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Kirstie Alley vs. U.S. curling is the Olympic feud we’ve been waiting for

February 20, 2018 - 4:05pm

In one corner, wearing a black dress: American actress Kirstie Alley!

Im not trying to be mean but…… Curling is boring

— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) February 20, 2018

And in the other corner, wearing red, white and blue and sporting brooms: the U.S. men’s Olympic curling team!

We’re not trying to be mean either but your movies weren’t exactly riveting theater Kirstie. #justsaying #curling #rockit #TeamUSA https://t.co/8q9KtxvCPe

— Team Shuster (@TeamShuster) February 20, 2018

Look, trying to settle the least-anticipated feud in Olympic history perhaps is a lost cause, because each side likely has their proponents. But would you rather watch “chess on ice,” as curling is sometimes called, or any of the following movies or television programs starring Alley:

“Runaway”

“Shoot to Kill”

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“Loverboy”

“Look Who’s Talking Too”

“Look Who’s Talking Now”

“It Takes Two”

“For Richer or Poorer”

“Back by Midnight”

“Veronica’s Closet”

“Kirstie”

This is but a minor sampling of Alley’s oeuvre and leaves out some of the better stuff she’s been involved with: “Cheers,” obviously, plus “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and – I’m stretching here – “Summer School,” a movie appreciated immensely by 13-year-old boys who had HBO in 1988.

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I’m gonna go with the rock guys here. Twitter seems to agree and has curling jokes:

Kirstie Alley just became a burned stone here. 😂 https://t.co/XSUlSav7g9

— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) February 20, 2018

Alley, meanwhile, is not backing down from the curling snowflakes:

Another day to try and be as “sensitive” as possible to not offend anyone anywhere anytime …about anything..lmfao GOOD LUCK🙄🙄🙄

— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) February 20, 2018



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The Broncos need big-play help at wide receiver. Here’s five players at the position to watch at the NFL combine.

February 20, 2018 - 3:54pm

The Broncos last spring entered the middle rounds of the NFL draft on the hunt for game-breaking talent. And when Carlos Henderson (third-round pick) and Isaiah McKenzie (fifth) started making plays under the glaring August sun at training camp, it appeared Denver would have a youthful injection to its sagging offense in 2017.

As the Broncos prepare for the 2018 combine in Indianapolis next week, they still don’t know whether the two speedy wide receivers they selected in last year’s draft are destined to make an impact.  Henderson spent his rookie season on the injured-reserve list. McKenzie, used primarily on special teams, had just four catches for 29 yards.

The questions at wide receiver for Denver don’t end after their two 2017 draft picks. Cody Latimer, who slowly began to emerge last season as a deep-ball threat, is an unrestricted free agent. Bennie Fowler is a restricted free agent. Emmanuel Sanders was hampered much of last season with an ankle injury. And Demaryius Thomas had his fewest receptions (83) since 2011 (32).

The pursuit of a quarterback may be the biggest priority for a Broncos offense which was among the NFL’s most inefficient in 2017, but it’s not the only need. Here are five intriguing wide receiver prospects to keep an eye on when the NFL combine begins next week:

Calvin Ridley, Alabama: His size (6-foot-1, 188 pounds) might be the only thing keeping Ridley from being viewed as a consensus top-10 pick. Still, it is hard to ignore the fact that on only 63 catches in the Tide’s run-happy offense, Ridley tallied 967 yards. That’s the type of big-play production (15.4 yards per catch) that has scouts high on Ridley in a class that isn’t projected to be as rich with first-round talent as, say, 2015, when five receivers were taken in the first round.

Ridley’s standing as somewhere between a mid- to late-first-round pick probably puts him outside the Broncos’ plans at No. 5. But were Denver to secure a quarterback in free agency and trade their first-round pick in an effort to collect more assets, Ridley could be a nice plug-and-play option for a new QB.

James Washington, Oklahoma State: Football fans in Colorado know Washington well. In the 2016 Alamo Bowl against the University of Colorado, the 5-foot-10, 210 pound Biletnikoff Award winner had nine catches for an eye-popping 171 yards and a touchdown, consistently taking the top off the Buffs’ vaunted secondary.

Washington, whose speed comes more down the field than it does bursting off the line of scrimmage, is one of the more polarizing players at his position in the draft. While there is some thought he could land late in the first round or early in the second, others predict him as a mid-round selection.

Keke Coutee, Texas Tech: The Red Raiders have a proud tradition of slot receivers who have found success in the NFL, including former Broncos receiver Wes Welker and the Patriots’ Danny Amendola.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Coutee is made in that same mold. He’s a quick-off-the-line speedster who has demonstrated an impressive ability to create separation in his routes. He ranked fifth in the Football Bowl Subdivision last season with 109.9 yards receiving per game. He had 11 catches for 187 yards in the Birmingham Bowl back in December. After that performance, Coutee, projected as a third-to-fifth-round pick, decided to forgo his final season of eligibility to enter the draft.

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Simmie Cobbs Jr., Indiana: At 6-4 and 220 pounds, with long arms and strong hands, Cobbs is among the most physically gifted receivers in the class. He jumped onto the map last season with a monster game against Ohio State, when he caught 11 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown against a talented Buckeyes secondary.

Cobbs has shown an impressive ability to come down with the up-for-grabs balls down the field, using his size as an asset.

Christian Kirk, Texas A&M: The 5-11, 200-pound Kirk is an intriguing prospect because of what he has the potential to provide on special teams. Kirk, in addition to catching 229 passes for 2,796 yards and 26 touchdowns in three seasons with the Aggies, had seven return touchdowns in his college career — six punt returns, one kickoff return.

