Erin OToole | KUNC

Erin OToole

Host, Colorado Edition

As host of KUNC's Colorado Edition, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. And because life is best when it's a balance of work and play, I love finding stories that highlight culture, music, the outdoors, and anything that makes Colorado such a great place to live.

One of the things I love most about being in public radio is that it embodies and encourages many of the values I hold dear: integrity, creativity, civility and curiosity. At KUNC, I've been so fortunate to work with, and learn from, a growing newsroom that's filled with talented, passionate journalists.

I spent nearly nine years in commercial radio in Cincinnati, Ohio before moving to San Bernardino, California to serve as Morning Edition host and reporter for KVCR. I was selected as a USC/Annenberg Health Journalism fellow in 2008, reporting primarily on the healthcare overhaul, domestic violence and health awareness media campaigns. I joined KUNC as Morning Edition host in 2009, and served as Assistant News Director from 2017 to 2019.

When I'm not at work, you can usually find me hiking with my two dogs, listening to and creating music, and reading (my bookshelves are overflowing with scifi, politics, cookbooks and Nancy Drew mysteries).

Scott Franz / KUNC

Colorado has its first two "presumptive positive" cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the latest coronavirus. State health officials on Thursday confirmed an out-of-state visitor to Summit County has tested positive.

courtesy of Becky Stone

Harriet Tubman is one of the most iconic figures of American history. She escaped from slavery in 1849, and then went on to become one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad, guiding many more slaves to freedom. She served as a nurse and a scout for the Union Army during the Civil War, and later became an outspoken proponent of women's suffrage.


This week's Colorado Edition is devoted to stories of veterans and their families -- tales of torture, courage, perseverance and love.

KUNC’s military and veterans reporter Michael de Yoanna guides us on a journey that spans several wars, from Vietnam War to Afghanistan.

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.