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Updated: 35 min 22 sec ago

Greg Bird crushes grand slam as New York Yankees beat Toronto Blue Jays

6 hours 20 min ago

NEW YORK — J.A. Happ stayed unbeaten with the New York Yankees by topping his former Toronto teammates, and former Grandview High School star Greg Bird hit a grand slam during a six-run first inning Sunday in a 10-2 win over the Blue Jays.

The Yankees completed a three-game sweep, but lost shortstop Didi Gregorius to an injured left heel. Gregorius was hurt when he collided with Toronto first baseman Kendrys Morales beating an infield hit in the first, and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Rookie Miguel Andujar drove in two runs and backup infielder Ronald Torreyes, who replaced Gregorius, added three hits.

Happ (14-6) facing the Blue Jays for the first time since they traded him to the Yankees on July 26. The 35-year-old has won all four of his starts for New York.

Happ allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight. Randal Grichuk hit a solo homer in the first.

The Yankees’ first six batters each reached base against Ryan Borucki (2-3). Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton walked and Andujar hit a tying single.

Already thin in the middle of the order because of injuries to All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge and starting catcher Gary Sanchez, the Yankees saw Gregorius barrel over Morales for a hit in the first. Gregorius stayed in the game for the moment, but was lifted prior to the start of the top of the third.

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Red-hot Rockies, worthy of rising national respect, earn first four-game sweep at Atlanta in franchise history

6 hours 54 min ago

ATLANTA — As far as Major League Baseball teams go, the Rockies don’t have a national profile by any means. Reliever Adam Ottavino pointed out in July — while Colorado was turning in the hottest month by any team — that “for the most part, nobody watches our games in the Eastern time zone, and we barely exist outside the region.”

But America should start taking notice of what people inside the game have grasped leading up to, and since, the all-star break.

With a 5-1 road trip capped by the franchise’s first-ever four-game road sweep of the Braves on Sunday, the Rockies are 30-14 since June 28, a .682 winning percentage that is the best in the National League. The club also tied an NL record Sunday by playing its 46th consecutive game against a team with a better-than-.500 record, and Colorado improved to 30-16 in that stretch.

“I hear from the other managers, the coaches, the broadcasters — it’s a theme of, ‘Hey, you guys have got a good team,’ ” manager Bud Black said. “The guys know that, and I think people in the game are watching.”

BOX SCORE: Rockies 4, Braves 2

After Friday’s runaway victory was bookended by dramatic comeback victories Thursday and Sunday, the Rockies outlasted Atlanta 4-2 in the series finale at SunTrust Park behind two solo home runs, a couple of timely RBI knocks and an efficient outing by German Marquez.

It was a win in which the still-imperfect Rockies, while clinching their fifth sweep, inched closer to playing up to high preseason expectations.

“Talking doesn’t get it done. It’s the way that me and the guys are playing right now that does,” Nolan Arenado said. “We’re playing well right now. Everyone’s contributing — starting pitching, defense, offense, and with our offense we can even still do a better job. But we’re finding a way, and our pitchers are keeping us in games.

“We knew we could do this — what we’re doing right now.”

The Braves struck first with two outs in the first, an inning that has plagued the Rockies’ staff this season. In addition to a major league-worst 7.62 staff ERA in the frame, Marquez’s season ERA in the first is 9.72 as compared to 3.30 in all other innings.

On this occasion, Freddie Freeman’ double and Nick Markakis’ walk were followed by a Johan Camargo RBI single to give Atlanta a brief 1-0 lead until the first hitter of the second.

At that time, Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, who came into the game with an NL-best .352 average (56-for-159) since June 28, continued his all-star season against Atlanta starter Aníbal Sánchez with home run No. 26 to lead off the frame.

The Rockies then took the lead in the third inning, when DJ LeMahieu clubbed his career high-tying 11th longball of the season (and ninth on the road) before a David Dahl hustle double and an Arenado RBI single extended Colorado’s advantage to 3-1.

And after yielding the typical first-inning damage, Marquez settled in, allowing only one Braves baserunner from the second through fifth innings while striking out four in that span.

“My mentality was to attack, and attack relentlessly, and put them away as quickly as possible,” said Marquez, who threw only 93 pitches and worked ahead against 21 of 28 batters faced. “That was the formula. That’s an aggressive ballclub that swings early in the count, and I was loyal to my plan.”

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Atlanta got a run back in the sixth inning off another Camargo RBI, cutting the score to 3-2, but Marquez rebounded with a scoreless seventh before manager Bud Black handed the lead over to the bullpen.

“It was a bit lengthy first inning from German, but then the ball-strike ratio was great,” Black said. “He had good use of the slider, the fastball, the change — he had his weapons today, and he continues to pitch steady for us.”

From there, Ottavino locked down the eighth inning and Wade Davis earned his NL-leading 35th save in the ninth. In between, Carlos Gonzalez came on for a pinch-hit, RBI single to push the score to 4-2.

Entering Sunday, Colorado was half a game behind Arizona in the NL West and 1½ games ahead of Los Angeles, after both divisional foes lost Saturday. The Diamondbacks played at San Diego on Sunday, and the Dodgers were at Seattle.

Looking ahead DENVER, CO – JULY 9: Tyler Anderson #44 of the Colorado Rockies pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 9, 2018 at Coors Field in Denver, CO. (Photo by Shaban Athuman/ The Denver Post)

Monday: Off

Tuesday: Padres LHP Robbie Erlin (2-3, 3.33 ERA) at Rockies LHP Tyler Anderson (6-5, 4.39), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM

Wednesday: Padres RHP Jacob Nix (1-1, 6.75) at Rockies RHP Jon Gray (9-7, 4.76), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM

Thursday: Padres LHP Joey Lucchesi (6-7, 3.79) at Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (11-7, 2.96), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM

Friday: Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas (13-3, 2.80) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (4-3, 4.47), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM

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Longmont to enhance 10 roads for cyclists, pedestrians next summer

8 hours 36 min ago
Lewis Geyer, Daily CameraTim McCulley approaches Harvard Street while riding up Mountain View Avenue on Friday. Longmont is in the process of finalizing draft concepts of its Enhanced Multi-Use Corridor Plan.

Longmont officials are in the preliminary design phase of reconfiguring a stretch of Mountain View Avenue so more of the road is shared with cyclists and pedestrians, the first street among 10 the city plans on revamping as part of its Enhanced Multi-use Corridor project.

The overall 10-road proposal — part of which includes the widening of bike lanes and sidewalks along Mountain View’s entirety — was conceived because city transportation officials believe the targeted roadways have over-allocated space to motorists.

“It is to utilize the resources we have out there more efficiently. If a road is designed for 10,000 vehicles per day, but only 5,000 are using it, could we use other space in that road to encourage bicycling?” Longmont Transportation Planner Phil Greenwald said.

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The Enhanced Multi-use Corridor plan — officially adopted by Longmont City Council in March as a guide for transportation projects — in general proposes to shrink vehicle travel lanes and parking lanes where possible to add or expand bike lanes, add or expand physical or painted barriers between bike lanes and vehicle travel, expand sidewalks and add buffers between sidewalks and roads.

“I want to be clear that it’s not just a cycling plan. It’s also enhancing transportation for pedestrians and making pedestrian areas easier and more enjoyable,” Longmont Transportation Advisory Board member Scott Conlin said.

Read the full story on dailycamera.com.

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Corona beer brewer extends pot bet with $3.8 billion investment

9 hours 1 min ago

By Eric Pfanner, Kristine Owram and Jen Skerritt

Constellation Brands is spending C$5 billion ($3.8 billion) to boost its stake in Canadian cannabis grower Canopy Growth Corp., betting legalization of the drug will continue to gain traction in the U.S. and around the world.

