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Updated: 47 min 6 sec ago

Single-engine airplane runs off runway at Centennial Airport; 7th incident this year

6 hours 33 min ago

A single-engine Cessna 172 airplane with two people aboard ran off the runway at Centennial Airport Friday morning, the seventh incident at the airport since February.

The plane nose gear apparently collapsed, said Deborah Smith, airport spokeswoman.

AIRCRAFT INCIDENT: Single-engine aircraft departed runway on takeoff. Nosewheel collasped. Two individuals on board. No injuries. @SouthMetroPIO assets have departed the scene. Main runway is closed awaiting removal of disabled aircraft. pic.twitter.com/K94NoNqFz9

— Centennial Airport (@FlyCentennial) July 19, 2019

The two people aboard the plane were not injured, Smith said.

South Metro Fire Rescue firefighters are on scene of the accident, she said.

South Metro Firefighters are responding to an incident at Centennial Airport, follow @FlyCentennial for all incident updates and information. pic.twitter.com/AdlSmGXlzI

— South Metro Fire Rescue (@SouthMetroPIO) July 19, 2019

The crashes at the Centennial airport all have been minor and no one has been killed. Most recently, on July 3, a twin-engine airplane traveled off the runway and ended up in a grassy field.

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Avalanche signs Bo Byram, the first of two 2019 first-round draft picks

7 hours 20 min ago

As expected, the Avalanche signed 2019 first-round draft pick Bo Byram to his NHL entry-level contract.

Byram, 18, who was selected No. 4 overall in June, is a major-junior player with the Vancouver Giants, so he can participate in the Avs’ training camp and play nine NHL regular-season games before returning to the Giants for the rest of the season. If he plays 10 games with the Avalanche, he will remain in the NHL the entire season.

NCAA players like Boston College incoming freshman forward Alex Newhook — the Avs’ other 2019 first-round draft pick (No. 16 overall) — can’t sign with an NHL team and are not permitted to participate in training camp or play an NHL game in order to keep their NCAA eligibility.

Byram, who was the second-rated North American skater entering the draft in June, might have a chance to play a full season with the Avs. He became the first Western Hockey League defenseman to lead the league in playoff scoring last spring, with 26 points (eight goals) in 22 games.

Byram was born June 13, 2001 — four days after the Avalanche won its last Stanley Cup.

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Backpass: Examining the Rapids’ tactics against the Timbers, including a possible new look

8 hours 16 min ago

A coach of a juggernaut has some important tactical decisions to make, especially at the start of the season. But in essence, once a team has established their regular style and formation, and has succeeded in that pattern, they just roll it out, week after week.

We see that in Bob Bradley’s LAFC team this year — a possession-based, high-octane offense that advances the ball upfield quickly, breaks lines and attacks from all angles. We also see that in Matias Almeyda’s unique “man-marking” defensive system with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Colorado Rapids interim coach Conor Casey is still certainly trying to figure out the best way to succeed with the burgundy boys. After playing the first game or two in the same system ousted coach Anthony Hudson employed — a narrow 4-4-2 diamond that wanted to be swashbuckling but often fell short — he amended things. The team went into a more cautious 4-2-3-1 that ceded possession to the opponent and looked to strike quickly on the counterattack.

But against Portland last week, Casey switched things up, employing in a 4-1-4-1 formation.

File under "Hmm that's interesting." The Rapids went to a 4-1-4-1 against Portland last week, dropping Danny Wilson between the lines as a lone defensive midfielder. pic.twitter.com/pRv0E6Ir0a

— Mark Asher Goodman (@soccer_rabbi) July 18, 2019

Dropping Danny Wilson between the lines allowed the Rapids to almost-nullify the offensive impact of dangerous attackers like Brian Fernandez, Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco. I say almost because, well, there was this sublime play from Blanco.

1) Holy bejeebus look at how Sebastian Blanco settles this *perfectly* in stride.
2) This is maybe Tim Howard's best save of the year. Robbed him.#PORvCOL #Rapids96 #RCTID pic.twitter.com/N3OybhxgtN

— Mark Asher Goodman (@soccer_rabbi) July 18, 2019

Throughout the game, Wilson cut off passes into that space, harassed ball-carriers and was generally the type of nuisance the Rapids have needed all season, but haven’t had. In addition, Wilson served up a beautiful long-diagonal pass in the 75th minute to Sam Nicholson, which the Scotsman tucked away for the equalizing goal in a 2-2 draw. This was Danny Wilson’s best game, by far, in burgundy.

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Is this formation change permanent? Was it a one-time adjustment based on something the Rapids coaching staff saw? I don’t know. We shall see come Saturday, when the Rapids face NYCFC. It is certain, though, that Colorado went into Portland and got a good result, and being tactically flexible was at least part of the reason for their success.

I like to move it, move it

While getting away from the normal formation, Colorado still stayed loyal to the brand that they have been using since Casey was installed as interim head coach. That is, Colorado hit the Timbers with a blistering counterattack, and when it worked, it resulted in the team’s first goal — one of the prettiest of 2019 in terms of how it developed.

#Rapids96 first goal against Portland at 28' on 7/13.
7 passes
16 touches
12 seconds of possession
Smith-Kamara-Bassett-Rosenberry-Bassett-Kamara-Lewis.

Hit 'em before they knew what hit 'em. pic.twitter.com/HGqa9c6NTJ

— Mark Asher Goodman (@soccer_rabbi) July 18, 2019

Former soccer players are all familiar with the small-sided drill known as 5-v-2 in the U.S. or ‘Rondo’ in Europe. It is essentially a soccer version of the old kid’s games “pickle” or “monkey in the middle.” You put five players in a tight circle, drop two defenders in between, and make them pass-pass-pass the ball like mad. This goal was a moving Rondo, if you will, as the Rapids whipped the ball around Portland’s defenders with devastating effect. You don’t get flawless passing like this often, folks, so appreciate it when it happens.

Kinda like meaningful games for Rapids fans after July Fourth.

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Metro Denver apartment rent increases slowest since 2011

8 hours 16 min ago

Apartment rent increases in metro Denver may have finally slowed enough to avoid eroding household buying power, according to the latest Denver Metro Apartment Vacancy and Rent survey from the Apartment Association of Metro Denver.

The average apartment rent in metro Denver rose to $1,528 in the second quarter, an annual increase of 2.4 percent from the $1,480.74 average rent last year. That’s below the overall inflation rate, and more importantly, below the average pace of wage gains.

The second quarter is a busy one for turnover in apartments, making it a good barometer of the health of the rental market.

Karl Gehring/The Denver Post fileThis is the view from the tenth-floor of the upscale apartment building Verve at 1490 Delgany Street in downtown Denver Wednesday night, July 16, 2014.

Ron Throupe, an associate professor of real estate at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business and the report’s author, said the increases are the slowest for a second quarter since 2011.

