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Suspect dies in shootout with Arapahoe County sheriff’s deputies

June 23, 2018 - 12:55pm

A man was killed in a shootout Saturday with Arapahoe County sheriff’s deputies who were responding to a domestic violence call Saturday morning, officials said.

None of the four responding deputies was struck, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Julie Brooks.

The suspect, who has not been named, was taken to a hospital, Brooks said. He died at the hospital, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

The shooting happened just before 10:30 a.m. in a residential neighborhood at East Caley Avenue and South Olive Street. The deputies were responding to a 911 call alleging domestic violence at a home. When they arrived, a suspect leaving the home in a vehicle shot at them.

Deputies returned fire, according to the news release. Brooks didn’t know how many shots were fired.

The names of the deputies were not released. All have been with the agency for more than 10 years, two for more than 20 years.

Brooks said witnesses were being questioned.

Neighbor Rebecca Hodgkins was in her bedroom with the windows open when she heard about a dozen shots, she said.

“I first thought that it couldn’t be gunfire,” she said. “I thought it had to be fireworks.”

Hodgkins and other neighbors attended a news briefing to learn what had happened.

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Garfield County wildfire threatens homes near Carbondale, grows to 40 acres

June 23, 2018 - 10:56am

A wildfire burning in Garfield County threatened 60 homes, caused evacuations and grew to about 40 acres overnight Friday into Saturday, according to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire, named the Oak Meadows fire by authorities, started burning about 5 miles west of Carbondale in the Oak Meadows subdivision south of Glenwood Springs just before 6 p.m. Friday, said Larry Helmerick, spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center in Lakewood.

No structures have been lost, but the fire advanced to within a few hundred yards of some cabins and buildings. No updates on the size of the fire were available Saturday afternoon.

Power was turned off to the south part of Oak Meadows. Firefighters launched air operations — including two single-engine air tankers, a helicopter and one large air tanker — Saturday morning.

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“PLEASE NO DRONES OR DRONE ACTIVITY,” read a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office. “THAT WILL HALT ALL AIR OPERATIONS.”

Residents who were evacuated were allowed to return home, the sheriff’s office said late Friday night, but the area remained smoky. Those returning to houses along Aspen Way were asked to park below so firefighters can access the area.

Crews from around the state are heading to Garfield County to help fight the blaze.

Anyone looking for updated information about the fire is encouraged to keep an eye on the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Categories: All Denver News.

Bicyclist dies in crash in Denver; driver arrested

June 23, 2018 - 10:40am

A bicyclist died in a hit-and-run crash early Saturday.

According to Sonny Jackson of the Denver Police Department, the crash happened at the intersection of Speer Boulevard and Logan Street about 1:45 a.m Saturday. After hitting the bicyclist, the male driver fled but was arrested later near Cherry Creek Drive and Holly Street.

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The bicyclist, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

#Traffic #DPD is on scene of a fatal Hit and Run crash at Speer and Logan. Crash involved a vehicle vs bicycle. The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the run vehicle is in custody. Eastbound Speer is closed expect delays. pic.twitter.com/JaWvpxuzYF

— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) June 23, 2018

The intersection at Speer and Logan was closed for several hours while police investigated. According to Jackson, authorities are investigating whether alcohol was involved.

It remains unclear what charges the driver will face.

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Avalanche select two Finns to begin Day 2 of the NHL draft; goalie Grubauer signed to three-year contract

June 23, 2018 - 9:44am

The Avalanche, following a relatively busy first round of the NHL draft on Friday — acquiring goalie Philipp Grubauer from Washington and selecting Czech winger Martin Kaut with the 16th pick — went to work Saturday for the final six rounds.

The Avs entered the day with the 58th pick in the second round, but they traded that to Pittsburgh for picks No. 64 and No. 146. At 64 — the second pick of the third round — Colorado chose Finnish goalie Justus Annunen, who was the third goalie selected in the draft. Annunen (6-foot-4, 217 pounds) is ranked fourth among European goalies.

Later in the third round, at No. 78, Colorado chose Finnish left wing Sampo Ranta, a University of Wisconsin recruit who played last season in the junior-A United States Hockey League for Sioux City. Ranta, 18, was ranked 18th among North American skaters.

The Avs went on to select American left wing Tyler Weiss in the fourth round and Canadian center Brandon Saigeon and defenseman Danila Zhuravlyov of Russia in the fifth round, the latter pick acquired from the Penguins.

Colorado’s sixth-round pick was forward Nikolai Kovalenko of the Kontinental Hockey League. He is the son of former Nordique/Avalanche forward Andrei Kovalenko, who was traded from Colorado to Montreal in the 1995 deal that sent goalie Patrick Roy to the Avs. The younger Kovalenko was born in Raleigh, N.C., when his father was playing for the Carolina Hurricanes.

“We’re pretty happy with the draft right now,” Avs director of amateur scouting Alan Hepple said of the club’s body of work. “We started Friday night with a guy that we targeted in Martin Kaut, and it went from there. We had the opportunity to move back in one of the rounds to pick up an extra pick. We still had a lot of guys left on the board that we liked, and that’s why we did it.”

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Following the draft, the Avs announced it had signed Grubauer — a pending restricted free agent — to a three-year contract worth $13.35 million. His annual cap hit will be $3.35 million, $3.9 million and $2.75 million.

“He was just in a dressing room that went through a grind,” Avs general manager Joe Sakic said of Grubauer, who begin the playoffs as Washington’s starting goalie. “You don’t win a Stanley Cup if you’re not part of a close team that believes and knows how to win in the playoffs. And he had a huge part in getting them into the playoffs. He’s had two really good years in a backup role, and we all feel he’s ready to take the next step and become a No. 1. We’re excited to have two No. 1 goalies.”