If Kirk can prove that he is in fact one of the fastest wide receivers in the draft class during the combine, he has a chance to be a second- or third-round steal given his versatility.

 

 

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As Trump calls for bump stock ban, how many have Denver residents turned over to police?

February 20, 2018 - 3:50pm

As President Donald Trump ordered a ban on gun modifications Tuesday afternoon, Denver police saw zero engagement with their plan to get the locally illegal bump stocks off the streets.

On Friday, Denver police announced the public could turn in bump stocks to the department in light of a recent change to the municipal code making the gun modification illegal in response to the October shooting massacre in Las Vegas.

With the recent national and local spotlight on gun control, Denver police said they received several inquiries wondering how their roll-out of the turn-in has gone so far.

“Since Friday…zero devices have been turned in to the department,” Denver Police spokesman Doug Schepman said in an email. “The department will indefinitely offer this safe method of disposal for Denver residents wishing to turn in a bump stock.”

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Denver defines bump stocks as “any device for a pistol, rifle, or shotgun that increases the rate of fire achievable with such weapon by using energy from the recoil of the weapon to generate a reciprocating action that facilitates repeated activation of the trigger,” police said.

The department reminded the public anyone charged with possessing, selling, carrying or storing a bump stock will face a fine from around $100 to $999 and possibly incarceration ranging from 10 to 180 days.

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Police find Jeffco high school threats not credible, but they still spun out of control on social media

February 20, 2018 - 3:49pm

Two separate threats at Jefferson County high schools spun out of control on social media in the past few days as the nation remains on edge following the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people.

On Friday, a student at Arvada West High School wrote in both the girls and boys bathrooms that there would be a shooting at the school on Feb. 16, according to the district. Then, Monday night, a student at Dakota Ridge High School in Littleton posted a message on Snapchat suggesting a mass killing at school the next day.

Both of the incidents were dismissed by law enforcement — the first as a non-legitimate threat and the second as a poor joke. But  that didn’t stop them from spreading quickly on social media, sparking widespread concern and hundreds of calls to law enforcement.

At Arvada West, students posted pictures of the shooting threat on social media that took off like wildfire — even after law enforcement determined that there was no threat — and ended up on a community page, Jeffco Public Schools spokeswoman Diana Wilson said. Public concern around the incident was heightened because the school was evacuated that day, after someone started a fire in a boys bathroom, according to Wilson.

“It just takes off,” she said.

In the second incident, an 18-year-old boy who used to attend Dakota Ridge sent a photo of his new haircut to a friend. That friend, a 16-year-old who still attended the school, took the photo and posted it to Snapchat with the caption, “Im (sic) (expletive) done with all you (expletive) always making fun of me. The time has come. Dont (sic) come to school tomorrow if you want to live.”

Although the school understands the message to be a joke, many students at Dakota Ridge and Columbine High School saw the image and did not interpret it that way, Wilson said.

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The image doesn’t specify a school so as it made its way onto other social media platforms, students and parents from various schools became alarmed, calling their schools and law enforcement.

The district sent out an email to parents shortly before midnight Monday to explain that the incident was not real. They also said additional law enforcement would be on campus Tuesday as a precaution.

The students behind both incidents are being disciplined, Wilson said. The students may face formal charges from law enforcement, she said.

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Denver Fire Department investigating whether Molotov cocktail started fire that injured one

February 20, 2018 - 3:30pm

The Denver Fire Department is investigating a residential fire in the College View South Platte neighborhood that injured one person and was possibly started maliciously, the department said.

The now-extinguished fire broke out at a house along West Jewell Avenue near Ruby Hill Park just before 2:30 p.m. One person was injured, but Denver Fire Captain Greg Pixley didn’t know the extent of the victim’s injuries.

“We received reports it could be somebody maliciously throwing a Molotov cocktail,” Pixley said.

Pixley couldn’t confirm whether the reports were true, but said the department is investigating.

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The fire captain described the fire as “significant,” adding that at least two rooms were involved with fire coming out of the building as first responders arrived.

The Denver Fire Department will release more information as their investigation continues

 

 

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In Olympic women’s figure skating, it’s artistry versus jumping, with a Russian twist

February 20, 2018 - 2:43pm

When Russian Evgenia Medvedeva debuted in her first major international competition on 2015, it was immediately clear she was special.

Russian teenagers had begun to dominate the women’s skating, flinging themselves through the air, but they also would disappear from the top ranks quickly as their bodies matured. Medvedeva, though, possessed a strong basic technique that could endure.

She was an artist, possessing an enthralling style, feeling the music all the way to her fingertips. She could land triple jumps so easily that she performed them with one hand over her head.

She won the world championship in 2016 and 2017, and the skating world assumed the 18-year-old would crush the competition this year in the Pyeongchang Olympics.

But Medvedeva knew better. A new competitor would emerge. And she happened to be training in the same rink.

HOW TO WATCH: Figure skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Dressed in a tutu, Alina Zagitova arrived just in time to challenge for the gold medal. At 15, Zagitova possesses the springy jumps that are trademarks of Russian women’s skating. She zips around the ice with impressive speed. Medvedeva often jumps with one hand in the air; Zagitova jumps with two.

Nowhere near as mature or steady in her edge quality, Zagitova takes advantage of a specific rule: Jumps receive a 10-percent bonus if they are performed in the second half of a program, so that’s when she would jump. And the last time they competed against one another, Zagitova emerged victorious.

