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DA asks Patrick Frazee to disclose whether he’ll point to an alternate suspect in Kelsey Berreth murder case

August 21, 2019 - 7:15am
ProvidedFrom left are Kelsey Berreth and Patrick Frazee.

Prosecutors in the Kelsey Berreth murder case are seeking a court order requiring defendant Patrick Frazee to disclose any possible intent to introduce evidence at trial of an alternate killer.

The motion filed in Teller County District Court on Monday asks the court to “require the defendant to endorse alternate-suspect defense if he intends to present such evidence at trial.”

The prosecution document does not name a possible alternative suspect in the 29-year-old woman’s murder.

Idaho resident Krystal Jean Lee Kenney is Frazee’s primary accuser. Kenney claims she helped clean up blood evidence at Berreth’s Woodland Park townhouse after Berreth disappeared on Thanksgiving Day last year. Kenney told investigators Frazee confessed to her that he tied a sweater around Berreth’s face, beat her to death with a baseball bat and burned her body on his ranch.

RELATED: Testimony: Idaho nurse claims Patrick Frazee tied sweater around Kelsey Berreth’s face, beat her to death with bat

Kenney told police she watched Frazee pour gas and oil onto the fire as a large plastic tote bag burned, revealing a “lump” that she believed to be Berreth’s body, Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Gregg Slater testified at Frazee’s preliminary hearing.

Kenney also had claimed Frazee asked her three times last fall to kill Berreth, and although she initially agreed to do so, she backed down each time, Slater testified.

In a separate motion filed Monday, prosecutors are asking for a court order requiring Frazee to “submit its statement of the nature of the defense (including the notice of alibi) …”

Although Berreth’s body has not been found, prosecutors say they have strong evidence that she was murdered.

Among other charges, Frazee, 33, faces two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of solicitation to commit the murder of Berreth.

A motions hearing is scheduled for Friday morning in the Cripple Creek courtroom. The trial is set to begin on Oct. 28.

In a defense motion filed Monday, Frazee’s attorneys are asking the court to suppress any statements collected during a custodial interrogation by Department of Human Services case worker Mary Longmire in the Teller County Jail claiming they were involuntary.

Longmire spoke to Frazee at 7 p.m. on Dec. 26 about the custody of Kaylee, the year-old daughter of Berreth and Frazee. But Longmire had not given Frazee a Miranda warning before taking statements that could be used against him in the criminal trial, the motion said. The motion said giving such warnings don’t only apply to police but to “government agents” while collecting potential evidence in a criminal case.

Prosecutors have previously obtained records including Frazee’s statements made to child welfare workers.

Kenney had told investigators that Frazee had confided to her that Berreth was physically abusive toward their daughter, according to Slater’s testimony at the preliminary hearing. Kenney claimed Frazee told her that they needed to “get rid of” Berreth so she couldn’t injure or kill Kaylee, he testified.

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If Frazee told the caseworker that abused their daughter, it could corroborate Kenney’s testimony.

According to Kenney, Frazee had told her that Kaylee had a burn on her hand and a bump on her head, Slater had testified.

In a separate motion, defense attorneys said a pool of 300 potential jurors would be needed to seat a jury. The motion asks that the public, including the media, be barred from attending jury selection so that possible jurors could feel free to be candid. The motion estimates that jury selection would take about a week.

Prosecutors filed a motion estimating that a pool of 250 potential jurors would be needed to seat a jury. They are requesting that the court clerk provide a list of the potential jurors a month before trial because the high profile case requires a large jury pool. In another motion, prosecutors estimate the trial will take about three weeks.

 

Categories: All Denver News.

Three high-volume running backs you can grab after Round 1 of your fantasy football draft

August 21, 2019 - 6:39am

High-volume running backs are harder and harder to find. In 2002, the first year the league expanded to 32 teams, the No. 1 running back on a team’s depth chart got more than a third of their team’s opportunities, on average. In 2018, that dropped to 23%, the lowest average share over the past 17 years.

Not all of the high-volume backs of last year are a sure thing to repeat in 2019, either. Of the fourteen running backs who met or exceeded the 23% threshold in 2018, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott led the position in opportunity share (42%). But the 24-year-old, who has two years remaining on his rookie contract, has been holding out in search of a new deal, opening the door for rookie Tony Pollard to impress in camp. Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (27%) also is holding out for more money and may not play in 2019.

Todd Gurley accounted for 34% of the Los Angeles Rams offensive opportunities last season, but NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported in June “that it is understood in Los Angeles that Gurley will no longer be the bell-cow back that he was over the first four seasons of his career” after suffering a knee injury.

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson will have to share time with second-year pro Derrius Guice, who missed his entire rookie season due to an ACL tear. A healthy Chris Thompson, Washington’s pass-catching back, could also steal some looks in 2019.

Chicago’s Jordan Howard (27% share) was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a conditional fifth- or sixth-round pick in 2020, and Tampa Bay’s Peyton Barber (26%) will have to hope second-year running back Ronald Jones, who impressed new head coach Bruce Arians in camp, won’t siphon too many opportunities from him in 2019.

That leaves eight running backs with a realistic chance of maintaining their position with their team, five of which are first round picks: Saquon Barkley, David Johnson, Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara and James Conner. The other three, Joe Mixon, Chris Carson and Lamar Miller, are available later in the draft.

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (2.07 ADP) Related Articles

Mixon, a third-year pro out of Oklahoma, had a breakout season in 2018, touching the ball 280 times with zero fumbles for 1,464 yards from scrimmage and nine total touchdowns (eight rushing, one receiving). New head coach Zac Taylor, an assistant coach under Sean McVay with the Los Angeles Rams, plans to run a similar scheme in Cincinnati to that of his former team, giving Mixon “more advantageous matchups and running lanes.”

That could translate to a huge uptick in fantasy scoring for Mixon. He averaged nearly five yards per carry last season (11th best, league average is 4.4) and saw 11 of his carries go for 20 yards or more. Only Barkley had more explosive runs in 2018.

Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (3.12 ADP)

The Seahawks were the most run-heavy team last season in score-neutral situations (53% of plays with the score within a touchdown) allowing Carson to finish with 247 carries in 14 games, good enough for seventh-most last season. This year offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said he would like Carson to be more involved in the passing game after seeing just 24 targets in 2018.

“We need to get that number around the fifties,” Schottenheimer told NBC Sports. “That would be a great situation for us.”

The Seahawks targeted their running backs just 85 times last season, the third-fewest in the NFL.

Lamar Miller, Houston Texans (6.11 ADP)

Miller’s draft value was depressed with running back D’Onta Foreman on the roster, but then improved following Foreman’s release. It would drop again after the Texans acquired Duke Johnson from the Cleveland Browns.

Johnson might siphon off some targets from Miller, but Miller should still be considered the lead back. For example, Miller averaged 3.2 yards per carry after contact last season, per Pro Football Focus, and had his name called 31 times in the red zone (14th among running backs) in 2018. Three of his four red-zone touchdowns were within five yards of the goal line. Johnson, by comparison, has 32 carries and five rushing touchdowns in the red zone over his four-year career.

Categories: All Denver News.

12-year-old girl nearly kidnapped while walking home from school in Grand Junction

August 21, 2019 - 6:37am

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A 12-year-old girl in Grand Junction escaped an attempted kidnapping while walking home from school Monday afternoon, becoming the second girl to do so in a single day across the state.

The 12-year-old girl told Grand Junction police she was walking home from Redlands Middle School after missing the bus. While walking on the bike path that travels underneath the Grand Avenue Bridge, she was reportedly approached from behind by a Hispanic man with a white mustache she described as being in his 60s with an average build and height, and wearing a green and gray hat and blue jeans, according to news release from the Grand Junction Police Department.

She told police the man grabbed her from behind and tried to pull her off the path, but she was able to escape and run home. Additionally, she said the man was holding a handgun at the time of the attempted abduction. She was not physically injured, police said.

