No growth on the fire today, and it’s now 30% contained. Mop-up is underway.

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Homes with Highway 83 address that have direct access off Hwy 83 are now on pre-evacuation status. El Paso County Public Health is opening what it’s calling a Public Health Convenience Center for water testing kits, tetanus vaccinations, and public health information.

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U.S. 50 has reopened, and all evacuated residents are allowed home. Officials say those residents will remain on a pre-evacuation notice, pending fire conditions. The Royal Gorge Tourist Train can begin running again, once the railway determines they’re ready. River access on the closed sections of the Arkansas River will be re-evaluated on Friday. Containment of the fire is listed at 40%.

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The Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management is offering another round of free sandbags today to residents affected by potential flooding, starting at 5 PM.

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Colorado’s elected officials have issued statements regarding today’s school shooting in Connecticut. Click inside for statements from Governor Hickenlooper, as well as a statement from Colorado’s Congressional Delegation.

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This Saturday, sandbags will be distributed free of charge to residents who could be affected by flooding in aftermath of the Waldo Canyon fire. Click for the full press release.

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As cyclists prepare to race into Colorado Springs Friday, some road closures are already taking effect. Click on this post for information regarding road closures due to the USA Pro Challenge.

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Colorado Springs’ Office of Emergency Management is hosting a resident preparedness meeting Thursday evening, focusing on updated information and current flood related issues. Read more for the full press release.

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News

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December 19, 2014 | NPR · It was an honest mistake. But when President Obama said “James Flacco” when referring to James Franco – on a Friday before the holidays, no less – the slip was eagerly received online.
 

December 19, 2014 | NPR · Some say a vaunted attempt to improve the quality of colleges is dead on arrival. Let’s find out why.
 

AP
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Environmental groups had sought to have coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, regulated as hazardous waste.
 

Arts & Life

Sony Pictures Classics
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Critic Bob Mondello says Mike Leigh’s earthy new biopic about the famed British painter J.M.W Turner shows viewers the incandescent beauty of the world as Turner himself must have seen it.
 

iStockphoto
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Tamales are a Christmas Eve tradition throughout Latin America, but there are hundreds of different versions. Whose is best? That’s a question likely to elicit a fiercely partisan response.
 

December 19, 2014 | NPR · The biopic of landscape painter J. M. W. Turner depicts a man whose mind is barely engaged by anything other than his work. He’s a mystery, and his art is magically indefinite — just like the movie.
 

Music

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December 19, 2014 | NPR · After more than a decade offstage raising his daughters, the singer is touring. “It’s like nothing is being held back,” he says. “You get to eat mashed potatoes with both hands instead of one.”
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Three decades after her first interview with him, Fiona Ritchie meets up with the Scottish musician, who’s known for a long career with the legendary Battlefield Band.
 

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December 19, 2014 | NPR · In a 2001 session, Shearing and host Marian McPartland reminisce about seasons gone by and play holiday songs, including “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Away In A Manger.”
 

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