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Colorado Edition: Stand And Strike

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Claire Harbage
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NPR
Connie and Craig French move cattle on their ranch near American Prairie Reserve, a sprawling wildlife sanctuary in northeastern Montana.

Today on Colorado Edition: We'll discuss off-year voter turnout in Colorado with the Secretary of State. Plus, a look at how ranchers and farmers feel about efforts to build the next Yellowstone. We'll also learn about what's next for the Park County teacher strike, and get up to speed on scooters in Fort Collins. 

News of the day:

  • Train Survey - A survey of likely voters along the Front Range finds that 81 percent strongly back building a passenger train with regular service between Fort Collins and Pueblo. Support for the idea falls to about 60 percent if a sales tax is required to pay for the $5 billion dollar project. The survey of 600 voters by Magellan Strategies and RBI Strategies comes as rail officials explore a passenger rail plan for voters in 2020 or 2021. Roughly a quarter of those surveyed expressed total opposition to a sales tax for passenger rail. 
     
  • RTD Operator Shortage - Several light rail routes were cancelled Tuesday in Denver because there weren't enough operators to run them. The cancellations hit during the morning commute on five different lines. And tonight, RTD's board of directors will discuss a plan to temporarily cut more rail and bus service because of the ongoing labor shortage. RTD is not the only organization struggling to find drivers in a tight labor market. RTD has not said which routes will be cut next. A vote on the service reduction could happen early next month. 
     
  • Hot Wheels - Bill Henry's 1954 Chevy Bel Air may become more than just his favorite toy. Henry won the Hot Wheels Legends Tour in Longmont last month. And now his classic car is a finalist to be the next Hot Wheels die-cast figure. The Littleton man is set to compete against 17 other finalists at the automobile industry's annual Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas on November 5. 

Off-Year Voter Turnout

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Stephanie Paige Ogburn
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KUNC

On Monday's show, we brought you an interview with Colorado's Secretary of State, Jena Griswold, about election security. Today, we'll bring you the second part of the interview, which is focused on voter registration and turnout in off-year elections. 

The Next Yellowstone: Part Two

The proposed 3.2 million acre wildlife preserve will be a new kind of national park. One that is free to the public and privately-funded by both small donors and some of the richest people in the world. American Prairie does not plan to give its private lands to the federal government.
Credit Claire Harbage / NPR

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In Montana, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur is stitching together the next Yellowstone. He's purchasing ranches and opening the land to bison, wolves and even grizzly bears. The project is heralded by environmentalists and local tribes. But most ranchers and farmers oppose it. With support form the Pulitzer Center, Nate Hegyi has more for KUNC. 

Park County Teachers Continue Strike

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File photo/Stephanie Paige Ogburn
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KUNC

We're now in the second week of a teacher strike in Park County and even though students are back in the classroom, there's no sign of resolution on the horizon.

Plus, a legislative interim committee meets today to talk school finance legislation. What could it mean for school funding going forward?

Erica Meltzer, Bureau Chief at Chalkbeat Colorado, joins  us.

Electric Scooters Roll Into Fort Collins

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PHILLIP PESSAR / FLICKR CC BY 2.0

Dockless electric scooters are coming to Fort Collins. The 12-month pilot program, led by the city and Colorado State University, begins on Wednesday. 

Colorado Edition's Lily Tyson gets us up to speed. 

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:

  • "Bling Bong" by Ronnie Reverb 
  • "Highway 430" by Truck Stop 
  • "Rabbit Hole" by Love and Weasel

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman @HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital manager Ashley Jefcoat. 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.

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Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.