RELATED: Young teenage girl, walking home from school, escapes abduction attempt in Broomfield Related Articles

“We understand that reports like these are very scary. We encourage parents to talk with kids who walk to and from school about what to do if they’re approached by a stranger or someone who makes them feel unsafe,” said a spokesperson from the department in the news release. “Make sure your kids are traveling in groups whenever possible, and are taking well-traveled, safe routes.”

No suspect has been identified at this time, police said. If anyone knows anything about the attempted kidnapping, you are asked to call the non-emergency dispatch line at (970) 242-6707 and reference case number 19-48048.

Read the full story from our partner at thedenverchannel.com.

Categories: All Denver News.

Denver weather: Isolated severe thunderstorms could bring large hail and flash flooding

August 21, 2019 - 5:40am

As a strong storm front moves through Colorado meteorologists cautioned that a few severe storms in the Denver metro area and along the Front Range could bring large hail, damaging winds, heavy rain and localized flash flooding.

Rain showers and thunderstorms should hit mostly after 5 p.m. in Denver, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

It’s expected to be much cooler in Denver than it has been, with a high temperature of 84 degrees Wednesday, instead of the upper 90s Denver has reached the past couple of days. The chance for precipitation is 60 percent.

Thursday and Friday should be nearly identical with isolated afternoon rain showers and thunderstorms both days. Even the high temperature is expected to be identical, with highs of 88 degrees.

After some morning cloudiness, more showers and thunderstorms will be possible through the afternoon and evening. Some storms may become severe with heavy rain and localized flash flooding possible. #COwx pic.twitter.com/PIzzUCvvoG

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) August 21, 2019

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Denver will be back in the 90s under mostly sunny skies on the weekend with high temperatures of 94 degrees on Saturday and 96 on Sunday.

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5280 Trail aims to be Denver’s answer to New York City’s High Line

August 21, 2019 - 5:00am

A new urban trail that’s taking firmer shape in Denver — at least on drawing boards — would snake through several downtown neighborhoods for more than five miles, serving as a linear park as much as a way to get around.

After years of talking about the 5280 Trail, city officials and private boosters who see the potential to strengthen neighborhoods said Tuesday that they’re ready to launch into formal design work for the first section. It could break ground along a small stretch of 21st Street in the next two years or so, and the city has committed $850,000 to get the ball rolling on designs.

As for the rest of the trail, it’s likely that construction will be done in phases over the next decade, following a route that’s mostly along secondary streets.

That means there is a lot of work to do — and potentially tens of millions of dollars to cobble together to make the 5280 Trail a reality. One advocate predicted a need for “significant” contributions from private donors.

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostCyclists ride the proposed route for the 5280 Trail near 17th and Wynkoop Streets in Denver on Aug. 20, 2019.

But input gleaned by the Downtown Denver Partnership in neighborhood meetings and from public comments has raised expectations, as have examples of urban trails installed elsewhere in the last decade, including in New York City, Atlanta and Indianapolis. Denver’s official city plans for downtown in recent years voiced strong support for the idea of an urban trail, and the parks department has drawn lessons from experiments with new types of street parks.

“This trail will connect people to their neighborhoods, get people to their jobs and (get them around) downtown in exciting ways,” said Trini Rodriguez, a financial services executive who serves as the partnership’s board chair. He spoke during a press event Tuesday at Gates Corp. headquarters downtown.

RELATED: 20-year blueprint for Denver parks envisions 5-mile path around downtown, other changes (Oct. 3, 2017)

“This is what everybody wants — it’s why people are moving back into downtowns,” added Amanda Hardin, who leads the La Alma-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association. “We don’t want to be slaves to our cars. … We want to go on foot, we want to go on bike, we want to go on scooters, and this is a beautiful opportunity to create that safe space for that to happen. It’s a wonderful, wonderful project, and our neighborhood is so excited to have this coming through our community.”

From 5280 Trail Vision PlanThe Downtown Denver Partnership and other planners of the 5280 Trail envision a roughly 5-mile route through and around downtown.

The 5280 Trail — formerly called the 5280 Loop — is named after the Mile High City’s elevation. And plans call for a length that would roughly match it, at about 5.3 miles, drawing space from streets or sidewalks.

The first segment is set to travel along 21st from Coors Field to Benedict Fountain Park, and from there the conceptual route heads south on Sherman Street, going around the State Capitol; traverses the Golden Triangle neighborhood and crosses the Art District on Santa Fe; and heads north through the Auraria Campus before crossing Speer Boulevard and Cherry Creek into Lower Downtown, where it follows Wynkoop Street past Union Station, returning to the ballpark.

Planners behind the 5280 Trail say it’s not intended to cater to the high-speed bicycle commuters who use Denver’s growing network of on-street bike lanes.

City Councilman Chris Hinds, who represents Capitol Hill, predicted the trail would encourage walking and draw more high-rise residents to linger at street level. He also said the off-street trail would “engage a whole new group of people that want to bike but don’t feel safe doing it today.”

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostCyclists ride the proposed route for the 5280 Trail near Coors Stadium in Denver on Aug. 20, 2019. Looking at other cities’ urban trails

If other cities’ experiences are a guide, pulling together funding will take private as well as public commitments. A potential quiver in Denver’s back pocket is the new voter-approved sales tax that’s raising $41 million a year for the parks system.

The 5280 Trail is Denver’s answer to New York’s popular High Line, a park installed atop an abandoned elevated rail line five years ago in Manhattan, and the Beltline in Atlanta, which so far has built five trail segments along a former urban rail corridor.

But the better model is Indianapolis.

Randy Thelen, the Downtown Denver Partnership’s vice senior vice president of economic development, said the 5280 Trail’s conceptual sketches borrow heavily from the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, completed in 2013. That trail works its way through downtown Indy and surrounding neighborhoods along 8 miles of connected trails, with most sections offset from streets and even sidewalks.

The trail features decorative pavers, landscaping, trees, public art and rain gardens to capture runoff, and it’s become popular with cyclists, runners and pedestrians, drawing residents and tourists alike.

Provided by Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc.A section of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

It took Indianapolis six years to build the Cultural Trail in phases, after a decade-plus of planning and fundraising. The project cost $63 million, starting with private fundraising that chipped in $27.5 million. The plan was lifted to the finish line by $35.5 million in federal transportation grants awarded during the Great Recession.

By connecting downtown to neighborhoods that were going through the process of revitalization, the trail sparked a surge of redevelopment. An Indiana University study in 2015 said properties near the trail had increased in value by $1 billion, though the trail wasn’t the only factor.

“I worked for the mayor’s office at the time, and I significantly underestimated its impact on new, transformative development,” said Michael Huber, president and CEO of the Indy Chamber, in an email to The Denver Post. “Within a few years of completion, the Cultural Trail had catalyzed hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment, including mixed-use and mixed-income housing; new hotels, restaurants and music venues; and stronger connectivity to historic neighborhoods.”

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostAdam Perkins, with Downtown Denver Partnership, second from right, leads a group of cyclists along 19th Street near Coors Field in Denver on the proposed route for the 5280 Trail on Aug. 20, 2019. Navigating gentrification fears

The prospect of more growth might temper excitement in some close-in Denver neighborhoods such as Five Points that have experienced fast gentrification, though the city’s boom over the last decade has far outpaced growth in Indianapolis.

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Thelen said planners heard such concerns during meetings over the last couple years and took them into consideration as they decided on the route. The trail would travel through a mix of established neighborhoods as well as the Auraria Campus. But in Arapahoe Square along 21st Street, it could aid redevelopment prospects in that lagging stretch.

The idea in plan drafts is to tailor each section to its neighborhood, he said.

