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Colorado Edition: No Free Lunch

Residents evacuate from Estes Park on Thursday, Oct. 22.
Residents evacuate from Estes Park as the East Troublesome Fire approached on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Today on Colorado Edition: we’ll hear from a local business owner about the impact of the recent wildfires on her restaurant. Plus, we’ll get a look at how COVID-19 spreads in schools, talk with the state forester about forest management and the wildfires, and hear a KUNC reporter’s experience curing his ballot.

Local Restaurant Owner Reflects On Fires Amidst Pandemic

Snow has brought much-needed relief for communities affected by wildfires in our state. Residents of Grand Lake were given the go-ahead to return home on Monday afternoon. And, in Estes Park, most mandatory evacuation orders have been downgraded to voluntary for the time being.

We hear from one Estes Park resident, who is also a business owner, about the challenges she’s faced this year. Melissa Strong is co-owner of the restaurant Bird & Jim.

How Does COVID-19 Spread In Schools?

Matt Barnum is a national reporter for Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization that covers education. He recently published an article summarizing what we now know and we still don’t know about the spread of COVID-19 in schools. He joined us to explain what he found.

Colorado State Forester On Forest Management And Wildfires

This season truly has been record-breaking in terms of the size of wildfires and the acres burned in Colorado.

Although two of the largest fires our state has ever seen, Cameron Peak and East Troublesome, continue to burn, we’re going to take this opportunity to look ahead at what we can learn from this season, and what is being done to prevent years like this one going forward.

Mike Lester, the state forester and director of the Colorado State Forest Service, joined us to talk about it.

Curing A Ballot

We're less than a week away from Election Day and millions of Colorado voters have already turned in their ballots.

Since Colorado became an all-mail ballot state, a small fraction of ballots are rejected each election because of identity verification issues. That usually accounts for less than 1% of the total ballots cast in a general election.

On Tuesday, KUNC's Adam Rayes learned that his ballot was rejected because election judges couldn't verify his signature. So, he called the number on his rejection notification to try and get it fixed, and shares with us what happened.

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 in the show by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • “Astrisx" by Bodytonic

Colorado Edition is hosted by Matt Bloom and Henry Zimmerman, and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. KUNC news director Brian Larson is our executive producer. We get 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 iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m., with a rebroadcast of the previous evening's show Tuesday through Friday at 8:30 a.m.

Related Content
  • Today on Colorado Edition: We get a glimpse at how recent wildfires are impacting local school districts, and we’ll hear about a new podcast focused on the sage grouse, a bird that lives in the sage brush. And ahead of Día de Muertos, we’ll speak to an artist about a community ofrenda they created in Denver. We’ll also learn about a local theater in northern Colorado that may or may not be known for ghosts.
  • Today on Colorado Edition: we get an update on some of the wildfire activity in our state. We also look at where water and fire meet in the West, learn about a new state eviction moratorium, and hear about a political survey of Colorado.
  • Today on Colorado Edition: We learn about the state’s plan to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available. We’ll also travel to Wyoming to learn about invasive plants and how they play into the threat of wildfires. Plus, we’ll take an investigative look at why the state is paying journalists to write stories about tourism, and we’ll get a better understanding of how the state used tax incentives to lure businesses to Colorado.