KUNC-FM: Megan Verlee

1:42am

Tue December 24, 2013
Religion

Pastor Leads A New Brand Of Church For 'Sinners And Saints'

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 5:24 am

Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, shown here officiating civil union ceremonies in Denver in May, wrote a book on faith that recently landed on the New York Times best-seller list.
Anna Hanel Colorado Public Radio

It's Sunday evening, and services are just getting underway at the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver. Nearly 200 worshipers sit in circles of plastic chairs around a simple altar table. Together they follow traditional Christian rites. They sit. They stand. They sing.

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3:11am

Sun December 23, 2012
U.S.

New Lives Emerge From Colo. Wildfire Ashes, Still Scarred

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 11:44 am

Janet Wilson describes the charred hillsides above her old home as "a vast area of toothpicks." She found the scene too sad to return to.
Megan Verlee for NPR

West of the city of Colorado Springs, trees charred by the summer's wildfire scar the steep foothills. The Waldo Canyon fire destroyed more than 300 homes in June.

Now, that devastated neighborhood is coming back to life, with construction workers swarming over half-completed houses. While many of its former residents are preparing to move back, some just want to move on.

In the days after the fire devoured their homes, shell-shocked residents tried to wrap their minds around what had just happened to them.

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3:55pm

Thu September 27, 2012
NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century

Aurora, Colo., Tries To Capitalize On Its Ethnic Riches

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 11:00 am

Families in a predominantly Latino youth soccer league gather for matches in Aurora. Hispanics make up nearly a third of the city's population, according to the 2010 Census.
Megan Verlee for NPR

Aurora, Colo., became a familiar name this summer, in the wake of a mass shooting at a local movie theater.

But there's much more to this Denver suburb than the recent tragedy. Just ask Ethiopian immigrant Fekade Balcha. Balcha's apartment, on Aurora's north side, sits in a dense neighborhood of squat brick apartment buildings and tiny homes.

"You see, in our apartment, there are Russians, Mexicans, Africans," Balcha says. "From Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, and something like that."

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3:24pm

Sat July 21, 2012
The Aurora Theater Shootings

Residents Struggle With Tragedy's 'Stain' On Aurora

Pastor Mary Lu Saddoris (left) prays with Isaac Pacheo (center) and Courtney McGregor near a photo of their friend Alex Sullivan on Saturday at a memorial near the movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
Ted S. Warren AP

As investigators dig deeper into Friday's mass shootings at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora, residents also are trying to piece together what happened and what it means for their city.

Aurora is Colorado's third-largest city, but it's probably not one many people had heard of before now.

Sitting in a cafe, life-long resident Joseph Nguyen says it's unfair his city will now be associated with the tragic attack that left 12 people dead and dozens more injured.

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3:24pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Around the Nation

In Fairplay, Colo., Burro Racing Packs 'Em In

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 7:08 am

A skill in pack burro racing is convincing a donkey that it should run when it would rather walk. Racers may get behind the pack if they don't work with their animal.
Megan Verlee for NPR

First thing you need to know about burro racing — there's no riding. It's you on one end of a rope, hundreds pounds of equine on the other. And the burro, says Brad Wann, is the boss.

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3:24am

Sat February 18, 2012
Fine Art

6 Miles Of Silver Ribbon: Locals Protest Christo

Originally published on Sat February 18, 2012 8:16 am

Artist Christo finances his projects by selling design drawings like this one, a preparatory sketch for the Over the River project on Colorado's Arkansas River.
Wolfgang Volz Copyright Christo 2007

Bighorn Sheep Canyon in Colorado holds a chuckling ribbon of water, with a highway running alongside. Artist Christo wants to drape sections of it — almost 6 miles' worth — with long, billowing panels of silvery fabric.

"The silver-color fabric panel will absorb the color," he says. "In the morning, it will become rosy, in the middle of the day, platinum, and [during] the sunset, the fabric will become golden."

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10:47am

Mon February 13, 2012
All Tech Considered

Braille Under Siege As Blind Turn To Smartphones

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 11:15 am

The National Federation of the Blind estimates that today only one in 10 blind people can read Braille. That's down dramatically from the 1900s.
Steve Mitchell AP

Like a lot of smartphone users, Rolando Terrazas, 19, uses his iPhone for email, text messages and finding a decent coffee shop. But Terrazas' phone also sometimes serves as his eyes: When he waves a bill under its camera, for instance, the phone tells him how much it's worth.

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1:39am

Wed January 18, 2012
Governing

Secretaries Of State At Center Of Election Battles

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 10:30 am

Scott Gessler gives a victory speech on Nov. 2, 2010, after being elected secretary of state in Colorado.
Jack Dempsey AP

In his first year as Colorado's secretary of state, Republican Scott Gessler has been sued eight times.

He has outraged Democrats by rewriting the state's campaign finance rules, tangled with counties over which voters they can send mail-in ballots to, and attracted national attention for participating in a fundraiser to pay off a campaign finance fine levied by his office.

"We've definitely shaken up the status quo, and I think that's happened a bit in some other states, too," he says.

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4:30am

Sun September 4, 2011
Around the Nation

Gator Wrestling: 'Not A Thinking Man's Sport'

Jay Young, owner of Colorado Gators, holds Peewee, his 11-year-old daughter's former pet. Colorado Gators offers classes on how to wrestle alligators.
Sean Post

Standing in a pool full of 2-foot-long alligators, Jay Young starts teaching a class on gator wrestling.

"He who hesitates gets bit. Don't think about it," says Young, owner of Colorado Gators. "Alligator wrestling is not a thinking man's sport."

It takes a certain kind of crazy to want to pay $100 to handle animals sensible people run away from. People do sign up, however, ready to try their hands at this most extreme of sports.

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