Denver Public Works says its contribution on 21st will cover early design work for most of that 11-block section, along with completed designs for a shorter-term demonstration project on a smaller segment that, once completed, would give the public a close-up view of the trail’s potential.

From 5280 Trail Vision PlanAn overhead rendering shows the conceptual path of the 5280 trail through and around downtown Denver, from Sunken Gardens Park in the south to Coors Field in the north.
Categories: All Denver News.

Earth’s future is being written in fast-melting Greenland

August 21, 2019 - 5:00am

HELHEIM GLACIER, Greenland — This is where Earth’s refrigerator door is left open, where glaciers dwindle and seas begin to rise.

New York University air and ocean scientist David Holland, who is tracking what’s happening in Greenland from both above and below, calls it “the end of the planet.” He is referring to geography more than the future. Yet in many ways this place is where the planet’s warmer and watery future is being written.

Felipe Dana, The Associated PressEarly morning fog shrouds homes in Kulusuk, Greenland on Aug. 15. In tiny Kulusuk, resident Mugu Utuaq says the winter that used to last as long as 10 months when he was a boy, can now be as short as five months. Scientists are hard at work in Greenland, trying to understand the alarmingly rapid melting of the ice.

It is so warm here, just inside the Arctic Circle, that on an August day, coats are left on the ground and Holland and colleagues work on the watery melting ice without gloves. In one of the closest towns, Kulusuk, the morning temperature reached a shirtsleeve 52 degrees Fahrenheit.

The ice Holland is standing on is thousands of years old. It will be gone within a year or two, adding yet more water to rising seas worldwide.

Summer this year is hitting Greenland hard with record-shattering heat and extreme melt. By the end of the summer, about 440 billion tons of ice — maybe more — will have melted or calved off Greenland’s giant ice sheet, scientists estimate. That’s enough water to flood Pennsylvania or the country of Greece about a foot deep.

In just the five days from July 31 to Aug. 3, more than 58 billion tons melted from the surface. That’s over 40 billion tons more than the average for this time of year. And that 58 billion tons doesn’t even count the huge calving events or the warm water eating away at the glaciers from below, which may be a huge factor.

And one of the places hit hardest this hot Greenland summer is here on the southeastern edge of the giant frozen island: Helheim, one of Greenland’s fastest-retreating glaciers, has shrunk about 6 miles since scientists came here in 2005.

RELATED: Climate change is coming for your travel plans. Here’s how to cope. — The Know Outdoors

Several scientists, such as NASA oceanographer Josh Willis, who is also in Greenland, studying melting ice from above, said what’s happening is a combination of man-made climate change and natural but weird weather patterns. Glaciers here do shrink in the summer and grow in the winter, but nothing like this year.

Summit Station, a research camp nearly 2 miles high and far north, warmed to above freezing twice this year for a record total of 16.5 hours. Before this year, that station was above zero for only 6.5 hours in 2012, once in 1889 and also in the Middle Ages.

This year is coming near but not quite passing the extreme summer of 2012 — Greenland’s worst year in modern history for melting, scientists report.

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“If you look at climate model projections, we can expect to see larger areas of the ice sheet experiencing melt for longer durations of the year and greater mass loss going forward,” said University of Georgia ice scientist Tom Mote. “There’s every reason to believe that years that look like this will become more common.”

A NASA satellite found that Greenland’s ice sheet lost about 255 billion metric tons of ice a year between 2003 and 2016, with the loss rate generally getting worse over that period. Nearly all of the 28 Greenland glaciers that Danish climate scientist Ruth Mottram measured are retreating, especially Helheim.

Felipe Dana, The Associated PressA helicopter carrying New York University air and ocean scientist David Holland and his team sits on the ice as they install a radar and GPS at the Helheim glacier, in Greenland on Aug. 16. Scientists are hard at work there, trying to understand the alarmingly rapid melting of the ice.

At Helheim, the ice, snow and water seem to go on and on, sandwiched by bare dirt mountains that now show no signs of ice but get covered in the winter. The only thing that gives a sense of scale is the helicopter carrying Holland and his team. It’s dwarfed by the landscape, an almost imperceptible red speck against the ice cliffs where Helheim stops and its remnants begin.

Those ice cliffs are somewhere between 225 feet and 328 feet high. Just next to them are Helheim’s remnants — sea ice, snow and icebergs — forming a mostly white expanse, with a mishmash of shapes and textures. Frequently water pools amid that white, glimmering a near-fluorescent blue that resembles windshield wiper fluid or Kool-Aid.

As pilot Martin Norregaard tries to land his helicopter on the broken-up part of what used to be glacier — a mush called a melange — he looks for ice specked with dirt, a sign that it’s firm enough for the chopper to set down on. Pure white ice could conceal a deep crevasse that leads to a cold and deadly plunge.

Felipe Dana, The Associated PressNew York University air and ocean scientist David Holland, left, and field safety officer Brian Rougeux, right, are helped by pilot Martin Norregaard as they carry antennas out of a helicopter to be installed at the Helheim glacier, in Greenland on Aug. 16. Holland and his NYU team are tracking what’s happening in Greenland from both above and below. He calls it “the end of the planet” referring to geography more than the future. Yet in many ways Greenland is where the planet’s warmer and watery future is being written.

Holland and team climb out to install radar and GPS to track the ice movement and help explain why salty, warm, once-tropical water attacking the glacier’s “underbelly” has been bubbling to the surface

“It takes a really long time to grow an ice sheet, thousands and thousands of years, but they can be broken up or destroyed quite rapidly,” Holland said.

Holland, like NASA’s Willis, suspects that warm, salty water that comes in part from the Gulf Stream in North America is playing a bigger role than previously thought in melting Greenland’s ice. And if that’s the case, that’s probably bad news for the planet, because it means faster and more melting and higher sea level rise. Willis said that by the year 2100, Greenland alone could cause 3 or 4 feet of sea level rise.

So it’s crucial to know how much of a role the air above and the water below play.

“What we want for this is an ice sheet forecast,” Holland said.

In this remote landscape, sound travels easily for miles. Every several minutes there’s a faint rumbling that sounds like thunder, but it’s not. It’s ice cracking.

In tiny Kulusuk, about a 40-minute helicopter ride away, Mugu Utuaq says the winter that used to last as much as 10 months when he was a boy can now be as short as five months. That matters to him because as the fourth-ranked dogsledder in Greenland, he has 23 dogs and needs to race them.

They can’t race in the summer, but they still have to eat. So Utuaq and friends go whale hunting with rifles in small boats. If they succeed, which this day they didn’t, the dogs can eat whale.

“People are getting rid of their dogs because there’s no season,” said Yewlin, who goes by one name. He used to run a sled dog team for tourists at a hotel in neighboring Tasiilaq, but they no longer can do that.

Yes, the melting glaciers, less ice and warmer weather are noticeable and much different from his childhood, said Kulusuk Mayor Justus Paulsen, 58. Sure, it means more fuel is needed for boats to get around, but that’s OK, he said.

“We like it because we like to have a summer,” Paulsen said.

But Holland looks out at Helheim glacier from his base camp and sees the bigger picture. And it’s not good, he said. Not for here. Not for Earth as a whole.

“It’s kind of nice to have a planet with glaciers around,” Holland said.

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

Felipe Dana, The Associated PressA large Iceberg floats away as the sun sets near Kulusuk, Greenland on Aug. 15. Greenland is where Earth’s refrigerator door is left open, where glaciers dwindle and seas begin to rise. Scientists are hard at work there, trying to understand the alarmingly rapid melting of the ice. For Greenland is where the planet’s future is being written.
Categories: All Denver News.

This former Colorado prep star did something only 4 Baseball Hall of Famers and 2 perennial all-stars have done

August 21, 2019 - 5:00am

A former Colorado prep star this week joined a select list of four Baseball Hall of Famers and two perennial all-stars.