Oft-injured goalie Semyon Varlamov is under contract through next season at $5.9 million.

2018 Avalanche draft picks

First round (16 overall) — RW Martin Kaut, 6-foot-2, 177 pounds, Pardubice (Czech pro)

— Regarded as one of the best young Czech Republic prospects.

Third round (64, from Pittsburgh) — G Justus Annunen, 6-4, 217, Karpat (Finnish pro)

— Became the third goalie selected in the draft.

Third round (78) — LW Sampo Ranta, 6-2, 188, Sioux City (USHL)

— Will begin his college career with former Avs coach Tony Granato at Wisconsin.

Fourth round (109) — LW Tyler Weiss, 5-10, 151, U.S. Development Program

— Committed to play for the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.

Fifth round (140) — C Brandon Saigeon, 6-2, 194, Hamilton (OHL)

— Older than most, the 20-year-old became a draft pick after leading Hamilton to the OHL championship.

Fifth round (146) — D Danila Zhuravlyov, 6-0, 163, Irbis Kazan (Rus Jr.)

— Served as alternate captain for Russia’s most recent U18 World Championship team.

Sixth round (171) — RW Nikolai Kovalenko, 5-10, 174, Yaroslavl Lokomotiv (KHL)

— Born in North Carolina but raised in his father’s homeland of Russia.

Seventh round (202) — G Shamil Shmakov, 6-6, 194, Sibirskie Snaipery (MHL)

— A likely project, he wasn’t ranked among European top 18 goalies.

Categories: All Denver News.

Aurora police ask the public’s help in finding 17-year-old girl

June 23, 2018 - 7:36am

The Aurora Police Department is asking the public to help find a missing 17-year-old girl.

Photo courtesy Aurora Police DepartmentAurora Police are asking the public to help find 17-year-old “endangered” girl Fenix Stanford.

Fenix Stanford was last seen near Mississippi Avenue and Potomac Street on June 15, police said.

Stanford is a 5-foot-6, 150-pound African-American girl with black hair, dark eyes and braces.

Because Stanford is a juvenile and the investigation into her disappearance remains ongoing, Aurora Police said they could not elaborate on why they believe the girl is in danger.

Anyone who sees Stanford is asked to call 911.

 

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Sunscreen and rain boots are appropriate weather accessories this weekend

June 23, 2018 - 6:27am

Soak up Saturday’s sunshine and high temperatures while it lasts, Denver, because the evening and following day are expected to see thunderstorms.

If the start of summer signals a pool day on the agenda, Saturday afternoon should fit the bill, with sunny skies and a high of 88 degrees predicted, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

As the day progresses, clouds are likely going to roll in and bring a slight chance of evening showers and thunderstorms.

In northeast and north-central Colorado, some storms could be severe enough to produce hail and wind gusts blowing up to 60 mph, the weather service said.

Higher terrain also can expect Saturday evening showers.

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Sunday might make a good day to stay inside and watch a display of lightning from a window as a chance of showers and thunderstorms looms. The weather service predicted a high of 73 degrees accompanied by a sky full of clouds.

Temperatures are expected to climb back into the 90s early next week.

Categories: All Denver News.

James Karagas, beloved owner of My Brother’s Bar, dies at 87

June 23, 2018 - 5:00am

James Karagas may have owned iconic My Brother’s Bar in Denver, but that didn’t keep him in the back with the books. He preferred his station at the door where he could greet people and lead them to their table for the best burgers in town.

Karagas died on Father’s Day, June 17. He was 87.

One of four boys, Karagas was born in 1930 in Detroit, Mich. Growing up, the Karagas brothers took marching orders from their father, helping to maintain and run the family bar and restaurant.

Seating guests and busing tables through high school gave Karagas a knack for the business. After graduating from McKinley High School and working odd jobs in the restaurant industry, Karagas took the family business to Colorado — along with his brother Angelo, or Auggie as he was known by friends and family — buying one of the oldest saloons in Denver in 1970.

“Jim drove over the pass into Denver and told Angelo ‘I’ve got to live here,'” said Karagas’ wife of 30 years Linda.

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After buying out the iconic establishment, where legends like Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac had wracked up a tab decades before, the brothers never got around to naming it. Rather, the bar named itself. When a creditor would come calling to collect, one of the brother’s would always refer them to the other — saying, “Oh, that’s my brother’s bar.Talk to him.”

The name stuck — so well that it remains sign-less to this day — and the landmark watering hole began its new era on the corner of 15th and Platte Street.

For the next 47 years, Karagas poured his heart and soul into My Brother’s Bar. At one point or another he and Angelo wore every hat in the house, greeting and serving guests while keeping the grill hot and the burgers coming.

In 1974, the brothers retired the namesake excuse, and Angelo moved 10 blocks closer to downtown to manage the Karagas’ second establishment, the Wazee Supper Club.

The brothers had a pair of operations, but Jim stayed by at My Brother’s.

“He was the owner, but that wasn’t important” Linda said. “He was at the door greeting people. That was one of his happiest places.”

Everyday Karagas would commute from Boulder and his beloved mountains — at one point commuting twice a day so he could still enjoy family dinners with his daughter before the late shift.

My Brother’s Bar became known as a family place that welcomed both locals and newcomers and served some of the best food in town. During Girl Scout cookies season, the famous colorful boxes could be seen stacked along the bar — at first in support of Karagas’ daughter Demi and later local Girl Scouts — available for wholesale purchase at the end of every meal.

As the sports-bar scene took root in Denver, Karagas kept My Brother’s true to its roots, failing to install TVs and keeping the classical music playing year-round. My Brother’s was a place for enjoying a strong drink, good food and great company.

