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Colorado Edition: Moving West

Luke Runyon
KUNC and Harvest Public Media
An abandoned gas station is one of the last few remaining buildings at Dearfield.

Today on Colorado Edition: we look at the role Fort Carson may play in the federal coronavirus quarantine. Plus, we’ll learn about the history of black Americans moving west after the Civil War. We’ll also explore  how Gov. Polis's promise of free preschool has changed since his campaign days, and hear about a Colorado photographer's journey to the southern border to get to the heart of political divide.

Colorado And The Coronavirus

The global novel coronavirus outbreak is growing in scale, with more than 20,000 cases confirmed worldwide and over 420 total deaths. In the U.S., as of Tuesday, there have been 11 confirmed cases, including six in California.

Last week the government issued federal quarantine orders for all of the nearly 200 U.S. citizens who repatriated to the U.S. Hundreds more Americans are reportedly on their way back as the global outbreak worsens and some of them may wind up at the Fort Carson Army post here in Colorado, changing our state's role in the story. 

KUNC’s Michael de Yoanna joined us to explain.

Last week, we spoke with Rachel Herlihy, the communicable diseases state epidemiologist for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, about the coronavirus. You can find that interview here.

The Legacy Of Black Americans In Colorado

When you think of Colorado’s history before it became a state, you might think of indigenous tribes who were here, or prospectors who came during the Gold Rush hoping to strike it rich. But often overlooked in the state's history is the experience of black Americans who moved to the West following the Civil War. Their influence can still be felt today.

With Black History Month underway, historian Patty Limerick joined us to talk more about the contributions of those influential black Americans who settled here. She heads the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Free Preschool?

When he was on the campaign trail, one of Gov. Jared Polis’ promises was to provide free preschool for any four-year-old whose family wanted it. But that idea has shifted since he was sworn in a little over a year ago. In his State of the State speech last month, Polis touted universal access to preschool, but moved away from the idea of providing it for free.

Ann Schimke, senior reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, joined us to help us understand how the governor has shifted his messaging around universal preschool and why.   

Border Photography  

Immigration is a divisive issue, especially along the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s a subject that touches on politics, economics and security. But in a new exhibit at the Museum of Art Fort Collins, one photographer has put a face to the people living along the wall. KUNC arts reporter Stacy Nick 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.

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 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.