Jackie Fortier

All Things Considered Host

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

County Health Rankings / Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

People in Northern Colorado counties are healthier than in most other parts of the state.

That's the finding of an annual report which ranked Colorado’s 64 counties based on factors like high school graduation rates, tobacco use, access to healthy food as well as teen births and obesity. Broomfield County came in second and Boulder County ranked third. Larimer rose to 10th place from their 2014 position, while Weld County ranked 35th.

Douglas County ranked No. 1 in the health factors analysis, just as it was in the most recent Kids Count report. Denver was toward the bottom at 48th.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Child poverty continues to be most prevalent in rural areas of Colorado. The 2015 edition of the Kids Count in Colorado! report shows that the economic recovery has been an uneven one, with many rural areas of the state still experiencing high levels of child poverty. There is some good news - child poverty in Colorado has declined for the first time since 2008.

The latest data found that 23 percent of children in rural counties live in poverty, but the definition of "rural" is changing.

Jackie Fortier / KUNC

Lyane Hernandez raised a lot of red flags when she entered Greeley Central High School. She was argumentative with teachers, got into a fight, and didn't show up very often.

"I did so many bad things my freshman year, I ran away, I did so many bad things," Hernandez said.

Now a sophomore, Hernandez talks about her behavior as she would a stranger, even though it was her reality just 18 months ago. And now?

"I don't skip school. I keep on top of my grades. [My mom] loves the new person that I've become with this program. She loves what they've shaped me into."

Because of the warning signs, Hernandez was placed in the Expelled and At-Risk Student Services program. In 2013-14, 8,635 students, along with Hernandez, were in the program. The students are identified from their record of attendance, behavior, discipline, or they may be the first in their family to potentially graduate from high school, or be in foster care. Students that ordinarily may have fallen through the cracks.

www.emeraldashborer.info

Work is underway to remove 800 ash trees from Loveland parks and open spaces. Why? Because of one little beetle.

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been in Colorado for years now, but remained undetected until 2013 when it was found in the city of Boulder, the furthest point west that it has been detected. The invasive beetle is native to Asia and has decimated the ash tree population across the U.S. No one has been able to stop or eradicate it.

Drs. Brent Thompson and Fred Bourgeois / Colorado Department of Agriculture

An outbreak of a livestock virus has finally come to an end. Colorado officials announced the last remaining properties under quarantine for vesicular stomatitis have been released.

Jim Hill / KUNC

A company whose oil and gas wastewater injection was linked to earthquakes in Northern Colorado did nothing wrong, according to an investigation by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Library of Congress

Communities along the Front Range are celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with conversations about the civil rights movement. Among the activities in Greeley, the University of Northern Colorado will feature a keynote address by author, activist and social commentator Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever.

Tom LeGro / PBS NewsHour

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered in several events across the Front Range. Here are the scheduled celebrations for Monday, Jan. 19.

Kerry Grimes / used with permission

It's been almost a year and a half since Boulder County was deluged by rain, causing creeks to swell, and, in some cases, create new channels. Now the county is focusing on long term stabilization of those waterways.

Joe Mahoney / The iNews Network

Over 1,240 cases of pertussis, better known as whooping cough, have been reported across Colorado. The latest data from December shows that most of the cases are children and teenagers.

"We've already exceeded the total number of cases that we had last year [2014]," said Director of Weld County Public Health and Environment Dr. Mark Wallace. Weld County has reported 184 cases of pertussis to date, which ranks it among the highest in the state.

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