Indulge in Berkeley Springs Holiday Magic


All decked out for the holidays, this charming West Virginia town offers updated accommodations, great food and a slate of activities that make it ideal for a festive trip to celebrate with family and friends.

As travel makes a comeback, Americans are yearning for accessible destinations to trade their holidays at home for a holiday away. But instead of long-haul trips to urban destinations, travelers are choosing close-to-home getaways as their ideal travel option right now.

Enter Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, where the entire community comes together to create a magical event for locals and visitors alike. As a cherished local tradition for years, “Hometown Holidays” transforms downtown Berkeley Springs into a winter wonderland, making it the perfect place to visit this holiday season.

 

Plan a close-to-home holiday getaway
Just a 90-minute drive from the Washington D.C. metro area, this small, picturesque town in the Appalachians sprinkles its holiday magic throughout the entire winter season. During November and December, residents of Berkeley Springs stroll the bedecked downtown area of festive, twinkling lights, holiday-themed decorated meters, refurbished street lanterns and decorated Christmas trees. Little ones stand on tip-toes to put their wish lists in the special Santa mailbox maintained by volunteers at The Bath Christmas Project. Friends gather round “elfie” stations for photos to capture their holiday memories. In the town’s gazebo, a crowd gathers to sing carols and hear a child read, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” This charming town feels like it’s straight out of a holiday movie.

“We’re a small, close-knit community who looks out for one another,” says Lori Hansroth, Executive Director of the Berkeley Springs-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce and resident of Berkeley springs for 25 years. “The comment we hear a lot from visitors is that everyone here is friendly and welcoming.”

 

Reconnect with loved ones through small-town, festive fun
No need to wait until December to get in the holiday mood. For many local businesses, like The Country Inn, the holidays start around Thanksgiving.

“Our chef, Scott Collinash, creates an awesome Thanksgiving dinner, and that kicks off the Christmas season,” says Matt Omps, General Manager of The Country Inn, a 70-room property he and his family purchased in 2013. “My mom Barbara and sister Lara decorate the property, including 15 Christmas trees and life-size nutcrackers. It’s beautiful time to visit the inn.

Located in the heart of Berkeley Springs, the inn provides guests with easy access to the walkable downtown area and sits next to Berkeley Springs State Park. “We’ve got a lot of families and friends that meet here over the holidays. They hang out, have a glass of wine in front of the fireplace and play board games,” Omps says. “They don’t have to cook, so they spend time getting reacquainted with one another in a really homey atmosphere.”

Berkeley Springs officially launches its 2021 Hometown Holidays festivities on November 27 with Small Business Saturday, featuring discounts, prizes, and special events from local merchants such as Berkeley Springs Memories, Mineral Springs Trading Co., and Sage Moon. A slate of holiday activities continues through the end of the year, with the line-up including both beloved traditions and new events. For instance, locals typically fill the downtown area for the Annual Town of Bath’s Winter Fest parade, held this year at 5pm on December 4, followed by the tree lighting in Berkeley Springs State Park.

To everyone’s delight, the Cocoa Crawl returns. This free event (beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 3), maps out local shops to visit, each offering a different holiday treat or cocoa flavor (think red velvet, salted caramel and hazelnut). Visitors can embrace a warm cup of cheer and meet local shop owners. Merchants stay open later, allowing visitors to peruse the downtown marketplace with holiday shopping list in hand.

 

Shop, dine, and relax like a local
Ready to shop local for some unique holiday gifts? “The shop owners really out-do themselves with decorations and filling their shelves with unique items,” says Hansroth. She suggests visiting Inspired Chaos, known for its 11-foot tree and show-stopping seasonal decorations.

This year, the Morgan Arts Council (MAC) Ice House Gallery continues its tradition of hosting a special holiday gift show with handcrafted items by regional artisans. Called “A Season of Wonder,” the event runs Nov. 13-Jan. 3 and curates a unique selection of items including holiday ornaments, jewelry, wearables and other artistic treasures.

With no chain restaurants in Berkeley Springs, you’ll want to dine where the locals eat. If you have kids, bring them to Charlotte’s Café. “Little ones might spy one of the owners, John Mason, and believe it really is Santa,” Hansroth says, noting the café offers several opportunities to visit Mason dressed as Santa during the season. Other locals favorites include Lot 12 (fine dining in a restored Victorian house), Tari’s Café and Naked Olive.

