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What Happened When One Colorado Business Raised Their Starting Wages

Polar Bottle is a manufacturing company based out of Boulder, Colorado, focused on insulated, reusable water bottles made with sports-enthusiasts in mind. It's an unlikely proving ground for Colorado's minimum wage debate. But in 2011, the company decided to do what state voters are now voting on. The company raised the starting minimum wage for their employees to $12 an hour. Now, they say they have learned a few lessons.

How Virtual Reality Is Changing A Colorado Campus

Erin Finnell stands up in front of the class and calls on a student. "What are you doing this weekend, CJ?" Finnell asks. "I'm just going with my boyfriend to the movies and we're just going to movie hop," CJ says. CJ talks a lot about her boyfriend in class, which isn't unusual for a high schooler. Except CJ isn't a a typical student. She isn't even real.

Election 2016: A Politics Professor In Colorado Mulls The Thorny Issues

This year's presidential race is rife with lingering questions. What's the future of the Supreme Court? What will happen to the local candidates? Will Millennials actually vote? Colorado State University political science associate professor Kyle Saunders to discuss some of the thorny issues that define the 2016 election. Here are a few highlights from their conversation, recorded after Saunders moderated a forum on campus:

Election 2016: A Politics Professor In Colorado Mulls The Thorny Issues

Soda Taxes: Coming Soon To A City Near You?

Taxes on sugary drinks, the current cause célèbre in public health circles, are enjoying a moment in the spotlight this voting season. At least four cities, including Boulder, Colorado, will vote on whether to enact the tax this election cycle, giving public health advocates hope that they'll soon be headed to a ballot near you. The votes this year are high-stakes for proponents and opponents alike. Proponents say taxing sugary drinks like soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, lemonade, sweetened teas and coffees, can reverse high rates of obesity and diabetes. If the ballot measures prove successful it could mark a turning point in public perception of soda taxes, which have already failed dozens of times across the country, only to find recent successes in Berkeley, California, and in Philadelphia.

Four Things You Need To Know About PTSD And Student Veterans

More than a million students enrolled in campuses across the country are veterans. Many of them served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Some saw horrific things in combat, lost comrades or were injured. Kaily Cannizzaro, a psychologist for a Department of Veterans Affairs program that helps college students, sat down with KUNC's Erin O'Toole to talk about post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental wound that affects about one in five war veterans. 1. PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced trauma, including both civilians and soldiers. About 7-8 percent of the population will have PTSD at some point in their lives. "PTSD is a brain issue or a mind issue. Our brain is a very amazing muscle that is often just trying to protect us," Cannizzaro says. "PTSD is exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violence." 2. As many as 20 percent of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars experience PTSD, including students. "PTSD is not something that all veterans have,"

Sex, Religion and Politics: How the Hollywood Production Code Shaped Political Films

For the most part, we don't make political films – at least not films that are about the nature of politics or political systems. We make films about political events. Films like All the President's Men, The Candidate, The Best Man, Advise and Consent, Seven Days in May, or even trifles like Dave or The American President are not really about politics, political ideas or philosophies. They're about action, like The Washington Post uncovering the Watergate scandal. Or they're about things like an attempted coup, or a Senate confirmation or a political contest in which at least one of the candidates has to confront the temptations to corruption.

Sex, Religion and Politics: How the Hollywood Production Code Shaped Political Films

Congressional Race Focuses On The Future Of Mining

In a hotel ballroom, at the base of the Steamboat Ski Resort, candidates for the U.S. House and Senate, and their surrogates, tick through talking points. "There are two issues I know of Scott Tipton cares very, very deeply about. One of them is water. The other one is energy," Chuck McConnell, of the Routt County Republicans, said. McConnell stood in for Rep. Scott Tipton at a candidate forum hosted by the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs. Tipton is a third-term Republican incumbent who is running for reelection in Colorado's 3rd congressional district. The crowd at the forum was made up of bankers, property managers and many small business owners. Steve Hitchcock, the Rotary Club president, told me that he wasn't aware of any members working directly in the coal industry. But coal came up again and again. "The coal industry is under incredible pressure here. Twentymile Mine has decreased the number of employees that they have. Keeping responsible, reasonable energy production and

When Colorado Wanted To Build A Wall And Make (New) Mexico Pay

This election year, we've heard a lot about border security. As Donald Trump has said: "We can do a wall, we're gonna have a big fat beautiful door right in the middle of the wall. We're going to have people come in, but they're going to come in legally - and Mexico is going to pay for the wall."

Morality and Personal Stories Define the Fight for Proposition 106

Matt Larson is in his mid-thirties and already concerned about what will happen at the end of his life. A year ago, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was treated, but there's a 50 percent chance it could return. If it does, he wonders at what point he would want to die. In November, Colorado voters will decide whether terminally-ill patients can legally end their lives.

In Their Own Words: Colorado Veterans & Families Share Stories

The following interviews were conducted by StoryCorps on May 1, 2016. Excerpts were selected and produced by KUNC.

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