Michael de Yoanna

Director of News Content

Since 2016, I have led KUNC's newsroom of 15 talented journalists. I was a fan of the station before joining. KUNC is where my first-ever radio story ran. So being here is a homecoming in many ways. Before my radio days, I darted up and down Colorado's Front Range -- and out of state when I could -- as a scrappy, resourceful newspaper reporter. I freelanced for several years after that, working for a long list of news organizations (and editors!), including my own, now-defunct failed new blog that ran rejected New Yorker cartoons to Salon.com and 5280 magazine. I made a move into broadcast with CBS's "48 Hours Mystery" and "60 Minutes" and then directed my own documentary film, "Recovering," about war veterans healing their wounds through bicycling. After serving at an investigative unit in Denver's commercial TV market, I found a home reporting for public radio, where I picked up on a theme in my stories over the years -- the mistreatment of combat troops with mental wounds by the military they serve. I shared a national Edward R. Murrow award for that work in 2011 with KUNC and, in 2017, a national Columbia-duPont award, the broadcast equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize, which I share with NPR. I believe that great journalism is essential to our democracy, but it should also be fun and interesting. Excellent journalism takes a team and KUNC is, in my humble opinion, the best news team in Colorado. I'm proud to be part of it.

Michael de Yoanna / KUNC

Rashad Khan did not know what to expect when he shared his story about a landlord who allegedly turned his restaurant away because his family is Muslim.

Within hours of KUNC's publication, a huge response began to build - most of it in support of Khan and his Boulder restaurant, Curry N Kebob.

Michael de Yoanna / KUNC

When Craig Caldwell wanted to sublet a space to a fellow restaurant owner, his landlord turned the deal down. He was so shocked at the reason she gave that he used his cell phone to record two conversations with her.

His landlord said, find an "American person," according to the recordings, which have been shared exclusively with KUNC.

Colorado Governor's Office / State of Colorado

Proponents made two main points for limiting access to child autopsy records. The first was that news reports of what’s in the records could trigger copycat suicides among teens. Second, parents deserve to mourn in privacy.

Rocky Mountain News / Denver Public Library Images

The recommendation of Denver's Olympics Exploratory Committee is in: Denver and Colorado should pursue a Winter Olympics.

The committee's green light is the first step to paving the way for the games to come to the state in the years ahead. But it's not without caveats.

EJ Hersom / Department of Defense

If you want to get Israel Del Toro talking, check out the photos on his walls at home.

"There's pictures of guys I met," he says. "Athletes - most of them are athletes because I love sports."

Del Toro, or "DT" as his friends call him, is a senior master sergeant who teaches parachute jumping at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Marc Piscotty/Rocky Mountain News / Denver Public Library Images

The group NOlympics Colorado is concerned that taxpayers might be asked to provide funds for a Winter Olympics. They're preparing to go to voters with a question: Should there be a vote before an Olympics is allowed to come to the state?

Courtesy Ted Hummell

A few years ago, Ted Hummell got an odd call. It was the Department of Defense and they wanted his help in their efforts to identify the remains of his uncle, William Hellstern. Hummell, a 67-year-old Jaguar dealer who lives in Castle Rock, knew his uncle through his late mom.

"She cried every Dec. 7," Hummell said.

Adobe Stock

An unexpected bipartisan moment at Colorado's Capitol came courtesy of a little-known bill late in the session. Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate overwhelmingly voted for legislation to restrict the public's access to the autopsy records of children. The bill, which is now on Gov. John Hickenlooper's desk, has sparked ongoing debate between advocates for the privacy of grieving families and advocates for the public's interest in children's deaths.

Michael Levine-Clark / Wikicommons

Denver's Olympics Exploratory Committee is wrestling with a couple of expensive questions.

"There's five different subcommittees working to put information together and answering, really, two questions: Not only could we host a Winter Olympic games in the future, but should we?" said Ramonna Robinson, a spokeswoman for the exploratory committee. "Is it the right thing for Colorado?"

If the answer to those questions is yes, then comes the next one: How can they raise the $2 billion necessary to host the games without pinching taxpayers?

Courtesy of the Office of Rep. Doug Lamborn

UPDATED, April 26: Congressman Doug Lamborn and his campaign filed in the federal district court in Denver on April 25, including a complaint and motion for preliminary injunction to prevent his name from being removed from the Republican primary ballot.

"We believe that the part of Colorado law that requires petition gatherers to be residents of the state is manifestly unconstitutional, and controlling case decisions here in Colorado and courts around the country have agreed with that assessment," a spokeperson said in a statement. "Citizens who either signed the petitions for Congressman Lamborn or who plan to vote in the 5th [Congressional] District in the Republican primary should not be deprived of their rights by an unconstitutional election law. We are also seeking to keep Congressman Lamborn's name on the ballot while this matter is decided."

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