Erin OToole

Assistant News Director

I started my career in Cincinnati, Ohio where I was a traffic reporter by day and a volunteer public radio music host by night.  Although I spent almost nine years in commercial radio, I have always had a passion for the creativity and intelligence of public broadcasting.

I moved to Colorado in 2009 from the San Bernardino/Riverside area of California where I served as Morning Edition host and reporter for an NPR member station. During my six years there I covered a broad variety of topics including healthcare, immigration and clean energy.  In 2008 I was selected as a USC/Annenberg Health Journalism fellow, studying and reporting primarily on healthcare reform, domestic violence and health awareness media campaigns.

I graduated with a B.A. in Communication Studies from California State University, San Bernardino.

In my spare time I enjoy hiking, reading (science fiction or politics – or any combination of the two), listening to and creating music, and watching my dog chase squirrels for the first time in his life.

Please feel free to send me story ideas… or just suggestions for your favorite things to do in Colorado!

Ways to Connect

Erin O'Toole / KUNC

In September 2013, four days of torrential rainfall devastated parts of Colorado’s Front Range, killing nine people and damaging or destroying around 1,800 homes. A number of roads were washed out by floodwaters, stranding thousands of people who had to be helicoptered to safety.

Jane Adams / High Plains Chautauqua

High Plains Chautauqua is a unique living history celebration that draws on education, theater, and the humanities. President Theodore Roosevelt once called Chautauqua "the most American thing in America."

Each year the program works with young people from around Colorado to discover the next generation of performers. This summer, dozens of Young Chautauqua Scholars from Weld County schools will spend hours poring over the Internet and history books to bring characters from the past to life.

Courtesy of the Conference on World Affairs

The 70th Conference on World Affairs takes place this week at the University of Colorado Boulder. Founded in 1948 as a forum on international affairs, it's grown to encompass a broad range of ideas and has hosted a number of notable guests, from Eleanor Roosevelt to the late film critic, journalist and historian Roger Ebert.

Robert Freiberger / Flickr

Update April 6, 2018: The Boulder City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that would ban the sale and possession of so-called assault weapons. The Boulder Daily Camera reports nearly 150 people spoke for and against the proposal during a five-hour-long meeting Thursday evening.

Robert Siegel behind the microphone at NPR's studios in Washington, D.C.
Stephen Voss for NPR

Longtime NPR host Robert Siegel is retiring after 30 years as a co-host of All Things Considered.

During his wide-ranging career, Siegel has covered some of the most historic events in modern U.S. history, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. One of his many reporting projects brought him to Greeley, Colorado in 2003, where he delved into the fascinating story of Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian writer who lived in the city in 1949. Qutb’s writings would later form the theoretical basis for many of the radical Islamic groups of today, including al Qaeda.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Despite a 2 percent uptick in obesity rates among adults, Colorado remains the leanest state in the nation.

The rate of adult obesity in Colorado climbed from 20.2 percent in 2015 to 22.3 percent in 2016, according to a new report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report bolsters Colorado’s long-standing reputation as one of the healthiest states in the nation (though with room for improvement). Yet state health officials say the numbers aren’t great.

courtesy of Steve Ruskin

It’s hard to ignore the wave of "eclipse mania" that’s been building up over the last few months, leading up to the total solar eclipse Monday, Aug. 21. Cities and towns in the path of totality – where the sun will be completely hidden by the moon — are enticing potentially massive crowds with their own unique eclipse-focused events. Transportation officials are warning of heavy traffic. Protective viewing glasses are becoming harder to find.

With modern-day traffic jams and overbooked hotels, it’s hard to imagine any parallels between Monday’s event and another eclipse from well over a century ago. But Colorado Springs author and historian Steve Ruskin says they’re there -- if you look hard enough.

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

Democrats in Colorado are withdrawing their voter registrations at a rate five times higher than Republicans. That’s according to data from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, which maintains voter records. The withdrawals follow news that the state would provide voter information to comply with President Trump’s investigation into voter fraud. 

Erin O'Toole / KUNC

[Monday, July 10, 2017] The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity received notice Monday of a complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, seeking a Temporary Restraining Order in connection with the commission's request for publicly available voter registration data. In response, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said he will not be releasing any information until further notice.

[Our original post continues below]

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams says he has no choice but to comply with a request for data from a federal commission looking into issues with voting and voter registration.

In a news conference on July 5, Williams reiterated what his office said in a June 29 news release: State law requires that he provide the data that is public to anyone who requests it – and he can’t pick and choose who gets it.

Courtesy of State of Colorado /

Colorado has two elected voices to turn to when it comes to the proposed Republican health care bill: Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner.

Bennet is a Democrat and has made clear his stance on the bill, calling it “fundamentally flawed.”