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.

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."

CDOT

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."

clipart

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

CDC

The Centers for Disease Control just released obesity numbers for pre-school aged children of low-income families, and nationally, the trend is generally positive.  In Colorado though, the report showed an increase in obesity rates among these children.

A new study finds deployment-related factors like combat experience or days deployed have little or no influence on suicide rates.  KRCC's Andrea Chalfin has more from one doctor who's researching suicide in the military.

 

Colorado Springs' Interim Fire Chief Tommy Smith will be moving to Redmond, Washington after accepting the chief position there.  Smith stepped in as the interim head of the Colorado Springs Fire Department earlier this year when Chief Rich Brown stepped down.  Smith is expected to begin his new duties in September, after Christopher Riley takes over the fire department.  Riley was appointed as the city's fire chief last week, pending approval from city council.  According to a press release at the time, there were no internal candidates for CSFD Chief.

Sandbags will be available to homeowners facing impacts from potential flash flooding in and near the Waldo Canyon burn scar.  They'll be given away free at the Verizon Wireless building on Garden of the Gods Road from 8 - 2 Saturday. The sand comes from last week's Olympic Downtown Celebration and its sand volleyball pit.

Pueblo City-County Health officials are warning residents of West Nile virus in the area.  Mosquitoes have tested positive, but no human cases have been reported.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so for this month’s Healthy Conversation, we’re talking vaccinations.  KRCC's Andrea Chalfin is joined by Lt. Col. Diane Heinz of Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, and we begin by talking about what back to school means for vaccines.

Additional Information:

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has selected Pueblo Fire Chief Christopher Riley to be the new head of the city’s fire department. Riley has served as Pueblo’s Chief since 2006. According to a release from the city, Riley will earn $145,000 per year.  He’s expected to start September 9th, pending approval from City Council mid-August.  Former Fire Chief Rich Brown retired in the spring. The city says 40 people applied for the position, with no applications coming from internal candidates. Interim Chief Tommy Smith will return to his post as Deputy Chief of Support Services.

The federal government has approved a major disaster declaration for the Royal Gorge Fire in Fremont County.  The declaration means federal aid is available to deal with the effects, including unemployment benefits for Royal Gorge Bridge & Park employees and others who are out of work after this summer’s wildfire, who aren’t otherwise eligible for state jobless benefits.  Aid is also available for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities. Governor John Hickenlooper’s office says a similar request for the Black Forest Fire is pending.

Colorado Springs and El Paso County officials have released updated flood maps for areas in and near the Waldo Canyon burn scar.  The maps detail expected flood effects after one-hour rainfall amounts of a half-inch up to two inches of rain.  The assessments assumed debris in floodwaters would cause blockages at street crossings.  Maps include Ute Pass, Manitou Springs, and Fountain Creek.  Douglas Creek maps have not yet been updated.  There’s a preparedness meeting tonight at six for residents and businesses along Fountain Creek at Al Kaly Shrine.

Colorado Springs City Council voted yesterday to opt-out of recreational marijuana sales after listening to public comments and a plea from Mayor Steve Bach to opt-out. Bach called it a jobs killer, and cited concerns from the military.  Bach also said it’s important to take a regional approach, mentioning other communities who have opted out of recreational marijuana sales like El Paso County, Monument, and Green Mountain Falls.  If council decided not to opt-out, they would have voted on a moratorium.  But Bach pressed for the ban.

The publisher of the Raton Range and Trinidad Times-Independent is putting both papers under temporary closures.  With nearly identical messages on the papers’ sites, publisher Paula Murphy apologized to readers and cited the high cost of printing and declining population in the region as reasons for the closures.

The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder will begin mailing ballots in mid-August to registered voters in Senate District 11 for the upcoming recall election. A petition requesting the recall of Democratic State Senator John Morse was approved by a judge earlier this week. The ballot will pose two issues; one asking if Morse should be recalled. The second allows the voter to choose a successor candidate.  In order for that vote to count, the first issue must not be skipped.  Nearly 69,000 people are registered to vote in this election.  Ballots are due by 7 PM, Sept. 10.

