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.

Many people are prescribed medications to treat different kinds of conditions, and it’s not always about simply feeling better.  For this month’s Healthy Conversation, KRCC's Andrea Chalfin is joined by Dr. Steven Lang, a family physician at Fort Carson to talk about prescription medications.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is still in Colorado working with counties, including El Paso, to assist with recovery efforts.  So far, the agency has approved more than 38 million dollars in assistance across the counties declared major federal disasters after last month’s devastating floods.  Renee Bafalis is the FEMA Public Information Officer assigned to El Paso County, and she came by the KRCC studios to talk about their efforts.  KRCC's Andrea Chalfin began by asking about the availability of assistance, despite the government shutdown.
 

Andrea Chalfin

With more than 1000 civilians furloughed at the United States Air Force Academy, officials there are calling the government shutdown 'completely disruptive.'

Almost 20% of specialized academic courses are suspended, and others combined.  Other activities are curtailed. Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson says operationally, while things like safety and medical continue, they’re having to account for some of the basics of life, like laundry and toilet paper.

Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason, also a Colorado College professor, has a goal to bring poetry to every county in the Centennial State.

El Paso County health officials are confirming the first human case of West Nile Virus in the county this year.

A man has been diagnosed with the virus in what Dr. Bill Letson, the El Paso County Public Health Medical Diretor, calls a pretty average year for incident rates.  

There may be one or two more cases, according to Letson, but mosquito activity is winding down.

El Paso is among the three additional counties added to the federal Major Disaster Declaration after last week’s devastating flooding.  That brings the total number of counties eligible for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to seven.  

Recent flood waters have left behind plenty of damage, but there is one silver lining. Rains recharged the soil, which the 2012 drought left bone dry. KUNC’s Luke Runyon has more…

While there are still pockets of dry areas in the state, the drought has been almost completely wiped out in the foothills and northeastern plains of Colorado. State climatologist Nolan Doesken says these types of weather extremes happen. Colorado may have been drenched in rain, but Doesken says that can change in a matter of months.

Update, Sat 11:30 AM: ​The boil advisory is now lifted.

Update, Fri 5:15 PM: The boil advisory for Manitou Springs is still in effect, but for certain neighborhoods only. The city says the lower section of Crystal Hills Boulevard and Vias Subdivisions require some follow-up testing, which is expected to be complete tomorrow morning. Other areas, including the downtown business district, are no longer under the boil advisory.

Streets specifically affected by the continuing boil water advisory are:

Update, 11:48 am: The suspect is in custody. Advisory lifted.


Update, 11:38 am: The affected schools Colorado Springs School District 11 are no longer on lockdown, with the exception of Community Prep.

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Update, 7:00 PM Monday: CDOT has reopened Manitou Avenue to traffic at the U.S. 24 interchange.  In addition, the ramps from U.S. 24 to Manitou Avenue are open. The culvert has been cleared of debris, and CDOT will continue to monitor it.

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Connecting the Drops Live Call-In Today on KRCC

Sep 15, 2013

The Colorado River dominates much of the water landscape in our state and throughout the Western US.  Join us today, Sunday, September 15th at 5 PM for a special statewide call-in program about the Colorado River.  We'll be joined by listeners of other community public radio stations across the state. It's part of "Connecting the Drops" our year-long series about water.  A special statewide call-in program on the Colorado River, Sunday, Sept. 15th at 5 PM on KRCC.
Learn more about Connecting the Drops here.

Colorado Springs officials have released initial damage assessments following this week's flooding.  Officials note that potential rain this weekend may produce further damaging incidents, and assessments will be ongoing.  Their list is as follows:

Damage assessments are underway in Colorado Springs as heavy rains continue to move through the Pikes Peak region and throughout the Front Range. Officials are urging residents to remain aware of weather conditions as rain is predicted throughout the weekend.
 

Director of Emergency Management Bret Waters says the city and regional partners have been preparing for these kinds of events for some time now, and it’s important to stay prepared.

Andrea Chalfin

The White House has approved an emergency declaration for flooding throughout the Front Range, making federal aid available to communities hardest hit by recent heavy rains.  As KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports, while Northern Colorado has so far borne the brunt of the damages, post-Waldo Canyon fire mitigation efforts in El Paso County have largely come undone.

Rains Pummel Front Range

Sep 12, 2013
Andrea Chalfin

A Flash Flood Warning remains in effect for the Waldo Canyon burn area until 8:30 PM Thu 09/12/13.

Officials have their eyes to the sky as heavy rains continue to hit much of the Front Range.  Manitou Springs has had an Incident Command Center open off and on since 9:00 last night.  The ICC is open again this afternoon as officials stay ready for more rain.

Emergency responders in Colorado Springs recovered the body of an adult male early this morning from Fountain Creek after heavy rains overnight. 

