Snow possible Monday night after mild, mostly sunny weekend in Colorado Springs

0 View Comments Colorado Springs' next chance of snow might come Monday night, meteorologists say. The National Weather Service in Pueblo predicted highs of 56 degrees Saturday, 49 degrees Sunday and 58 degrees Monday. Skies are expected to be mostly sunny each day, with a 30 percent chance of rain and snow Monday night that turns into snow after 8 p.m. The chance of snow continues into Tuesday morning. "Not much heading our way next week, in terms of storms or cold weather," Gazette news partner KKTV reported. "A weak storm moves through the state late Monday into Tuesday, which will bring a chance for some snow to southern Colorado. Right now, it doesn't look like a big deal, but it is something we are watching closely." On average, temperatures reach 43 degrees Feb. 3, 4 and 5 in Colorado Springs, weather service data show. - Contact Ellie Mulder: 636-0198 Twitter: @lemarie Continue Reading

TV Talk: Meteorologist Stacey Garvilla joins Colorado Springs scene

0 View Comments Viewers of KRDO-TV may have noticed a new face providing local residents with the latest news on the Colorado Springs weather scene. Say hello to Stacey Garvilla, the station’s new chief meteorologist. Garvilla comes to Colorado from Joplin, Missouri where she worked at NBC affiliate KSNF-TV.  Garvilla started as a morning meteorologist at KSNF and worked her way up to chief meteorologist. In 2017, she earned the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval. Prior to her time in Joplin, Garvilla had internships at WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Maryland, NBC10 in Philadelphia, and WCTV in Tallahassee. A native of Delaware, she earned a BS in meteorology at Florida State and BA in mass communications and geography from the University of Delaware. What to watch this week: 'Top Chef' visits the Broncos When she’s not forecasting the weather, Garvilla enjoys photography and running. She’s run over 20 half marathons and four marathons. She also enjoys hiking with her husband and two yellow labs. You can follow Garvilla on Twitter at @StaceyGarvilla.  Gazette media columnist Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones. Continue Reading

Colorado Springs weather balloon with tiny payload sails toward Atlantic storm

0 View Gallery  View Comments Shepherd Kruse woke up New Year's Day to mild winds and sunny skies, perfect weather to launch a weather balloon with a mission to circumnavigate the world. The Colorado Springs native is no stranger to weather balloons, having launched several before. Most have been for science fairs and national competitions, but this balloon wasn't launched for an award, only to satisfy personal curiosity. "It is pretty much a party balloon," he laughed. "A little bigger than your normal one. But it's made of the same thing." Related: Blizzard rolls up the East Coast, with cold blast to follow He explained that this balloon is made of Mylar and is just large enough to carry its fifteen-gram payload, the same weight as two quarters. The payload is a Kruse creation. Resembling a miniature satellite, the assembly consists of two minuscule solar panels and a central circuit board. The largest component on the board is the Global Positioning System chip, and the whole device is powered by a miniaturized capacitor. The balloon is designed - by its size and payload weight - to reach a cruising altitude of 28,000 feet and travel with the jet stream, blown east at an average wind speed of 110 mph. "I'd say the hardest thing to overcome was the fifteen-gram limit on the payload," Kruse said. That payload is currently hanging by fishing line attached to the weather balloon as it zips closer to the winter storm buffeting the East Coast. "Hopefully it makes it over the Atlantic Ocean," said Kruse. "I'm amazed the journey it has been on so far." The balloon is tracked by radio signal that it can only emit during the day with its solar power. That makes nighttime a little restless for Kruse. As the balloon was propelled east by the jet stream on New Year's Day the sun dipped below the western horizon. And as the radio transmitter fell silent, the balloon hit a storm system somewhere over the Central Plains. Tuesday morning brought anxiety as Kruse Continue Reading

