criminal justice center

Criminal Justice Center where the man was housed before being transported to a local hospital.

A 76-year-old man died at a local hospital on May 20 while in custody of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, EPSO said in a news release.

The man had been referred to the hospital for treatment of a preexisting medical condition, the release said.

"Based on the serious health condition and age of the defendant, consideration was given to petition the courts for release from custody," the release said. "However, based on the seriousness of his charges and the defendant’s continued aggressive behaviors towards deputies and nursing staff at the hospital, the Sheriff’s Office maintained custody and security to ensure the safety of all. During his care, the Sheriff’s Office maintained contact with the family and kept them up to date with the declining condition of their loved one."

The release didn't identify the man but noted he was booked into the county jail on Oct. 16, 2022, on a combination of misdemeanor and felony charges, including second-degree assault, causing injury with a deadly weapon; crimes against an at-risk person; duty to register; third-degree assault; violation of a restraining order; false imprisonment; menacing, harassment; careless driving; driving under restraint; and other traffic violations.

Although the Sheriff’s Office believes his death is a result of natural causes, Sheriff Joe Roybal has requested an autopsy by the El Paso County Coroner’s Office.

The man's identity will be released after next of kin is notified.


The Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department announced the opening of pools and splash fountains around the city.


spray ground deerfield hills

Deerfield Hills sprayground

Deerfield Hills Sprayground at the Deerfield Hills Community Center includes more than 50 individual spray nozzles and 16 water features. The sprayground opens June 1. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. other days.

The Watering Hole at John Venezia Park has more than a dozen water features adjacent to an accessible playground. The Watering Hole opens May 26 and will operate daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Splash Pad at Panorama Park opens May 26. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Both The Watering Hole and the splash pad will close briefly and periodically throughout the day for ongoing maintenance. 


Uncle Wilber

Uncle Wilber Fountain in Acacia Park

Julie Penrose Fountain in America the Beautiful Park and Uncle Wilber Fountain in Acacia Park will open May 26. Julie Penrose operates from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Uncle Wilber from noon to 6 p.m. daily. Use of spraygrounds and fountains is free.

Outdoor pools 

The Monument Valley and Wilson Ranch pools, located in central and western Colorado Springs, respectively, are operated through a partnership between the city of Colorado Springs and YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region. They are open to the public with the purchase of a day pass and also to YMCA members who have an outdoor pool pass. Hours are listed here.

Portal Pool and the Memorial Park Family Center YMCA are closed until further notice due to structural integrity concerns, the city said in the release. The Parks Department has planned further assessments to plan a path forward for both facilities.  

All pools and fountains may close for the day when outside temperatures are not forecast to reach above 65 degrees.  

Prospect and Quail lakes – open for recreation year round

Prospect Lake in Memorial Park allows for fishing, paddleboarding, swimming and use of motorized craft. Designated swimming days are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in the roped off area in front of the Eni R. Jasperson Beach House. Swimming is free and no permit is needed but swim at your own risk as there aren't any lifeguards on duty. 

The beach house at Prospect Lake provides an outdoor gathering area with seating, a rentable indoor great room for community events, beach volleyball, a lighted patio, accessible beach access, and food and beverage items for purchase. The public can also rent stand-up paddleboards at the adjacent boat house.

Quail Lake in southwest Colorado Springs offers fishing, nonmotorized boating and paddleboarding. Swimming is not allowed. There is a 1-mile fitness trail around the lake, a playground, picnic tables, and volleyball and basketball courts.



Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region will receive a $150,000 grant from national nonprofit Petco Love "in support of [the Humane Society's] lifesaving work for animals in Southern Colorado," the Humane Society said in a news release. 

Petco Love has invested $350 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts, and it helps find loving homes for pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations — like the local Humane Society — across North America, with 6.7 million pets adopted and counting. 



Drake Power Plant no longer burns coal, and city officials will gather next week to announce its conversion to natural gas generators.

To mark the installation of six modular natural gas generating units at the Drake Power Plant Downtown, Mayor John Suthers, Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Travas Deal and Utilities Board Chair Dave Donelson will hold a news conference at at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30. 

The plant, at 700 Conejos St., stopped using coal some time ago, and now the city-owned utility generates 162 megawatts of power from the units.

The gas units are part of Utilities' strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030.

Installation of the gas units started in September 2021. They have a smaller footprint and faster startup than the coal-burning units — they can power up in minutes instead of hours — and put out fewer emissions than coal. They are also more reliable, Utilities says in a release, and can run on both natural gas or diesel fuel.

“These units play a vital role in our energy transition strategy,” Deal said in a release. “Having natural gas resources at the ready enable us to reliably incorporate technologies such as battery storage and renewable resources like solar and wind.” 

Current plans call for the units to be moved to other parts of the Utilities grid to maintain system resiliency and reliability.

“This project represents the kind of city we strive to be – a place where we appreciate and honor the past, but also embrace innovation, creativity and possibility,” Suthers, who as mayor has no vote on the Utilities Board, said in the release. “I’m proud of our community-owned utility for leading the way and setting an example that embodies this vision.” 

Utilities said in the release that a contractor has been hired to demolish the old plant, a process that will span two years.

“The utilities industry is changing by the day – from market costs and technology to regulatory mandates and deadlines," Utilities Board Chair Dave Donelson said in the news release. "We must move forward on behalf of our community and environment, but in a way that is responsible and cost effective. I’m excited to commemorate the completion of these natural gas generating units because they represent the balance that we strive for – managing cost impacts and maintaining reliability, while also delivering clean energy."

The natural gas units and the closure of the Drake Power Plant are part of Utilities’ Sustainable Energy Plan, adopted by the Utilities Board in June 2020. 

By 2024, Utilities plans to add the 175-megawatt Pike Solar project to its system. When built, it will be the largest solar facility on the organization’s electric grid. 

"Additionally, by 2025, the organization plans to add between 100-200 megawatts of battery storage – the first of its kind on the system. Battery storage can increase grid resiliency and flexibility as new resources are added to the organization’s energy portfolio," the release said. "After adding Pike Solar to the existing solar, wind and hydro resources, renewable energy is estimated to represent 27 percent of Colorado Springs Utilities’ energy portfolio." 


Former U.S. Representative for Wyoming and Colorado College graduate Liz Cheney will deliver the keynote address at CC’s 149th commencement ceremony at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 28, at Robson Arena, 849 N. Tejon St.

Cheney, who graduated from CC in 1988 with a political science degree, and from the University of Chicago in 1996 with a law degree, served as a Republican representative of Wyoming from 2017 to the beginning of this year.

She chaired the House Republican Conference, the third-highest position in the House Republican leadership, from 2019 to 2021. She presently serves as professor of practice at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. She is the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and Second Lady Lynne Cheney, who is also a Colorado College alumna and former trustee.

“Representative Liz Cheney is someone who has pursued courageous conversations and taken bold actions,” Colorado College President L. Song Richardson said in a release. “In recognition of her consistent and courageous voice in defense of democracy, she was awarded the Profile in Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in 2022. I am delighted to welcome our alumna back to campus.”

After the 2020 election, Cheney called on former President Donald Trump to respect the rulings of the courts and support a peaceful transfer of power. After the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, she stood against violence and took on the role of vice chair for the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

The commencement will livestream here


Pam Zubeck is a graduate from Emporia State University. She worked at the Tulsa Tribune before coming to Colorado Springs, where she spent 16 years at the Gazette and in 2009 joined Colorado Publishing House.