Ebene News – US – Even without a pandemic, 2020 has been a turbulent year in Colorado

US Space Command Chief Gen John “Jay” Raymond and Senior Enlisted Senior Advisor Chief Senior Sgt Roger Towberman presents President Donald Trump with the Space Force Flag in May in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington (Photo courtesy of US Space Force)

Ben Hellem, center, receives a ballot from a voter while Cam Thornton, right, watches a drive-through drop-off location in Colorado Springs on November 3, 2020 (Forrest Czarnecki, The Gazette)

From the ashes Rich Muegge helps his grandson, Chandler Muegge, 5, cut his cart dinner on Thursday, July 9, 2020, during the Flying W Ranch’s smooth opening after being closed since it was destroyed in the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire (Christian Murdock, The Gazette)

Protester confronts Colorado Springs police officer over death of 19-year-old De’Von Bailey, who was shot by police in 2019, during protest calling for justice over George Floyd’s death and police brutality in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday, May 30, 2020 (Chancey Bush, The Gazette)

Social distancing flies over The Class of 2020 tosses their hats in the air as the Thunderbirds soar on Saturday, April 18, 2020, following the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony on the terrazzo of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs (Christian Murdock, The Gazette)

A line of cars leaving the city of Granby as the East Troublesome fire burns in Grand County on Thursday October 22, 2020 (Chancey Bush, The Gazette)

Misty Olson, who is homeless and 12 weeks pregnant, tries to take a nap while the Homeless Outreach Team cleans up her camp under US Highway 24 on September 10, 2020 ( Forrest Czarnecki, The Gazette)

At the start of Gannon Stauch’s disappearance, his neighborhood community pledged to “leave no stone unturned” El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputies announced in March 2020 the arrest of Stauch’s stepmother , Leticia Stauch, suspected of having killed him and of having hidden his remains (Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

Patrons begin entering the new In-N-Out Burger restaurant Friday morning, November 20, 2020, at the southeast corner of the InterQuest and Voyager Parkways in northern Colorado Springs (Christian Murdock, The Gazette )

Monycka Snowbird, left, opposes maintaining the Cheyenne Mountain Indians mascot with a supporter, who declined to give her name, outside the Cheyenne Mountain board working session School District 12 in Fall 2020 Snowbird and other Indigenous people who attended the protest felt the mascot was racist against their heritage Mascot supporters said the Indian mascot was an honor and a school tradition. About fifty people lined the street in front of the administrative building of the school district (Photo from the Gazette file)

The demolition of a bridge on East Platte Avenue began December 14, 2020, as part of a $ 14 million safety improvement project on Platte Avenue on Sand Creek in Colorado Springs, near the Powers Boulevard interchange (Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

US Space Command Chief Gen John “Jay” Raymond and Enlisted Senior Advisor Chief Senior Sgt Roger Towberman presents President Donald Trump with the Space Force flag in May in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington (Photo courtesy of US Space Force)

Ben Hellem, center, receives a ballot from a voter while Cam Thornton, right, watches a drive-through drop-off location in Colorado Springs on November 3, 2020 (Forrest Czarnecki, The Gazette)

From the ashes Rich Muegge helps his grandson, Chandler Muegge, 5, cut his cart dinner on Thursday, July 9, 2020, during the Flying W Ranch’s smooth opening after being closed since it was destroyed in the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire (Christian Murdock, The Gazette)

Protester confronts Colorado Springs police officer over death of 19-year-old De’Von Bailey, who was shot by police in 2019, during protest calling for justice over George Floyd’s death and police brutality in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday, May 30, 2020 (Chancey Bush, The Gazette)

Social distancing flies over The Class of 2020 tosses their hats in the air as the Thunderbirds soar on Saturday, April 18, 2020, following the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony on the terrazzo of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs (Christian Murdock, The Gazette)

A line of cars leaving the city of Granby as the East Troublesome fire burns in Grand County on Thursday October 22, 2020 (Chancey Bush, The Gazette)

