Weekly News Brief

The KDNK Local Newscast airs weekday mornings at 6:41 and 7:41 and again at 5:35 PM.

State Board of Ed Turns Blue

Nov 25, 2016


On this week's News Brief, News Director Gavin Dahl talks to Ed Gorski, education reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, about the Democrats taking control of Colorado's State Board of Education for the first time in nearly 50 years. Since recording this interview, President-elect Donald Trump has named philanthropist and antigay activist Betsy DeVos as the next Education Secretary. She has neither worked in public education nor chosen public schools for her own children, who attended private Christian schools. It looks like school vouchers may become a key federal policy initiative next year. Click here to read Chalkbeat Colorado's article.

For this week’s news brief, award-winning investigative reporter and columnist Joel Dyer, editor of Boulder Weekly, says Donald Trump’s presidency could surprise people by galvanizing the environmental movement more than ever before. His cover story immediately after the election was “President Trump: How we got here and what to do now.”


For this week’s news brief, KDNK speaks to Denver Post reporter Noelle Phillips about ballot selfies. It’s a misdemeanor offense in Colorado to post a photo of your filled-out ballot on social media, but the ACLU says it should be constitutionally-protected free speech. Phillips has published three stories about ballot selfies, here, here and here.

This year’s proposed Amendment 71 - or “Raise the Bar” - asks voters to decide whether making amendments to the state constitution should be more difficult. But, a wide array of groups oppose it, as Kelsey Ray reports for the Colorado Independent, arguing that only those with millions of dollars will have access to the ballot if 71 passes. For this week’s News Brief, Amy Hadden Marsh talks to Kelsey Ray about the amendment, why so many different groups oppose it, while the oil and gas industry supports it, and why it may be raising the bar a little too high. Ray has two articles out about 71, "Diverse coalition unites against Raise the Bar" and "Raise the Bar explained," co-authored by Corey Hutchins.

Denver-based Associated Press reporter Sadie Gurman published a major national investigation into police database abuse last week, along with AP's justice department reporter Eric Tucker. Officers across the country have routinely misused confidential databases to get information having nothing at all to do with daily police work, on romantic partners, neighbors and politicians.  

On this week’s news brief our guest is Ryan Summerlin, reporter for the Post Independent. His recent article "Colorado River Faces Flood of Challenges" was a reportback on the Annual Water Seminar in Grand Junction hosted by the Colorado River District. This year's keynote speaker was Abrahm Lustgarten of ProPublica, who KDNK interviewed last month about his series Killing the Colorado.


On this week’s news brief we look at the race to represent our valley in the U.S. Congress. Colorado Independent reporter Marianne Goodland has been a reporter at the Colorado state capitol for 18 out of the last 19 sessions. Her article is called Schwartz v Tipton: The Battle for Colorado's Third Congressional District.

Courtesy of Chalkbeat Colorado

School is back in session across the state, so Gavin Dahl got up early and called education reporter Ann Schimke to talk about her latest article in Chalkbeat Colorado on school start times for this week’s news brief.

ProPublica has discovered a tax loophole that allows ranchers in parts of the Colorado River Basin to get bigger tax write-offs the more water they use. On this week's news brief, Gavin Dahl speaks to Abrahm Lustgarten, senior reporter for ProPublica, about his article, “Gimme a Break! IRS Tax Loophole Can Reward Excessive Water Use in Drought-stricken West.”

Election results this November could shift the power at the top of the Colorado's higher education system for the first time in nearly 30 years. For this week's News Brief, KDNK's Gavin Dahl talks with Colorado Independent reporter Corey Hutchins about each of the candidates in the statewide Board of Regents race.

Click here for Corey Hutchins article in the Colorado Independent and find out all you need to know about the race.  

Wrangling Wasted Water

Aug 5, 2016

For this week’s news brief, KDNK's Gavin Dahl speaks to Brent Gardner-Smith from Aspen Journalism about enforcement of water diversions. 

Brent's article is called “Don’t Take More Than You Need: Wrangling Wasted Water on the Western Slope.”

This week Gavin Dahl speaks with journalist Daniel Glick, co-founder of The Story Group, who is following the money spent on TV ads, mailers and billboards to persuade residents not to support initiatives. Concerned moms say the industry is targeting them for gathering signatures. 

Glick's Colorado Independent article with Kelsey Ray is “Who’s Behind Decline to Sign.”