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Colorado Edition: Are You Colo-Ready For Some News?

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Colorado Edition is back, bringing you news from around the state. 

Today, we'll discuss a proposed development in Vail and how libraries can help news deserts. We'll also learn about tourism to Colorado, and take a tour of the State Capitol. 

News of the day: 

  • Carcinogens - A building did not cause cancer in staff at Metropolitan State University of Denver. That’s according to an independent health investigation, which found no hazardous materials in the West classroom building. Four employees, who worked in the same office in the building, were diagnosed with three different types of cancer. MSU is holding a town hall meeting on Monday to inform the community of the complicated investigation and other questions. The fall semester begins on Aug. 19.
  • Air Quality - Due to an increasing number of high ozone days, the Environmental Protection Agency is reclassifying the air above the northern Front Range. The EPA will classify the area as a "serious" violator of federal standards, down from moderate. That means the state will have to develop a plan to clean it up. The EPA will accept public comment on the Front Range's new rating starting this week and hold a formal hearing in Denver in September. 
  • Meteor Showers - One of the planet's largest meteor showers is forecast to peak late on Monday, Aug. 12. The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most beloved in the Northern Hemisphere because it happens during warm summer nights. In Colorado, the shooting stars should occur most frequently in the northeastern sky. The best time for viewing will be early Tuesday morning, between midnight and sunrise.

Vail Development Project 

Credit Wikimedia Commons
Vail Ski Resort.

Vail, Colorado, in Eagle County is well-known by locals and visitors for its ski resort. Vail is also dealing with an issue that is all too common along the Front Range: a shortage of housing, especially housing that would be considered affordable or attainable.

A new development planned for East Vail would partially help solve this. But if it moves forward, it would also impact the habitat of bighorn sheep in the town.

We spoke with John LaConte, a reporter for The Vail Daily and a resident of Vail, about this issue.

The planning and environmental commission is meeting Monday afternoon. Laconte says a team of wildlife biologists hired by the town of Vail has suggestions for how to best mitigate the impact, but their top recommendation is to find another location for the development.

How Libraries Can Help Local Journalism

Credit Rae Ellen Bichell / Mountain West News Bureau
Mountain West News Bureau
"That's how dictators get started," reads a quote warning of the perils of a quashed press. It's one of many flanking the Longmont Observer office where Scott Converse works.

Many parts of the Mountain West are turning into news deserts. More than 20 counties have no local newspaper – and the ones that do are struggling. Research suggests news deserts contribute to low voter turnout and increasing partisanship. So, what can be done? As KUNC's Rae Ellen Bichell reports, some in the city of Longmont think they've got the solution.

Tourism To The State Increased In 2018

Credit Rocky Mountain National Park

On Thursday, the Colorado Tourism Office released data from 2018 that shows their campaign for sustainable tourism in the state is paying off. Jason Blevins from The Colorado Sun joined us to discuss the campaign and the tourism numbers

Colorado Statehouse Tour


Credit Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage
Colorado state Capitol tour guide Ellen Stanton poses next to a model of the building. Before she moved to Colorado, Stanton served as a tour guide at Mount Vernon and the U.S. Capitol.

And while many tourists in the state come for the great outdoors, there are plenty of fascinating indoor attractions too — like the state Capitol.

Colorado's Capitol building has seen its share of political drama over the years. But beyond the filibusters, press conferences and late-night debates, its a building full of relics and hidden stories. KUNC's Scott Franz, who works in the basement, recently tagged along with a tour guide who was willing to share some of the building's biggest secrets.

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

Our theme music was composed by Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs of the Colorado band The Burroughs. Other music this week by Blue Dot Sessions

  • "Homegrown" by The Pine Barrens
  • "Plum King" by Molerider
  • "Take A Tiny Train" by Ray Catcher

This episode was hosted and produced by Erin O'Toole and Henry Zimmerman, and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. News director Catherine Welch, managing editor Brian Larson and reporters Matt Bloom and Stephanie Daniels contributed to this episode. 

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, beginning Sept. 2, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on KUNC. 

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Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.