Misty Olson, who is homeless and 12 weeks pregnant, tries to take a nap while the Homeless Outreach Team cleans up her camp under US Highway 24 on September 10, 2020 ( Forrest Czarnecki, The Gazette)

At the start of Gannon Stauch’s disappearance, his neighborhood community pledged to “leave no stone unturned” El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputies announced in March 2020 the arrest of Stauch’s stepmother , Leticia Stauch, suspected of having killed him and of having hidden his remains (Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

Patrons begin entering the new In-N-Out Burger restaurant Friday morning, November 20, 2020, at the southeast corner of the InterQuest and Voyager Parkways in northern Colorado Springs (Christian Murdock, The Gazette )

Monycka Snowbird, left, argues against keeping the Cheyenne Mountain Indian mascot with a supporter, who declined to give her name, outside of the Cheyenne board working session Mountain School District 12 in Fall 2020 Snowbird and other Indigenous people who attended the protest felt the mascot was racist against their heritage Mascot supporters said the Indian mascot was an honor and a school tradition About 50 people lined the street in front of the administrative building of the school district (Photo from the Gazette file)

The demolition of a bridge on East Platte Avenue began December 14, 2020, as part of a $ 14 million safety improvement project on Platte Avenue on Sand Creek in Colorado Springs, near the Powers Boulevard interchange (Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

As government leaders, health officials, and frontline and essential workers explored what a ‘new normal’ would look like for Coloradans amid the pandemic, 2020 has nonetheless been a year of turbulent growth in the world. Colorado

Despite new public health restrictions that have limited or completely halted some operations, this year in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak area, new businesses and developments, a burning housing market, protests against racial injustice and police brutality, and record voter turnout in the largest presidential election to date

It has been a year of firsts and cautious optimism that best boils down to the Air Force’s May announcement that Colorado Springs will be the “provisional” home for the next six years. of US Space Command under a plan announced by Republican US Representative Doug Lamborn

“Based on these criteria, I am confident that Colorado Springs remains the best home for Space Command, especially as the space defense industry and space operations infrastructure in our community continue to grow. grow, “Lamborn said

The command brings more than 1,400 civilian soldiers and workers, and potentially billions of dollars, to the Pikes Peak area, where a network of contractors is expected to congregate Pentagon expected to announce preferred location in early 2021

While the pandemic has changed almost every aspect of life, 2020 still had its bright spots – and it’s been a busy year in Colorado Here we look at some highlights from 2020:

The long wait for the first In-N-Out Burger restaurant in Colorado Springs ended last month when the California-based fast food favorite opened in the far north

In-N-Out – famous for its double doubles, animal-style fries, and shakes made with real ice cream – announced in late 2017 that it would expand to Colorado But it took three years for that its first restaurant debuts southeast of the InterQuest and Voyager Parkways, where In-N-Out has also built a nearby distribution and production facility to service its Colorado locations

When In-N-Out opened on November 20, hundreds of cars and thousands of foodies were online; many people have been anxiously waiting several hours to get a taste of what some insist it is the best burger around

The US Olympic Paralympic Museum & opened in late July in downtown Colorado Springs The site pays homage to the country’s Olympic and Paralympic movements, but it is also expected to help anchor redevelopment efforts on the South Side. west of downtown

The 60,000 square foot site, on Sierra Madre Street and Vermijo Avenue, showcases the achievements of Olympic and Paralympic athletes and includes a dozen galleries highlighting the Winter and Summer Games, a Olympic Hall of Fame, athlete training, medals and the Parade of Nations of the Olympic Games, among others

In 2020, permits issued for the construction of single-family detached homes in El Paso County surpassed 4,000 for the first time in 15 years

On the resale side of the market, median home prices hit a record high of $ 385,000 in September, as the number of homes sold was on track for an annual record

Although demand for housing was strong, the Pikes Peak area – like other markets across the country – was plagued by a shortage of homes for sale

The apartment market also remained strong in Colorado Springs in 2020 The local apartment vacancy rate remained at an average figure, while average rents in the third quarter hit a record high of nearly $ 1,280 per month

