Andrea Chalfin

Morning Edition Host/Managing Editor

Andrea came to KRCC in 2008 by way of Missouri. She’s responsible for KRCC’s overall news presence, and oversees a cadre of freelancers and students.  Her award-winning work has been heard on NPR, The World (PRI), and the BBC. The Ohio native loves music and media, food, and the open road; it’s also not uncommon to see her taking a walk through downtown Colorado Springs.  Follow Andrea on Twitter @AndreaChalfin or send an email to andrea@krccnews.org. Have a press release? Please email news@krcc.org.

Colorado Springs Airport Instagram/cosairport

The Colorado Springs Airport is open again today after a three-alarm fire Monday night prompted its closure and the cancellation of all commercial flights Tuesday. 

El Paso County PIO, Twitter

--- Update 4/19/18, 9:45 p.m. ---

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is reporting that the #117Fire has been completely contained.

--- Update 4/19/18, 7:30 a.m. ---

The #117Fire is now estimated at 60% containment, with little to no growth. It remains nearly 41,000 acres. The state's Type II team has officially taken over command of fighting the fire as of 6 a.m. There's a new fire information phone number: 719-428-5223 (from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.).

National Weather Service-Pueblo

Evacuations are in place as firefighters throughout southern Colorado battle multiple fires. 

Colorado Springs FIre Department @CSFDPIO

Residents who have been evacuated due to a fire along the El Paso-Pueblo County line can start returning to their homes, with the exception of three locations. The fire, which started Friday on Fort Carson near a training exercise, has burned 3300 acres and is 80% contained as of late afternoon Saturday. 

Colorado Springs FIre Department @CSFDPIO

7:00 p.m.: In a press briefing Friday evening, officials confirmed that several structures have been lost in the fire, but said no loss of life or injury has been reported. El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said most of the threatened structures are believed to be safe at this point, and that fire crews are focused now on extinguishing the blaze. He said he hopes the fire will be out before midnight.

A spokesperson for Fort Carson explained that the blaze -- which was sparked on Fort Carson and joined up with another flare up that started in the area yesterday -- began in the vicinity of a training exercise that was being conducted on post. He added that the training was necessary and could not have been delayed, despite red flag fire conditions in the region Friday.

John Suthers State of the City 2016 / Colorado Springs

El Paso County Commissioners are holding another public meeting on plans to expand I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock.

National Weather Service

Days of warm temperatures, high winds, and low humidity across the southern Colorado region have seen Red Flag Warnings and a number of fires crop up. A Red Flag Warning means conditions are ideal for the start and spread of wildfires, including dry fuels, low relative humidities, and gusty winds.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Authorities released more information Tuesday about the circumstances and victims of a shootout in Colorado Springs that left El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Micah Flick dead, and three other law enforcement officers wounded.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Updated 2/6/18 at 12:05pm

34-year-old El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Micah Flick, an 11-year-veteran of the department, was killed Monday afternoon as law enforcement officers investigated a stolen vehicle in east Colorado Springs.

I-25 Gap Project Subject Of Public Meetings

Jan 30, 2018
John Suthers State of the City 2016 / Colorado Springs

The Colorado Department of Transportation is hosting a series of meetings in Colorado Springs and Monument on the I-25 Gap project, as well as two telephone town halls.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs Police have arrested 31-year old Neal Joseph Arnceneaux in connection with an incident that kept areas of northeast Colorado Springs cordoned off Friday afternoon and into the night. 

The initial incident occurred after CSPD responded to a domestic violence call Friday around 3:40 p.m. on Union Blvd., says Lt. Howard Black. He says shots were exchanged between the suspect and police.  No one was hit.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

After days of sustained outrage, the city of Colorado Springs has taken down a large blue frame erected last week in Garden of the Gods.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

UPDATE: As of mid-day Monday, 12/18/17, the city had removed the frame.

ORIGINAL STORY--FRIDAY 12/15/17: A newly-installed structure at Garden of the Gods has local outdoor enthusiasts crying foul. In a widely shared post on Facebook, the outdoor adventure non-profit UpaDowna brought the frame to the attention of its followers, many of whom have described the structure as “ugly” and a blight on the natural beauty of the park. 

Courtesy Darrell Hammond

Former Saturday Night Live cast member Darrell Hammond is the featured speaker at the 9th annual Heroes of Mental Health luncheon, taking place Thursday, November 2. The comedian is perhaps best known for his impressions of Bill Clinton and Sean Connery, and he also played Donald Trump and Al Gore on the sketch program. 

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Memorial Park in Colorado Springs is receiving the lion's share of the latest round of grants from the Colorado Springs Health Foundation, with an award of more than $925,000.  The park, just east of downtown, counts Prospect Lake, sports fields, and a cycling velodrome as part of its amenities, and hosts such community events as the hot air balloon Labor Day Lift-Off. 

