Stephanie Daniel

Education Reporter

I grew up in Denver and, after living out-of-state for many years, am happy to be back in Colorado covering education, opioid addiction and news for KUNC.

My reporting on the opioid epidemic has been featured on the award-winning podcast The Fix: Treating New York's Opioid Crisis and NPR's Latino USA and The Pulse.

Before joining KUNC in October 2017, I worked at New York Public Radio and on the podcasts Revisionist History and Empire on Blood. Prior to journalism, I wrote and produced commercials and marketing videos for TV shows and media companies. I am a graduate of Duke University and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

I love going on adventures and have visited more than 20 countries. I also like to explore local areas, ride my bike and hang out with my family and friends.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Jenny Lee is frustrated.

Due to a change in her parents' employment status, the rising senior at the University of Northern Colorado had her Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) flagged. Her FAFSA application was selected for an audit - or verification, as it's called in higher education.

"At first it wasn't bad, I thought, 'Sure, I'll get it done. No big problem,'" said Lee. "But as I've been stuck in this for months now, it's been frustrating and I'm just like, 'Will I get financial aid?' Because this is like one last little barrier at this point."

VIBE 105 / Flickr

[Updated June 12, 2018, 3:25 p.m.] The cities of Lakewood and Wheat Ridge also filed a lawsuit against the nation's largest opioid manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, Endo and Mallinckrodt, in U.S. District Court in Denver on June 8.

The original story continues below.

  

Boulder County and 12 other local governments want to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for skyrocketing rates of opioid abuse, overdoses and deaths in their communities. According to the Denver Post , they plan to file a lawsuit to force the companies to pay a penalty and change their practices for marketing the drugs.

Marco Verch / Flickr

The city of Alamosa, along with Chaffee, Conejos, Las Animas, Alamosa and Otero counties, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver this week against national pharmaceutical companies - including Purdue Pharma, Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Johnson & Johnson and Cephalon, Inc.

William A. Cotton / Colorado State University Photography

The first bison calf to be conceived using in vitro fertilization has died. The 11-month-old calf, named IVF1, was part of the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Police officer Tash Petsas and clinician Alan Marschke patrol the streets of Longmont, waiting for another call from dispatch about a guy named John. They have already responded to two John calls, but he was not arrested because he wasn't doing anything illegal. John was just hanging around downtown acting erratic.

After their last interaction, John left the scene, leaving his possessions near a dumpster in a parking lot.

"These are those tough cases where Alan and I have conversations," said Petsas, a 15-year veteran with the police department. "You know, right now he's littering with that mess he left. But write him a ticket, it's not going to solve the problem. This is where we have to start getting creative, about how are we going to get him engaged and how are we going to get him help."

William A. Cotton / Colorado State University

Colorado State University professor Diana Wall is the first female professor from CSU to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences for her achievements. Wall, a University Distinguished Professor, is the eleventh CSU faculty member to be elected to the prestigious honorary society.

Wall is the director of the School of Global Environment Sustainability and a biology professor. She is also a renowned soil ecologist who has conducted extensive research in Antarctica since 1989. In fact, a valley on the continent is named after her.

Charles Williams / Flickr

Of the six opioid bills introduced to the state legislature this session, five passed and are on Gov. John Hickenlooper's desk. A bi-partisan group of state lawmakers drafted the bills last November to address Colorado's growing opioid epidemic. The bills look at the issue from many sides, including increasing access to behavioral health care providers and medication-assisted treatment, limiting pain pill prescriptions limits and changing how insurance and Medicaid handle opioid dependence medications.

Bente Birkeland / KUNC

Thousands of Colorado teachers converged on the state Capitol Thursday and Friday to demand more funding for public education, higher pay and a more favorable fix to the state’s pension plan for public employees.

“For too many years, Colorado has been chronically underfunding its schools,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, vice president of the Colorado Education Association. “We educators see what that means to our classrooms and our buses and our cafeterias.”

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

You’ve probably heard of AmeriCorps. The national service organization has 300,000 members who work on programs ranging from education programming to disaster relief, like during Hurricane Harvey and the Northern California wildfires. They even build houses and connect veterans to social services.

But in 2017, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) – which administers national service programs like AmeriCorps – did something unusual.

The federal agency hosted a separate funding competition for a specific issue: the opioid epidemic.

Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

A group of teachers stood outside Webber Middle School in Fort Collins before the first bell rang on Monday. They were dressed in red and holding signs with phrases like ‘Education Benefits Everyone’ and ‘My 2nd Job Bought This Sign.’

The teachers were participating in a citywide walk-in to show support for public education.

“We’re not out here to say we need more money because we want to be millionaires, you know,” said Jason Nurton, who teaches reading and an outdoor living class at Webber. “We’re out here saying, ‘give us what we need to do the job.’”

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