Constellation, the brewer of Corona beer, will raise its stake in Canopy to 38 percent in what the companies described was the biggest investment in the burgeoning marijuana industry yet, according to a statement Wednesday. The agreement, which could eventually give the Victor, New York-based beverage company control, follows an initial purchase of about a 10 percent stake last year. Canopy shares jumped 33 percent to C$42.95 at 9:53 a.m, giving it a market value of C$9.36 billion. Constellation fell 7.2 percent to $205.79 in New York.

“This is rocket fuel,” Canopy Chief Executive Officer Bruce Linton said of the investment of on the company’s earnings call on Wednesday. “We’re going to be way more global.”

Makers of alcoholic beverages are looking to cash in on the growing use of cannabis around the world as their traditional business slows. Molson Coors Brewing Co. has started a joint venture with Hydropothecary Corp. to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market. Heineken’s Lagunitas craft-brewing label has launched a brand specializing in non-alcoholic drinks infused with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Canada will become the first G-7 country to legalize pot for recreational use on Oct. 17, while states from California to Colorado have already made the drug legal and medical use of cannabis continues is growing globally.

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Legal sales in Canada are expected to reach $4.9 billion by 2022 and consumer spending globally will hit $32 billion, triple current levels, according to a report by U.S. cannabis research firms Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics this week. The U.S. legal cannabis industry is gaining economic and political clout, employing more than 200,000 workers, while the market for listed firms has exploded in Canada. The BI Canada Cannabis Competitive Peers Index counts 74 companies with a market value of C$61 billion.

Canopy, based in Smiths Falls, Ontario, doesn’t currently have any operations south of the border, where marijuana is banned federally. Entering the U.S. may create issues for its listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as the bourse has said it may delist marijuana companies that run afoul of U.S. federal law. Canopy is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

But both companies said they have no plans to sell cannabis products in any market unless it is permitted at all applicable government levels.

“Canopy Growth remains committed to not entering the U.S. market in any manner that would contravene U.S. federal laws,” the company said in a statement.

Linton added on the call, however, that it may become legal federally in the U.S. “sooner than people think” and that Canopy is doing everything that’s fully federally lawful to get ready.

Canopy, which has a presence in 11 markets around the world, said it would make international growth a priority. The company is not putting hard guidelines on how it plans to use the influx of capital, though its target acquisition list exceeds $1 billion globally, Linton said on the call. That list will probably grow as new markets open up and the company can now make strategic investments with cash instead of “dilutive” shares, he said.

Under the deal, Constellation Brands is buying new shares at C$48.60 a share, a 38 percent premium to Canopy’s five-day volume-weighted average on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and a 51.2 percent premium to the Tuesday close. Constellation will also receive 139.7 million warrants that can be exercised at a price of C$50.40 over the next three years. If Constellation exercises all its existing and new warrants, it could increase its stake to more than 50 percent.

Constellation will be able to name four of Canopy Growth’s seven directors. Canopy will continue to be led by its existing management.

“Over the past year, we’ve come to better understand the cannabis market, the tremendous growth opportunity it presents, and Canopy’s market-leading capabilities in this space,” Constellation CEO Rob Sands said in the statement.

Categories: All Denver News.

Science Says: “The warmer it is, the more fire we see”

9 hours 29 min ago

As temperatures rise in the U.S. West, so do the flames.

The years with the most acres burned by wildfires have some of the hottest temperatures, an Associated Press analysis of fire and weather data found. As human-caused climate change has warmed the world over the past 35 years, the land consumed by flames has more than doubled.

Experts say the way global warming worsens wildfires comes down to the basic dynamics of fire. Fires need ignition, oxygen and fuel. And what’s really changed is fuel — the trees, brush and other plants that go up in flames.

“Hotter drier weather means our fuels are drier so it’s easier for fires to start and spread and burn more intensely,” said University of Alberta fire scientist Mike Flannigan.

It’s simple, he said: “The warmer it is, the more fire we see.”

Federal fire and weather data show higher air temperatures are turbo-charging fire season.

The five hottest Aprils to Septembers out west produced years that on average burned more than 13,500 square miles (35,000 square kilometers), according to data at the National Interagency Fire Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . That’s triple the average for the five coldest Aprils to Septembers.

The western summer so far is more than 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average. California in July logged its hottest month in 124 years of record-keeping.

The five years with the most acres burned since 1983 averaged 63.4 degrees from April to September. That’s 1.2 degrees warmer than average and 2.4 degrees hotter than the years with the least acres burned, AP’s data analysis shows.

In California, the five years with the most acres burned (not including this year) average 2.1 degrees warmer than the five years with the least acres burned.

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A degree or two may seem like not much, but for fuel it is crucial. The hotter it is, the more water evaporates from plants. When fuel dries faster, fires spread more and burn more intensely, experts said.

For every 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit that the air warms, it needs 15 percent more rain to make up for the drying of the fuel, Flannigan said.

Fuel moisture levels in California and Oregon are flirting with record dry levels, NOAA western regional climate center director Tim Brown said.

And low humidity is “the key driver of wildfire spread,” according to University of Colorado fire scientist Jennifer Balch who says the western U.S. soon will start to see wildfires of 1 million acres (1,562 square miles).

Veteran Colorado hotshot firefighter Mike Sugaski used to consider 10,000-acre (16-square mile) fires big, now he fights ones 10 times that or more.

“You kind of keep saying ‘How can they get much worse?’ But they do,” Sugaski said.

The number of U.S. wildfires hasn’t changed much over the last few decades, but the area consumed has soared.

“The year 2000 seemed to be some kind of turning point,” said Randy Eardley, the fire center’s chief spokesman.

From 1983 to 1999, the United States didn’t reach 10,000 square miles burned annually. Since then, 10 years have had more than 10,000 square miles burned including 2017, 2015 and 2006 when more than 15,000 square miles burned.

Some people who reject mainstream climate science point to statistics that seem to show far more acres burned in the 1930s and 1940s. But the fire center’s Eardley said statistics before 1983 are not reliable because fires “may be double counted, tripled counted or more.”

Nationally, more than 8,900 square miles (23,050 kilometers) have burned this year, about 28 percent more than the 10-year average as of mid-August. California is having one of its worst years.

Scientists generally avoid blaming global warming for specific extreme events without extensive analysis, but scientists have done those extensive examinations on wildfire.

John Abatzgolou of the University of Idaho looked at forest fires and dry conditions in the western United States from 1979 to 2015 and compared that to computer simulations of what would be expected with no human-caused climate change. He concluded that global warming had a role in an extra 16,200 square miles (42,000 square kilometers) of forests burning since 1984.

A study of the 2015 Alaska fire season — the second biggest on record — did a similar simulation analysis, concluding that climate change from the burning of coal, oil and gas increased the risk of the fire season being that severe by 34 to 60 percent.

One 2015 study said globally fire seasons are about 18.7 percent longer since 1979. Another study that year says climate change is increasing extreme wildfire risk in California where wildfires already are year round.

Also, drought and bark beetles have killed 129 million trees in California since 2016, creating more fuel.

Contrary to fire scientists, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke this week told Breitbart radio that “what’s driving” increased wildfires is an increase in fuel. He said the government has “been held hostage by environmental terrorist groups” that oppose clearing dead trees that they say provide wildlife habitat. Zinke, however, has acknowledged that climate change was a factor in worsening wildfires.

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Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter: @borenbears . His work can be found here .

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The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Categories: All Denver News.

