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Colorado Springs is a large city located just east of the geographic center of the U.S. State Colorado. It has a population of 360,890 (according to the 2000 census) making it the second largest city in Colorado and the 50th largest city in the United States. It is also a large part of the metropolitan area of the Front Range. In July 2006, Money magazine ranked Colorado Springs the best place to live in the big city category, which includes cities with 300,000 or more people.
The capital of Colorado, Denver is 68 miles to the north. At an elevation of 6,035 feet, Colorado Springs is over a mile above sea level, though some areas of the city are significantly higher. The city itself is situated near the base of one of the most famous American peaks, Pike's Peak on the east side of the Rocky Mountains. The city is the County Seat of El Paso.
Today, Colorado Springs has many features of a modern urban area, such as parks, bike trails, urban open-area spaces, business and commerce, theatres and other entertainment. It was first established as a posh resort community and the tourist industry has remained strong and offers many activities and attractions.
The Springs also has had its share of problems: overcrowded roads and highways, crime, sprawl, and government budget issues. Many of the problems arising are indirectly or directly caused by the city's difficulty in coping with the large population growth experienced in the last 20 years. In 2004, the voters of Colorado Springs and El Paso County established the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority and adopted a 1% sales tax dedicated to improving the region's transportation infrastructure. Togeher with state funding for COSMIX and the I-25 interchange with Highway 16, significant progress has been made since 2003 in addressing the transportation needs of the area.
A large number of religious organizations and churches make their headquarters here, particularly Evangelical Christians. Many high-tech businesses reside in the city, including a large number of chip manufacturers. The Mountain West Conference has its administrative headquarters in Colorado Springs.
Colorado Springs is also home to a large number of military installations and important national defense agencies. It is also home to the United States Air Force Academy, one of only five military academies in the entire country.
Colorado Springs was founded in August 1871 by General William Palmer, with the intention of creating a high quality resort community, and was soon nicknamed "Little London" because of the many English tourists who came. Nearby Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods made the city's location a natural.
Within two years his flagship resort the Antlers Hotel opened, welcoming U.S. and international travelers as well as health-seekers looking for the high altitude and dry climate, and Palmer's visions of a thriving, quality resort town were coming true. Soon after he founded and owned the Denver Rio Grande Railroad, a critical regional railroad. Afterwards he maintained his presence in the city's early days by making many grants or sales of land to many important civic institutions in the community. Palmer and his wife saw Colorado Springs develop into one of the most popular travel destinations in the United States.
The town of Palmer Lake and a geographic feature called the Palmer Divide (and other more minor features) are named after him, and a bronze sculpture of Palmer on his horse is prominently displayed downtown in the center of a busy intersection.
"America The Beautiful" was written by visiting English professor Katherine Lee Bates in August 1893, while she stayed at the Antlers Hotel after visiting the top of nearby Pike's Peak.
Old Colorado City and the Colorado Gold Rush
Colorado Springs' present downtown location, where General Palmer first founded the city, is due to Palmer's dislike of nearby rough-and-ready Colorado City and its many saloons; Palmer ensured his new city stayed alcohol free by buying a huge tract of land to the east of Colorado City and in fact, Colorado Springs stayed dry until the end of Prohibition in 1933.
In its earliest days of 1859-1860, Colorado City was a major supply route of supplies for miners in the South Park, where a major strike in the Colorado Gold Rush was found. Routes further north from present-day Denver's area proved more effective, and as only a few very minor gold finds were made in the Pikes Peak region, commerce instead shifted towards serving the agriculture of Colorado's eastern plains. (Eventually General Palmer's Denver & Rio Grande Railroad would snake from Denver into the South Park.)
Colorado City was the county seat of El Paso County until 1873, when the courthouse moved to Colorado Springs.
Colorado City also briefly (and unofficially) served as Colorado's territorial capital starting on July 7, 1862. By this time the town's fortunes were already waning. The territorial legislature met in a log cabin on Colorado Avenue, and on August 14, 1862 the legislature approved an act which named Golden as the territorial capital. Colorado City was never recognized by the Federal government as the territorial capital.
