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Press Release (El Paso County)

The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has mailed approximately 375,000 ballots to active registered Democratic, Republican and Unaffiliated voters for the 2018 Primary Election.  The ballots should arrive in voters’ mailboxes Friday of this week.

Ballots sent will contain contests for U.S. House, Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Attorney General, CU Regent, Board of Education, State Senate, State House, County-wide offices and Commissioner District one and five.  

“This is an exciting election season,” said Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman.  “This Primary Election is the last step that will help determine the candidates on this November’s General Election Ballot. For the first time, Unaffiliated voters can cast a vote and make their voice heard. Unaffiliated voters who did not choose a ballot preference will receive a ballot packet containing two ballots, Republican and Democratic. It is essential the Unaffiliated voter only votes and returns one ballot.”

Voters have many convenient options for returning their voted ballot.  The Clerk and Recorder’s Office has fifteen 24/7 ballot drop-boxes located throughout the county.  98.6% of the county’s population lives within a fifteen minute drive of one of these locations.  Voters also may return their ballot through the U.S. Postal Service.  However, voters should affix adequate postage and mail their ballot in enough time for delivery to the Clerk’s Office before the deadline of 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, June 26. The Clerk’s Office recommends that voters do not return their voted ballot by mail after June 20.

Any voter needing a replacement ballot or other in-person services may visit the Clerk and Recorder’s Office at the Citizens Service Center at 1675 West Garden of the Gods Road.  Other Voter Service and Polling Centers will open at a later date.

For more information about the election, including sample Primary Election ballots, voters should visit www.EPCVotes.com or call (719) 575-VOTE (8683).

All voted ballots must be returned to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, June 26, to be counted.  Postmarked ballots received after the deadline cannot be counted.

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Press Release (BusinessWire)

Walmart today unveiled a new associate education benefit designed to remove barriers to college enrollment and graduation. The program is another step in the company’s commitment to train and educate workers to advance in the jobs of today -- and the future.

In partnership with Guild Education, a leading education benefits platform, Walmart associates will be able to access affordable, high-quality associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Business or Supply Chain Management. Under the program, which will be made available to all Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club associates, Walmart will subsidize the cost of higher education, beyond financial aid and an associate contribution equivalent to $1 a day. Degrees will be offered through the University of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University – nonprofit schools selected for their focus and strong outcomes on serving working adult learners.

“Investing in the personal and professional success of our associates is vital to Walmart’s future success. We know training and learning opportunities empower associates to deliver for customers while growing and advancing in their careers,” said Greg Foran, CEO of Walmart U.S.

Highlights of the program include:

AFFORDABLE

Under the program, the associate contribution toward a college degree would be just $1 a day. Walmart will subsidize the cost of tuition, books and fees, eliminating the need for student loan debt and addressing one the biggest hurdles that keep people from returning to college.
 In addition, associates can jumpstart their path to completion by earning college credit for paid training at Walmart Academies. Hundreds of thousands of associates have already undergone skills training equivalent to more than $210 million in college credits. This will save associates both time and money in completing their degree.

RELEVANT

Walmart selected universities with a specialized focus on serving working adult learners and top outcomes for the working adult demographic. In addition, Walmart is collaborating with these universities to tailor curriculum to relevant skills for jobs and advancement across industries for today and in the future.

ACCESSIBLE

Working with three universities that include both selective and open-access programs, Walmart provides all associates a place to start. The goal is for all associates who apply for admission to be accepted. These universities have a programmatic dedication to high graduation rates for their students.
 SUPPORTED

From day one, associates will receive support from a Guild Education coach on everything from the application and enrollment process to selecting the appropriate degree. This kind of academic counseling has been shown to help students complete their degree.

“Walmart has kicked off what might be the nation’s most scalable approach to creating educational opportunity for America’s workforce, now available to its U.S. associates and their families,” said Rachel Carlson, chief executive officer and co-founder of Guild Education. “Walmart is also leading innovation at the intersection of workforce development and higher education by helping associates earn college credit for their on-the-job training.”

Walmart is also committed to an independent evaluation of the outcome of its new offering. The Lumina Foundation has agreed to research and measure the impact and effectiveness of the program and will work with the Walmart team to share findings.

“Walmart is making a significant investment in its workforce that will not just help the company, but help shift how our society moves toward more affordable and accessible pathways for individuals to be recognized and rewarded for their work-based skills and knowledge, resulting in high-quality, relevant credentials. We applaud Walmart’s efforts,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and chief executive officer of the Lumina Foundation.

“I commend Walmart for trying an innovative strategy to increase the skills and post-secondary education of its workers and for committing to have the Lumina Foundation conduct an independent evaluation of the program. I look forward to studying Lumina’s findings,” said Alan Krueger, professor of economics, Princeton University.

