Megan Verlee is an editor with Colorado Public Radio. She joined CPR in 2008 and has worked as a general assignment reporter and legislative reporter.

Professional background:
Megan Verlee joined Colorado Public Radio in the spring of 2008, just in time to report on Colorado’s important role in the presidential election. As the station’s general assignment reporter she covered everything from conservation programs on the eastern plains to natural gas development on the Western Slope.

Before coming to CPR, Megan spent several years reporting for public radio station WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina. She got her professional start at NPR, editing and producing for “Morning Edition” and “Talk of the Nation.” Her work has appeared on numerous national radio programs and in several magazines.

Education:
Bachelor’s degree in sociology, Columbia University.

Awards:
Since joining CPR, Megan has won a number of awards, including first place from the Colorado Broadcasters Association for the “Biography of a Bill” series and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Use of Sound in the 2012 “Getting Hands on at Colorado Gators.” She also received an award from the Associated Press for use of sound in a story about people raising livestock in urban areas.

In 2013, Megan’s story about Fairplay’s world championship pack burro racing took home a PRNDI Award for Best Nationally Edited Soft Feature, and she also participated in the State Integrity Investigation, which won a 2013 national Edward R. Murrow Award for Network Radio Investigative Reporting.

Prior to joining CPR, Megan received six regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for her work at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Q & A

Why did you become a journalist?
I took my first radio class freshman year of high school and was hooked. For one assignment I had to interview other students about their experiences with the school. We had just been through Rodney King and O.J. Simpson, and in my angry, highly divided urban school, students of different races did not talk to each other. But when I had a microphone in my hand, everyone would talk to me. In two weeks of interviews I learned things about life in my school I never would have otherwise. I knew then I always wanted to have that power to ask questions, and the privilege to hear people’s answers.

How did you get into radio?
It’s always been radio for me. I’ve done some magazine work in recent years for the fun of it, but really, I’m crazy about sound; it engages your imagination in ways I don’t think either print or video can.

How did you end up at CPR?
Both my parents are from Colorado and so even though I was raised in California, I’ve long thought of the state as home. Reporting’s what I’ve always wanted to do and Colorado’s where I’ve always wanted to live. It just took a while for the job and the geography to align.

  • Everyone at the state capitol seems to agree that the budget will dominate the next legislative session.  But some Republican lawmakers are starting to work on a slate of bills that could be even more contentious — they want to make some big changes to how the state handles illegal immigration.
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  • Friday night thousands will crowd downtown Denver for one of the city’s oldest celebrations — the Grand Illumination of the city and county building.  And the display’s history is almost as colorful as its lights.
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  • The Douglas County school board is considering whether to hand over some of its money to help students go to private schools.  The program would be the first of its kind in the state.  Colorado Public Radio’s Megan Verlee reports the idea is already sparking strong reactions.
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  • Governor Bill Ritter presented his final budget proposal Wednesday to the incoming members of the legislature’s budget committee.  His plan may change in coming months, but one thing probably won’t — the state has a giant fiscal hole to fill next year.
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  • Colorado is 49th in the nation for public funding of higher education.  But the solution may be a tough sell.  A committee appointed by Governor Bill Ritter wants to ask the public to pay more for colleges and universities.
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  • Denver voters who make it all the way through their ballots may get a surprise this year.  They’re being asked to vote on something no American city has done before.  You could say, it’s out of this world.
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  • The small town of Trinidad, Colorado  has long had the nickname “Sex Change Capitol of the World.” That reputation started because of a local doctor who taught himself the procedure at the request of a male patient who wanted to become a woman. The late Dr. Stanley Biber retired in 2003 and Dr.
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  • Colorado holds the dubious title of being one of the top states for outside campaign spending this election season.  One report estimates three-quarters of a million dollars is spent here every day.  Last year’s Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate and labor spending unleashed this flood of funds, and Colorado Public Radio’s Megan Verlee looks

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  • On election night two years ago, Colorado’s 4th Congressional District went blue for the first time in decades.  This year Democrat Betsy Markey is fighting hard to hold onto her seat in the face a strong Republican challenger and a lot of national interest.
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  • CPR’s coverage of the state’s most contested Congressional districts continues with a visit to one that wasn’t supposed to be up for grabs.  Until late this summer, most analysts expected that Democrat Ed Perlmutter would easily win reelection in the 7th Congressional District.
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  • Democratsdominate Colorado’s Congressional delegation right now.  ButRepublicans have high hopes for changing that come November.  One of theseats they’re eyeing is Colorado’s 3rd, which  John Salazar has represented for the past three terms.  But he’s fighting hard to make it back to Washington for a fourth.
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  • Opponents of three tax-cutting, government restricting ballot measures aren’t just battling in the court of public opinion, but in the actual courts as well.  They’re pursuing a campaign finance complaint over who really got the initiatives on the ballot, and where the money came from.  The case has already gone on nine months, and doesn’t

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  • Democrat John Hickenlooper and Republican Dan Maes may be starring in one of Colorado’s strangest Gubernatorial races ever.  But politics took a back seat to the issues when they met for a major Western Slope debate this weekend.  Outside the meeting, ACP candidate Tom Tancredo protested his exclusion.
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  • Washington connections, failed policies, and both the Bush and Obama administrations all added fuel to a fiery debate between Colorado’s Senate candidates this weekend.  Democratic senator Michael Bennet, and his Republican challenger Ken Buck shared the stage for the first time in Grand Junction.
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  • Emergency crews working on the Fourmile Canyon Fire made more progress Thursday, bringing it to at least 40 percent containment and not losing any more structures.
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  • The Fourmile Canyon fire burning outside Boulder has now destroyed more than 130 homes and scorched thousands of acres.  Cloudy weather gave firefighters some reprieve yesterday, but temperatures and winds are both supposed to pick up today.  Officials say full containment could be more than a week away.
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