After all the holiday activity, it’s time to unwind. Atasia Spa mixes their own vanilla pumpkin spice sugar scrub in-house during the holidays, says Frankie Tan, who’s owned the spa since 1998. “It makes the spa — and guests — smell so good!” Despite its size (6,000 square feet), Atasia Spa feels warm and intimate. Guests can relax in serenity rooms after (or between) services or head to the Zen-like garden outside surrounded by lush landscaping and two waterfalls. Like the rest of town, Atasia Spa gets into the festive spirit with decorations and special packages for the holiday season.

Berkeley Springs is actually known as a spa town, thanks to the healing mineral waters that flow out of the state park’s spring, adjacent to The Country Inn. “We use the same water in our facilities, so waters and healing have always been the big draw,” says Omps. He notes that many of the town’s activities feed off of the healing and spa atmosphere, from canoeing and hiking to rejuvenation and pampering.

“Imagine getting snowed in and you can walk to the coffee shop, build a snowman in the park, sit by a fire at the local inn, soak in a Roman Bath and visit with local shop owners without ever having to move your car,” says Hansroth. “We’re all that and more.”

 

Ready to experience the warmth of the season and the kindness of Berkeley Springs community? Plan your trip to Berkeley Springs, WV.



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Vice President Kamala Harris to travel to Palm Springs on Friday


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Vice President Kamala Harris arrived at Palm Springs International Airport shortly after 7 p.m., Friday, though a White House spokesperson was mum on reasons for the non-public visit.

The vehicle Harris rode in was escorted by city police around 7:30 p.m. off of Ramon Road. Less than a dozen drivers were stopped to allow the vice president’s caravan to pass. 

When asked by one of the drivers what was happening, one city officer responded, “Someone’s coming.”

Harris, who recently campaigned for Gov. Gavin Newsom in the Bay Area ahead of the state’s Sept. 14 recall election, appears unlikely to meet with local Democrats during her visit. Elle Kurpiewski, political director of the Democratic Headquarters of the Desert, said nobody she knows was aware of the vice president’s scheduled visit.

A news release from the White House had originally stated that Harris would “travel to” Palm Springs International Airport from Joint Base Andrews at 2 p.m. EST on Friday and fly out on Saturday morning.

Harris, who previously served as California attorney general and represented the state in the U.S. Senate, and her husband are both from California.

Desert Sun staff writers Tom Coulter and Eliana Perecontributed to this report.



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Vice President Kamala Harris traveling to Palm Springs on Friday


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Vice President Kamala Harris is set to travel to Palm Springs on Friday.

Harris will depart from Joint Base Andrews and arrive at Palm Springs International Airport.

According to the White House, Harris will remain overnight in Palm Springs and return to Washington D.C. on Saturday.

There is no reason listed for the visit.

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage.

Local News / News Headlines / Top Stories



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Baseball, gangsters highlight Hot Springs’ history | Clayton News Travel


This beautiful Arkansas city of more than 35,000 residents is known for a multitude of things to do, from peaceful soaking in the mineral waters of the hot springs to taking a quiet hike in the nearby national park. However, the city boasts a not-so-quiet past with a deep history, including Babe Ruth and Al Capone.

Hot Springs is the birthplace of spring baseball, with a historic presence of America’s favorite pastime. Visitors can stand at home plate where Ruth hit his historic home run of 573 feet. The ball landed inside the Arkansas Alligator Farm and was the first more-than-500-foot hit in baseball history, occurring March 17, 1918.

Baseball history began in Hot Springs as a destination for spring training in 1886, when manager Cap Anson of the Chicago White Stockings (now the Chicago Cubs) took his team to a warmer climate for training. The players spent time in the mountain mineral waters. It was thought that the warm springs would “boil out the alcoholic microbes” in the players while getting them in shape for the season. They also hiked the mountains and played baseball.

Other teams began to follow in the White Stockings’ footsteps of training in Hot Springs. Although the famed Whittington Park no longer exists, visitors traveling the Hot Springs Baseball Trail can stand where The Babe and other famed players once stood.

It is easy to follow the baseball trail by downloading the app. In the App Store or Google Play, search “Hot Springs baseball tour” and begin your journey through baseball’s beginnings. Visit hotspringsbaseballtrail.com.