But as much joy as My Brother’s brought to Platte Street, the bar also brought Karagas the other joy of his life, family. In 1985, Linda walked into My Brother’s looking for a bite to eat. Two years later, Linda and Jim were married.

Yet for Karagas, family didn’t stop with blood or marriage licenses; it also extended to his staff. When Karagas decided to sell the restaurant in early 2017, My Brother’s head waitress and manager Paula Newman bought the bar along with her son Danny. More than 30 years beforehand, in 1984, Newman had brought Danny along during an interview for a waitress job at My Brother’s, and the rest was history.

“The Newmans are about as close as we can get without truly being family,” Karagas said when the sale was finalized.

In the summer of 2017, Karagas and his late brother Angelo were inducted into the Colorado Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame for five decades of serving Denver. And for the remainder of his life, he and Linda ate out every night so he could continue to people-watch.

Kargas is survived by wife Linda, daughter Demi, stepdaughters Tracey and Paige, brother Al, and five grandchildren.

A service will be held 3 p.m. Monday, June 25, at First Methodist Church in Boulder. The family asks that instead of sending flowers, friends consider donating to the Alzheimer’s Association or Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Categories: All Denver News.

Justices adopt digital-age privacy rules to track cellphones

June 23, 2018 - 5:00am

WASHINGTON — Police generally need a warrant to look at records that reveal where cellphone users have been, the Supreme Court ruled Friday in a big victory for privacy interests in the digital age.

The justices’ 5-4 decision marks a big change in how police may obtain information that phone companies collect from the ubiquitous cellphone towers that allow people to make and receive calls, and transmit data. The information has become an important tool in criminal investigations.

Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by the court’s four liberals, said cellphone location information “is detailed, encyclopedic and effortlessly compiled.” Roberts wrote that “an individual maintains a legitimate expectation of privacy in the record of his physical movements” as they are captured by cellphone towers.

Roberts said the court’s decision is limited to cellphone tracking information and does not affect other business records, including those held by banks. He also wrote that police still can respond to an emergency and obtain records without a warrant.

But the dissenting conservative justices, Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, cast doubt on Roberts’ claim that the decision was limited. Each wrote a dissenting opinion and Kennedy said in his that the court’s “new and uncharted course will inhibit law enforcement” and “keep defendants and judges guessing for years to come.”

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Roberts does not often line up with his liberal colleagues against a unified front of conservative justices, but digital-age privacy cases can cross ideological lines, as when the court unanimously said in 2014 that a warrant is needed before police can search the cellphone of someone they’ve just arrested.

The court ruled Friday in the case of Timothy Carpenter, who was sentenced to 116 years in prison for his role in a string of robberies of Radio Shack and T-Mobile stores in Michigan and Ohio. Cell tower records spanning 127 days, which investigators got without a warrant, bolstered the case against Carpenter.

Investigators obtained the records with a court order that requires a lower standard than the “probable cause” needed for a warrant. “Probable cause” requires strong evidence that a person has committed a crime.

The judge at Carpenter’s trial refused to suppress the records, finding no warrant was needed, and a federal appeals court agreed. The Trump administration said the lower court decisions should be upheld.

The American Civil Liberties Union, representing Carpenter, said a warrant would provide protection against unjustified government snooping.

“This is a groundbreaking victory for Americans’ privacy rights in the digital age. The Supreme Court has given privacy law an update that it has badly needed for many years, finally bringing it in line with the realities of modern life,” said ACLU attorney Nathan Freed Wessler, who argued the Supreme Court case in November.

The administration relied in part on a 1979 Supreme Court decision that treated phone records differently than the conversation in a phone call, for which a warrant generally is required.

The earlier case involved a single home telephone and the court said then that people had no expectation of privacy in the records of calls made and kept by the phone company.

“The government’s position fails to contend with the seismic shifts in digital technology that made possible the tracking of not only Carpenter’s location but also everyone else’s, not for a short period but for years and years,” Roberts wrote.

The court decided the 1979 case before the digital age, and even the law on which prosecutors relied to obtain an order for Carpenter’s records dates from 1986, when few people had cellphones.

The Supreme Court in recent years has acknowledged technology’s effects on privacy. In 2014, Roberts also wrote the opinion that police must generally get a warrant to search the cellphones of people they arrest. Other items people carry with them may be looked at without a warrant, after an arrest.

Roberts said then that a cellphone is almost “a feature of human anatomy.” On Friday, he returned to the metaphor to note that a phone “faithfully follows its owner beyond public thoroughfares and into private residences, doctor’s offices, political headquarters, and other potentially revealing locales.”

As a result, he said, “when the government tracks the location of a cell phone it achieves near perfect surveillance, as if it had attached an ankle monitor to the phone’s user.”

Even with the court’s ruling in Carpenter’s favor, it’s too soon to know whether he will benefit from Friday’s decision, said Harold Gurewitz, Carpenter’s lawyer in Detroit. The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will have to evaluate whether the cellphone tracking records can still be used against Carpenter under the “good faith” exception for law enforcement — evidence should not necessarily be thrown out if authorities obtained it in a way they thought the law required. There also is other evidence implicating Carpenter that might be sufficient to sustain his conviction.

Categories: All Denver News.

Saunders: Will Nolan Arenado ever replace Todd Helton as Rockies’ greatest player?

June 23, 2018 - 5:00am

I vividly remember Sept. 29, 2013.

I was working the cramped and antiquated visitors clubhouse at Dodger Stadium, hunting for stories and tidbits on the final day of Todd Helton’s brilliant career.

Helton, age 40, was a bit irascible. I couldn’t blame him. It was an emotional day and everyone wanted a piece of him, including a 22-year-old, rookie third baseman named Nolan Arenado.

Arenado hung out near Helton’s locker, wanting to get a bat signed, wanting to be part of the moment. Eventually, Helton used a few choice words to banish the kid from his presence.

