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.

Credit: Colorado Judicial Branch

The Colorado Supreme Court says a ballot measure aimed at eliminating the state's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, or TABOR amendment, can move forward.

John Suthers State of the City 2016 / Colorado Springs

Colorado is set to begin looking into specifics of what it would take to create a passenger rail line along the fast-growing Front Range. The state's transportation department, along with its Commission on Passenger Rail, is now accepting proposals for a study aimed at connecting Pueblo to Denver and Fort Collins by rail. The request also includes Trinidad and asks for the anticipation of a link to Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

National Weather Service

Residents are cleaning up after a late winter storm blew through the Pikes Peak region, downing tree limbs, closing and delaying schools, and creating sloppy and hazardous driving conditions.

courtesy U.S. Air Force

The United States Air Force has confirmed four locations in Colorado as among the six finalists for its new Space Command headquarters. Three Colorado Springs locations were named as possible locations—Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Peterson Air Force Base and Schriever Air Force Base—as was Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora.

National Weather Service

Much of eastern Colorado is bracing for another round of wintry weather, which includes a blizzard warning for northeastern Colorado, north of the Palmer Divide, and a Winter Storm Warning for Teller County. The National Weather Service has also issued a High Wind Warning for much of southern Colorado, including southern El Paso County, Otero County, and Pueblo County. That is set to expire Thursday at noon. A Red Flag Warning for much the same area is set to expire Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.

UPDATE: 6:30 p.m.: All evacuations have been lifted and mop up efforts are underway. Cause of the fire is under investigation.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

(UPDATED 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 3, 2019) The final, unofficial count is in and Colorado Springs voters have elected some familiar faces to city government.

courtesy photos

The city of Colorado Springs is holding a general election for mayor on April 2, 2019. There are four candidates in the race. 91.5 KRCC's Andrea Chalfin spoke with each of them, and condensed the interviews into the following highlights, including discussions on homelessness, the future of the city, and public safety, among other topics.

Colorado Department of Transportation

Interstate 25 between Colorado Springs and Denver is fully open as of around 3:00, although drivers are still urged to proceed with caution. Some roads, particularly in the eastern and northeastern plains, remain closed.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

UPDATE Thursday, 3/14/19, 6:10 a.m.: Many roads throughout Colorado remain closed after yesterday's severe winter weather, including northbound Interstate 25 at Woodman. Officials are still encouraging residents to stay home, and, if they must go out, to check routes. You can also check the latest closures here.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

On Saturday, President Donald Trump proposed a deal to congressional Democrats that would, among other items, protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for three years in exchange for $5.7 billion to fund the border wall. Following that announcement, several Colorado lawmakers in the 91.5 KRCC listening area released statements about the proposal.

John Suthers State of the City 2016 / Colorado Springs

The thought of a backup on Interstate 25 can bring a groan to any driver. But if a state commission has its way, there could be alternative transportation along the Front Range in about a decade. It's the same group that's tasked with working to preserve Amtrak's Southwest Chief long distance passenger rail line that travels through southern Colorado. 

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

For several years now, a state commission has been looking into ways to preserve and expand Amtrak's long-distance passenger rail line, the Southwest Chief. It travels through southern Colorado, with stops in Lamar, La Junta, and Trinidad. The group is also looking at the possibility of passenger rail along Colorado's Front Range. 

NPR

Today is election day and polls closed in Colorado at 7 p.m. As of midafternoon, the Secretary of State's Office said more than 2 million ballots had been cast statewide. According to those numbers, around 9,000 more ballots have been turned in by Democrats than Republicans, and around 694,000 unaffiliated voters have cast their ballots.

Laura Bittner / Flickr/Creative Commons

Ballots are out and drop-off locations and polling centers are open for the 2018 mid-term election. For many voters in Colorado, the ballot is a long one. Here you will find links and information on how to vote, as well as information on the 13 statewide issues. 

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.

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