In 1891, very major gold strikes were made in Cripple Creek and Victor, on the other side of Pike's Peak from Colorado City, and suddenly supplies were needed for this last major phase of the Colorado Gold Rush and the town's big boom was on. Eventually Colorado City was processing much of the gold ore as Palmer's railroads connected the areas.
W.S. STRATTON, EARLY BENEFACTOR
In 1891, Winfield Scott Stratton, discovered and developed one of the richest gold mines on earth in the nearby Cripple Creek and Victor area, and was perhaps the most generous early contributor to those communities and to Colorado Springs.
After he made his fortune he declined to build a mansion as the other gold rush millionaires were doing; instead, in later years, he lived in a house in Colorado Springs he had built when he was a carpenter in pre-gold days.
In Colorado Springs, he funded the Myron Stratton Home for housing itinerant children and the elderly, donated land for City Hall, the Post Office, the Courthouse (which now houses the Pioneer Museum), and a park; he also greatly expanded the city's trolley car system and built the Mining Exchange building, and gave to all three communities in many other ways, great and small.
Unfortunately, as Stratton's generosity became known, he also was approached by many people looking for money, and he became reclusive and eccentric in his later years.
SPENCER PENROSE, EARLY BENEFACTOR
Spencer Penrose also made his mark on Colorado Springs in its early years--though not until two decades after its founding. Penrose started as a ladies-man and an adventurer who made a huge fortune in the gold fields of nearby Cripple Creek in the 1890s, then married Julie Villiers Lewis McMillan, and settled down considerably.
Penrose used his vast amounts of money to invest in other national mineral concerns and financed construction of the Broadmoor Hotel, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, the Pikes Peak Highway, an important local hospital, and established the El Pomar Foundation, which still oversees many of his contributions in Colorado Springs today.
20TH CENTURY BOOM
The End of the Colorado Gold Rush
The flow of gold and silver ebbed as the decades passed, and Colorado City's economic fortunes faded with it; the miners and those who processed the ore left or retired and the town was absorbed by Colorado Springs in 1917. Then "Old Colorado City" became a quaint old Victorian and brick neighborhood in the west part of Colorado Springs, with National Historic District status and a bustling main street of businesses, tourism, antique shops, and Victorian charm.
thColorado Springs saw its first military base in 1942 shortly after Pearl Harbor was attached. It was during this time the U.S. Army established Camp Carson, which is now known as Fort Carson. It is near the southern borders of the city in order to train and house troops in preparation for the Second World War. It was also during this time that the Army began using at what was then and still is the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport. It was renamed Peterson Field, which is now known as Peterson Air Force Base and used as a training base for heavy bombers.
The Army then began expanding Camp Carson, a venture that increased growth in Colorado Springs and provided a significant area of industry for the city. After World War II the military stepped away from the Springs and it seemed the city's military boom was over, Camp Carson was declining and the military was activating and deactivating Peterson Field irregularly. That all changed when the Korean War erupted and the declining Camp Carson of 600 was revitalized, along with many other parts of the Springs.
After the Korean War, Peterson Field was renamed Peterson Air Force Base and was permanently activated. In 1954 Camp Carson became Fort Carson, Colorado Spring's first Army post. Later that same year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower chose, out of 300 other sites around the nation, Colorado Springs to be the site of the Air Force's military academy. With a new and growing Army post, an Air Force Base, and the Air Force's military academy, Colorado Spring's growth was jump-started.
The military boom continued and in 1963, NORAD's main facility was built in Cheyenne Mountain. It placed NORAD directly next to Colorado Springs and permanently secured the city's military presence. During the Cold War the city greatly expanded due to increased revenue from various industries and the prevailing military presence in the city. This presence was further increased in 1983 with the founding of Schriever Air Force Base, a base primarily tasked with missile defense and satellite control. Fort Carson and Peterson are still growing and continue to contribute to the city's growth. Headquarters, Air Force Command, is located on Peterson AFB.
