County foreclosures rise again 

Public trustee predicts 4,500 foreclosures for 2008

After a summer lull, home foreclosures in El Paso County picked up again in October at the record-setting pace started earlier in the year.

Foreclosures stayed above 450 for all but one month between February and June, dipped to around 250 in August and September, then soared again to 449 in October. In the first 10 months of 2008, the county has seen 3,849 foreclosures, more than any year on record.

Thomas Mowle, the public trustee who administers foreclosures, predicts the county will hit 4,500 foreclosures by year's end. He is offering two informational sessions for people facing foreclosure: 2-4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 15 at Antonio's Ristorante, 301 Garden of the Gods Road; and 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18 at Hillside Community Center, 925 S. Institute St. AL

No treats for drunk drivers

This Halloween weekend brought out zombies, witches and more than a few Sarah Palin impersonators. It also brought out plenty of drunk drivers.

Colorado Springs police busted 33 tipsy party-goers for DUIs over the weekend, a result of increased enforcement. Police Sgt. Creighton Brandt says the city used grant funding from the Colorado Department of Transportation to make sure plenty of cops were on the street over the weekend.

Whenever we can use grant money to put additional officers out on the road to enforce DUI laws, thats a good thing, Brandt says. JAS

UCCS ends health contract with county

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has decided not to renew its contract with El Paso County to provide health services to county employees. The decision will put 10 part-time university employees out of a job when the current contract ends Dec. 31.

The university has been providing services such as weight-loss counseling and smoking cessation to the county since 2004 through its Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The university says it will assist its terminated employees in finding new jobs. JAS

Radford's world of Oz

City Council has not kept its disdain for state Rep. Douglas Bruce quiet. Long before voters rejected his City Questions 200 and 201, councilors openly pegged the initiatives as Bruce's attempt to "destroy the city." But a recent e-mail sent to 200 and 201 foes (and, by accident, to this reporter) shows Councilor Margaret Radford has maintained a sense of humor.

The e-mail, sent on Halloween, stated, "URGENT: Could someone please go to the Chapel Hills Mall polling place ASAP with yellow fliers? Doug Bruce's winged monkeys are out there handing out their lit and we neeed [sic] to be there."

Radford was surprised to hear that media had received the message, but shrugged it off, saying the "winged monkeys" bit "started as my reference to [County Question 1A opponent] Danny Cole, who really is a winged monkey, but then I expanded it."

Clearly, the aggression didn't hurt the city when it came to defeating 200 (60 to 40 percent) and 201 (54 to 46 percent). But will those comments affect any future political career for the term-limited Radford? She says she doesn't think so, or really care.

"I will absolutely never want the support of the Doug Bruce crowd," she says. JAS

Springs hot for singles

Colorado Springs is one of the better places to move if you're single. Really. No kidding.

A report released in October by Worldwide ERC and Primacy Relocation rated the 100 largest U.S. metro areas on economic, population and quality-of-life factors to determine which cities were best for relocating singles.

Colorado Springs came in No. 38, after many East Coast and West Coast cities, but well ahead of Denver (No. 56). Also, the Springs outranked hip locales like Portland, Ore. (43) and Nashville, Tenn. (41). And we barely trailed the ever-popular Seattle (36). Boston/Quincy, Mass., took top honors.

The report took into consideration such criteria as the ratio of single men to single women, diversity, cost of living, climate, population density and overall growth, and arts and recreation opportunities. JAS

FAC announces free admission

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center CEO Sam Gappmayer, who officially started on Oct. 6, brings with him good news for FAC members: They may now visit all FAC galleries at no charge, whenever they feel inclined.

The "membership stimulus package," as the museum has playfully named it, is aimed at motivating non-members to join the FAC while rewarding members. Current non-member admission is $10 ($8.50 students, seniors and youth); the tactile gallery, sculpture garden and FAC Modern are free to the public. MS

Cyber defense unit coming?

Colorado's congressional leaders are pushing to have a new Air Force unit focused on cyber-security stationed at Peterson Air Force Base. The unit would fall under Air Force Space Command at Peterson and would lead the defense against attacks on military computer systems.

The letter, from Colorado's pre-election delegation, suggests the proximity of Peterson to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Schriever Air Force Base and other regional bases makes it the ideal location for the new unit. AL

Interchange nearly done

The longtime construction of the interchange at Austin Bluffs Parkway and Union Boulevard has a planned completion date of Friday, Nov. 7, with all lanes open for that evening rush hour.

An open-to-the-public reception for the project is scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 8 at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater. For more information about the construction and reception, call the project hotline at 598-2605. KK

Smokebrush downsizes

The poor state of the economy has rattled businesses and individuals throughout the city, and even arts scene giant Smokebrush Foundation isn't immune. Starting in February, the foundation will close part of its gallery and move permanently into a smaller space on the south side of the Depot Arts District building. Two staff members have also been laid off.

The space, known as the Chapel of Art Gallery, has long been a favorite room, despite its small square-footage. "It shows small-scale work well," says director Holly Parker. "It shows large-scale work well."

Smokebrush has also partnered with Pikes Peak Community Foundation, planning art classes and residencies at a location outside Woodland Park.

"When these kinds of things happen, they seem tragic and, of course, they are," says Parker. "[However] it has certainly inspired us to be inventive." EA

Compiled by Edie Adelstein, Kevin Kehl, Anthony Lane, Matthew Schniper and J. Adrian Stanley.


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