How Did Colorado Supermarket Chain King Soopers Get It’s Name?

Did you know there was an actual King behind the King Soopers grocery store name?Lloyd King founded the Colorado based supermarket chain in 1947. But where did the rest of the name came from, including that goofy spelling? Journalist Matt Masich looked into it.  He discovered that there’s some interesting history that involves comic books and kids. Listen to the whole story at

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Legal Pot Changes The Work Of Some Drug Detection Dogs

The new legal marijuana industry is generating billions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs, but it’s also creating instability, restructuring and some layoffs for one group of workers – drug detection dogs.

Pueblo Police Department’s K-9 Detective Widget, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois, has helped make millions of dollars in drug busts during her four years on the force, but now she has a new partner, Sage a two-year-old golden lab.

The two dogs’ human handler Detective Vince Petkosek said, like Widget, Sage is trained to find heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, Ecstasy and psilocybin mushrooms. Unlike Widget, she is not trained on marijuana.

That’s important because dogs like Widget react the same way whether they ferret out legal marijuana or an illegal drug like meth. Petkosek said that means Widget’s searches could be questioned.

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In 1978 Activists Laid Down In Front Of Buses In Denver, Launching The Disability Rights Movement

Forty years ago people with disabilities took to Denver’s streets to protest. They surrounded RTD buses to draw attention to the lack of wheelchair accessible public transportation.

Their rallying cry became “We will ride!”

Hava and Andy Rosen of Schuyler, Nebraska were there. “I got out my chair and laid down in front of the bus. We decided at that point we were going to stay overnight and keep the buses overnight. And create that awareness. People weren’t aware of anything about people with disabilities. We weren’t even thought of, ” Andy said

Hava and Andy both have cerebral palsy. Although they knew each other in 1978, they weren’t a couple yet. Andy got Hava to join the protest that day.

She said, “I was scared because I had not ever done anything like that before but it was exciting because I knew that I was doing something important and something of value.”

That group of disabled protesters became known as the Gang of Nineteen. They stopped traffic at the corner of Colfax and Broadway for two days – until RTD agreed to become the first public transit company in the nation to add lifts to the buses. That bus blockade action fired up the disability rights movement across the country.

“We changed from being disabled people who couldn’t do anything in society’s eyes to people…disabled people who could do something and cause a political change,” Andy said.

The protesters organized and eventually became ADAPT — a national network of activists. They sledgehammered concrete curbs to get attention for accessible sidewalks. They showed up at transportation board meetings carrying caskets — to illustrate that they might be dead before changes were made. They chained themselves to doors at fast food chains to get their voices heard.

“You need to realize that you are as important as anybody else,” Hava said.

Andy and Hava have changed their names since then – but they haven’t changed their enthusiasm for activism, “because I was out there and I saw the changes. And it blew me away. I mean it literally blew me away. I couldn’t believe that the system that’s out there was what we started,” Hava said.

26 year old Jordan Sibayan of Denver got involved in ADAPT about eight years ago. He spoke with Colorado Matters about how he was inspired by the Gang of Nineteen’s protests, and about the group’s current work.

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A New History Colorado Exhibit Spotlights Colorado’s Oldest Continuous Residents, the Utes

A traditional Ute bear dance ceremony.

Courtesy of Robert Ortiz, The Southern Ute Drum

The Utes are some of Colorado’s oldest residents — by some estimates, the tribe has been here for 13,000 years.

Despite that, many Coloradans today may not recognize that they may be touched by Ute history on a daily basis.

A new exhibit at History Colorado aims to reconnect Coloradans to the historical and contemporary significance of the Utes. “Written on the Land: Ute Voices, Ute History”opens Saturday, Dec. 8.

Ernest House Jr. is among dozens of Ute tribal members who helped develop the exhibit, which features more than 150 objects including beaded gloves, fringed shawls and carved instruments that are part of the Bear Dance. House spoke with Colorado Matters about the deep dive into Ute history.

