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Kiszla: They laughed at the dad jokes. Then DU’s Troy Terry and Harvard’s Ryan Donato led 5-1 win over Slovakia.

February 20, 2018 - 8:33am

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The dad jokes in the Team USA locker room are on them.

“I mess with the older guys sometimes … There’s a lot of joking back and forth,” said forward Troy Terry, who isn’t yet of legal drinking age, and doesn’t look old enough to drive a car.

That doesn’t, however, mean the wisecracks his hockey elders direct at him are all G-rated. “I don’t think I can tell you,” he said.

Terry and Ryan Donato are the babies on an American squad built around 39-year-old former NHL star Brian Gionta and a bunch of guys that probably could sneak into your Thursday-night beer league without suspicion of being ringers until they laced up the skates and hit the ice.

But the Americans will only go as far as these two college boys take them. Donato is from Harvard. Terry is a star at the University of Denver. Donato was born into a famous hockey family. And the sport that Terry’s father loved was football.

In a knock-out round game Tuesday against Slovakia, the Americans won 5-1, because Donato punched home two goals with a shot that packs a heavyweight punch and Terry dazzled with three assists that evoked the sweet cooing of ooh’s and ah’s from the crowd at Gangneung Hockey Centre.

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“We both said: ‘We’re going to be the young guys, but that doesn’t matter. We’re going to try to make an impact,’” noted Terry, describing the pact made with Donato.

Donato was born in April 1996. Terry, who won’t celebrate his 21st birthday until September, is even younger. The two college stars skate for the USA on either side of center Mark Arcobello, who is almost 30.

I call ’em The Peach Fuzz Line. Does it fit? Maybe not. But, believe me, U.S. coach Tony Granato has heard far worse suggestions.

“The Diaper Line?” said Granato, arching an eyebrow in disapproval.

For a hockey tournament whose buzz was killed by the decision of the NHL not to send its marquee names for the first time since 1998, what Donato and Terry bring is big talent that will unquestionably translate to the pro level. Donato has a big shot that’s going to make him a big star with the Boston Bruins. Anaheim drafted Terry, who waggles his stick and creates the magic that makes Donato look good, with the 148th overall pick in 2015.

“Terry sees the ice really well. (Donato) shoots it really well,” Granato said. “They’re both players that have been on a big stage before, so they can talk through the experiences they’ve been through as kids … And they’re both extremely gifted players that are going to be in the NHL real soon.”

Bruce Bennett, Getty ImagesJan Laco #50 of Slovakia tends goal against Troy Terry #23 of the United States in the second period during the Men’s Play-offs Qualifications game on day eleven of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on Feb. 20, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.

The death of the U.S. men in the medal chase was greatly exaggerated. I buried them after they got shot full of holes in a 4-0 loss to Russia during group play. I wasn’t the only one. The team obviously read the prognosis of their imminent demise, and it irked Terry.

“I won’t call them doubters, but we had some people that were pretty skeptical about our team,” Terry said. “We don’t really care what people say, we have a lot of belief in our team.”

The rout of Slovakia allowed the Americans’ medal dreams to live for one more day, for a quarterfinal match-up against the Czech Republic at high noon Wednesday in South Korea.

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From the outset of the Olympics, even when the U.S. team was having trouble linking passes much less scoring, Donato insisted it was going to be a long tournament, because that’s the way a kid raised in a hockey home is taught how to think.

OK, maybe it’s not too late for the Peach Fuzz Line to uphold another of the sport’s hallowed traditions, and start growing playoff beards.

Terry has the right stuff to pull off an upset against the Russians, the Canadians or anybody else in the tournament. So I can picture him standing on the podium, with an Olympic medal around his neck. But with a face covered by a beard?

Now that would require a miracle.

Jae C. Hong, The Associated PressRyan Donato (16), of the United States, celebrates with Mark Arcobello (26) after scoring a goal against Slovakia during the second period of the qualification round of the men’s hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018.

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What to watch from the PyeongChang Olympics on Tuesday, Feb. 20

February 20, 2018 - 8:30am

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Re-entry after a three-day weekend can be hard. But remember, the Olympics are still going on! We’re here with the highlights to help get you through your Tuesday that feels like a Monday because of Presidents Day. (All times Mountain.)

FIGURE SKATING

If it’s prime time in North America, there must be a prime event scheduled, and tonight is no exception. Women’s figure skating starts with the short program at 6 p.m. Watch for American Mirai Nagasu to land a triple axel, which she did in the team competition, making her the first U.S. woman to do so in the Olympics. While it can be hard for the casual fan to tell a salchow from a lutz, the axel jump is easier to pick out because she will take off facing forward. That means a triple actually requires 3½ rotations before landing. The Russians also have some strong contenders who may dazzle the judges.

ALPINE SKIING

Another fan favorite is set for tonight: the women’s downhill. The skiers will take to the 1¾ mile course at 7 p.m. U.S. star Lindsey Vonn finished a strong third in the second training run, a full second faster than a previous run. After suggesting she might compete in all five events, fellow American Mikaela Shriffin withdrew from the downhill and decided to concentrate on the combined, which will be Thursday. Weather has forced a compressed schedule that would have had her racing two days in a row. In the downhill, there are no gates to carve turns around; racers are just trying to find the fastest line down the course. Austria’s Stephanie Venier was the fastest in the second training run at 39.75.

BOBSLED

After a stunning tie for gold for the men’s doubles, the women will take to the bobsled track, with the first of four heats at 4:50 a.m. In bobsled, all four heats count toward the standings. In the women’s event, the two athletes push at the start to gather momentum before hopping into the sled. Once in motion, the driver steers around the sharp turns while the rider in the back tries to stay still on the bumpy ride until pulling up the brakes at the finish. Speeds can reach 90 mph.

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SHORT-TRACK SPEEDSKATING

For a taste of something special at these games, tune in to watch short-track speedskating. The South Koreans love this event and dominate in competition. As a result, the venue is packed with devoted fans at each race, rocking out to the K-pop music. The women’s 3,000-meter relay medal race will be at 6:29 a.m. Watch for the coordinated chaos as athletes transfer in and out of the race with a push on the tush!

CURLING

The first big doping scandal of these games has hit curling, of all sports. The curling world was stunned because the athletes pride themselves on a spirit of good sportsmanship. Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky, who won bronze with his partner in the mixed doubles last week is facing a doping charge that could hurt Russia’s chance at Olympic reinstatement. How will the drama affect play? We’ll find out when the women start just after midnight, with the United States facing host South Korea. The men have a round at 4:05 a.m. and the women play again at 6:05 a.m.

