Most of the thousands of children who call the annual Santa-tracking operation at Peterson Air Force Base on Christmas Eve ask the usual questions: "Where's Santa, and when will he get here?"
So volunteer Sara Berghoff was caught off-guard when a child called to see if Santa could be especially kind this year to the families affected by the Connecticut school shooting.
"I'm from Newtown, Connecticut, where the shooting was," she remembers the child asking. "Is it possible that Santa can bring extra presents so I can deliver them to the families that lost kids?"
Sara, just 13 herself, was surprised but gathered her thoughts quickly. "If I can get ahold of him, I'll try to get the message to him," she told the child Monday night.
Sara was one of hundreds of volunteers at NORAD Tracks Santa who answered thousands of calls, program spokeswoman Marisa Novobilski said. Spokeswoman 1st Lt. Stacey Fenton told the Associated Press that as of midnight Tuesday, trackers answered more than 111,000 calls, breaking last year's record of 107,000.
First lady Michelle Obama, who is spending the holidays with her family in Hawaii, also joined in answering calls as she has in recent years. She spent about 30 minutes talking with children from across the country, telling some who asked that her favorite toys growing up were Barbie dolls and an Easy Bake oven.
She also received an invitation to visit an 11-year-old boy in Fort Worth, Texas, and a request to put her husband on the phone. "He's not here right now. But you know what, I will tell him you asked about him. OK?" she replied.
The National Weather Service forecasts a high temperature of 30 degrees and partly sunny skies Wednesday in Colorado Springs. Expect an overnight low of 13.
Suspect shot, killed by police in Pueblo
PUEBLO (AP) — Pueblo Police say a man was shot and killed after firing at two officers who were responding to a domestic violence incident Tuesday.
Police Sgt. Eric Gonzales says the man came out of a house and fired at the officers after they arrived on the scene on Christmas Day, according to an Associated Press report.
Gonzales says the man fled and the officers pursued him on foot a short distance until more shots were fired.
The suspect was hit and died at a hospital. Gonzales says no one else was hurt.
Authorities haven't released any names or other information. Gonzales didn't know whether one officer or both fired their weapons.
An investigation is under way.
Man found dead in apparent stabbing on Christmas
DURANGO (AP) — La Plata County sheriff's deputies say a man was found dead from an apparent stab wound at a house southwest of Durango.
Sheriff's spokesman Dan Bender says 43-year-old Robby Schindeldecker was was apparently involved in a fight when he was killed early Christmas Day.
Bender says investigators spoke with other people in the house but no one has been arrested.
He says deputies don't believe the death was a suicide and do not believe other residents in the area are in danger.
2 paintings stolen from Loveland display
LOVELAND (AP) — Two paintings valued at $1,000 each have been stolen from a public art display in Loveland.
The Loveland Reporter Herald reports (http://tinyurl.com/ch69lcm ) the paintings were among several displayed on the front of a vacant downtown building.
The canvases are about 3 feet by 4 feet. They were installed last week and were stolen between Sunday night and Monday morning.
Police say they found no evidence.
Man charged with stealing donated cash
GRAND JUNCTION (AP) — A Grand Junction man has been arrested on suspicion of stealing a bucket of cash donations meant to help a student's trip to study overseas.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports (http://tinyurl.com/c39skfc ) 42-year-old Bobby Lloyd Mestas was arrested on charges including burglary, complicity and theft.
Mestas is accused of taking a donation bucket from a liquor store on Dec. 4. Police estimate the bucket contained between $500 and $800.
Authorities say Mestas left in a van driven by another man. A liquor store clerk took down the van's license plate number but officials say the plates proved to be stolen.
Mestas was arrested after a deputy spotted him beside the road in a van that had run out of gas.
Plane with fuel problem lands in Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — More than 100 airline passengers have already left Omaha after their plane made an uneventful emergency landing on Christmas Day.
Southwest Airlines spokesman Paul Flaningan says a fuel valve problem prompted the crew of Flight 2879 to declare an emergency. The Boeing 737 was diverted to Omaha's Eppley Airfield and landed around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Flaningan says the plane landed without incident. It was carrying 109 passengers and five crew members from Denver to Kansas City International Airport.
He says the passengers boarded another plane and arrived in Kansas City, Mo., about two hours later than their original schedule.
TODAY IN HISTORY
In 1776, the British suffered a major defeat in the Battle of Trenton during the Revolutionary War.
In 1799, former President George Washington was eulogized by Col. Henry Lee as “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
In 1862, 38 Santee Sioux Indians were hanged in Mankato, Minn., for their roles in an uprising that had claimed the lives of hundreds of white settlers. The Civil War Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, resulting in a Confederate victory, began in Mississippi.
In 1908, Jack Johnson became the first African-American boxer to win the world heavyweight championship as he defeated Canadian Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia.
In 1910, the London Palladium, Britain’s famous variety theater, first opened.
In 1941, during World War II, Winston Churchill became the first British prime minister to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress.
In 1944, during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, the embattled U.S. 101st Airborne Division in Bastogne, Belgium, was relieved by units of the 4th Armored Division.
In 1966, Kwanzaa was first celebrated.
In 1972, the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, died at age 88 in Kansas City, Mo.
In 1980, Iranian television footage was broadcast in the United States, showing a dozen of the American hostages sending messages to families.
In 1996, 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder. (To date, the slaying remains unsolved.)
In 2004, about 230,000 people, mostly in southern Asia, were killed by a tsunami triggered by an earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean.
In 2006, former President Gerald R. Ford died at age 93 in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
-- Winter Break Movie, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” 2 p.m., High Prairie Library, 7035 Old Meridian Road, Falcon, free.
-- Brian Parton, 7-11 p.m., Meadow Muffins, 2432 W. Colorado Ave., no cover.
-- Rawbert and I, 7:30-10:30 p.m., SouthSide Johnny’s, 528 S. Tejon St.