Study: Colorado 5th most innovative state

Colorado is the nation’s 5th most innovative state, according to a new report.

Massachusetts, Washington and the District of Columbia were named the most innovative states, while Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia came in last for innovation.

The report, “2019’s Most & Least Innovative States,” released Monday by finance website WalletHub, compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key metrics with data set ranging from share of STEM professionals to R&D spending per capita.

 

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Indy’s 2019 city election endorsements

Just because the federal government yells the loudest and embarrasses us the most, doesn’t mean it has the most direct impact on our day-to-day lives. It’s localgovernment that stands as the foundation of American democracy. And it’s decisions made at the city level that most directly affect us as residents.

This year, voters will be asked to choose three at-large City Council members from a slate of 11 and the city’s chief executive from a field of four mayoral hopefuls. We composed candidate questionnaires and combed through reams of responses; heard from candidates and advocates on both sides of the ballot measure, and debated the issues among ourselves.

Here’s what we think.

 

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Gazette endorsements for the Colorado Springs election in April

Mail-in ballots went out Friday, presenting voters with four candidates for mayor, 12 for three at-large City Council seats, and a request for union bargaining for the Colorado Springs Fire Department known as Issue 1.

The Gazette’s editorial board presents the following endorsements, asking readers to consider them as one component of their due diligence before voting. We made our decisions after meeting with proponents and opponents of Issue 1, after meeting with candidates who asked to see us, and after assessing candidate web sites, campaign literature and statements in forums.

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Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers takes stock of first term while planning for second

The line’s familiar and yet not tired. If it were engraved on Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers’ tombstone, well, that’d be just fine, he says.

“I’m still trying to build the city that matches our scenery,” Suthers said, noting it couldn’t be accomplished in a single term.

On deck if he’s re-elected to a second term as mayor would be continued improvement to the city’s streets, boosting the city’s police force, attracting more affordable housing and aggressively enforcing camping bans to curtail the city’s homeless population, Suthers said.

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PPCC nursing program ranked No. 1 in Colorado

Pikes Peak Community College’s nursing program has earned a No. 1 rating among all of Colorado’s 28 RN programs from RegisteredNursing.org, a major nursing advocacy organization.

PPCC’s program beat out larger programs including the University of Colorado and the University of Northern Colorado.

“At the foot of the magnificent Rocky Mountains, Pikes Peak Community College is home to one of Colorado’s choice nursing programs. Nursing graduates from PPCC possess the technical skills and patient advocacy to make them a valuable asset in the clinical setting,” the nursing organization stated.

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City’s final blueprint on homelessness in Colorado Springs focuses on families, outreach

A greater attention to the plight of homeless families, more police patrols and a revamped approach to street outreach are among Colorado Springs officials’ recently finalized plans for addressing homelessness in the coming year.

The 2019 Colorado Springs Homelessness Initiative takes aim at several facets of homelessness in a city that has seen the number of people sleeping outside, in shelters or in their vehicles grow for years, while options for affordable housing dwindle.

The blueprint emerged from months of deliberations and town halls that drew hundreds of people to meetings across the city.

homeless countIt hews largely to a draft issued in October, and its targeted completion date is the same: Dec. 31. However, it includes a few new additions, such as a bid to help families, greater enforcement of camping bans and a different approach to outreach.

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Colorado Springs and Fort Collins leaders nationally for job growth last year

Two Colorado metros ranked among the Top 10 nationally for job growth last year. And sorry Denver, Boulder and Greeley, you didn’t qualify.

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Selena Paulsen enjoys lunch with her two children Jackson, 3, and Sierra, 7, right, and their dog Thor in Fort Collins on July 17, 2016.

Colorado Springs had a 5.5-percent gain in nonfarm jobs between December 2017 and December 2018, which ranked fourth out of 388 metros, according to a survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not far behind was Fort Collins, in the ninth spot, with a growth rate of 4.4 percent. Fort Collins last month made a repeat showing at the top of a list of the nation’s most dynamic economies.

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Why Colorado Springs is the Next High-Growth Colorado City

Colorado benefits from being one of the handful of states in the country where people will move to without a plan, ranking second overall in state growth. Colorado has sold lifestyle, buzz and innovation better than almost any other state– Denver and Boulder have grown so much recently that they’ve gone from affordable to ranking in the top ten of least affordable cities.

Now Denver is expanding further and further south, to the point where the last suburb of Denver, Castle Rock, is on the doorstep of Colorado Springs. And Colorado Springs, less than an hour from downtown Denver and with the greenway appeal of Boulder, is poised to be the Colorado growth city of the next decade.

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Pikes Peak Cog Railway orders engines, cars, rail for $100 million rebuilding project

The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway has ordered three new engines, nine passenger cars and cog-rail and snow removal systems from a Switzerland-based manufacturer as part of the $100 million rebuild of the railway.

Stadler Bussnang AG announced in January that it had received the order for the rack-and-pinion diesel locomotives, the rail cars that will be configured to carry 240-260 passengers, cog-rail and snow removal systems. Stadler spokeswoman Charlotte Thalhammer said the components would be manufactured at the company’s plants in Switzerland, but a delivery schedule had not been set yet because the specifics of the order were still being worked out.

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Colorado Springs City Council approves ordinance to place high-dollar settlements in public spotlight

Lawmakers and open-government advocates are commending the Colorado Springs City Council for passing laws to bring high-dollar lawsuit settlements out of closed-door meetings and into the public spotlight.

The council unanimously approved three ordinances on the topic Tuesday, but city attorneys said they have been following the practices outlined in them since August.

The laws come after The Gazette reported that the council in closed-door meetings had paid about $5.4 million in lawsuit settlements — for cases including claims of racial and gender discrimination — since 2013.

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