Related Articles ICE HOCKEY

Ice hockey playoff games start at 12:40 a.m. when Slovenia faces Norway. At 5:10 a.m., there will be two more playoffs, with Switzerland facing Germany and Finland facing host South Korea. The puck will drop at 8:10 a.m. on the men’s first quarterfinal game. One of the playoff winners will face the Czech Republic.

BIATHLON

The biathlon mixed relay medal run will start at 4:15 a.m. Like in regular biathlon, athletes must sprint on cross-country skis and then stop — with hearts pounding — to shoot five targets. In the relay, they get three extra bullets, but if they need them, they have to load them by hand. If after using all eight they still haven’t hit the five targets, they must ski a 150-meter penalty loop. For the handoff, athletes make contact within a 30-meter transition zone.



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PHOTOS: President’s Day snowstorm in Colorado, 2018

February 20, 2018 - 8:26am

A snowstorm moved into Colorado on President’s Day, February 19, 2018. It snowed through the night and left for a chilly Tuesday moring commute.

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Wife of convicted Woodland Park killer Jacob Ind: “He’s not a monster”

February 20, 2018 - 8:20am
The Gazette, file phooDenise Stalford married Jacob Ind on Jan. 19, 2018.<br />

Denise Stalford never expected to fall in love with a convicted killer.

The 31-year-old Northern Ireland-native recalled the disgust she felt when she saw “Lost for Life,” a 2013 documentary about juveniles who committed crimes and are serving life in prison without parole.

The film started with the gory details of Idaho killers Brian Lee Draper and Torey Michael Adamcik, who in 2006 killed their high school classmate Cassie Jo Stoddart.

Then came the story of infamous Woodland Park killer Jacob Ind. “I heard it in his voice,” Denise said. “He’s not a monster. He’s never been a monster.”

Now, she’s his wife.

In what Denise calls “the craziest thing I’ve done,” she wrote to Ind to sympathize with his desperation — she said she also had been abused as a teen by “two people very close to my family”– and wish him luck in his fight to be freed from prison. The U.S. Supreme Court recently had ruled mandatory life sentences for juveniles to be cruel and unusual punishment, sparking resentencing hearings across the country.

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After serving 25 years in prison, Ind, now 40, won a retrial in the 1992 killings of his mother Pamela Jordan and his stepfather Kermode Jordan, when a judge ruled he was wrongly denied the right to testify on his own behalf.

A date for the retrial has not been set.

To read more of this story go to gazette.com



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Immigration plans stuck in congressional limbo as deadlines loom

February 20, 2018 - 8:04am

The anticlimactic failure of U.S. immigration legislation last week sent senators scrambling for fallback options to avoid the deportation of young people who arrived in the country as children.

But amid upcoming fiscal deadlines, congressional election campaigns and a stubborn stalemate over legal immigration restrictions, none of the plans so far are enticing either side as the clock ticks toward expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that President Donald Trump has ordered to an end.

“What I expect is that DACA is going to expire and people will start losing their work permits,” said Mark Krikorian, who runs the Center For Immigration Studies, a group that seeks to cut immigration levels to the U.S. “There’ll be a non-zero number of DACAs taken into custody and removed. So we’ll have to see how that plays out politically.”

The courts have put Trump’s March 5 cutoff deadline on hold and a verdict may be pushed to June if the Supreme Court accepts the case on an expedited basis. That’s prompted another flurry of proposals in the Senate, none of which have any clear path to move forward.

Republican Sens. John Thune of South Dakota, Rob Portman of Ohio and Jerry Moran of Kansas proposed to give dreamers legal status without citizenship alongside $25 billion for border security, while Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., suggested extending their work permits for three years.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 GOP leader, said a potential vehicle for a DACA solution looms in the form of a massive 2018 fiscal year spending bill that must clear Congress by March 23 to avert a third government shutdown this year.

“I’d rather have a permanent bill, but if we can’t do that maybe we’ll do something shorter,” he said. “I don’t see it getting dedicated floor time, if there can be some negotiation leading up to the omnibus perhaps there can be some temporary provision, which to me is not great but that’s kinda where we are.”

In the House, meanwhile, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., has refused to consider any legislation that doesn’t have Trump’s full backing and has made no commitment to bring any plan up for a vote.

A creeping fatalism is setting in among some Democrats.

“People need to be very clear in their minds that this issue is not going to get fixed as long as Republicans control Congress,” said Adam Jentleson, who worked for former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “This is just the way it is.”

The ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, said trying to tie an immigration measure to a March 23 funding bill to force the issue would backfire. “Clearly the American people, at least by the polling, thought it was more important to keep the government open than to deal with the dreamers,” he said in an interview. “You don’t want sympathy for the dreamers to be damaged, which I think there’s a potential for that.”

The Trump administration gave no sign it was ready to reopen negotiations. After the Senate failed to move ahead on any immigration legislation, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders blamed Democrats, saying in a statement they were “held hostage by the radical left in their party, which opposes any immigration control at all.”

The crux of the Senate stalemate is about legal immigration. Democrats acquiesced to Trump’s demand for $25 billion for border security, but they’ve stood firm against his calls to eliminate the ability of U.S. citizens to sponsor siblings, parents and adult children for green cards – at least in the context of a DACA fix. Trump has refused to support bipartisan measures without cuts to what he calls “chain migration,” and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has stood by him.

What happens next?

“I have no clue. I really don’t,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who co-sponsored a bipartisan compromise that failed 54-45 after Trump and his aides made an all-out effort to kill it.

When asked whether he thinks DACA recipients — many of whom aren’t familiar with the countries their parents brought them from — will be deported if Congress takes no action, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, a lead author of the compromise, said “Ask the president.”

Congress is off this week, and McConnell is planning to move on to confirming judicial and executive branch nominees when it returns. Any future effort to address immigration, including a pared-back version, is likely to face the same combustible political mix that brought down last week’s Senate proposals.

Republicans have a bigger political incentive to dig in on immigration than do Democrats. A full 62 percent of Republican voters said the issue should be a top priority for Trump and Congress, compared with just 39 percent of Democrats surveyed in a Jan. 10-15 poll by the Pew Research Center.

