Kirk Siegler

Kirk Siegler reports for NPR, based out of NPR West in California.

Siegler grew up near Missoula, MT, and received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado.Β  He’s an avid skier and traveler in his spare time.

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3:21am

Wed April 10, 2013
Around the Nation

L.A. Schools Hire Security Aides To Watch For Threats

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:20 am

Students at Tenth Street Elementary out on the playground.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Tenth Street Elementary is in the Pico-Union district of Los Angeles, a few blocks west of the Staples Center and downtown skyscrapers. It's a tough neighborhood; school security is always an issue.

On a recent day, about 150 third-graders were spread across a worn cement playground, running around, playing chase and tag.

Most lunch hours, you'll find Juan Alfayate, the school's energetic principal, out on the blacktop, dodging soccer balls and having fun with the kids while on playground patrol.

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5:33am

Sun March 24, 2013
Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship

Battling Suicide In A 'Gun State' Means Treading Carefully

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 5:58 pm

In Wyoming, a gun is used in about three-quarters of all suicides. Nationally, guns are used about 50 percent of the time.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Wyoming has the highest per capita suicide rate in the nation. Guns are also a big part of everyday life: The state has one of the highest rates of gun ownership.

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4:58pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship

A Turning Point For Talking About Suicide And Guns In Wyoming

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:53 pm

Connie Jacobson, coroner in Natrona County, Wyo., says suicide is one of the biggest public health problems facing the state. Wyoming has the highest suicide rate in the U.S., and two-thirds of suicides in the state are by firearm.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Guns are a big part of everyday life in Wyoming, and many residents have been directly impacted by a suicide in which a gun was used. The state has the highest suicide rate in the nation, and three-quarters of Wyoming's suicides are by firearm.

The rural state's relationship with guns has long made suicide prevention efforts challenging. But that may be starting to change.

Lax Gun Laws

Last year, there were more suicides in Natrona County than anywhere else in Wyoming.

The soft-spoken county coroner saw them all.

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5:09pm

Mon March 11, 2013
Around the Nation

Owens Valley Salty As Los Angeles Water Battle Flows Into Court

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 6:30 pm

Owens Lake β€” which dried up after losing its water source, the Owens River, to Los Angeles β€” is known to be a source of air pollution. The city of L.A. is in court over obligations to control dust pollution at the lake.
Kirk Siegler NPR

In the West, fights over water last a long time.

It's been almost 100 years since William Mulholland stood atop an aqueduct along the Owens River and said, "There it is, take it." He was referring to a diversion channel that started piping water to Los Angeles from 200 miles away. That water allowed L.A. to become the metropolis it is today.

But it also meant that the Owens River no longer flowed into the massive Owens Lake, which quickly dried up and became one of the biggest environmental disasters in the nation.

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3:20pm

Tue March 5, 2013
Around the Nation

Sequestered Spring Means Fewer Rangers, Services At National Parks

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Hikers walk on the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall at Yosemite National Park in California. The National Park Service has to cut $134 million from sites around the country, including Yosemite, due to the lack of a budget deal in Congress.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Spring has come early to the Yosemite Valley, and the melting snow makes for a spectacular rush of water off the granite face of Yosemite Falls, the tallest in North America.

Early March is when park officials would normally be gearing up for the busy tourist season. Instead, they're figuring out how to cut $1.5 million from their budget. Without a budget deal, the sequestration has forced the Park Service to cut a total of $134 million from sites around the country.

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5:47pm

Tue January 15, 2013
Fitness & Nutrition

Fitness Boot Camps May Get The Boot In Santa Monica, Calif.

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 1:10 pm

City officials say Palisades Park in Santa Monica, Calif., is being overrun by people participating in fitness training, including boot camps, yoga classes and massage therapy sessions.
Jae C. Hong AP

If you haven't been to Palisades Park β€” the famous oceanfront park in Santa Monica, Calif. β€” chances are you have seen its swaying palm trees and sweeping ocean vistas in movies and commercials.

Running up the wooden stairs that plunge to the beach is the workout to do in this city where it seems like you have to be fit to fit in. In fact, most early mornings before work hours, this park seems more like an outdoor gym than anything else, with running clubs, weight training and kickboxing classes.

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1:41pm

Wed October 24, 2012
It's All Politics

Beyond Hot Air: Political Blimps Take To Swing State Skies

A blimp with a message in support of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney flies over Plantation, Fla., on Sunday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

How do you reach an audience of more than 200,000 people a day in an important swing state without buying an expensive TV ad?

If you're Sid Overton, you build a blimp and fly it alongside one of Colorado's busiest freeways.

"It says, 'Romney For President. He Creates Jobs,' " Overton told KUNC.

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2:43pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Politics

Being 'Better Off' May Not Be Enough To Win Colo.

