KUNC-FM: Megan Verlee

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In Colorado, a jury has returned its verdict on James Holmes, the man on trial for killing 12 people and wounding more than 70 others in a movie theater three years ago.

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It's Sunday evening, and services are just getting underway at the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver. Nearly 200 worshipers sit in circles of plastic chairs around a simple altar table. Together they follow traditional Christian rites. They sit. They stand. They sing.

A student armed with a shotgun opened fire at a Colorado high school, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said Friday. Police said the shooter injured two fellow students at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., before killing himself.

Colorado's Legislature is poised to pass sweeping gun reform. The House passed bills that limit high-capacity magazines and require background checks on private gun sales. The bills will now be debated in the Senate, which promises bills of its own. Colorado has experienced two of the worst mass shootings in the nation, the latest in July 2012.

West of the city of Colorado Springs, trees charred by the summer's wildfire scar the steep foothills. The Waldo Canyon fire destroyed more than 300 homes in June.

Now, that devastated neighborhood is coming back to life, with construction workers swarming over half-completed houses. While many of its former residents are preparing to move back, some just want to move on.

In the days after the fire devoured their homes, shell-shocked residents tried to wrap their minds around what had just happened to them.

Aurora, Colo., became a familiar name this summer, in the wake of a mass shooting at a local movie theater.

But there's much more to this Denver suburb than the recent tragedy. Just ask Ethiopian immigrant Fekade Balcha. Balcha's apartment, on Aurora's north side, sits in a dense neighborhood of squat brick apartment buildings and tiny homes.

"You see, in our apartment, there are Russians, Mexicans, Africans," Balcha says. "From Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, and something like that."

As investigators dig deeper into Friday's mass shootings at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora, residents also are trying to piece together what happened and what it means for their city.

Aurora is Colorado's third-largest city, but it's probably not one many people had heard of before now.

Sitting in a cafe, life-long resident Joseph Nguyen says it's unfair his city will now be associated with the tragic attack that left 12 people dead and dozens more injured.

First thing you need to know about burro racing — there's no riding. It's you on one end of a rope, hundreds pounds of equine on the other. And the burro, says Brad Wann, is the boss.

Bighorn Sheep Canyon in Colorado holds a chuckling ribbon of water, with a highway running alongside. Artist Christo wants to drape sections of it — almost 6 miles' worth — with long, billowing panels of silvery fabric.

"The silver-color fabric panel will absorb the color," he says. "In the morning, it will become rosy, in the middle of the day, platinum, and [during] the sunset, the fabric will become golden."

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