Hard-line immigration stances catapulted Trump to the Republican nomination and the presidency, putting intense pressure on his party to produce on the issue in a way that appeals to his base. Shortly before his election, the Pew Center found that 79 percent of registered voters backing him saw illegal immigration as a “very big problem.” Smaller percentages in the Oct. 25-Nov. 8, 2016 poll named other issues such as terrorism or jobs for working-class Americans.

GOP voter signals to Republicans are reflected in the way the immigration debate took shape in the Senate, with much higher demands from the Republican side than in 2013 when a Democratic-led chamber was able to easily clear a comprehensive bipartisan immigration bill.

The 2013 measure included a pathway to legal status for 11 million undocumented immigrants, paired with a $46 billion border security plan. The measure also had a host of other immigration law changes, including an end to a diversity visa lottery and limits on family-based immigration that barred citizens from sponsoring siblings and some married sons and daughters for permanent residence.

This time, the trade-off of restricting legal immigration was in return for helping a much smaller group of immigrants, about 1.8 million dreamers. The push by Trump and many Republicans for an end to the diversity visas and new limits on sponsorship to only spouses and minor children were unpalatable to many Democrats on a narrower measure.

GOP leaders are struggling as it is to come up with enough support for Trump’s plan. Only 39 senators on Thursday supported Trump’s favored package, including just three Democrats — Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Manchin, all of whom are facing re-election contests this November in states won handily by Trump.

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Some GOP conservatives — including John Barrasso of Wyoming, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma — objected to Trump’s favored legislation because it would give a path to citizenship to dreamers.

Krikorian said Speaker Ryan “dodged a bullet” with the failure of a DACA fix in the Senate. He argued that the failure frees Ryan to not act.

“The Democrats want this a lot more than Republicans do,” Krikorian said.

With assistance from Ari Natter and Anna Edgerton.

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Beaver Creek rescue dogs trained to fetch anything, humans caught in avalanches in particular

February 20, 2018 - 8:01am
  • Jon Resnick, Beaver Creek Resort, supplied

    Beaver Creek Ski Patrol currently has five avalanche dogs on staff — two certified, two semi-retired and one in training. The dogs are friendly, slobbering faces on Beaver Creek, but their skills are used by HAATS, the Sheriff's Office and Vail Mountain Rescue to assist with backcountry rescues.

  • Jon Resnick, Beaver Creek Resort, supplied

    The Beaver Creek Ski Patrol avalanche dogs are certified through Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment and train daily.

  • Jon Resnick, Beaver Creek Resort, supplied

    Luna is a 5-year-old, pure-bred black Labrador. Most avalanche dogs get on board within the first two years of their lives, and they continue working until they are about 10 years old.

  • Jon Resnick, Beaver Creek Resort, supplied

    To travel around the mountain, Beaver Creek Ski Patrol dogs ride chairlifts, snowmobiles and their humans' shoulders.

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When Chris Johnson plays fetch with his dog, Luna, he has to be very clear about what they are fetching.

“She’s a huge fan of fetching anything — which is part of her job, too,” the Beaver Creek ski patroller said of his pure-bred black Labrador who is avalanche certified. “She’s got a hierarchy of toys and at the top of the list is her avalanche reward toy and then right below that is a Frisbee and then below that is a tennis ball. If it’s soft and you throw it, she’ll go get it.”

While in-bound rescues are few and far between, the Ski Patrol avalanche dogs are a community asset — not just pretty, slobbering faces at the Beav’. The dogs go to work with their owners, and along with their humans, they assist the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Vail Mountain Rescue, HAATS and other backcountry service entities when needed.

In the fall, Johnson and Luna were part of a team sent out into the backcountry of Chaffee County to assist with an individual stuck in the backcountry.

“We flew right over the top of the 14,000-foot Missouri Peak in a Blackhawk and circled around and they dropped us right on the ridge,” Johnson said. “They threw us out the side and took off.”

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The person was found safely.

In total, there are five avalanche dogs at Beaver Creek — two certified, two semiretired and one in training. The dogs are all across the mountain and are happy to say hello, just be sure to introduce yourself.

“This goes for any service dog: You should never call, whistle, try and give commands, chase or feed any service dog,” Johnson said.

To read more of this story go to vaildaily.com



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Fighting gun violence after Florida shooting gives teens purpose

February 20, 2018 - 7:42am

PARKLAND, Fla. — Chris Grady was a theater kid counting down the days until he reported for duty in the U.S. Army this summer, when a gunman opened fire at his school. As he huddled in his classroom at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last Wednesday listening to shots ring out nearby, what he felt wasn’t fear, but anger.

“Full-on anger,” the thin, curly haired 19-year-old said.

Grady’s anger deepened the day after the shooting, when he heard news that the FBI had failed to follow up on a tip about the former student who police say gunned down 14 students and three staff members with an AR-15 styled rifle. News also emerged that Nikolas Cruz had legally purchased the gun despite a documented history of mental health issues.

The FBI received a tip last month that Cruz had a “desire to kill” and access to guns and could be plotting an attack, but agents failed to investigate, the agency acknowledged Friday. Others had received warnings as well: Records show the Florida Department of Children and Families investigated, but concluded Cruz wasn’t a danger to himself or others.

On Friday, as gun-control debates raged anew on social media, one of Grady’s close friends created a Twitter account, @NeverAgainMSD, to channel the students’ anger and frustration.

“The Never Again movement started formulating, and we got to work,” Grady said.

Grady and his friend are among about 100 Stoneman Douglas students who are heading to Florida’s capital, Tallahassee, to push lawmakers to do something to stop gun violence. They also plan to maintain the momentum by attending what they hope will be a massive march on Washington next month.

The efforts have offered students a way to channel their anger and sadness into action. Grady’s life was upended by the shooting. But now, as one of the organizers behind the students’ call for stricter gun-control laws, he is laser-focused on planning and media interviews.

On Tuesday, he will ride a bus to Tallahassee. On Wednesday, he and a small group of Never Again organizers will fly back to Parkland for a televised Town Hall meeting about the shooting. Then their focus will turn to the planned March for Life on the nation’s capital on March 24.

That doesn’t leave a lot of time for school.

“If we’ve got to take some extra days off, that’s fine to continue the movement,” he said. “Academics have been put on the back burner.”