 ADDITIONAL EDUCATIONAL AND TRAINING OFFERINGS

Walmart’s new education program underscores the importance of education in helping associates prepare for the future. College degrees in supply chain management or business are parts of a broader approach to preparing the workforce to succeed today and into the future. Initiatives include:

    Developing a broad suite of offerings across roles and levels to help associates from frontline to executive levels develop job-related skills for advancement.
    Covering the complete cost for associates and eligible family members for earning a high school diploma or GED.
    Offering associates and eligible family members have access to tuition discounts, financial aid assistance and education coaching across Guild’s broader network of more than 80 accredited, nonprofit university partners, including schools such as The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), Columbia University and Purdue University. These institutions are made available through EdX.
    Giving access to professional development courses including college prep, leadership training and ESL.

These programs are available to full-time, part-time and salaried Walmart U.S. store, supply chain, home office and Sam’s Club associates.

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Press Release (City of Colorado Springs)

At the end of April, 2018, a total of 537,073 passengers will have traveled through the Colorado Springs Airport (COS), representing a 19.8 percent increase in year-to-date enplanements from April, 2017. During the month of April 2018, 69,555 enplaned passengers and 69,814 deplaned passengers travelled through COS resulting in a total of 139,782 passengers, of which 257 enplanements and 156 deplanements from charters are included in the total passenger count.  Frontier Airlines reported 84,549 passengers in year-to-date traffic, an increase of 73.1 percent from the previous year.

April’s year-to-date load factors (the percentage of seats filled with paying passengers) was down slightly at 1.3 percent from 2017. Delta reported an 86.5 percent load factor, with American at 85.9 percent, Frontier at 81.8 percent, and United at 79.4 percent.

On the night of Monday, April 16, a fire ignited on the roof of the airport, resulting in the closure of the main terminal at COS the late evening of Monday, April 16 through Tuesday, April 17. The closure resulted in 56 flights and 5,740 seats lost due to cancellations. Despite cancellations, airport passenger traffic increased 21.4 percent in year-over-year enplanements from April, 2017. COS reopened and resumed full operations on Wednesday, April 18. COS continues to complete construction and repair areas damaged by the fire.

COS currently serves 15 nonstop flights on 4 airlines. Just in time for the summer travel season, COS added four nonstop routes with Frontier Airlines. New service to Seattle, Washington, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, and an additional nonstop to Atlanta Georgia began on April 8. A new nonstop to San Antonio, Texas began on April 9.  Frontier has also restarted seasonal service to Washington-Dulles and Chicago O’Hare. Easy parking and shorter lines means you spend your vacation on vacation – not the hassle of getting there.

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Press Release (ElPasoCo.com)

On May 15, 2018, Nathan Parks pled guilty to voting twice in the 2016 General Election. Mr. Parks knowingly cast ballots in Colorado and Washington, resulting in a misdemeanor, according to the Colorado Revised Statute 1-13-710. As part of his sentencing, Mr. Parks will provide 30 hours of community service, pay all restitution and court fees, and serve a 12 month deferred sentence.

Nathan Parks, 54, had registered to vote in Colorado in August 2013, while maintaining his residency and voter registration in Clallam County, Washington. Mr. Parks had not cast any absentee ballots in Colorado until the 2016, General Election, where he also voted in Washington.

“Every vote is a voice and our office works hard to make sure that your vote is your voice. Voting twice in an election is illegal. Double voting decreases the public’s confidence that our election systems are fair” said Chuck Broerman, El Paso County Clerk & Recorder. “In Colorado, we make it easy to register and vote, but hard to cheat. As a result, voter fraud is rare in El Paso County. But as this case proves, when it does occur, the District Attorney’s Office, under Dan May, investigates and prosecutes.”

Additionally, on May 16, 2018, Bonnie Schrader appeared before the El Paso County District Court on allegations that she voted twice and forged a ballot signature, both within El Paso County. If convicted, the forgery charge is a class 5 felony (Colorado Revised Statute 18-5-102(1) (e)), and the charge of voting twice in an election is a misdemeanor (Colorado Revised Statute 1-13-710).

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Young bicyclists will have a place to ride and learn thanks in part to a donation announced today. El Pomar Foundation has donated $60,000 toward the completion of a youth bike park at Fountain Park, adjacent to the Hillside Community Center.

“We are grateful to El Pomar Foundation for this generous donation which will translate into valuable safety lessons and great fun for our local youth,” said Mayor John Suthers. “This is a wonderful example of how public-private partnerships can benefit our community as a whole.”

The bike park is one of several projects made possible in part by a Great Outdoors Colorado (COCO) grant and Generation Wild Initiative which aims to connect families with the great outdoors. The total cost of the bike park is approximately $200,000. This latest donation means The City of Colorado Springs’ Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department now has the necessary funding to begin construction. The bike park will be approximately 3 acres and is scheduled to open by this fall.

“We are excited and proud to provide programming at this facility for the newest bicyclists in our community,” said Daniel Byrd, Kids on Bikes executive director. The bike park will include a street skills course that helps teach young cyclists the rules of the road along with a mountain bike skills and obstacle course.

This donation is the first from The William J. Hybl Fund. “Olympic and Paralympic sports promote excellence, participation and peaceful competition, all of which are values which should be passed on to young people,” said William J. Hybl, El Pomar Foundation Chairman and CEO. “This fund supports Olympic, Paralympic and youth sports and so the ability to provide funds for the completion of this skills and obstacle course for kids is a terrific initial gift.”