Reds starter Kevin Gausman, a Grandview High School grad, on Sunday became just the seventh player in major league history to throw at least two immaculate innings — three strikeouts in nine pitches — in his career. He joins Hall of Famers Lefty Grove, Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan, as well as Washington’s Max Scherzer and Boston’s Chris Sale.

“My fastball was up and my split was down,” Gausman told the Cincinnati Examiner after the game. “That’s about it. I threw two sliders, both of them for strikes. One was taken for a strike, one with a swing and a miss. It was good. I felt pretty good.”

Gausman, 28, was selected off of waivers by Cincinnati on Aug. 5 after struggling with the Braves this season, compiling a 3-7 record with a 6.19 ERA in 16 starts win Atlanta. He has gone 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA in four relief appearances with the Reds.

Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post

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  • Rockies: At Arizona Diamondbacks, 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, ATTRM | Buy tickets
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Scoreboard

MLB: Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 7
Full story | Box score

Must-Read AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver PostDrew Lock (3) of the Denver Broncos fires a pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter against the Denver Broncos on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. Broncos QB Drew Lock suffers sprained right thumb, may miss part of regular season, source says

Broncos quarterback Drew Lock may miss the first part of the regular season due to a sprained right thumb sustained in Monday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Read more…

Eric Lutzens, The Denver PostHead coach Vic Fangio of the Denver Broncos watches a play during the fourth quarter of the game on Monday, Aug. 19 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The Denver Broncos hosted the San Francisco 49ers for the first preseason home game. With two preseason games left, projecting the Broncos’ 53-man roster

Three games into the preseason, where do the Broncos stand with their roster? Has anybody emerged to possibly snatch a spot? How will the many injured players impact the math? Read more…

Andy Cross, The Denver PostColorado Rockies second baseman Ryan McMahon (24) celebrate with Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) in the dugout after scoring a two-run home run to tie the game against the San Francisco Giants in the sixth inning at Coors Field Aug. 2, 2019. Newman: Why the 2021 season will be the Rockies’ truest — and widest — playoff window

Considering the Rockies are going on 27 seasons without a divisional title, another year of waiting for the team to blossom is probably not the most appealing idea to the fanbase. Read more…

Quick Hits

+ Rockies’ Kyle Freeland departs Diamondbacks game with injury.

+ The decline of Wade Davis is a riddle the Rockies must solve.

+ Ron Grahame, former All-American and WHL champion, set to retire as DU’s athletic director.

+ Broncos Mailbag: What are the non-Garett Bolles options at left tackle?

+ Why Bradley Chubb and the Broncos’ D can’t stop having fun, or taking names.

+ Broncos Takeaways: Bradley Chubb a wrecking crew in 16-snap appearance vs. 49ers.

+ Mikayla Martinez back to lead Mead High School’s volleyball program.

+ CU Buffs cornerback Mekhi Blackmon is taking advantage of a clean slate.

+ Homegrown Husker Ben Stille excited to be part of Nebraska resurgence.

+ MLS awards expansion franchise to St. Louis for 2022 debut.

+ WATCH: USWNT star Carli Lloyd shows up to Eagles camp, splits uprights with 55-yard field goal.

+ Oregon State football preview: Game-by-game predictions.

+ Oregon preview: If not now for Justin Herbert, then never.

+ Retired baseball players Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo linked to Dominican Republic drug ring.

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 2nd team

Where Colorado Buffaloes junior wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. landed on AP’s preseason All-America team. Read more…

Parting Shot Ben Hider, AP Images for NFLCommissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell and Jay-Z attend a press conference at ROC Nation on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019 in New York. Jay-Z has “moved past kneeling.” Some NFL players have a problem with that.

Three NFL players have continued to kneel during the national anthem to bring attention to issues of racial injustice and police brutality, and two of them have made it clear that they have a problem with Jay-Z’s comments. 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.

New home construction keeps falling in metro Denver

August 21, 2019 - 5:00am

For the first time since the depths of the housing crash in 2009, the pace of new home construction in metro Denver has dropped for three consecutive quarters.

The number of construction starts on new homes dropped 10.5 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period a year ago. That was mostly driven by a steep 17.6 percent drop in single-family home starts, according to counts maintained by Metrostudy, which tracks new home construction across the country.

“This isn’t necessarily indicative of demand slowing down. It is in part of an overhang that we felt in summer of 2018 when interest rates spiked,” said John Covert, who watches the Denver market for Metrostudy, in a conference call.

Rising mortgage rates, stock market volatility, mid-term elections, and a government shutdown all combined to cause buyers and builders alike to pull back.

“It created quite a bit of anxiety. Builders took their foot off the gas and it had been down to the floor,” Covert said on a conference call.

And although stock prices quickly recovered and mortgage rates dropped sharply, home construction has taken longer to rev up.

RELATED: As metro Denver home prices continue to rise, one builder’s answer is to go smaller

Covert notes that the average size of the homes that builders are bringing to market is down 18 percent. The trend of builders trying to provide more homes that first-time buyers can afford has only accelerated. Condos are finally seeing strong gains, although from very low levels.

“There has been a dramatic shift. Builders are trying to get more affordable and to get int touch where market demand really is,” he said.

Starts reflect when construction begins on a prepared lot, and closings are when buyers take ownership. A third measure, permits, precedes both and indicates what builders are planning further out.

It effectively is a measure of confidence in the future. And it is down big in the state, according to a mid-year update of the Colorado Business Economic Outlook from the University of Colorado Boulder.

New single-family home permits dropped 18.4 percent through May, compared to the same period a year ago, while the permits pulled for new apartments are down even more, 30.3 percent.

“The committee believes that there is still a lot of unsatisfied demand despite the decrease in permit activity,” the report said.

Covert also agrees that demand is still there. Buyers still need homes. They just need more homes built at prices they can afford, which builders are finally acknowledging in more concrete ways.

“We have very little risk of overbuilding the market. We don’t have the inventory overhang during the recession of a decade ago,” he said.

Categories: All Denver News.

The art of pickling those summer vegetables

August 21, 2019 - 5:00am

If you’re going to get into a pickle in the kitchen, you’d best go all the way.

We commonly think of “pickles” as merely those jars of fermented cucumbers (that we so adore) that’ve been dilled, or half-soured, or breaded and buttered.

But there’s a world of pickles beyond those greenies, well worth some putting up. With.

I am thinking, nostalgically, of a quintessential slice of 20th-century Americana, the “relish tray” presented before any dinner that was to be enjoyed in another person’s home: small bowls of corn relish, chow-chow (not the dog, but sweet-and-sour mixed vegetables), watermelon rind pickles, piccalilli (a mustardy, chile-hot chow-chow), hard-cooked eggs with slices of beets, the eggs dyed a monsignor’s purple from the sweet-tart beet juice.

Sometimes there even were pickled peaches, a specialty of my grandmother from Fort Lupton, peach halves swimming in a mild sugar syrup, like the regular canned variety, but also with a whisper of cider vinegar, the liquid carrying a few whole cloves.

The relish tray, offered as it was before a meal, was meant to stimulate the appetite in invitation to the meal to follow. Edible aperitifs. What Marion Cunningham said about pickles in general in the 13th edition of “The Fanny Farmer Cookbook”: “Pickles and relishes, so much a part of our heritage, have given a lift to many a homely meal.”

As part of a meal, not merely its vestibule, pickles of all sorts provide a foil to richness, carried by fat especially, which is why they often are seen nestled next to fatty or oily foods: cornichons and pâté, for example, or lamb and Indian achar, or pickled daikon matchsticks and the ham of Vietnamese banh mi.

As a pantry genre, pickles are those foods conserved in a liquid that is either salty or acidic, often both. Their lineage is ur-paleo, from the time we put anything we wanted to eat later, unspoiled, under sea salt. Sometimes the food — cabbage, say, or olives — fermented, creating its own (lactic) acid, further preserving our afterwards. That these longer-preserved foods also developed additional flavors was a delicious lagniappe.

