KUNC's Colorado Edition: You Can Survive

Jul 13, 2018

On this week's Colorado Edition, we take a look at a serious issue: suicide. Our reporters bring you stories from the call center of the Colorado Crisis Line and a Vietnam veteran and survivor in Longmont.

First, we have updates on the wildfires burning across the state. In total, more than 180,000 acres of land has burned so far this year. The massive Spring Creek Fire in Costilla and Huerfano counties is nearly 108,000 acres in size and is 77 percent contained.

One of the world's biggest fire-fighting aircraft is based in Colorado but it hasn't been used to fight fires here yet. Rae Ellen Bichell reports on the Spirit of John Muir, a supertanker than can dump almost 20,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in 6 seconds, and on the reason for the holdup.

Suicides among veterans and military service members occur at a significantly higher rate than the rest of the country. As Michael de Yoanna reports, twenty veterans and other service members commit suicide each day. If that trend continues, by the end of this year 100,000 will have taken their own lives since numbers were first recorded in 2005. Michael speaks with a Vietnam veteran in Longmont who has made it his mission to help struggling veterans.

If you or someone who know is struggling, one place to turn for help is the Colorado Crisis Line. You can call at 844-493-8255 or text "TALK" to 38255 at any time to speak with someone. Demand for the service has quintupled since the line opened, and as Matt Bloom reports, changes are being put in place to help it keep up.

Then, Stephanie Daniel brings us a look at what it's really like to live and work as an educator in rural Colorado. The pay is lower and there are fewer amenities in smaller communities, but there are teachers who love it. Stephanie spoke with a few of them in the last part of her series on the teacher shortage.

This summer, reporters from the Mountain West News Bureau are taking you across some of their favorite public lands in the West. This week, Rae takes us canyoneering at the very edge - literally - of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Howie Movshovitz, who teachers film and television at CU Denver, wraps us up this week with his review of Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist, a documentary of British clothing designer Vivienne Westwood. He says the film isn't just about punk — it may be punk itself.

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

  • "Gates Open" by J. Surak
  • "The Glow" by Tri-Tachyon
  • "By the Stillness of the Lake" by Forest Robots
  • "Like Swimming" by Broke for Free
  • "Bling Bong" by Robbie Reverb

This episode is hosted and procuded by Erin O'Toole and Ashley Jefcoat, who also manages digital. Karlie Huckels also produced this episode. Editor Brian Larson contributed.

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.