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Colorado Edition: Dynamic Environment

Matt Bloom
Firefighters cut down several 100-year-old trees as they were battling the Elk Fire in October 2019.

Today on Colorado Edition: we’ll look ahead to the state caucuses. Plus, what caused the Elk Fire north of Fort Collins. We’ll also learn about Boulder’s new police chief, and get some tips for attending a film festival.

Colorado’s Caucuses

Colorado’s switch to a presidential primary from a caucus system has gotten a lot of attention this year, including here on our show.  But there is still a caucus in our state, and it’s coming up fast. It’s scheduled for this coming Saturday, March 7. Nominations for Colorado's U.S. Senate seat, and other statewide offices, are determined through this process. 

We called up both of our state parties to learn more about how the caucus works. We spoke with Don Ytterberg, senior advisor for Colorado’s Republican Party, and Halisi Vinson, executive director of the Colorado Democratic Party.

And delegates are still being distributed for Colorado’s presidential primary. You can find latest delegate counts through the Colorado Democrats’ website, and from The Colorado Sun.

Elk Fire

Last October, a prescribed burn in Larimer County jumped its boundary and became a wildfire. The Elk Fire, as it’s now known, forced dozens of residents to evacuate their homes.  

No one was injured, but the fire did do some damage on several properties about 40 miles northwest of Fort Collins. And many people are still frustrated by the lack of clear answers around what led to the accident and who is responsible. 

This week, we learned more about what went wrong during that burn. KUNC’s Matt Bloom has been covering a new state review of the Elk Fire incident and joined us to discuss what we can learn from it.

Gang Units

Police departments of almost every major city across the county now employ a gang prevention unit. In Colorado, that includes cities like Denver, Aurora and Colorado Springs.

These officers are charged with reducing gun violence and other crimes perpetuated by gang activity. But experts warn that if these units are not implemented the right way, they can be ineffective or even counterproductive.

For Guns & America, WUNC’s Jason deBruyn reports.

Boulder Police Chief

Boulder is getting a new police chief. And for the first time in the city’s history, the police force will be led by a woman. Maris Herold will assume command in April. Her hire comes after several months of interim management following the retirement of Boulder’s last police chief, Greg Testa, who was a police officer in Boulder for more than three decades. 

Mitchell Byars, a reporter at The Boulder Daily Camera, joined us to discuss the news.

Film Festival Advice

Ahead of the Boulder Film Festival this weekend, we hear from KUNC’s film critic, Howie Movshovitz, about tips for attending a film festival.

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. Colorado Edition gets production help from Rae Solomon.

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.
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