Vista Ridge High School: total graduates 325|
- Valedictorian – Randall Hake
- Salutatorian – Taylor Martin
Sand Creek High School: total graduates 274
- Valedictorian – Katrina Sharee Smith
- Salutatorian – Robert Alan Meikle
Falcon High School: total graduates 236
- Valedictorian – Brenna Prestwich
- Salutatorian – Breanna Thrower
Bits of advice for the grads
To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, may one day be president of the United States.
- George W. Bush
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
- Steve Jobs
We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.
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In March, The New Falcon Herald began a series on problem intersections in the Falcon area. The first in the series focused on the intersection of Meridian Road and Londonderry Drive; the second focused on the intersection of Flower Road and Meridian Road and the intersection of Bent Grass Meadows Drive and Meridian Road; the fourth one focused on the intersection of Highway 24 and Garrett Road.|
According to those articles, failure to yield right-of-way and inattentive driving were the leading causes of accidents at each intersection.
This month, the NFH focused on the intersection of McLaughlin Road and Old Meridian Road. According to the Colorado State Patrol’s statistics team, inattentive driving accounted for 37.5 percent of the crashes at that intersection since 2013, with following too closely behind a car and improper left turns accounting for 31.25 percent of the crashes.
Trooper Josh Lewis with the CSP said, “Crashes at this intersection have fluctuated greatly over the last several years, from a high of five crashes in both 2013 and 2015 to zero in 2017. Two of these crashes resulted in an injury, while the remaining 14 crashes resulted in property damage only.”
As with the intersection of Highway 24 and Garrett Road, crashes occurred most frequently on Wednesdays and Fridays, he said.
Jennifer Irvine, county engineer for El Paso County, said, “In 2007 and 2008 the developer in the area of McLaughlin Road and Old Meridian Road was supposed to make improvements (to the intersection and surrounding roads), but the economy took a dive and the developer did not finish.”
Jim Reid, executive director of the EPC department of public works, said ultimately the developer left the taxpayers holding the bag to pay for those improvements; and the county inherited the roads and all the accompanying issues.
Irvine said in 2010, the county applied for a safety grant to make the improvements the developer did not. “The poor alignment causes driver confusion,” she said. “We did not get the grant because there were not enough accidents in the area to warrant awarding it to us.”
The intersection is scheduled for improvements through the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, based on a voter-approved ballot measure in 2012, Irvine said. The intersection will be reconstructed as a modern single-lane roundabout, including pedestrian facilities at the intersection, along Old Meridian Road to the southeast and along McLaughlin Road to the northeast, and necessary drainage improvements.
The county did not start receiving money from the 2012 ballot measure until 2015, but has made some improvements in the meantime, Irvine said. In late 2012 and early 2013, EPC installed improved signage and re-striped the road; the county has been maintaining those improvements since then, she said. The area was re-striped again in February 2018, Irvine said.
Reid said the county will do everything it can to ensure the safety of the drivers at that intersection, but the scheduled improvements take time. “There is a whole process we have to go through,” he said. “We have to find the money, acquire the property, get the permits. The improvements do not happen overnight.”
Currently, the intersection is built to code and Reid said that means the obligation is really on each driver to be more attentive.
The county is in the property acquisition phase of the intersection improvement project, and Irvine said the final design has been completed. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2018 or early 2019, she said.
“We will be impacting people during the construction, but we will do our best to minimize that,” Irvine said. “We are adding lighting throughout the whole area, and we think it will be a great improvement to Falcon.”
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