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Colorado organized crime operation involving stolen luxury vehicles, marijuana busted by authorities

December 12, 2018 - 11:55am

A Colorado organized crime enterprise involving stolen luxury vehicles that were, in some cases, used to ship marijuana across the country has been busted after a six month investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority, according to a Wednesday news release.

About 17 stolen vehicles valued at $1.2 million were recovered throughout the Denver metro area following a Wednesday search warrant execution at suspected illegal marijuana grow houses and other locations housing the cars, the release said.

“There were multiple people victimized because they’re buying high-end, luxury vehicles and thinking they’re getting a good deal, and they’re actually stolen,” said Randy Ladd, a Denver-based DEA special agent. “But when they go to register the cars, they don’t register as a stolen vehicle because the VIN was switched with vehicles that have not yet been stolen.”

Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Arizona, Maine and California were states involved in the investigation, the release said.

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Some victims unknowingly purchased the stolen vehicles through websites such as Craigslist, Ladd told The Denver Post.

“One of the other things we would like to get out is if somebody thinks the deal is too good to be true, it probably is,” Ladd said.

More information about the crime operation is expected to be released during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

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Fantasy football start/sit tips for Week 15: QB Aaron Rodgers could disappoint

December 12, 2018 - 11:50am

The objective during the fantasy football playoffs is simple: win. If you don’t, all your work this season will be for naught. And that means tough decisions need to be made.

If you are favored in your matchup, go with as many sure things as you can. If you aren’t, it makes sense to take on some risk for a high reward — and that includes benching star players who are in less-than-ideal situations. It won’t be easy to start or sit players based on these parameters, but it still will be the right thing to do.

Start

Jaguars defense/special teams

Washington’s offensive players already ruled out include quarterbacks Alex Smith and backup Colt McCoy, offensive linemen Brandon Scherff, Shawn Lauvao and Tyler Catalina, wideouts Paul Richardson, Trey Quinn, Cam Sima and Robert Davis plus tight end Jordan Reed. Josh Doctson is going through the league-mandated concussion protocol and is questionable to play in Week 15.

With so many starters unable to play, Jacksonville should have little trouble limiting the NFL’s sixth-worst offense (after adjusting for strength of schedule and weighting recent results more heavily than earlier weeks) per Football Outsiders.

Jared Cook, TE, Oakland Raiders

Cook caught 7 of 10 targets for 116 yards on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers giving him two straight games with at least 100 yards receiving. Plus, this week’s opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, allows a robust 113.7 passer rating this season to opposing quarterbacks targeting tight ends in coverage per TruMedia; the league average is 98.6.

Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Dixon is slowly carving out a niche for himself in Baltimore late in the season. The third-year pro was on the field for almost a third of the team’s snaps (32 percent) in Week 14, more than Ty Montgomery (27 percent) and close to Gus Edwards (44 percent), and carried the ball eight times for 59 yards and a score. Plus, he remains one of the more elusive backs in the NFL per Pro Football Focus, forcing eight missed tackles on 29 carries in 2018.

Sit

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Everyone remembers Rodgers orchestrating a come-from-behind victory on one leg against the Bears at the start of the season but that has been a highlight in an otherwise mediocre year. The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback is completing a career low 62 percent of his passes and will again face a Bears defense that ranks No. 1 in the league per Football Outsiders.

Plus, Chicago hasn’t allowed more than nine fantasy points to a passer since Week 12, and that includes holding Jared Goff to 180 passing yards with four interceptions last Sunday.

Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

We’ve seen good and bad from Wentz this season but the Rams are going to be a tough test for him in Week 15. Los Angeles has the second-best pass-rushing unit and the 13th best secondary per the game charters at Pro Football Focus, which will almost certainly keep Wentz in check for most of the game. In addition, Wentz’s passer rating drops from 110.5 to 76.9 when facing pass-rush pressure in 2018.

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The Eagles may also sit Wentz before you have to, as he’s reportedly dealing with back spasms and will be evaluated after missing practice Wednesday. Should he miss the game, don’t expect Nick Foles to come to the rescue like last season.

Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans has caught 70 of 111 targets for 1,207 yards and five touchdowns in 2018. Matchup proof, right? Maybe.

The Ravens defense is holding No. 1 receivers like Evans to 55.6 yards per game, which, after adjusting for strength of schedule, is the fourth-best mark in the NFL. Overall, quarterbacks have produced a passer rating of 84.3 against Baltimore this year, making it the fourth-best pass defense in 2018; league average passer rating is 93.8.