Supply and demand also appear to be in balance, with the vacancy rate dropping from 6 percent a year ago to 5 percent in the second quarter. The market doesn’t appear to be glutted, which would drive developers away, or undersupplied, which would result in rent spikes.

“The Denver metro apartment market continues to show strong demand with 1,723 net units absorbed,” Throupe said in a press release.

So long as the national economy holds up, that shouldn’t change, he added.

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Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center withdraws from Title X amid new federal regulations

8 hours 47 min ago

The state’s first abortion clinic is withdrawing from the federal Title X program after new regulations from the Trump administration bar participants from performing or referring patients for abortions.

Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center is withdrawing from the program, said Communications Director Lisa Radelet, because it is not “willing to practice medicine” in this way and sees the new regulations as a “gag rule.”

Title X provides funding for contraception and reproductive health services to low-income and uninsured women. Federal funds are already not allowed to be used for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother’s life.

The Trump administration is changing the program’s regulations by not allowing providers to refer patients for abortions and not requiring them to discuss abortion as one of the options for a patient. It also is requiring clinics to keep their other services completely separate, both financially and physically, from abortion services.

When the changes were first proposed in 2018, the White House Press Secretary in a statement said they would not cut funding but rather “ensure that taxpayers do not indirectly fund abortions” and refuted the allegation that it is a gag rule.

RELATED: “If not me, who?” Colorado medical students pursue training as abortion providers even as more states restrict access

The Trump administration is facing legal challenges from several organizations and states over the new regulations, although it announced Monday it would enforce the rules as litigation continues. Planned Parenthood, which serves many Title X patients, is one of the organizations challenging the new rules. Its clinics across the country also have withdrawn from the program.

“The rule will result in millions of people losing access to health care and information they need to take control of their lives at a most basic level, disproportionately disadvantaging communities of color and low-income communities,” Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said in a news release. “Our doors remain open, and our commitment to our patients is strong as ever. We will not accept a world in which health care providers are censored and patients are cheated out of the care and information they deserve.”

The move is being hailed by anti-abortion advocates, who have been calling for an end to federal funding for clinics such as Planned Parenthood that provide abortion services.

“Without reducing Title X funding by a dime, the Protect Life Rule simply draws a bright line between abortion and family planning, stopping abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood from treating Title X as their private slush fund,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a news release. “We are confident that the Trump administration will ultimately prevail and grateful that, in the meantime, the Protect Life Rule can immediately begin saving lives.”

Lynn Grandon, program director of the Archdiocese of Denver Respect Life Office, via email Thursday said, “We appreciate the judicial system’s concrete decision that abortion is not health care and that appropriate funding will be properly directed to health care facilities that treat women with dignity and respect.”

Radelet said building a separate facility, and essentially a separate organization, is financially impossible for Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, which also has a location in Longmont.

“Basically what they’re doing is trying to kick abortion providers out of the Title X program,” she said.

Founded in 1973, Boulder Valley Women’s Health states it was the first abortion clinic in Colorado. It also provides birth control, pregnancy tests and counseling, annual exams, cancer screenings and screenings for sexually transmitted infections.

“We’re not going to stop providing abortion care,” Radelet said. “That’s part of our mission and part of our history.”

Title X funding, which is federal funding matched and dispersed by the states, makes up $500,000 or 20% of Boulder Valley Women’s Health’s budget, she said. Other local government contracts make up 18%, grants and donations make up 18%, and fundraising events make up 3%. The remaining amount comes from program fees from people who have insurance or Medicaid .

Those who are low-income or don’t have insurance can receive services on a sliding scale that goes down to free because of Title X funding. Radelet said the clinic is committed to maintaining a sliding scale for patients and will “do everything that we can to replace that money.”

While there won’t be any immediate cuts to services, Radelet said, she called the move to change regulations a “devastating blow” because it will impact the most vulnerable in society. Some providers will stop providing abortion information and services, and those who don’t could face budgetary cuts or closures.

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“It’s hitting the people that are already having the hardest time finding access to care and all in the name of abortion politics,” she said.

Abortion services are already separated financially from federal funding, so Radelet sees this move as the administration “inserting politics” where it shouldn’t’ be.

The organization hopes to still receive funding from the state, although it’s not yet clear if that will happen, she said. It also will apply for more grants and increase its efforts to get donations.

“It’s going to be tough,” Radelet said. “We’re hoping that our donors will see this as a courageous move and will support us in this.”

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Broncos podcast: Where Denver turns next after Todd Davis training camp injury

8 hours 54 min ago

In the latest First-and-Orange podcast episode, Broncos beat writers Ryan O’Halloran and Kyle Fredrickson examine the impact of linebacker Todd Davis (calf) missing training camp practices, break down the new quarterback hierarchy in Dove Valley and more storylines to follow.

Subscribe to the podcast
SoundCloud | iTunes | Stitcher | RSS

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Slow Food Nations takes over Larimer Square this weekend with the ultimate foodie fest

9 hours 8 min ago

If you’re not keyed into the local food and beverage industries, you might not have heard about this weekend’s biggest event celebrating all things comestible: Slow Food Nations, a three-day food festival that takes over Larimer Square July 19-21.

Slow Food USA, which has chapters in cities across the U.S. and beyond, wants to “inspire individuals and communities to change the world through food that is good, clean and fair for all,” according to the organization’s website. Slow Food is particularly enamored of local foodways and the people who continue to grow, cultivate and prepare food for their communities. This weekend, Slow Food’s biggest annual event returns to Denver, and there is a ton of tasty goodness on the bill.

Colorado sees a lot of food festivals every summer. So what makes this one unique? There are block parties and tastings, yes, but you’ll also find workshops like Ancient Remedies for Modern Times and the Art of Fermentation (already sold out), along with talks on everything from African-American foodways to food issues on the 2020 ballot to mental health in the hospitality industry. You can learn how to start a garden at your kids’ school, attend a seed swap with fellow green thumbs, and pick up a few tips for reducing food waste. Simply put, there’s a lot going on.

Here are our picks for the weekend’s best beginner-friendly events, all of which are block parties in Larimer Square:

Colorado Fare

Friday, July 19, 7-9:30 p.m.; tickets start at $65
Slow down and get to know Colorado’s “Slow Food ecosystem” at Colorado Fare, the opening night party where you can eat unlimited bites from more than 15 Colorado chefs, restaurants, farms and ranchers. On the bill: Dishes by Sandra Banchs of Comida, Duncan Holmes of Beckon and Call, Liliana Meyers of Safta, Jim Pittinger of Biker Jim’s Dogs, Chris Starkus of Urban Farmer, Matt Vawter of Mercantile Dining & Provisions and more. On the beverage side, you’ll get two free drinks upon entry, and you can use them to sip Colorado beer, cider, wine and spirits. There will be non-alcoholic beverages, too, and special tastings for VIP ticket-holders.