Synergy at the heart of Colorado Springs’ high-tech Catalyst Campus

0 View Gallery  View Comments The word "synergy" comes up a lot in discussion of the Catalyst Campus for Technology & Innovation. It's a reason, for example, cited by Shawn Murray for locating his cybersecurity-oriented startup, Murray Security Services, at the downtown Colorado Springs campus. "It just seemed like a lot of great things were happening there," Murray said. "There's a lot of synergy, a lot of focus on IT and cybersecurity." His business includes teaching courses in information and cybersecurity. Its presence at Catalyst has helped the company grow, Murray said. "They've got state-of-the-art equipment. They can accommodate small classes, large classes. . It's been going well for us." The Catalyst Campus officially opened in June 2016; it's the brainchild of Kevin O'Neil, CEO of The O'Neil Group Co. Related: Former spy chief David Petraeus touts cybersecurity at Colorado Springs symposium A limited liability company created by The O'Neil Group Co. bought the former Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad depot and related properties at 555-559 E. Pikes Peak Ave. in 2014 for more than $4 million; over $12 million has been pumped into renovations and technology upgrades since then, with work continuing. "Originally, we opened Catalyst Campus to be a collaborative environment for defense companies that needed a platform and an infrastructure to further their business," O'Neil said. That's still the mission, backed by a collection of tech-related organizations, support services and other partners. But O'Neil also points to a shift to more of a research and development facility, particularly in support of space and aerospace. "We see the platform starting to evolve for the companies that need infrastructure and data that is very rare and hard to find," he said. "Unclassified satellite data that comes out of space takes a lot of different forms. We see Catalyst becoming that platform to provide help with data, to provide help with Continue Reading

Colorado Springs warming shelter opening tonight after Salvation Army wins approval

0 View Gallery  View Comments The Salvation Army planned to open its emergency warming shelter at 6 p.m. Wednesday after gaining a key permit to operate its Weber Street facility. The nonprofit received a conditional-use permit around midday Wednesday from the Downtown Review Board, which voted 5-1 to allow the facility to operate whenever overnight temperatures are forecast to reach 38 degrees or colder. Minutes later, Salvation Army spokeswoman Jeane Turner said the shelter would open later that night. Related: A year after homeless shelter opening, Colorado Springs back at square one The approval came after the Salvation Army reneged on a 2-year-old pledge to Lowell residents and business owners that it wouldn't reopen the facility as a shelter. It was previously open during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 cold-weather seasons, and each time nearby residents complained that it became an unsanitary blight and an unsafe nuisance. Board member Kristin Heggem said she had little choice but to green-light the shelter. "Saving a person's life is not weighted the same as, I don't know, somebody running in front of a car in rush-hour traffic, disturbing traffic patterns," Heggem said. Fellow board member Aaron Briggs agreed, stressing that the issue of homelessness "impacts all of downtown." "To me it's pretty clear that having more people that have a place to be at night in the winter is going to be a positive impact," Briggs said. Jeff Markewich was the sole board member to oppose the shelter, saying it strayed from zoning codes, and that it would negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood. "We're not cold-hearted bureaucrats up here," Markewich said. "But on the other hand, there's the general welfare of the neighborhood. So balancing those two is a very difficult thing." The facility, 505 S. Weber St., can accommodate up to 150 people a night on sleeping mats. It's considered a so-called "low-barrier" shelter, meaning admission is based on behavior, not Continue Reading

‘Pleasant’ weather to hit Colorado Springs over next few days

0 View Comments This might be a good time to go outside. This week's forecast across Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region calls for relatively warm and dry days. according to the National Weather Service in Pueblo. Expect temperatures to reach into the 40s and 50s. "It is going to be extremely dry today," the Weather Service said in a Wednesday weather bulletin. "Dry northwesterly flow will keep relative humidity values near the single digits!" Colorado Springs could see a high near 49 degrees Wednesday with sunny skies. Similar conditions are expected for the following days, as the city is forecast to hit highs of 49 degrees Thursday, 55 degrees Friday and 56 degrees Saturday. "Most days will be a mix of sun and clouds and light winds," Gazette news partner KKTV said in a report. "Overall, pretty pleasant!" A storm system could move into the region this weekend, bringing a stray snow shower or two but "likely nothing major," KKTV reported. Temperatures are expected to be in the 40s Sunday. The last measurable snow reported in Colorado Springs was Dec. 14, according to Gazette news partner KKTV. Continue Reading