Hot Springs, the city known as America’s first resort, also was where the most infamous of gangsters came to relax and vacation. It is hard to believe as one walks the historic Central Avenue that it was a mecca for gambling, bootlegging and prostitution in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. At that time, the street was lined with clubs like the Southern Club and Ohio Club.

The Ohio Club continues to be Arkansas’ oldest bar. The Southern Club is now the wax museum and displays many items from the club’s gambling history. These were two of the places where many left their prints, including Capone, Bugsy Siegel, Pretty Boy Floyd, Bugs Moran, and Bonnie and Clyde.

A great place to learn about the era of illegal acts and visits by gangsters is the Gangster Museum of America. The tour is entertaining and loaded with history. Visitors will travel through a variety of galleries to hear the stories and experience high-tech audiovisuals in the Felony Theater. Take a spin on the roulette wheel from the Southern Club and enjoy the memorabilia from the Hot Springs gangster era. Visit tgmoa.com.

Hot Springs is in the Ouachita Mountains and widely known for its healing springs and Hot Springs National Park. For more information on places to stay, eat and more visit hotsprings.org.

Stacker looks at the states with the most limited service restaurants, ranging from McDonald’s to Shake Shack. Click for more.



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Palm Springs International Airport reports sizable uptick in air travel


Palm Springs International Airport saw its best passenger travel numbers since the pandemic began last month, and May is shaping up to be good as well, officials said today.

"We're seeing consistent month-over-month improvement in our passenger numbers," said Daniel Meier, deputy director of aviation, marketing & air service. “So far, our daily passenger numbers this month have been at 88% or higher of same day 2019 numbers, with many days in the 90s and some
exceeding 100%.”

Airport officials said the addition of several new service routes are contributing to the rebound in air travel at the city-owned airport.

Southwest Airlines started serving the Coachella Valley in November with flights to Denver, Phoenix and Oakland. Earlier this month, the carrier launched year-round service from Palm Springs to Las Vegas.

San Francisco-based Boutique Air also added daily nonstop year-round service to and from Palm Springs and Los Angeles International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in October.

Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airlines were also set to add additional service routes, which were planned for last year but postponed due to COVID-19. Alaska Airlines successfully launched its service to Reno but quickly suspended
it. Those routes are slated to either begin or resume in the fall.

"Having more year-round service in Palm Springs is a goal our community has consistently been working toward," said Ulises Aguirre, the airport's executive director of aviation. “We’re grateful for the airlines’ continued investment. With so many additional flights, there’s never been a better time to fly from Palm Springs.”



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Eventual I-25, Powers link will pave the way for easier travel across El Paso County, officials say | Colorado Springs News


When it is eventually completed, the new link joining Interstate 25 and Powers Boulevard on Colorado Springs’ far north side will create an essential loop of major roadways around the city.

The new roadway will facilitate the area’s growing number of residents who travel across the region and will reduce pressure on crossroad and city traffic, county leaders said.

“We really don’t have a well-developed loop to aid people in getting around town,” El Paso County Commission Chairman Stan VanderWerf said.

Powers Boulevard is the county’s “best opportunity” to build a circular network of local roads thanks to explosive growth in eastern El Paso County, he said.

“There may be more traffic on Powers, but this way some pressure gets taken off I-25,” VanderWerf said.

The link will “change the dynamics” in northern Colorado Springs as the roadway is transformed into a high-speed thoroughfare appropriate for the area, he added.

“Will the road get used more? Yes. But it’ll be able to handle more,” he said.


El Paso County commissioners oppose bill aiming to create Front Range Rail District

Construction began in December 2019 on the initial $65 million project that includes the construction of a four-lane divided highway between I-25 and Voyager Parkway, south of North Gate Boulevard. This portion of the project, financed with bonds to be repaid by revenues from retail complex Polaris Pointe, is slated to be complete late this summer, project spokeswoman Kate Binning said.

But the vision for the circular link may not be realized anytime soon. It will not be  complete until another project — which will extend Powers Boulevard from Colorado 83, where it now ends, to Voyager Parkway — is finished, said Timothy Mitros, district manager of the Copper Ridge Metro District, which is leading the privately financed improvement.






I-25 and Powers Boulevard Interchange

Powers Boulevard Extension: Voyager Parkway to Interquest Parkway (via i25powers.com)


Funding hasn’t been secured for this final link, according to the project website. Currently, the only funding identified for this portion of the project will come from the sale of future bonds, which is dependent on future development in Polaris Pointe, Mitros said.