The Colorado Springs Police Department noticed a body in the water near Nevada and Las Vegas Streets while conducting flood patrols and notified the city’s fire department.  The Heavy Rescue Team recovered the remains shortly before 5 this morning.  Identification and official cause of death are pending.  A flash flood watch remains in effect for El Paso and Teller Counties through midnight.

Voters Oust Morse, Giron

Sep 11, 2013

Voters ousted two Democratic state lawmakers yesterday in the first ever recall elections of state legislators.  The recalls come in the wake of new gun legislation passed earlier this year. 
 

Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs conceded around 9:30, calling the defeat symbolic.  Morse was unapologetic over his stance on the new gun control measures, and says it was worth the political risk.

Voters who live in Senate District 11 in El Paso County can start heading to four polling centers at 8 this morning to cast early ballots in the special recall election. Included locations are the Main Office at the Citizens Service Center on Garden of the Gods, Southeast at Powers and Airport, downtown Colorado Springs on Cascade, and another on North Union.  Three other locations are scheduled to open on Monday.

A contentious real estate transaction in Old Colorado City is now a thing of the past as Iowa-based Kum & Go announced this morning that it's canceling plans to purchase property from Goodwill between 23rd and 24th Streets.

Portions of Pikes Peak Closed this Week

Sep 3, 2013

Portions of Pikes Peak will be closed this week to shoot the next installment in the Fast and Furious franchise. Another closure is expected this fall, as Hyundai is scheduled to shoot a car commercial there. Donald Zuckerman is the Colorado Film commissioner. He says that before the film incentive program, Colorado wasn’t even being considered by the movie industry.

Shanna Lewis

The Colorado State Fair is well underway in Pueblo.  KRCC's Andrea Chalfin went down to catch some of the judging, from produce to rabbits and Pet Rock Olympics. But of course, the State Fair also has rides and games.  Here’s an audio postcard of some of the sights and sounds of the Colorado State Fair.

The Colorado State Fair runs through September 2nd, in Pueblo.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has instituted new policies for Highway 24 as related to Flash Flood Warnings. When the National Weather Service issues a warning, or rain gages indicate more than a quarter inch of rain in the Waldo Canyon burn zone, CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol plan to close the route.  The highway will then remain closed until the warning is lifted, any debris is removed, and the road is deemed safe for travel.  In addition, CDOT will actively patrol the highway between Manitou Springs and Cascade at all times through October 1.

Andrea Chalfin


Efforts continue all across the Waldo Canyon burn scar to help reduce the effects of flooding.  Colorado Springs Utilities expects to wrap up initial work in the Northfield Watershed on Rampart Range within the next month or so.  But Project Manager Kim Gortz with Utilities says it’s really an ongoing effort.

"Hayman’s still seeing issues 10 years post-fire, so I think we’re starting in our planning phase as far as what do we do for long-term restoration, what do we do for monitoring each time we have a monsoon season."

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Recent flooding has prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to close Manitou Avenue (Highway 24 - Business) at the west end of town between Serpentine Drive and Highway 24.  Friday’s flood washed out two road segments, both about 30-40 feet long, and around 200-300 feet apart, making it unsafe for travel.  Engineers estimate repairs could take 2-3 months and cost around $1.5 million.  CDOT is seeking emergency funds from the Federal Highway Administration and is working on getting contracting in place so repairs can begin as soon as possible.  The total closed distance is about a

 

The Colorado Springs Police Department is confirming the body of Rose Hammes was found just after midnight last night under a bridge in a canal on Platte Avenue, near Wooten Road.

Andrea Chalfin

Flash flood watches and warnings peppered the weekend in the Pikes Peak region, with skies darkening ominously as thunder and rain rolled in each afternoon.  Last night’s warning was canceled early, and Highway 24 and Manitou Springs were spared a repeat of Friday’s devastating flooding.

Andrea Chalfin

Update: Sun 1:40 PM
Per the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, the mother of missing person Juston Travis has reported she's spoken to him and he is safe. One person still unaccounted for. As described yesterday, she is a petite blonde female, wearing black shirt over tan pants. MSPD Chief Joe Ribeiro: “Seen near the creek at one moment hanging in a tree, and then not seen the next.”

Jane Turnis

Update: 11:20PM:  The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is reporting the body of an adult man has been found along Highway 24 near mile marker 297.  They report the body was buried under a significant amount of debris along the westbound lanes of the highway.  No identification is available at this time.   

10:25 PM:  Highway 24 is now reopened, with one lane in each direction.  

Courtesy: National Archives.

The White House announced today this year's Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients. Among the honorees are Ernie Banks, Daniel Inouye, and Sally Ride (posthumously). The Medal of Freedom is given to those "who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

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Two Colorado cities have made the top ten of this year’s “Best Places for Business and Careers” list from Forbes.  The annual list examines the 200 largest cities across the country, measured by their metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs.  Denver landed at number 6, while Fort Collins came in at number seven.  The rankings take into account data including past and projected job growth, income growth, and business and living costs.  Colorado Springs landed in the top 100 at number 44, while Greeley also made th

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