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Rosebush stays at AFA, North Cheyenne Cañon reopens, more 

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Rosebush stays at AFA

Mike Rosebush, a conversion therapist and former Focus on the Family vice president, will remain on staff at the Air Force Academy, Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson announced in a news release issued Friday. Saying the academy had "thoughtfully and carefully" studied Rosebush's hire, officials concluded that U.S. Department of Defense hiring practices were followed.

Said Johnson, "We have found that at no time did Dr. Rosebush's personal beliefs influence any professional decision or action taken in his position at the Academy." She added that the academy has received no complaints about his conduct or professionalism. (It's worth noting, however, that Rosebush's résumé, released Monday, contains no reference to conversion therapy; see the IndyBlog to read it.)

In a nod to the bigger picture, Johnson said officials there "still have work to do in creating an Academy culture that respects the views of all and encourages diversity." Thus, she'll create a leadership position that will "provide oversight and integration of culture and climate issues."

In 2010, the academy hired Dr. Adis Vila as a diversity officer to focus on "equity, diversity and inclusion." She quietly resigned last June and wasn't replaced by then-Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould.— Pam Zubeck

State issues pot licenses

History was made Monday, when the state of Colorado issued 348 retail marijuana licenses. In all, 136 went to stores — with Denver claiming 102 — with the rest to manufacturing and testing facilities.

The state notes that just because a license has been issued does not mean the business will be open Jan. 1 (the first day adults 21-plus can legally purchase up to an ounce of cannabis) or open at all, since the local governments still have to license each business as well. The city of Manitou Springs, for instance, is still expected to allow two recreational dispensaries within town limits, but won't move on the issue until the end of January. — Bryce Crawford

Clark blasts city contract

El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark is sounding the alarm over Colorado Springs' five-year contract with American Medical Response, announced last week, for emergency ambulance service within city limits.

Clark is a member of the El Paso County Emergency Services Agency, which currently oversees emergency medical response countywide. She says in an email that the city's break from the ESA threatens to hurt those living outside city limits — even those in county enclaves surrounded by the city, such as Cimarron Hills. Clark points out that although AMR must respond to roughly 30 such areas, it "is not subject to contract penalties for inadequate response time" there.

Meanwhile, the ESA expects to pay more for a separate service contract covering the rest of El Paso County.

"This has the potential to increase costs to residents outside city limits for ambulance transport, negatively impact response times and create inconsistencies in coordinated efforts," she says.

AMR was the only bidder for the city contract, and will pay the city $1.17 million annually for the privilege of carrying it out. In a news release, the city says the contract expands the eight-minute response time zone to include several subdivisions that now lie within 12-minute response zones, including Briargate, Stetson Hills, and Mountain Shadows.

A 5 percent rate increase for city residents kicks in April 1 when the contract begins, the release adds.

As for how calls will be handled on the city's fringes, the city says in an email, "The most appropriate and closest ambulance unit should respond to a call regardless of jurisdiction." It adds that the contract will improve city response times. — Pam Zubeck

Park reopens in Cañon

North Cheyenne Cañon Park reopened Saturday, after two months of closure due to damage from September's floods.

The city has completed most of the needed work in the area and reopened all trails and roads, though visitors should exercise caution — flood damage is evident throughout the park, and ground could be unstable in places. Several parking areas and U.S. Forest lands that connect to the Cañon remain closed. Construction delays and temporary closures may also take place as the park continues to undergo cleanup.

For more about specific trails, visit tiny.cc/vhki8w. — J. Adrian Stanley

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