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KUNC Newsroom Wins Four Associated Press Television And Radio Association Awards

The Associated Press Television and Radio Association has announced its 2019 Broadcast Contest award winners, including four from the KUNC newsroom.

First place for best documentary went to KUNC's series, "Resettled: The Lives of Refugess in Colorado." Capitol Coverage reporter Scott Franz won first place for best enterprise reporting for his story, "Colorado's Innovative 'Online Checkbook' Rarely Updated, Technologically Challenged."

Investigative reporter Michael de Yoanna's story, "Chemical Weapons Depot In Pueblo On Army Climate Change List," won second place for best investigative reporting. And second place for best feature story was awarded to arts reporter Stacy Nick's "The Iceman Comes To Nederland: Meet The Frozen Dead Guy's Caretaker."

Revisit the stories below.

Best Documentary - 1st Place
Resettled: The Lives of Refugees In Colorado

Credit Esther Honig / KUNC

In 2018, the Trump administration has cut the number of refugees allowed to settle in the U.S., citing security concerns and a desire that they remain closer to their home countries. That year, 981 found homes in Colorado — far fewer than in years past.

The change has created a degree of sadness among those hoping to bring their families here, said Kit Taintor, Colorado's refugee resettlement coordinator.

"There's a lot of refugees who live and reside in Colorado, and call it home, who have been waiting for the opportunity to rejoin with family members who are still overseas," said Taintor.

KUNC shared stories from our state's refugee community. We looked at their impact on the communities they live in and the state's economy — and what it's like adjusting to a new culture.

Explore the stories here →


Best Enterprise Reporting - 1st Place
Colorado's Innovative 'Online Checkbook' Rarely Updated, Technologically Challenged by Scott Franz

The state of Colorado is neglecting an online transparency tool that it launched 10 years ago to let taxpayers monitor government spending in real time.

When state lawmakers in 2009 passed the bill to create the Transparency Online Project, or TOP, they proclaimed in all capital letters it would be updated every five days.

But a review by Rocky Mountain Community Radio found that despite that state law, the site is only being updated a handful of times each year, if at all.

It took three months for the state to load the first expenses of the new Polis administration. And records show there were apparently zero updates to the online checkbook in 2017.

Read more here →


Best Investigative Reporting - 2nd Place
Chemical Weapons Depot In Pueblo On Army Climate Change List by Michael de Yoanna

The Pueblo Chemical Depot is one of the top 10 U.S. Army domestic installations "at risk" because of climate change. That's according to the Army, which lists "desertification" as its concern for the depot where tens of thousands of chemical weapons are in the process of being destroyed under international treaty.

The changing climate is expected to make the depot's already dry, largely treeless, semi-arid landscape more prone to drought and wildfire in the years to come.

Depot commander Col. Michael Cobb says the depot is prepared for any coming environmental changes. Existing fire and water plans, for instance, insulate the depot against harsh conditions.

Yet the depot has no specific climate change plans, a common theme for installations across the military, which is expected to increasingly contend with issues that could affect operations, including ocean surges, rising sea levels, floods, and fires.

Read more here →


Best Feature Story - 2nd Place
The Iceman Comes To Nederland: Meet The Frozen Dead Guy's Caretaker by Stacy Nick

For Brad Wickham, Frozen Dead Guy Days is a year-round event.

The three-day annual festival in Nederland features coffin races, ice carvings and a polar plunge to celebrate the frozen corpse of Bredo Morstoel, better known around town as Grandpa Bredo.

As Morstoel's caretaker, Wickham has driven up to see him every two weeks for the past five years, to add more dry ice and make sure he's still a comfortable minus 110 degrees Celsius.

"I have to admit every now and then on my way up here with a load of ice I'll be thinking to myself, you know, I am the only guy in the world right now driving up the Rocky Mountains with a half a ton of dry ice to put on a frozen Norwegian," he said.

Read more here →

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.
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