Proposed Wyoming wind farm could power northern Colorado cities

9 hours 30 min ago

A proposed wind energy project in southern Wyoming could provide power to more than 70,000 homes in several communities in northern Colorado.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports the Roundhouse Renewable Energy Project, which would be operated by Utah-based Enyo Renewable Energy, would use 75 turbines to generate 150 megawatts of energy annually for homes in Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont and Estes Park.

If approved, the wind farm would become one of northern Colorado’s largest sources of wind power.

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The Fort Collins City Council, as well as the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s industrial siting council, must approve the project, which could be completed as early as 2020.

The total projected cost of the wind farm has not been released.

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Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com

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Former Wyoming and Grandview football star Tanner Gentry fighting to make Chicago Bears roster

9 hours 50 min ago

Tanner Gentry never had the chance to play at Mile High as a kid.

As a star wide receiver at Grandview High School in Aurora, his Wolves made the Class 5A semifinals his junior season but couldn’t reach the state championship game to share the same field as the Broncos. That changed Saturday when he strolled into Broncos Stadium wearing a Chicago Bears uniform.

Gentry, who signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Wyoming in 2017, caught three passes for 25 yards in Saturday’s 24-23 preseason victory over Denver. After the game, Gentry briefly caught up with The Denver Post to discuss his future as a pro — trying to make the 53-man roster after a couple of appearances there last season — and next week’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills, who feature his college quarterback, Josh Allen.

Q: How long have you been dreaming about catching passes in this stadium?

“Since I can remember. I grew up going to games here as a kid. It was pretty crazy to be here and actually play here — it was definitely a longtime dream — but at the end of the day, it’s just another game and I’m trying to keep improving and show what I can do.”

Q: With the work you’ve put in this offseason and preseason, how much of a shot do you think you have to make the 53-man roster again?

“It’s basically the same (as last year). I learned a lot from last year, and I’m trying to look at what I did last year and what I can do better and learn from these veteran guys and what they’ve done to get to where they are.”

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Q: The Bears focused on adding wide receiver depth this offseason by drafting two, including Anthony Miller from Memphis, and signing Bennie Fowler and a few others. Do you see your battle to earn a roster spot more challenging this year versus last?

“I wouldn’t call it that. Every time you’re in the National Football League, there’s going to be more competition. That’s good. That brings out the best in people.”

Q: Have you talked to Josh Allen about your game next week?

“Yeah, I did. (Laughs.) I talked to him, and we’re excited about to play each other. We’ll probably do a jersey swap. I’m pretty excited.”

Q: Have you watched him much this preseason?

“I watched him (Friday) night and he did a (great) job. It (stinks) to see Buffalo’s starter (A.J. McCarron) get hurt, but it’s another opportunity for Josh, and I know he’s going to take full advantage.”

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Larimer County paratransit company individualizes transportation for seniors, disabled individuals

11 hours 31 min ago
Paul Albani-Burgio, Reporter-HeraldJungmi Brabson and her husband, Jason, founded Heart and Soul Paratransit.

Few people look forward to a trip to the doctor. But a trip that can be relatively easy and straightforward — though perhaps not particularly pleasant — for most people can become nearly impossible for the many chronically ill individuals and seniors in Larimer County whose conditions and age prevent them from being able to drive and even walk.

Jason Brabson learned about those challenges firsthand when he got a job as a mobility driver with Yellow Cab, providing driving services to disabled or elderly Larimer County residents who qualified for various public services when he returned to Fort Collins after 16 years in Korea.

Brabson said he immediately fell in love with the satisfaction and fulfillment that came with a job centered on providing what he said is vital service for people that need it. But he also quickly recognized that the Yellow Cab service, which was heavily subsidized with Medicaid funds, had many obvious problems that prevented it from effectively serving its vulnerable customers.

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“One of the examples from just the training is we would pull up to someone’s house pick up at the pick up time and if they were not out in five minutes then we would just drive away and that was the policy,” he said. “But that just doesn’t work for a lot of these people. So within a month I was thinking we’ve got to do this a different way.”

So Brabson and his wife, Jungmi, decided they would do just that and put all of their savings into launching their own paratransit company called Heart and Soul Paratransit that provides transportation to seniors and individuals with disabilities and was launched.

Read the full story on reporterherald.com.

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Rockies’ reliever Mike Dunn heads to rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque, eyes early September return

11 hours 35 min ago

ATLANTA — Rockies reliever Mike Dunn, nearing his return from left AC joint inflammation, is heading out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday and plans to rejoin Colorado for the team’s series against the San Francisco Giants starting Sept. 3 at Coors Field.

The left-hander is on his third disabled-list stint this season, the first two coming because of a rhomboid strain and back spasms, as he plans to make his first appearance with the Isotopes on Tuesday at El Paso.

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Dunn threw a simulated game Friday at SunTrust Park before the Rockies’ win and said he felt no pain from the session.

“I’m sore in general from facing hitters for the first time in a while, but it’s a good soreness — kind of like that spring training feeling again,” Dunn said. “I’m getting more treatments today, and then I’m ready to get back out there in an actual game.”

After Tuesday’s outing, Dunn is scheduled for four additional August appearances in Triple-A. The southpaw has a 9.00 ERA and a 2.35 WHIP in 25 appearances (17 innings) for Colorado in 2018.

“He’s been out for a while, so there’s going to be a lengthy rehab assignment for Mike to get out on the mound, build his arm back and gain confidence in how he’s throwing,” manager Bud Black said.

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Cryptocurrency could be the future of real estate along the Front Range

11 hours 47 min ago
Courtesy Coldwell BankerThis two-bedroom townhouse in Arvada, listed earlier this summer, is believed to be the first property along the Front Range to be marketed on a major multiple listing service as accepting cryptocurrency.

When you’re in the market for a new home, you probably have a lot of things on your mind: square footage, school districts, mortgages rates.

One thing you’re probably not spending much time thinking about: Bitcoin.

But perhaps cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will soon be a major consideration for property purchasers and sellers.

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At least that’s what some Boulder County real estate professionals are gearing up for.

“Blockchain and cryptocurrency really has the ability to change every aspect of real estate, from titles, to lending, to the brokerage itself,” said Jim Merrion, a Boulder real estate agent with Coldwell Banker.

Read the full story on dailycamera.com.

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DNA request denied in deaths of Frederick mother, young daughters

12 hours 9 min ago

A Colorado judge has denied a request by a defense attorney for a man accused of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters to require a coroner to collect DNA from the necks of the young girls.

The judge said in an order Friday he would not tell the medical examiner’s office involved in the case how to do its job, KMGH-TV and the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder reported.

Autopsies were completed Friday on Shanann Watts, 34, and her daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. The cause of their deaths has not been made public. The motion seeking the DNA samples from the girls’ necks suggested that they may have been strangled.

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Police arrested Christopher Watts, 33, late Wednesday on suspicion of killing his wife and children. Their bodies were found on Thursday on property owned by Andarko Petroleum, one of Colorado’s largest oil and gas drillers, where Watts worked as an operator. Court documents filed by defense lawyer James Merson said the girls had been submerged in crude oil for four days.

Weld County prosecutors said Watts was jailed in protective custody and that charges were expected to be filed on Monday.

Outside the family’s home in Frederick, north of Denver, a memorial of stuffed animals, balloons, flowers and messages grew and a candlelight vigil drew dozens of people Friday night.

“This is to celebrate, mourn and get closure for a family that didn’t deserve this,” said vigil organizer Kelley Trippy. “This is a horrible, horrible, horrible story. It’s affected us all whether you do know them or don’t know them.”

Christine Gentert said a prayer, adding that she wanted Shanann Watts to be remembered for her smile and her love for others.

“I don’t want the horror to replace how beautiful she was,” Gentert said.

