Andrea Chalfin

News Director

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.

courtesy CC/FAC

Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center have finalized a merger that, after a four-year transition period, will result in the full integration of the center into College operations.

Rob Powell, Division Z / via Inciweb and Freemont County Sheriff's Office

TUESDAY UPDATE: Evacuees from the Hayden Pass Fire along County Road 6 in Fremont County will be allowed back to their homes starting Thursday morning at 8.  Those returning home should know heavy timber will continue to burn on the interior of the fire perimeter.

ORIGINAL POST (Monday): Some residents of Fremont County who have been evacuated due to the Hayden Pass Fire are being allowed to return home. 

Inciweb

The Hayden Pass Fire burning in Fremont County spans 16,414 acres.  The Fremont County Sheriff's office says the lightning-caused wildfire is now 30% contained.  908 personnel continue to work on the incident. 

Residents of CR 1A, the Eagle Peak Subdivision, CR 40 and the Fox Creek Subdivision will be allowed to return to their homes Tuesday morning, July 19, beginning at 8 AM.  The Fremont County Sheriff's Office requests those residents first go to Cotopaxi High School from 4-8 PM Monday for a registration, or from 8-noon Tuesday morning.

Inciweb

The weekend post for this incident is here

Inciweb

Friday's post about this incident is here

Inciweb

Thursday's post about this incident is here.

Inciweb

Wednesday's post for this incident is here

Mike Blakeman / USFS

Tuesday's post for this incident is here.

Fremont County Sheriff's Department

Monday's post for this incident is here.

Holly Pretsky / KRCC

Law enforcement leaders and others in Colorado Springs and El Paso County held a press conference today in response to incidents of violence across the country this week and in the past, including the shootings in Dallas last night that left five officers dead.


Jake Brownell / KRCC

Hundreds of residents of Security, Widefield and Fountain attended a community meeting Thursday to learn more about potentially harmful chemicals recently detected in area drinking water.  The chemicals are called Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs, and have been linked to low infant birth weight and other health problems.

Associated Press

Flags are flying at half-mast throughout Colorado in honor of the victims of the shootings in Orlando, Florida over the weekend, where dozens were killed and dozens more wounded. The shootings took place at The Pulse, a gay nightclub.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

Community leaders and developers from Colorado Springs and elsewhere came together yesterday to talk about urban revitalization projects in and around the city's downtown.

The seminar included tours of a number of planned projects, including a bike tour of Legacy Loop, the Catalyst Campus of Technology, and a tour of the Center for Leadership at the Air Force Academy.

El Paso County Sheriff's Dept.

An F-16 with the Air Force Thunderbirds crashed Thursday afternoon after the group's demonstration at the Air Force Academy commencement ceremony. 

Staff Photo / El Paso County

Former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa has been indicted by a grand jury on nine counts, including six felony charges and three misdemeanors.  Also named in the indictment are former Undersheriff Paula Presley on all nine charges, as well as former Commander Juan "John" San Agustin on two counts.

Charges include extortion, tampering with a witness or victim, second degree kidnapping, false imprisonment, and official misconduct.

National Weather Service

Winter weather returns to Colorado this weekend as much of the state braces for heavy snowfall.

The El Paso County Office of Emergency Management is urging people stay home, especially in the northern and eastern parts of the county.  Currently, Highway 24 from Colorado Springs to Limon is closed.  Eastbound Woodman from Marksheffel to Highway 24 in Falcon is also closed, as is Highway 94 from Enoch Road to Punkin Center. (UPDATE 3:40 PM: Hwy 94 from Enoch Rd. to Punkin Center has reopened.)

National Weather Service

Modified post:  

Northern El Paso County remains under a blizzard warning until 8 PM.  Southern El Paso County is under a Winter Weather Advisory until 6 PM.  Public safety groups are urging people to stay off the roads.

The fast-moving storm closed routes along the Front Range, including Interstate 25 from North Academy to County Line Road in Denver.  Check current route statuses here with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Colorado Springs City Council discussed a proposal at Monday's work session that seeks to formally oppose the relocation of refugees to the city unless the federal government can certify they pose no security threat.

