The New Heartland: Spurred by Latino growth in the Southwest, America’s population center is moving westward, into places like Colorado, where the Mountain West is now key to winning elections (Associated Press). Places like Commerce City and Brighton are booming, while the state’s Latino population has grown four times as fast as the Caucasian population since 2000 (La Voz).

Who’s the Fifth? Heading into spring training, it was assumed the Colorado Rockies’ biggest position battle would be at second base. Turns out the real fight is for the team’s fifth starting-pitcher spot (Inside the Rockies).

No NPR or Aspen: Republican Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn is seizing on an opportunity to re-state his case for de-funding National Public Radio amid the scandal involving NPR exec Ron Schiller, who was caught on tape calling Tea Party activists “racist” gun nuts (USA Today). Last night Schiller announced he’d step down from his post immediately, although he was already on his way out the door after accepting a job with the Aspen Institute, a position he won’t be assuming in light of the controversy (Romenesko).

Chasing the Dream: Denver’s Big Head Todd and the Monsters were at mission control in Houston to rouse NASA astronauts from their sleep with their song “Blue Sky,” a tribute to the space shuttle. The band goes into the history books as the first ever to wake up American astronauts with a live performance (Denver Business Journal).

Conspiracy for Two: Leadville’s Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, the woman accused of aiding Colleen Rose (aka Jihad Jane), has pleaded guilty in a conspiracy case involving jihadists and a plot to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who drew the prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog (CNN).

Recovering to Normal: When DU hockey player Jesse Martin suffered a broken neck during a hockey game last October, he knew his life had changed forever. And although he’ll likely never again play hockey, his life is becoming more normal every day (CBS4).