Arenado is no longer a kid. He’s 27, a five-time Gold Glove winner and a three-time all-star. He has become the face of the Rockies, at least for now, and has a chance — a chance, mind you — of being the greatest Rockies player of all time.

Only when more time has passed and when perspective becomes more measured will we know which man holds the title. There is no right answer, of course, but it’s a fun sports bar argument. With Helton, as well as Larry Walker, returning to Coors Field this weekend as part of the Rockies’ silver anniversary celebration, it’s a good time to stir the debate.

I’m aware that many fans believe Walker is the most-talented player in franchise history, but Helton’s No. 17 is the club’s only retired number, and his face belongs on Colorado’s Mount Rushmore of sports figures.

Here are Helton’s career statistics: 2,247 games played, .316 batting average, .414 on-base percentage, 2,519 hits, 369 homers, 592 doubles, 1,406 RBIs and a .953 OPS. He won four Gold Gloves and was a five-time all-star. That might be good enough to get Helton to Cooperstown.

Here are Arenado’s statistics, entering the weekend: 789 games played, .292 batting average, .346 on-base percentage, 838 hits, 164 homers, 202 doubles, 557 RBIs and a .885 OPS.

For a better comparison, here are Helton’s numbers after his first 789 games: .334 average, .418 OBP,  937 hits, 178 homers, 226 doubles, 602 RBIs and a 1.033 OPS.

A couple of things should be noted here. First, Helton’s production waned significantly in the second half of his career. For example, he mashed 251 homers from 1997-2004 vs. 118 from  2005-2013. Second, from 1997-2001, he played without the humidor at Coors Field.

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It’s clear Helton was a better pure hitter early in his career than Arenado has been, but Arenado’s .309 average last season, and his .317 mark this year, show that’s he’s becoming a more mature hitter. What’s more, if Arenado stays healthy, he could very well finish his career with more home runs, doubles and RBIs than Helton.

Yet staying healthy and putting up plus-numbers over the long haul isn’t easy, and it remains to be seen if Arenado will stand the test of time.

It is clear that Arenado’s legacy as a fielder overshadows Helton. As good as Helton was around the first-base bag, he never impacted games on an almost daily basis the way Arenado does. It’s evident, already, that Arenado wields one of the best third-base gloves in big-league history.

If he keeps it up, Arenado’s combination of defense and power hitting will land him in the Hall of Fame. But whether his No. 28 will ever join Helton’s No. 17 on the second-deck facade at Coors Field remains in doubt. Arenado is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2019 season and there has not been any movement toward signing him to a long-term deal.

Should Arenado stand any chance of going down as the greatest to ever wear purple pinstripes, general manager Jeff Bridich will need to offer a contract that makes sticking around Denver worth his while.

Categories: All Denver News.

Diana DeGette, Mike Coffman to visit border facilities this weekend as issue of family separation continues to smolder

June 23, 2018 - 4:00am

WASHINGTON — Two Colorado lawmakers this weekend plan to join a growing swell of politicians headed to the Texas border to get a firsthand look at the way U.S. authorities treat migrant families.

U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, and Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, both tout their trips as fact-finding missions aimed at gathering more information about the Trump administration’s controversial policy of separating families who are caught trying to illegally enter the U.S.

“I think it’s important to see for myself,” Coffman said in an interview outside Capitol Hill.

But the separate visits by DeGette and Coffman also have raised eyebrows among their political opponents, who see an electoral bent to the excursions.

Courtesy of Saira RaoSaira Rao is challenging U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

“Immigration can’t be an issue that you focus on in election cycles,” said Saira Rao, a political newcomer who faces DeGette, an 11-term incumbent, in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Rao described the trip as a “photo op.”

Coffman — who faces no primary challenge but has long been a target of Colorado Democrats — faces similar skepticism.

Once an immigration hardliner, Coffman changed his position after being drawn into an Aurora-area seat divided almost equally among Democrats, Republicans and independents, and is roughly 20 percent Latino.

The new stance often has put the Republican incumbent at odds with the White House; on Thursday, Coffman attracted national attention by calling on President Donald Trump to fire adviser Stephen Miller, who pushed the policy that led to the separation of migrant families.

or some other senior leadership figure on the job of making sure each and every child is returned to their parents. And the President should fire Stephen Miller now. This is a human rights mess. It is on the President to clean it up and fire the people responsible for making it.

— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) June 21, 2018

Even so, Coffman has attracted heat from the left for getting behind a not-yet-finalized immigration measure House Republicans are crafting.

One draft of the bill, which could face a vote next week, would provide about $25 billion for border security, including the wall that Trump made a central plank of his 2016 campaign. It also would provide a legal framework for people brought illegally to the U.S. as children, often called “Dreamers,” to remain in the country.

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“I certainly support it and will vote for it,” Coffman said.

But immigration activists have taken issue with a number of the proposals in the measure; they say it would eliminate the diversity visa program and, for many, would not include a clear path to citizenship.

“Voting for this bill is an affront to Dreamers and the immigrant community,” said Beatriz Lopez, a spokeswoman with the Immigration Hub, a liberal advocacy group.

One major question still awaiting policymakers is the fate of more than 2,300 migrant children who were separated from their parents after being apprehended by U.S. authorities.

Although Trump this week reversed his administration’s own policy by signing an executive order that would halt the practice, the aftereffects of past separations remain in place.

DeGette said one purpose of her visit to Texas — which includes stops at the McAllen border patrol station and a detention facility in Port Isabel — would be to talk to federal authorities about how they intend to reunite the families.

“There hasn’t been a very clear record of whose kid is where,” DeGette said. “I’m hoping I can press the agency officials who are on the ground there … about what they’re going to do.”