Colorado Springs is located at 38°51'48?N, 104°47'31?W
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 482.1 km² (186.1 mi²). 481.1 km² (185.7 mi²) of it is land and 1.0 km² (0.4 mi²) of it (0.21%) is water.
Colorado Springs averages 250 days of sunshine per year, and receives 15.42 inches of annual precipitation. Average snowfall for the area (included in the previous annual precipitation calculation) is 5.5" in November, 5.7" in December, 5.0" in January, 5.1" in February, 9.4" in March, and 6.3" in April. Average January low and high temperatures are 14°F/ 42°F (-10°C/ 5.5°C) and average July low and high temperatures are 55°F/ 85°F (12.7°C/ 29.4°C). Traditionally, Colorado Springs have winters known as Indian Summers, where the winters are mild (except the occasional sub-zero cold snap around October 31 and March/April blizzards). The hottest temperature ever recorded in Colorado Springs was 101°F (38.3°C) on June 7, 1874 and the coldest temperature ever recorded was -32°F (-35.5°C) on January 20, 1883. Colorado Springs is also one of the most active lightning strike areas in the United States. This natural phenomenon lead Nicola Tesla to select Colorado Springs as the preferred location to build his lab and study electricity.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 360,890 people, 141,516 households, and 93,117 families residing in the city. The population density was 750.2/km² (1,942.9/mi²). There were 148,690 housing units at an average density of 309.1/km² (800.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.66% White, 6.56% Black or African American, 0.88% Native American, 2.82% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 5.01% from other races, and 3.85% from two or more races. 12.01% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 141,516 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,081, and the median income for a family was $53,478. Males had a median income of $36,786 versus $26,427 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,496. About 6.1% of families and 8.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.8% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over
ATTRACTIONS & ENTERTAINMENT
TMuch of the Springs' tourism comes from the area it was built around, most famously Pikes Peak. The city is host to numerous trails and parks due to its close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, making the city a popular destination for its scenery. With the mountains as close as they are the Springs has also gained notority for its rock formations and other geological features. There are many attractions in the area, including:The Broadmoor Hotel, a luxury hotel/resort rated Five-Star by Mobil and Five-Diamond by AAA, every year. Cave of the Winds The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, billed as the nation's only 'mountain zoo,' is situated, essentially, on the side of Cheyenne Mountain. The Citadel Mall, Chapel Hills Mall, Shops at Briargate, and the Powers Corridor Shopping area are shopping meccas for the area. Other attractions include the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Flying W Ranch, a cowboy ranch. Focus on the Family visitor center and tours of facilities Garden of the Gods, a collection of large red sandstone formations Glen Eyrie, home to William Jackson Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs, now owned by The Navigators- tours available Lon Chaney Theater Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway - ascends to the summit of 14,115 foot tall Pikes Peak Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Old Colorado City district Pikes Peak Center Pioneer's Museum
Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy, Security Service Field, home of the baseball club Colorado Springs Sky Sox, AAA affiliate of Milwaukee Brewers; Seven Falls, United States Olympic Training Center,The Van Briggle Pottery, founded in 1899 and still operating, specializing in art nouveau vases and decorative tiles. The World Arena hosts many concerts and events for the city.
OTHER AREA ATTRACTIONS
According to the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, the area attracts some six million visitors yearly.
Colorado Springs is served by an extensive bus system called Metro (short for Mountain Metropolitan Transit). The system serves most of the city and its nearest suburbs. Taxicabs are available by phone or can usually be chartered at the airport or downtown. Uber and Lyft have gained some market share in recent years.
Attempts to ease traffic congestion
Because of Colorado Springs' rapid growth and traffic congestion there have been several plans suggested for the development of a loop around Colorado Springs to allow people to pass around the city instead of through the middle where traffic is worst. Since 1964, Powers Boulevard corridor was designed for the development of a loop around the city and there were high hopes that it would be developed into one. In past years retail stores have secured sites adjacent to Powers Boulevard that have made it unlikely that the Powers loop will ever be completed as originally planned.