Ashley Bell, a friend of Shanann Watts, said Shanann had planned a party Saturday to reveal the gender of her baby. Frankie Rzucek said his sister planned to name her baby boy Niko.

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Broncos Analysis: Observations from loss to Chicago

12 hours 59 min ago

Observations (mostly first half) from the Broncos 24-23 loss to Chicago on Saturday night:

Offense
  • Playing time leaders: T/G Elijiah Wilkinson 49, G/T Billy Turner 41, LT Cyrus Kouandjio 41, G Jeremiah Poutasi 41, WR DaeSean Hamilton 32, C/G Connor McGovern 32, LT Garett Bolles 32.
  • QB Case Keenum by how far his passes traveled in the air: Behind line of scrimmage (1 of 1, 10 yards), 1-5 yards downfield (3 of 4, 23 yards) 6-10 yards (2 of 2, 16 yards), 11-15 yards (2 of 2, 29 yards) and 16 or more yards (0 of 4). … Not counted as a pass attempt was his deep pass to WR Courtland Sutton that resulted in a 45-yard pass interference penalty.
  • The Broncos started with a three-and-out. On second-and-6, they called a flea flicker. Keenum threw in 3.50 seconds but was hit by Eddie Goldman, who had squeezed by C Matt Paradis. Hamilton was open 19 yards downfield, but Keenum couldn’t connect.
  • The starting offense’s initial first down of the preseason started their second drive. Against a four-man rush, Keenum threw in 2.78 seconds and hit Hamilton for 18 yards (four yards after the catch). Hamilton won against top Bears CB Kyle Fuller.
  • Later in the drive, on second-and-7 from the Bears 24, the Broncos had three WR and two RB in the game. Keenum threw six yards to Emmanuel Sanders. The drive stalled when, on first-and-goal from the 8, Sutton was called for pass interference. On second down, Hamilton was open on a deep over route, but Keenum overthrew him.
  • TE Jeff Heuerman started the Broncos’ third drive by catching a two-yard pass and gaining six more yards, tossing down S DeAndre Houston-Carson.
  • On the next play, DL John Jenkins held up Paradis and RG Connor McGovern, not allowing McGovern to get a second-level block on LB Nick Kwiatkoski, who stopped RB Royce Freeman for a two-yard loss.
  • Keenum was sacked in 2.89 seconds when Chicago’s Roy Robertson-Harris bull-rushed LG Ron Leary, getting him on his heels.
  • The three third down conversions during Keenum’s final drive: Ten yards to Sanders (1.70 seconds) on out route. Eleven yards to Sanders (3.12 seconds). And the 45-yard pass interference penalty drawn by Sutton. On the next play, Freeman scored a four-yard touchdown run when Leary and RT Jared Veldheer angled their opponents out of the way.
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  • Against Keenum, the Bears rushed five or more only twice.
  • QB Chad Kelly’s first drive came after S Justin Simmons interception. On second-and-6, TE Matt LaCosse motioned to the left side. At the snap, he ran down the left sideline and Sutton straight-lined from the left slot. Inside cover man Deon Bush and outside cover man Kevin Toliver both tracked LaCosse, leaving Sutton open. Bush was unable to recover and Sutton scored a 16-yard TD.
Defense
  • Playing time leaders: CB Isaac Yiadom 58, CB Brendan Langley 50, S Jordan Moore 43, S Trey Marshall 42, LB Jerrol Garcia-Williams 37, DE/LB Bradley Chubb 37 and CB C.J. Smith 36.
  • Against QB Mitch Trubisky, the Broncos rushed four players on 11 drop-backs, five on five drop-backs and three on one drop-back.
  • Derek Wolfe, lined up at DT, started the game right when he beat LG Eric Kush to stop Jordan Howard for no gain.
  • TE Trey Burton caught an eight-yard pass on the Bears’ second play. It will be interesting to see why he was open. Should Chubb not rushed and instead tracked Burton into the flat?
  • Awful lowering-of-the-helmet penalty on Yiadom, who appeared to lead with his shoulder on his hit against TE Adam Shaheen.
  • The Bears’ opening drive stalled when LT Charles Leno held Chubb on a Howard carry around the left side. Two plays later, on third-and-10, CB Bradley Roby blitzed from the slot unblocked and Trubisky threw incomplete. LB Von Miller dropped into coverage on that play.
  • Chicago’s second drive was hurt by a fair catch at the Bears 5. First down – LB Brandon Marshall hit the gap unblocked (Howard four-yard loss). Second down – LB Todd Davis was unblocked (Howard two-yard gain). Third down (after a false start penalty) – Trubisky dropped the shotgun snap and Chubb tackled him for the safety.
  • The starters’ third drive: S Will Parks had a run stuff (Howard one-yard gain) to start the drive. On third-and-15, Yiadom was called for a 37-yard pass interference penalty. On the next play, Roby didn’t break very quickly on Trubisky’s floating pass that WR Anthony Miller caught for 19 yards. The touchdown (seven yards to Burton): S Darian Stewart covered TE Ben Braunecker. Burton leaked into the right flat and he may have been Miller’s responsibility.
  • Simmons’ interception came on a first-and-10 play. Chubb and DL Shelby Harris provided pressure and Trubisky threw side-armed and off his back foot.
  • Chubb’s roughing the QB penalty against Chase Daniel will not be called in the regular season … we hope. Chubb rushed unblocked and clearly held up before colliding with Daniel. Awful call.
  • DL DeMarcus Walker’s sack of Daniel came in 4.00 seconds and was a second effort after he was engaged with Earl Watford.
Special teams
  • First kickoff coverage: Brandon McManus, Zaire Anderson, Jerrol Garcia-Williams, Brendan Langley, Josey Jewell, Tim Patrick, Andy Janovich, Will Parks, C.J. Smith, De’Angelo Henderson and Joseph Jones.
  • First punt coverage: Marquette King, Casey Kreiter, Langley, Janovich, Anderson, Keishawn Bierria, Jewell, Garcia-Williams, Jones, Parks and Patrick.
  • First kick return: Phillip Lindsay, Henderson, Janovich, Bradley Chubb, Isaac Yiadom, Garcia-Williams, Jewell, Courtland Sutton, Jones, Jake Butt and DaeSean Hamilton.
  • First punt return (missing one guy): Isaiah McKenzie, Langley, Patrick, Henderson, Trey Marshall, Janovich, Garcia-Williams, Jones, Shane Ray and Anderson.
  • Jones led the Broncos with 16 special teams snaps.
  • King’s first punt was 4.50 seconds of hang time and was fair caught at the Bears’ 5.
Categories: All Denver News.

Cool, breezy Sunday with a chance of showers

13 hours 56 min ago

Denver residents should expect a cool, breezy start to this week with temperatures hitting the mid-70s in the metro area on Sunday.

There’s a slight chance of showers for the late morning through the afternoon, but it should be mostly clear skies around the Front Range.

The air will be a little cooler in the mountains. The temperature in Nederland is expected to hover around the mid-60s. The winds, however, should be calmer in the mountains Sunday.

The Denver area will start warming up Monday and reach a high of 88 by Thursday.

Monday should be dry, but there is a slight chance for showers Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Categories: All Denver News.

Stephens: Ty Evans will bring a bag of chips to the Colorado Buffaloes as one of the best QBs in the country. Haters, back off

15 hours 49 min ago
Courtesy of Ty EvansPalmer Ridge senior quarterback Ty Evans has committed to play for the University of Colorado in 2019.

Ty Evans broke down. He couldn’t help it. With tears running down his face and embracing his dad and grandpa, all he could think about was how hard he had worked for this moment.