Another long-awaited company, Southwest Airlines, in October announced plans to expand to Colorado Springs with 13 daily non-stop flights to its larger hubs in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix

City officials have been courting the Southwest for nearly 20 years, but the drop in travel during the COVID-19 pandemic has left the low-fare giant with many inactive employees and planes than Southwest wanted to put to work in new destinations Southwest officials contacted local airport management in September and local officials sealed the deal with $ 2.5 million in public and private incentives to help with marketing spending , construction and start-up

Southwest flights to Colorado Springs begin March 11 and will likely more than double the combined seating capacity of flights from the airport’s other four airlines – American, Delta, Frontier and United

Also near the airport, e-commerce giant Amazon is building a 7 million square foot 3 distribution center in the airport’s Peak Innovation Park, southeast of Powers Boulevard and Milton E Proby Parkway

The center will ship customer orders for books, electronics, toys, and other smaller items to the Colorado Springs area, the rest of the state, and neighboring states The five-story building, the tallest in Colorado Springs and possibly the largest in the state, is expected to open in mid-2021 and will employ at least 1,000 workers who will be hired about two months before the opening of the installation

A resident of a Colorado Springs nursing home was found dead on the facility’s grounds in February, forcing state health officials to revoke his operating license. Home Margarita Sam was found dead on February 3 on a bench on the grounds of the facility, partially dressed She died of hypothermia, according to the county coroner’s office Nearly 10 days later, the facility has been removed, forcing around 115 residents to find other places to live Three of the facility’s workers were charged with negligence in October after an investigation into Sam’s death, police said The case was due to be continued by the Colorado attorney general’s office

As summer arrived, residents took to the streets to protest racial injustice and police brutality following the May 25 murder of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis who died in the custody of a white policeman

In downtown Colorado Springs, hundreds took part in local protests While daytime protests were largely peaceful, officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the crowds as she continued to walk until late at night Mayor John Suthers imposed a 10 p.m. curfew on the fifth consecutive day of protests after citing multiple nightly clashes with police and protesters and property damage that included vandalism of city buildings, as well as bottles of water, stones and fireworks launched at police officers

In July, Colorado Springs city council members voted in favor of an ordinance describing the creation of a police advisory board

In the past months, residents have been pushing for civilian oversight of the Colorado Springs Police Department in an effort to build community trust and increase transparency, though some have criticized the model chosen by the city council, claiming that it did not have the power to make significant changes in the service of the city and the police

The region has also seen a change of leadership at the 4th District Judicial District Attorney’s office this year, and residents have been gripped by two high-profile murder cases

Veteran El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen has been elected to succeed fourth time limited-term Judicial District Attorney Dan May who endorsed his candidacy Allen ran unopposed in the general election after winning a heated primary over fellow Republican Mark Waller, El Paso County Commissioner and former state lawmaker

Krystal Jean Lee, the former Idaho nurse who helped Teller County Farrier Patrick Frazee cover up the murder of his fiancee Kelsey Berreth in Woodland Park, was sentenced in January to three years in prison, closing book on one of the region’s most high-profile crimes in memory Frazee was sentenced in November 2019 to life imprisonment over 156 years

The search for Gannon Stauch, 11, an El Paso County boy who went missing in January, ended tragically in March when sheriff’s deputies announced the arrest of his stepmother, Leticia Stauch, suspected of killing him and hiding his remains She was jailed in Colorado Springs awaiting trial, which had yet to be scheduled after questions about her mental state and complications from the pandemic

Command of the Army’s isolated space unit changed hands in July, with Col. Eric Little relinquishing command of 1st Space Brigade to Col. Brian Bolio Peu, who assumed command of the brigade he Almost two years ago at the time, was to serve as Deputy Commander for Operations at US Space and Missile Defense Command / Army Forces Strategic Command at Peterson Air Force Base Bolio had previously been the senior executive of Gen John “Jay” Raymond , the chief of space operations of the Space Force and commander of the US Space Command

In back-to-back ceremonies that drew key defense leaders from Washington and Canada to Peterson Air Force Base in late August, Air Force Gen Glen VanHerck assumed concurrent command of the Aerospace Defense Command of North America and US Air Force Northern Command Gen Terrence O’Shaughnessy

