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Colorado Edition: Be Prepared

Rae Ellen Bichell
Mountain West News Bureau
Attendees at a FASTER Colorado training in Commerce City, Colorado, included six school administrators, three teachers, two bus drivers and coaches, one person each in school security and maintenance.

Today on Colorado Edition: a look at efforts to change how recalls work in the state.  Plus, we'll visit a workshop designed to teach teachers how to safely carry weapons at schools. We also discuss how kindergarten assessments work, and how a report documenting kindergarten readiness can be improved. Finally, we'll turn to the future of work. 

News Of The Day: 

  • Recall Update - Two more Colorado Democrats have survived recall efforts. The groups trying to remove state senators Pete Lee and Brittany Pettersen from office told the Secretary of State they won't be turning in the signatures needed for the recall. The announcement comes less than a week after residents who were trying to recall Governor Jared Polis also failed to gather enough signatures. Backers of the recalls disagree with the legislature's recent passage of new oil and gas reforms and a gun control measure. A recall effort remains underway for State Senate President Leroy Garcia. The deadline for backers to turn in signatures is October 18. 
  • Safe2Tell - Reports to the state's Safe2Tell tipline about issues like suicide, bullying and drugs were up significantly this August compared with August 2018. Students, parents and school staff reported more than 1,500 concerns through the tipline this August. That's a 75 percent increase compared to last year. State data indicates that it's part of a continuing trend. The Colorado Attorney General's office says this increase shows that students are comfortable using Safe2Tell. 
  • Bureau of Land Management Move - Congressional Democrats have been questioning the Trump Administration's decision to move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters from Washington D.C. to Grand Junction. Republican Senator Cory Gardner was one of those who pushed for the move and was questioned on Tuesday by the House Natural Resources Committee. Gardner defended the move, saying it brings BLM employees closer to the land they manage and will contribute to Colorado's economy. Democrats have criticized the move, saying it will make it easy for special interests to demand favors without congressional oversight. 
  • Vesicular Stomatitis - Officials say horses from seven states including Colorado have been banned from participating in an Ohio horse show. The decision was made to protect livestock from contracting Vesicular Stomatitis. Colorado has seen more than 150 cases in Weld, Larimer and other counties. The disease primarily affects horses, but can also infect cattle, swine, sheep and goats. It causes lesions that burst, leaving open wounds. The most common method of transmission is insect bites. The disease has not been found in Ohio. 

Changing Colorado's Recall Process

Credit Henry Zimmerman / KUNC

Over the last few weeks, we've reported on a few different recall efforts around the state, from local officials like the Mayor Pro Tem of Estes Park, to statewide office holders like Governor Jared Polis.

And there is increasing interest at the state capitol in reforming the way recalls work.

That's the subject of an article out today by Jesse Paul from The Colorado Sun. He joins us to discuss what he found. 

Training Teaches How To Safely Arm Teachers

Credit Rae Ellen Bichell / Mountain West News Bureau
Mountain West News Bureau
Trainees practiced shooting from a variety of protected positions.

As kids head back to school, some of their teachers may be packing a lot more than pencils. In many states, it's up to the school districts to decide whether staff can carry concealed weapons -- and what training they have to go through. KUNC's Rae Ellen Bichell followed along with a group at a weekend workshop in Colorado

Kindergarten Readiness

Credit Poudre School District
Poudre School District

In 2016, the State Board of Education voted to put in place a new report on kindergarten assessment results. The report is used each year by policymakers, legislators, and even news outlets. But some critics  of the report say it doesn't contain enough information, especially when the report is being used to make big decisions, like where to allocate funding. 

Ann Schimke, senior reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, joins us to tell us more

The Future of Work

Dina Klancir and Ecko Gardner-Huff
Credit Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Last week, Governor Polis signed an executive order creating the Office of the Future of Work at the Department of Labor and Employment, or CDLE. According to a press release, this office will be a central point for the state's efforts to respond to Colorado's rapidly changing economy and workforce needs. 

KUNC's Stephanie Daniel joins us to discuss. 

Climate Change Drones

Credit Desert Research Institute
Desert Research Institute

From more intense wildfires to prolonged droughts, climate change is impacting the ecology of the American West. And that's got researchers in the region looking at a new way to fight some of these impacts: drones. Noah Glick reports

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

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music this week by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • "Bodytonic" by Partly Sage

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman (@HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. News director Catherine Welch and managing editor Brian Larson 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 Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.