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:11 pm

President Obama speaks during a campaign event at University of Colorado Boulder Sept. 2. He and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will have their first debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.

The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.

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9:53am

Tue September 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Backers Battle For Dominance On Denver Airwaves

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:01 pm

Watching the first 20 minutes of Saturday Night Live's season premiere in Denver, I counted at least four ads by the Obama campaign and liberal groups backing the president. Just one ad countering their message was aired in the same span by the Romney campaign.

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5:58pm

Wed September 12, 2012
Politics

New Politics Emerge In Aurora, Colo., After Shooting

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The deadly movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado has become a key issue in at least two tight congressional races in that battleground state. Since the attacks, two Democratic candidates - running in districts in and around Aurora - have called for stricter gun laws. But Republicans have accused them of trying to politicize the tragedy.

From member station KUNC, Kirk Siegler reports.

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11:44am

Wed September 12, 2012
It's All Politics

Pro-Romney SuperPAC: 'Enormous Opportunity' In Western Swing States

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 2:55 pm

Americans for Prosperity brought its "Failing Agenda" bus tour to suburban cities in Colorado's heavily populated Front Range.
Kirk Siegler KUNC

Some well-funded pro-Mitt Romney superPACs and other advocacy groups are pulling their TV ad dollars in Pennsylvania and Michigan and are doubling down on efforts in what they consider to be more crucial swing states β€” such as Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Colorado.

Those are states where President Obama has also been spending considerable time campaigning lately, but where he's facing a barrage of attack ads from his Republican rival and the conservative superPACs, such as American Crossroads, and nonprofit advocacy groups, like Americans for Prosperity.

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4:46am

Wed September 5, 2012
Election 2012

Colo. Gov. Hickenlooper To Address Convention

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is among the scheduled speakers at the Democratic Convention tonight. The former brew pub owner is one of the most popular governors in the country, and the Obama campaign hopes his popularity will help the party, once again, with the battleground state of Colorado in November. Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC has this profile.

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11:11am

Wed August 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Aurora Shootings Come Into Play In Colorado Races

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 11:57 am

Last month's deadly theater shootings in Aurora, Colo., are starting to play front and center in at least two hotly contested U.S. House races in the swing state.

The conservative lobbying group Compass Colorado this week announced it's beginning a slate of automated calls highlighting what the organization says is Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter's politicization of the July 20 attack that left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

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5:51pm

Mon August 13, 2012
News

In Colorado Wildfires' Wake, Survivors Live In Limbo

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:10 pm

C.J. Moore stands where her front door used to be, before the Waldo Canyon Fire swept through the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs, Colo. The fire destroyed more than 350 homes there.
Kirk Siegler for NPR

When the Waldo Canyon Fire roared over the hill behind the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs, Colo., in June, nearly 350 homes were destroyed. The blaze reduced this affluent neighborhood at the foot of the mountains to rubble.

C.J. Moore's home on Mirror Lake Court was among the casualties. The inferno was so hot, her stone driveway exploded. Only a few blackened trees sway eerily in the wind where her home used to stand.

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4:30pm

Sun July 22, 2012
Around the Nation

After Shooting Rampage, A Community Looks To Heal

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 5:33 pm

Ted Engelmann, left, helps Yamilet Ortega, 3, second from left, and Kimberly Hernandez, 7, light candles, Saturday at a memorial near the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others Friday.
Ted S. Warren AP

President Obama is in Aurora, Colo., on Sunday, meeting with the families of the victims of the deadly theater shootings that killed 12 people and injured 58 more. He'll also attend a memorial service and meet briefly with local officials.

Outside the movie theater where Friday's rampage occurred, there's a makeshift memorial at the edge of a hot and dusty lot. There are hundreds of candles and flowers, American flags and signs memorializing the victims.

"It's a sad time, very sad time," said William Cloud, a local professor, who came by to pay his respects.

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5:53am

Tue June 12, 2012
U.S.

Massive Wildfire Burns Out Of Control In Colo.

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 8:18 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In the southern Rocky Mountains, several destructive wildfires are burning across a vast stretch of parched land and firefighters are struggling to gain control. In Colorado, the High Park Fire which flared up this past weekend is huge, even for a region where wildfires are common. The fires quickly engulfed more than 41,000 acres, destroying dozens of homes and buildings. And there's no end in sight. Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC brings us this update.

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6:25am

Mon May 7, 2012
Around the Nation

Drilling Boom Strains State Regulatory Agencies

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 6:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tax revenue coming from shale, oil, and gas development has many states very happy, but the boom is also putting a strain on regulators. There are not enough of them to inspect all the drilling sites. Colorado, for example, has 17 inspectors for more the 47,000 active oil and gas wells. Kirk Siegler reports from member station KUNC.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Each day, Jim Precobb(ph) of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission logs about 400 miles in his state-owned truck.

JIM PRECOBB: It is absolutely staggering.