But the large range of unfermented pickles — what are called “short-brine,” “quick,” “fresh-pack,” or sometimes “refrigerator” pickles — simply and directly add the acid, typically vinegar, in order to inhibit any microbial spoilage.

These pickles are not processed in a boiling water bath as so much of what is put up (or canned) at this time of year. They can be, wordplay intended, and some recipes end by saying so, but while the hot water extends shelf life it also kills off a lot of crispness and that fresh aliveness so much a part of these sorts of quick pickles.

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Because quick pickles are simpler in flavor, they benefit from the addition of other elements such as spices or herbs or even plain sugar. Apart from some Asian radish-based quick pickles, you won’t find many set up solely with salt and vinegar.

All manner of thing seems pickle-able this way: proteins such as eggs or meat (the original 18th-century corned beef was a good example), nearly any vegetable or fruit or fungi, even the cast-offs of melon or citrus rinds. Perhaps we have here the earliest way to recycle.

Michael Solomon, proprietor and chef at Philadelphia’s “modern Israeli” restaurant, Zahav, came about his eatery’s most favored nibble by such a route. He goes through 250 heads of cauliflower each week to slake the demand for his menu’s famed fried cauliflower dish, leaving him with 250 cauliflower hearts, unusable until he invented a quick pickle that has become nearly as popular. Recipe: chopped cauliflower heart, celery, carrot, salt and sugar, and some flavorings.

How to say “Voila!” in Hebrew?

Pickled green tomatoes

From “Israeli Soul,” by Michael Solomon and Steven Cook; serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 medium green tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup dill sprigs

Directions

Cut the tomatoes into wedges and put them into a heatproof container. Combine all the other ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt, and pour over the tomatoes. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Sweetly pickled beets

From “U.S.A. Cookbook,” by Sheila Lukins; serves 8

Ingredients

  • 6-8 beets (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons dry mustard
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 and 1/2 cups cider vinegar

Directions

Rinse and trim the beets, leaving 1 inch of stem and root. Place them in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until just tender, 45-50 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the beets. When they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins. Trim the ends and cut the beets into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place them in a bowl.

Place the celery seeds in a cheesecloth bag. Mix the sugar, mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, the reserved beet cooking liquid, and spice bag. Bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the spice bag. Pour the hot liquid over the beets, and let rest, covered, at room temperature for at least 24 hours. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 1 month.

Categories: All Denver News.

Step up your steak night with cumin-rubbed flank and chimichurri potatoes

August 21, 2019 - 5:00am

Here is steak night simplified, courtesy of grill master Elizabeth Karmel. Cooking the meat a la the “grate outdoors” will lend a touch of smoky flavor, but a grill pan or griddle on the stove top keeps things easy and in the comfort of your AC. Roll with it your way.

Ready to multitask? While your potatoes roast in the oven, you stuff the components of an Argentine-style green sauce into a blender and render them creamy (without dairy, that is); you treat the lean cut of meat to a three-ingredient spice rub (no marinating); and sear it just long enough for it to keep blushing at the center (or as you like it).

By the time the meat has rested for a few minutes, the potatoes will be puffed, tender and golden brown. Slice and serve, spooning that chimichurri over all of it.

Cumin-rubbed Flank Steak with Chimichurri Potatoes

Total: 40 minutes

4 to 6 servings

Cook the meat in a grill pan on the stove top or on your outdoor grill, while the potatoes roast in the oven. The three-ingredient steak rub delivers maximum flavor.

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces to 1 pound small Dutch Gold or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large bunch curly parsley (about 2 1/2 ounces without stems)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 medium shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (a.k.a. garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak (about 3/4-inch thick)

Steps

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the potatoes then cut them into quarters, placing them on a rimmed baking sheet as you work. Drizzle them with about a tablespoon of oil and toss to coat, then season them lightly with salt. Roast (middle rack) for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, coarsely chop the parsley, garlic and shallot, transferring them to a blender as you work. Add 3/4 teaspoon of salt and the crushed red pepper flakes. Pour in the 3/4 cup of oil and the vinegar, then squeeze in a tablespoon of the juice from the lemon half. Blend on low speed so the mixture breaks down a bit, then on medium-high speed to form an almost-creamy chimichurri sauce. The yield is about 1 1/2 cups.

Heat a large dry skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Toss in the ground cumin and toast for 15 or 20 seconds, just until fragrant, then transfer to a small bowl to cool. Return the pan to medium-high heat.

Add the garlic powder and smoked paprika to the toasted cumin; use the bottom of a small bottle or a pestle to crush and blend the spice rub mixture.

Pat the steak dry with paper towels. Brush it lightly with oil on both sides, then apply the spice rub all over, pressing it into the meat. Place the steak in the hot pan; reduce the heat to medium; sear for 1 minute, then turn the steak over and repeat on the second side. Cover the pan with a lid or splatter screen and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more (medium-rare). Transfer the steak to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes.

The potatoes should be done by this time, looking crisped on the outside, puffed and tender when pierced with a knife. Cut the steak in thin, diagonal slices against the grain. Serve warm with the roasted potatoes; drizzle them with some of the sauce and pass the rest at the table.

Nutrition (based on 6 servings) | Calories: 400; Total Fat: 26 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 75 mg; Sodium: 190 mg; Carbohydrates: 15 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugars: 0 g; Protein: 26 g.

Adapted from “Steak and Cake: More Than 100 Recipes to Make Any Meal a Smash Hit,” by Elizabeth Karmel (Workman, 2019).

Categories: All Denver News.

Ask Amy: Abuse survivor went through it and is now over it

August 21, 2019 - 3:30am

Dear Amy: I come from a family of four kids.

Mother was bipolar and kept the four of us at each other’s throats through manipulation. It took me years to repair my relationships with my two brothers, and our sister passed, refusing any attempts at reconciliation with her siblings.

Mother died several years ago, and my two brothers and I had fairly good communication.

Then when our father died, the eldest brother, who was physically abusive to us when we were younger and very much verbally abusive as adults, emotionally attacked me and refused to allow the younger brother to attend the funeral.

Now, my younger brother has also alienated me, even though I took his side during that skirmish.

Since Father’s death, Big Brother continues to invite me to his family events, and my family wants me to put his past meanness aside and spend time in his home.

I am now in my 60s and do not wish to be demeaned by him. He just cannot help himself.

He is basically saying that I just need to get over it, but I AM over it, and I do not wish to be exposed to his mean-spirited attacks any longer.

I would rather my immediate family visit him (if they wish), without me.

I hate it that my family is so fractured, but I have no control over any of this.

I am much happier with my immediate family and without the old family ties, so how can I make this nagging issue go away?

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— Contented

Dear Contented: Congratulations on being officially Over It.

You say you are contented now, and so the last thing I would want to do would be to try to “cure” your contentment.

Your narrative illustrates the heartbreaking generational fracturing caused by extreme dysfunction.

Yes, you should carry on, determined to be better and to do better than the generation that raised you. And yes, you should certainly encourage any family member to reach out toward your older brother on their own accord.

Things might go well for them, and, if so, great! Or they might fly a little too close to the family flame and also get burned. But your own children (for instance) might be better equipped to handle this, because they weren’t exposed to this abuse during their own childhoods, and because they were raised by you in a higher-functioning and healthier home.

You can’t make this nagging issue go away. But you can cope with it, safe in the knowledge that you are taking good care of yourself.

Dear Amy: I recently attended my nephew’s wedding, which was also an occasion to get together with members of his father’s family. While we didn’t grow up together, I feel close to this family and really enjoy our celebrations and gatherings — with one exception.

One of his aunts is extremely “touch/feely.” She seems incapable of reading subtle cues. She doesn’t recognize personal boundaries. She gives uncomfortably lengthy hugs, and kisses male family members on the mouth.

