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Colorado Edition: Performed, Not Read

Scott Franz
Capitol Coverage
Despite a flurry of new businesses opening in Naturita, there are several vacant buildings for sale on the main street.

Today on Colorado Edition: We get the details on the Woodward-Hexcel merger and speak with Wilma J. Webb, who brought Martin Luther King Jr. Day to Colorado. We'll also hear about the future of communities connected to the coal industry, and hear a cowboy poet perform his poetry.

Woodward-Hexcel Merger

On Sunday, Woodward — an aircraft engine designer and manufacturer, and the third largest employer in Fort Collins — announced that it would merge with the Connecticut-based company Hexcel, an aerospace and wind turbine materials manufacturer.

Dan Mika has been following the merger for BizWest and joined us now to explain what this will mean for our area.

The Woman Who Brought MLK Jr. Day To Colorado

Credit Stephanie Daniel / KUNC
Wilma Webb is responsible for introducing Martin Luther King Jr. Day to Colorado. She served six terms in Colorado's House of Representatives, and is the former first lady of Denver.

Next Monday is Martin Luther King Day Jr. Day. Although the federal holiday is an annual tradition across the country, it wasn’t always that way. It took several attempts to get King honored in Colorado and the person responsible for that is Wilma Webb. She served in Colorado’s House of Representatives for six terms. She's also the former first lady of Denver. Her husband, Wellington Webb, was the city’s mayor from 1991 to 2003.

KUNC’s Stephanie Daniel spoke to Webb about her work in Colorado politics, and why she brought Martin Luther King Jr. Day to our state.  

There will be events celebarating Martin Luther King Jr. Day across Colorado on Monday, including the Marade in Denver, and events in Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland. National Parks will also have free admission on Monday

Naturita & Nucla After Coal

Credit Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage
Paul Koski surveys the landscape from a new trail he helped to build near Nucla. Koski thinks more trails will help to lure more families to the area known as the West End.

Yesterday, we told you about the town of Hayden and how it’s preparing for the loss of coal mining jobs and its power plant over the next decade. Today, we travel to Nucla and Naturita. The small towns in southwestern Colorado have been impacted heavily by the declining coal industry. 

As KUNC’s Scott Franz reports – residents in the area are looking to recreation as a way to reinvent their communities.

Cowboy Poetry

Credit Stephanie Daniel / KUNC
Floyd Beard, a cowboy poet from Kim, Colorado.

This weekend, poets from around the nation will meet at the 31st annual Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering, held in Golden. When we heard about this event, we had to know more. What is cowboy poetry? And what does a gathering of cowboy poets look like?

KUNC’s Stephanie Daniel spoke to Colorado cowboy poet Floyd Beard in Golden Wednesday morning to learn more.

The 31st annual Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering begins Thursday at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, and it runs through Sunday. You can find more information about the gathering here

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:

  • “When in the West” by Landsman Duets
  • "Wingspan" by Bayou Birds
  • "Waltz for Zacaria" by Cholate

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.