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Colorado Edition: Western Slope voters in new district; Arizona water cutbacks; high country COVID-19; housing for Marshall Fire survivors

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Brittany Peterson
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CC BY-SA 2.0
Main Street in Oak Creek, Colorado.

Redistricting is bringing lots of changes to Colorado. Voters on the Western Slope are joining a new district that is shaking up their political reality. KUNC’s Scott Franz tells us how residents in northwestern Colorado are reacting to their new spot on the congressional map.

Thousands of people who have been displaced by the Marshall Fire are now faced with finding a place to live. That search would be difficult under the best of circumstances, but right now, available housing along the Front Range is in short supply. Seeing a need, two realtors in the Denver metro region started a Facebook group to connect survivors who need a place to stay with people who have one. The group is called Marshall Fire Housing Needs and Availability, and it now has around 2,500 members. We speak with the realtors, Shannon Schliep and Amanda Divito Parle.

The ongoing drought in the Colorado River basin means some will have to use less water, due to a federal mandate starting this month. In Arizona, where cuts will be felt the most, it means a stronger reliance on water stored underground. But it's not a long-term solution. KUNC’s Alex Hager brings us the story.
 
Following a surge of holiday visitors, many of Colorado’s mountain towns are dealing with a surge of COVID-19. Pitkin County announced on Tuesday new cases that brought its incidence rate to one of the highest in the nation. Several mountain counties, including Eagle and Summit, recently reinstated mask mandates amid the omicron surge. On top of the coronavirus, winter weather has led to closed roads and cancelled flights. Jason Blevins, who covers the high country and the outdoors for the Colorado Sun, gives us an update.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and edited by Henry Zimmerman (@kombuchacowboy). Our production team includes Tess Novotny (@tess_novotny). KUNC news director Brian Larson is our executive producer. Web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai.

The mission of Colorado Edition is to deepen understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversation and storytelling. It's available as a podcast on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can hear the show on KUNC, Monday through Friday at 2:30 and at 6:30 p.m.
 
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.

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KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily look at the stories, news, people and issues important to you. It's a window to the communities along the Colorado Rocky Mountains.