Welcome to your Wednesday, Looker-Outers! If you said "Brrr!" or complained about the cold in much any way this morning, you might want to take it back. Unless you live in Ely, Minnesota, that is.
It's not often that cold in Colorado except at very high elevations, but it doesn't have to be 30 below to be very dangerous. Take time to know how to identify, prevent and treat frostbite, and learn all about dressing in layers to deal with the cold. Make sure your car is stocked with at least a few basic emergency supplies; get a set of tire chains and know how to put them on; pick a good set of jumper cables and know how to use them; and make sure you've a good set of tires.
Okay, that's enough cold-weather advice for now. Let's away to the news!
Top of the Hour
Top of the Hour features bite-sized updates from today's radio newscasts:
- Colorado earned low marks from the American Lung Association for significantly below-average tobacco taxes and not limiting tobacco sales to those 21 and up.
- Lakewood has instituted a new annual licensing requirement for establishments that sell tobacco products other than cigarettes to help curb teen vaping.
- Several Colorado AMC movie theaters will bring Oscar-nominated film "The Black Panther" back to big screens — for free — the first week of February to celebrate Black History Month.
- Coming from record-low precipitation numbers last year, Colorado's snowpack is looking good this time around; though parts of Southwest Colorado are still at only 90 percent of average, the state as a whole is at 108 percent.
The Big Stuff
"Kill committees" aren't expected to be their usual graveyards under Colorado's Democratic majority
A dark and foreboding look at the Colorado Capitol in Denver. (Bente Birkeland/CPR News)
Democrats now control both houses of the state legislature, which means it's on them to shepherd all the bills coming through both chambers — their own, and Republicans'. Which means we'll likely see less of kill committees this session.
What is a kill committee, and how does it work? Why are they used? You've surely heard of them and have an idea, like me, but you'll have a much better understanding after reading public affairs reporter Bente Birkeland's explainer.
Colorado National Monument and the state's other national parks dust off the shutdown cobwebs
Much of Colorado National Monument’s Rim Rock Drive has been closed since around Christmas, when a large storm swept through. Now, the Park Service is evaluating when and how to clear the road, which has been used by skiers and snowshoers for more than a month. (Stina Sieg/CPR News)
With the longest government shutdown in U.S. history behind us, at least for a few weeks, the National Park Service is back at work in Colorado's national parks and monuments.
That doesn't mean things are right back to peachy-keen, though — snow and ice at Colorado National Monument have kept gates closed, and a host of other things remain up in the air as the shutdown shakes out.
More CPR News
- While Democrats enter the 2020 presidential fray touting taxes for the rich and universal healthcare, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is preaching a more moderate gospel of beer and bipartisan problem solving that should be familiar to Centennial Staters.
- Wild coffee is slowly dying off. Let that percolate a second. To find out why, Colorado Matters talked to Sarada Krishnan, the Denver Botanic Gardens horticulture director and coffee expert.
- The Colorado Supreme Court has refused the teenage plaintiffs' request to reconsider its Jan. 14 ruling in favor of oil and gas regulators.
- The Colorado Photographic Arts Center is offering a program to teach veterans photography. One of the students, Amy Forestieri, talked to Colorado Matters about the unique perspectives vets find behind the camera.
- Contract disputes between insurers and health care providers are nothing new, but as big players get bigger and jockey aggressively for market share, it's patients who are left to suffer and sort out how to get treatment.
- When the government shut down, the Census Bureau was getting to work hiring half a million temporary workers it needs to complete the 2020 census.
- The polar vortex deep freeze in the upper Midwest now has led to states of emergency in multiple states, with schools, courthouses, and businesses closed, flights canceled and the mail left stationary. Today's high in Chicago is expected to be around -14°F.
- Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has been chosen to deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.
- To understand anger and aggression more thoroughly, it might help to take a look at its animal origins.
- Heads up, CPR readers and members: With help from an anonymous donor, we're putting together an investigative team as part of expanding our news coverage of Colorado. — Current
Worth a Read
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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.