The trip, however, hasn’t insulated DeGette from criticism from Rao, her primary opponent.

Rao has run to the left of DeGette in their Democratic matchup by calling for the impeachment of Trump and the defunding of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

She said DeGette’s actions on immigration were too little, too late, and she accused Colorado’s longest-serving federal lawmaker of not doing enough to promote priorities such as the DREAM Act, a perennial legislative wish of immigration activists that would create a pathway to legal residency and citizenship for immigrants who illegally came to the U.S. as children.

“This should have been her entire life’s work for the past 15 years, and it wasn’t, and it hasn’t been, and that is a really big reason why I decided to run,” Rao said.

In response to the criticism, aides to the Denver Democrat noted DeGette has co-sponsored the DREAM Act going back to 2007.

For his part, Coffman has taken heat over immigration from Democrats Jason Crow and Levi Tillemann. The winner of their primary will face Coffman in November.

Denver Post fileJason Crow, left, and Levi Tillemann.

During his border trip, the GOP lawmaker’s plan is to visit a facility for child immigrants in Tornillo, Texas.

The aim, he said in a statement, is to ensure the “children are being properly cared for and that there is a process in place to ensure the prompt reunification of parents with their children.”

Asked whether these congressional visits are helpful, one Colorado immigration activist said that they can be — provided the trips are followed up with action.

“Only through seeing the conditions for themselves, understanding the scope of the pain and suffering can Congress be compelled to act,” said Nicole Melaku, the executive director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. “They will also have to answer to their voters if they choose to not take action on what they see.”

Categories: All Denver News.

Ask Amy: Vegas wedding leads to work email feud

June 23, 2018 - 3:30am

Dear Amy: A work friend was getting married, and she decided to have her wedding in Las Vegas. I was not able to attend the wedding, but I made her bridal veil, and participated in a group gift from work friends.

Afterward, she sent a group email at work, thanking all of her “true friends” that “bothered to come to the wedding.” I received no thank you for making the veil.

I am hurt and feel like confronting her, but I’m not sure what to do.

— Jilted friend

Dear Jilted: You are right, and the bride is wrong; wedding etiquette (and general decency) states that the bride and groom should send a thank-you note for any gift they receive. That includes a veil.

However, I don’t think you should hold your breath for a thank-you. In terms of confronting her, you may have to stand in line behind other colleagues who want to react to her rudeness.

Her choice to passive-aggressively email her co-workers (presumably through your work email system) about an out-of-town NON-work event is a poor one, and this could end up damaging her.

Think about it: you considered her a friend and you would like to confront her about her behavior. Imagine how other office folks felt receiving this email — people who weren’t on the best terms with her before this hit their inbox, some of whom may control her daily workload. Or people who did come to her wedding, who have now been roped into an email argument they wanted no part of, and are now busy deleting all their cute wedding pics from social media. Perhaps your HR representative saw this email, and would like to give this no-longer-blushing-bride a gentle reminder about your office code of conduct.

I get that you’re hurt, but don’t make the same mistake your co-worker has made and play this out at work. Instead, downgrade this relationship status from “work friendship” to “civil co-worker,” and remember this feeling: use it as a reminder to express your thanks, in writing, quickly and appropriately.

Dear Amy: A couple months ago I broke up with my boyfriend of two years for someone else. I now see this as the biggest mistake of my life.

How do I convince my hesitant ex that we’re still meant to be together?

— Stuck in Love

Dear Stuck: First, I sincerely hope that you have apologized for the way you treated the man you dumped for someone else. If not, saying sorry is an important first step. A letter (or email) is a good way to do this. Keep it simple: Express your sorrow and regret over your behavior, and tell him you hope he can find it in his heart to forgive you. Tell him you miss him, and ask if he would be willing to meet you for coffee. Write it out, read it several times and wait a couple of days before sending.

Put yourself in his shoes for a moment: he got dumped and he has tried to move on, which can be a very difficult process. Just when he thinks he is moving forward, here you come, strolling down apology lane, claiming you’ve made a mistake. While you are convinced that the two of you are meant to be together, your ex may disagree.

If you are serious about trying to revive your relationship, then you will need to be respectful of his feelings and move at his pace. Leaving him for someone else is a serious breach of trust, and your hesitant ex may not feel like he can ever trust you again. Give him time to consider your apology.

Equally important, you need to fully accept the fact that you may never win him back. If he decided he doesn’t want to get together, you must accept that and respect his wishes. Wondering and worrying is the price you will pay for your own behavior.

Dear Amy: “Sad Mom/Grandma” was devastated at her kids’ inattention on Mother’s Day. She wants to be reimbursed for “services rendered” — cooking 100,000 meals over the years, etc. Her adult children seemed to do the minimum on this day.

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I would rather get calls and visits throughout the year than an obligatory dinner on Mother’s Day.

Luckily, I get both.

— Happy

Dear Happy: Mother’s Day is an emotionally loaded day for mothers, stepmothers and the kids they raise. I understood this woman’s desire for a modest celebration, other than what she described as “obligatory” phone calls. I hope she gets what she wants.

Categories: All Denver News.

Wildfire on Western Slope burns south of Glenwood Springs

June 22, 2018 - 8:44pm

A wildfire on the Western Slope, south of Glenwood Springs, has burned about 20 acres and is growing, according to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Residents who had been evacuated by the Oak Meadows fire were allowed to return home Friday at 10 p.m. after power had been restored, the sheriff’s office said.

Crews will be monitoring the smoky fire overnight.