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Saturday, July 20, 6-9:30 p.m.; tickets start at $65
Is there any manner of cooking that encourages you to slow down and savor quite like cooking over an open fire? At Food Over Fire, explore “cultural traditions, innovative techniques and unexpected preparations all with one thing in common: fire,” according to a Slow Food Nations press release. A number of Colorado chefs will be cooking up special bites for this event, including Alex Seidel of Mercantile and Fruition, Bill Espiricueta of Smok, Dana Rodriguez of Work & Class and Super Mega Bien, and more. There will also be two bars, so come thirsty.

Zero Waste Community Supper

Sunday, July 21, 5-8 p.m.; tickets are $65
These days, we’re all trying to be a little more efficient with our household waste, especially in the kitchen. But a major festival like this often generates a ton of food waste, and Slow Food Nations is trying to combat that with a Zero Waste Community Supper. The weekend’s leftovers — from workshops, demos and block parties — will be handed over to chefs on Sunday, where they’ll be challenged to turn them into an “inspired feast.” Pick up a few ideas for using up your own kitchen scraps while you taste creations from chefs Steven Satterfield (of Miller Union in Atlanta) and Eric Lee (of Acreage in Lafayette).

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NFL won’t suspend Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill in case involving son

9 hours 31 min ago

NEW YORK — The NFL will not suspend Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill under its personal conduct policy in a domestic violence case involving his 3-year-old son.

The league says in a statement Friday it has not been given access to information in the court proceedings, and a district attorney in June said an investigation was dropped because officials couldn’t prove who injured the boy.

The league says “information developed in the court proceeding is confidential and has not been shared with us” and all law enforcement records are sealed.

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The statement adds: “Local law enforcement authorities have publicly advised that the available evidence does not permit them to determine who caused the child’s injuries.”

Hill was suspended in April by the Chiefs. He is now is eligible to attend training camp and participate in all activities if the Chiefs lift their suspension.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Broncos training camp 2019 Day 2: Live updates from Dove Valley

9 hours 36 min ago

Live updates and analysis from Day 2 of Denver Broncos training camp on July 19, 2019 at Dove Valley.

Resources

What to know: Primer | Roundtable | Fan guide
Position previews: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | Special Teams
Recap: Day 1

Updates

11:22 a.m.: Cornerback De’Vante Bausby with an interception (his second in two days) on a Kevin Hogan deep ball down the sideline. That’s Hogan’s third INT of the morning.

— Kyle Fredrickson

11:17 a.m.: Linebacker Josh Watson is getting looked at by trainers.

— Ryan O’Halloran

OKAY, @SuttonCourtland!

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Broncos power rankings: What national media thinks of Denver entering the 2019 season

10 hours 16 min ago

The 2019 Broncos training camp kicked off on Thursday. So how does the team look and should fans start booking plans for the Super Bowl already? Calm down — the regular season doesn’t start for weeks. But that doesn’t stop folks from trying to gauge how this team looks.

Here’s a look at how various national media compared the Broncos to the rest of the NFL:

USA Today’s Steven Ruiz lists the Broncos as a “playoff sleeper” at No. 21:
“The Broncos have all the ingredients of a playoff team. The defense will be better under Vic Fangio, Mike Munchak is an offensive line whisperer, the receiving corps is better than it gets credit for and you saw what Phillip Lindsay did last season as a rookie. There’s just the whole quarterback problem. It’s like Denver is baking a cake and it has everything but the sugar.”

Pro Football Focus gives the Broncos the 22nd-best roster in the NFL, crediting Von Miller as the team’s biggest strength and the quarterback position as its biggest weakness:
“Time will tell if Flacco can finally solve the Broncos’ quarterback problems or if it’s on to rookie Drew Lock, who led the 2019 quarterback draft class in big-time throws in college last season.”

In ESPN’s future power ranking projection for the next three years, Denver came in at 22nd:
“The Broncos have not been able to find a quarterback of the future during John Elway’s reign as GM. Second-round selection Drew Lock has a chance to change that, and some wonder whether he could upend Flacco as soon as this season. That would give Denver a chance at a more favorable future outcome.”

How about head coaches? NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison placed a “not rated” score for first-year head coach Vic Fangio:
“Fangio inherits a fantastic pair of pass rushers in Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, a young stud at RB in Phillip Lindsay, and a future WR1 in Courtland Sutton. What his staff can coax out of Joe Flacco will be the key to the head coach’s success in ’19.”

Electronic Arts chimed in with its team ratings for Madden NFL 20. Denver had an 81 overall team rating, tied for 19th with the Titans, Seahawks and Ravens. The defense earned an 84, tying them for sixth best in the game. The offense had a 75, placing them 24th among NFL teams.

And finally, online oddsmaker Bovada has the Broncos as the 21st favorite to win the Super Bowl at 60-to-1 odds — tied with their AFC West rival, the Oakland Raiders.

Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post

NEW 
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Pueblo police shot, killed knife-wielding man

10 hours 58 min ago

A Pueblo police officer responding to a family disturbance call Thursday night fatally shot a man who threatened them with a knife, according to a police news release.

The name and age of the deceased have not been released.

Police received an emergency dispatch call at 7:52 p.m. on July 18 about a family disturbance in the 1700 block of East 5th Street, the news release said.

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When police officers entered the residence, the suspect “attacked” the officers with a knife, the news release said.

One of the officers shot the suspect, who later died at a hospital, the news release said.

The circumstances of the fatal shooting are under investigation by a special unit made up of prosecutors and law enforcement investigators, the news release said.

One officer was placed on administrative leave according to standard protocol.

This was the sixth officer-involved shooting in Pueblo this year.

Check back for updates on this breaking news story.

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Denver weather: Scorcher Friday could tie all-time heat record at 101 degrees

11 hours 14 min ago

Denverites face a possible 101-degree day on Friday before a strong cold front cools things down to a high of 78 by Sunday, National Weather Service forecasters said.

If the mercury climbs to 101 degrees at Denver International Airport Friday afternoon, as Boulder forecasters predict, it will tie an all-time heat record for July 19 set in 2005, the NWS said. If it gets that hot it will be 11 degrees above the normal of 90 degrees for July 19. DIA is where official Denver temperatures are recorded.

It would also be the third gruelingly hot day in a row in which heat records were tied or beaten.

Denver topped out at 99 degrees on Thursday, which tied a heat record set in 1998. On Wednesday, the city broke a minimum warmth record when it didn’t get below 72 degrees the entire day.

Hot and mainly dry today with high temperatures around 100 degrees! Relief coming for the weekend. #cowx pic.twitter.com/EuKQ3nK8Qz

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) July 19, 2019

But because Colorado’s weather has a way of being topsy-turvy, temperatures are expected to drop significantly when a cold front moves into the state on the weekend.

