Welcome to your Wednesday, Looker-Outers!
Today I'm debuting a little design tweak that a number of you have requested. I'll be adding little icons to indicate when a story leans heavily on videoor audio(this will happen a lot with Colorado Matters pieces, since they are interviews best consumed with your ears); when a link goes to another news organization whose website offers a limited number of free articlesbefore requesting a subscription; and when a link goes to a website that always requires a subscription(I plan to use that one very sparingly, and have not linked to such a site yet in The Lookout). As always, I'd love to hear any feedback you might have.
I have no particular excuse for what I'm about to do, but you deserve a laugh for hanging in there with me before we get to the news, so...
Top of the Hour
Top of the Hour features super-short updates from today's radio newscasts that you might find useful:
- Warm temperatures and low rainfall have allowed the spruce beetle — different from the mountain pine beetle known for killing lodgepole pines — to thrive in Colorado, now impacting about 40 percent of our spruce forest.
- Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner has introduced a bill to establish a panel to examine the state of the U.S. Olympic Committee in the wake of sexual assault scandals.
- Bus service is getting more reliable in the Denver metro, and it might have to do with higher salaries for bus drivers introduced with a new contract after a driver shortage last year.
- A bill introduced in the state legislature would treat vaping like cigarettes and marijuana, banning use in public spaces and workplaces.
- A Denver-area child has died of the flu, marking the first death in Colorado for this flu season. — The Denver Channel
The Big Stuff
Hazmat truckers say an RTD A Line crossing in Aurora is an accident waiting to happen
A tanker truck cross the railroad tracks at Smith Road and Chambers Road in Aurora On Monday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Hart Van Denburg/CPR News)
I'm not going to make you click by withholding the location — it's the intersection of Chambers and Smith roads. It also happens to be right by the Magellan pipeline terminal, where hundreds of trucks come and go daily.
The problem is with how the trucks have to move through the intersection before crossing the A Line track, leading to a situation the Federal Railroad Administration calls “high risk.”
Gov. Polis sets the budget line for his free full-day kindergarten plan at 7 million
Gov. Jared Polis delivers his first State of the State address to the Colorado General Assembly Thursday Jan. 10 2019. (Hart Van Denburg/CPR News)
“It’s about time in Colorado that parents have full-day kindergarten. It has a positive effect on families, saving people money, on districts freeing up capital.”
Gov. Jared Polis
Just a week in office and our new governor has put a dollar figure on one of the biggest pledges of his campaign: his "top priority" plan to provide free full-day kindergarten throughout the state.
In a letter submitted to the Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday, Polis asked lawmakers for 7 million to expand state funding, which currently covers half-day kindergarten.
More CPR News
- Since the federal government shutdown, more than 2,000 unemployment claims have been filed in Colorado. The home of the Denver Federal Center, Jefferson County, has seen more claims than any other.
- Denver is taking lead on a lawsuit filed by 16 local Colorado governments against the makers and distributors of prescription opioid painkillers.
- Colorado is home to plenty of big storms, and the stormchasers who follow them. But a team from CSU led by Kristen Rasmussen went to study them in the Andes, where hailstones can reach the size of grapefruits and larger.
- One of the last of the Navajo Code Talkers died on Sunday. The code talkers exchanged messages during World War II in their native language, Diné, which proved impenetrable to Japanese codebreakers who cracked everything else.
- Sriracha sauce is everywhere these days. In fact, it's even being exported from the U.S. back to Thailand, where it was first conceived. Folks there say the stuff with the rooster on the bottle is nothing to crow about.
- Take a quick look at some of the ways federal workers are moonlighting to pay the bills.
Worth a Read
- The digital age, as we're sometimes fond of calling our technological future-in-the-present, isn't just making it easy to pay your bills and order pizza without speaking to a human. It also makes it surprisingly easy to commit crimes (and easy to track all but the very best digital criminals), like the ones in this nail-biting horror story about what happened after a relationship ended. — Buzzfeed News
- In case you can't wait for the Denver Mac & Cheese Festival, or want to be sure you can keep celebrating it after the zombie apocalypse, Costco will now sell you a 27 pound bucket of mac and cheese with a 20-year shelf life. — CNBC
- After a dozen years of growth, the craft beer industry is realizing it must appeal to more clientele, since it can no longer grow by just targeting "young white dudes with beards." — The New York Times
- Apparently de-cluttering suddenly is all the rage, with a new Netflix show called "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" going wild. I'm betting this means lots of great thrift store finds in my near future. — The Know
- It's not often you see snow in Arizona, but when you do... — My Modern Met
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Our newsletter's name, The Lookout, refers not only to our transmitters high atop Lookout Mountain near Golden, but to our ongoing watch for news around Colorado and the West.