It was unclear whether monies from President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure spending plan unveiled last month — which included $621 billion to fund road, bridge, railway and other infrastructure improvements — could help pay for this project.

If additional funding is made available, projects from the state’s 10-year and 2045 transportation plans will be completed first, Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Peulen said.

Residents living near Voyager Parkway said in general, they’re excited for the link to be complete and look forward to the convenience and added development it will bring to the area.


Chicago real estate developer plans nearly 900 apartments around Colorado Springs

“We need this link. It will bring more people, and more people will bring more development,” creating a better economy and a nicer place to live, said Michael Young, a Northgate resident who grew up in Colorado Springs. “This side of town is where it will come, so I’m excited to have more restaurants and more shopping.”

El Paso County’s population, including Colorado Springs, is projected to grow from roughly 720,400 residents to about 950,000 by 2040 and could hit more than 1 million people by 2045, according to the Colorado Demography Office.

With more development comes added and improved roads, said El Paso County Commissioner Holly Williams, who represents the county’s district where the project is first  taking place. More roads and residents could mean more traffic and commuters, but there are options to reduce traffic volumes, she said.

“El Paso County is the fastest growing county in the state, and it’s projected to (surpass) the city and county of Denver population in the next five years,” Williams said. “There will always be more cars. But we are also talking about more carpooling and buses to our major employment centers.”

A pair of new express lanes being added along I-25 in the roughly 18-mile stretch between Monument and Castle Rock could encourage more people to commute to and from Denver, curbing the number of vehicles on local roads, VanderWerf said.

“An extensive use (of express lanes) could take 10% to 15% of traffic off of I-25. You can do this at no additional cost,” he said.

Increased numbers of people who continue working from home after the pandemic could also ease traffic, VanderWerf said.


Amazon buys property for second Colorado Springs delivery station

Northgate resident Josie Fish said her largest concern about the new link was possible increased noise caused by more drivers traveling across Voyager Parkway to reach I-25.

“We live close to Voyager Parkway and (the noise) is annoying as it is,” she said. “I’m sure (the link) will make a ton of people’s lives easier, but it sucks that it’s right through a residential neighborhood.”

But traffic and noise go hand-in-hand with growth, Young said.

“A lot of good comes with growth. Everyone wants higher property values, but no one wants the traffic,” he said. “But that traffic means more people in the city, and it’s going to bring up property values.”


Colorado Springs home prices among America’s highest, report shows



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Best Outdoor Activities In Ocean Springs


Ocean Springs, an idyllic coastal city on the Mississippi Sound, has all the ingredients for the vacation getaway of your dreams. 

With tempting food options ranging from a beloved donut shop to a James Beard Semi-finalist restaurant, you’ll enjoy incredible meals. There’s a white-sand beach perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and viewing breathtaking sunsets. The fantastic shopping and live music along Government Street make for an exciting downtown district. And famed artist Walter Anderson’s paintings inspire an art vibe everywhere you go. For active people, there are more outdoor activities than you can schedule in one getaway. 

Only 24 miles from Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport by car, Ocean Springs is easy to get to but hard to leave. The neighboring cities along the sound are all unique, but here are the best outdoor activities in this small town gem if you decide to stay put. 

Note: I was a guest of Coastal Mississippi for portions of this trip and was hosted for some meals and some of the activities during my stay. All opinions are my own.

Museum and bicycle tour of Walter Anderson Museum and Ocean Springs.
The Walter Anderson Museum

1. Discover The Arts And Biking

The Walter Anderson Museum of Art offers a unique excursion around Ocean Springs led by Education Director Tony DiFatta. The tour starts in the museum with the new exhibition, Walter Inglis Anderson: The South’s Most Elusive Artist. As you become inspired by Mr. Anderson, you’ll discover that he rode his bicycle around Ocean Springs and thousands of miles to New York, Texas, and beyond. 

After viewing his famous bike, you’ll hop on yours. You’ll tour various Ocean Springs historical places, including Walter Anderson’s cottage (not open to the public), Shearwater Pottery, (his older brother Peter’s workshop), and more. Loaner bikes are available for group or personal tours. 