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On Saturday, the high temperature is expected to be about 84 degrees, or 6 degrees below normal for July 20. On Sunday, temperatures aren’t expected to climb past 78 degrees, or 12 degrees below normal for July 21.

RELATED: The coolest patios and rooftops to eat and drink on in the Front Range

There’s a good chance for afternoon rain and thunderstorms throughout the weekend. On Saturday, there is a 50 percent chance for rain and on Sunday there is a 40 percent chance.

Even though the chance for rain increases to 60 percent on Monday, the high temperature is expected to surpass weekend highs by reaching about 85 degrees, the NWS said.

Denver high’s will reach the lower 90s Tuesday through Thursday, forecasters said. Rain and thunderstorms are possible each of those days.

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Rockies would be smart to pitch around Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu this weekend in the Bronx

12 hours 16 min ago

Former Rockies all-star DJ LeMahieu has a thing for playing well against his former teams and the Rockies will be no exception this weekend at Yankee Stadium.

LeMahieu was originally drafted by the Cubs back in 2009 when he was selected in the second round out of Louisiana State University. LeMahieu made his MLB debut with the Cubbies in 2011, his lone major league season with Chicago before he was traded to Colorado. The deal for LeMahieu included infield/outfielder Tyler Colvin. In return the Rockies sent third baseman Ian Stewart and pitcher Casey Weathers to Chicago.

LeMahieu has played in 36 games against the Cubs batting .299 with three homers, 24 RBIs and a .463 slugging percentage.

A question in a Rockies Mailbag earlier this summer touched on how LeMahieu is showing GM Jeff Bridich and Co. how they dropped the ball by not even offering him a contract. Rockies beat writer Patrick Saunders had some takes on this issue. Here are a few that stood out to me:

  • The Rockies miss LeMahieu’s presence on the field and in the clubhouse. This isn’t just my opinion. Several Rockies players told me that in spring training and have reiterated it since then.
  • LeMahieu, a three-time Gold Glover, was the best second baseman Colorado’s ever had. The Yankees are discovering just how good a fielder he is.
  • LeMahieu is 30 and in excellent shape.
  • The Rockies made a huge mistake.

So, as the Rockies head into the Bronx to take on LeMahieu and the first-place New York Yankees this weekend, I would advise the Rockies’ struggling pitching staff to avoid LeMahieu. If not, his .331 batting average this season is sure to rise.

Jeff Bailey, The Denver Post

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Must-Read AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver PostJoe Flacco (5) signs autographs for fans after practice ended at Denver Broncos training camp on Thursday, July 18, 2019. Kiszla: On sparsely attended first day of training camp, if Joe Flacco is answer at quarterback, Broncos Country isn’t buying it.

“I think it’s a really cool opportunity, to be honest with you,” Flacco said. “Listen, I know John’s the man around here. Hopefully, there’s room for a couple more people.” Read more…

David Zalubowski, The Associated PressColorado Rockies’ Ian Desmond, right, celebrates his two-run home run with Daniel Murphy during the ninth inning of the team’s baseball game against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Denver. Rockies Insider: To rediscover its identity, Colorado needs to play more like the… Giants?

As even Rockies center fielder Ian Desmond admits, it looks like the Giants — in the last season on the bench for future Hall of Fame skipper Bruce Bochy — are playing with house money. Read more…

AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver PostDrew Lock (3) of the Denver Broncos takes the field during Denver Broncos training camp on Thursday, July 18, 2019. Why Drew Lock never intended to miss Broncos training camp practices

“The Broncos and my agency were working together, but I had told my agency beforehand that if it got to the point where I was missing practice then there was no chance we were going on with it,” Lock said. Read more…

Quick Hits

+ Broncos training camp rewind, Day 1: A recap of the first practice

+ Broncos president/CEO Joe Ellis: Brittany Bowlen remains on track to re-join team late this year or after ’19 season

+ Matt Holliday is back in baseball, this time as a coach at Oklahoma State

+ Rockies’ Ian Desmond: “We probably have put the clamps down a little too hard on ourselves”

+ Nuggets Mailbag: After Jerami Grant trade, does Denver have too many wings?

+ Santino Marchiol, former Cherry Creek HS football player, won’t be allowed to join CU Buffs, Mel Tucker says

+ Women rule at Bandimere Speedway, Mile-High Nationals

+ Rockies’ Kyle Freeland’s next big test comes against the first-place Yankees

+ When Apollo 11 landed on the moon, Major League Baseball stood still

+ “Cautiously optimistic”: Broncos Country welcomes change as 2019 team debuts at training camp

Post Mailbag forms

+ Broncos Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Ryan O’Halloran here.

+ Nuggets Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Mike Singer here.

+ Avs Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Mike Chambers here.

+ Rockies Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Patrick Saunders here.

By The Numbers 31 Rockies podcast: What is Colorado going to do by the July 31 trade deadline?

Will the Rockies be buyers, sellers or bystanders as the National League wild card race heats up? Read more…

Parting Shot Peter Morrison, The Associated PressDavid Duval of The United States plays his shot from the 7th hole during the first round of the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, Thursday, July 18, 2019. A bad swing, a big mistake and a 14 for David Duval at Royal Portrush

“You have an obligation as a professional athlete. If you play, you post your score,” Duval said. “Am I happy about that? Is there some … embarrassment to it? I don’t know. But I teed off in the Open and I shot 90 today. So put it on the board.” Read more…

Get in Touch

If you see something that’s cause for question or have a comment, thought or suggestion, email me at dboniface@denverpost.com or tweet me @danielboniface.

Categories: All Denver News.

Yonder Alonso off to scorching start with Triple-A Albuquerque, while Yonzathan Daza and Sam Hilliard keep raking

12 hours 16 min ago

After signing a minor-league deal with the Rockies July 10, veteran first baseman Yonder Alonso has wasted no time demonstrating his mastery of Triple-A pitching.

In his first seven games with the Isotopes the 32-year-old former all-star is hitting .417 (10-for-24) with a home run, three doubles and eight RBIs. Alonso signed with Colorado after being released by the White Sox on July 3, a move that followed his difficult .178 start to the season.

A former No. 7 overall draft pick in 2008 by the Reds out of the University of Miami, Alonso has played for six major league teams. The Rockies would be his seventh, and if Alonso continues to rake, he could be seen as a viable option to replace Mark Reynolds on the 25-man roster. Reynolds is hitting a team-low .176 with four homers.

Or, if Colorado decides to stick with Reynolds — they’re paying him $1 million this year anyways because he made the opening day roster out of camp — Alonso could come up with the club in September, when rosters expand.

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Daza, Hilliard stand out. Outfielder Yonathan Daza, who made his major league debut April 9, continues to hit the cover off the ball for the Isotopes. The 25-year-old is batting .371, second in the Pacific Coast League, while also posting 27 doubles and 10 homers.