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On The 50th Anniversary Of Edward Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire,” A Former Park Ranger Honors The Iconic Book And Confronts Outdated Views

The American southwest has changed a lot since 1968, when the late writer Edward Abbey published “Desert Solitaire: A Season In The Wilderness.”

The memoir, set in Arches National Park, has inspired countless people to visit the desert and to take a stand for the environment.

But as time passed, critics have since labeled Abbey racist and sexist. Now, 50 years later, Colorado writer Amy Irvine imagines talking with Abbey in her new book, “Desert Cabal: A New Season In The Wilderness.”

Irvine spoke with Colorado Matters about taking a hard look at Abbey’s iconic memoir.

Hiking in southeastern Utah’s canyon country. – Photo by Shanna Lewis
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Denver Turns 160 This Week. So, How’d The Mile High City Get Its Name?

Before you ask: No, John Denver is not the city’s namesake.

Denver does owe its name from another man with the initials J.D., though. James William Denver was a Civil War general, a territorial governor and the eponym for the Mile High City.

While he was the territorial governor of the Kansas Territory, Denver played a role in appointing several county officials and a sheriff in what would become the county seat of Colorado’s Eastern Plains. Two of those appointees also have familiar names to Denverites — Ned Wynkoop and William H. Larimer.

Journalist Matt Masich spoke with Colorado Matters about the life of James William Denver and the history of the city that bears his name. Listen to their conversation at

General James William Denver – Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress

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Founding Member Of Ghost Town Club Of Colorado Remembers Sixty Years Of Exploring Hundreds Of #GhostTowns Around The State

Ghost town — that conjures images of abandoned miners’ shacks with door hinges squeaking in mountain breezes, decrepit storefronts lining a deserted road or even just an empty spot on a prairie where all that’s left is dust and memories. Sixty years ago Ron Ruhoff of Genoa helped found the Ghost Town Club of Colorado. He spoke with Colorado Matters about his memories of exploring and helping to preserve ghost towns.

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Colorado Gears Up For Another Flu Season In The Shadow Of 1918 Influenza Pandemic

After a nasty flu season in 2017 and another one brewing this year, doctors are again calling for anyone 6 months or older to get vaccinated.

The good news is, Colorado’s tangle with the flu in 2018 is unlikely be worse than it was 100 years ago during the 1918 influenza pandemic. It was one of the world’s deadliest disease outbreaks, infecting a third of  Colorado’s population and killing around 5,000 people.

State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy spoke with Colorado Matters about the state’s history with the pandemic outbreak which likely started just over the state line in Kansas.

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Denver Poet Dominique Christina Gives Voice To Enslaved Black Woman Who Endured Medical Experiments


In the 1800s, Dr. J. Marion Sims, a white doctor considered to be the “father of modern gynecology,” experimented on enslaved black women, including a woman named Anarcha. In her new poetry collection “Anarcha Speaks: A History In Poems,” Denver poet Dominique Christina writes from the perspective of both Anarcha and Dr. Sims. Listen to her on Colorado Matters.


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More Than A Million Copies Of Colorado Cache Cookbook Sold Since 1978

Meringue mushrooms, Mandarin salad, skier’s sausage—they’re just a few of the classic recipes found in the Colorado Cache Cookbook, a staple in Centennial State home kitchens.

The cookbook was first published in 1978 by the Junior League of Denver as a fundraiser. Today, more than a million copies of the Colorado Cache have been sold, with the proceeds supporting the women’s organization’s community service programs.

Long-time Junior League member Jaydee Boat oversaw the first edition of the classic cookbook 40 years ago, and burned out her hand mixer in the process of whipping all the eggs for those meringue mushroom cookies. Boat told Colorado Matters that some of the keys to the cookbook’s success were keeping recipes simple and fresh, and adding sections for Mexican food as well as fish and game.

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