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2018 AP D-II All-America football teams: 3 Colorado players earn honors

December 12, 2018 - 11:34am

Ferris State quarterback Jayru Campbell, who has led the Bulldogs to the national championship game, highlights The Associated Press Division II All-America team along with two of his teammates.

Campbell, a junior, has passed for 2,832 and 26 touchdowns and run for 1,338 and 20 scores, leading Ferris State to a 15-0 record heading into the D-II championship game against Valdosta State on Saturday. Campbell was joined on the first team by teammates Devon Johnson, an offensive lineman, and Delon Stephenson, a defensive back.

Valdosta State sophomore Rogan Wells was the second-team quarterback. Notre Dame (Ohio)’s Jaleel McLaughlin, who has run for 2,421 yards, also made the first team.

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Jayru Campbell, junior, Ferris State

Running backs — Gabe Watson, junior, Sioux Falls; Jaleel McLaughlin, freshman, Notre Dame (Ohio)

Linemen — Trey Pipkins, senior, Sioux Falls; Jeremy King, senior, Valdosta State; Tyler Drob, senior, West Chester; James Moore, senior, Central Washington; Devon Johnson, senior, Ferris State

Tight end — Erik Henneman, junior, Lindenwood

Wide receivers — Trey Brock, senior, Hillsdale; Brody Oliver, senior, Colorado School of Mines

All-purpose player — Dominque Ramsey, sophomore, Texas A&M-Commerce

Kicker — Kristov Martinez, senior, Texas A&M-Commerce

DEFENSE

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Linemen — Markus Jones, senior, Angelo State; Chris Garrett, sophomore, Concordia-St. Paul; Sha’huan Williams, junior, Notre Dame (Ohio); Cardell Rawlings, senior, Wingate

LinebackersBrandon Payer, senior, Colorado State Pueblo; Jose Delgado, senior, Fort Hays State; Tyler Morrisey, senior, West Chester

Backs — Lamont McPhatter II, junior, California (Pa.); Gunner Olszewski, senior, Bemidji State; Marcus Haskins, redshirt freshman; Concordia-St. Paul; Delon Stephenson, junior, Ferris State

Punter — Cody Mills, senior, Delta State

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Rogan Wells, sophomore, Valdosta State

Running backs — Wes Hills, senior, Slippery Rock; Cameron Mayberry, junior, Colorado School of Mines

Linemen — Steve Gaviglia, senior, Slippery Rock; LaVonne Gauthney, senior, Valdosta State; Justin Gooseberry, senior, Ouachita Baptist; Evan Heim, junior, Minnesota State; Deon Sheppard, senior, Tarleton State

Tight end — Qua Boyd, senior, West Alabama

Wide receivers — Chad Hovasse, senior, Adams State; Shane Zylstra, junor, Minnesota State

All-purpose player — Lawrence Woods, sophomore, Truman State

Kicker — Jonas Schenderlein, senior, Concordia-St. Paul

DEFENSE

Linemen — Diquan Gilbert, senior, West Chester; James Prater Jr., senior, Ashland; Kevin Petit-Frere, senior, LIU-Post; Austen Eskew, senior, Northwest Missouri State

Linebackers — Aaron Berry, senior, Azusa Pacific; J.T. Hassell, senior, Florida Tech; Dominic Cizauskas, junior, Glenville State

Backs — Brian Williams, senior, Davenport; Devin Hafford, junior, Tarleton State; Ravarius Rivers, junior, Valdosta State; Joshua Simmons, senior, Limestone

Punter — Isaac Parks, sophomore, UNC-Pembroke

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Rockies winter meetings: Charlie Blackmon moving from center field?

December 12, 2018 - 11:18am

LAS VEGAS — Charlie Blackmon has thrived as the Rockies’ center fielder, but at some point — maybe sooner, maybe later — he will likely be moved to a corner spot in an effort to save wear and tear on his body.

No Rockies player works out harder than “Chuck Nazty,” but he’ll turn 33 on July 1 and Coors Field’s expansive outfield can be unforgiving.  Plus, he’ll be in just the second year of a six-year, $108 million contract, and the team wants to keep him healthy and productive at the plate.

Blackmon likes being a center fielder, but he’s been made aware that a change could be in the works.

“The topic overall and in general was breached and discussed up front during the contract negotiations,” general manager Jeff Bridich said Tuesday night. “There was no time frame put on it. But we felt like this was probably as his career progressed with us where it was going to head at some point. We wanted to have cooler minds and rational heads to discuss it as adults when the time was right.”