This wasn’t on the field after the state championship last December – though that did bring tears of joy. These tears came last month in a hotel lobby near Redondo Beach, Calif., after Trent Dilfer informed Evans he’d been named to the Elite 11 finals, recognizing him as one of the 11 best quarterbacks in the country.

Haters, back off.

Too skinny. Only a 3-star recruit. And to top it off, he’s from Colorado – a state whose most recognizable homegrown quarterback teeters between Joel Klatt and Bill Musgrave.

The most common criticisms Evans has been bombarded with since he first strapped on a varsity uniform at Palmer Ridge suddenly no longer mattered. He already committed to play for Colorado next year, and the official offer that arrived from Alabama in early August only strengthened his confidence, but this? This was validation.

“Way back, I just thought I’d be lucky to even get noticed as one of the better quarterbacks in Colorado – maybe get to play at a smaller university,” Evans said. “But I’ve had a chip on my shoulder. These quarterbacks I get compared against are 6-foot-7, built like trucks. But I’ve put in the work, and I don’t back down. If someone thinks they’re better than me, they’re going to have to prove it.”

Chip?

“He has the whole bag on his shoulder,” Palmer Ridge coach Tom Pulford said.

The “haters,” he says, he loves them. Without them, Evans wouldn’t have 6,788 career passing yards and 73 touchdowns. Without them, there’d be no state championship ring. It is a cliché, really: An athlete embracing so-called haters to fuel his success. But in Evans’ case, it might actually be true – and some of that stems from inside his own home with two older sisters who played college volleyball and were never afraid to pick on little bro.

He may be 6-2 now, but it wasn’t too long ago he was the runt of the litter.

And Evans gets it. Look at him. He doesn’t pass the eye test of an elite QB. He’s been trying to add beef to his string-bean arms since he was a freshman and he simply can’t. What he can do is throw a ball 65 yards through the air and hit a receiver in stride. Technique trumps size, and he’ll prove it every time.

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As for being from Colorado, he’s dang proud of it. He says he has no desire of becoming a state legend despite standing 3,778 yards and 41 touchdowns from breaking the state’s career passing records. It is that heritage, though, that made him say, “thanks, but no thanks,” to Nick Saban and hold firm to his commitment to the Buffs.

“I go to camps and people hear I’m from Colorado and they ask me why I’m even here,” Evans said. “Well, let me show you why. … Luke McCaffrey (Valor Christian) is going to Nebraska, Alex Padilla (Cherry Creek) is going to Iowa, I’m heading to CU; we have ballers here, and I want people to recognize that.”

And then there’s the matter of his star evaluation, an ultimately meaningless ranking every prospect covets. Three stars by Rivals.com. Three stars by ESPN. McCaffrey? He’s a four-star recruit. Evans could have been, too, but he chose not to. When it comes to what makes him different than the rest, consider this sign of maturity:

Summer combines high school football players compete in aren’t cheap. Attendance can sometimes be free, but the hotel and flight costs from Colorado Springs to California and the Midwest add up quick, not to mention the unofficial visits to Notre Dame and Arkansas the Evans took last year on their own dime. There’s a credit card in the family’s home dedicated to Ty’s football travel, and he knows mom, a teacher, and dad, a city manager, have to pay that card off.

Calls came from camps this summer proposing all Evans had to do was show up, and he’d get that fourth star.

“No thank you,” Evans said. It wasn’t worth the cost.

He has confidence, not an ego. Ego would want that fourth star. Confidence writes on his bathroom mirror “Why not me?”

Evans may never look the part, and he’ll never change everyone’s opinion about the talent pool in Colorado, but he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks this state has ever seen, one of the 11 best in the country and is going to play college football at the school he grew up loving.

He’s achieved everything he’s ever set out to, and that’s worth crying for.

Categories: All Denver News.

Rediscovering Glenwood Springs: Explore caverns, dip in hot springs and hike to Doc Holliday’s grave

15 hours 49 min ago

It’s common for locals to avoid some of Colorado’s more “well-known” towns, reserving visits to these places for occasions such as family visiting from North Dakota. You know them — Estes Park, Georgetown, Morrison, maybe others.

For this almost-native, Glenwood Springs had a spot on that list. Originally established by miners, the novelty of the hot springs quickly turned Glenwood into a tourist destination. The ticky-tacky vestiges of that era have been prominent in the downtown for years. Add a major road construction project that snarled traffic and caused some businesses to close, and Glenwood became a place to simply get through, or better yet, avoid.

The Grand Avenue Bridge project was functionally complete in November 2017. After $126 million and more than two years, the project has blown new life into the downtown area and surrounding community. A new, 16-foot-wide, dedicated bike and pedestrian bridge runs adjacent to the vehicle bridge and connects the downtown shopping and dining area to booming North Glenwood, including access to restaurants, shopping, some of the newer attractions, multiple inns and motels, and, of course, the historic Hotel Colorado and Glenwood Hot Springs.

Finishing touches are ongoing, but Seventh Street and the adjacent pedestrian spaces enhanced by the bridge project were designed to be closed off to host various festivals and a farmers market. Look for events to kick off under bridge next summer.

Where to stay

If being close to nature is appealing, the Glenwood Canyon Resort is a well-kept secret worth investigating. The year-round resort sits on a spit of land created by a big bend in the Colorado River, about 2 miles east of Glenwood Springs at No Name (Exit 119). You can rent anything from a patch of ground to pitch a tent to a luxury suite and everything in between, including RV sites, individual cottages and group cabins.

The heart of the resort is the Canyon Club Event Center, where you can sign up for a raft trip, zipline across the Colorado River or tackle the 40-foot climbing wall and adventure ropes course.

Peak time at the resort is from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with a little lull in August after kids go back to school, according to manager Kevin Peterson. The vast property still typically has some availability during this time. Prices vary seasonally, but currently range from $50 a night for a tent site to about $400 a night for a luxury suite that sleeps four.

If the loose feel of a riverside retreat isn’t your thing, the Hotel Denver is still unique but more upscale. On Seventh Street between Cooper and Blake avenues, the hotel comprises several historic buildings cobbled together and renovated into rooms furnished with charming antiques and modern bathroom fixtures. If you get a room on the north side, you’ll have a view of the historic train depot (and maybe a little extra noise), framed by the modern lines and twinkling lights of the new bridges.

Where to eat
  • If you want a little nostalgia, The Riviera Supper Club and Piano Bar is a fun landmark where you can get a good meal while listening to Broadway show tunes. Look for its old-fashioned neon sign peeking out from the bridge at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue.
  • Around the corner is local favorite Juicy Lucy’s Steakhouse where you can dine on the roof and watch what’s happening on the street below.
  • Looking to go more casual? Slope and Hatch at 208 Seventh Street is a walk-up specializing in tacos, dogs and beer. If you have to wait, it’s totally worth it.
  • The Glenwood Springs Brew Garden is in North Glenwood at 115 Sixth Street and features food trucks and street food. You can bring your fur baby, sit outside and play cornhole, or visit the adjacent art gallery.

“People in Glenwood used to go to Carbondale to eat,” said Kevin Brady, owner of Cooper Wine and Spirits. “Now, they stay here. The restaurant scene here has just blown up.”

Adventure Park

It’s easy to totally miss the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. It sits high on a mountain just north of Glenwood proper. If you happen to look up, you can see the tram and the enormous swing. It’s also a great place to view the valley, and was voted a local’s favorite for places to watch the sunset.

The mountain-top adventure park is well maintained with an old-timey feel and friendly staff. It’s a great place for kids, but some of the heart-stopping rides make it a fun place for adults too. The caverns that the park is named for are fascinating, and perfect for getting out of the heat. Prices range from $16 for the tram ride up and admission to the park, to $54 for an all-day pass that includes some rides and admission to the caves. (The park will be closed Oct. 8 through mid-March 2019 to upgrade the tram.)