The transportation plan for the city is named the ITP (Intermodal Transportation Plan). This plan was revised in 2002 to include parts of the east-west mobility study that investigated the need as well as the viability of constructing or upgrading major east-west thoroughfares to ease the traffic flow across town. As part of the east-west mobility study it was suggested that Powers Boulevard be reconstructed as a six-lane limited access freeway from Interstate 25 north of town, south to Interstate 25 south of town.
Other parts of the east-west mobility study include:The widening of Woodmen Road to 6 or 8 lanes from Interstate 25 to Powers Boulevard and the construction of an interchange at Academy Boulevard. There is also the possibility of an express bus system or light rail along Woodmen Road. Widening of Austin Bluffs Boulevard to 6 lanes from Interstate 25 to Stetson Hills, as well as connection via Stetson Hills and Barnes to Powers Boulevard. Constructing a connection from Platte Avenue to the Interstate 25/Bijou Street interchange. Upgrading the Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway bypass to a six-lane limited access freeway from Interstate 25 to Powers Boulevard.
Recently another study, the South Metro Accessibility Study, evaluated the improvements needed to the major thoroughfares on the south side of Colorado Springs. The studies suggested alternative includes; Reconstruction of Academy Boulevard to expressway standards from Drennan Road to Pikes Peak Community College. Construction of a Drennan/Academy interchange to allow free-flow of traffic. Widening and upgrading of Academy Boulevard to expressway standards from Pikes Peak Community College to Colorado State Highway 115. Construction of an extended south entrance to the Colorado Springs Airport to the expressway
Ultimately, when completed the idea is to improve Academy Boulevard to Expressway status from Highway 115 to Drennan Road, and along with Drennan, allow an express route from Highway 115 to the Colorado Springs Airport. The airport's role has been a major part of the design as city planners are hoping to improve the viability of the airport as an alternative to Denver International Airport by the construction of the expressways and improving accessibility to the airport from Interstate 25 as well as the southeastern part of the city.
Recently a large group of developers has suggested another possibility for a loop freeway around the Springs. This loop would go through a newly suggested development known as Banning Lewis Ranch. The loop would be a toll road, at least initially. Because of the scope of the Banning Lewis project, no steps have yet been taken to secure the funds necessary to begin constructing the loop. This loop along with the Powers Loop are among several alternatives being investigated currently. It is likely one or both of these will be built.
If and when all of these projects are completed, the traffic flow in and around Colorado Springs ought to be greatly improved. Overall the new thoroughfares would include one (or two) loop freeways, a spur into the city connecting the main freeway and the loop, east-west expressway upgrades, and easier access to the Colorado Springs Airport.
The "Front Range Toll Road"
In addition there are plans to develop a "Front Range Toll Road", a privately-owned turnpike, which would begin south of Pueblo and end around Fort Collins. This toll road would allow rail and truck traffic to avoid the more highly traveled parts of I-25 along the Front Range. Initially, the project had support but has since been highly contested because of the need to condemn the land of many private citizen, through the use of eminent domain, to make room for the corridor
You can get updated information regarding any of these projects by visiting SEMA Construction and C-DOT
Colorado Springs is served by the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport. It is the second largest airport in the state of Colorado in terms of passenger traffic (Denver International Airport is larger). The airport has experienced a higher recovery rate in the post-9/11 era than the rest of the country and is in the process of expanding its maintenance facilities, taxiways, and runways to accommodate future growth. In 2005 it served approximately two million passengers.
Colorado springs' economy is driven primarily by the military, the high-tech industry, and tourism, in that order. While the main force behind the city's economy is the military, the city is not completely dependent on it. The city is currently experiencing substantial growth and has been identified as one of the nation's top ten fastest growing economies.
