NEWS, DECEMBER, 26TH

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) – A Grand Junction family that lost
everything in a house fire this month thought a local charity was
giving them a self-storage unit to help store new belongings as
they get back on their feet.
Instead, single mom Jacinda Koehler opened the unit Saturday to
find a member of the Grand Junction Lions Club had provided just
about everything Koehler and her two children need. The unit
included furniture, mattresses, a television, silverware and
Walmart gift cards. Even wrapped presents for the kids.
The (Grand Junction) Sentinel reports that the gifts came from
Steve Stewart, who heard of the family’s hardship and went to local
businesses to raise the merchandise and gift cards
(http://goo.gl/4XeR1 ).
Koehler teared up and said she was “blown away” by the
generosity.

SWIMMING POOLS-SPRINGS
Swimming pools face closure in Colorado Springs
(Information in the following story is from: The Gazette,
http://www.gazette.com)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Public swimming pools in Colorado
Springs will close at the end of the year after a public-private
partnership to manage some of the facilities ends.
The Gazette reports that city officials are scrambling to keep
the pools open (http://goo.gl/RYPeK). The pools are now operated by
Swim Colorado Inc., but the company will cease management Dec. 30.
Swim Colorado has operated the pools for more than a year. In
2010, the city had planned to close its pools to save cash. For an
up-front payment, Swim Colorado took over management.
A city spokeswoman said the agreement has ended but did not
elaborate.
She said the city will seek a way to reopen the swimming pools.

EISENHOWER TUNNEL-SPRINKLERS
CDOT wants sprinklers in Eisenhower Tunnel
(Information in the following story is from: Summit Daily News,
http://www.summitdaily.com/)
FRISCO, Colo. (AP) – Transportation officials in Colorado want
to install a $20 million sprinkler system in the Eisenhower Tunnel
to mitigate risk of a fire.
The four-lane Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel on Interstate
70 is among the busiest corridors across the Continental Divide and
is one of the highest highway tunnels in the world. The Summit
Daily News reports that the Colorado Department of Transportation
is looking for funding for a water-mist system to control heat from
a possible fire so that firefighters could get inside
(http://goo.gl/okFKX).
CDOT is looking to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to
help pay for the suppression system.
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall told the newspaper that he believes
there is “significant national interest” in making the tunnels
safer.

TRACKING SANTA
NORAD Santa trackers have record holiday
DENVER (AP) – Santa Claus set records Christmas Eve he raced
across the globe on his traditional holiday mission.
Volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado say they
fielded about 102,000 telephone queries beginning early Saturday on
his progress. That broke the previous mark of 80,000.
And his NORAD Facebook page recorded nearly 999,000 “likes,”
compared with 716,000 a year ago. Twitter followers increased from
about 53,000 last year to more than 89,000.
Officials say the records were likely the result of people
passing the word as well as social media interest.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command has been telling
anxious children about Santa’s whereabouts every year since 1955.
That was the year a newspaper ad invited kids to call Santa, but
the number had a typo, and kids wound up talking to the Continental
Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD’s predecessor.

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