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The women’s short program begins Tuesday with a familiar conflict in skating: refined maturity versus infectious youth, artistry versus jumps. For casual fans, it is Michelle Kwan vs. Tara Lipinski all over again, this time with a Russian twist.

Every competitor in the short program must complete a jump combination, a footwork sequence, an axel (either double or triple), another triple jump and three spins in an aesthetically pleasing two minutes and fifty seconds. To be in the medal hunt, a skater will have to score somewhere above 75 points.

The two Russians are so consistent that they likely will win the gold and silver medals, barring a breakdown.

More than a half-dozen women are in the hunt for the bronze medal, with momentum building for American Mirai Nagasu.

Nagasu has been the buzz of these Games after cleanly landing the difficult triple axel in the team event. The axel takeoff, easy to tell because it is the only jump that launches with the skater going forward, is so difficult that it even bedevils American dynamo Nathan Chen. Nagasu will be the only woman trying it all competition. It is worth so many points that she could place well if she completes all 3 1/2 rotations in the air and falls; the other women will be attempting double axels, which are easier and worth fewer points.

According to practice reports, Nagasu’s triple axel has been getting only stronger. The short program has long been Nagasu’s strength, and a clean program would launch her into the medal conversation.

Fellow American Karen Chen is also a talent, but she tends to delay snapping her body into a tight air position when she jumps. That means she has less time to complete rotations in the air. Expect to see lots of yellow boxes as judges scrutinize each of her moves to make sure she isn’t cheating. If she is able to jump well, Chen likely will be among the top six skaters.

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The third, current national champion Bradie Tennell, has displayed an unusual and impressive calm when it comes to competing. In terms of jumping, she has one of the hardest programs in the competition, but lacks the polish of her competitors.

Other top contenders for the bronze include Japan’s Satoko Miyahara, the 2015 world silver medalist; Canadians Gabby Dalemn and Kaetlyn Osmond and Maria Sotskova, the third-best Russian in the competition. A familiar face will be Italy’s Carolina Kostner, the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist. At 31, competing in her fourth Olympics, Kostner skates with speed and passion but has not been consistent over the past two seasons.

Medvedeva must establish a wide lead in the short program, when Zagitova’s jumping-bean qualities are limited because skaters are limited to three jumping passes. While Nagasu attempts the triple axel, Medvedeva’s double axel might be her undoing: She tends to stumble on this jump when she is nervous.

Zagitova will attempt the most difficult jump combination of the competition, a triple lutz jump (that vaults on the outside curve of the blade) followed immediately by a triple loop. If Zagitova is nervous, she will fall on the second half of that combination. Given the intensity of the competition, that’s a mistake she cannot make.



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National Margarita Day: Where to find drink specials around the Front Range Feb. 22

February 20, 2018 - 2:41pm

Did you know that, at least according to a survey conducted by nationaltoday.com, 67 percent of Americans prefer frozen margaritas to on the rocks? And that 65 percent want their rims nice and salty? This matters, because Thursday, Feb. 22 is National Margarita Day, which is our chance to get tipsy off of honor the sweet-tart tequila beverage.

Whether you like slushies, salt or sugar, we can all agree that we like margaritas best when they’re cheap. Or better yet, free! Here’s where to make Margarita Day memories (or Margarita Day can’t-remembers) with deals around the Front Range.

Cochino Taco – An Abe Lincoln (that’s $5 in case you haven’t used cash money in years) will get you an Exotico Reposado margarita, frozen Paloma or frozen margarita all day at Cochino. 3495 S. Downing St., Englewood, 720-573-6174; cochinotaco.com

Chipotle – As far as we know, Chipotle’s margaritas have never made anyone sick. Get them half-off all day for Margarita Day. Various locations; chipotle.com

Que Bueno Suerte! – Break out of your basic lime margarita box with buy one, get one deals on flavors like raspberry jalapeño, blueberry mint and prickly pear. 1518 S. Pearl St., Denver, 720-642-7322; qbsuerte.com

Voodoo Doughnut Mile High – It’s not a drink, but we know you’re not turning down free Jose Cuervo-infused, margarita-inspired doughnuts. Get the lemon jelly-filled, vanilla frosted, lime dusted and white sprinkled (like a salted rim, get it?) doughnuts while they’re hot — and available. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. 1520 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, 303-597-3666; voodoodoughnut.com

El Jefe – Get thyself to a free tequila tasting with Casa Noble from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at El Jefe. Then get thyself $6 coconut, strawberry and jalapeño margs and $2 tacos from the happy hour menu. 2450 W. 44th Ave., Denver, 720-389-7615; eljefedenver.com

Centro Mexican Kitchen – All day long, enjoy $4 margaritas and $2 Post Brewing Co. Top Rope Mexican lagers at Centro. Bonus: From 7 p.m.-close, take $3 shots of Suerte Blanco. When is close? Nobody knows on Margarita Day. 950 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-442-7771; centromexican.com

Lola Coastal Mexican – It’s 1,2,3 at Lola: $1 Blancos, $2 Reposados and $3 Anejo margaritas all night long. (Opens at 4 p.m.) You can learn something, too. Bartenders will be giving margarita-making lessons every half hour from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. 1575 Boulder St., Denver, 720-570-8686; loladenver.com

Zolo Southwestern Grill – The first 100 mini Mezcal margaritas are — wait for it — free! Doors open at 11 a.m., so we know where you’ll be for lunch. 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303-449-0444; zologrill.com

Los Chingones – Each Chingones will have five different margaritas on special for $5 each. We do not advise trying them all, but it’s your life to live. Various locations; loschingonesmexican.com

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Trump orders Justice Department to ban bump stocks

February 20, 2018 - 2:12pm

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump had directed his Justice Department to ban gun modifications like bump stocks, which were used in the October massacre in Las Vegas.

