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Around the Nation
2:02 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Banjo Billy's Bus Tour: History, Mystery And Bad Jokes

The Banjo Billy bus tour starts and ends outside the Hotel Boulderado, at the corner of 13th and Spruce streets. Banjo shares some haunting tales from previous (and possibly still-current) guests, particularly those on the third floor and inside the still-functioning Otis elevator.
Courtesy of Vince Darcangelo

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:40 am

The rambling, funky ride called Banjo Billy's Bus Tours, in Boulder, Colo., is equal parts history, crime stories and comedy. It's all woven together by John Georgis — better known as Banjo Billy — in a playful, "choose your own adventure" style.

"You can either choose a PG tour, or a PG-13 tour, or an R-rated tour," he tells one group of riders. The crowd chooses the R-rated version, but they have to work for it.

"If you want the R-rated tour, you gotta say it like a pirate," Banjo says, drawing a bunch of "arrrrghs" from tour-goers. "R it is!"

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Around the Nation
4:05 am
Sun June 9, 2013

A Year Later, Few Residents Have Rebuilt After Colorado Fire

The High Park wildfire swept through the rural area northwest of Fort Colins, Colo., last June, leaving one person dead.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 11:58 am

Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the High Park fire northwest of Fort Collins, Colo. The blaze consumed 259 homes in the rural area, but so far only 10 households have finished rebuilding a year later.

As Gary and Martha Lemert sort through photographs from the High Park fire, it takes just one before and after shot to convey the complete devastation of their 10-acre property.

All they had left after the fire was a green roof that looked like it had been melted on top of gray rubble. All told, the Lemerts lost eight buildings, including a garage and a guest house.

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U.S.
2:23 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Colorado's New Gun Laws Send Businesses Packing

Workers assemble 30-round capacity magazines at the Magpul Industries plant in Erie, Colo. The company, which employs 200 people, says it plans to move its entire operation out of the state.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:11 am

Colorado responded to the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., by passing new gun control measures last month. That's not sitting well with several gun-related businesses in the Centennial State, where four companies have announced plans to relocate all or some of their operations.

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Environment
4:34 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

From Battle To Birds: Drones Get Second Life Counting Critters

Researchers are using small remote-controlled planes to survey the populations of the greater sage grouse.
Stephen J. Krasemann Science Source

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 7:16 pm

The U.S. military and law enforcement agencies have seen increased public scrutiny on the domestic use of the robotically piloted planes known as drones. Working on the sidelines of this debate, the U.S. Geological Survey has been trying to find a second life for retired military drones in the areas of environmental and wildlife management. Instead of watching the battlefield, these drones are watching birds.

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Business
4:03 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

For Legal Pot Sellers, A Big Tax Problem

Erica Freeman of Choice Organics weighs medical marijuana for a customer.
Grace Hood for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 8:56 pm

An obscure tax code provision crafted for drug dealers is giving state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries a headache.

In Colorado, federal income tax rates for dispensaries can soar as high as 70 percent because of a tax code section that does not allow businesses to claim certain deductions.

The section is known as 280E, and it was originally written for illegal drug traffickers. But today it's a thorn in the side of licensed dispensary owners like Erica Freeman.

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