On Friday 50 firefighters fought the blaze and were supported by air drops from four single-engine tankers and one larger tanker. Air resources are expected to resume at about 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

View from Missouri Heights of Oak Meadows fire. Just saw two planes pic.twitter.com/4g5otyWswS

— Ann Driggers (@anndriggers) June 23, 2018

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The fire is burning along Fourmile Creek near the Oak Meadows subdivision. There were no reports of injuries or structures burned Friday. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Saturday’s weather forecast for Glenwood Springs is sunny skies with a high temperature of 84 degrees and light winds, according to the National Weather Service.

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Parker road rage shooting victim thought e-cigarette exploded

June 22, 2018 - 7:41pm

It was a day that Rob Rowland will never forget.

He was heading home from work, and had just exited E-470 at South Parker Road, when he heard a loud pop, and felt a searing pain in his left hand.

He thought his e-cigarette exploded and fell to the floor.

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“I just knew my hand was in pain and was gushing blood,” he told Denver7. “The first thing I did was try to stop the bleeding, so I wrapped it in my shirt.”

Then he heard two more pops.

Read the full story on thedenverchannel.com.

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Motorcyclist killed, another in “grave” condition after collision with SUV in Longmont

June 22, 2018 - 7:25pm

One motorcyclist was killed and another is in “grave” condition after both men crashed into an SUV that police say disregarded traffic signals in Longmont on Thursday night.

According to a news release, a Hyundai Kona SUV was traveling northbound on County Road 1 at 10:08 p.m. Thursday when the driver turned west into the eastbound lane of Sunshine Avenue, disregarding a no-left-turn arrow and a do-not-enter sign.

Two motorcycles headed south on County Line Road 1 collided with the SUV as it made the left turn.

One of the riders, a 40-year-old Longmont man, was killed at the scene. The other rider, also a 40-year-old Longmont man, was transported to Longs Peak Hospital with very serious injuries and is in grave condition, police said.

Deputy Chief Jeff Satur said Friday evening that the other rider has since been moved to another hospital where he can receive a higher level of care.

The driver of the SUV, a 36-year-old who has not been publicly identified, was uninjured.

Representatives from the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office were on scene, but the crash remains under investigation and no charges have been filed at this time.

Police are investigating whether the SUV driver was impaired.

The crash caused County Line Road 1 to be closed from just after 10 p.m. Thursday to 5:15 a.m. Friday.

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Satur said the driver of the SUV has been cooperative with investigators. An autopsy on the man who died has been completed, and police have taken the necessary blood samples. Traffic investigators still need to conduct mechanical investigations on the vehicles and download black box information if it is available.

“They’ve got a little more work to do,” he said.

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Bureau of Land Management agrees to pay energy company $1.5 million for canceled leases

June 22, 2018 - 7:22pm

GRAND JUNCTION — The Bureau of Land Management has agreed to pay SG Interests $1.5 million after the energy company sued over the cancellation of 18 oil and gas leases covering more than 30 square miles (78 square kilometers) in the Thompson Divide area in western Colorado.

The undeveloped leases in the vast White River National Forest were among 25 covering more than 50 square miles (129 square kilometers) that the BLM canceled in late 2016 at the request of a coalition of governments, environmentalists, ranchers and others, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Friday. Agency officials said they were reversing what they called faulty environmental reviews that were issued between 1995 and 2012.

At the time, the agency said it would pay SG Interests and Ursa Resources, which held the other seven leases, about $1 million for what was paid for acquiring the leases at auction and for rental fees on the leases.

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In SG Interests’ case, that amounted to about $468,000. The company argued it had invested far more in working toward eventual development of the leases, claiming the cancellations were a breach of contract.

“We’re pleased that the Trump administration recognized the wrongful cancellation of the leases and compensated us for it,” said Robbie Guinn, a SG Interests vice president. “I think that this is not going to be the practice of the Trump administration. I don’t believe they’re going to be canceling any leases.”

He said the $1.5 million covered the majority of the additional permitting, surveying and other costs the company had incurred trying to develop the leases.

Mike Freeman, an attorney with the conservation group Earthjustice, also said he was happy with the settlement.

“We’re pleased that the important wildlife habitat, pristine roadless lands and public water supplies in the Thompson Divide will be protected for future generations,” he said.

SG Interests still owns the lease rights to develop deep formations under about 14 square miles (36 square kilometers) of the Thompson Divide that are known as the Wolf Creek area and were not part of the BLM lease review.

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University of Colorado approves $4.5 billion total budget for next fiscal year

June 22, 2018 - 7:13pm

The University of Colorado on Friday unanimously approved a $4.5 billion total budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The Board of Regents approved the budget, which represents about a 9.1 percent increase over this year’s budget of $4.11 billion, during a full board meeting at the Boulder campus on Friday. Direct state funding accounts for $234.5 million, or 5.2 percent, of the overall budget.

The system’s operating budget increased 6 percent, its auxiliary budget increased 11.5 percent and its restricted budget increased 10.9 percent — all of which are totaled in the overall budget. Factors driving the operating budget increase include increased state funding, increased enrollment and retention of students, and increased tuition, said Todd Saliman, CU vice president of budget and finance and chief financial officer.

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The approved system budget includes a total budget of $1.8 billion for the Boulder campus, of which $873.4 million will serve as the campus’s operating budget for educational and general expenses. The total budget includes research activity and business operations, such as the bookstore, and represents about a 6.5 percent increase over this year’s budget of $1.69 billion.

In April, the regents voted to increase tuition and fees by 3.7 percent on the Boulder campus. Incoming in-state undergraduates will pay an additional $448, totaling $12,524. The increase is based on 30 credit hours a year for students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Tuition for returning undergraduates will not increase because of the tuition guarantee that locks in costs for returning students for four years.

Read the fulls story on dailycamera.com.