If you want to bike around Ocean Springs, take the 15.5-mile round trip Live Oak Bicycle Trail throughout downtown and into the Davis Bayou Area. Follow the green and white bike-route signs on the right side of the city streets. Maps are available at the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce inside the historic train L & N Railroad depot. Bike rentals are located here.

2. Put Your Toes In The Sand

In Ocean Springs, Front Beach is the place to go, starting at Biloxi Bay Bridge and stretching to Ocean Springs Harbor. If you want, you can even walk or run over the bridge. There’s plenty or nothing to do; it all depends on you. If you want to be close to the action, settle near Fort Maurepas Park, the highest point in Ocean Springs. You’ll spy a bronze statue of Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d’Iberville, the war hero and naval captain. He founded the first permanent settlement in Louisiana.

The park overlooks the beautiful sandy beach, which is dog friendly. Amenities include fishing piers, a covered pavilion, bonfire pits, volleyball courts, and an oversized chessboard. There’s also a mile-long bike path for running, biking, and walking. 

If you’re not into all the activity, drive along Front Beach and across the bridge to the East Beach, where it’s quiet. If you’d like some nice chairs for the day, contact Belly Up Beach Chairs. Owner Rita Paoletti started her business in 2016 and hasn’t looked back. She will set up resort-style chairs for you in either location. Make a reservation ahead of time by booking on her site. 

Coastal Picnic & Company, Front Beach.
Coastal Picnic & Company

3. Picnic At The Beach

If you want to have a special meal, event, or evening right on Front Beach or East Beach, contact Coastal Picnic & Company. Tina Dinh and Maegan Fisackerly will create a stunning scene at either location. Choose the day, style, and add-ons; they will do the rest. Coastal provides 2 hours of enchanting picnic vibes that include music, charcuterie, or meals catered by partner Eat Drink Love. Event planning is their passion, and if you want them to craft an afternoon beachside, review their website. 

Perhaps you would enjoy a chef-prepared meal at the beach instead? Chef Michael Paoletti and his wife Stephanie are trained culinary professionals whose business, Food, Booze, & Hiccups, shifted to pop-up tasting menus during the pandemic. They will cook for you at the beach or on their grass lot in town and create five-course meals for 2 to 24 guests. They also craft intimate experiences for couples or small groups, including romantic s’mores and bonfire evenings on the sand, complete with Stephanie’s homemade marshmallows.

Intricate Castle Design from Sandcastle University.
Sandcastle University

4. Build A Sandcastle

If you ever wanted to learn how to build the perfect sandcastle, hire Sand Castle University. Janel Hawkins started her business in 2017 and never looked back. She will bring all her tools and know-how to Front Beach and teach your small or large group how to build the perfect sandcastle. The two-hour class is ideal for a large group, such as a birthday party, or Janel can tailor it down to a couple or a small group of four. She will take you through the steps and then let creativity fly. After the class, she will snap a photo of your creations for you to keep.

Janel compares her lessons to group painting classes. “Get a fun group together and enjoy the day playing in the sand. Ocean Springs is a creative place, and inspiration is easy to find here.” 

5. Visit Gulf Islands National Seashore At Davis Bayou

You can bike the 15.5 miles roundtrip or drive into the Davis Bayou Area, three miles east of downtown Ocean Springs. Either way, your first stop should be the William M. Colmer Visitor Center. Here you will discover exhibits about the islands off the coast and the four that make up The Gulf Islands National Seashore in Mississippi. There’s a fishing pier right off the visitor center, a great place to cast off. 

You can also take a map which details all the short hiking trails around the Bayou. You’ll encounter alligators and several species of birds, including bald eagles, ospreys, blue herons, and the Mississippi sandhill crane. There are campgrounds with 51 sites, a small boat launch, and shaded picnic areas.

Pro Tip: Check the website for unexpected closures. Remember to bring water, bug spray, and sunscreen for biking or hiking. Food is not available, so please pack your own.

6. Fish Off Shore

Reel Southern Charters has everything you need for the perfect day of fishing. Your private charter includes a four-, six-, or eight-hour excursion with up to four people aboard. Everything is included, from license to cleaning and filleting your catch. Captain David Kuehn is in his fifth season and knows all the best fishing spots around the barrier islands and in Biloxi’s Back Bay. You might catch red snapper, cobia, redfish, speckled trout, or black drum. 

When you return, head to Knuckleheads in town, where they’ll cook your catch for you.