Often she will stand behind me (and others) and massage necks and rub backs.

I have tried moving away or withdrawing, but it persists. Several of my family members have complained to each other, but we don’t want to create friction.

I should mention that as a survivor of sexual assault I also feel triggered by unwanted touch.

How can I address this problem without offending or creating a rift?

— Auntie Hands Off

Dear Hands Off: It might be a case of personal preference, but yes, being kissed on the lips or massaged by someone’s auntie would definitely be a “no go” for me.

Because this woman doesn’t read physical cues or body language, please — instead of avoiding her or complaining about her to others — give her the courtesy of verbally letting her know that you don’t want to be touched in that way.

You say, “Oh, Belle, so nice to see you. But please don’t massage my neck and shoulders. Come sit next to me and tell me how you are.”

Dear Amy: I disagreed with your response to “Concerned Cousin,” who was conceived through sperm donation and now wanted to tell her cousin that she was conceived the same way.

When will people get the memo: This is none of your business?!

— Upset

Dear Upset: A person’s DNA IS the very definition of their “business.” This cousin thought her aunt and uncle should not keep this important information from their (adult) child, and I agree.

Categories: All Denver News.

Rockies’ disastrous season continues in 8-7 loss to D-Backs as Freeland leaves game with injury

August 20, 2019 - 10:12pm

PHOENIX — If the Rockies’ season were a movie, it would be a disaster flick.

“The Poseidon Adventure,” “The Perfect Storm,” “Armageddon,” “The Towering Inferno”? Heck, they have nothing on the 2019 Rockies. At least the Titanic went down quickly.

Not only did the Rockies lose 8-7 to Arizona on Tuesday night in the desert, they also lost starter Kyle Freeland to a strained groin. The left-hander came out in the sixth inning when he felt something pull in his groin. Manager Bud Black said Freeland will miss some time and that means a trip to the 10-day injured list is likely.

In 2017, Freeland spent time on the IL with a similar injury and was able to return after 10 days.

“This felt the same, as far as I can tell,” he said. “We’ll see how it feels after a few days.”

The Rockies, cemented in the National League West basement with a 57-69 record, are 1-7 in their last eight games vs. the Diamondbacks, having been outscored 53-31.

At least the Rockies turned Tuesday’s game into a cliffhanger when Charlie Blackmon hit a pinch-hit double in the ninth inning off closer Archie Bradley and scored on Trevor Story‘s sacrifice fly to right. Story finished 4-for-4 with three RBIs. The rally ended when Nolan Arenado popped out against Bradley

Boxscore

Freeland’s injury came suddenly. He landed awkwardly on the mound while he was pitching to the Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed. Freeland quickly departed the field with head trainer Keith Dugger and manager Bud Black.

“It was on a pitch, on a full-extension,” Freeland said. “I felt my groin grab, pretty hard, and then release. It sucks. I thought I was pitching pretty well, keeping the team in the ballgame.”

Freeland left with one out, a runner on second and the game tied 3-3. Freeland has had a difficult season, but he was pitching relatively well against the D-Backs. He gave up five hits, one of which was a solo homer to Ahmed in the third, and allowed five runs (three earned).

“I thought Kyle threw the ball great,” Black said. “I talked to Kyle in the training room after the game and I told him that I thought as far as his stuff — his delivery, using both sides of the plate, his slider, his fastball command — everything looked in order. When I visualize him, that’s the type of game that I see.”

The flood gates opened after Freeland departed and Bryan Shaw took the mound. Shaw, who owns a 5.67 ERA, gave up three runs on three hits, including a two-run triple to Eduardo Escobar. Black called the triple “a backbreaker.”

Colorado rallied for three runs in the seventh inning, cutting Arizona’s lead to 8-6. The key hits were an RBI single by Story and a run-scoring double by Daniel Murphy.

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Freeland looked good early, breezing through his first two innings and getting four groundball outs. But Ahmed ambushed Freeland on the first pitch of the third inning, hammering a slider deep into the left-field seats for a 1-0 Arizona lead.

Freeland, a Denver native, is 3-11 with a 6.98 ERA but was hoping to finish strong after a rough season that has included a demotion to Triple-A Albuquerque. He said it’s imperative that he returns this season.

“It’s very important,” Freeland said. “I want to be out there playing and fighting with my brothers, and this is a setback. I’ve been struggling all season and grinding, trying to get better. This kind of sucks, but I have to take it for what it is and move on.”

Colorado took a brief 2-1 lead in the fourth inning on Arenado‘s two-run homer off lefty Alex Young. Arenado, playing in his 1,000th big-league game, leads the Rockies with 31 home runs.

Poor defense cost the Rockies. In Arizona’s two-run fourth inning, second baseman Ryan McMahon‘s error on Escobar’s grounder led to an unearned run. Arenado’s throwing error from third off Adam Jones’ hot shot contributed to the D-backs’ five-run sixth.

Categories: All Denver News.

Missing 12-year-old Boulder boy found safe

August 20, 2019 - 9:45pm

A 12-year-old boy reported missing late Tuesday night has been found safe, Boulder police said.

“David (Delacruz) has been found safe and is being reunited with his family,” a Boulder police tweet said.

Update @ 11:20PM: Thank you to the #LocalNews, our law enforcement partners and the Boulder community. David has been found safe and is being reunited with his family.

— Boulder Police Dept. (@boulderpolice) August 21, 2019

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David’s mother contacted police at 9:15 p.m. saying that her son had not returned home from football practice near Casey Middle School Tuesday, Boulder police said. Search and rescue dogs, and a drone, were used in the search for David.

He was found at 11:20 p.m., the police tweet said.

Categories: All Denver News.

Trump tells NRA chief that universal background checks are off the table

August 20, 2019 - 8:54pm

President Donald Trump talked Tuesday with National Rifle Association chief executive Wayne LaPierre and assured him that universal background checks were off the table, according to several people familiar with the call.

Trump told LaPierre that the White House remained interested in proposals that would address weapons getting into the hands of the mentally ill, including the possibility of backing so-called “red flag” laws that would allow the police to temporarily confiscate guns from people who have been shown to be a danger to themselves or others.

Curtis Compton, Atlanta Journal-Constitution via APPresident Donald Trump and National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre appear together at the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum in 2017.

Nonetheless, the president’s conversation with LaPierre, which was first reported by the Atlantic, further reduced hopes that major new gun-safety measures will be enacted after the latest round of mass shootings.

“I know the gun lobby is putting the full-court press on everyone surrounding the president,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who said he was hoping for a process to be set up this week to move forward on a bipartisan backgrounds check bill. “I have not received any different signal than I got last week,” he said.

But while the president was in Bedminster, N.J., last week, NRA officials repeatedly talked to him, according to people familiar with those conversations. It seems the conversations were effective, which may further fuel public anger on the topic.

“Every time he raises expectations, then he clearly and publicly walks away from the commitments he made, it makes the lives of Republicans more miserable,” Murphy said.

RELATED: Colorado lawmaker says he helped reverse Trump on red-flag laws once and it can be done again (Aug. 16, 2019)

A spokesman for another Democratic senator advocating background checks, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he has not been told to stand down by the White House.

In the days after the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, Trump inspired hope among gun-control advocates by noting “there is a great appetite” for tightening background checks on people who buy firearms.

Federal legislation mandating background checks has been opposed by the NRA in the past. After the latest shootings, officials across the country called for expanding background checks to cover all gun buyers, including those making purchases at gun shows. With the NRA in some disarray following complaints of mismanagement, there was some hope among gun-control advocates that Trump might defy the politically powerful organization.

In the past, Trump has mocked lawmakers as fearful of the NRA, but he has also repeatedly lavished praise on the organization, whose political arm spent $30 million to help elect him. The president tweeted support for the NRA nearly a dozen times since early last year, most recently lamenting that “our great NRA” is a “victim of harassment” by the New York attorney general, which is investigating the tax-exempt group’s spending.

