Westside Briefs:
History Center highlights Espinosas

       A murderous criminal gang from early Colorado will be the topic of a presentation at the Old Colorado City History Center Friday, Feb. 8 at 11 a.m.
       Organized by the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS), the program is titled “The Espinosa Brothers: Colorado's First Known Serial Killers,” presented by Dwight Haverkorn, a Colorado Springs native, author and former investigator for the City Attorney's Office.
       The History Center is at 1 S. 24th St. Admission is free to OCCHS members, $5 to nonmembers. Doors will open on Feb. 8 at 10:30 a.m.
       Haverkorn has previously compiled “Homicides of the Pikes Peak Region: 1872 to the Present,” available in Special Collections at the Penrose Library. A book in progress is “The History of the Colorado Springs Police Department: 1872 to the Present.”
       According to an OCCHS press release, the Espinosas killed more than 30 people, starting in spring 1863, between Fort Garland and El Paso County.
       For more information, including how to become an OCCHS member, call 636-1225 or e-mail board@occhs.org.
      
       Nature Center training
       Training sessions for interpretive volunteer program leaders are scheduled Friday mornings in February at the Bear Creek Nature Center.
       All will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The dates are Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22.
       The training will qualify volunteers to lead programs at either the Bear Creek or Fountain Creek nature centers.
       For more information, call 520-6387 or e-mail bcfcvolunteers@gmail.com.
      
       Library crossword contest
       Local crossword puzzlemaker Jim Jenista will lead a Pikes Peak Library District crossword puzzle contest at the Old Colorado City Library, 2418 W. Pikes Peak Ave., Saturday, Feb. 9 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
       Jenista has competed in the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament since 2002 and was also in the 2006 documentary film, “Wordplay,” highlighting New York Times (NYT) puzzlemaster Will Shortz.
       The event is free but limited to 24 people. According to a press release, “contestants cannot be a professional puzzle constructor, editor, or proofreader.”
       There will be two rounds of 20 minutes each, solving a Monday-to-Wednesday-level NYT puzzle. The two winners from these rounds will advance to a final playoff round, solving a Thursday-level NYT puzzle. Prizes will be awarded and refreshments will be served.
       For more information, call the Old Colorado City Library at 634-1698.
      
       Band accepting members
       The Canyon Winds Band is accepting new instrumentalists for the spring 2013 season.
       Applicants are asked to come to Trinity United Methodist Church, 701 N. 20th St., Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m. through May.
       Musicians from teenagers on up are welcome.
       The director is Doug Downey, a retired area public school band leader. “We would welcome to our ranks all those interested in getting together for the purpose of having a good time while playing music,” he states in a press release.
       For more information, call 271-8666 or dougdowney@centurylink.net.

Westside Pioneer/press releases