Associated Press

Courtesy of Lands of America

Conservation groups have reached a deal to buy and protect a southern Colorado ranch that includes the landmark Fishers Peak near Trinidad.

Michael de Yoanna / KUNC

Colorado's legislative leaders have gaveled in their 2019 lawmaking session.

Democrats control both chambers in the four-month session that began Friday.

Courtesy of Durango Live Cam

Southwestern Colorado is starting the new year with lots of snow after one of its worst drought years.

The Durango Herald reports that a storm that began Monday and ended Tuesday dropped more than 10 inches of snow in Durango, 2 feet of at Chimney Rock National Monument and 34 inches at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Scott Franz / Capitol Coverage

The Colorado State Patrol and police around the state are cracking down on drivers under the influence as the year draws to a close.

The Colorado Department of Transportation says there will be saturation patrols and extra law enforcement officers on duty from Friday through Wednesday, with over 100 agencies participating.

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Many CenturyLink customers across the U.S. were without internet Thursday amid a lengthy outage that stretched from New York to California.

The outage began early in the day and continued into the evening. CenturyLink's network was "still experiencing a disruption," but the telecommunications company was working to restore services, Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink said in a statement.

KUNC File Photo

The last year was a 12-month champagne toast for the legal marijuana industry as the global market exploded and cannabis pushed its way further into the financial and cultural mainstream.

Liberal California became the largest legal U.S. marketplace, while conservative Utah and Oklahoma embraced medical marijuana. Canada ushered in broad legalization , and Mexico's Supreme Court set the stage for that country to follow.

KUNC

People who have not been charged with a crime now will not be given a bed at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan in Denver for the foreseeable future.

KUSA-TV reports the Colorado Department of Human Services announced that patients discharged from the hospital are being replaced with someone in the criminal justice system as of Christmas Eve.

U.S. Air Force

The government may be partially shut down, but that won't stop hundreds of volunteers dressed in Christmas hats and military uniforms Monday from taking calls from children around the world who want to know when Santa will be coming.

Matthew Woitunski / WikiMedia Commons

Colorado is third among states with the most families with children experiencing homelessness though the number slightly decreased this year.

The Denver Post reports that an annual assessment prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development counted 3,250 homeless families with children in Colorado.

The findings are based on a count conducted on a single night in January to capture a snapshot of homelessness.

KUNC File

Colorado oil and gas regulators voted Tuesday to expand the mandatory buffer zone between new wells and school property, a rare victory for proponents of tighter rules for the industry.

The state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will now require that new wells be at least 1,000 feet (305 meters) from any outdoor area or building used by schools and day care centers.

The old rules required the same size buffer zone but measured it only from buildings, not outdoor areas. That allowed wells to be drilled closer to playgrounds and sports fields.

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