Lawrence Leighton Smith passed away last week at his home at the age of 77. Smith spent more than a decade as Music Director of the Colorado Springs Symphony and Philharmonic. After making the decision to retire following the 2010-2011 season, Smith was diagnosed with Binswanger’s Disease, a form of dementia. During his final season with the Philharmonic, KRCC’s
Colorado Springs officials held a neighborhood evacuation drill for residents of Broadmoor Bluffs over the weekend. Fire officials say that neighborhood has stepped up mitigation efforts in the past year and a half, but because of topography, the amount of fuels, and housing density, Broadmoor Bluffs is one of the highest risk neighborhoods in the city’s wildland urban interface. KRCC News embedded with first responders and a family that chose to participate in the drill. We start with reporter Kate Dunn.
A new study details the economic impact of regional airports on the state. KRCC’s Kate Dunn reports.
The study comes from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division. It shows while payroll and economic output continue to rise, the total number of jobs has fallen below 2003 levels.
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.
A pair of Republican state lawmakers took the oath of office yesterday, after winning historic recall elections last month. Gun control legislation was behind the recall effort. But even with two more Republican Senators at the state capitol, Democrats are still in control of both the House and Senate. Bente Birkeland has more.
Days of rain have left Colorado Springs with infrastructure damages that could cost over $10 million. KRCC’s Martha Perez-Sanz reports that number will likely rise as officials continue to assess the situation.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
With interest in urban homesteading on the rise, some traditional farm animals are showing up in city back yards. It started with chickens. Miniature goats might be next. While some worry about potential health effects, KRCC's Liz Ruskin went to one backyard east of downtown Colorado Springs to meet a woman who isn’t concerned.
Monycka Snowbird lives in a densely packed neighborhood of 1960s-era ranch and split-level homes, some with tidy yards, some overrun by weeds.
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
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.
Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach gave his yearly “state of the city” address at a luncheon yesterday. He outlined a number of goals and accomplishments, and as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, he also used the occasion to press his plan to build four major tourism projects, including a downtown stadium and a U.S. Olympics museum.
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.
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.
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.
With the passage last year of Amendment 64, Cities and counties around Colorado are deciding whether to allow recreational marijuana shops and grow operations within their boundaries. Denver City Council said yes. El Paso County said no. The city of Pueblo passed a moratorium, deciding, in effect, to decide later. Colorado Springs City Council discussed the question yesterday, and as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, no consensus emerged.
Amendment 64 voted into law last year decriminalized recreational marijuana in Colorado for adults 21 and over. Now Colorado Springs, like local governments around the state, has about three months to decide whether to regulate retail marijuana sales or to ban such shops within city limits. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, City Council yesterday heard both sides at a Town Hall meeting.