Should an injury occur to any of Colorado’s four regular outfielders in Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond, David Dahl or Raimel Tapia, then Daza would likely be the first outfielder in line to be recalled. Daza’s been up-and-down from the bigs three times this year, with one hit in 18 at-bats.

Fellow PCL all-star Sam Hilliard could warrant consideration for a call-up as well. In his first season in Triple-A and yet to make his MLB debut, Hilliard is batting .266 with 27 homers and 80 RBIs. At the very least, Hilliard — a former 15th-round pick who’s the Rockies’ top-rated outfield prospect, per MLB Pipeline — might be in line for a September call-up.

Categories: All Denver News.

Colorado residents see red, carrying more debt than all but two states and D.C.

12 hours 16 min ago

Colorado has the lowest obesity rate of any state, but when it comes to financial fitness, residents of the state borrowed money at an unrivaled pace last year, contributing to one of the heaviest debt burdens in the country.

Nationally, the per capita debt burden runs $50,090, according to an analysis from HowMuch.net, which looked at numbers from Credit Karma and the Federal Reserve Bank.

But in Colorado, the per capita debt burden is at $71,340, just behind California at $71,860. The leader nationally was the District of Columbia at $86,730, followed by Hawaii at $72,590.

Mortgages constitute the lion’s share of personal debt, followed by student loans, auto loans and personal loans.

Colorado ranked fifth amongst all states with an average mortgage balance of $253,202 in 2018, and tied with Texas for the fastest growth rate in mortgage balances at 3.6 percent, according to the credit rating agency Experian.

Rising mortgage debt has followed a spike in home prices this decade, especially along the Front Range. The desperation to get into a home may also explain why Colorado residents borrowed money at a pace unmatched anywhere else.

The average debt individual borrowers added last year was $3,536 in Colorado between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Experian. That’s four times the average gain of $871 across all states during the same period.

As recessionary concerns mount, consumers decreased debt in a handful of states, including New York, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Vermont and Oklahoma. Colorado borrowers, along with those in Utah, Washington, Oregon and Massachusetts, went strongly in the opposite direction.

Overall consumer debt in the U.S. hit $13.3 trillion at the end of last year, with several categories reaching record highs, according to Experian. They included residential mortgage debt at $9.4 trillion, student loans at $1.37 trillion, and auto loans at $1.23 trillion. Personal loan debt, which reached $291 billion, was the fastest-growing loan category nationally.

Categories: All Denver News.

Colorado aerospace veterans’ small company opening new frontiers in international trade, open-source systems

12 hours 16 min ago

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing has aerospace veterans Maureen O’Brien and Stanley Kennedy Jr. celebrating what the industry has achieved and looking forward to the kinds of projects that will drive space exploration in the decades ahead.

The founders of Oakman Aerospace, each with years of experience with such industry powerhouses as Martin Lockheed and General Dynamics, see opportunities for smaller companies and the potential for partnerships with businesses spanning the globe.

The company, based in Highlands Ranch, has developed a platform that can be customized to enable small- and medium-size companies to plan missions, launch small satellites or determine how their instruments will mesh with another company’s spacecraft.

The platform, called ACORN — Advanced Configurable Open-System Research Network — is designed so smaller companies don’t need what O’Brien calls a standing army of experts to handle different aspects of planning, designing, building, testing and launching space projects.

“There’s lots of people who have really cool ideas to do in space, but they need to understand ‘How do I get that into space and make sure it works.’ Even though space is getting less expensive, it’s still really expensive,” said Kennedy, who participated in panels at the Wings over the Rockies Air and Space Museum’s weeklong celebration of Apollo 11.

And Oakman has marked a major milestone in its other objective: working with companies and agencies in other countries to achieve shared goals and expand its business. The first of July, it sent its first shipment to a foreign company under an export license through the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The 2013 defense bill opened the door to transferring less sensitive spacecraft and components from the United States Munitions List to the less restrictive Commerce Control List. O’Brien, the CEO, and Kennedy, the company’s president and chief systems engineer, said it wasn’t a snap, but Oakman got its first commercial export license in March and made its first international commercial shipment July 1. The recipient was NewSpace Systems in Cape Town, South Africa.

RELATED: California has Silicon Valley. Could Colorado become home to “Aerospace Alley?”

“It’s still controlled. We still have regulations on who we can and can’t sell to. All those things still apply, but it also allows for slightly less paperwork,” said O’Brien, who stressed “slightly” and then laughed.

There are still plenty of hoops to jump through, but also wider opportunity, O’Brien and Kennedy said. For years, they joined other members of the Colorado Space Coalition, state officials and members of the state’s congressional delegation, including Sen. Michael Bennet and former Rep. Mike Coffman, to make it easier for U.S. aerospace companies to export technology that’s already available and doesn’t pose national security risks.

At one point, anything that said “space” was controlled through International Traffic in Arms Regulations, O’Brien said. The regulations are intended to keep defense-related technology out of the wrong hands.

Oakman will have to apply for an export license for each international business it sells to.

The Space Foundation, an advocacy organization based in Colorado Springs, has said it supports the change in regulation to make U.S. aerospace companies more competitive globally.

Oakman has set an example for other Colorado aerospace companies by pursuing and obtaining a commercial export license, said Jay Lindell, who serves as the aerospace and defense industry champion with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

“This is a great example of persistence, having the patience to go through the regulatory process. It can be a lengthy process to get the certificates,” Lindell said.

Some of the larger aerospace companies have navigated the regulatory twists and turns, but many smaller ones have not taken them on, Lindell added.

That’s something Kennedy and O’Brien hope changes. They are big boosters of Colorado’s aerospace industry, which state and Denver-metro economic development officials say is second only to California’s.

Colorado has 180 aerospace companies and more than 500 businesses that provide space-related products and services, according to a 2018 report by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. The report said the state has the highest concentration of direct private aerospace employment in the country: 26,620.

And 60 percent or more of the companies have 10 or fewer employees, Kennedy said.

“A lot of small companies just immediately see ‘State Department’ and ‘Commerce Department’ and say ‘No, we’re not big enough. We’re not going to do it,’ ” Kennedy said. “But I think there are a lot of opportunities for small businesses. It’s an added cost, but it isn’t prohibitive if you know what you’re doing.”

Oakman Aerospace is a small, but growing company. O’Brien, Kennedy and Stanley Kennedy Sr. started Oakman after the company where they previously worked, small-satellite producer Comtech AeroAstro, was shut down in 2012. O’Brien and the younger Kennedy were in London for an air show when they got the news of the impending closure. After some discussion, they decided to carry on with their own business.

“We started with six (employees) in that first year, and now we’re at 26,” said O’Brien said.

Oakman has two buildings: one in Littleton acquired through a lease-purchase agreement with Comtech AeroAstro and a larger, main facility in Highlands Ranch where the company is adding lab space.