Manager Bud Black added: “We’ve talked about that with our group and among ourselves, and with Charlie I think he knows that at some point there might be a move to the corner.”

So what are the options should the Rockies decide to make a move in 2019?

“We have a few options for sure,” Black said. “David Dahl could play center. Charlie could play center. Don’t forget Ian Desmond made the All-Star team in 2016 with the Texas Rangers as a center fielder. Ian grew up as a center of the diamond player. He’s very comfortable being in the middle of the diamond. That’s a possibility as well.”

Rockies rumors. Heading into the final full day at the winter meetings, Bridich said the Rockies have “made progress” toward making a move to upgrade their offense.

Switch-hitting first baseman Carlos Santana, recently acquired by a Mariners team that still might be looking to dump high salaries, remains on Colorado’s radar. Tuesday night, Bridich said no trades — or free-agent signings — were imminent. But he made it clear what the club is seeking.

“Generally, it’s run production — consistent run production,” Bridich said. “And I think as we saw in the latest parts of our season the ability to score in the toughest of situations and the most challenging situations in this game, in those playoff games that we have designs on participating in for years to come.”

There has been a lot of speculation about where the Rockies will turn for offense, including this one from Jim Bowden of The Athletic:

#Rockies focusing on 1B trade candidates possibly including: Santana, Encarnacion, Abreu, Myers….etc

— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) December 11, 2018

Bridich, however, said the Rockies are definitely not in the hunt for San Diego’s Wil Myers.
 

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LGBTQ folks: The Denver Post wants to hear from you

December 12, 2018 - 11:15am

The Denver Post wants to hear from Coloradans who identify as LGBTQ and have battled substance abuse issues.

If you are willing to speak to reporter Sam Tabachnik, please fill out the form below.

Information submitted to this form could be used in an article by The Denver Post.

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Louisville company’s new capability to pinpoint lightning strikes may help minimize power outages

December 12, 2018 - 11:14am

Vaisala, a Finnish company whose American headquarters are in Louisville, announced Tuesday it has developed the capability to identify damage-causing lightning strikes and their locations.

The technology will allow utilities to more quickly locate where strikes, and subsequent damage, have occurred, helping minimize the duration of power outages.

Vaisala, a maker of professional meteorological instruments and a global provider of weather- and environment-monitoring services, has has combined data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s space-based lightning detection sensor with its own ground-based observations of lightning during thunderstorms to develop its precise methodology, said Brooke Pearson, Vaisala’s global solutions manager for lightning.

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It will be launched in the first half of the next year, he said.

Theo Laughner, president of PowerGrid-RX Inc, an electric utilities consultancy in Tennessee, said, “This innovation in lightning detection and reporting by Vaisala will enable electric utilities to know not only where lightning has occurred but also where damage to power systems has likely resulted. This allows utilities to know if repairs are likely necessary before dispatching personnel, thereby reducing outage durations.”

Read the full story on dailycamera.com.

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Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ no-look passes are the talk of the NFL

December 12, 2018 - 10:35am

Patrick Mahomes was already the talk of the NFL. Then he completed a no-look pass Sunday against the Ravens.

Suddenly, it became clear that the second-year quarterback had a whole new act of magic in what was already an extremely impressive bag of tricks. In fact, Mahomes had established himself as a leading candidate for NFL MVP honors by tossing a whopping 41 touchdowns in his 12 games before facing Baltimore’s stingy defense, then he threw two more — oh, and he also completed a ludicrous 48-yard pass across his body on a fourth-and-9 play while leading a late-game comeback.

But it was a 17-yard toss on second-and-1 in the second quarter that continues to generate the most chatter. Mahomes stepped up in the pocket amid pressure from the Ravens, then calmly whipped a ball left to wide receiver Demarcus Robinson — all while looking toward the middle of the field, and thus drawing Baltimore’s coverage in that direction.

The sleight-of-arm amazed CBS analyst Tony Romo, a former Pro Bowl quarterback who knows a thing or two about pulling a rabbit out of a hat with an unorthodox pass play, and it was still reverberating Tuesday, when Robinson admitted that even he had to take a further gander at the pass.

“I didn’t know he no-looked it at the time, for real,” the receiver told The Athletic. “I just caught the ball, so it’s fun just being on the field making plays. When he does scramble, you know you’ve got to keep your feet moving. He’s going to find you wherever you’re at on the field.”

