Photo by Kirk Siegler

Colorado’s interim insurance commissioner got an earful from victims of the Four Mile Canyon Fire at a meeting in Boulder Wednesday night.  Many frustrated people who lost their homes in the blaze want the state to enact tougher consumer protection laws to help victims of natural disasters settle with their insurance companies. But that appears unlikely to happen at least this legislative session. 

Photo by Kirk Siegler

A group of 70 mostly Democratic elected officials from around Colorado have sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar praising a recent decision that could extend wilderness protections to millions of new acres of western lands.
Salazar is in the process of implementing a secretarial order announced in Denver late last year which could bring more wilderness protection to Bureau of Land Management lands. Oil and gas industry officials argue the order effectively closes off land that contains key domestic energy supplies.

A newly published study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder shows that climate change could wipe out the wolverine in the western United States by the year 2050, unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

photo courtesy of Molycorp

Rare earth metals such as cerium and tantalum are needed to make everything from iPods and hybrid car batteries to wind turbines.  China is the world’s biggest producer of rare earths.  And the country’s looming decision to cut off exports could put a major strain on global supply. This has some technical colleges in the West ramping up their curriculum to train students to meet future demand.

The Weld County District Attorney’s office is appealing a December ruling that put an end to Operation Number Games, a crackdown on illegal immigration and identity theft based off tax records.

A lawyer filed a notice of appeal on behalf of Weld County DA Ken Buck and Sheriff John Cooke on January 31. At issue is a civil court case initiated by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado on behalf of Amalia Cerillo, a Greeley tax preparer.

A judge issued a temporary injunction that put a stop to efforts last April, and in December that ruling became permanent.

Grace Hood

Plunging temperatures are pushing many homeless shelters to capacity along the Front Range. And some communities are kicking overflow shelters into high gear.

With Fort Collins’ two homeless shelters maxed out, Monday night brought record attendance of 33 at its emergency winter night shelter. Meantime, day programs that provide warm meals and shelter are also attracting more.

Denver International Airport

It is now official – 2010 was the busiest year ever for Denver International Airport. 

The past two weeks have seen two bank failures along the Front Range. KUNC’s Erin O’Toole talks with Boulder County Business Report publisher Chris Wood about what brought about the demise of United Western and FirsTier banks.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall is co-sponsoring legislation that would add an amendment to the US Constitution directing Congress to balance the federal budget each year, similar to what many states already require.

Ann Imse / Colorado Public News

With America already short $38 trillion needed to pay for Medicare insurance for the elderly over the next 75 years, the nation must focus on controlling healthcare costs, according to Dr. Michael Pramenko, president of the Colorado Medical Society.