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Third illegal-grow marijuana bust in Pueblo County in a week

June 22, 2018 - 6:53pm

A third illegal marijuana grow this week was busted Friday in Pueblo County, according to the sheriff’s office, and the latest discovery uncovered 420 plants, worth an estimated $1.2 million.

A Pueblo West resident called the sheriff’s office about a “strong order of marijuana” coming from inside a home at 1240 S. Walden Circle, according to a news release.

Deputies take down illegal marijuana grow in Pueblo West home. More than 400 plants, worth $1.2 million, found growing in almost every room of the home, including bathrooms & crawl space. Home was site of previous illegal grow busted in 2016. More at https://t.co/hLLDRrOc38 pic.twitter.com/WiGqjd8K42

— PuebloCounty Sheriff (@PuebloCountySO) June 22, 2018

When contacted, a man renting the home told deputies he had “only 100 plants,” the sheriff’s office said. State law allows up to 12 plants to be grown inside a residence.

Deputies got a search warrant and found plants in every room of the four-bedroom, three-bathroom, tri-level home with a two-car garage. Plants were being grown in a crawl space and laundry room. The only rooms in the house without plants were the kitchen and living room.

“This is nothing more than a grow house,” Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor said. “The electrical and heating systems had been altered significantly. Windows were covered, and irrigation systems were rigged up throughout the home.”

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The same house was busted for an illegal grow in 2016. Investigators, however, do not believe the same individuals are involved.

No arrests were made Friday, but an arrest warrant has been issued for an occupant of the home.

The two previous grows this month in the county, one on Wednesday and one on June 15, each included seizure of more than 50 plants. Investigators do not believe the three are connected.

In Friday’s case, county officials declared the residence “unsafe” to be occupied because of extensive electrical and duct alterations. Mold, a potential health hazard, was found in several rooms.

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Examining the health risk of Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr.: “I have little doubt that we’ll get him right”

June 22, 2018 - 5:46pm

Josh Kroenke flew in from Las Vegas Thursday morning following the NHL’s annual awards banquet the night before and arrived at the Nuggets’ team offices for the final stages of draft prep. His staff then dropped this bombshell of a prediction for their No. 14 overall pick.

“The first thing out of their mouths was, ‘We need to talk about Michael Porter. He might be there.’” Kroenke recalled. “I think the word I said back to them was, ‘Seriously?’”

Thus began a mad dash to answer a hypothetical question which become a reality, the drafting of Porter, who slid all the way to Denver. The fulfillment of Porter’s huge potential hinges on his ongoing recovery from back surgery last winter — known as an L3-L4 microdiscectomy to repair a herniated disk in the lower spine which resulted in inflamed nerves capable of causing severe spine, hip and leg pain/numbness. That injury kept Porter sidelined for all but 53 total game minutes as a Missouri freshman and gave NBA teams pause.

“I have little doubt that we’ll get him right,” Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said Friday.

Here’s why.

“We poured over the medical records again,” Kroenke said Friday, “and had our doctors there.”

“We had quite a bit of information at our fingertips and we kind of vet as much as you can and make an informed decision,” Connelly added. “Is it well worth the risk? Will he return to the level of play he was prior to injury? We feel good about that.”

Connelly, citing a lack of medical expertise, declined to give an exact diagnosis for what scared off 13 other teams, but those concerns stemmed from the long-term outlook of Porter’s health after surgery and then later hip spasms, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Although Porter called the minor hip issue unrelated leading up to the draft.

Porter doubled down in his Friday introduction to local media.

“I don’t expect health to be an issue down the road,” he said.

Porter had just arrived in Denver at the time of the news conference Friday, and while he had not yet met with Nuggets’ medical or athletic training staff since the draft in New York, it was top of mind. Connelly said the Nuggets will again reach out to professionals who worked with Porter in the past to verify data and best plan his next steps to get healthy.

“That’s what I’m really looking forward to,” Porter said, ” … working as hard as I can every day to come back 150 percent.”

Will he be ready as soon as summer league?

“That’s up to coach,” Porter said. “I could play, but I could be even healthier.”

The only thing that’s certain is Denver won’t rush Porter back into action.

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“The key is communication and certainly letting the player know that we have his best interests at hand,” Connelly said. “It’s his body, ultimately, and there is no better expert on his body than Michael.”

“We encourage (players) to be open and honest about how they’re feeling,” Kroenke added, “because we want to do right by them.”

The recovery rate for those who have microdiscectomy surgery such as Porter “demonstrate greater than 90-96% good or excellent results,” according to the University of Southern California Spine Center. However, the general population doesn’t put nearly the amount of stress on their body as an NBA player. And fluid athleticism is among the 6-foot-10 forward’s greatest basketball traits. Charla Fischer, a spine surgeon at NYU Langone Health, told SB Nation: “There’s re-herniation rates of 10-to-12 percent over the next 5-to-10 years.”

“I know I can be one of the best players in this league,” Porter said. “It’s up to me to reach that potential.”

A clear bill of health will require dedication, patience and a complete organizational trust in the Nuggets’ medical team.

“Whether that’s getting him ready to play next week or next year remains to be seen,” Kroenke said. “But we’re all going to huddle up with our training staff to our coaching staff to our front office and all the way up to ownership — we all had to be in sync with a decision like that.”

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50 parents separated from their children await fate at Aurora ICE facility

June 22, 2018 - 5:33pm

A Denver immigration attorney described the 50 parents who were separated from their children at the Mexican border and are detained at an Aurora detention center: Heartbroken. Worried. Desperate for information.

Through her work with the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, Brittany Hurley has been meeting with an influx of parents in Colorado separated from their children under President Donald Trump’s immigration policy.

“There are two components,” Hurley said. “One is being separated from their children and the heartbreak that entails, and then also the unknown and complete lack of information. They’re separated from their kids, but they don’t know when they’ll see them. They don’t know how they’ll see them. Not knowing really exacerbates it.”