Additionally, Army Gen James Dickinson took command of US Space Command from US Chief of Space Force Operations Gen John “Jay” Raymond This was the first change of command for US Space Command since Raymond assumed this post in August 2019 Raymond retained his post of first chief of space operations of the Space Force

Colorado-linked combat veteran died in January when US tanker crashed while battling wildfires in Australia The crash of the C-130 Hercules tanker in New South Wales killed Montana Air National Guard Lt. Col Ian H McBeth, 44, of Great Falls, Mont, a 1994 graduate of Wray High School in northeast Colorado He killed two more civilians, all of whom worked for Coulson Aviation

Colorado National Guard has seen its longest and largest activation in state history, Guard officials say Activated due to pandemic, its response has involved more than 630 citizen soldiers and airmen , who helped test for the sometimes deadly virus and distribute the vaccine, especially in rural areas The Guard also continued their regular work, with their Airmen responding to 24 search and rescue missions in the state’s mountain ranges, and troops supporting law enforcement with traffic control during fire season. unprecedented forest in the state In addition, nearly 300 troops have been deployed overseas in support of combatant commands

Defense Secretary Mark Esper denounced a letter in late April from 10 US senators who criticized him and the civilian leaders of the Pentagon for not responding quickly enough to the coronavirus pandemic in as a “partisan attack in a political year”, during a May stop at Peterson Air Force Base The criticism is “unfair to the 62,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines out there on the streets of America “Esper said outside US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Headquarters US Northern Command is leading Defense Department coronavirus operations. p>

Kellyanne Conway, former senior adviser to President Donald Trump, has been appointed a member of the Air Force Academy’s advisory body, the White House announced in December The council reports to the president and the Pentagon ‘academy declined to comment

Construction of the new Air Force Academy reception center was delayed for most of the year after its bonds failed to sell because the market was disrupted by the coronavirus The project is expected get back on track in the new year

President Donald Trump drew a crowd of thousands to the Broadmoor World Arena in late February, where he held a rally on a three-day campaign tour of the West ahead of the 3, 2020 general election

Backed by rising approval ratings following his acquittal of impeachment on February 5, Trump has repeatedly put on thousands of supporters during a 98-minute speech where he said that he would win a second term thanks to a booming economy He also rallied the crowd to re-elect Republican U.S Sen Cory Gardner, whose support Trump says has never given up

In November, Trump and Gardner lost their candidacy for re-election: Trump against President-elect Joe Biden and Gardner against former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

Government of Colorado Jared Polis mobilized troops to assist with cyber defense during the June and November national elections Soldiers, members of the Cyber ​​Defense Operations Element and the Guard Cyber ​​Protection Team 140th Air Guard Wing Army and Communications Flight, helped the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office and the State Computing Office monitor networks during elections to prevent cyberattacks

Voters rallied in record numbers across the county and state to vote on November 3, deciding the country’s 46th president, a high-profile Senate race and nearly a dozen measures by ballot Status on issues ranging from taxes to abortion

In El Paso County, residents voted in favor of Republican newcomer Carrie Geitner to replace outgoing commissioner Mark Waller in District 2 Republican incumbents Stan VanderWerf in District 3 and Longinos Gonzalez Jr in District 2 district 4, both won second terms

El Paso County smashed previous voter turnout records at 84 years 3% of active voters voted this year Of the county’s roughly 454,000 active voters, more than 383,000 returned their ballots in November 3, an overwhelming turnout in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, which saw around 292,000 and 327,000 ballots cast Almost 56,000 more people voted this year compared to 2016, a 17% increase from electoral participation

Statewide, 868% of Colorado voters voted in the 2020 election, according to data from the state’s election results website Of more than 379 million active Colorado voters, 329 million voted

Voters did not have a chance in November to vote on a highly controversial proposal to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in the city