National Weather Service - Pueblo

The Winter Storm Warning that blanketed much of Colorado over the past several days is lifting piece by piece as the snowstorm moves out of the state. It leaves behind record-breaking snowfall in some places, and communities with closed schools and government offices.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

The Colorado State Fair has a new general manager.  Sarah Cummings recently picked up the reins to drive the annual celebration of state agriculture.  She comes from California, where she worked with and ran various fairs; she also grew up participating in them. KRCC's Andrea Chalfin sat down with Cummings on her first day on the fairgrounds to talk with her about the state of the State Fair.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

David Amster-Olszewski, a 2009 graduate of Colorado College, has been named to Forbes magazine's 2016 list of "30 Under 30" for his work in the energy sector.  Amster-Olszewski, 28, founded his company SunShare in Colorado Springs, with a community solar garden at Venetucci Farm

Pool video/KUSA

The accused gunman in last month's shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic is facing more than 150 separate charges, including multiple counts of first-degree murder. 

57-year-old Robert Dear had a number of outbursts during Wednesday's court appearance, calling himself a "warrior for the babies," and saying he doesn't want a psychological evaluation.

After the proceedings, District Attorney Dan May said he would not comment on the defendant's behavior.  May also said he has time to decide whether or not to seek the death penalty.

UCCS

UCCS Officer Garrett Swasey was laid to rest Friday with a service at New Life Church.  Swasey was one of three killed in a shootout at a Planned Parenthood clinic last week

His coffin was draped with an American flag and law enforcement officers served as pallbearers.  He was remembered as man of faith, family, and courage, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper spoke at the service, calling Swasey's sacrifice humbling.

CSPD

Authorities have identified the civilian victims of Friday's shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic on the city's northwest side as 35-year-old Jennifer Markovsky and 29-year-old Ke'Arre Marcell Stewart.  Officials previously identified UCCS Police Officer Garrett Swasey as another fatality.

Stewart was a veteran of the Iraq War who recently left the military.  Markovsky is being described as a kind-hearted, lovable person. 

Swasey's family released a statement Sunday, thanking people for their support and asking for privacy.  

A resource center is opening today to assist people directly impacted by Friday's shooting incident.  It will open today at 1:00 at the Mortgage Solutions Financial Center, 3650 North Nevada.  Support personnel will be on hand from the police and fire departments, sheriff's office, District Attorney's office, as well as mental health and spiritual care professionals.

Andrea Chalfin

Vigils are being held in Colorado Springs Saturday for the victims of Friday's shootout at the Planned Parenthood clinic on the city's northwest side. Governor John Hickenlooper has ordered flags lowered to half-staff until further notice. 

Three were killed Friday as a gunman holed up in the clinic for hours.  Among the dead are two civilians, and Officer Garrett Swasey, a six-year veteran of the police department at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

UPDATE Saturday 4 PM: Updated information from the city says four civilians were transported to hospitals with gunshot wounds during the incident.  Five law enforcement officers, four with the Colorado Springs Police Department and one from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, were also taken to hospitals with gunshot wounds.  Three additional police officers were injured.  All are in good condition and expected to make full recoveries.

Noel Black

44-year-old Officer Garrett Swasey has been identified as the police officer killed in today's incident. Swasey was a six-year veteran of the UCCS Police Department, and was responding in support of the Colorado Springs Police Department.

UPDATE: 7:00 PM MST:  Colorado Springs police are confirming three fatalities, two civilians and one police officer from UCCS.

Four other civilians and five officers are in the hospital in "good condition."

Deputy Chief J. Petersma / Falcon Fire Department

Crews from several El Paso County area fire departments responded to a grass fire in the eastern part of the county Tuesday afternoon.  The El Paso County Sheriff's Office says its dispatch office sent out nearly 130 reverse 911 calls to nearby residents, and a voluntary evacuation was put in place for residents bound by Shear, Edison, Fossinger, and Yoder Roads.

A study of the 2012 Waldo Canyon wildfire recommends that crews fighting similar fires that spread into urban areas be trained in both structure protection and traditional wildland firefighting tactics. 

Alex Maranghides, fire protection engineer for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST says the investigation shows defensive measures specifically designed for the wildland urban interface, or WUI, can benefit firefighting efforts.

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