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After hearing from NRA leaders over the past week, the president stopped talking about instituting such checks, emphasizing instead the need to keep guns away from people who are mentally disturbed. He noted in recent days that the country already has “very strong background checks,” a position that aligns with that of the NRA leadership.

Tuesday’s call with LaPierre, which was initiated by Trump, lasted 45 minutes and by the end of it, the two men had no disagreements, the people familiar with the call said. The president seemed more focused on funding for mental health programs and other topics of interest to the NRA, the people said.

For his part, LaPierre seemed pleased with his conversation with Trump, tweeting about it late Tuesday.

“I spoke to the president today,” he wrote. “We discussed the best ways to prevent these types of tragedies. President Trump is a strong 2A President and supports our Right to Keep and Bear Arms!”

Categories: All Denver News.

Rockies’ Kyle Freeland departs Diamondbacks game with groin injury

August 20, 2019 - 8:46pm

PHOENIX — Rockies starter Kyle Freeland was pulled from Tuesday night’s game against Arizona in the sixth inning with a strained groin. A trip to the 10-day injured list is likely.

The left-hander landed awkwardly on the mound while he was pitching to the Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed. He departed with one out, a runner on second and the game tied 3-3. Freeland had given up two earned runs on five hits when he left the game.

In 2017, Freeland spent time on the IL with a similar injury and was able to return after 10 days.

“This felt the same, as far as I can tell,” he said after the Rockies lost  8-7. “We’ll see how it feels after a few days.”

Freeland, a Denver native, has struggled this season. He entered Tuesday’s game 3-10 with a 7.09 ERA but is hoping to finish the season strong.

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Categories: All Denver News.

Two bears put down by wildlife officials in Boulder County over weekend

August 20, 2019 - 8:41pm

Two bears were put down over the past weekend in Boulder County by wildlife officials, each for different reasons, at a time when the animals are ramping up their activity in preparation for the winter hibernation season ahead.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager Kristin Cannon said a 190-pound sub-adult male was discovered Saturday on the University of Colorado Boulder campus in a courtyard near the CU Museum of Natural History, with no good way to get out. Wildlife personnel felt they could not safely leave it where it was so they immobilized it with a tranquilizer.

The bear had ear tags, showing it had been previously relocated by CPW from Niwot to the Rainbow Lakes area near the Boulder Watershed back in May. Because that relocation didn’t take, Cannon said it was taken to a CPW facility and put down.

“(Relocation) was unsuccessful, because it ended up right back in the middle of the city a few months later. If it had not been ear-tagged, we probably would have relocated it. But that didn’t work, in this case,” Cannon said.

The second bear was trapped after breaking into a cabin in Fourmile Canyon, where multiple break-ins have been reported. After being captured in a cabin on Saturday morning, the bear was put down late Saturday or early Sunday at a CPW facility, the determination having been made it posed a threat to humans.

“With those kinds of bears, we feel there’s a higher likelihood they are going to be dangerous, if they are willing to break into houses to get food. We are going to remove that bear,” Cannon said. “With that bear, it was a little bit more the bear’s behavior, as opposed to the bear in town, where it was in a bad location.”

Cannon said her agency has now killed three bears in Boulder County this season. The other incident involved a bear that was previously tagged and relocated out of north Boulder in 2015, and behaved aggressively when confronted by rangers when encountered once again near Oak Avenue in north Boulder on July 2. Wildlife officials believed that same bear had also bluff-charged a man on Hapgood Street in Boulder in June, in 2017 on Norwood Avenue in Boulder, and yet again in 2016 in Ward.

Cannon said the death of the bears was not the desired result in any of the cases that have cropped up this summer in Boulder County.

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“It wasn’t done without careful thought and consideration,” she said. “We just really sometimes are backed into a corner on these. We didn’t have any other reasonable options.”

At this time of year, bears are in a feeding frenzy called hyperphagia, which CPW describes as “an instinctive metabolic response to the approaching change of seasons.”

From now through a time that ranges between early November and mid-December, bears will be focused on feeding in preparation for their hibernation, devoting as many as 20 hours a day to foraging.

During that time, wildlife officials urge residents to avoid giving bears any added incentive to frequent the city, such as leaving out food or unsecured trash, and to haze them away back into the wild where an abundant natural food supply awaits and the chances for a fatal encounter with humans is far less likely.

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Retired baseball players Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo linked to Dominican Republic drug ring

August 20, 2019 - 8:36pm

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Authorities in the Dominican Republic have arrested former MLB pitcher Octavio Dotel and cited ex-infielder Luis Castillo for their alleged links to a drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring, officials said Tuesday.

Dominican Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez said police are also actively pursuing the alleged leader of the ring, César Emilio Peralta, also known as “César the Abuser.” Castillo – not the current Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher – has not yet been arrested.

“Eighteen other people are linked to this network, including athletes and baseball players Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo,” Rodríguez said in a news conference, calling it “the most important drug trafficking structure in the region.”

He said Peralta created a complicated system of companies to hide the origins of his assets, using members of his family and social circles, “including two sports figures in the Dominican Republic.”

Rodríguez said the U.S. government and police agencies participated in the investigation.

Dominican officials say a 1,050-kilogram shipment of drugs heading from South America to Puerto Rico was one of several seizures attributed to this ring.

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On his Instagram account, Castillo denied any ties to drugs.

“The truth is my country no longer works, my God, do you think that after making millions of dollars in Baseball I am going to dirty my hands with drugs?” the former player wrote.

Castillo was a three-time All-Star, won three Gold Gloves and was a member of the 2003 Florida Marlins team that won the World Series.

There was no immediate comment from Dotel, who set a record for playing on more MLB teams than any other player. The teams were: the Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros and New York Mets. Right-hander Edwin Jackson broke Dotel’s mark earlier this season by playing for his 14th franchise.

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Wade Davis’ steep decline is a riddle the Rockies must solve

August 20, 2019 - 7:03pm

PHOENIX — The decline of Wade Davis is one of the most glaring flaws of the Rockies’ failed season. It’s also one of the most confounding.

The deposed closer wasn’t always razor-sharp last season, but he still managed to record a franchise-record 43 saves and help lead the Rockies into the postseason. But after giving up three critical runs in the Rockies’ 5-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night, Davis’ ERA rose to 7.43, easily the worst of his career.

Before Tuesday night’s game, I asked Davis what’s going on. He admitted he’s frustrated but said he’s not hurt.

“I’m just making bad mistakes at bad times,” said Davis, who turns 34 next month. “I feel pretty good. At this point in the season, I definitely feel pretty good.”

The right-hander’s fastball is averaging 93.5 mph, down significantly from the 96.7 mph heater he threw for Kansas City in 2014, and also down from the 94.4 mph fastball he threw last year. But Davis said it’s not a lack of velocity that’s hurting him, it’s bad pitch location.

“I’m not getting the ball up when I want to get it up, and then I’m not getting the pitches down when I need to. It’s a bad combination,” he said. “I’m trying to wrap my head around it and analyze some of the mistakes that I’ve made.”

Manager Bud Black, who has continued to turn to Davis late in games despite diminishing results, said: “There is not much more to add. Any pitcher’s performance comes down to the question, ‘Are they truly making pitches?’ ”

Davis’ home/road splits are extraordinarily dramatic. On the road, he’s 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.400 WHIP and has given up two home runs over 15 innings. At Coors Field, he’s 0-5 with a 10.97 ERA and a 2.109 WHIP while serving up four homers.

I have some theories about what’s going on.

First, I think the “juiced baseballs” in play this year are super-juiced at Coors Field, and everyone from Kyle Freeland to Chad Bettis to Black agrees with me.