Prior to the shooting, Chris’ time was spent studying theater and working out to get his body in shape for the Army, where he wants to pursue a career in information technology. The second-oldest of four kids, he moved to Parkland from Massachusetts when he was 6. His mother is a property manager, and his step-father is an electrician.

Given his interest in a military career, Chris said he is not anti-gun and supports the Second Amendment. But he believes assault rifles such as the AR-15 styled rifle that authorities say Cruz used should be reserved for the military.

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“They’re weapons of war made to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible,” he said.

Grady said he’s ready to work as much as it takes to keep the gun-control movement’s momentum going until he ships out.

“The kids in Newtown were too young to understand what happened and were too young to have their own voice,” he said, referring to the 20 first-graders killed in the 2012 Connecticut school shooting. “We want to be the voice for those kids and thousands of others who have been affected by tragedies like this.”

___

Follow Jason Dearen on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JHDearen



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Freezing day in store for Front Range after Monday snow showers dump up to 9 inches

February 20, 2018 - 6:04am

The snow has stopped for now, but don’t expect it to melt anytime soon.

The Denver metro area won’t see temperatures above freezing today after Monday’s snow showers dropped 4 to 6 inches of precipitation. Denver International Airport received 2.9 inches of snowfall, with Boulder and areas to the northeast of the city waking up to between 6 and 8 inches.

Areas just northwest of Louisville were hardest hit in the Front Range, with up to 9 inches accumulating Monday.

Schools in Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties, the St. Vrain Valley School District and Greeley-Evans School District 6 are operating on normal hours this morning.

Westminster Public Schools, Mapleton School District and Adams 14 schools, as well as Mullen High School and Regis Jesuit High School, will have a two-hour late start. Ricks Center for Gifted Children has a one hour delay.

Denver Public Works said plow drivers will be working on both main and side streets. Fort Collins, Aurora and Loveland warned of transit and other driving-related delays today as their city crews similarly plow streets.

The National Weather Service predicts a maximum temperature of 19 degrees in Denver Tuesday with wind chill values as low as minus-13 degrees.

There’s a 30 percent chance of snow showers this afternoon that could potentially add to the accumulation, although National Weather Service Boulder meteorologist Cody Ledbetter doesn’t expect more than a half-inch.

“Tonight will gradually clear out (and) get down into the single digit lows with wind chills in the single digits, as well,” he said.

Heath Montgomery, a spokesman for the Denver International Airport, said Monday evening that the Presidents Day snowfall did not affect traffic at the airport.

“Airport operations are normal tonight,” he said in a phone message.

“We have not seen a significant impact due to the snowstorm and we’re not anticipating significant impacts overnight.”

Forecasters expect Wednesday to be sunny and slightly warmer with a high of 28, while a chance of snow showers returns later in the week. Ledbetter said the next chance for accumulation is Thursday night into Friday.

The weekend should be warmer still with the mercury tipped to reach the 40s through Monday.

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Latest version of Denver’s Blueprint plan recognizes that not all neighborhood change is created equal

February 20, 2018 - 6:00am

Denver’s latest stab at guiding development and land use for the next decade or two in the growth-fatigued city has added even more complexity to an evolving plan.

City officials are proposing four classifications to promote varying degrees of change or stability, neighborhood by neighborhood, as part of the updated “Blueprint Denver” plan. Their aim is for a new level of sophistication that might stave off some of the intense development and rezoning fights seen in recent years.

Planners are taking that and other proposed changes on the road in coming weeks to community workshop meetings across the city. The first is Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson High School in southeast Denver.

The 2002 Blueprint Denver land use and transportation plan is one of four plans undergoing updates or being written for the first time as part of a two-year citywide planning effort called “Denveright.”

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The original Blueprint plan’s simplicity — pegging every inch of the city as an area of change or stability — was hailed as innovative 16 years ago, but during the recent population boom its classifications have fed into disputes during heated rezoning fights.

In an overview of the latest changes since the last round of meetings in September, principal city planner David Gaspers and Denver planning chief Brad Buchanan said the four proposed categories for types of change would allow for the highlighting of prevailing needs in different parts of the city.

“It weights different kinds of change over another,” Buchanan said.

Only in some areas, such as the parking lots around the Pepsi Center and Elitch Gardens, is there such a demand for redevelopment that a transformation of their character is warranted in coming decades, Gaspers said.

On the other end of the spectrum are the quiet, stable single-family neighborhoods that have been most resistant to denser development. Those might land in a category currently dubbed “enrich” — a delicate way of saying that residents might be open to light redevelopment that provides more diversity of income, education and housing stock, such as backyard cottages or townhomes on busy corners. But they don’t want huge changes.

In between are “connect” neighborhoods that are similarly stable but in need of closer proximity to amenities such as grocery stores, education, jobs or shopping. And another category, called “integrate,” might apply to areas where longtime residents are at risk of being squeezed out, with a need for city policies and development that improves housing affordability.

Denver Department of Community Planning and DevelopmentDenver city planners have proposed designations for areas across the city based on corridors, centers, districts and residential areas, with some of those further broken down. This view from a September 2017 version shows part of the map, from Highland in the northwest to Cherry Creek North in the southeast.

A map showing where the categories would be applied wasn’t yet available. But the concept joins other still-evolving proposals for a more concrete mapping of the entire city that labels places with neighborhood contexts, ranging from suburban to different levels of urban to downtown. That map also differentiates between travel corridors and community nodes and centers of different types, and it classifies residential areas by the density of buildings desired, from low to high.

Denver’s Department of Community Planning and Development is aiming to produce a draft Blueprint plan in coming months, with adoption of a final plan by the City Council this summer.

In formulating a new Blueprint roadmap, city planners are navigating conflicting pressures. Urban advocates have stood up at Blueprint meetings to argue for a plan that prepares a wider swath of the city to absorb the future population growth projected by demographers, resulting in wider-scale densification.

But some fiercely protective neighborhood advocates want assurances that their smaller-scale areas will survive intact.

“Blueprint Denver is so hard to understand for the public,” said Councilman Wayne New, who represents central Denver, during a recent council committee briefing. He urged Gaspers to make it easy for attendees of the upcoming meetings to understand how the new Blueprint plan will affect their neighborhoods — and to dispel any misconceptions about changes that might be in store.

“I don’t want people to be scared about what’s going to happen,” New said.

