Hill / KUNC

Colorado is currently the seventh fastest growing state in the nation. Experts expect the bullseye of future growth to be the northern Front Range.

“We’re forecasting the state to increase between 2010 and 2040 by about 2.8 million people — about 500,000 in the north Front Range, in Larimer and Weld counties,” said state demographer Elizabeth Garner.

It all has to do with jobs -- sort of. Data show that in the past 10 years many people are moving from the Western Slope to the northern Front Range looking for work, while high-paying tech industry jobs has brought workers in from other states. It’s the marriage of these two counties and what they have to offer commuters that makes them so economically diverse.

CSPAN

The Senate has confirmed school choice activist Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary. Vice President Mike Pence had to cast a tie-breaking vote, the first time that has been necessary for a cabinet nomination.

Colorado’s senators voted down party lines.

Bente Birkland / KUNC

Updated at 1:30 p.m. MT on Jan. 27

Boulder County could wind up in court over its continued moratorium on oil and gas development.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman sent a letter to Boulder County Commissioners Jan. 26 threatening legal action if they don’t begin permitting new oil and gas development including fracking, on unincorporated areas within the county by Feb. 10.

S. Habbal, M. Druckmüller and P. Aniol / NASA

The last time a total solar eclipse was visible to most of the continental U.S., Richard Nixon was president and the Beatles had just released ‘Let It Be’ in the U.K. The 2017 total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 follows a long tradition of captivating people’s imaginations that’s been going on for thousands of years.

Oral and written histories tell us of fear and trepidation at the sight of a comet or meteor, while other cultures celebrated the same sight with dancing and feasts. But the disappearance of the sun or the moon -- an eclipse -- was an exceptional event.

SNOWTEL / Natural Resources Conservation Service

After a very dry fall, Colorado’s snowpack has bounced back. Statewide, the snowpack is at almost 160 percent of normal, with the state’s historically snowiest months still to come.

“To have our snowpack where it is right now for the state is a really good position to be in going forward for water supplies into the spring and summer,” said Brian Domonkos, Colorado snow survey supervisor and hydrologist.

The good news extends to cities and reservoirs downstream of Colorado, like Lake Mead in Nevada which has experienced record lows.

Bill Badzo / Flickr

Colorado lawmakers are required to pass a balanced state budget every legislative session, but that could prove challenging for the 2016 -2017 fiscal year. The governor’s office of state planning and budgeting submitted a budget proposal to lawmakers last fall. They’ve identified over $926 million in funding needs mandated by new constitutional and statutory demands on the general fund, which makes up the largest part of the budget. But the revenue doesn’t match up.

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