Oakman was chosen as one of the “Colorado Companies to Watch” in 2015 and Kennedy is now chairman of the business group’s alumni committee. ColoradoBIZ magazine recently named Oakman, with O’Brien as a co-founder, to its list of top woman-owned companies for the third consecutive year.

O’Brien is also a veteran, having started her career in the U.S. Navy as an aviation structural mechanic. She went on to work for Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. Kennedy worked for years on launch vehicles, multiple spacecraft programs and ground systems while at Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Advanced Information Systems.

Kathryn Scott, Special to The Denver PostEngineers for Oakman Aerospace, Inc., Drew Johnson, left, Warren Langley, right, and Joe Miceli, work together on the ACORN inside the clean lab at their headquarters in Littleton on April 17, 2019.

Stanley Kennedy Sr., Oakman executive vice president, worked for a number of years at Boeing and the Department of Defense.

At large aerospace companies, there was a group of 35 or 50 people whose whole job was to design missions, Kennedy said. “When we got here, we didn’t have those 40 people to design those missions.”

Oakman’s technology is designed for companies that don’t have big staffs and experts in every subject area. It provides open, standardized interfaces that allow communications and tests between different systems, Kennedy said.

Companies can use the software and components in the ACORN module, plug in their own components or products from other companies, depending on their need or project.

“This is where space is going, open-system architecture and open source,” Kennedy said. “Think about Google and how they do application programming interfaces. That’s what we’re developing for space systems.”

In other words, small companies and startups, which make up a big part of Colorado’s aerospace industry and are helping drive innovation, can tap into already available systems, technology, modeling and simulations as they build their projects or design missions. Oakman sees itself as disrupting the system by making technology and expertise more accessible.

Oakman has also teamed up with a European company that works with the European Space Agency to standardize the data sheets of thousands of spacecraft components available across the world. Kennedy said the standardized data of catalogued components have been incorporated into ACORN so people can rapidly pick and compare satellite components.

“We really are an enabler. We know how to build spacecraft. We used to build spacecraft, but what we’re trying to do now is enable the next generation of space enthusiasts to design, develop and fly their missions,” Kennedy said.

Categories: All Denver News.

John Hickenlooper for Senate? It could still happen — if he wants it, observers say

12 hours 16 min ago

When John Hickenlooper tweets about his presidential aspirations, a torrent of replies follow that all say the same thing: forget the White House. Run for the U.S. Senate.

“You are not doing yourself, or Coloradans, any favors by staying in this race any longer,” Katina Harrison replied to a photo Hickenlooper posted on Twitter announcing he had landed in New Hampshire, home of the nation’s first Democratic primary. “Please do what you should have done from the jump & run for Senate.”

You are not doing yourself, or Coloradans, any favors by staying in this race any longer. Please do what you should have done from the jump & run for Senate.

— Katina (@khoyleharrison) July 16, 2019

National political observers believe Democrats have one of their best chances to regain partisan control of the Senate in 2020. All eyes are on Colorado — a swing state where unaffiliated voters have aligned in recent elections more with the political left — as one of a handful of states that will determine whether Republicans keep their edge in the upper legislative chamber.

While there is no shortage of Democrats running for the Senate nomination here, party leaders, consultants and rank-and-file voters alike are whispering out loud their concerns that there isn’t yet a candidate who can match Republican incumbent Cory Gardner’s name recognition, fundraising prowess and charisma on the campaign trail.

Hickenlooper could change that if he shifted his attention closer to home, local and national political experts said.

“I want Cory Gardner gone,” Harrison, a Ken Caryl Democrat said Wednesday in an interview with The Denver Post. “And I think Governor Hickenlooper has the name recognition to get that done.”

RELATED: Billionaires, athletes and Hollywood funnel money to Colorado’s Senate race Rejecting the calls

Right now, Colorado’s popular former two-term governor is one of two dozen Democrats running for the party’s presidential nomination. Since he launched his campaign in March, the former brewpub owner has failed to capture the imagination of his party’s national base.

Earlier this month, several members of Hickenlooper’s top staff left after they suggested a Senate run. News of a dismal fundraising quarter followed. And while the businessman hopes to reboot his campaign and launch a comeback focused on early nominating states, his trajectory to the White House is uncertain more than ever.

Hickenlooper repeatedly has quelled the calls — including a plea from late-night comedian Samantha Bee — for him to run for Senate. His answer to the question has evolved from a waffling “maybe” to a decidedly “no thanks.” More evidence that he’s not interested in a run surfaced this week: His wife, Robin Hickenlooper, donated to a different candidate who’s already in the race.

Hickenlooper is one of several high-profile Democrats who has rejected the idea of running for Senate. Included in that club are fellow presidential primary contenders Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost her Georgia gubernatorial bid, also has decided not to run for Senate.

However, political observers suggest Hickenlooper could still get in the race if he had a change of heart. The former Denver mayor, who expressed interest in a Senate appointment just a decade ago, wouldn’t be the first politician to jump from one race to another.

“One of the things his campaign has demonstrated is that he’s not going to move into the top tier of presidential candidates,” said Democratic consultant Curtis Hubbard. “But he still has a lot to offer. One of the best things John can do for his party, Colorado, the country is to take on one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country and make sure Cory Gardner is a one-term senator.”

Even as the requests for Hickenlooper to get into the race persist, there would no anointment. Hickenlooper would have to fight for the nomination. Just as his political positions and governing style make him an ideal candidate for a general election, the state’s base in charge of selecting a nominee may look to someone more progressive.

“Anybody who has been watching Colorado elections for the past few years can see Democrats have moved further to the left,” said Michal Rosenoer, executive director of Emerge Colorado, a nonprofit that trains Democratic women to run for office. “Progressive Democrats are the ones who are winning both locally and statewide. Any Democrat who thinks winning a statewide election by running to the middle doesn’t understand the game they’re playing in anymore.”

A crowded field

At the moment, 10 Democrats are running for the Senate nomination. Leading the pack are former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston and former Obama ambassador Dan Baer.

Romanoff has embraced at least two major progressive policies du jour: Medicare for all, which would create government-run health care, and the so-called Green New Deal. While Johnston ran a fairly progressive campaign for governor, he’s yet to strike too far to the left during this campaign. And Baer has yet to take any substantial policy positions.

Each has put up impressive early fundraising numbers and collected a battery of endorsements, but none of the three has won statewide office before. In fact, Romanoff lost his primary challenge to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in 2010. And Johnston came in third in the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

There is also a long list of women — several of them black or Latino — who are running, including former state House Majority Leader Alice Madden, state Sen. Angela Williams and scientist Trish Zornio. Any one of them would represent a major shift for Colorado, as the state has never elected a woman to the Senate. However, they each have a long way to go in attracting donors and building their brand with the state.

Andy Cross, The Denver PostU.S. Sen. Cory Gardner speaks at the Western Conservative Summit at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver on July 12, 2019.