Ocean sunset from Horn Island of the Gulf Islands National Seashore in Mississippi
Jason Patrick Ross / Shutterstock.com

7. Boat Out To Horn Island For The Day

Reel Southern Charters also offers a water taxi out to Horn Island, the barrier island closest to Ocean Springs, where Walter Anderson was inspired by the natural world. This beautiful island has no facilities, as it is uninhabited. Set up your beach chairs for a few hours and enjoy the peace and clear blue water. You can also hike the island and explore nature. 

Captain David will drive up to six passengers out to Horn Island for a few relaxing hours and then return to collect you. The taxi takes about twenty minutes each way. Horn is about ten miles off-shore and is a favorite with the locals. 

Pro Tip: Prepare to bring anything you might need, such as drinks, meals, snacks, chairs, towels, sunscreen, hat, and proper shoes, especially if you plan to hike. 

8. Sip A Craft Brew Or Cocktail On A Patio 

It all started with a recipe book and some ingredients. The happy mistake turned into a passion and, later, a business. At Craft Advisory Brewing, you’ll sample at least 16 different types of house-made brews from Lagers to IPA’s that pair with delicious snacks and burgers. Or head to Mosaic for tapas and craft cocktails on the gorgeous outdoor patio. If you want to move on, ask for a go-cup — the entertainment district allows you to travel with your cocktails.

Downtown Golf Cart Rentals, Ocean Springs.
Downtown Golf Cart Rentals

9. Drive A Golf Cart Around Town

Driving a golf cart around Ocean Springs is so fun; even the locals do it. At Downtown Cart Rentals, you can rent a four- to six-person cart for an hour, four hours, or the weekend. People love to take the cart shopping, to the bars, and the beach. This is a great way to zip all over town and enjoy everything this fabulous place has to offer. Golf carts should not go on sand or on Route 90. If you are going to the bars, choose a designated driver.

Pro Tips: A lovely place to stay in town is The Roost Ocean Springs. It’s a gorgeous boutique hotel with fabulous amenities. Anytime is a great time to come, as there is usually a festival. Check the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce to see what’s happening when you want to visit. And while you’re around, consider:



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Travel alert: Springs authorities will be on ‘Accident Alert’ status


COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) will be on accident alert status as of Friday morning due to a transition to the state’s new crash reporting form.

Dates on Accident Alert Status:

  • May 7, 2021, starting at 5:00 A.M. through May 11, 2021, at 5:00 P.M.

The new form (DR3447) was developed by the Colorado Department of Transportation, and is now mandated to be used by all Colorado law enforcement agencies. The length of time the CSPD will be on Accident Alert status is to ensure all previous crash report forms are merged correctly into the new system.

If you are involved in a crash that doesn’t require first responders, exchange information with the other party and file your report either online or mail the completed form to the Colorado Motor Vehicle Division.

For information on CSPD’s Accident Alert Status and what it entails, click here.



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Massive late-winter storm halts travel across the Front Range | Colorado Springs News


A late-winter storm halted travel across the Front Range on Sunday, closing Interstate 25 between Colorado Springs and Castle Rock and shutting down all six runways at Denver International Airport.

A blizzard warning was in effect until midnight Sunday for much of Colorado’s Front Range, stretching from northern El Paso County to the Wyoming state line. Sustained winds and wet, heavy snow canceled more than 1,400 flights at DIA and threatened to upend Denver’s one-day snowfall record while tangling traffic on ice-slicked roads across the state.

“Stay put, please,” urged the Colorado State Patrol, which scrambled to keep up with crashes, slide-offs and even overturned snowplows on Interstate 70 west of Denver during the second round of a two-day storm system.

Both lanes of I-70 were closed between Golden and Floyd Hill on Sunday, stranding some ski-country visitors, and one trooper remarked that the snow squall left him unable to see his own road flares at a traffic blockade.

In many places, schools and government offices were closed or put on reduced hours Monday. Although the snow was on course to peter out by Monday morning, drivers were warned to expect perilous commutes due to slick roads.

In the Pikes Peak region, blowing snow and white-out conditions led authorities to close Interstate 25 in both directions between Interquest Parkway in Colorado Springs and Plum Creek Parkway in Castle Rock. Highways 83 and 105 were also closed, blocking travel to the north. No word on a reopening was available as of press time Sunday.