Blueprint Denver meetings

Most meetings are set to run two hours:

  • 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Thomas Jefferson High School, 3950 S. Holly St.
  • 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Laradon, 5100 Lincoln St.
  • 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Potenza Lodge Hall, 1900 W. 38th Ave.
  • 6 p.m. Thursday at District 3 Police Station, 1625 S. University Blvd.
  • 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library, 1498 Irving St.
  • 6 p.m. March 1 at All Saints Parish Hall, 2559 S. Federal Blvd.
  • 5:30 p.m. Mar. 6 at Community of Christ Church, 480 N. Marion St.
  • 6 p.m. March 7 at Evie Garrett Dennis Campus, 4800 Telluride St.
  • 6 p.m. March 8 at Valverde Elementary, 2030 W. Alameda Ave. (Primarily in Spanish.)
  • 6 p.m. March 14 at DSST Byers School, 150 S. Pearl St. (No Spanish interpretation available.)
  • 5:30 p.m. March 15 at DSST Stapleton High School, 2000 Valentia St.

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RTD to shut down parts of A-Line rail service this weekend

February 20, 2018 - 6:00am

The Regional Transportation District will put in place its second partial closure of rail service on the University of Colorado A-Line this weekend, with buses covering the segment between Union Station and Central Park Station.

The rail closure, which is necessary for crews to do work on the yet-to-open N-Line, will go into effect at 3 a.m. Saturday and last until 3 a.m. Monday. Buses will shuttle passengers between Union Station, 38th and Blake, 40th and Colorado and Central Park stations every 15 minutes between 4:15 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Outside of these hours, shuttles will run at 30-minute intervals. Travelers are advised to plan on an additional 45 to 60 minutes of travel time between Union Station and Denver International Airport. A-Line trains will continue to run as normal between the airport and Central Park Station.

The partial shutdown on the A-Line, which is similar to the closure that occurred the weekend of Feb. 10-11, is necessary so that general contractor Regional Rail Partners can do track and systems integration work along the N-Line. The N-Line, construction of which is behind schedule, will serve Northglenn, Thornton and Commerce City.

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This weekend’s disruption of A-Line is the second of four scheduled interruptions to occur in the coming months.

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Colorado’s Aaron Blunck, Alex Ferreira, Torin Yater-Wallace go 1-2-3 in Olympic halfpipe qualifying contest

February 20, 2018 - 3:11am

BONGPYEONG, South Korea — Colorado was represented well in the PyeongChang halfpipe on Tuesday, with the state’s three best halfpipe skiers topping the qualifying contest heading into Thursday’s destined-to-be-epic Olympic final.

With a dozens of cheering and flag-waving family and friends lending a home-turf vibe, Crested Butte’s Aaron Blunck finished first, followed by Aspen’s Alex Ferreira and Basalt’s Torin Yater-Wallace. Their teammate, David Wise, who won the first gold medal in ski halfpipe in the Sochi Olympics, finished eighth. The strong showing fueled hopes for a Team USA sweep of the halfpipe podium.

“Chances are pretty good,” Wise said.

“It’s definitely a possibility,” Ferreira said.

“That would be unreal,” Yater-Wallace said.

The fiercest foursome of pipe riders ever assembled loves to throw the largest hits in the pipe. And the extra-long PyeongChang pipe can accommodate their magnitude. Where all four skiers have been known to run out of room when they are boosting five hits, this Olympic pipe easily fits their biggest hits, including left and right double-corks both forward and switch.

“Conditions are optimal not just for pipe skiing but the conditions are optimal for us American pipe skiers because all four of us really like to go big,” said Wise, whose deep bag-of-trickery might be the most technical in all of halfpipe skiing. “We are going to be able to do the tricks we want to do.”

Blunck finished first with a huge second run in the best-of-two qualifier. Blunck led the group of 27 of the world’s top skiers — which was whittled down to 12 for the best-of-three finals — with a near-flawless run that culminated with a lofty rightside double-cork 1260.

Blunck, who competed in the 2014 Sochi Olympics at age 17, refocused on his skiing after the common Olympic hangover left him questioning his love for competitive pipe skiing. Up at the top of the pipe on Tuesday, he needed to land his run clean to make the finals. He relied on the mantra he deployed through the grueling Olympic season that packed four consequential qualifying contests into a two-month span: focus on fun.

“I just thought about it and I didn’t care about the results. I just wanted to ski. I really wanted to land a run but at the same time, I’m just happy to be here and honored to be on this team of really talented people,” said the 21-year-old Blunck.

Coaches for the American ski and snowboard teams intentionally sculpted an intensive qualifying process to reach the Olympics, including four contests this season at Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Snowmass and California’s Mammoth. It was purposely pressurized and physically exhausting; designed to hone the skiers and snowboarders for the Olympics. It worked with the snowboarders for sure, with Red Gerard and Jamie Anderson winning gold in the snowboard slopestyle contests and Shaun White, Chloe Kim and Arielle Gold taking home medals in the halfpipe. On Tuesday, California’s Brita Sigourney won bronze in the halfpipe and the entire U.S. men’s team qualified for finals, giving further support to the demanding qualification process that sharpened the Olympic pipe skiers.

Alex Ferreira of Aspen skis to second in the PyeongChang Olympic halfpipe skiing contest on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the Phoenix Park ski area in Bongpyeong, South Korea. Photo by David Ramos / Getty Images.

“That’s what the U.S. Team is trying to do, make it as rigorous as possible so we can endure the different types of conditions and pressure,” said Ferreira, who had a massive cheering section with friends and family waving signs and wearing “Go Alex” hoodies. “I guess it was a good thing. We are doing well, right?”

Torin Yater-Wallace’s lead-up to PyeongChang was even more exacting as he recovered from injuries and didn’t lock his spot until the final qualifying contest in Mammoth in late January.

He stuck his first qualifying run with aeronautical precision, giving him enough points to secure his spot in finals, allowing him to take it easy on his second run without risking a crash.

Putting down the first run, he said, was unreal. Especially considering his first Olympics, when a punctured lung and broken ribs slowed his ramp-up to Sochi. The next year he suffered an infection that nearly killed him. Those hurdles made sticking his first run even more special.

“Regardless of the circumstances, it’s always an amazing feeling and obviously I’ve had some unfortunate instances I have dealt with that just added to that feeling,” said the 22-year-old Yater-Wallace. “It was just such a relief to land that first one after my less than stellar performance in Sochi dealing with my lungs and ribs back then.”