But Davis, never one to hunt for excuses, isn’t sure he buys my theory.

“I really don’t know about the (juiced) baseballs, and I haven’t thought too much about it,” he said. “I think most of the damage done to me this year has been made on mistake pitches. I mean, the train keeps going on no matter what, so you still have to go out there and perform.”

My second theory applies not only to Davis but to most pitchers who carry a heavy load at Coors Field. The wear and tear of pitching at altitude inflicts a wicked toll. Pitchers not only have to work harder to make their pitches behave at 5,280 feet, but physical recovery also takes extra time. I don’t think that’s an excuse. I think it’s a reality.

Davis, in my opinion, looks worn out. That’s a huge problem for the Rockies, who owe Davis $17 million next season in the final year of his three-year, $52 million contract.

Arenado’s 1,000th. Five-time all-star and six-time Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado played in his 1,000th big-league game Tuesday night, prompting me to recall something longtime baseball guru Jerry Weinstein told me this spring.

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“Nolan has the best internal clock and the best internal compass of any player I have ever seen,” said Weinstein, who managed Arenado at High-A Modesto in 2011. “When he needs to make that spinning throw from third, he knows exactly where his target is and exactly how much time he has to make the play. He knows baseball in his mind’s eye better than anyone I have ever seen.”

Rusin’s gem. Lefty Chris Rusin, the Rockies reliever who is remaking himself as a starter at Triple-A Albuquerque, pitched an excellent game Monday night, allowing just five hits over 7⅔ innings, leading the Isotopes to a 4-1 win over Sacramento. Rusin (2-4, 5.27 ERA at Triple-A) allowed one run while striking out four and walking none to get the win.

“The last few weeks, he’s had some really quality outings,” Black said. “I’m happy for Chris, to see him in a spot where he’s throwing the ball well. That’s a good sign. There have been indications that that type of game was coming.”

On Deck

Rockies RHP Jon Gray (11-8, 3.84 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RHP Mike Leake (9-9, 4.64)
1:40 p.m. Wednesday, Chase Field
TV: No TV
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM

Gray is evolving into a dependable big-league pitcher. That was evident in his last start when the right-hander tossed eight scoreless innings at Coors Field, limiting Miami to five hits, striking out seven, walking none and getting 13 groundball outs. It was one of the most impressive performances of Gray’s career. In 10 career starts vs. the D-backs, Gray is 3-4 with a 4.77 ERA and a 1.518 WHIP. At Chase Field, he’s 3-2 with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.500 WHIP over five starts. Leake, acquired from Seattle at the trade deadline, took a no-decision in Arizona’s loss to San Francisco on Friday, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out three over six innings. Leake served up a pair of home runs in the third, to Brandon Belt and Mike Yastrzemski, then gave up a two-run homer to Kevin Pillar in the fourth. Leake doesn’t walk many — 11 games this season without issuing a free pass — but he’s given up 34 homers, the most in the majors.

Trending: Charlie Blackmon had smacked a home run in three consecutive games entering Tuesday’s game at Arizona, but had never hit a home run in four consecutive games. With his 25th home run on Saturday, Blackmon became one of only six Rockies to hit 25 or more homers in four consecutive seasons. He joined Andres Galarraga (1994-97), Dante Bichette (1994-97), Vinny Castilla (1995-99), Todd Helton (1998-2004) and Nolan Arenado (2015-19) in that club.

At issue: First baseman Daniel Murphy has fallen into a lingering slump. Entering Tuesday night’s game, he had batted 6-for-41 (.146) over his last 12 games with just one multi-hit game.

Pitching probables
Thursday: Rockies RHP German Marquez (11-5, 4.71) at Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas (7-13, 4.30), 5:45 p.m., ATTRM
Friday: Rockies RHP Peter Lambert (2-3, 6.55 ERA) at Cardinals RHP Jack Flaherty (7-6, 3.46), 6:50 p.m., ATTRM
Saturday: Rockies RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-4, 5.87) at Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson (12-6, 3.63), 5:15 p.m., ATTRM, FS1

Categories: All Denver News.

Guidelines say more women may need breast cancer gene test

August 20, 2019 - 6:52pm

WASHINGTON — More women may benefit from gene testing for hereditary breast or ovarian cancer, especially if they’ve already survived cancer once, an influential health group recommended Tuesday.

Ewa Krawczyk, National Cancer Institute via APThis undated fluorescence-colored microscope image made available by the National Institutes of Health in Sept. 2016 shows a culture of human breast cancer cells.

At issue are genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. When they’re mutated, the body can’t repair damaged DNA as well, greatly increasing the chances of breast, ovarian and certain other cancers. Gene testing allows affected women to consider steps to lower their risk, such as when actress Angelina Jolie underwent a preventive mastectomy several years ago.

Most cancer isn’t caused by BRCA mutations — they account for 5% to 10% of breast cancers and 15% of ovarian cancers — so the gene tests aren’t for everyone. But mutations cluster in families, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has long recommended that doctors screen women who have relatives with BRCA-related cancers and refer those who might benefit from gene testing to a genetic counselor to help them decide.

Tuesday, the task force expanded that advice, telling primary care doctors they should also assess women’s risk if:

–they previously were treated for breast or other BRCA-related cancers including ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancers, and now are considered cancer-free.

–their ancestry is prone to BRCA mutations, such as Ashkenazi Jewish women.

Why screen breast cancer survivors? After all, they already know there’s a risk of recurrence.

Take, for example, someone who had a tumor removed in one breast in their 40s a decade ago, when genetic testing wasn’t as common. Even this many years later, a BRCA test still could reveal if they’re at risk for ovarian cancer — or at higher than usual risk for another tumor in their remaining breast tissue, explained task force member Dr. Carol Mangione of the University of California, Los Angeles. And it could alert their daughters or other relatives to a potential shared risk.

“It’s important to test those people now,” Mangione said. “We need to get the word out to primary care doctors to do this assessment and to make the referrals.”

Private insurers follow task force recommendations on what preventive care to cover, some at no out-of-pocket cost under rules from former President Barack Obama’s health care law. The recommendations were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Cancer groups have similar recommendations for BRCA testing, and increasingly urge that the newly diagnosed be tested, too, because the inherited risk can impact choices about surgery and other treatment.

Identifying BRCA mutation carriers “can be lifesaving, and should be a part of routine medical care,” Drs. Susan Domchek of the University of Pennsylvania and Mark Robson of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who weren’t involved with the new guidelines, wrote in an editorial accompanying them.

But too few high-risk women ever learn if they harbor BRCA mutations, they wrote. For example, cancer groups have long recommended that all ovarian cancer patients be tested, but several studies have found testing is done in less than a third.

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Don’t skip the genetic counseling, said the task force’s Mangione. BRCA testing can cause anxiety and sometimes gives confusing results, finding mutations that might not be dangerous — things the counselors are trained to interpret. There’s a shortage of genetic counselors, particularly in rural areas, and she said counseling by phone can work.

There’s a wide array of gene tests, some that search just for BRCA mutations and others that test dozens of additional genes at the same time. There’s even a direct-to-consumer kit sold by 23andMe — but Domchek and Robson warned it only detects the three mutations found most in women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, not dozens of other mutations.

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

Categories: All Denver News.

WATCH: USWNT star Carli Lloyd shows up to Eagles camp, splits uprights with 55-yard field goal

August 20, 2019 - 5:30pm

Any NFL teams looking for a kicker might want to consider Carli Lloyd.

The U.S. Women’s National Team star showed up at the Philadelphia Eagles training facility on Tuesday, and got a chance to show off her leg.

The results were predictably impressive for the two-time World Cup champion and FIFA Player of the Year — including one from 55 yards out that was caught on video.

Thank you to the @Eagles for having me out! Thanks to @JustinTuck @jake_elliott22 @MayorRandyBrown for the good time and tips!

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