Hiking

A number of trailheads can be found right in town.

  • If you’re looking for a short hike with a great view and a little history, try the Doc Holliday Trail. Moderately steep, but less than a mile round trip, the trail takes you to an old cemetery where Doc Holliday and others are buried. The trailhead is in a residential area at the corner of 12th Street and Bennett Avenue.
  • A much more challenging option is the Boy Scout Trail. Head east on Eighth Street from Grand Avenue into the residential area until it dead-ends just past Garfield Avenue. Look for the sign on your left. The entire loop is 17 miles and is rated moderate/difficult.
  • Like many of the trails that originate in town, the Red Mountain Trail, a 2.5-mile out-and-back hike, is moderately challenging and rewards hikers with beautiful valley views. To reach the trailhead, take Seventh Street west, cross the Roaring Fork River and turn left onto Midland Avenue. Take the first left onto Red Mountain Drive and then turn right on West Ninth Street to the parking lot.
  • Grizzly Creek Trail is a nice alternative to the nearby and crowded Hanging Lake Trail. Take Exit 121 (after Hanging Lake heading west) to access the trailhead. The 7.2-mile out-and-back hike follows the creek and is rated moderate.
Relaxing

Of course, Glenwood is famous for the hot springs, but a new kid on the block is giving the old icon a run for its money. Iron Mountain Hot Springs sits right on the Colorado River and has 16 soaking pools all with different temperatures and configurations. There’s also a freshwater family pool to cool off in, restaurant, gift shop, and everything you need to relax and rejuvenate. Day passes are $25 for adults and $16 for kids 17 and younger.

Categories: All Denver News.

Comic Chris Charpentier on recording his first album, Denver vs. L.A., and the value of silly

15 hours 49 min ago

When Colorado native Chris Charpentier decided to record his first comedy album, the pieces came together very quickly.

“I’m still very shy about everything, so when I was talking to my roommate, Dave (Ross), and he said, ‘You should reach out to (Los Angeles comedy label) A Special Thing, because they’d be honored to have you,’ I thought, ‘Give me a break.’ ”

That’s a reasonable response, given that 37-year-old Charpentier is still a rising name who left Denver for L.A. three years ago, and that A Special Thing has released dozens of albums since 2007 from Patton Oswalt, Jen Kirkman, Cameron Esposito, Bob Odenkirk, Paul F. Thompkins, Karen Kilgariff and other respected, pioneering comedy names.

But Charpentier underestimated the goodwill he has built up since he started performing standup 10 years ago. That includes both his Denver-bred Fine Gentleman’s Club — which ran the popular, weekly Too Much Fun showcase at the Deer Pile and other spaces — and his appearances at comedy festivals and on podcasts, truTV’s “Those Who Can’t” (featuring Denver’s Grawlix troupe), and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

“When (A Special Thing) responded to my email with, ‘Absolutely, we’d be honored to have you,’ I was just like, ‘Give me a break,’ ” he said. “After I decided to record the album, within four hours I had the venue, the label, the date and everything else set up. I feel like should have done this a long time ago.”

Charpentier, who will play the sixth year of the High Plains Comedy Festival Aug. 24-25, is here early to record his album at the Bug Theatre on Sunday, Aug. 19. We caught up to him over lunch this week to talk about the show, which also features Adam Cayton-Holland, Janae Burris, Brent Gill, and more.

Q: Why are you recording your first album now?

A: I have like 2 1/2 hours of material. This 45 minutes is solid, and I’ve been sitting on it and relying on so many of these jokes for so long that I don’t want to do them anymore. So I’m ready to start cranking it out.

Q: And I’m sure the quickness with which this came together also surprised you.

A: That’s part of it. But a lot of it is that I have cool friends who are willing to help whenever they can, which is how I’ve gotten everything worthwhile in comedy. All of it has been through friends’ recommendations, so more than anything, it’s a testament to being a genuine person throughout comedy. You create friends, and you help each other as much as you can. I’m very lucky in that sense.

Q: For people who aren’t familiar with you, how would you describe your show?

A: I’m offering a break from all of what’s happening in the world. It’s all terrible and sad and angry all of the time, and that is the exact opposite of my comedy. I have no point of view. I am not trying to teach any lessons. It’s all silly. Which I think everybody needs. I’m tiring of hearing political comedy, even though I think it’s important, but it’s all that anybody can talk about. Life is very silly, and it’s short, and so rarely is it worth getting riled up about.

Q: That sounds like a point of view!

A: Part of why I’m recording this album right now is that the point of all my jokes is that there is no point. And if I want to write anything else, I can’t record this album because you can’t mix the two. I need to get this stuff out so I can start talking about something more … I don’t know, important, I guess? Or just different, because I’ve gotten older and my point of view has changed. But mostly what I’m offering is just trying to have fun for an hour.

Q: Having lived in L.A. and toured a lot in recent years, what kind of perspective do you have on the identity of the Denver artistic scene?

A: Denver is known as a great scene, and not just because of Comedy Works, which is well-known among the higher-ups. We have a ton of cool, independent shows from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. You can come out here, do a week’s run, make good money and perform for some of the best audiences in the country. The comedians who are still here are very good. And when you go on the road, it helps to say you’re from Denver. I do every time.

If you go
Chris Charpentier. 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St. Tickets: $10 in advance or $15 at the door. eventbrite.com.

Categories: All Denver News.

Prominent Broncos’ rookies thrive in second preseason game

15 hours 49 min ago

The Broncos’ starting offense opened with a three-and-out Saturday night against Chicago. The hero Denver needed to spark the scoreboard? He happened to play defense.

Broncos’ rookie outside linebacker Bradley Chubb’s first-quarter blitz went unblocked, the Bears’ shotgun snap slipped through quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s grasp, the football bounced into the end zone and Chubb’s safety stop became the first points scored this preseason with Denver starters on the field.

“It felt good,” Chubb said, “and something I just want to keep feeling.”

Quite the shock. Not surprising, though, was the trend it inspired at Mile High. Because on a night where all eyes focused on Denver’s first-team offense and its production, the class of 2018 Broncos’ rookies stole the show.

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Denver’s first touchdown drive, facing a critical third-and-six early in the second quarter, would have instead ended with a punt had rookie wide receiver Courtland Sutton’s towering advantage not led to a defensive pass interference call in the red zone. One play later, rookie tailback Royce Freeman rushed in for the touchdown — his second in two preseason games — as he took another step closer to securing the starting role.

“Whenever my name is called, I want to go out there and try make plays happen, contribute and help the team move the ball down the field,” Freeman said. “I feel like we progressed and we still have a ways to go.”

The Broncos turned to backup quarterback Chad Kelly in the second quarter, leading 13-7, and he quickly found Sutton on a 16-yard touchdown strike. Fellow rookie wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton also hauled in an 18-yard catch. Chubb led all defensive players with four tackles in the first half.

“I think we started out really fast and we had a lot of plays clicking,” Sutton said. “I look at it as another day in the office and another opportunity. That’s really all it is to me. I really try not to over-hype it. But it was a great experience. I’m not going to downplay it. My first touchdown in the NFL — the first of many.”

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There were plenty of learning moments Saturday for Broncos’ rookies, too. First-year cornerback Isaac Yiadom‘s pass interference penalty on third down kept Chicago’s lone first-half touchdown drive alive. Yiadom also received a 15-yard penalty for lowering his helmet to initiate contact. Later, then the officials nabbed Chubb with a third-quarter roughing-the-passer call, and he was flagged for being offside shortly after.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys that we’re going to lean on this year, so they’re going to have to grow up fast,” said John Elway, Broncos’ general manager and president of football operations, on the final day of training camp last week. “I think they’re all off to a great start, but we’ve got to continue to see them getting better, and also knowing that with each step and being young, we’re going to have to be patient with them too. It’s a growing situation.”