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 20: Torin Yater-Wallace of the United States competes during the Freestyle Skiing Men’s Ski Halfpipe Qualification on day eleven of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 20, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

All four Americans said they were hoping for a finals showdown that highlighted the athleticism and progression of their sport. With New Zealand brothers Byron and Beau-James Wells joining their 16-year-old Kiwi teammate Nico Porteous along with Canadian pipe veteran Mike Riddle and the podium-threat Kevin Rolland of France competing in Thursday’s contest, the Olympic pipe finals most certainly will be one for the ages.

“I’m really, in all honesty, just excited about the sport putting on a show. That’s the one thing that was lacking in Sochi is that we didn’t get to put on a show the world deserved to see,” said Wise, who won gold despite competing in a snowstorm in a poorly maintained halfpipe.

First-time Olympian Ferreira agreed.

“I just hope everyone skis to their best ability and we showcase halfpipe skiing on the world stage in a great light,” he said, giddy that his journey includes Yater-Wallace, his friend since they first started pushing each in the pipe as grade-schoolers. “I can’t believe I get to compete with Torin, one of my best friends, at the Olympics. I did not see that coming when we were ten years old, but it’s super cool.”

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KFC restaurants in the U.K. have a problem. They don’t have chicken.

February 20, 2018 - 12:55am

“The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants.”

So said an announcement Saturday that tried to find humor in KFC’s chicken shortage, which has prompted the fast-food chain to temporarily close hundreds of its restaurants in the United Kingdom. KFC said the shortage was caused by “a couple of teething problems” with its new delivery partner, DHL.

“We know that this might have inconvenienced some of you over the last few days, and disappoint you when you wanted your fried chicken fix – we’re really sorry about that,” KFC said Saturday. “Shout out to our restaurant teams who are working flat out to get us back up and running again.”

As of Monday, about 300 of KFC’s 900 locations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are open, according to a list on KFC’s website. Some restaurants are operating on a limited menu or shortened hours. It remains unclear when all restaurants will be open.

DHL said that a number of its deliveries had been “incomplete or delayed” because of operational issues, CNN Money reported.

The mishap came just months after KFC partnered with DHL as part of the fast-food chain’s ambition to “revolutionize” the food service distribution market in the United Kingdom. A news release from October said DHL will manage KFC’s warehouse and distribution service, with a “greater focus on innovation, quality and service performance” and a promise to “provide a faster turnaround of orders.”

Some customers aren’t happy.

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“So we’re going have to hit a McDonald’s up,” says a customer who posted a video on YouTube showing a closed location in Manchester, England. “This is s— mate. We like our chicken. You know we like our chicken.”

Still, KFC assured its customers that “the Colonel is working on it,” a lighthearted reference to the late Col. Harland Sanders, the chain’s founder.

Sanders acquired a service station in the 1930s in Corbin, Kentucky, and later transformed it into a restaurant, where he cooked his signature fried chicken. He franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952 at the age of 62 and sold it for $2 million 12 years later. Sanders, whose image is featured in KFC’s logo, is now known in more than 100 countries for his fried chicken recipe.

KFC is owned by Yum! Brands, a Kentucky-based company that also owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

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Traffic deaths in Colorado reached highest number in more than a decade in 2017 while number fell slightly across U.S.

February 20, 2018 - 12:40am

DETROIT — Traffic deaths on U.S. roads fell slightly in 2017 after two straight years of big increases, but a leading safety organization that compiled the numbers says it’s no cause for celebration.

The National Safety Council on Thursday estimated that 40,100 people were killed in traffic crashes last year, down just under 1 percent from the 2016 total of 40,327. The group said it’s too early to tell whether the small decline means a downward trend after a two-year spike in deaths that was blamed largely on people driving more miles as the economy improved as well as an increase in distracted driving.

In Colorado, 642 people died in traffic in 2017, the highest number since 2004, when 667
were killed. More than 50 have died so far this year.

“We’re treading water, essentially,” said council spokeswoman Maureen Vogel. “We’re not making progress. This is the second year in a row we’re seeing over 40,000 people killed in this country on the roadways.”

Fatalities rose 7 percent in 2016, on top of a 7 percent increase from 2014 to 2015, the steepest two-year increase in over 50 years, according to the council, which gets its data from states. Prior to 2016, annual deaths had not hit 40,000 since 2007, the year before the economy tanked.

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Motor-vehicle injuries in 2017 also fell 1 percent to an estimated 4.57 million, and the estimated cost of vehicle deaths, injuries and property damage was estimated at $413.8 billion, also down 1 percent. The number of miles driven last year by Americans grew only 1 percent, easing back from the 3 percent increase in 2016. An estimated 1.25 deaths occurred per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, the council said. That’s 2 percent lower than the 2016 rate.

Traffic deaths began dropping in 2008 and reached their lowest point in six decades in 2011 at 32,000. They fluctuated slightly over the next two years, but started climbing in the last quarter of 2014.

Experts say as the economy recovered, people began driving more, and they also increased riskier behavior such as going out on weekends or taking longer trips on unfamiliar roads. Teens, who have the highest fatal crash rates, also started driving more after the recession, during which many couldn’t afford to travel.

The council’s fatality estimates differ slightly from those of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The government counts only deaths that occur on public roads, while the council includes fatalities that occur in parking lots, driveways and private roads.

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Video of a shivering, abandoned puppy in Florida goes viral — and has a happy ending

February 20, 2018 - 12:06am

It was 27 degrees, one of the coldest mornings anyone could remember in Daytona Beach, Florida, when the call came in about a puppy in distress on the banks of the Halifax River.

Daytona Beach police officers John Pearson and James Lee arrived and found a tiny pit bull, not more than a few weeks old, shivering alone under the Seabreeze Bridge. No one knows how she got there. But she was drenched. The officers figured she’d probably been in the river and somehow made her way to shore.

They took her back to their truck and turned up the heat, filming a cellphone video as they wrapped the shivering pup in a towel.

“I’m just trying to warm him up a little bit, dry him off,” Pearson said. ” … I want to take her home.”

But Pearson seemed to say that more from emotion than practicality, and the officers ended up taking the pup to the Halifax Humane Society’s shelter.

When the Daytona Beach Police Department posted pictures of the dog on its Facebook page, hundreds of people reacted and commented.

Patrol Officer Kera Cantrell had a habit of going to the Halifax shelter on her lunch break to visit the dogs and feed them cookies she would take along in a bag. Word had gotten around the police department that the dog the officers rescued was there, and Cantrell wanted to see the pup. The veterinarian at the shelter had named the dog River.

