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Colorado Edition: Nebraska's water claims; fentanyl testing in the West; restaurant industry mentor program

River water flows over rocks, surrounded by green foliage.
Luke Runyon
Headwaters of the South Platte River near Bailey, Colorado.

The South Platte River runs through Eastern Colorado and into Nebraska, providing water for farms, cities and hydropower along the way. But now, Nebraska is staking a claim to more water from the river. KUNC’s Alex Hager has been following this story and joins us to explain.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Drugs laced with fentanyl are driving overdose deaths across the region and in Colorado. There are ways to test for it, but in some cases, that’s illegal, too. The Mountain West News Bureau's Madelyn Beck has more for Colorado Edition.

According to a report last year from the Colorado Restaurant Association, nearly 77,000 restaurant workers lost their jobs during the pandemic, and as much as 40% of the state’s restaurants are in danger of closing. An apprenticeship program in four states, including Colorado, is helping connect young people with restaurant jobs. To learn more about the Restaurant Youth Registered Apprenticeship program, we’re joined by Daniella Fernandez, a recent high school graduate and apprentice at Chook Charcoal Chicken, a restaurant with three locations around the Denver metro area, and Elizabeth Nicholson, Chook’s chief operating officer.

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.

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.