The defense industry is the most productive and largest portion of Colorado Springs' economy with many of the largest employers coming from this sector. A large portion of this industry is dedicated to the development and operation of various projects of the missile defense agency. The aerospace industry also has a major influence on the Colorado Springs economy. The defense sector has posted major projected growth in the next few years, it being the highest of any sector in the city.
Defense corporations with ties to the city include:Northrop Grumman, one of the largest employers in the city Lockheed Martin Boeing
A very large part of Colorado Springs's economy is the high tech industry, with a focus on manufacturing. The high tech sector of Colorado Springs has been listed as one of the fastest growing portions of the Springs' economy, notably in biotech and chip manufacturing. Currently the high tech industry ranks second to the military in terms of the revenue generated and people employed. It is projected for that situation to stay that way.
In addition to chip manufacturing there is a fair amount of research and development done here as well. Many of the companies already in the city have plans to expand their operations, and in the past two years, other companies have seriously considered Colorado Springs for satellite locations.
High tech corporations with connections to the city include:Verizon – Software development - has a fairly large engineering presence HP – Computing – large sales, support, and SAN storage engineering center. The location was built by Digital Equipment Corporation, renamed Compaq in the 1998 acquisition of Digital, and finally renamed HP after the 2002 merger. SNIA – Computing - home of the SNIA Technology Center Agilent – Manufacturing - HP operated a large facility in the area that was later renamed Agilent in the spinoff. Intel – Chip fabrication, built in 2000, also has plans to expand Atmel – Chip fabrication Cypress Semiconductor Colorado Design Center – Chip fabrication R&D site
The United States Military plays a very important role in the city. Colorado Springs is home to both Army and Air Force bases and their numerous support bases around the county. Fort Carson, the city's biggest military base, was home to the 3rd ACR and will be home to 4th Infantry, boosting the city's population. The city is host to many various training grounds for infantry, armor, and attack helicopters (specifically the AH-64 Apache). Fort Carson is also the headquarters of the 10th Special Forces Group's second and third battalion, two of the three battalions of the 10th.
The Air Force has a few critical aspects of their service based at Colorado Springs which carry on missile defense operations and development. The Air Force bases a large section of the nation's national missile defense operations, with many parts such as NORAD and Peterson set to operate large sections of the program. Peterson AFB is currently the headquarters of the Air Force's major command Air Force Space Command, the highest level of command in the Air Force. Also, Schriever AFB operates two global positioning system satellites used by the Air Force to direct and command various operations. Schriever is also devolping parts of national missile defense and runs parts of the annual wargames used by the nations military.
Colorado Springs is the site of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a component of America's missile defense system. When it was built, at the height of the Cold War era, it caused much anxiety for the residents of Colorado Springs. Many believed that if World War III started, theirs would be the first city hit.  NORAD still operates but is somewhat less vital to American defense than in previous years. Today it is primarily tasked with the tracking of ICBMs, but the military has recently decided to put Cheyenne Mountain on standby and move operations to nearby Peterson Air Force Base.
Military installations in and around the city include:United States Air Force Academy – Tasked primarily with training Air Force officers. Cheyenne Mountain Air Station – Air Force: a major military center, home of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), it is housed in Cheyenne Mountain, south of Pikes Peak. Peterson Air Force Base – Headquarters of Air Force Space Command Schriever Air Force Base – Air Force Fort Carson – Army
OTHER EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION
Colorado Springs Jobs for city employment opportunities; Monster.com; jobbing.com; Indeed.com
In recent years, Colorado Springs has attracted a large influx of Evangelical Christians and organizations. At one time Colorado Springs was counted to be the national headquarters for 81 different religious organizations, earning the city the tongue-in-cheek nickname "the Protestant Vatican".
The city and surrounding areas also host hundreds of churches and synagogues of many faiths and denominations, including a mosque.