The Obama administration launched an initiative Friday aimed at reducing the risk of wildfire to water supplies in the West. As KUNC's Grace Hood reports, Colorado will be one of six states to see pilot projects.

Flows of ash and debris into streams after a wildfire can be damaging to the local water supply. Aiming to mitigate this problem, the US Departments of Agriculture and Interior signed a memorandum of understanding Friday. USDA Chief Tom Vilsack:

clipart

The El Paso County Sheriff’s office is looking into two fires in Fox Run Park, which is east of Interstate 25 off Baptist Road. The fires are considered separate incidents, but are both considered arson. Anyone with information about the fires should call the El Paso County Sheriff’s office at 719-390-5555. The department asks residents to report any suspicious activity, and to remain aware while in the area. Fox Run Park is just west of the Black Forest Fire burn scar.  Last month’s fire burned more than 14,000 acres and destroyed nearly 500 homes.

Applications are due tomorrow for state money to help with wildfire mitigation projects. As KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports, there are other goals for the grant program as well.

The Pipeline Fire on Fisher’s Peak started yesterday and is burning in steep, rocky terrain. Multiple units responded from in and around the Trinidad region, but officials say it’s been difficult to access the fire. The active fire has shown extreme activity on the entire perimeter of the blaze, though no evacuations have been ordered.

Nearly 50 officers and precinct leaders with the El Paso County Republican Party voted today to nominate Bernie Herpin in the Senate District 11 recall effort of Democrat John Morse. Herpin received 30 votes, while candidate Jaxine Bubis received 18. Bubis is expected to withdraw from the race after the two signed an agreement that would name one person as the GOP nominee. According to a press release from the El Paso County Republican Party, the county’s Clerk and Recorder oversaw the process at the expense of the party.

As the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, last month, in many ways, the gay rights movement seems to be pushing forward faster than many had anticipated. Some are already turning toward other complex issues, like gender. This month’s Western Skies brings a variety of community perspectives on an issue that can confuse even those who study it. Please note, some content may be considered unsuitable for sensitive listeners.

You can listen to the full episode here:

Western Skies is a collaboration between KRCC News and The Big Something.

Summertime means fun in the sun, and in Colorado, that fun is often year-round.  So is the need to protect ourselves from harmful effects of sun exposure.  For this month’s Healthy Conversation, KRCC's Andrea Chalfin is joined by Major James Twede, Chief of Dermatology at Fort Carson.  They begin by talking about why the sun can be so damaging.

Additional Information:

Forecasters say the storm over the Waldo Canyon burn scar yesterday that produced flash flooding through Williams Canyon was quick-moving and dropped six-tenths of an inch of rain in about 15 minutes. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin has more.

Manitou Springs city officials were quick to praise education efforts and first-responder cooperation, but Police Chief Joe Ribeiro acknowledged the city’s warning siren didn’t work correctly.

Highway 24 west of Manitou Springs and other area roads shut down temporarily yesterday as rain hit the Waldo Canyon Burn Scar, sending debris onto the route and flooding Fountain Creek. Authorities say around 20 homes were damaged, 6-8 of them significantly. Meteorologist John Kalina with the National Weather Service in Pueblo says the storm dropped about .6 of an inch of rain in about 15 minutes.

“These cells were moving quickly from the north to the south at around 30 mph or even a little quicker than that, and they did develop rather quickly.”

In 2012, the U.S. military’s suicide rate surpassed combat deaths. Clinical Psychologist Craig Bryan has made suicide prevention his mission. This January, Dr. Bryan’s research brought him to Colorado Springs’ Fort Carson, where he was conducting his second study on mental health treatments. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin sat down then to talk about his research–and how the very characteristics that make an effective soldier can also lead to increased suicide risk.

Pages