Colorado Springs’ burgeoning homeless population persists

COLORADO SPRING, Colo. (AP) - Ghostly columns of campfire smoke signal the entrance of a 17-tent encampment along the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail, complete with a Christmas tree festooned with beads, a couple stockings and a big red bow.The illegal homeless camp is along the popular running trail, visible to any passing motorist on Interstate 25.And it’s an increasingly common sight across Colorado Springs.City officials, police, and some advocates for the homeless hoped the opening of the nearby Springs Rescue Mission’s new shelter would have some effect on creekside camps, possibly paring them to the most hard-core who were determined to stay outside in any weather.It hasn’t worked out that way.“The shelters are full,” said Jeff Burkard, 53, outside one of the tents.A year after the nonprofit’s multimillion dollar shelter opened, it’s routinely at capacity, and the city is back at square one in dealing with a burgeoning homeless population.Reasons for that shelter shortage are many-fold, say nonprofit leaders, homeless advocates and police who patrol the camps.Homelessness appears on the rise in Colorado Springs - as well as across Colorado and the nation, especially in cities with higher costs of living. There are fewer motels along Nevada and Colorado avenues - eliminating longstanding havens for people experiencing homelessness as the areas gentrify and redevelop through urban renewal tax incentives.And, most importantly, there is a severe shortage of affordable housing in Colorado Springs. That has created a bottleneck at the city’s shelters, preventing those who could afford it from moving into apartments. And it’s left more people on the verge of homelessness or on the streets - further straining the safety net.“Just the scope of the issue and the complexity of the issue really, really underscores the need for more community involvement,” said Andrew Phelps, the city’s homelessness Continue Reading

Colorado Springs breaks heat record Friday

0 View Comments While much of the nation shivered, Colorado Springs enjoyed record warmth Friday. The unseasonably warm December day saw a high of 68 degrees, the National Weather Service in Pueblo reported. The previous record high for Dec. 29 was 64 degrees, set in 1999 and 1956. The average high for Dec. 29 is 42 degrees, weather service data show. Warm weather is expected to stick around Saturday in Colorado Springs before temperatures plummet Sunday. The weather service predicted highs of 55 degrees Saturday, 27 Sunday and 32 Monday. Skies are expected to be mostly sunny Saturday, partly sunny Sunday and mostly sunny Monday, with no rain or snow in sight. - Contact Ellie Mulder: 636-0198 Twitter: @lemarie Continue Reading

Don’t walk on frozen ponds and streams in Colorado Springs, firefighters warn

By midafternoon Wednesday, firefighters had responded to three 911 calls about children wandering onto frozen streams or ponds in Colorado Springs city parks. No children were injured Wednesday, but venturing onto icy surfaces can be incredibly dangerous, said Capt. Brian Vaughan, Fire Department spokesman. Ice often isn't as solid as is looks because Colorado Springs' sunshine and changing temperatures prompt a rapid freeze-thaw pattern, he said. Snow also can obscure weak spots in the ice - or ice can be solid one day, but weaker then next. "We experience weather conditions in Colorado Springs which makes it the best place to live, but at the same time makes our ice the worst," Vaughan said. And the situation can escalate quickly. "If ice breaks it may lead to death within minutes," the Fire Department said in a tweet. Danger arises when children go exploring or dogs dart onto the ice, prompting their owners to run after them, Vaughan said. "If your dog goes out onto the ice, call 911 - we can help," he said. Running after a dog on the ice will only put yourself in danger. Going out onto ice on city property also violates a city ordinance, Vaughan said. The code says: "It is unlawful for any person to go out onto the ice of any waters in or adjacent to any park unless the movement is permitted by the Park Manager." On Twitter, other agencies weighed in. "There are many iced-over ponds in the ... area, and none are safe to be on. Play it safe and please stay off the ice!" the Falcon Fire Department tweeted. El Paso County added: "This goes for icy ponds/lakes in the county too and don’t forget about your dogs. They can slip through the ice too so keep them on a leash so they don’t run out onto the ice." - Contact Ellie Mulder: 636-0198 Twitter: @lemarie Continue Reading

Wednesday’s forecast: Frigid morning on tap for Colorado Springs

Time to bundle up. Wednesday's forecast calls for single-digit temperatures in the morning before the weather warms up to highs in the 40s across the Pikes Peak region. Just after 6 a.m., it was 5 degrees in Colorado Springs. According to the National Weather Service in Pueblo, the city could see a high near 46 degrees with sunny skies. The record high for Dec. 27 is 65 degrees, set in 1980, according to Warmer conditions are expected for the rest of the week but no snow or rain is in the forecast. Colorado Springs could reach a high of 52 degrees Thursday, 58 degrees Friday and 53 degrees Saturday before it cools down Sunday with temperatures in the upper-40s. Continue Reading