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Colorado Edition: Recovery residences; tribal home access to drinking water; Arizona water cutbacks; Little Rock Nine

Little Rock Nine Anniversary
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In this Sept. 25, 1957, file photo, nine African American students enter Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., escorted by troops of the 101st Airborne Division. (AP Photo/File)

An estimated 400,000 Coloradans are in recovery for substance-use disorders. In 2019, the state released a five-year plan to help people get and stay sober. A key aspect of the plan is the use of "recovery residences." KUNC’s Stephanie Daniel tells us about the growing number of these homes, and takes us into one of them, where residents live in a substance-free environment.

In the Southwest and across the country, almost half of tribal homes don’t have steady access to clean drinking water. The Colorado River basin is home to many of those, where families depend on bottled water, trucked in from faraway cities. Even in the few communities that have seen substantive improvements, the road to getting clean water is paved with hurdles – some of which go back to the earliest days of how water in the Colorado River basin has been managed. KUNC’s Alex Hager has the story.

The ongoing drought in the Colorado River basin means some are being forced to use less water for the first time ever, thanks to a new federal mandate that’s in effect this year. In Arizona, where the cuts will be felt the most, it means a stronger reliance on water stored underground. But as Alex Hager explains, it's not a long-term solution.

In 1957, three years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregated schools unconstitutional, a group of nine African American students integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. They were met with a mob of angry white segregationists, who disrupted the students’ attempts to attend class for several days, ultimately requiring the presence of federal troops to get them into school for a full day.

One of the students was Dr. Melba Patillo Beals, who went on to become a successful journalist and college educator. She wrote about her experience as part of the Little Rock Nine in her memoir, “Warriors Don’t Cry.” Last year, she spoke to the Fort Collins Rotary Club about her memoir for Black History Month. We listen back to Colorado Edition's Henry Zimmerman’s conversation with Dr. Patillo Beals about her life, the age of misinformation, and how youth activism has evolved in the U.S.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and edited by Henry Zimmerman (@kombuchacowboy). Our production team includes Tess Novotny (@tess_novotny). KUNC interim news director Sean Corcoran 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.