It’s true that Gardner is vulnerable — a recent survey found only 40% of Coloradans have a favorable opinion of the junior senator. But longtime political observers have warned not to dismiss the Yuma Republican. Given the outcome of Colorado’s Senate contest will play a critical role in deciding partisan control of the upper chamber, Gardner is expected to have nearly unlimited financial resources.

That’s one more reason Democratic loyalists want the most formidable candidate.

“Hickenlooper is their strongest potential candidate for a general election,” said David Flaherty, a Colorado Republican pollster. “He’s run and won before. People know his style. His brand is helping all Coloradans and not running negative.”

If he were to advance out of a primary, there’s one more problem. Hickenlooper repeatedly said he didn’t want the job and at one point even plainly said, “I’m not cut out to be a senator.”

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Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said there’s a way for Hickenlooper to walk back those comments, much like Florida’s U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio did after running for reelection in 2016 following his failed bid in the Republican presidential primary.

“You don’t have to give hostage to history,” Jillson said, adding that Hickenlooper could do more damage to his brand if he hangs on too much longer. “Part of being a political leader is understanding the flow of events. You do have a history and reputation. Don’t ruin that.”

Terry Sullivan, who ran Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign, rejected the premise that Hickenlooper’s situation is akin to Rubio’s, pointing out that Rubio dropped out of the race well after most states had voted during the primary.

Sullivan added it was a fool’s errand to convince a politician to run for an office they aren’t interested in.

“Hickenlooper should run for the office he wants to serve, not the office people on Twitter are pushing him to,” he said.

Categories: All Denver News.

CU Buffs football position preview: Tight ends integral part of Buffs’ offense

12 hours 17 min ago

Catching the ball in a college football game isn’t totally new to Jalen Harris. After all, he did haul in two touchdown passes during his career at Auburn.

Like the rest of the Colorado tight ends, however, Harris is expecting to get a little more attention from the quarterback this year.

Leading up to fall camp, which starts Aug. 1, BuffZone.com is previewing each position group for the Buffs. In this installment, the focus is on the tight ends.

Under the direction of first-year head coach Mel Tucker and new offensive coordinator Jay Johnson, CU vows to use the tight end as a weapon much more than the Buffs have in the recent past. In an effort to get this group up to speed, Tucker hired former NFL tight end Al Pupunu to coach them.

Pupunu had a record-breaking career at Weber State before playing nine seasons in the NFL. He spent the past two years coaching his alma mater.

“He’ll be creative in utilizing the tight end in our offense, both in blocking and receiving,” Tucker said of Pupunu last winter.

Under previous head coach Mike MacIntyre, the tight end was a big part of the offense, but almost exclusively as blockers in recent years. CU tight ends caught a total of 17 passes in the last three years under MacIntyre.

This year, the Buffs tight ends – which bring a wide variety of skills to the table – could be used in several ways, and they’ll be expected to catch the ball.

Colorado’s Jalen Harris takes reps during a recent spring practice. Harris transferred from Auburn after graduating in December, giving the Buffaloes another tight end they hope to use in the passing game more in 2019.

“That’s what I like, being very multiple,” Pupunu said. “I’m going to require my tight ends to learn all the positions on the field because they could be in any one of those spots. You have to understand the whole concept of the play.”

By the end of spring practices in April, Pupunu said the group was “slowly” making improvements, but stressed that he was pleased with the continual growth.

“I like the group,” he said. “We just have to continue to get better.”

Harris is expected to be one of the leaders. As a graduate transfer with just one year to play, Harris was brought to CU to be a major part of the tight end rotation. He played in 42 games at Auburn – facing Tucker’s defenses at Alabama and Georgia – and was mainly a blocker, but did catch four passes for 33 yards and two touchdowns.

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Harris spent much of the spring working on his pass-catching skills and said, “I think it went good. There’s always room for improvement, though. The coaches, they’ve been real patient, but we know it’s going to be a different sense of urgency (when the season approaches).

“I do feel like I’m getting there. I’m going to work my timing with (projected starting quarterback Steven Montez) and the rest of the quarterbacks during the summer and during fall camp we should be hitting the ground running.”

Senior Beau Bisharat, who moved from running back during spring practices, and sophomore Brady Russell also bring a good deal of game experience to the table. Like Harris, though, they haven’t caught a lot of passes. In fact, CU’s entire group of nine tight ends, counting walk-ons, has a grand total of 11 catches in Division I football games.

That number is likely to increase dramatically this year, as Johnson and Tucker have high regard for the value of the tight end.

“I think the tight ends are the MVP of the offense,” Johnson said after being hired last winter. “I want to see them be able to do some things in the pass game, but also they have to help us in the run game and they’ve got to help us in protection. They get to do it all. I put high regards on those guys and look for them to be helping us out.”

Position: Tight ends

Returners (2018 statistics)

  • Beau Bisharat, Sr., 6-2, 225 (1 catch, 4 yards, 1 TD; played RB last year)
  • Darrion Jones, Sr., 6-6, 255 (no catches; played in 7 games)
  • Jared Poplawski, So., 6-4, 235 (injured in 2018)
  • Brady Russell, So., 6-3, 255 (5 catches, 41 yards)
  • Derek Coleman, Jr., 6-5, 225 (walk-on; played in 1 game)

Additions

  • Jalen Harris, Sr., 6-4, 255 (transfer from Auburn)
  • Luke Stillwell, So., 6-4, 227 (JUCO transfer)
  • Legend Brumbaugh, So., 6-3, 225 (walk-on; transfer from Maryland)
  • C.J. Schmanski, Fr., 6-3, 230 (walk-on; redshirted)

Losses

  • Chris Bounds (left team during 2018 season; 1 catch, 15 yards)

2019 outlook: While there’s a lot of unknowns with this group, it’s also filled with intrigue. Harris brings a lot of big-time game experience from his time at Auburn and has all the physical tools to have a big year. Jones certainly looks the part, too, and is more comfortable as he comes into his second year with the program. Russell is a former walk-on who just does his job well. He flashed his ability at Washington last year (four catches, 23 yards) – about the only time CU threw to tight ends. Russell’s good enough to be the leader here, despite being a sophomore. Bisharat has played running back his entire career and is a bit undersized as a tight end, but he could be a matchup problem for some linebackers. Stillwell comes in as a late transfer and has some work to do physically to put on some weight and muscle, but shows a lot of promise. Then there’s Poplawski, who came to CU with a ton of promise two years ago, but injuries (ACL and shoulder) have kept him off the field. If he’s healthy, he’ll push for playing time.

Colorado tight end Brady Russell
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Ask Amy: Mother-in-law’s friendship with ex is disruptive

13 hours 46 min ago

Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for three years. He has three teen children (ages 17, 18, and 19) from a previous marriage. My husband’s first wife filed for divorce, and they do not have a good relationship.