Last month, Denver passed an ordinance banning bump stocks — which increase a firearm’s rate of fire — in response to the Las Vegas shooting.

A Democratic state senator introduced legislation that would ban bump stocks. However, Republicans, who lead the state Senate, bristled at the idea.

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“This won’t save a single soul,” Senate President Kevin Grantham, a Canon City Republican, said earlier. “This won’t help the problem that they perceive. I think all it does is infringe on somebody’s ability to operate within their Second Amendment rights.”

This is a developing story that will be updated.

Staff writer Jesse Paul contributed to this report.

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Trump encourages Pennsylvania Republicans to challenge new congressional districts

February 20, 2018 - 1:56pm

President Donald Trump on Tuesday encouraged Republicans in Pennsylvania to challenge the way the state’s Supreme Court redrew congressional districts to more closely reflect the partisan composition of the state, saying the original districts drawn by Republicans were “correct.”

As part of a gerrymandering case, the court created a map that’s more compact and splits fewer counties and municipal areas than the Republican map, which has been used in the past three congressional elections. Analysts predict the new boundaries could allow Democrats to pick up several U.S. House seats.

“Hope Republicans in the Great State of Pennsylvania challenge the new ‘pushed’ Congressional Map, all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary,” Trump said in a tweet Tuesday morning. “Your Original was correct! Don’t let the Dems take elections away from you so that they can raise taxes & waste money!”

Hope Republicans in the Great State of Pennsylvania challenge the new “pushed” Congressional Map, all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. Your Original was correct! Don’t let the Dems take elections away from you so that they can raise taxes & waste money!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2018

The tweet was one of more than half a dozen the president sent Tuesday morning, most of which complained about the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Democrats and former President Barack Obama. Trump appeared to start his day, as he often does, by watching “Fox & Friends” and tweeting his responses. At one point, the three hosts of the conservative morning show – seated on a white couch behind a chyron reading: “Trump: Why didn’t Obama do something?” – featured some of Trump’s recent tweets and discussed why Obama didn’t do more to prevent Russian meddling in the election.

The president responded at 7:24 a.m. and thanked the morning show for their “great timeline on all of the failures the Obama Administration had against Russia.”

The “Fox & Friends” team then played a clip of Obama speaking about three weeks before the election, responding to Trump’s assertions at the time that the general election would be rigged against him and insisting that there was no way to rig a U.S. election. Steve Doocy, one of the show’s hosts, noted that when Obama made this statement, he knew that the Russians were trying to influence the presidential election.

Trump responded by tweeting a quote from Obama that was featured in the clip and then commented: “That’s because he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win and he didn’t want to ‘rock the boat.’ When I easily won the Electoral College, the whole game changed and the Russian excuse became the narrative of the Dems.”

“Fox & Friends” also featured a new survey conducted by The New York Times and Survey Monkey that found growing support for the Republican tax cuts. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed this month approved of the tax overhaul – up from 46 percent in January and 37 percent in December.

“What’s going on? Well, people are realizing they got a little more money in their paycheck, plus all of those tax cuts impact the companies, so they’re able to give $1,000 bonuses, $2,000 bonuses, as well,” Doocy said.

Trump chimed in and seemed to point to another poll, one recently released by McLaughlin & Associates, that shows Democrats leading a generic 2018 congressional matchup. Although this sort of polling has tightened, it has yet to show Republicans in the lead, as the president has repeatedly claimed.

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Later in the morning, the “Fox & Friends” crew interviewed Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, about the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference that starts Feb. 21. Trump responded on Twitter, calling the conference “another exciting event” and noting that there’s now a “big difference from those days when President Obama held the White House.”

And the president tweeted about the new congressional map in Pennsylvania, which “Fox & Friends” had also reported on that morning, noting that the new boundaries could benefit Democrats.

The president then came back around to Russia and Obama, tweeting: “I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts. Total Fake News!”



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Colorado’s electoral map is pretty fair — but a tool shows how easily that could change

February 20, 2018 - 1:51pm

The way that Colorado’s seven congressional districts are laid out are a pretty fair representation of how the state’s voters are aligned, according to a tool built by FiveThirtyEight.

The tool, dubbed The Atlas Of Redistricting, shows readers how a given state’s districts are laid out and then provides options to remap the state in a number of ways, from slanting seats to a given party to a fully algorithmic layout that can result in some weird patterns.

Colorado is only seven years removed from the last redistricting fight that gave the state its seventh district. And thanks to a booming population in the last half-decade, groups are already pushing the state to set a level playing field for the state’s eighth district which is expected after the 2020 census.

As it stands, the current map for Colorado is identical to the one that comes up when the “Match partisan breakdown of seats to electorate” option is chosen, which the authors describe as drawing the map with “the goal of making the partisan breakdown of a state’s representatives match the political makeup of the state’s voters.”

(It should be noted that this tool is focused on the state’s U.S. Congressional districts and not the districts for the Colorado state legislature. An AP analysis showed that Colorado is one of just eight states where the state House map is statistically slanted for Democrats.)

FiveThirtyEightHow Colorado’s redistricting map appears on the FiveThirtyEight tool to test the effects of redistricting.

Where things get interesting is the way the authors of the tool reshape our state map to favor Democrats or Republicans.