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12:01am

Mon March 12, 2012
Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength

Jobs Abound In Energy Industry's New Boom Time

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:47 pm

Oil workers on a drilling rig owned by Chesapeake Energy in Ohio. Students are flocking to the energy field.
Gus Chan The Plain Dealer/Landov

Part of a series

Economists say many industries are looking up this year. But perhaps none has a better outlook than the energy sector.

New drilling technologies and rising fuel prices have generated a boom in drilling β€” and lots of high-paying jobs for people with the skills to work in the oil patch. On some college campuses, companies are so eager to find petroleum engineers that they are offering jobs to students even before they have graduated.

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12:01am

Thu March 8, 2012
Around the Nation

In Denver Taxis, Extra Eyes On The Street For Police

Longtime Denver taxi driver Teddy Johnson participates in the "Taxis on Patrol" program, and has made two reports of potential safety issues so far.
Kirk Siegler for NPR

Some days, it would be easy to mistake the Metro Taxi dispatch center in Denver for a police station. Traffic and crime incidents are recorded in a special logbook, as drivers call in descriptions and locations to police.

It's part of a program called Taxis on Patrol. Just a day after the program began, a cab driver helped police make an arrest for a fatal hit-and-run. In the months since, eyewitness calls from cabbies using a bulletin system similar to an Amber Alert have led to hundreds of arrests.

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8:00am

Sun February 5, 2012
Presidential Race

Curtain Rises On Colorado Caucuses

Colorado holds its Republican caucuses on Tuesday. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have focused their attention there recently. The state will also be a key battleground in the general election contest. From Denver, Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC reports.

3:27pm

Wed January 18, 2012
Around the Nation

The Oscars Of Livestock In The Mile High City

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 7:27 pm

Reece Aglin drove 700 miles from Circle, Mont., to show his purebred shorthorn.
Kirk Siegler KUNC

The single largest cattle show in the United States, the National Western Stock Show, is now under way in Denver. Fans roar overhead, keeping the air cool and the odors at bay, as Jeanette Fuller spiffs up her Black Angus β€” with product.

"High-strength hairspray, basically, just trying to get the hair to accentuate the good things about her and kind of cover up the bad things about her," Fuller says.

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4:00am

Fri December 16, 2011
Sports

Bronco's Tim Tebow Is The Talk Of Denver

Denver is buzzing about quarterback Tim Tebow and the resurgent Denver Broncos. This Sunday's match-up between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos is expected to be one of the most-watched NFL games of the season. Tebow has drawn attention for the public display of his Christian faith.

12:01am

Wed October 5, 2011
Living Large: Obesity In America

The Thinnest State Loosens Its Belt

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 5:28 pm

Ryan Van Duzer, an outdoor enthusiast who has starred in reality TV adventure shows, visits Colorado schools to talk about how working out can be entertainment. He says he often leaves frustrated after kids tell him about staying inside playing video games.
Kirk Siegler for NPR

Part of an ongoing series on obesity in America.

The obesity crisis is catching up with Colorado, the nation's thinnest state.

Being fit is part of the culture in Colorado: there are biking trails and hiking trails and ski slopes and even the high altitude itself helps burn off calories. But waistlines are widening, especially among children.

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11:15am

Thu September 29, 2011
Around the Nation

Brewers And Beer-Lovers Tap Into Craft Beer Craze

Thousands of craft beer makers, distributors and just plain beer fans are descending on downtown Denver Thursday for the start of the annual Great American Beer Festival.

The event's 40,000 public tickets sold out in just a few days β€” an indication of how well this growing industry is doing even in a poor economy.

Nearly 150 small craft breweries have opened their doors in the U.S. this year, including Pateros Creek Brewing Co. in the craft beer mecca of Fort Collins, Colo.

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2:57pm

Mon July 11, 2011
Energy

Support For Energy Efficient Bulbs Dims Among GOP

With a January 2012 deadline looming on a U.S. law mandating energy efficiency standards for light bulbs, some political forces don't want to turn out the lights.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

At home improvement stores around the country, sales of compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs have risen steadily recently.

But at a Lowe's in suburban Denver, salesman Jim Thurber says that lately, sales of incandescent bulbs are also up.

"I've had people come in and stockpile these things because they're afraid they're going to lose them," he says.

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12:01am

Tue May 24, 2011
Around the Nation

Horse-Killing Virus Brings Fear To Western U.S.

Three of Becca Francis' horses contracted EHV-1 at a horse event in Utah; one had to be euthanized.
Kirk Siegler KUNC

A deadly virus is spreading among horses in the Western United States and parts of Canada. The highly contagious equine herpes Virus-1 isn't a threat to humans. But it spreads easily among horses β€” and even llamas and alpacas.

So far, it's caused scores of horse owners to quarantine their animals. It's also forced the cancellations of horse shows and competitions.

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