“She was this teeny tiny little thing. I grabbed her and pulled her out of the kennel she was in,” Cantrell said, recalling the first time she met River. “I put her up to my chest and she snuggled up under my neck – and went to sleep.”

Cantrell said she did not have designs to adopt another pet. She already had three rescue dogs at her house.

“But I looked at her and I said, ‘I love her, I’m taking her home,'” Cantrell said.

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Cantrell got her home about two weeks ago, and said her other dogs took to River right away. Around that time, officers Pearson and Lee mentioned they had the video of the minutes after they rescued River, and the police department put it on its Facebook Page. It was viewed more than 140,000 times.

One of those viewers was Cantrell. For the first time, she saw the moments after her chilled-to-the-bone puppy was rescued from under the bridge. She watched as her coworkers tried to warm River, holding her directly in front of the truck’s heating vents until she started making small puppy grunts.

“It’s heart-wrenching,” Cantrell said. “I sat there and bawled my eyes out.”

Now, Cantrell often keeps River in a onesie made for a human baby, especially at night when the temperature dips down into the 40s.

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Troy Terry has 3 assists as U.S. men’s team beats Slovakia in Olympic hockey

February 19, 2018 - 10:36pm

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Ryan Donato scored two goals, Troy Terry had three assists and the United States beat Slovakia 5-1 in the qualification round Tuesday to advance to face the Czech Republic in the Olympic quarterfinals.

College kids again led the way for the U.S., which scored more against Slovakia then it did in all three preliminary-round games. James Wisniewski, Mark Arcobello and Garrett Roe also scored for the Americans, who took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play for hits on Donato and goaltender Ryan Zapolski.

Shaking off a collision with Ladislav Nagy, Ryan Zapolski had arguably his best game of the tournament, stopping 21 of the 22 shots he faced. Zapolski and the U.S. also beat Slovakia 2-1 in the preliminary round when Donato scored twice. With his second two-goal game, Donato equaled his father, Ted, who scored four goals for the U.S. at the 1992 Games in Albertville.

Slovakia goaltender Jan Laco allowed five goals on 33 shots and Peter Ceresnak scored a power-play goal for Slovakia, which became the first team eliminated from the men’s side.

After a listless first period with no goals and few scoring chances, the U.S. wasted little time getting on the board early in the second. Terry, as he has done all Olympics, used his speed to get to the net, and Donato picked up the loose puck and beat Laco 1:36 into the period.

The Americans got not one but two scares 26 seconds later when Nagy ran over Zapolski and Slovakia defenseman Michal Cajovsky put a shoulder into Donato’s head in the neutral zone. Trainers attended to Donato and Zapolski as backup goaltender Brandon Maxwell stretched and prepared to go in.

Donato got stitched up on the bench and Zapolski took a few minutes before deciding not to leave the net. The ’90s hit “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba blared over the speakers when both players got to their feet and provided a fitting soundtrack for the next few minutes.

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With Cajovsky given a match penalty — a five-minute major and an ejection — and Nagy in the penalty box for goaltender interference, the U.S. scored 18 seconds into its 5-on-3 power play with Donato screening Laco for Wisniewski’s first goal to make it 2-0 at the 2:20 mark. Terry took advantage of all the time in the world behind the net and found an open Arcobello for a one-timer to put the U.S. up 3-0 at 13:30.

After Jordan Greenway was penalized for slashing, Slovakia scored on the power play 16:54 into the second to cut it to 3-1, but the lightning-fast line of Roe, Brian O’Neill and Broc Little combined for a tic-tac-toe goal to make it 4-1 at 9:52 of the third. O’Neill flashed his speed down the right wing, took a hit while making the pass to Little who found Roe for a tap-in.

Donato scored his second of the game, this time on the power play, 16:46 into the third.

NOTES: St. Cloud State defenseman Will Borgen was a healthy scratch again for the United States. … Veteran forward Jim Slater returned to the lineup, replacing Chad Kolarik. … Former NHL player and coach Craig Ramsay coaches Slovakia.



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Committee hearing for Colorado’s homeless Right to Rest Act delayed

February 19, 2018 - 10:26pm

The committee hearing for the Colorado Right to Rest Act, a bill that proposes to decriminalize various behaviors associated with homelessness, has been delayed, Rep. Jonathan Singer of Longmont said Monday.

It was to be heard on Wednesday, but now likely won’t be heard for about two weeks, according to Singer, who chairs the Local Government Committee in the state House. No new hearing date has been set.

The bill’s sponsors, Rep. Jovan Melton of Aurora and Rep. Joe Salazar of Thornton, both Democrats, “asked for time to discuss amendments with the stakeholders,” said Singer, also a Democrat, “and as chair I’m inclined to give them the benefit of time.”

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According to its summary, the Right to Rest Act — which is known to some as a “homeless bill of rights” — seeks to establish certain rights for homeless people in Colorado, including “the right to use and move freely in public spaces, to rest in public spaces, to eat or accept food in any public space where food is not prohibited, and to have a reasonable expectation of privacy of one’s property.”

Read the full story at dailycamera.com.

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Turmoil shakes up agency in charge of vast U.S. lands

February 19, 2018 - 10:18pm

BILLINGS, Mont. — A year of upheaval at the U.S. Interior Department has seen dozens of senior staff members reassigned and key leadership positions left unfilled, rules considered burdensome to industry shelved, and a sweeping reorganization proposed for its 70,000 employees.

The evolving status quo at the agency responsible for more than 780,000 square miles (2 million square kilometers) of public lands, mostly in the American West, has led to praise from energy and mining companies and Republicans, who welcomed the departure from perceived heavy-handed regulation under President Barack Obama.

But the changes have drawn increasingly sharp criticism from conservationists, Democrats and some agency employees. Under President Donald Trump, the critics say, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has curbed outside input into how the land is used and elevated corporate interests above the duty to safeguard treasured sites.

The differing views illustrate longstanding tensions over the role of America’s public lands — an amalgam of pristine wilderness, recreational playgrounds and abundant energy reserves.

A year into his tenure, Zinke, a former U.S. Navy SEAL and Montana congressman, has emerged as the point person for the administration’s goal of American “energy dominance.” He’s targeted regulations perceived to hamper development of oil, natural gas and coal beneath public lands primarily in the West and Alaska.

