NewsCovering Colorado


5 things you need to know for Thursday, April 1

Posted at 5:41 AM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 08:07:59-04

Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Thursday, April 1.

If you'd like to read the full story, be sure to click on the story headline.

1,600 home development set to change the face of Highway 94 corridor

The development, approved at last week’s Colorado Springs City Council meeting, is expected to bring around 1,600 homes to a 235-acre tract just east of Peterson Air Force Base along Marksheffel Road and Highway 94.

But in its present state as a two-lane rural highway, adding all those cars on Highway 94 might make for a tight fit.

“We do see a lot of buildup in areas that the roadways aren’t meant to have that kind of traffic on it,” said Master Trooper Gary Cutler with the Colorado State Patrol. It’s a problem CSP is seeing more and more in our growing state.

And even without Reagan Ranch built yet, Highway 94 already has its issues. “We’re seeing increased congestion as well as an increase in fatal crashes,” CDOT spokesperson Michelle Peulen said.

It’s why CDOT is in the process of adding passing lanes and traffic cameras along the highway as part of its Military Access, Mobility & Safety Improvement Project.

But aside from that, “We don’t have any additional Colorado 94 improvements on CDOT’s 10 year plan,” Peulen said.

Colorado's COVID-19 Dial to retire in mid-April

As more Coloradans get vaccinated against COVID-19, state and local leaders are planning to ease restrictions on businesses. The state health department is planning to retire the COVID-19 Dial Framework on April 16. It will be replaced by a new public health order that will give much more control over virus response to local communities.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said he does not plan to impose new local capacity restrictions over and above the state requirements. That position is shared by the El Paso County Board of Commissioners.

"I would recommend he (Governor Polis) not wait until the middle of April. I recommend he actually lower them now," said board chairman Commissioner Stan VanderWerf.

More than 250,000 people in El Paso County have currently received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That number is above 1.5 million doses statewide. However, the mayor pointed out that local virus numbers have started to go up again. He warned the community to not let down our guard just yet.

The state's current mask mandate will expire on Saturday, April 3. However, a spokesperson said the governor intends to sign a new 30-day order that will be modified to account for the varied case counts in each county, and that will take into account feedback received through public comments.

Teller County returning to Level Yellow on state COVID-19 dial

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment informed Teller County officials they'll have to return to Level Yellow on the state COVID-19 dial, effective immediately, due to rising cases. As of Wednesday, there are 1,425 cases in the county, mostly in Woodland Park.

While Teller County is in Level Yellow, the following restrictions will be in place:

  • Restaurants and seated indoor events (including at casinos) in Level Yellow return to 50% capacity or 150 people per room, whichever is less 
  • Capacity for most businesses, including gyms, offices, non-critical manufacturing, critical and non-critical retail, and both indoor and outdoor events returns to 50% or up to 50 people, whichever is less
  • Last Call for alcohol in restaurants is 1:00 a.m.

Find more information from the county here:


Opening Day for the Colorado Rockies

There may not be 50,000 fans at Coors Field on Opening Day, but there will be plenty of excitement. The 21,000 fans fortunate enough to score tickets for Thursday's game will find new rules in place.

Just like at their favorite coffee shop, or restaurant, fans will see signs mandating masks and social distancing requirements. They will also notice that concession stands have gone "cashless."

The mask requirement applies to both the concourse and the seating area. The rule: Keep your mask on, unless you're eating or drinking.

Fans will also notice plenty of signs mandating six feet of separation.

Greg Feasel, the Rockies chief operating officer, said the restrictions are for health safety. "Hopefully that's short-lived," he said, "then we can get back to color guards, anthem singers, schools down on the field, but tomorrow you won't see that."

Fans will also notice plenty of signs mandating six feet of separation.

Get your latest First Alert 5 Weather forecast

We're calling it a near-perfect day across southern Colorado, with only a few annoyances and concerns in far southeast Colorado.

Red Flag Warnings are in effect for Baca and eastern Las Animas counties until 7pm today for dry conditions and gusty winds. Most of the region will not have enough wind for fire danger. Sunshine mixed with 60s and 70s will make it very comfortable to be outside from the mountains to the I-25 corridor.

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