Ben Markus

Ben Markus is a business reporter for Colorado Public Radio. He has created dozens of databases to track the important drivers that define the Colorado economy and covers the topics and trends that make up Colorado’s economy.

Education:
Bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in English, University of California at Davis.

Professional background:
Ben joined Colorado Public Radio in April 2011 as a general assignment reporter.
Ben was named business reporter in 2017. He’s shaped CPR’s business and economics coverage creating dozens of databases to track the important drivers that define the Colorado economy. Ben covers the topics and trends that make up Colorado’s economy – from the fast-growing Front Range to the state’s more traditional economic contributors.

Ben came to CPR after spending three years at Hawaii Public Radio where he produced award-winning coverage on a range of subjects, including health care, technology and education. He learned the ins and outs of public radio from his first job at Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, California. Following that, he served as a reporter and producer at KUAC-FM/Alaska One in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Awards:
In 2010, Ben won the top prize for general news and feature reporting in the Hawaii Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He also served as senior fellow in NPR’s Economic Training Project.

Why I became a journalist:
I first realized I wanted to be a journalist after watching the movie “All The Presidents Men.” It was empowering to know that good journalism—exposing the truth—can shake the pillars of American society. I think members of the press still occupy a unique and revered role in our society as members of the fourth estate. I’m proud to call myself a journalist, and I take the job seriously.

Why I got into radio:
I came to radio because I wanted to tell stories that touched people’s lives, the way NPR so often touches mine. Like many listeners, I was glued to my radio following 9/11. Melissa Block’s reporting at that time was part of what inspired me to become a reporter.

How I ended up at CPR:
After living the island life in Hawaii for three years, I was ready to make a change. CPR stuck out to me because of the news team’s commitment to local issues, the state-of-the-art facilities, and the fact that there is a lot of support for CPR in the community. It was an added bonus that Colorado offers a lot of options for the leisure activities my wife and I enjoy, including traveling, listening to live music and attending sporting events. Denver seemed like an ideal place for us, and I’m really happy to being a part of CPR’s bright future.

  • Some of Colorado’s largest sawmills are on the brink of collapse and hundreds of jobs hang in the balance.  Mill operators say they are stymied by bad weather and unaffordable contracts.  Sawmills are a critical piece of forest management, especially with millions of beetle-killed trees that need to be cleared.  Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus

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  • Michael Hancock will be the 45th mayor of Denver.  The two term city councilman beat former State Senator Chris Romer easily last night to take the city’s top job.  Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus reports.  A campaign that lasted more than a year was over quickly last night.  Moments after the first batch of votes

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  • Colorado is trying to figure out how millions of acres of roadless forest land should be protected.  And officials are close to finalizing a plan.  Yesterday was the last day to submit public comments to the U-S Forest Service on the so-called Colorado Roadless Rule.  The proposal has essentially taken about a decade to develop

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  • The good news is foreclosures on the Front Range are down.  The news isn’t so good in the western part of the state though, where foreclosures are still at their peak.  To make matters worse there are hardly any foreclosure counselors in the mountains or on the Western Slope.  Counselors can help homeowners navigate the

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  • Daily deal websites like Groupon are all the rage.  The Chicago-based company has spawned hordes of copycats across the country.  The basic concept is that Groupon negotiates with businesses for big discounts on food, hotel rooms and sporting events — sometimes up to 90 percent off.  In return, businesses get an influx of new customers. 

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  • The arrest of a man at a Garfield County fair has immigrant rights groups up in arms.  The local sheriff says he was cracking down on gangs but there’s little evidence that the man was in a gang.  And now he may be deported, separating him from his family.  Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus reports.  

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  • One Front Range city seems unfazed by the recession.  The small town of Louisville — near Boulder — is booming.  Businesses are filling downtown storefronts, housing prices are up, and restaurants are thriving.  Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus has more on what’s going on in Louisville.
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  • What’s the possibility of a big, deadly tornado in Colorado? We couldn’t help but wonder with all the twisters that’ve hit the Midwest, South and even the Northeast. Mike Nelson, chief meteorologist for 7 News in Denver and author of the “Colorado Weather Almanac” joins host Ryan Warner to talk about tornadoes in Colorado.
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  • Colorado doesn’t have a nuclear power plant. But a Pueblo attorney wants to change that. He’s proposed an energy park with a nuclear power plant as the centerpiece. Now the Fukushima meltdown in Japan may have galvanized community opposition against it. Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus reports.
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  •  Denver voters will soon choose their new mayor. Candidates Michael Hancock and Chris Romer are both Democrats…but differ in style and upbringing.  CPR’s Ben Markus starts our profiles with Michael Hancock…a relative newcomer to politics with a compelling life story.
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  •  Denver elects a new mayor in a week.. The race pits two politicians who differ more in style than substance.  Both are Democrats, but their backgrounds couldn’t be more different.  Councilman Michael Hancock grew up amidst poverty and tragedy.
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  • Colorado has the nation’s toughest restrictions on state taxing and spending.  And now a suit in federal court says that may violate the U.S. Constitution.  Three dozen current and former elected officials from across the political spectrum are asking the court to overturn TABOR–the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
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  • Environmental groups are taking a novel approach to fighting coal mines.  They’re asking the federal government to examine the impact–not just of the mining operations but also the coal as it’s burned in far off power plants.  This tactic is being tested against an expansion of the Elk Creek mine in the small western slope

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  • Colorado ranks in the top ten nationwide for foreclosures.  But as Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus reports, the quarterly numbers from the State Division of Housing offer new hope. Foreclosure fillings fell last quarter by 27%.  Ryan McMaken is the chief economist at the Colorado Division of Housing.
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  • Officials unveiled the details of a unprecedented water deal. The agreement took nearly five years to negotiate. In part, Denver Water will address environmental damage to mountain rivers and streams—committing millions of dollars.
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  • There’s enough oil beneath Western Colorado and across the border into Utah and Wyoming to dwarf Saudi Arabia. The trick is, it’s locked in rock, and so-called oil shale isn’t even liquid yet. Some companies are working on ways to profitably turn it into a source of energy.
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