Douglas County

Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Earlier this spring, police in Fort Collins seized 420 marijauna plants (yes, 420) that had been illegally grown inside area homes. Also recovered: processed weed, weed concentrate, guns and approximately $110,000 in cash.  

It’s part of what state and federal officials are calling the largest illegal marijuana market Colorado has even seen. It’s a puzzling situation considering that back in 2012, proponents of Amendment 64 promised a regulated market would do away with the illegal dealers and drug cartels. 

Rae Ellen Bichell / Mountain West News Bureau

In counties across the U.S. voters might notice something way down at the bottom of their ballots: the candidates for county coroner. Coroners are in charge of investigating violent and suspicious deaths, and they’re up for reelection every four years. But should we be electing them at all?

Christian Murdock / AP

Douglas County now has some additional support to fight wildfires: a converted Boeing 747-400 airplane. County commissioners have approved a contract with Global SuperTanker, allowing emergency officials to call on the large aircraft to dump water or retardant on out-of-control flames. Emergency manager Tim Johnson told the commissioners he wants to be prepared when large blazes erupt.

Cara Pallone / KOTO

Colorado is, overall, one of the healthiest states in the country – but things are starting to change as the population grows and ages. One of the unintended side effects is a widening disparity between the healthiest and least healthy counties.

New data indicates disparities across geographic regions; with people living in the mountain communities generally ranking as the healthiest in Colorado. In part due to the things that attract people to the state to begin with.

"The amount of sunshine, the world class skiing, hiking, fly fishing, the ability to go right outside your backyard and experience nature," said Democratic Summit County commissioner Dan Gibbs.

County Health Rankings / Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

People in Northern Colorado counties are healthier than in most other parts of the state.

That's the finding of an annual report which ranked Colorado’s 64 counties based on factors like high school graduation rates, tobacco use, access to healthy food as well as teen births and obesity. Broomfield County came in second and Boulder County ranked third. Larimer rose to 10th place from their 2014 position, while Weld County ranked 35th.

Douglas County ranked No. 1 in the health factors analysis, just as it was in the most recent Kids Count report. Denver was toward the bottom at 48th.

Grace Hood / KUNC

Since 2005, the Federal Railroad Administration has required conductors to sound their horns for at least 15 seconds before all public rail crossings. Since then accidents and deaths have decreased 20 percent nationwide.

But with progress comes complaints — lots of them for the city of Fort Collins.

Vicki Watkins / Flickr - Creative Commons

In 2012, 224,000 Colorado children lived in poverty. That’s one out of every six in the state, according to the annual Kids Count report.

Colorado also has the eighth fastest growing child population in the country.

Douglas County

The enormous task of evacuating residents from natural disasters like wildfires typically falls to county officials and residents. However, that varies from county to county.

Northeastern Colorado is fast becoming the site of one of the country’s next big oil booms as new technologies surrounding hydraulic fracturing are allowing companies to get a piece of the Niobrara Shale.  Previously deemed too expensive to drill, the Niobrara formation that extends from beneath Denver all the way to western Nebraska is thought to hold more than a billion barrels of oil.  The only trouble is much of the land atop it is home to one of the country’s fastest growing regions.