El Paso County’s full complement of 36 plows was active throughout the day, even as authorities cautioned against unnecessary travel. Police in Colorado Springs and Fountain were on accident alert, meaning they responded only to crashes with serious injuries.

Below Pikes Peak, Monument was hit perhaps hardest, falling within the southern tip of a blizzard warning that followed the Rocky Mountains to Wyoming. Blizzards are characterized by blowing snow reducing visibility to ¼-mile or less for three hours or longer, plus sustained winds of at least 35 mph.

Monument and Black Forest received 10 to 16 inches by Sunday evening, while northern Colorado Springs received 6 to 10 inches, according to Eric Petersen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Pueblo. Southern Colorado Springs and Fountain received between 3 and 6 inches.

In the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Teller County communities dodged the blizzard designation even as they received what could be a historic dumping — exceeding 22 inches of accumulation in Woodland Park, by one resident’s measurement.

No snowfall records were available for the area, but this year’s storm left Petersen reaching for a precedent. 

“It’s probably been a few years,” he said. “We had a big storm in 2003 that dumped at least this much or more.”

Although Colorado Springs Utilities had warned of potential disruptions to water and power in the Pikes Peak area, just one water outage affecting a couple dozen people was reported on the utility’s website as of 5 p.m. The Red Cross closed warming shelters in Colorado Springs and Monument on Sunday because they were empty. A third, in Peyton, remained open.

Parts of the Eastern Plains were likewise pummeled. Northeast of Colorado Springs, all Elbert County roads were closed effective at 4 p.m., and the county declared a state of emergency, warning that abandoned vehicles would be moved to aid in snow removal.

Denver’s nearly 2 feet of snow made for one of its biggest snowstorms in years.

“This may end up being the highest one-day total for them,” Petersen said.

Just before noon, Denver International Airport announced it had closed all runways because of blowing snow and low visibility, and all airlines ceased had ceased operations for the day by 5 p.m. More than 1,400 flights were canceled and dozens more delayed, according to flightaware.com

By 6 p.m., nearly all flights at Colorado Springs Airport were listed as canceled — roughly two dozen — and just a handful were operating on time or with delays, according to the city’s website.

The status of air travel at DIA on Monday remains unclear, officials said.

“Airlines have not yet decided on schedules for tomorrow, but delays and some cancellations are expected,” a DIA spokesman said in a written statement. “Passengers are strongly encouraged to check their flight status before coming to the airport tomorrow.”

Gazette editors Tom Roeder and Erin Prater and reporter Hannah Metzger contributed to this story. 



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Lobos travel to Carrizo Springs to take on Wildcats


The Uvalde Lobos will be trying to snap a four-game losing streak tomorrow night as they travel to Carrizo Springs to take on the Carrizo Springs Lady Wildcats.

Tip-off time for the varsity game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and it will be preceded by a 5 p.m. junior varsity ball game.

In the first district meeting, the Lobos rallied to record a 34-29 victory over the Carrizo Springs girls in a game played in Harvey Kinchlow Gym.

Following action tomorrow, the Lobos will play the Pearsall Lady Mavericks in a district make-up game set for a 10 a.m. tipoff Saturday.

The Lobos enter their final two district games in a race against Carrizo Springs and Pearsall for one of the final two district post-season playoff spots.

With a win in either game, the Lobos can clinch a post-season playoff spot.

Coach Fortino Patiño’s Lobos, 2-4 in district and 8-10 for the season overall, lost a 47-34 decision to the Hondo Owls Tuesday.

A’Taisha Carroll led all individual scorers in the game.

She netted 13 points.

Others scoring for Uvalde were Bailey Williams with six points, Nataly Santos with five points, Audrey Williams with four points, and Maelynn Flores and Desirae Garcia each with three points.

The Lobos lost in road action against the Crystal City Javelinas, 53-33, last Friday night.

Scoring for the Lobos were A’Taisha Carroll with eight points, Kendra Garcia with seven points, Nataly Santos with six points, Bailey Williams with four points, Celeste Valdez with three points, and Audrey Williams and Gisselle Martinez each with two points.

In district action on Jan. 26, the Lobos lost a 37-26 road decision against the Hondo girls.

A’Taisha Carroll racked up 12 points to lead Uvalde’s scoring.

Desirae Garcia netted six points, while Kendra Garcia and Nataly Santos each totaled four points.



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