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5 things you need to know for Wednesday, May 19

Fill the Fridge information
Suzanne and Barry Morpew
Posted at 5:46 AM, May 19, 2021

Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Wednesday, May 19.

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

Pueblo County residents, school district officials calling for action after repeated flooding

Monday night’s rainfall led to some major flooding in part of Pueblo County. Now neighbors and even the school district are upset something hasn’t been done to prevent this.

Esther Lucero and her girlfriend spent the morning running their sump pump, and sweeping and bucketing water away from their house. The entire property surrounding their home off of Business Highway 50 and 36th Lane in the Vineland area of Pueblo County looked more like a lake Tuesday.

“We had to go ahead and close Vineland Elementary and Vineland Middle School,” Pueblo County School District 70 Spokesperson Todd Seip said on floodwaters leaving the two schools inaccessible.

“The infrastructure out here is inadequate,” Lucero said. Drainage ditches alongside business 50 and nearby county-maintained roads can’t handle the water all at once.

But CDOT says they have had crews cleaning the ditches consistently over the past month and a half. A CDOT spokesperson told News5 it had crews clearing drainage ditches in the area of Business Highway 50 and 36th Lane during the periods between April 14-17, April 21-27 and May 3-6.

”The issue isn’t the roadway, but the flatness of the topography in the area,” CDOT spokesperson Michelle Peulen said. “When Pueblo sees heavy rain, the water, not only from the state roadway but also county roads and fields in the area has nowhere to go.”


Get your latest First Alert 5 Weather forecast

We're going to see another active day here in the weather department, but we shouldn't quite have anything like the rains we had yesterday.

We'll start the day cloudy and dry but we should see the development of showers and storms over the mountains and out into some of the I-25 corridor this afternoon into the early evening.

Some of the heaviest rain looks to fall in Fremont County and travel southeast down into the Wet Mountains and southern Sangres.

Highs will be in the 50's for the Pikes Peak Region and into the 70s for Pueblo.


Agricultural Arts: Bipartisan bill pushes for food educators

The recently introduced and bipartisan Food and Nutrition Education in Schools Act hopes to create more food educator positions in Colorado public schools.

While food education programs may be a new concept for many schools, there are those like Mountain Song Community School which already focus on that kind of learning. "You're not just stuck looking at a paper all day or looking at a computer, you're learning new things. You're learning how to take care of animals, plants. You're learning how to garden, you're learning how to cook," said a fifth-grade student at Mountain Song Community School, Schuylia Slack.

Mountain Song Community School is a public charter school that teaches Waldorf methods. They have a garden for their students, complete with a greenhouse, chickens, and a clay oven for cooking. "Nature is a great teacher and educator... We want them to have this appreciation for where their food comes from," said Sarah Kreger, the director of school performance at Mountain Song Community School.

The agricultural arts program is taught alongside other areas of study. "It can be about social studies, it can be related to math, it can be related to science. Really any subject can be taught using food," said the Agricultural Arts Program Coordinator, Adam Wright.

On Saturday, May 22, Mountain Song Community School will hold its May Faire celebration. Attendees can buy plants, spices, and herbs grown by the students, with the money raised benefiting the school.


KOAA5 and Care and Share Food Bank partner for Fill the Fridge donation drive

When the school year ends, food shortages begin. Students and families that rely on low-cost or free lunch programs are on their own for the summer.

Tens of thousands of people in our area face food shortages and during COVID-19, that need has grown. KOAA5 is working with Care and Share Food Bank to help bridge the summer food gap with the Fill The Fridge donation drive.

The drive will focus on donations because the money given goes a long way. In fact, $1 in donations buys as many as five meals.

On May 27, KOAA5 and Care and Share will conduct a day-long donation drive. We hope you will participate by making a donation, or if you prefer, you can drop off non-perishable food donations at the Care and Share Food Bank facility at 2605 Preamble Point in Colorado Springs.

Donations can also be made here: Fill the Fridge


Barry Morphew faces 2 new charges, including tampering with deceased body, in Suzanne Morphew case

Prosecutors have added tampering with a deceased human body, a class 3 felony, and possession of a dangerous weapon, a class 5 felony, to the list of charges Barry is already facing in the case, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

Barry, 53, was arrested May 5 on the initial charges of first-degree murder after deliberation, tampering with physical evidence and an attempt to influence a public servant, according to the documents.

He was taken into custody without incident near his home in Poncha Springs, according to Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze.

The new charges filed Tuesday means Barry is facing a total of five counts in connection with Suzanne’s disappearance. He is also facing charges of forgery in a separate case after he allegedly submitted a mail ballot in his wife's name in last year's election.



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