The key to minimizing Republican victories, apparently, is to lump the Colorado Springs and Pueblo urban areas into a district with southern Colorado while giving pieces of the Boulder-Fort Collins-Denver Front Range corridor to five different districts (a reversal of a classic gerrymandering technique like the one that splits up the Austin metro area in Texas).

Democrats, on the other hand, are hurt when the urban core of Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins are isolated into two districts, while the southern suburbs of the metro area are given a district of their own.

Check out the other ways the state can be carved up here.

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A Trump dating site used a sex offender as its model, and it has a few other issues, too

February 20, 2018 - 1:51pm

Trump.dating is an odd site, and not just because it featured a convicted sex offender’s smiling face on its homepage. More on that shortly.

It’s strange in nearly every way a dating site could be strange. Its all-caps slogan – “MAKE DATING GREAT AGAIN! FIND YOUR PRO-TRUMP MATCH TODAY” – may actually be the least weird thing about it.

The site’s premise, at least, makes some sense: “Like-minded people have a far better chance at success in a relationship,” as a news release announcing the site’s launch put it this month. “Users can rest assured every person they are talking to is behind the president, with red, white, and blue blood that flows for America each and every day.”

Nothing wrong with that. Who wants to have a border wall argument over wine? But Trump.dating’s peculiarities begin to surface with the first mouse click, and never quite stop.

There apparently are no pro-Trump gay people

The common denominator among the site’s users is supposed to be that they, unlike most opinion poll respondents, support President Donald Trump. But try to register and the first thing you’re asked is whether you’re a “Straight Man” or “Straight Woman.” Gay people (let alone bisexual, transgender or queer) simply don’t exist in the menus.

While Trump is certainly loathed by many gay rights supporters, mainly for policies rolling back freedoms and protections of transgender people, he definitely has gay fans. He’s even embraced them on occasion – giving a shout out to the “LGBTQ community” in his Republican National Convention speech, for example.

But being gay is simply not an option on Trump.dating, which is not the only conservative matchmaking site to exclude non-straights. You’re either a man seeking women, or a woman seeking men.

You can, however, specify a romantic interest in “military men/women” regardless of your gender. So Trump.dating appears to tolerate a very specific form of bi-curiosity.

Okay, let’s talk about the child sex conviction

As of Monday, Trump.dating’s poster photo showed an authentic pro-Trump couple from North Carolina: Jodi Riddleberger in a pink MAGA hat, and her husband, Barrett – whom the News & Observer subsequently reported has a 1995 conviction for “indecent liberties with a child.”

Barrett Riddleberger didn’t respond to requests for comment, but his conviction was common knowledge in Guilford County, North Carolina, where he and his wife are active in local Republican politics.

He was accused of videotaping himself having sex with a 15-year-old when he was 25, according to the Greensboro News & Record. When details of the crime went public during a race in 2011, Jodi Riddleberger wrote on Facebook that her husband had since undergone “Redemption.”

As of Tuesday, the Riddleberger’s photo had undergone a retraction from Trump.dating’s homepage. Instead, visitors are greeted by a stock photo of a middle-aged couple who can also be found advertising gum recession treatments.

“The couple’s history was not revealed to us in anyway beforehand or while the photo was live on the site,” Trump.dating spokesman Sean McGrossler wrote in a statement. “They are not spokesmodels. They are not spokespersons. They no longer represent the Trump.Dating image.”

The statement also mentioned that a previous version of the site incorrectly allowed married Trump supporters to look for dates.

Who’s behind the site, anyway?

Trump.dating’s spokesman, as mentioned above, gave his name as Sean McGrossler. The site’s founder and owner, as declared in its Feb. 5 launch announcement on the Daily Caller, is Sean McGrossier, with an i, though it is sometimes spelled as McGrossler in the same advertisement.

McGrossler (the site’s spokesman) did not immediately respond to questions from The Washington Post about whether he is also McGrossier/McGrossler (the site’s owner), and, if so, which spelling of his name is correct.

For some reason, Sean McGrossler’s byline on the Daily Caller is tagged as “ariddleberger” – the last name of the former model convicted of a sex crime, whom Sean McGrossier (the spokesman – and possibly also the owner) said no longer represented Trump.dating.

McGrossler/McGrossier did not respond to questions about whether Riddleberger is involved in running the site. Riddleberger couldn’t be reached either, for what it’s worth.

The people on it

We just wrote 700 words about the curiosities of Trump.dating without discussing the actual dating experience, which is frankly a little weird too.

Like, what are we to make of kyschyanne, a 21-year-old user from Garland, Texas, who’s bio line is “white power?”

To be fair, the site’s user base may be distorted by all the attention it’s received as a result of Riddleberger’s criminal history. The Washington Post, among others, had to make a fake user profile to find kyschyanne. Who’s to say kyschyanne isn’t fake, too? Or hailxxxy – “I love trump with a dying passion.”

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Pink News, an LGBT site annoyed by the site’s exclusion of LGBT people, went exploring with its own fake account and found a match named “Gayintruder555,” which it figured was a troll.

While it’s unclear how many real people actually use the site, Trump.dating now describes itself as “mega-viral,” and at least some of the profiles look authentic.

Like Footlettuce, 23, from Tuskegee. “Love of god Great at basketball.” Sounds nice.

Whether the matches Trump.dating makes are any good is another question. The Post had some trouble getting the site’s preferences to work correctly. It kept offering us page after page of white people, even after we’d asked to only match with “Thai women,” which for some reason is its own special category in the ethnicity menu.

