Around the Region

Here’s what’s making headlines in Southeast and beyond …

April ballot takes shape

Colorado Springs voters will have a sizable ballot coming their way this spring. Eleven hopefuls are vying for three at-large seats on City Council, while four will make their bids for the mayor’s seat. The order in which they will appear on the ballot was determined in a Jan. 25 lottery.

The candidates for mayor are: Lawrence Martinez, John Suthers, John Pitchford and Juliette Parker.

Those running for at-large City Council seats are Gordon Klingenschmitt, Bill Murray, Val Snider, Wayne Williams, Tony Gioia, Terry Martinez, Regina English, Tom Strand, Randy Tuck, Athena Roe and Dennis Spiker.

In addition, voters will be asked whether the city charter should be amended to allow uniformed fire department personnel to enter into collective bargaining.

Election day is April 2. Voter registration can be completed online by visiting sos.state.co.us.

The Southeast Express and Citizens Project have teamed up to host a free voter forum at 6 p.m. March 14 at Sierra High School, 2250 Jet Wing Drive.

NAMI launches support class

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Colorado Springs chapter will host a free, 12-week program for family and friends of adults living with mental illness.

Classes begin Feb. 25 and will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays, through May 20.

The location of the classes is being withheld pending registration. For more information or to register, call 719-473-8477 or email info@namicos.org.

Library district checks out of fines

The Pikes Peak Library District is making it even easier to love a good book.

The district eliminated overdue fines Feb. 1, which also happens to be the start of Library Lover’s Month. That means readers will no longer be financially penalized for books that are returned late.

The district also plans to roll out automatic renewals. The day before a book is due back, and if no other patron has it on hold, the system automatically renews it. That give readers up to six more weeks with the literature.

And that’s good news for the area’s most vulnerable families, Library Services director Tim Blevins said in a statement.

“Our mission as an organization is to eliminate barriers to information and resources, not create them,” he said.

Overdue fines accounted for less than 1 percent of the library’s overall revenue in 2017, library research shows. Fines will still be levied on lost or damaged materials, and automatic renewal will not apply to rapid reads, electronic materials or equipment.

Pioneers Museum celebrates Black History Month

The Pioneers Musuem, 215 S. Tejon St., is celebrating Black History Month with four tours a week during February. Since the founding of Colorado Springs in 1871, African-Americans have socially, politically, intellectually, culturally and economically shaped the region.

Tours highlighting this history will take place at 1 p.m. Tuesdays; 11 a.m. Fridays; and noon and 1 p.m. Saturdays. The events last 60 minutes and drop-ins are welcome.

For more information or to book a tour for a group, call program coordinator Meg Poole at 719-385-5631 or email mpoole@springsgov.com.

— Compiled by Regan Foster

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