Andrea Chalfin

Managing Editor/Fill-In Host

Andrea came to KRCC in 2008 by way of Missouri. She’s responsible for KRCC’s overall news presence, and oversees a cadre of staff, 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 achalfin@krcc.org Have a press release? Please email news@krcc.org.

Photo Courtesy of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs is reopening Saturday after a severe hailstorm on Monday caused significant damage, injuries, and even killed some animals. Zoo officials said a fifth animal, a peahen named Katy Perry, died as a result of the storm.

PARTNERSHIP FOR COMMUNITY DESIGN

The new comprehensive plan for Colorado Springs, known as PlanCOS, is out in draft form, and the city is seeking feedback. City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler is the Vice Chair of the PlanCOS steering committee and says the plan is long overdue.

Colorado Department of Transportation Facebook

The Spring Fire burning in southern Colorado is now 55% contained, up from 43% on Saturday. It's burned 106,985 acres. The Colorado Department of Transportation has reopened Highway 160 between La Veta and Fort Garland. Colorado Highway 12 remains closed from La Veta to Cuchara Pass. Colorado 69 will also stay closed from near Walsenburg to the Huerfano/Custer County Line. Local traffic will be allowed on 69; proof of residence is required.

Spring Fire 2018 Facebook page / Rocky Mountain Indicident Management

The Spring Fire in southern Colorado is now 105,704 acres and 35% contained. The Colorado Department of Transportation anticipates reopening Highway 160 on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Colorado 12 will remain closed from La Veta to the summit of Cuchara Pass. Colorado Highway 69 will remain closed to all except local traffic; proof of residence is required. Some evacuation notices in Huerfano County have been lifted.

Courtesy Spring Fire 2018 Facebook page

The Spring Fire continues to grow quickly, with reports showing a burn area of more than 94,125 acres. That's an increase of 10,000 acres since previously reported. Containment has remained steady at 5%. Most of the land is under private ownership, while state and federal lands are also affected.

@CSP_Alamosa/Twitter

The total acreage burned by the Spring Fire continues to grow. As of Tuesday morning, officials say 78,941 acres, more than 120 square miles has been effect. The containment level of the fire decreased to 5% Tuesday, down from 10% the day before. 104 homes are confirmed destroyed.

BLM, Esri, HERE, Garmin, USGS, NGA, EPA, USDA, NPS / Inciweb

Authorities have arrested a suspect on arson charges related to the Spring Fire burning in Costilla and Huerfano Counties in southern Colorado. Jesper Jorgenson, 52, was arrested without incident by Costilla County deputies in an investigation that also included the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, state arson investigators, Colorado State Patrol, and Immigration and Customs agents. The investigation is still ongoing, and no further information is available.

courtesy Colorado Department of Transportation

Update 5:39 p.m., Friday 6/29/18: In Huerfano County, mandatory evacuations are in place for residents in Tres Valles, Paradise Acres, Raspberry Mountain, Pine Haven, and the Cuchara Valley. At this time, La Veta is not part of the mandatory evacuation but remains on pre-evacuation notice. 

Any large animals being held at the 4H barn in La Veta can stay, but a secondary location is open at the Las Animas County Fairgrounds.

courtesy U.S. Air Force

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson is a 1982 graduate of the Air Force Academy. Now she's responsible for the more than 670,000 active-duty Air Force personnel and their families. She also oversees the military branch's more than $132 billion budget. Wilson was in town recently for the Air Force Academy graduation and the change in command at NORAD and NORTHCOM. While here, she sat down with 91.5 KRCC's Andrea Chalfin to talk about space.

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.

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