Chilly Thursday, Lookout readers. I survived my nearly two-hour commute (traffic wasn't that bad, but the roads were still very meh, and I took it slow). My advice to you is to stay off the roads if you don't absolutely have to go out. Current mood:
And though, on a day like today, turning the earth and raising crops may be about as far from your mind as it can possibly get, it is the 215th birthday of John Deere. He may not have exactly invented the steel plow, but he played a part in enabling farmers to feed the westward expansion of the U.S. Of course, Deere's plow also planted the seeds of environmental disaster in the loss of millions of acres of topsoil. But the company he founded remains at the forefront of farming technology and efforts to avert further and future preventable disasters.
If you're imagining plowing furrows in the fresh snow now, we're going to get along just great. Speaking of which, let's get along to the news.
Top of the Hour
Bite-sized updates from today's radio newscasts:
- CDOT has been awarded nearly $23 million in emergency relief funds by the U.S. Department of Transportation for repairs from widespread flooding damage in 2013 and rockslide damage to Red Mountain Pass south of Ouray.
- Former Colorado state Representative Andrew Romanoff has officially entered the race for Cory Gardner's Senate seat.
- Researchers say an archaeological site near Golden, known as Magic Mountain, had human occupants about 9,000 years ago — much earlier than the 5,000 years previously thought.
- A bill that would give local governments the ability to regulate nicotine in an effort to limit teen vaping passed the Colorado House on Wednesday.
The Big Stuff
Interview: Gov. Polis would commute sentences if state lawmakers pass death penalty ban
Gov. Jared Polis speaks with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner Wednesday Feb. 6, 2019, in the governor's office at the state Capitol. (Hart Van Denburg/CPR News)
“If the state, Republicans and Democrats, were to say, and I were to sign, a bill that said we no longer have the death penalty in Colorado … I would certainly take that as a strong indication that those who are currently on death row should have their sentences commuted to life in prison.”
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis
Gov. Jared Polis, speaking in an interview with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner, said that he would commute the sentence of convicted murderer Nathan Dunlap to life in prison if Colorado's legislature passed a bill ending the death penalty.
Denver teachers say they will strike Monday after Polis, state labor department decline to intervene
Denver teachers and their supporters protested outside school district headquarters on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, ahead of a loud and contentious board meeting addressing a potential strike by the teachers union. (Hart Van Denburg/CPR News)
“We believe that the two parties are very close to a resolution and have largely achieved a mutual understanding of the facts in the areas of dispute. The process should proceed without state intervention.”
Labor department executive director Joe Barela
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has decided it will not intervene in the labor dispute between Denver's teachers union and Denver Public Schools after the sides reached an impasse in negotiations.
A letter from the department's executive director said they believe the parties are very close to a resolution.
More CPR News
- The 2017 "Wind River" — which Katy and I both thought was worth watching — was distributed by the Weinstein Company, which promised a Native women's advocacy group royalties before Harvey Weinstein's fall and the company's bankruptcy. So far the nonprofit has yet to see a dime. — Wyoming Public Media
- If you live near Buckley Air Force Base, today and tomorrow you may see folks in protective equipment and vehicles with lights and sirens, and there may be traffic impacts. Don't worry, though, it's only a drill. — @AuroraPD on Twitter
- When I started at The Denver Post, I worked overnights. For years I did my grocery shopping on the way home in the wee hours. No more, though — King Soopers is ending 24-hour schedules in Colorado. — The Denver Post
- The number of refugees allowed to settle in the U.S. has been greatly reduced under the Trump administration, but those refugees can be essential to rural Colorado economies. With the labor market among the tightest its ever been, and refugee numbers down, it's become difficult for businesses like a meat-packing plant in Greeley to fill employee ranks. — KUNC
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.