Friday, April 18, 2008

Fountain Valley School students concoct biodiesel

For the past six weeks, students from Fountain Valley School, a boarding and day high school with an enrollment of 240, have been collecting kitchen grease from the school’s dining hall and concocting biodiesel with equipment they designed and built in science class.
This week, Venetucci Farm began using the homemade alternative fuel in tractor engines.
Susan Gordon, director of the Venetucci Farm, which offers educational agricultural programs, said the cost savings are noticeable. The biodiesel fuel costs about 70 cents a gallon, she said, compared with regular diesel, which is retailing for about $4 a gallon.
The homemade system is capable of producing 30 gallons of biodiesel per month, and the project to fuel the farm’s tractors will be ongoing, said Jeanne Olive, Fountain Valley’s spokeswoman.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wildwood casino license approved

The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission voted today to approve the license for American Gaming Group's Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek.

When it opens - possibly as soon as May - Wildwood will be Cripple Creek's biggest casino, and also the first one visitors encounter as they enter the business district. The casino will feature as many as 1,300 slot machines and card tables, 65,000 square feet of floor space and a five-floor underground parking garage.

The casino was originally scheduled to open in December, 2007, but construction delays have pushed the date back several times.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Experience Pikes Peak annual meeting

Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak, the local convention and visitors bureau, held its annual membership meeting and presented its report today at a luncheon at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post.

Some highlights:

- Bureau president Terry Sullivan said Experience Colorado Springs is hoping to jump on the Olympic bandwagon with both feet, putting the Olympic rings and labeling Colorado Springs "Home of the U.s. Olympic Committee" in advertisements, mailings, business cards, a welcome sign at the city's south edge and anything else that they can get approved.

- Jim Cassidy, the bureau's CFO, said this February was the first month since January, 2007 that hotel tax revenue declined year-over-year.

- The other big item was a first look at the new Experience web site from Denver's Verbena design, which is still a work in progress.

- Not much talk on tourism prospects for the rest of this year, although visitors services director CJ Seals said the number of requests for information has remained steady.

"My research shows the price of fuel may effect the distance people are traveling, but they are still traveling," Seals said.

Anthem launches Colorado initiative to prevent serious medical errors

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado will stop paying for preventable problems that occur at hospitals to protect its 854,000 members from paying extra for errors such as surgery performed on the wrong part of a body, surgery performed on the wrong patient and the wrong surgery performed on a patient.

Such "never events," as they are called in the health care industry, should never happen to patients, Anthem officials said, adding that they will work with hospitals and physicians to find ways to improve patient safety and clinical care.

In addition, Anthem said it will pay only an appropriate amount and no additional charges for events such as objects left in a body during surgery, certain infections following surgery, hospital-acquired injuries, blood incompatibility and others.

The changes in reimbursement will take effect later this year, Anthem officials said, and are aimed at eliminating preventable adverse events.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

CarMax hiring: No automotive experience necessary

CarMax Inc., known for hiring outside the auto industry, is looking for 85 part- and full-time people to work at its store in Colorado Springs, which will open June 5 at 4011 Tutt Blvd.

The nation's largest retailer of used cars, CarMax typically hires people who have worked for other national retailers, such as Target, Lowe's, Home Dept, Wal-Mart, Macy's and The Gap. Employees also have come from the food and beverage industry, insurance sales and education, according to CarMax officials.

For its local super store, the first CarMax in Colorado, the company will hire sales, buyers, business office workers, customer service reps, service technicans and inventory workers, with no automotive experience necessary.

Job seekers can apply online at, or call 597-0098 to schedule an appointment.
CarMax is headquartered in Richmond, Va and operates 91 used car super stores in 41 markets. It is known for its hassle-free sales approach, low prices and a wide selection of vehicles.

Monday, April 14, 2008

SRC Computers forms partnership

SRC Computers Inc. has formed a partnership with Atrato Inc. to market computer software and hardware to offer faster access to large databases.
Colorado Springs-based SRC, which was started by supercomputer pioneer Seymour Cray and employs nearly 50, sought out Westminster-based Atrato to improve data access for a government customer the company did not identify and recently installed the first system.
“To address all levels of our customer base, we search nearly three years for the right solution before we found Atrato,” SRC President Jon Huppenthal said. “This is pretty exciting for a group of customers that represent a potentially large market.”
SRC spent 10 years and $60 million trying to bring the power of a supercomputer to a much broader market, but instead developed a technology that combines microprocessors with a type of semiconductor that can be reprogrammed on the fly to do a specific task.