Evangelical groups with headquarters at Colorado Springs include:Compassion International Focus on the Family International Bible Society Association of Christian Schools International The Navigators Young Life
THE SPRINGS' HOLLYWOOD CONNECTION
Colorado Springs in fictionClive Cussler sets a chapter of his thriller "Cyclops" in Colorado Springs, featuring an action scene between the President's personal investigator and a man supposedly involved in a top secret colony on the moon. Robert A. Heinlein, noted sci-fi writer during the genre's Golden Age, lived in Colorado Springs during part of his career. His novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress featured at one point the rebel moon government raining rock-filled grain canisters down on NORAD's headquarters inside Cheyenne Mountain, incidentally destroying Colorado Springs because of the great amount of kinetic energy released on impact. Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz lived briefly in Colorado Springs in 1951, on North Franklin Street. Linus and Lucy Van Pelt were neighbors of his, for whom he named characters. He painted a wall of his home with some Peanuts characters. The wall was removed from the home in 2001 and donated to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California. Several scenes of Perry Mason: The Case of the Sinister Spirit (1987) were filmed at the Broadmoor Hotel. Several courtroom scenes in the Perry Mason movie series were filmed in the courtroom exhibit at the Pioneer's Museum (formerly the El Paso County Courthouse). Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, an Emmy Award-winning dramatic television series starring Jane Seymour, was set in this town. Though there was some historical accuracy, the majority of the events and settings were fictional, and actual filming was done at the Paramount Ranch near Agoura Hills, California. The TV series Stargate SG-1 has several episodes which at least partially take place in Colorado Springs; additionally SGC is based out of nearby Cheyenne Mountain, and most of the team members are shown to reside in Colorado Springs. The movie Independence Day makes reference to the destruction of NORAD. In the movie The Sum Of All Fears the Russian president asks a military advisor how many people live in Colorado Springs, as he weighs the ramifications in the use of nuclear weapons against the city. This highlights the strategic importance of the military-centered city. The film WarGames featured the NORAD facility quite prominently, even though only exterior shots were actually filmed on location.
STATE OF COLORADO
Anthems Where the Columbines Grow (Official) | Rocky Mountain High (Popular)
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Categories Colorado | Images | Project Colorado | Coloradans
50 Largest cities of the United States by population:
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LINKS OF INTEREST
El Paso County Infomation; Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce; Colorado Springs Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Colorado Springs Police Dept.; Colorado Springs Transit; Pikes Peak Regional Building Permit Info;Colorado Division of Wildlife; Colorado Department of Agriculture; El Paso County Trustee; Colorado Springs Gas Prices; Colorado road and travel info; COSMIX - Info on Colorado Springs Metro Interstate Expansion
Xfinity is the major cable company in Colorado Springs, although Qwest high speed internet is also available. Qwest also is the major telecommunication service company, although Voice over internet, or VOIP phone service is available.
There are national brand restaurants in Colorado Springs, as well as many little hole-in-the-wall-type restaurants to choose from. Colorado Springs Restaurants is a great source to find dining throughout the city.
MAJOR SPORTS TEAMS
SkySox; Denver Broncos; Colorado Avalanche; Colorado Rockies; Air Force Academy; Colorado College Hockey; Denver Nuggets; Colorado Mammoth Lacrosse; World Arena is the city's multi-purpose arena and hosts many concerts throughout the year as well as the Colorado College Hockey home games.
Colorado Springs Public Courses
Antler Creek Golf Course; Appletree Golf Course; Cherokee Ridge Golf Course; King's Deer Golf Club; Patty Jewett Golf Course; Sand Creek Golf Course; Springs Ranch Golf Club
Colorado Springs Private Courses
Broadmoor Hotel Golf Club; Colorado Springs Country Club; Cheyenne Mountain Resort; The Country Club Of Colorado; Garden Of The Gods Club; Woodmoor Pines Country Club; The Club at Flying Horse
MILITARY GOLF COURSES
COMMUNITY CENTERS & YMCAS
AIRPORT SHUTTLE COMPANIES
There are many smaller local newspaper, but the Gazette is the largest in the area.