He’s also made plans to realign the agency’s bureaucracy, trimming the equivalent of 4,600 jobs — about 7 percent of its workforce — and proposed a massive overhaul that would move decision-making out of Washington, D.C., relocating headquarters staff to Western states at a cost of $17.5 million.

The intent is to delegate more power to personnel in the field who oversee activities ranging from mining to livestock grazing to protecting endangered plants and animals.

Staffing reductions would be achieved through natural attrition and reclassifying some positions to lower pay grades as employees are moved outside the D.C. area, Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift said Monday.

Zinke’s actions have stirred dissent within and outside the agency — from his claim that one-third of Interior employees were disloyal to Trump to a proposal to allow more drilling off America’s coasts while carving out an exception for Florida at the request of Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Along with Zinke’s full-throated promotion of the Trump administration’s new agenda came the transfer of at least 35 senior Interior employees. Among them was Matthew Allen, who was demoted from assistant director of communications at the agency’s Bureau of Land Management.

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He’s now in a new position, performing “nonspecific duties” in an Interior branch that oversees offshore drilling. Allen sued in December, challenging his reassignment as retaliation for his support of government transparency.

“There appears to be a collective effort to suppress information being shared with the public, the press and the Congress,” he said.

At the agency’s highest levels, 11 leadership positions are vacant a year after Trump took office, including the directors of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.

Panels such as the National Park System Advisory Board have languished, according to a letter submitted by board members who resigned last month. Board Chairman and former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, a Democrat, complained that requests to engage with Zinke’s team were ignored and members were concerned stewardship and protection of the parks was being pushed aside.

When the Park Service in October proposed increasing entrance fees at 17 of the most highly visited parks — from Grand Canyon to Yellowstone and Zion — the board wasn’t consulted, said Carolyn Finney, a University of Kentucky geography professor who was among those who resigned.

“How do we make parks more accessible? It’s cost,” Finney said. She said the fee increase would hinder the ability of a “more diverse and wider group of the public to visit the parks.”

The board’s charter expired in December after it collected comments from more than 100 experts on how parks should deal with climate change, increase visitor diversity and protect wildlife.

Zinke’s associate deputy secretary, Todd Willens, called the resignations a “political stunt” because another meeting was planned and because the agency was working to renew the board’s charter.

Similar action has been promised for idled advisory boards at the Bureau of Land Management. Under Trump, the charters for 22 state-level resource advisory councils — composed of local officials, representatives of business and environmental groups and others — expired in January.

Some expired months ago and at least 14 remained so as of Friday. Interior representatives did not respond to numerous requests for information on the status of the other councils.

The councils make recommendations on activities on public lands, such as whether off-road vehicles should be allowed in wildlife habitat or whether logging could help prevent wildfires.

Zinke suspended the panels for five months in May as part of a review of more than 200 boards and advisory committees. Some had not met in years. Congressional Democrats objected, saying the move would stifle non-governmental views on how U.S.-owned land is used.

Swift said it was “common practice” to periodically renew and refine the panels’ charters.

Oil and gas groups in particular have embraced the concept of change for an agency once seen as an obstacle to drilling. The withdrawal or cancellation of Obama-era rules on fracking and methane emissions from oil and gas exploration were positive first steps, they say.

Next comes getting Interior staff on board, said Kathleen Sgamma with the Western Energy Alliance, which promotes giving oil and gas companies’ access to federal lands.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, the House Natural Resources Committee’s ranking Democrat, said Zinke’s actions have made it easier to pollute federal lands and waters while giving special interest groups more influence.

“He’s in over his head,” Grijalva said.

 

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Suspect in triple homicide in Kentucky is arrested in Colorado

February 19, 2018 - 9:59pm

A suspect in a triple homicide in Kentucky was arrested Monday in Colorado.

The suspect, who was not named, was taken into custody on the Eastern Plains in the town of Sedgwick, according to the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office was notified at about 4:20 p.m. that the suspect was in the area. Deputies looked for a stolen vehicle, believed to be “occupied” by the suspect and spotted the vehicle. After a short chase the suspect was taken into custody without further incident.

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An investigation is ongoing and Colorado authorities are assisting Kentucky state police.

A Kentucky television station, 13WBKO, reported that the suspect arrested in Colorado is wanted in connection to the deaths of two males and a female in Allen County.

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City of Aspen stepping up its security at public buildings

February 19, 2018 - 9:54pm
Anna Stonehouse, The Aspen TimesGabriella Rand, who works for the Community Development Department at Aspen City Hall enters through the back door of the building on Thursday.

During a time when mass shootings and attacks in public buildings are on the top of officials’ minds, the city of Aspen is making moves to better secure its facilities.

As staff continue to assess its nearly two dozen buildings, they’ve realized there are deficiencies in many places.

“Anyone can walk into our buildings at any time and that’s not good,” said Jack Wheeler, the city’s capital asset director.

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He added that as he and his team began planning a new municipal office building and looking at the design of Aspen police’s public safety facility, the city’s aging infrastructure has security breaches.

Read the full story at aspentimes.com.

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Colorado oil production rises as prices rebound

February 19, 2018 - 9:46pm

DENVER — Oil production continues to increase in Colorado as energy companies respond to a recent rebound in crude prices, according to U.S. government data.

The Energy Information Administration says drillers in the Niobrara region that includes much of northern Colorado will produce 580,000 barrels daily in March. That’s a 6 percent increase over February’s expected production.

Oil prices have risen sharply since last summer’s low of $43 a barrel, to over $60 a barrel in recent weeks.

Gas production also is expected to increase in the Niobrara in March, according to the energy agency.

The Niobrara includes portions of neighboring states, but the energy patch’s sweet spot is in Colorado’s Weld County, which has almost 24,000 active oil and gas wells.

Amid the industry’s resurgence, the number of drill rigs working in the state has remained relatively flat.

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“Rigs are only one part of the picture,” Bernadette Johnson, vice president of Market Intelligence at DrillingInfo in Littleton, told Colorado Public Radio . “What matters more is how quickly those rigs can drill wells, and how big those wells are.”

Operators also are drawing down their stockpiles of “drilled but uncompleted wells.” These are wells that were previously drilled, but not finished.

Drilling applications suggest more new wells are on the way.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission reported receiving 5,548 applications to drill last year, a 70 percent increase over 2016 and the most in at least six years.

Information from: Colorado Public Radio

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