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KUNC's Colorado Edition: Where Did You Come From, Where'd The Deer Go?

Ryan Hagerty
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In this week's Colorado Edition, we untangle the origins and spread of a mysterious disease affecting deer populations in the Mountain West and around the world. We also take a trip down the challenging road to cutting carbon emissions and catch up on what state lawmakers are scrambling to get over the finish line in the last weeks of the legislative session.

There are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the young Florida woman who caused alarm and hundreds of school closures leading up to last week's 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. Among them is how the 18-year-old could legally purchase a gun on the same day she arrived in Colorado. Guns & America reporter Leigh Paterson sat down with Kyra Buckley to talk through some answers to that question.

Colorado lawmakers are running out of time to pass more than 300 bills before the end of the legislative session on May 3. About 20 of them are bills aimed at improving health care and lowering insurance costs. Scott Franz has more from the Capitol.

Two words are causing quite a stir in Colorado's energy industry right now: zero carbon. Electric utilities that serve Denver, Fort Collins and other communities have pledged in the coming decades to shed coal and natural gas in favor of cleaner sources, like wind and solar. But, as Matt Bloom reports, the road ahead won't be easy.

A fatal disease is affecting deer, elk and moose all across the country. It starts with weight loss and ends with stumbling and drooling as the infected animal's brain tissue deteriorates. It's bad for them – and it could be bad for us. From the Mountain West News Bureau, Rae Ellen Bichell has been exploring chronic wasting disease, starting with this question: What exactly is it, and where did it come from?

Once upon a time, many Americans went to the movies three times a week to be mesmerized by the dazzling light bouncing off huge screens. KUNC film critic Howie Movshovitz teaches film and television at CU-Denver, and he believes we're losing too much as our screens grow smaller.

In the headlines:

  • State lawmakers are dropping an effort to approve a paid family leave program this year. Instead, the Democratic sponsors want to create a task force to study the issue and make recommendations next session.
  • Taxes on cigarettes, e-cigs and other nicotine products could go up significantly in Colorado. A bill would ask voters to decide whether to raise the tax on a pack of cigarettes from $0.84 to $2.59. The measure would also tax nicotine vaping products. Gov. Polis says the measure will help fight a youth vaping crisis.
  • The sole finalist for the University of Colorado system president spent the week touring the college’s four campuses.  Mark Kennedy faces criticism over his conservative voting record in Congress, as well as budget cuts made as president of the University of North Dakota.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our intro music is "Remember Me" by Colorado musician Kalatana. The midshow break is "Bling Bong" by Robbie Reverb. Other music this week by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • "Lamplist"
  • "Thirteens"
  • "Cocoon Transit"
  • "Lamb Drop"
  • "Cottonwoods"
  • "Tripoli"

This episode was hosted and produced by assistant news director Erin O'Toole and Karlie Huckels. Digital editor Jackie Hai handled the web. News director Catherine Welch and managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

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 PlayStitcher or wherever (RSS) you get your podcasts. You can hear it on the air every Sunday at 9 p.m. on KUNC.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.