We have no plans to actually go on a date, regardless. If you do, let us know how great it is.



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Colorado Avalanche relying on smaller, inexperienced D-corps at Vancouver

February 20, 2018 - 1:48pm

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Avalanche will feature a relatively small, puck-moving defenseman in each of its three pairings Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

Because of the upper-body injuries sustained Sunday by blue-liners Erik Johnson and Anton Lindholm, the Avs recalled David Warsofsky and Andrei Mironov on Monday. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Warsofsky will step into the lineup and partner with Duncan Siemens, who will play his sixth career NHL game. Mironov, a rookie from Russia, will be a healthy scratch, but he provides depth if anyone else is injured during this three-game trip that goes through Edmonton on Thursday and Calgary on Saturday.

Tyson Barrie, 5-10 and 190 pounds, will replace Johnson and partner with Nikita Zadorov on the top pairing and teenage rookie Sam Girard, 5-10 and 162, will play with Patrik Nemeth on the second pairing.

The Avs also are without defenseman Mark Barberio, who will miss his 12th consecutive game with a lower-body injury.

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Warsofsky, who played with Pittsburgh’s organization the last two seasons, said he and Mironov were with in Chicago with the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League when they got word of the call-ups, and they arrived here Monday night after the team flew in from Denver.

#Avs D tonight at VAN: Zadorov-Barrie, Nemeth-Girard, Siemens-Warsofsky … Mironov scratched.

— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) February 20, 2018

Footnotes. Forward Nail Yakupov will return to the lineup after serving as a healthy scratch the last two games. He replaces rookie Dominic Toninato. … Avs coach Jared Bednar said there is no further update on goalie Jonathan Bernier, who continues to go through concussion protocol back in Denver. Bernier was injured in Friday’s 6-1 loss at Winnipeg.

#Avs lines tonight: Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen, Nieto-Soderberg-Comeau, Bourque-Kerfoot-Compher, Wilson-Jost-Yakupov … Toninato scratched

— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) February 20, 2018

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Struggling Charlotte Hornets fire general manager Rich Cho amid 24-33 season

February 20, 2018 - 1:30pm

The struggling Hornets have shaken up their front office, firing general manager Rich Cho on Tuesday.

“Rich worked tirelessly on behalf of our team and instituted a number of management tools that have benefited our organization,” Hornets owner Michael Jordan said in a release. “We are deeply committed to our fans and to the city of Charlotte to provide a consistent winner on the court. The search will now begin for our next head of basketball operations who will help us achieve that goal.”

Charlotte is 24-33 and on the verge of failing to reach the playoffs for the second straight season.

Jordan’s college teammate Buzz Peterson was hired last year as the team’s assistant general manager is a potential replacement. Former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak could be another candidate to join Peterson in the front office in some capacity.

Cho was hired as GM in 2011 and assumed day-to-day responsibilities of the basketball operations department in 2014.

“I will always be grateful for my experience with the franchise,” Cho said.

Cho and the Hornets have struggled with building a consistent winner.

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He was responsible for drafting All-Star point guard Kemba Walker in 2011, but the team’s inability to get the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft after a 7-59 season proved to be a backbreaker. Instead of getting perennial All-Star center Anthony Davis, the Hornets settled for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the No. 2 pick, a significant dropoff in talent.

Charlotte missed on second-round pick Jeffery Taylor from Sweden in 2012.

They took Cody Zeller, now a backup center, fourth overall in 2013, Noah Vonleh ninth in 2014 and Frank Kaminsky ninth overall in 2015. Cho drafted Malik Monk in the first round last year, but he barely sees any action for Charlotte because of concerns about his defense.

Cho traded this past offseason for center Dwight Howard, who has improved his play and had a decent season for the Hornets. However, the five-year contract given to Nic Batum last year has left the Hornets strapped under the salary cap.



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Michigan football adds former Florida and Colorado State coach Jim McElwain as assistant

February 20, 2018 - 1:18pm

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan has hired former Florida coach Jim McElwain to coach its wide receivers.

Jim Harbaugh announced the addition to his staff Tuesday.

McElwain and the Gators agreed to a split last season when the team was 3-4. McElwain won 19 games over his first two years. The former Colorado State coach and Alabama offensive coordinator became the first coach in SEC history to take a team to the conference championship game in his first two years.

The Wolverines previously hired Sherrone Moore to coach tight ends, Al Washington to be an assistant on defense and Ben Herbert to lead the team’s strength and conditioning program.

Michigan was 8-5 last year after having 10-2 records in each of Harbaugh’s first two seasons.



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Colorado film incentive program remains in political limbo after alarming audit

February 20, 2018 - 12:20pm

Grab the proverbial popcorn.

Colorado lawmakers this spring appear poised to rehash a perennial fight over taxpayer subsidies for the state film industry, a program that Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper views as a critical job creator but that some conservatives have blasted as a taxpayer giveaway to Hollywood.

The latest installment in the long-running political drama has a new wrinkle — an alarming audit released in June that found the state made nearly $2 million in cash payments to film production companies that didn’t even qualify for incentives.

Citing the audit’s red flags, the Joint Budget Committee earlier this month deadlocked along party lines over whether to fund Hickenlooper’s request for $2 million in the 2018-19 fiscal-year budget, instead voting to renew the $750,000 the office received this year from the general fund. The office also receives $500,000 in operating expenses from state gaming revenues, bringing its total funding to $1.25 million.

With the vote, state budget writers effectively punted the issue back to the state legislature, which last year reduced the program’s funding from the $3 million to $5 million it had received annually over the prior three years.