The development curve for Broncos’ rookies will continue well into the regular season with expected speed bumps along the way.

However, Saturday’s performance shows the Broncos’ future starts now.

“Starting with Chubb, he’s had two weeks where it’s been up and down,” coach Vance Joseph said. “He had a couple mistakes tonight that he has to fix, obviously. But he’s playing good football. I thought (Sutton) made some nice plays tonight. You can see when he runs (deep routes) it’s going to be a catch or a foul. That’s good to see also. Royce ran the ball down hill for us also.

“We’ve got some young guys that are doing some good things.”

Categories: All Denver News.

Hailstorms aren’t more common in Colorado than before, they are just costing more as the state grows

15 hours 49 min ago

Despite the rash of storms that have hit the Front Range this summer, Colorado is not being pummeled by more hail than usual. And the size of hailstones that have fallen in the region is not unprecedented, according to weather experts.

In a state where the population has shot up by 1.3 million people since 2000, the hail is just dinging more cars, battering more rooftops and otherwise wreaking havoc that is taking a bigger and bigger bite out of more bank accounts. Like the hail, that trend isn’t likely to let up anytime soon.

“We’ve always been hail alley, but over the past three to five years we’ve really seen this volatile pattern of large hail hitting densely populated areas,” said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association .  “We have a booming population, more homes, larger homes, more cars out on the roadway. It’s unfortunately affecting insurance rates. What we pay out in claims is what people pay in premiums.”

This year is expected to be the 11th in a row in which the damage from severe storms exceeds $10 billion in the United States, and 70 percent of that cost comes from hail, said Ian Giammanco, a research meteorologist for the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Colorado trailed only Texas for the number of hail-related insurance claims filed between 2013 and 2015, according to a 2016 National Insurance Crime Bureau report. Meanwhile, the average annual auto insurance rate in the state — adjusted for variables such as age and driving record — increased 54.2 percent between 2011 and 2017, hitting $1,435 last year, according to a study from insurance data clearinghouse The Zebra.

Premiums will rise again in 2018, a year during which severe weather in the Unites States is projected to cause more than $10 billion in damage. Seventy percent of that price tag will be the result of hail, Ian Giammanco, a research meteorologist with the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safetytold The Associated Press last week.

All that’s happened in Colorado since the release of that 2016 report is three consecutive summers of hailstorms causing record-breaking damage.

“We really are in a perfect storm of risk,” Walker said.

 

Nothing this summer has approached the $2.3 billion calamity that pounded the northwest metro area May 8, 2017 — Colorado’s most damaging storm by far — but Walker’s association has tracked three hail events this summer that it ranks among the state’s “catastrophes.”

  • An Aug. 6 storm in the Colorado Springs area that injured more than a dozen people, killed five animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and so far has resulted in $172.8 million in insurance-covered losses
  • A $276.4-million storm that hit parts of Denver and northern Colorado on June 18 and 19
  • A Colorado Springs/Fountain-area storm on June 13 that caused an estimated $169 million in damage, according to estimates so far.

Between those three storms, at least 102,600 auto and homeowners insurance claims have been filed to date, according to the insurance association. Those damage estimates do not reflect agricultural or commercial losses such as ruined crops or cars damaged on dealer lots, Walker said.

In Colorado Springs, Michael Moore is booking roofing jobs three months in advance now. His firm, Divine Roofing Inc, can handle about five houses a day with its staff of 35. Divine doesn’t go door to door to find clients, instead relying on walk-ins and word-of-mouth referrals. This summer, he’s had his fair share of repeat business.

“We had about 100 roofs that we completed in the first hailstorm that then were damaged again in the second hailstorm,” he said. “It’s been traumatic for a lot of people. Folks had better things to do with their summer than deal with back-to-back hailstorms. They’ve had to change their plans, cancel vacations.”

Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette via APCrews clean up the debris from Monday’s hailstorm as damaged cars sit in the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo parking lot in Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. Officials at the zoo say the facility suffered extensive property damage in Monday afternoon’s short but intense storm.

Many Front Range observers have said the hail that has fallen this year seems to be larger than in the past, pointing to the softballs that fell on Colorado Springs this month as a bruising example. But weather scientists say hail that size is not unusual.

“We’ve gotten that size hail plenty,” said Russell Danielson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder. “This year we’ve had a few waves of really strong, large hail hitting highly populated areas, so that makes it biggest in the public’s minds. As people continue to build more things across larger areas, you’re going to happen to be hit by the hail more often.”

Regardless of how common it may be, Moore said this year is the first time he’s seen hailstones pierce roofs and fall through the ceilings of a houses. There are homes in Colorado Springs’ Broadmoor neighborhood that had concrete tile roofs that were shredded by hail.

“A lot of people ask me, ‘What can I do to prevent hail damage?’ ” he said, “and it’s like if 1-inch-thick concrete isn’t going to stop it, there is not a whole lot that is going to.”

When it comes to auto repairs, Walker said both the severity of the hailstorms, the number of vehicles they’re hitting and the expense of fixing modern vehicles, many of which now have feature expensive sensors, are all combining to drive up insurance premiums. Many shops are booking work many months in advance, which means more people are spending more time in rental cars, another cost that is eventually passed back to consumers.

The Ding Guy dent and body shop in Colorado Springs has appointments scheduled into December, owner James Bishop said. He’s had many customers this year who have used all of the rental car coverage afforded them by their insurance policies, and are now paying out of pocket.

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“We’ve stopped taking appointments because we’re so booked,” Bishop said. “A lot of cars need 120, 150 hours worth of labor. They’re just destroyed. I have customers mad at me because they bought the wrong insurance. It’s causing quite a mess.”

With the sharp rise in premiums the last few years, Walker is concerned some people might decide to decrease their coverage to soften the impact on their wallets.

“We don’t want to see people cutting corners on coverage that they need because you end up paying for that out of pocket,” she said. “Extensive damage and total losses are piling up.” 

State analysts, however, recommend customers take the time to do regular assessments of their policies, budgets and needs, and make coverage decisions based on what’s best for them.

“A lot of times, people aren’t aware of what coverage they have,” said Colorado Division of Insurance spokesman Vincent Plymell . “If they have an older car that maybe it isn’t worth as much, maybe it’s time to get rid of comprehensive coverage. With auto and home, maybe it’s time to raise your deductible to help mitigate these increasing premiums. It’s something that people don’t often think of.”

For Northglenn resident Everado Galaviz, the key to getting through this summer with his sanity intact after his and his wife’s new cars were battered by hail in June was finding a shop that could handle the work in a timely fashion. The Colorado native took a previous vehicle to a dent shop after a hailstorm a few years ago only for it to sit on the lot for months, costing him extra in rental car payments, he said. This summer he scoured online reviews before selecting Front Range Dent Removal in Denver.

Shop owner Anson Roberts said he has taken in cars from as far away as Cheyenne in the last two years. Besides seeing more severe damage in recent summers, Roberts’ main observation about the hail-repair industry in Colorado is that insurance company estimates are almost always low and some shops don’t push providers to cover what ought to be covered.

“My insurance had to come out and look at it a few times,” Galaviz said of his 2018 Chevy Silverado, which he picked up from Roberts’ shop Friday. “Front Range was after them saying, ‘Hey, we need to get this truck looked at.’ They got insurance in there, got the repairs approved and got it done.”