My mother-in-law has a great relationship with my husband’s first wife. They are so tight, that my MIL consistently invites her to family events where my husband and I will be present. My husband has had to tell his mother more than once that he will not attend these events if his ex-wife is invited. My brother-in-law and his wife have also had to tell my MIL that they will skip family events if the ex is present.

Recently, two of my husband’s kids graduated from high school. They went to dinner with their mother, stepfather, and my husband’s parents afterward. My husband and I were purposefully excluded. My MIL thought it was perfectly fine that we were not invited.

If my husband and his ex have a disagreement over something, my MIL automatically takes his ex’s side and dismisses my husband. My husband’s ex has created an alternate version of events, which she shares freely.

I want to make sure we aren’t just being petty or immature for being so upset by my MIL’s relationship with his ex. If my husband and his ex-wife had an amicable divorce and were able to be friends afterward, I would support a friendship. I can also understand why my MIL would want to be civil to his ex-wife for the sake of the kids, but she treats my husband’s ex better than she treats him or me!

My MIL has told my husband that he is not allowed to dictate with whom she associates.

I can understand, but is it wrong for us to expect that there should be different boundaries in my MIL’s relationship with my husband’s ex-wife?

— Just the Second Wife

Dear Second Wife: Your husband should never discuss his ex with his mother. He needs to remove the fuel that seems to fan her disruptive flame. You and he should focus on your own relationship, and your MIL should not be included as a party to your marriage. If she treats both of you badly, a natural consequence would be for you both to avoid her.

You and he should focus on building the best relationship possible with his children. Never discuss their mother in a negative light, and don’t involve your MIL in your decision-making concerning the children.

She has the right to associate with anyone she chooses. You also have that right.

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Dear Amy: I have a true “first-world problem.” But it’s still a problem!

Our daughter plays soccer three nights a week (two practices and one game). We live in a climate where there are a lot of mosquitoes.

We bring bug spray to all our games, and my husband and I discreetly apply it.

Every game (once a week) the families sitting beside us (a different family each time, not known to us, and usually from a different town), will complain about those “damn mosquitoes.”

Should we stock up on mosquito repellent and spray everyone down at the games? Or, should my husband and I just keep applying it discreetly?

My heart says, “Spray them all down.” But my head says, “Hey, you’re in the same group as us. Why aren’t you just bringing this stuff, yourself?”

If I spray them, am I just enabling them?

— Mosquito-free

Dear Mosquito-free: First of all, you should not proactively “spray anyone down.”

Some people might prefer griping and swatting to being spritzed with chemicals.

Your home turf might be especially mosquito-prone, and so visiting parents would not proactively bring repellant. Yes, it is kind and neighborly to offer visitors to your field some bug spray.

If members of your own team’s parent group want to use bug spray, you can offer them a tip of the can.

Unless this becomes an unusual burden for you, it is not enabling, but generosity.

Dear Amy: Yes, you corrected your mistake regarding hollow point bullets, but then you went on to preach at your readers about the evil of gun violence.

Amy, no one cares what you think.

— Gun Advocate

Dear Advocate: Judging from the thousands of responses I’ve received (to the question from “Dumbfounded Father,” as well as my follow-up essay), many people care very deeply about this issue, even if they don’t care about — or agree with — my own views.

Categories: All Denver News.

No criminal charges in shooting death of Colorado Mesa University football player

July 18, 2019 - 7:28pm

No criminal charges will be filed related to the shooting death of a Colorado Mesa University football player after about 10 months of investigation.

Brett Ojiyi was shot Sept. 22 inside a Grand Junction residence at 1171 Main St., according to the Mesa County district attorney’s office. He died at the scene.

District Attorney Daniel P. Rubinstein on Thursday posted a letter to Grand Junction Police Detective Ed Prescott detailing reasons why prosecutors will not level charges in the case, as reported by The Daily Sentinel.

Several people were inside the multilevel home at the time of the shooting. Two, Gary Scott, 21, and Virnel Moon, 23, were in the living room with Ojiyi when the shooting occurred.

Photo courtesy of Colorado Mesa UniversityBrett Ojiyi

Scott gave investigators varying accounts of what had happened, according to the letter, including stating he was outside at the time of the shooting.

The night after the shooting, Scott went to the police department and met with Prescott, telling the detective that Ojiyi was handing a gun to him when the weapon discharged. “I reached out with my right hand, and it popped,” Scott told Prescott, according to the letter.

The gun, a silver .25-caliber semi-automatic Raven Arms, had been in Ojiyi’s possession around the time of the shooting, according to witnesses. The gun is seen in Ojiyi’s possession in a video file on his cellphone. The night of the shooting he was also in possession of a black .45-caliber handgun.

Ojiyi had been riding on a Hover board dancing to music with the silver gun in one hand and the black gun in his other hand in the living room as Scott and Moon played a football video game nearby on a couch.

Both guns were recovered by investigators after the shooting. Both had been stashed in a laundry basket. Immediately after the shooting, the black gun had been under Ojiyi’s body when he fell to the floor, .

Both guns had been reported stolen, investigators later determined.

As part of his statements to police, Scott said he had smoked 12 to 15 marijuana “blunts” during the course of the day prior to the shooting. The autopsy report on Ojiyi showed that he had marijuana in his system.

Nine people, including Ojiyi, had been in the home at the time of the shooting. “There was no indication of an argument, fight, disagreement or other ascertainable motive for anyone to have intentionally or knowingly shot Brett Ojiyi,” the letter said.

Rubinstein, in the letter, said he considered multiple charges against Scott, including reckless manslaughter and  criminally negligent homicide. He also considered charges of attempting to influence a public servant and tampering with evidence because of the multiple varying accounts and for hiding the gun in a laundry basket.

In relation to the manslaughter and homicide charge, Rubinstein wrote: “I can not prove who was responsible for the discharge of the gun.” Moon was in the living room, but he was playing video football and sending a text at the time. He did not see what had happened.

Ojiyi had introduced the guns into the scene that night and had “been playing with them in a cavalier manner” the letter said, at one point pointing a gun a Scott. Such actions would not have put Scott “on sufficient notice that the gun was loaded, with a round in the chamber.” Rubinstein wrote that he would not be able to prove that Scott was in a “culpable mental state” or that he was “reckless” when the shooting happened.

Ojiyi’s family, however, believes that Scott “murdered” him, speculating on several motives, according to the letter.

“None were supported by the evidence,” Rubinstein wrote.

The charges of attempting to influence and tampering with evidence “could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” Rubinstein wrote. However, they were “fairly mitigated” because Scott has cooperated with investigators.

Ojiyi’s family has requested that no charges be filed “if it would have a negative impact on my future ability to prosecute (Scott) if new or different evidence surfaced,” Rubinstein wrote. “For all these reasons, at this time, I am declining to file any charges in this matter.”

Categories: All Denver News.