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As Western Coal Plants Close, What Happens To Their Water?

Coal-fired power plants are closing, or being given firm deadlines for closure, across the country. In the Western states that make up the overallocated and drought-plagued Colorado River, these facilities use a significant amount of the region's scarce water supplies. With closure dates looming, communities are starting the contentious debate about how this newly freed up water should be put to use.

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Aspen High School / Facebook

Aspen School District's Board of Education announced four finalists for the district's new superintendent. The board initially interviewed 24 candidates and now the finalists will head into the final-round interviews on Tuesday, March 3. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

As of Wednesday, this winter’s snowpack is nearly exactly the same as it was last year. 2019’s skyrocket in snowfall totals did not begin until the first week of March. Russ Schumacher, a climatologist at Colorado State University, says that jump isn’t likely to repeat.

The Colorado legislature has passed a bill to repeal the death penalty. The decision comes after several days of emotional debates that put the spotlight on lawmakers' religious beliefs and their experiences of losing loved ones to gun violence and murder.

The final approval on Wednesday came despite opposition from some leading Democrats, including Sen. Rhonda Fields, whose son was killed by two of the three men currently on Colorado's death row.

John and Karen Hollingsworth, USFWS

 

Colorado’s last wild wolves were killed in the 1930s, but this winter, wildlife officials confirmed that a wolf pack has moved in to Northwest Colorado. The news comes several months before Colorado voters decide whether they’ll support a bill to reintroduce gray wolves to the state. Recent reporting from Aspen Journalism looks into what the return of wolves could mean for the Roaring Fork valley. Morning Editon host and reporter Molly Dove sat down with Aspen Journalism Environment Editor Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.  

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says it received 5,369 total bear calls from April 1 through Dec. 31 of 2019. On Wednesday, the agency released the latest statistics from its modernized tracking system. CPW said there are likely an equal number of human-bear interactions that go unreported.

Coal-fired power plants are closing, or being given firm deadlines for closure, across the country. In the Western states that make up the overallocated and drought-plagued Colorado River, these facilities use a significant amount of the region's scarce water supplies.

With closure dates looming, communities are starting the contentious debate about how this newly freed up water should be put to use.

Courtesy Kate Howe

New billboards painted by local artists using ink made from carbon soot go up around the Roaring Fork Valley Tuesday. The four billboards are part of the Imagine Climate project which aims to bring together art and science to inspire climate action.

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Courtesy Kate Howe

New billboards painted by local artists using ink made from carbon soot go up around the Roaring Fork Valley Tuesday. The four billboards are part of the Imagine Climate project which aims to bring together art and science to inspire climate action.

The Art Base

Welcome to another week in the Roaring Fork Valley! This is Week in the Arts, a curated list of upcoming exhibitions and events.

Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Anderson Ranch Art Center’s Thinker Thursdays series continues Thursday evening. The event highlights different forms of creativity from community members. Last month’s inaugural event saw presenters discuss everything from photography to science to distance running.

State News

The Colorado legislature has passed a bill to repeal the death penalty. The decision comes after several days of emotional debates that put the spotlight on lawmakers' religious beliefs and their experiences of losing loved ones to gun violence and murder.

The final approval on Wednesday came despite opposition from some leading Democrats, including Sen. Rhonda Fields, whose son was killed by two of the three men currently on Colorado's death row.

One of the biggest and most consequential battles of the 2020 legislative session is expected to start this week, once Democrats unveil their latest plan to create a statewide paid family leave program.

The bill's sponsors had to make some big concessions to try and get the measure passed this time around. A year ago, their last effort failed due to opposition from the business community and Gov. Jared Polis.

Americans saw the flaws of a presidential caucus this week after vote totals in Iowa were delayed by technical glitches. The complexity of a caucus is one of the reasons why Colorado is back to conducting a primary.

Morgan Carroll, the chairwoman of Colorado's Democratic Party, thinks the switch will have additional benefits.