A minority of Colorado Springs city council members tried unsuccessfully to send a question to voters that could have allowed 24 medical marijuana stores to become recreational marijuana stores Supporters argued that legalized recreational sales could have generated millions in new tax revenue Opponents, including Mayor John Suthers, argued this could hurt the city’s chances of becoming the next permanent residence for US Command spatial

Joyce Schuck, an activist for education, the homeless and the disadvantaged, died in November 30 years old at her home in Colorado Springs She was 82 years old Schuck focused on troubled teens, the homeless shelter and the underprivileged in its professional and voluntary efforts

Frank Macon, one of the two original airmen from Tuskegee, Colorado, died in November 22 at age 97 at his Colorado Springs home Macon is buried at the US Air Force Academy

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Colorado Springs outdoor enthusiasts are thrilled with news of a successful land deal to make two long-awaited dreams come true: a bike park and a return to Waldo Canyon But the finer details of the deal, nearly $ 9 million in total, have created skeptics

The city agreed to pay Castle Concrete above the estimated value for part of the Pikeview quarry – which the company said would help recover the scar on the northwest side of the city City officials wait until they see the job done before deciding if the terrain, known for its rock slides, is suitable for a bicycle park

Meanwhile, the city is preparing to take on the tasks of reclamation of the Black Canyon quarry Officials have seemed confident in the flattest aspects of the property, which is expected to be the hub of a ambitious trail system exploring Waldo and Williams canyons above Manitou Springs The once-beloved region once reached along US 24 has been banned since the 2012 fire

The Pikes Peak region’s most popular and controversial trail, the Manitou Incline, has become an even greater source of angst in 2020

Manitou Springs leaders have come under fire for using the pandemic to take control of the slope, which some locals have seen as a nuisance since it officially opened in 2013 March’s emergency shutdown has unfolded “under the guise of COVID-19,” read a statement from Colorado Springs, the municipality listed as the de facto manager of Incline, having invested millions of dollars in the site The language highlighted years of tilting tension between neighboring towns

After five months of negotiations, the two signed an agreement to reopen the Incline for free online reservations The system, capping visitors every hour, has been found to drastically reduce traffic And it appears that the system is here to stay, although managers say discussions continue on the future of Incline

Colorado Springs voters approved a ballot question requiring a popular vote before the city could sell, trade, or transport a park The long-term protection of the parks was supported by residents who worked for several years to put it on the ballot

Colorado’s fire seasons have become longer and more destructive over the past two decades, experts and researchers say, a trend expected to continue Warmer, drier seasons and some forest management practices misguided are to blame, they say

Three of the largest wildfires in Colorado history broke out in 2020, burning over 500,000 acres of land The Cameron Peak blaze, East Troublesome Fire and Pine Gulch Fire were fueled by a year of drought and recorded high temperatures as well as forests filled with beetles and dry vegetation

The state’s three largest wildfires weren’t the only ones to burn swathes of forest and brush The Grizzly Creek Fire, which burned outside of Glenwood Springs, and the one of CalWood, which burned outside of Boulder, proved to be costly and damaging The Grizzly Creek fire burned down on Interstate 70, disrupting traffic for weeks, and Calwood burned more than 25 homes

In another expansion of its campus, Springs Rescue Mission, the city’s largest homeless shelter, opened a new 10,000-square-foot dining hall in September that can seat 185 guests at a time and is equipped with a commercial kitchen Samaritan’s Dining Room and Kitchen, at 5 W Street Las Vegas also provides a space for culinary training for guests, a heated entrance, washrooms and meeting rooms

A grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs helped the El Paso County Salvation Army double the number of overnight beds for homeless veterans at its RJ Refuge at Montgomery Center for men, women and homeless families

As they strive to secure permanent housing and increase their income and savings, homeless veterans must enroll in a program of case management, group therapy and peer-led courses on job search, life skills and barriers to success

The first stand-alone shelter for homeless families with children in Colorado Springs opened in February at a former motel on South Nevada Avenue Family Promise of Colorado Springs remodeled the motel complex to create mini-apartments for guests, who live there for free while working to move into stable housing

