Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Two key ingredients came together for Shannon McCarty to get off drugs in late 2017: connections and timing.

"The police showed up because they said they got a call that we were shooting up in the car," Shannon said.

Everett police officer, Inci Yarkut walked up to window of the car where Shannon was living.

When he was police chief of Stanwood, Wash., population 7,000, Ty Trenary thought rural communities like his were immune from the opioid crisis.

Then, one day, a mother walked through his door and said, "Chief, you have a heroin problem in your community."

"And I remember thinking, 'Well that's not possible,' " Trenary recalls. "This is Stanwood and heroin is in big cities with homeless populations. It's not in rural America."

Documentary filmmaker Christopher Rufo doesn't make enough money to have to pay Seattle's new high-earners tax, but he still wants to keep Seattle income-tax-free. So much so, he joined around 30 plaintiffs suing the city.

For Charlie Underdown, 11, letting girls into Boy Scouts is actually a very Boy Scout thing to do.

At a pizza restaurant in Seattle reads aloud from his scout handbook: "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind...." Charlie takes the Scout Law to mean you shouldn't exclude anybody.

"They literally have these pledges and the oath to be kind and courteous and considerate," he says. So he's one Scout who supports the announcement from Boy Scouts of America that girls would be allowed to join starting in 2019.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Sand is a key ingredient in hydraulic fracturing, but breathing in too much of it can lead to silicosis, an incurable but entirely preventable disease caused by sand particles or respirable crystalline silica.

A 2012 alert and study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health raised an alarm that workers at fracking sites in Colorado and four other states were exposed to silica dust at levels that exceeded occupational exposure limits.

Many companies in the industry have responded by changing the way they handle frack sand. New innovation and investment suggests a technological fix can protect workers while boosting efficiency. The changes are as much a way to improve operations as strengthen worker's protections.

Joe Mahoney / Rocky Mountain PBS I-News

From Moffat to Alamosa counties, Colorado is a big player in the nation's sheep industry.

The animals thrive in the state's high, dry mountains. Colorado ranked third in the value of sales of sheep and goats at $87 million in 2012, the latest data available, according to a 2014 USDA fact sheet.

Sheepherders – mostly immigrant guest workers from South America on H2-A visas – are responsible for the health of the flocks, day to day. The workers aren't subject to minimum wage like other farm workers. Instead their wages are set specially by the federal government at $750 a month in Colorado, a wage that has increased by only $50 in the past 20 years for most states, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Now the sheep industry is girding itself for what it sees as a storm.

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch / Rocky Mountain PBS I-News

How much money do you need in Colorado to survive without outside help?

On average, Coloradans needed to earn 53 percent more money to get by without public assistance in 2015, as compared to 2001, according to the "Self-Sufficiency Standard" released June 11 by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.

Self-sufficiency is defined as the amount an individual or family needs to earn to meet their basic needs without public assistance, such as Medicaid or public housing, or private help, such as donations from a food bank or free baby-sitting from a relative. The calculations are meant to be a more accurate measure of the cost of basic needs than the federal poverty level.

charenton / Flickr - Creative Commons

Most Coloradans probably know that 4-20 – April 20 – has become the day for celebrating marijuana. Although the origin is still debated, 420 is probably the most popular numeric reference to pot. Here's 10 more numbers about cannabis in Colorado.

courtesty of I-News

It is illegal for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to disclose the name of an employer who has violated wage laws, no matter how egregious or benign the employer's actions are. All complaints and investigations of employers, even after they've been resolved, are confidential under the state's interpretation of a 100-year-old law.

In 1915, the Colorado legislature wrote the confidentiality into the first law on workers' compensation. The statute specifies that information employers provided "shall be for the exclusive use and information of said commission in the discharge of its official duties and shall not be open to the public."

The law now specifies that labor authorities "may" treat information containing "trade secrets" as confidential. The state's lawyers, however, have interpreted the law to extend blanket confidentiality to cover all information on investigations of unpaid wages.

Joe Mahoney / Rocky Mountain PBS I-News

In the 2015 State of the Union, President Barack Obama identified two years of free community college education as a means to help the middle class. It's not only the students who could use a leg up.

Adjunct professors scraping by on assistance from family, charities, and safety net programs like Medicaid and food stamps continue to push for fair compensation and work conditions. Higher education institutions across Colorado employ part-time faculty, but adjuncts in community colleges say their situation is particularly dire.

Adjuncts currently represent 4,060 employees, or 78 percent of instructors at the 13 colleges in the Colorado Community College System, and are paid per class, largely without benefits, sick leave or job security.

Pages