Bob Wick, BLM California / BLM Flickr / Creative Commons

New legislation introduced in Congress would place limitations on the Antiquities Act, originally passed in 1906, which allows the President of the United States to designate national monuments. Most recently in Colorado, the Antiquities Act was utilized to preserve Brown's Canyon in the Upper Arkansas River Valley, as well as Chimney Rock and the Canyon of the Ancients, both in southwestern Colorado.

National Forest Service, Pike & San Isabel National Forests

After more than five years of being closed to the public, portions of the Waldo Canyon burn area are reopening.  The Waldo Canyon Trail and Trailhead along Highway 24 remain closed.

City of Colorado Springs instagram / cityofcos

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers delivered his third annual State of the City address Friday, remarking on the city's successes in the past year and challenges moving forward.  He began by reflecting on his previous State of the City addresses, saying that the city has moved from one of great potential to one that is beginning to actually achieve that potential. 

Hyperloop One

High-speed transportation along Colorado's Front Range just moved a small but significant step forward, as a route connecting Cheyenne, Wyoming to Pueblo, Colorado was selected as one of ten winners worldwide in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge.

Hickenlooper file photo

Governor John Hickenlooper is denying that he and Ohio Governor and former GOP presidential candidate John Kasich are exploring a possible unity party presidential bid in 2020.  The speculation comes from national media sources, including CNN, which say Hickenlooper would run as Vice President. 

Kevin Kreck / Associated Press

The Colorado Classic takes off from Colorado Springs Thursday, bringing nearly 175 professional cyclists from around the world to the Centennial State.  Colorado Springs hosts the first leg, with the women's race kicking off mid-morning Thursday, and the start of the men's race set for the afternoon.  Both starts take place downtown at Tejon and Pikes Peak, with peak road closures occurring on Thursday along the route between downtown and Garden of the Gods.

Steve Wilson / Flickr - Creative Commons

The state commission tasked with looking into passenger rail on Colorado's Front Range is getting to work.  The committee is an expansion of the previous Southwest Chief commission, and still tasked with working to preserve and improve the long-distance Amtrak route that travels through southern Colorado, as well as connect it to Pueblo.

Courtesy: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

The state parks program that puts backpacks with parks passes, binoculars, and guides into public libraries is in its second year.  "Check Out State Parks" officially launched last year in more than 280 libraries statewide.  This year, it's expanded to include many publicly funded college and university libraries. 

Hickenlooper file photo

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other climate goals.  Hickenlooper also says the state will join the U. S. Climate Alliance, which is a group of states looking to uphold the Paris Climate Accord.  President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord earlier this year.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Several months prior to the Waldo Canyon Fire, Myrna Candreia had a premonition.  "Something inside me told me, 'You need to prepare for a fire,'" she recalls.  "I had developed this feeling inside that things weren't good. Maybe it was because of the drought we were having?"

One week before the fire, she went to Staples, bought boxes and set them up, but didn't fill them.  "I could have been fully prepared and a lot more prepared.  I wasn't.  I got a few things out," she says.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Parkside resident Mike Finkbiner was a roofing contractor during the original construction of the Colorado Springs subdivision, and says Mountain Shadows as a whole was "pretty well planned" when it was built in the 1980s.  It wasn't until 2002 that he moved into the community, and then to a different home in Parkside in 2005.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Retired electrical engineer Barry Timmons and his wife relocated to Colorado to be closer to family, and lived in the Parkside neighborhood of Colorado Springs for three years before the Waldo Canyon Fire claimed his home.

"It's just a nice area, it was a nice little home," Timmons says.  "It was very conducive to us being a retired couple."

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Carla Albers and her family moved into their Mountain Shadows home in 1990.  They'd always loved the westside and figured it would be a starter home, but ended up loving the neighborhood and the area.  

"It just ended up being up one of those neighborhoods where a lot of younger couples moved in with a lot of kids," she recalls.  "It was just a really great place to raise a family."

Their house was among the nearly 350 homes lost in 2012's Waldo Canyon Fire.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

When the Waldo Canyon Fire broke out five years ago, Nick Gledich found himself in two roles. On the one hand, he's the superintendent of District 11.  A number of schools were threatened by the blaze; another served as a staging area for firefighters and first responders.  On the other hand, Gledich was also among the Mountain Shadows evacuees.

Jeffrey M. Foster / Courtesy UCCS

It's been slightly more than a month since Dr. Venkat Reddy officially took over the top spot at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, but he's no stranger to the school.  He's spent 25 years there, starting as a finance faculty member, serving as Dean of the Business School, and shepherding online education for the University.  

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