“I think what we’re doing by our discussion here is inviting legislation to restore funding if the legislature so desires,” said state Rep. Bob Rankin, a Republican budget writer from Carbondale, after the vote.

The issue was among a handful of relatively small expenses that became a major flashpoint in last year’s debate over the $26.8 billion state budget, with the GOP-led Senate seeking to eliminate the program’s general fund appropriation entirely, before the two sides settled on the reduced amount.

Hickenlooper says the program has wide-ranging benefits for the state economy, creating not just film industry jobs, but also building up Colorado’s creative class, which in turn provides a stable of advertising talent for other companies based here. Republicans, though, question whether the program’s benefits are worth their cost — particularly in a state that struggles each year to pay for basic public services, such as roads and education.

In a recent press briefing, Hickenlooper said he’d continue to argue for more funding in light of the budget committee vote. But the fight over spending will likely have to wait until a legislative effort to tighten the program’s guardrails in light of the audit clears both chambers. That measure, Senate Bill 103, passed the Senate earlier this month on a unanimous bipartisan vote.



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Hanging Lake visitor cap closer to reality as Forest Service drafts sharp limits to popular Colorado spot

February 20, 2018 - 12:18pm

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The U.S. Forest Service has released its draft decision to adopt and implement the planned Hanging Lake area management plan for the popular, yet overcrowded destination in Glenwood Canyon.

The decision is still subject to a formal objection process. It sets in motion a plan to limit daily, year-round capacity to 615 visitors per day and would establish a fee-based reservation and permit system using a shuttle system to and from the trailhead during the peak season from May 1 through Oct. 31.

The draft decision also implements what’s called an “adaptive management strategy,” which allows for adjustments to the management plan and “ensures that the intent of the plan continues to be realized in light of potential future changes,” according to a Forest Service statement issued Tuesday.

The management decision is based on years of analysis and public input and is in response to the overwhelming growth in visitation to the site.

Read the full story at postindependent.com.

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So they meet again: U.S., Canada again face off for women’s Olympic hockey gold

February 20, 2018 - 12:05pm

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Here they are again at this familiar precipice, both motivated by history and tormented by it. The U.S. women’s hockey has yet another shot at winning a gold medal at the Olympics. And yet again, the Canadians stand in their way.

Hilary Knight has been to this point twice before and had to walk away with silver medals, watching the Americans’ on-ice rivals celebrate. Let her explain what that’s like.

“It’s like having a bad relationship and it going sour. That’s what it is,” the 28-year-old forward said. “It’s always going to be there. It’s innately a part of your fabric. At the same time, it’s motivated me tremendously.”

There might not be a more intense, reliable rivalry at these Olympics. The United States and the Canadian women’s hockey teams seem perpetually on a crash course to collide in the gold medal match. It happens at the world championships, where the Americans have won four straight titles over their neighbors to the north. And it’s happened at the Winter Games, where Canada has won four straight gold medals, including three times over the U.S. squad.

It’ll happen again here in PyeongChang when the two teams tussle Thursday morning with four years’ worth of bragging rights at stake.

The players from the two teams don’t need a history lesson. They know when women’s hockey was first contested at the 1998 Olympics, the United States topped Canada. “I was probably in the crib watching that game,” American goaltender Maddie Rooney said.

And they know that the world championships have been staged 18 times since 1990, and the United States and Canada have faced each other for gold exactly 18 times (with Canada winning 10 of them).

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“I think the rivalry between Canada and the U.S. has been there since the inception,” said Laura Schuler, the head coach of the Canada team who has been there since the inception, a player on the 1998 squad that lost to the Americans.

While there are two sides to any rivalry, both Americans and Canadians use similar words to describe it: intense, healthy, special, exciting, heated. They also know that every single game is totally up for grabs. The Canadians have managed to win the past five meetings, including a 2-1 victory in the round-robin round of these Olympics last week. Canada won by just one goal at the 2014 Olympics, and the Americans have won their past two world titles also by a single score — both in overtime.

“Every single time we’ve ever faced the U.S., it’s been a one goal difference,” Schuler said. “It’s gone into overtime. It’s been a back-and-forth hockey game. It’s best-on-best competition. I think that’s what makes it so great.”

Both sides view parts of the past differently, perhaps not surprisingly, burying the pain and clinging to the hope.

“What’s in the past gives us confidence,” said Geneviève Lacasse, the Canadian goaltender playing in her second Winter Games.

But not all of these memories are warm ones for the Americans. This year’s Olympic squad features several familiar faces: 10 were competing in Sochi and six of those also settled for silver in Vancouver in 2010. While that Olympic history isn’t something the U.S. squad necessarily enjoys reliving, in many ways, those games define the American team just as much they do the Canadians. Asked this week about the relevance of 2014, Amanda Kessel, the United States’ 26-year-old forward who’s playing in her second Winter Games, said, “Tough to say. Kind of put that in our past at this point. We can’t go back and play that game again.”

While that pain might linger for some, the Americans do not seem bothered one bit by their most recent loss to Canada. They outshot their rival 45-23 in last week’s loss, and players say they were just a couple of bounces away from winning.

“I think we left the locker room feeling pretty good about it,” said forward Monique Lamoureux-Morando, another American trying to add gold to her collection of Olympic silvers.

Noora Raty is the goalie for Finland, hailed by many as perhaps the tournament’s top net-minder. She has seen plenty of both teams, faced far more shots than she probably would like to remember. The Canadians, she says, play a superior team game, are always prepared and have a well-established system that’s tough to beat. The United States, on the other hand, might have a better collection of players this time around.

