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Colorado Edition: On Paper

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage

Today on Colorado Edition: We explore the year in recalls across our state, and what the impact might be for lawmakers in the coming year. We also check in on Aspen's move to prohibit carrying a gun into local government buildings. Plus, we look at a recent decision by state health officials to cut funding to HIV testing and prevention, and learn about a unique nativity scene in Longmont.

News Of The Day:

  • FDA On CBD - The Food and Drug Administration recently sent warning letters to 15 companies selling CBD products, including one in Colorado, saying the products violate federal regulations. CBD comes from the cannabis plant and is becoming popular in healthcare products. It doesn’t get someone high, but some say it helps with things like pain, anxiety, and other ailments. The FDA cited Infinite CBD in Littleton for selling unapproved new drugs, making unsupported health claims, and marketing products to pets and children. The companies have just over two weeks to respond to the FDA explaining how they will correct the violations. If they don’t, they could face legal action, including product seizure. 

  • Aurora Mayoral Race - Former Congressman Mike Coffman and city council members were being sworn in today in Aurora, Colorado’s third largest city. Sentinel Colorado reports the Republican narrowly won the recent election to be the city’s next mayor. Coffman defeated Omar Montgomery, president of Aurora’s NAACP chapter.
  • School Report - More than half of Denver’s students of color attended a charter or innovation school last year. While 65% of white students went to a traditional district-run school. This is according to a new report from A+ Colorado. The non-profit educational think tank looked at the impact of Denver Public Schools’ different school models: charter, traditional and innovation schools. The report also examined student scores from this year’s statewide math test. White students did better in traditional and innovation schools, while black students performed better in charter schools. LatinX students enrolled in traditional and charter schools had higher scores than those in innovation schools.
  • Yampa River Permits - People who want to raft a stretch of the Yampa River next summer can now apply for the highly coveted permit. The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports the part of the Yampa that goes through Dinosaur National Monument is the largest unregulated tributary remaining in the Colorado River. The National Park Service got more than 10,000 applications for the 300 private permits available last year. The application period closes on January 31st, 2020. The names then go into a lottery, and the winners are usually announced on Valentine’s Day. 

The Year In Colorado Recalls

Credit Scott Franz / KUNC

Over the summer of 2019, Republicans around the state launched six recall attempts against Colorado democrats, none of which were successful. Governor Jared Polis was the top target, as well as three state senators and two state representatives. Those calling for recalls pointed to legislators' support for new oil and gas regulations, gun control and the national popular vote as reasons for targeting them. But now that these attempts have failed, what will this mean for lawmakers going into the next legislative session, which begins in January? To explore that question further, we spoke with KUNC’s Scott Franz.

Deadly Weapons Ban In Aspen

Credit Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

This week, Aspen, Colorado joins the many cities throughout the nation that ban carrying guns inside government buildings. The idea is to keep staff and members of the public safe. But opponents say so-called “gun-free zones” are a perfect target. For KUNC, Alycin Bektesh has more from Aspen, where the city is trying to walk the line between public access and public safety. And a warning for listeners: this story includes the sounds of gunshots.

HIV Funding Cuts

Credit Images_of_Money / Flickr-Creative Commons
Flickr-Creative Commons

Sunday was World AIDS Day. But earlier this month, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced it would be drastically cutting funding for HIV testing and prevention care. Jennifer Brown reported on the reasons behind the funding slash for the Colorado Sun, and joined us to take us deeper into the story. You can find her reporting here.

A Unique Nativity Scene In Longmont

The nearly completed nativity scene in the "Nacimiento" installation at the Firehouse Art Center in Loveland.
Credit Firehouse Art Center

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Nativity scenes come in many shapes and sizes, from more traditional depictions of the virgin birth to abstract displays. KUNC’s Stacy Nick has the story of a unique project going up in Longmont and how it was inspired by a long-standing family bond.

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:

  • “Homegrown” by The Pine Barrens
  • "Even Dreams of Beaches" by Resolute
  • "Peacoat" by Studio J
  • "Great Is The Contessa" by The Contessa

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. 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.