Concealed permits soar
As of last week, one in 16 residents, or 37,017, of El Paso County residents had a concealed carry permit. Applications are pouring in after the gunman, Robert Dear, killed three people and injured nine at the Planned Parenthood clinic on Nov. 27.
Last week, 204 people had scheduled appointments to obtain a concealed carry permit, says Sheriff's Office spokesman Jackie Kirby, double the office's highest weekly number. A concealed carry permit costs $112.50, covering the Colorado Bureau of Investigation background check and the Sheriff's Office charge, she says.
In 2012, the county had 22,556 permit holders. A big spike came in 2013, after the Colorado Legislature banned sales of high-capacity magazines and imposed a requirement for background checks on private gun sales.— PZ
GE Johnson gets Peak job
GE Johnson Construction has been chosen as construction manager and general contractor for a Summit House on Pikes Peak.
GE Johnson, contractor for the $60 million U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame to be built southwest of downtown, also remodeled the county's Citizens Service Center on Garden of the Gods Road, a project worth at least $13 million. Other GE Johnson projects include the Broadmoor World Arena, The Broadmoor Hotel West renovation and Penrose Hospital East Tower. — PZ
Media outlets seek records
Records of Robert L. Dear's arrest, as well as search-warrant information in connection with the Nov. 27 Planned Parenthood shooting, should be open to the public, several media outlets argue in a court filing submitted last week.
Those seeking the records include the Colorado Springs Independent; all major TV network news organizations and their affiliates in Denver and Colorado Springs; The Associated Press; the Gazette; The Denver Post; Rocky Mountain PBS; The New York Times Co.; The Washington Post Co.; and several more. — PZ
Give! at the finish line
As of Monday, Dec. 21, the Indy Give! campaign had raised $715,049 toward its $1.8 million goal for the 88 local nonprofits participating this year, which is ahead of where it was at the same time last year. The 2014 Give! campaign eventually raised more than $1.5 million for 75 nonprofits.
While the money continues to flow to these worthy causes, they could use your help. Visit indygive.com through Dec. 31 to chip in. — JAS
Some trees will be lost
City foresters will prune select trees in downtown Colorado Springs and remove others this winter. The majestic trees that line some streets have suffered from years of drought. The damage caused by the lack of water means pruning is needed to help some trees survive. Others are simply beyond saving.
The city has applied for grants to help replant trees in medians, which is planned for the spring. — JAS
AdAmAn ready for ritual
For the 94th year, members of the AdAmAn Club will scale Pikes Peak to set off fireworks on New Year's Eve.
As many locals know, the AdAmAn Club started when Fred Barr (builder of Barr Trail) scaled the mountain with four friends on New Year's Eve to set a fire using surplus railroad ties from the Cog Railway. When they descended, they learned many people had seen the fire. Since then, the club has made the trek, with fireworks, every year. And each time, one new member (now a man or woman) is added, hence the name (Ad-A-mAn).
This year's new member, the club's 98th, is Dr. Scott Smetana. — JAS