“I think they’re the most skilled in the world,” she said. “I mean, they have four lines that could play on any other team.”

The United States is coming off its best game of this tournament, a 5-0 drubbing of Raty’s Finland team Monday. United States Coach Robb Stauber knows they can play cleaner and take better advantage of scoring opportunities, but at this point, he knows it’s just time to drop the puck.

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“To be perfectly frank, there’s not anything new that we’re going to throw at our players now,” he said.

The American squad has spent four years talking about the Olympics in the future tense. Every game and every practice has been pointed to one thing: finally beating Canada for gold. On Thursday morning in PyeongChang, they can’t re-write history but they certainly can turn the page on their own.

“The losses have taught me a lot about who I am as a person, who we are as a team,” Knight said. “I keep pinching myself. This is my third time going to a gold medal games — a lot of our third times. That’s a dream come true, a huge opportunity. To represent our country the way that we have, I really hope we get tangible success at the end of this journey.”

The Post’s Chelsea Janes contributed to this report.



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Kirk Cousins’ final chapter of Washington Redskins saga begins as NFL’s tag window opens

February 20, 2018 - 11:51am

With the NFL’s franchise and transition tag window beginning Tuesday, the waiting game now begins for Kirk Cousins.

Teams can officially use either tag on specific players starting now through the March 6 designation period.

The Washington Redskins have the option to apply the franchise or transition tag to Cousins in order to keep the 29-year-old quarterback from hitting free agency next month. But doing so would raise questions about the organization’s intentions and financial flexibility this offseason.

There has been speculation team president Bruce Allen strongly is considering tag-and-trade scenarios involving Cousins, going so far as to ask other team executives for their input. However, such a move could end up complicating the Redskins’ free agency spending.

Franchise-tagging Cousins for a third straight season would ensure that he doesn’t become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins at 4 p.m. on March 14, but it also guarantees him $34.5 million salary in 2018, from the Redskins or another team.

If Washington chooses to transition tag Cousins, the team has the right of first refusal should he agree to terms with another suitor. The Redskins would have seven days to match the other team’s offer sheet, but would receive no compensation (except for a compensatory selection in the 2019 draft) if they can decline. Unlike the franchise tag amount, Cousins would earn $28.78 million this season under the transition tag.

In May 2017, Allen told reporters the Redskins are willing to use the franchise or transition tag on Cousins for a third time, saying: “In the collective bargaining agreement, we really have one year and an option that we can do at the end of next season if we don’t get a contract.” But that statement was made long before the organization chose to trade cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 draft pick to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for quarterback Alex Smith.

Tags are purportedly used to keep a player in-house in hopes of reaching an agreement on a long-term deal. However, the Redskins already know who will be under center this season — and it isn’t Cousins. The terms of the Smith trade become official next month: a four-year deal (tacked on to his one remaining year under his Chiefs contract) that includes $71 million guaranteed.

According to a source, Cousins will file a grievance with the players’ union if he’s franchise-tagged because it’d be obvious the organization never intended to engage in good-faith negotiations on a long-term deal or have him play under the predetermined tag amount. Essentially, Washington’s sole motivation for tagging the quarterback would be to work out a trade with another club to recoup compensation. And the Cousins’s camp could argue that strategy violates the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

The potential return for the Redskins in a tag-and-trade scenario could be a draft pick or two, but they also risk giving Cousins the ability to hamstring the process if he doesn’t sign the tender. Until he signs it, Washington can’t trade him — and his astronomical tag amount goes on the Redskins’ books as soon as the league year begins.

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Washington, which has a host of roster holes and pending free agents to tend to, currently has $48 million in salary cap space.

No one believes Cousins, who completed 64.3 percent of his passes and threw for 4,093 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season, will be back in burgundy and gold for the 2018 season. Heading into the offseason, he was projected to make roughly $30 million a year on his next deal. And if he does hit the open market, as many expect, Cousins will have plenty of suitors.

The New York Jets, a team that has been desperate for a franchise quarterback for over a decade, reportedly wants Cousins “badly” and are “willing to pay whatever it takes” to lure him to Florham Park, New Jersey. But even though the Jets have $73 million in available salary cap, the Denver Broncos have also emerged as a favorite to land Cousins. And, according to Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger, Cousins is the missing piece for the Broncos.

“With the situation they have out there on defense, they’re missing their quarterback,” Swearinger said Monday on NFL Network, referring to a unit that is headlined by elite pass rusher Von Miller. “Kirk is a great quarterback. I wish we could have had different things on that, but the business is the business. I think Kirk will be getting a healthy payday and I think Denver is the team that can do that.”



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Fire breaks out in Thornton nursing home overnight, residents unharmed

February 20, 2018 - 11:47am

Residents of Thornton’s Elms Haven Center senior healthcare facility are unharmed after a fire broke out in the building’s kitchen overnight.

Three facility employees were taken to an area hospital for smoke inhalation, but have since been released, Thornton Fire Department spokeswoman Stephanie Harpring said.

The fire department responded to the blaze off of East 120th Avenue around 2 a.m.

The Elms Haven Center is a 242-bed facility with an Alzheimer’s unit, rehabilitation unit and long-term care, according to its website.

Harpring said around 185 residents were in the facility at the time of the fire. The residents sheltered in place but were out of harm’s way, Harpring said.

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Family members of residents are being contacted in case they want to check in with their loved ones.

The building remains functional and will be able to provide food and care for the residents, Harpring said.



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