The Waldo Canyon Fire burning on Courtney Lane in Colorado Springs in 2012.

(Photo: Courtesy of Steve Schopper)

More than 49,600 homes across Colorado are at very high risk for damage from a wildfire, according to a new report by the analysis firm CoreLogic.  That places Colorado second highest across 13 western states topped only by California. More here.

Drillers praise Oil and Gas Task Force

About two dozen anti-fracking demonstrators protested outside the Oil and Gas Task Force meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015.

(Photo: CPR/Grace Hood)

Audio: Gov. John Hickenlooper talks with Ryan Warner about oil and gas taskforce

Efforts to allow for more local control over drilling operations in Colorado were among many proposals that failed to win approval from Gov. John Hickenlooper's Oil and Gas Task Force on Tuesday. Tisha Schuller, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, praised the commission's conclusions. La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt said the task force’s work fell short. More here.

Hashing out Vail Valley poverty in high school

Brie Yao, a senior at Eagle Valley High School, wipes away tears as she talks about living in poverty in the Vail Valley. 

(Photo: CPR/Nathaniel Minor)

Audio: CPR's Andrea Dukakis reports from Gypsum

Deb Schmuck isn't afraid to take on some thorny issues in her sociology class at Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum. She recently assigned the students a couple of articles to read about poverty, in particular one by liberal columnist Joel Mathis and conservative thinker Ben Boychuk called “Can Americans just stop being poor?” Their responses threw new light on their lives near posh ski resorts.  More here.

Charting the growth of weed sales

Nearly 5 million units of marijuana edibles and about 148,000 pounds of marijuana flowers were sold legally in Colorado in 2014, according to an exhaustive report the state of Colorado released Friday. The Marijuana Enforcement Division's first annual update offers detailed statistics on sales and license information about the state's nascent legal marijuana industry. More here.

Artists cozy up with marijuana industry

Andrew Wilkes plays Jimmy Harper in Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's production of “Reefer Madness.”

(Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Kearney)

Audio: CPR's Stephanie Wolf reports on Colo. arts organizations partnering with the pot industry

Speaking of the legal herb: "Reefer Madness" has arrived in Colorado Springs --the 1998 satirical musical, that is.  The show, a parody on the 1936 propaganda film of the same name, runs through Sunday at the Fine Arts Center. The center struck up a financing deal with Strawberry Fields, a medical dispensary in Colorado Springs. More here.

Hispanic-owned businesses are borrowing less

Audio: CPR's Ben Markus reports on Hispanic businesses in Colorado

Hispanics are the dominant minority group in Colorado, but when it comes to small business loans, they are falling significantly behind. In fact, Hispanic-owned businesses are the only group borrowing less money today than they did five years ago. To understand two of the big reasons why, let’s meet Marjorie Silva. More here.

Look, up in the skies, a light pollution battle

The Milky Way stretches across the sky in southern Colorado's Wet Mountain Valley near Westcliffe and Silver Cliff. This long exposure is similar to what someone might see after they allowed their eyes to adapt to the darkness.

(Photo: Courtesy of Curtis Urban)

Audio: John Barentine of the International Dark Sky Association speaks with Ryan Warner

Two southern Colorado towns, Westcliffe and Silver Cliff,  have applied to become the state’s first designated International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) community. If approved, the towns that border each other will join eight other communities and 29 parks around the world that battle light pollution at night to preserve the view of the night sky. More here.

Batok and beyond with banjo picker Jake Schepps

Banjo player Jake Schepps, center, and his quintet

(Photo: Courtesy Jake Schepps)

Audio: Jake Schepps talks with Ryan Warner

After recording arrangements of composer Bela Bartok’s music in 2011, he went in another direction and found four contemporary classical composers to write new music for his group. Under Schepps’ guidance, the composers listened to his favorite modern bluegrass music and also learned to write for an instrument they rarely encounter in the classical world. “The banjo was certainly the most enigmatic for the composers,” Schepps said. More here.

What to do this weekend? Here's some hand-picked ideas

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

(Photo: Courtesy of Kaupo Kikkas)

Audio: CPR's Chloe Veltman highlights events for the Feb. 26-March 1 weekend

The 8th Annual VeRVE Collisionz Hip Hop Dance Competition is set for Saturday at the Glenn Miller Ballroom at University of Colorado, Boulder. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir performs in Denver. The BaoBao Festival takes place in Littleton, Erie and Boulder. The Cornerstone Arts Center at Colorado College hosts the Silenced Film Series. More here.