A grandson of Christian televangelist Kenneth Copeland began building a church in Green Mountain Falls, in a former troubled teen resort The Rev Jeremy Pearsons and his wife, Sarah, who together founded Pearsons Ministries International in 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas, relocate their ministry and convert the tallest building on the 151-acre site at 10,460 W US 24 into Legacy Church

School districts have gone through difficult and uncertain times this year, but have not hesitated to change

Schools in Colorado Springs, like schools across the country, have experienced a shortage of substitute teachers as many of their roster are seniors and, therefore, at high risk of COVID-19 Some districts , like the District 20 Academy, have started recruiting drives, while others, like Harrison District 2, have raised salaries

Schools in the Colorado Springs area have found they have lost thousands of students to the pandemic, according to preliminary figures released by the state’s Department of Education in December Declining enrollment will mean millions of dollars in lost funding for districts Colorado Springs District 11 saw the biggest drop in student numbers from last year: 2,155 It ranked fifth in the ‘State for the greatest loss

Falcon District 49 was one of only two school districts in the area to win students in 2020, adding almost 100 to its rosters It appears to have taken the title of the second largest school in the Pikes Peak area , surpassing Colorado Springs District 11 by just under 110 students”Continued growth will inevitably make District 49 the largest district in the region,” a district spokesperson said in December.

The first African American was appointed to head the Air Force Academy and took command in September Lt Gen Richard Clark, who had served as deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration at the Pentagon, was appointed by President Donald Trump in July He became the second black general to lead a service academy

Cheyenne Mountain District 12 presented a proposal in September to remove the use of Native American words and images in the district, but postponed further discussions until the spring, officials citing more pressing concerns, including the pandemic

Despite the pandemic, construction on the Interstate 25 South Gap project continued this year, improving approximately 18 miles of the highway between Monument and Castle Rock

The Greenland Highway and the I-25 interchange were transformed from a one-lane culvert to a two-lane underpass, and were opened on December 22 Wildlife underpasses – one near of the Greenland Highway interchange and the other near the County Line Bridge – are designed to reduce the number of collisions between vehicles and animals Colorado Department of Transportation will add two more underpasses, expected to reduce wildlife-related accidents by 90%

In November, teams completed expanding the five miles north of the $ 350 million project.The teams also continued work on installing 14 of the 27 miles of deer fencing planned to guide wildlife to the new passages The project is expected to be completed in 2022

Work hit halfway in September on a $ 65 million project that will one day connect Powers Boulevard to Interstate 25 in the far north of Colorado Springs It includes the construction of a divided highway four-lane between I-25 and Voyager Parkway, south of North Gate Boulevard Drivers along I-25 northbound are now using two new bridges, and two more are nearing completion on the east side from the highway Over a mile of a new storm sewer system is now operational east of I-25

Work also began this fall on $ 159 million in road work around bases in the Pikes Peak area Work is slated for completion in 2023 This summer, crews drilled core at Clover Ditch and Dry Gulch to assess bridge materials and conditions for future widening of four bridges along a 7½ mile segment of Interstate 25 at Fountain

In early December, crews began demolishing portions of the Platte Avenue South Bridge between Wooten Road and the Powers Boulevard interchange Construction is the first phase of construction of a safety improvement project $ 14 million that will replace the two existing bridges on Platte Avenue over Sand Creek, which officials say are deteriorating and cannot accommodate the expected growth along the corridor, with a new bridge

The eastbound lanes – the south bridge – are in a single lane configuration and no additional traffic restrictions will be required for the first phase of the removal Demolition and replacement of bridges should take place until summer 2022

The 2019 novel coronavirus seeped undetected into El Paso County in early 2020 – likely in February, though state officials speculate

Tom Roeder has been the senior military editor of The Colorado Springs Gazette since 2003, Tom covers seven military installations in Colorado, including five in the Pikes Peak area His main job, however, is to be a dad to two grown children

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Ebene News – United States – Even without a pandemic, 2020 has been an eventful year in Colorado

Source: https://gazette.com/business/even-without-pandemic-2020-was-a-hectic-year-in-colorado/article_86d2f026-3ee6-11eb-be11-8f8fd2c7d152.html