Friday, December 14, 2007

Questions arise over hospital choice and shooting victims

E-mails from Penrose-St. Francis Health Services alerting media to the fact that three victims from the Dec. 9 shootings at New Life Church had been transported to Penrose Hospital near downtown Colorado Springs, included this paragraph:

“A significant amount of public and national media requests have been received asking why victims were transported downtown, bypassing the city's two new hospitals. Penrose Main Hospital on Nevada Avenue is a full-service Level II trauma hospital. The new St. Francis Medical Center on the corner of East Woodmen Road and Powers Boulevard will also be a full-service hospital able to handle trauma patients but is not scheduled to open until August 2008.”

What the paragraph omits: The new Memorial Hospital North, which opened in April and is the closest hospital to New Life Church, is operated by Penrose-St. Francis’ competitor and is not equipped to handle trauma patients.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wildwood Casino plans April opening

Las Vegas-based American Gaming Group LLC is looking to an April 1 opening for its Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek. It will be the town’s largest single casino. At one point, the company talked of opening the casino by Christmas. Its Web site talks of an opening in “very early 2008.”

Blame the weather for the now springtime opening, said Paul “Sonny" Marshall, president and chief executive officer of American Gaming Group. “We had some delays due to the weather last winter, and now we’re getting hit with it again,” he said. “It’s always a challenge in Cripple Creek to do construction.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tourism comedy

Tourists say the wackiest things. Terry Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak, entertained the audience at Tuesday morning’s “Breakfast With the Chamber” with a few questions passed on from visitors to the Springs:
  • A visitor on the Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway: “What is the distance between mile markers?”
  • A tourist at Garden of the Gods: “How often do you paint the rocks?”
  • A visitor to Helen Hunt Falls: “Why would you name a waterfall after an actress?”

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

SEC sues Maxim in stock-options probe

Some of Maxim Integrated Products Inc. employees may think they have jumped from one stock-options scandal to another.

Maxim in October bought Vitesse Semiconductor Corp.'s Colorado Springs-based Storage Products businesses and retained 55 of the operation's 60 employees. Another 50 people work for another local Maxim division. Vitesse has not reported earnings for two years as a result of a stock-option backdating scandal and investigation that led to the departure of its chief executives and several other top managers.

The Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday sued Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Maxim; John Gifford, its former chief executive, and Carl Jasper, its former chief financial officer, for allegedly falsifying financial information by improperly backdating stock option grants to employees and directors. The company's profits were inflated by more than 10 percent between 2003 and 2005 as a result of the scheme, the agency said.

The SEC agreed to settlements in which the company agreed to cease and desist from future violations and Gifford paid at $150,000 fine and returned $652,681 in bonuses tied to the company's performance. Neither the company nor Gifford admitted or denied the allegations as part of the settlement. Jasper has not settled with the agency and his attorney, Steven Bauer, told the Associated Press that Jasper didn't receive any backdated options and didn't have any authority to issue them.

Stock options give holders the right to buy shares in the future at a preset price. In Maxim's case, the SEC alleged the company routinely granted options at below-market prices, but avoided reporting the cost by backdating paperwork to make it appear that the options had been granted at an earlier date when the stock price was lower.
To view the suit against Maxim and Gifford, go to To view the suit against Jasper, go to

Monday, December 10, 2007

eWomenNetwork hosts holiday lunch

eWomenNetwork will host a holiday networking and shopping lunch Friday, Dec. 14, at the Marriott Hotel, 5580 Tech Center. The cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members. Doors open and informal networking begins at 10:30 a.m., with the program from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

eWomenNetworking offers "accelerated networking," in which women can meet numerous business contacts in a short period of time, share products and services, learn marketing strategies and make new connections. To register, call Mary at 596-1771.