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News brief with The Colorado Sun: the fight for Hughes Stadium land and remembering a WWII hero

People stand around a statue in a park with trees
Kevin Simpson
The Colorado Sun
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis delivers remarks at the dedication of the Major General Maurice Rose monument on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Denver's Lincoln Veterans Memorial Park. Rose died fighting against Germany in the final weeks of WWII.

Each week, we talk with our colleagues at The Colorado Sun about the stories they're following. This time, Editor Larry Ryckman joins us to talk about the battle over Hughes Memorial Stadium and some long-delayed recognition for a Colorado WWII soldier.

Conservationists and mountain bikers in Fort Collins are debating what to do with the former site of Hughes Memorial Stadium, which was also the former home of the Colorado State University Rams football team. CSU officials decided to abandon the old concrete stadium for a new, $220 million football complex on campus.

The prairie where Hughes and its parking lots once sat could be restored as open space. Members of the Overland Mountain Bike Association, however, have been pushing for a cycling park.

The Fort Collins City Council proposed a ballot measure in 2021 to restore the land as open space. The proposal originally listed “recreation” as a possible use for open land. The measure was approved by 69% of voters.

“Everyone agrees that there should be a place for the bicycle community to be able to recreate,” Ryckman told KUNC. “But they also acknowledge the importance of dark-sky and habitat for deer and butterflies and other wildlife that could use the area.”

In another story, hundreds of people attended the dedication of a statue for one of Colorado's biggest heroes. Major General Maurice Rose died fighting against Germany in WWII. He died during the final weeks of the war at age 45.

“He was both the highest ranking Jewish American officer at the time and the highest ranking officer to be killed in combat,” Ryckman said. “Rose Medical Center in Denver is named after him.”

Rose’s granddaughter and Gov. Jared Polis were present a the display of vintage World War II equipment and a flyover to honor General Rose on Sunday. A statue of Rose has also been dedicated just outside the Capitol in downtown Denver.

As a reporter and host for KUNC, I follow the local stories of the day while also guiding KUNC listeners through NPR's wider-scope coverage. It's an honor and a privilege to help our audience start their day informed and entertained.
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