Carl Rusnok, a spokesman for the central region of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed to The Denver Post that 50 parents “who were encountered at the border with a child (or children)” are now detained at the Aurora facility.

Some of them crossed the border, were apprehended and are being prosecuted for illegal entry under federal criminal law. Others were apprehended closer to border and are in the process of being deported. Another group came to the border seeking asylum and haven’t been prosecuted but were still separated from their children.

Hurley, who has been meeting with many of these parents since early June, said most were first processed and held in a facility closer to the border in Arizona. Many have been transferred to several facilities over the past few weeks before ending up in Colorado, Hurley said.

“One woman I met with today used the word ‘anguish’ to describe it all,” Hurley said.

The parents at the Aurora center will either have their bond hearing in immigration court, have their asylum cases processed or be deported, she said.

Members of the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network are trying to work with the detained parents. Some know where their children are being detained and have been able to speak with them, but many have no idea where in the U.S. their kids are located, Hurley said.

“It’s important for people to know that a lot of these parents are not just coming here for economic reasons,” Hurley said. “A lot of them are fleeing persecution, in the case of places like El Salvador and Honduras. They’re fleeing war zones.”

The Department of Health and Human Services hasn’t said which of the 100 shelters in 17 states the more than 2,300 separated children are, according to news reports. State and local officials have confirmed that children have been sent to New York, Oregon, California and Florida. Colorado doesn’t have an ICE facility for children.

The Trump administration’s months-old “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all adults caught trying to enter the country illegally remained up in the air Thursday after the President signed an executive order Wednesday declaring an end to separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The criminal prosecution of individuals entering the United States is nothing new,” said César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, an associate professor at University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law and who specializes in immigration law. “What is new is the targeting of people seeking asylum for prosecution and the deliberate policy of separating families as a means of ratcheting up the punitive aspect of coming to the U.S. to seek refuge.”

He noted that just because something is a violation of law doesn’t mean it is prosecuted or targeted with a heavy governmental hand.

“Lots of activities are illegal that happen every day in public that are not being prosecuted, and in Colorado there is no better example than marijuana possession and sale,” García Hernández said. “That is a crime that is punishable at a much more severe penalty than is illegal re-entry in the United States, and for most of those people, it is for the most upstanding reason of hoping your family or children will have a better life or escape violence.”

García Hernández described the aftermath of the executive order as “a new level of confusion” over whether people were still going to be criminally prosecuted.

“Lawyers in courtrooms are saying they’re going to be dismissing cases, and then Justice Department spokespeople in Washington are saying that’s not so,” García Hernández said.

What’s next for the parents detained in the Aurora facility remains unclear.

Some are eligible for bond, Hurley said. Some are in an expedited removal deportation process, which can be stopped if the person tells an asylum officer that they fear returning to their homeland. They would then be placed in a “credible fear process” of the asylum application.

“We’ve seen a lot of people in expedited removal who should be in a credible fear process,” Hurley said. “Maybe it’s a language barrier, or they didn’t understand the question because there are a lot who speak native, indigenous languages.”

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ICE could release the parents at any point, but Hurley said immigration advocates are unsure whether and when that will happen. At this point, it’s a waiting game while advocacy groups scramble to find pro bono attorneys to help the detained.

“Much of their fate comes down to whether or not they’re going to be able to find a lawyer to represent them,”  García Hernández said.

He explained that there is no right to appointed counsel in immigration court, so most detainees must face a judge by themselves.

“That puts them at an enormous disadvantage,” García Hernández said.

As the bureaucracy of the situation gets sorted, Hurley and other immigration attorneys and advocates are trying to do their jobs amid a “whirlwind.”

Violeta Chapin, an associate clinical law professor at University of Colorado at Boulder, said people are worried that immigrants will be deported without their kids, having no idea where their children are.

“That’s totally unjustifiable as far as I’m concerned,” Chapin said.

“When this all started happening, we were just scrambling to figure out how to best help people and trying to navigate the new system,” Hurley said. “Our first instinct was to figure out how we could best help people and match as many people with pro bono attorneys as possible.”

Hurley encourages any pro bono attorneys or interpreters interested in helping to reach out to organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network.

The big question on García Hernández’s mind: What’s on the other end of the hurdle post-release?

“What happens in terms of reunification with their children?” García Hernández said. “Frankly, no one knows.”

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Information on the Rockies’ 25th anniversary celebration on Saturday against the Marlins

June 22, 2018 - 5:26pm

The boys are back in town. Well, most of them anyways.

The Rockies are honoring their All-Time 25 team with a number of events and giveaways this weekend, starting with the club’s 25th Anniversary Photo Day on Saturday.

Prior to Saturday’s 1:10 p.m. game against the Marlins — the other 1993 major league expansion team — fans can enter gates A, D and E starting at 10:15 a.m. Photo opportunities begin at 10:30 on the warning track, where fans can pose with past and present All-Time 25 players.

Alumni batting practice follows at 11:30, succeeded by a special pregame ceremony at 12:40. And for the first 15,000 fans for both games this weekend, the giveaways are a replica jersey (Saturday) and a Blake Street Bomber T-shirt (Sunday, another 1:10 start).

The All-Time 25 team, voted on by the fans and revealed in December, features five current Rockies in catcher Chris Iannetta, third baseman Nolan Arenado, second baseman DJ LeMahieu and outfielders Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez.

Those players are scheduled to be present for Saturday’s photo day, in addition to former stars Pedro Astacio, Ellis Burks, Vinny Castilla, Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, Todd Helton, Huston Street, Yorvit Torrealba and Larry Walker.

After 3,500+ ballots were cast, this is the Colorado Rockies #AllTime25!#Rockies25

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