KUNC's Colorado Edition: Water Issues? Try Beavers Or Wind

Jun 1, 2018

On this week's Colorado Edition, we have some inspiring stories: injured soldiers finding strength and inspiration in the Warrior Games, police taking a new approach to help people, a family finding a new future for their farm in wind energy and beavers doing the things they do.

As Colorado's population continues to grow, some law enforcement agencies don't have the resources to hire more officers — like in Longmont. The city is now home to more than 93,000 people, but the number of police officers haven't kept up with its booming population. Stephanie Daniel went on a ride-along to see how new state grants are giving the Longmont PD a new way to help people.

Then, we look at a population that's doing the opposite of growing: beavers. At one point, hundreds of millions of beavers populated North America. But as settlers moved West, the dam builders were trapped to near extinction. Scientists say the loss of beavers caused immeasurable damage to mountain ecosystem. But now, as Luke Runyon reports, lots of people are ready to bring the beaver back.

We go from beaver-made wetlands to some really dry land. The eastern plains of Colorado isn't an easy place to farm. Rae Ellen Bichell brings the story of one Colorado family that's stuck it out for four generations. Now, they've found a new crop that could keep the farm going for a few more: wind.

Michael de Yoanna brings us a story on the Warrior Games, the military's version of the Paralympics. More than 52,000 troops have been injured during the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere since 2001. Hundreds of those soldiers compete in the Warrior Games, including Israel del Toro, a current Air Force instructor who embodies his personal motto: never effing quit.

Finally, we hear from KUNC film critic Howie Movshovitz, who teaches film and television at CU Denver. Paul Schrader's new film, "First Reformed," is ostensibly about two churches and a minister, but Howie says you need to understand Schrader to get the most out of the film.

Our intro music is "Remember Me" by Colorado musician Kalatana. Our outro is "Good Grief" by Ryan Little. Other music this week:

  • "Follow The Towers To The Moon" and "By the Stillness of the Lake" by Forest Robots
  • "Never Forget" by Peterloo Massacre
  • "Oak Island" by Fog Lake

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a weekly look at the top stories from our newsroom. It's available every Friday on our website, as well as on iTunes , Google Play , Stitcher or wherever (RSS) you get your podcasts. You can also hear it over the air, at 9 p.m. on KUNC.