Wednesday, April 22, 2020

8 stories making headlines this week

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 1:59 PM

click to enlarge CHRISTIAN MURDOCK, THE GAZETTE
  • Christian Murdock, The Gazette

On April 18, 967 Air Force Academy cadets became second lieutenants, graduating early due to COVID-19. The Thunderbirds zoomed over the Academy’s terrazzo, and also took time to fly over health care facilities in Colorado Springs and throughout the state in homage to the people caring for those suffering from the virus.

Following the suspension of SAT exams this spring, the Colorado Department of Education says it’s working on an agreement with the College Board that would allow 12th-grade students to take the college admission test for free on a designated day in the fall.

Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) donated $92,500 to Survive & Thrive COS, a fund aimed at helping small businesses recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.

CSU announced the launch of the Palmer Solar Project, operated by Duke Energy Renewables. The 60-megawatt solar array southeast of the Springs generates enough electricity to power 22,000 homes annually. CSU will purchase the energy for customers under a 20-year agreement.

The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry postponed its study of exposure to toxic per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) among El Paso County residents, due to circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which activists normally celebrate with climate-focused actions. This year, they’ve gone digital. Earth Day Live will offer livestreams of performances, trainings and prominent speakers April 22-24, 10-11 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. Details and region-specific events at earthdaylive2020.org.

Open burning, recreational fires and outdoor smoking in all city parks and open spaces were banned in Colorado Springs starting April 17 to save emergency resources for the COVID-19 response. Violators could face fines up to $2,500 and 189 days in jail. Go to coloradosprings.gov/outdoorfire for more information.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s Colorado Creative Industries division will add $127,500 to the Colorado Artist Relief Fund to support Colorado artists, musicians and other creatives financially impacted by COVID-19. Grants up to $1,000 aim to help cover food, rent, medical costs and child care. Apply at redlineart.submittable.com/submit. 

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