Categories: All Denver News.

Improving investor behavior: The prosperity mindset

15 hours 50 min ago

Wealth is a mindset. In my years as a financial adviser, I’ve worked with many wealthy
individuals who have everyday-type jobs. From bus drivers to teachers, entrepreneurs to an
administrative assistant at a Chamber of Commerce, I’ve learned that income is not the best
determinate of future wealth. Instead it’s a mindset, one I like to call the prosperity mindset.

A prosperity mindset takes a look at the whole equation: your daily spending, saving for your
future, and yes, even how much you make. But more importantly, it focuses on what you choose
to do with your money, not necessarily your ability to acquire more of it.

There are three ideologies wrapped up in a prosperity mindset. First is a long-term approach.
I’ve written at length in past articles about market wiggles and the stress they cause new and
seasoned investors alike. The best way to overcome the day-to-day fear mongering is to take a
long approach. Building wealth doesn’t happen overnight. Force it, and you risk wrecking a
portfolio.

Steve Booren

Second, avoid emotional decisions. Before making any decisions big or small, I like to take a second and check in with myself. What’s going on today? Is the decision I’m about to make a good one? Are there things going on right now that could color my decision-making ability? Is this a good time to choose this? These questions help me to understand whether emotion or logic is driving my decision.

If the decision is one of sound mind and logic, the third item I ask is if it is an informed choice? Have I thought through this option? In finance, this might translate to diversification, portfolio allocation, and risk exposure. If I’m uncomfortable, have I consulted other experts to gather their
thoughts?

Together, these mental exercises help drive a prosperity mindset. So let’s look at how they
apply to finance specifically.

Above I mentioned that income isn’t a great way to determine if someone will be wealthy. Think
about it like this: if I make $50,000 and spend $40,000, I have $10,000 left over to save.
If I make $1 million, and spend $1.2 million, I’m $200,000 in the hole.

The person who saves $10,000 is far wealthier than the high earner. Therefore, what you
choose to do with your money is far more important than how much of it you make. It’s a mental
hurdle, and not without its caveats. But a disposition to spending less than you make is a vital
tenant of a prosperity mindset.

Now take that savings amount and apply a long-term approach. Consider an example of two
workers, Ellen Early and Larry Later who happen to be the same age. Ellen starts saving $2,000 per year at age 25 and stops at 35, which equates to total savings over 10 years of $20,000.

Her friend Larry starts saving $2,000 per year from age 35 to 65, saving three times as much, a
total of $60,000 saved. Assume they earn the same rate of return of 8 percent per year. At 65
Ellen has $291,546, and Larry has $256,566. The lesson: start early and save consistently
throughout your career.

A long-term approach, avoiding emotional decisions, and making informed choices are essential
to not only spending and saving, but working toward a reasonable rate of return over an
extended time period. And with the transition from pensions to 401(k) and other personal saving
methods, this is increasingly important.

The cost of pensions has become too large of a burden for businesses, and frankly they want to
transfer that responsibility to employees — thus self-sufficiency. As a result you need to prepare,
plan and save. No one will do this for you. The good news is little changes in your behavior can
go a long way. Start saving at 25? That can make a big difference. Wait to retire for a few more
years? That can help. Willing to work part-time at a job you love in retirement? That can replace
thousands in needed income. But the best way is to start saving now, and foster a prosperity
mindset.

Think about your finances in seven or eight goals. These could be things like saving 15 percent of
your income or “making work a choice” at 62 instead of 65. Describe the best and worst
outcomes for each of those goals. Think about what you can do to start making progress toward
those goals, and what is within your power to control. The market will wiggle, but it can’t change
the choices you make for yourself. These you have complete control over.

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If you want the ability to make choices about what you do with your time, your interests and
your relationships, start now. The real reason for saving and accumulating wealth is freedom.

And freedom, like prosperity, is a mindset.

Steve Booren is the founder of Prosperion Financial Advisors in Greenwood Village. Opinions are for general information and not intended to be specific advice or recommendations.

Categories: All Denver News.

Cherry Creek students get boost from later start times

15 hours 50 min ago

A solid eight hours of sleep for a teenager at night apparently makes for a better classroom in the morning.

Preliminary results show that moving high school start times in the 55,000-student Cherry Creek School District more than an hour later is producing better rested and more engaged students, according to a top sleep researcher.

And while it’s too early to tell whether those bright-eyed young adults will produce better test scores, surveys of students, parents and teachers all point to a marked change in the attitudes in classrooms since Cherry Creek changed start times last school year, Superintendent Scott Siegfried said.

“I don’t know how many kids in high school have come up to me and told me, ‘You have changed my life,’ ” Siegfried said.

That extra hour of sleep made mornings much easier for the 15-year-old son of Chad and Tanya Bond, who are teachers and coaches in the district.

“Before there was some anger management issues in the morning, but it’s a lot smoother in the mornings now,” Chad Bond said. “He’s more focused and ready for the day.”

Before the school board made the change in March 2017, high school students had to be at their desks by 7:10 a.m., while middle schoolers got to school between 7:50 a.m. and 8:10 a.m. and elementary-age students showed up at 9 a.m.

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But work done by sleep researchers convinced the district that granting an extra hour for teens to complete a full sleep cycle would yield benefits in the classroom. The new schedule now puts high schoolers in the classroom at 8:20 a.m.. Middle school get underway at 8:50 a.m., and elementary students are the first to class at 8 a.m.

That extra time in the sack gives the American teen the eight hours needed to be refreshed and able to soak up knowledge, Siegfried said.

“You have kids staying up about 13 minutes later at night, but sleeping an hour longer in the morning. They are getting the sleep they are needing,” he said. “Of course, we always hear ‘Well, just take away their cellphones and make them go to bed at 10 p.m.,’ but it doesn’t work that way.”

That’s because sleep is largely governed by melatonin, a hormone released by the brain that controls the internal clock and prepares the body for sleeping, said Lisa Meltzer, an adolescent sleep expert at National Jewish Health who studied the switch at Cherry Creek and produced the district’s preliminary findings.

During puberty, the timing of the melatonin release is delayed by up to two hours.

“This makes it nearly impossible for teens to fall asleep early,” Meltzer said. “And it is especially difficult for teens to function in the morning hours, such that when we ask a teen to wake up at 6 a.m. That’s like asking an adult to wake up at 4 a.m.”

An adolescent’s brain is biologically asleep at the time adults and schools ask them to wake up, making it difficult for them to get behind the wheel of a car or learn calculus, she said.

Still, more than 85 percent of public schools still start before 8:30 a.m. Many schools are reluctant to make the change because of concerns about the timing of athletic and other extra-curricular events and transportation.

Siegfried said there were adjustments made, especially in bus schedules. Parents also had to make some changes in dropping off and picking up kids, and some sports practices were shortened to accommodate the new schedule.

But mostly, everyone is adjusting with an eye toward a common good, Meltzer said.

“The issues around the change are all grown up issues,” Meltzer said. “Traffic and transportation and work schedules, all those things are real and valid. But those are things grown-ups can figure out to make it work for the students.”

The Boulder and the Jefferson County school districts are studying delaying start times, while Littleton Public Schools started its new schedule this week. Like Cherry Creek, Littleton examined the issue for months before deciding it was time to make the switch, Superintendent Brian Ewert said.

The impetus was the 2013 shooting at Arapahoe High School that left two students dead, Ewert said, adding that pushing back school start times to allow students more sleep is one way to help ensure their mental health.

“We’ve been working real hard to get in front on the mental health issues facing our kids, and this is one incredibly tangible way a school district can help,” Ewert said. “And it’s based on real, biological science.”

 

Categories: All Denver News.