Weekend catch-up: What we learned about poverty relief, and 6 other stories

April 18, 2015

The Earned Income Tax Credit isn't boring, we promise

Audio: CPR’s Megan Verlee explores the EITC
Photo: EITC preparation Madai Hernandez Tax Help Colorado
Americorps volunteer Madai Hernandez meets with a client at Tax Help Colorado's preparation site at the Community College of Aurora's Lowry campus.

Colorado is poised to start offering its own EITC, to compliment the one from the federal government. The federal program is one of the country's biggest that benefits families and poor children. Read more here, and check out our ongoing coverage of children in poverty.

Meet the man prosecuting Aurora theater shooter James Holmes

Audio: CPR’s Ben Markus reports on District Attorney George Brauchler
District Attorney George Brauchler Aurora theater shooting
District Attorney George Brauchler leaves district court after a brief status hearing regarding Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Centennial, Colo. 

Two years ago, District Attorney George Brauchler stepped to the podium in court. To his left sat, James Holmes, the perpetrator of one of the worst mass shootings in American history. Brauchler told the judge,"Justice is death," despite a standing offer from the defense to plead guilty in return for life in prison. Read more. 

Escaping Parkinson's through poetry

Audio: Denver poet, performer Wayne A. Gilbert speaks with CPR’s Ryan Warner
Photo: Parkinson's artist Wayne Gilbert, Reconnect with Your Body dance class
Wayne A. Gilbert, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2005, in a "Reconnect with your Body" dance class at the Apex Community Center in Arvada on April 1, 2015.

When Denver's Wayne Gilbert learned he had Parkinson's Disease in 2005, the first thing he did was write a poem. "When I'm dancing, when I'm making a poem, when I'm acting in a play, I can forget that I have Parkinson's for a little while," Gilbert says. Read more. 

In Aurora, vets are still waiting

Audio: CPR’s John Daley reports on the VA medical center project in Aurora
Chart: Rising costs of VA hospital in Aurora

The under-construction VA hospital in Aurora is expected to be much more expensive now than originally envisioned. It's also taking much longer to complete, which upsets vets like Ralph Bozella. He told his story to CPR's John Daley this week. 

Cities, agriculture face off over water

Audio: CPR’s Grace Hood reports on the state water plan
Photo: State water plan 1 | Farmer Dale Mauch
Dale Mauch stands in the dry ditch of the Fort Lyon Canal on Friday, April 10, 2015. The canal feeds Arkansas River water onto his farm in southeast Colorado, but can quickly fill up with tumbleweeds. “In 10 minutes, it can do this," he said. 

visited him in southeastern Colorado, where he's waging battle with tumbleweeds. 

Meth use is spiking

Audio: CPR’s Ben Markus reports on meth use in Colorado
Photo: Combination of heroin and crystal meth (AP Photo)
A drug addict prepares his fix of "speedball", a combination of heroin and crystal meth, at a street corner near the international border in Tijuana, Mexico in 2009.

In Denver and Aurora, arrests for meth possession are up more than 140 percent since 2010, for a total of nearly 682 combined arrests last year. Over in Colorado Springs, there were 416 possession arrests last year -- double the number in 2010. Read more. 

Denver dance hub keeps spinning

Audio: CPR’s Stephanie Wolf reports on the Denver Turnverein’s 150th anniversary
Photo: Turnverein dance hall, Tango 1, March 29
Michele Delgado, right, helps Rachel Nyberg-Hampton, left, dance the tango with her partner at the Denver Turnverein on Sunday, March 29, 2015.

The Denver Turnverein started in the back of a downtown bakery in 1865. It's now the go-to place in the state for tango lovers and offers ballroom, salsa, country western dance, Lindy Hop and West Coast Swing. Read more. 

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