Mahomes explained Monday that he began experimenting with no-look throws while at Texas Tech, where he and backup quarterback Nic Shimonek would try to “one-up each other” with them in practices. He said he eventually “realized it was a tool I could actually use in games,” but claimed he didn’t try it against real competition until his very first NFL start, against the Broncos in Week 17 last season.

Mahomes, though, at least attempted versions of no-look passes while starring for the Red Raiders. On his throw at Denver, he appeared to look at then-Chiefs wide receiver Albert Wilson while keeping his body pointed elsewhere.

Of course, NFL quarterbacks have spent decades helping get their receivers open by looking off safeties and other defenders before tossing passes in unexpected directions. Earlier this season, the Buccaneers’ Ryan Fitzpatrick made throws against the Eagles in which he didn’t let his eyes betray the exact direction of where he was going, but he was already looking in the general vicinity of his targets.

Most of the time, though, quarterbacks seeking to deceive have generally snapped their bodies back toward their intended targets at the last moment, whereas Mahomes seems to be taking a page out of the NBA playbooks of the likes of Magic Johnson and LeBron James.

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The 23-year-old sensation indicated Monday that he understood the obvious risks involved, saying (via Arrowhead Pride), “I haven’t thrown an interception [on a no-look pass] yet. Hopefully, I won’t. I think I tried to throw one earlier in the season — I think it was Tyreek Hill — and he stopped running because he thought I was going to throw it back to the right. You have to have that chemistry in knowing and trusting he’s going to run his route the same way.”

On the throw to Robinson, Mahomes said, it helped that they had built that chemistry while playing on Kansas City’s second team for most of the 2017 season, as he played understudy to Alex Smith. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that he’d seen his young quarterback, drafted 10th overall last year, try no-look passes in practice, but that pulling it off in an actual game took “tremendous confidence.”

“He did a nice job with it. He actually froze the guy,” Reid said of the memorable play against the Ravens. “When you really look at what effect it had on the defense, there was a guy right underneath the route. I would have liked to interview that guy right at the point. That is a tough bind.

“How do you go explain that to your coach? ‘He was looking over here, but he threw it over there!’ They are going to think you are crazy.”

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Judge rebuffs plea in Joe Tumpkin assault case, says lawyers must explain proposed deal — and victim has right to be present

December 12, 2018 - 10:25am

The Broomfield judge overseeing the domestic violence case against former University of Colorado assistant football coach Joe Tumpkin did not allow Tumpkin to enter into a plea agreement Wednesday, saying he first wanted written motions from the attorneys explaining the reasons behind the deal and also said the victim had a right to be present.

Tumpkin, 47, is charged with five counts of second-degree assault and three counts of third-degree assault.

Tumpkin appeared Wednesday in Broomfield court for a preliminary hearing, but 17th Judicial District Attorney Trevor Moritzky confirmed earlier reports that prosecutors had reached a plea deal with Tumpkin, in which the former coach would plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of assault with a domestic violence factual basis.

Moritzky asked for the preliminary hearing to be waived and a plea hearing be set so Tumpkin could undergo a pre-sentence investigation and a domestic violence evaluation.

But defense attorney Jon Banashek asked that Judge Michael Goodbee immediately accept the plea Wednesday. “He is now ready to move forward,” Banashek said.

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Read more at dailycamera.com.

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Cañon City in the top 10 for season 4 of “Small Business Revolution – Main Street” series

December 12, 2018 - 10:11am
Carie Canterbury, Canon City Daily RecordA look at Canon City Main Street in July.

Cañon City has made it to the top 10 communities that are in the running for Season 4 of the highly acclaimed “Small Business Revolution – Main Street” series.

Nearly 12,000 nominations poured in from all 50 states. Cañon City Economic Development submitted a nomination in October and encouraged others in the community to do the same.

In November, Small Business Revolution named the top 20 communities. There was a social media push using #mycanoncity by business owners to invite Small Business Revolution to the community. Additional paperwork was requested and submitted by Economic Development for the Dec. 3 deadline. The top 10 were named Tuesday.

Cañon City will host the Small Business Revolution team and film crews Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

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“We are encouraging all of the businesses to continue to use #mycanoncity when posting about their business,” said Economic Development Director Ryan Stevens.

Read the full story on canoncitydailyrecord.com.

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Get Cooking: Christmas helping of food for the soul

December 12, 2018 - 9:03am

This is not a typical “Get Cooking” column. It does offer a recipe, which you always should expect; however, in the main, I hope more to inspire than to instruct. It’s that time of year.

This is a story about food, to be sure, but it aims to feed the soul.

The woman working the door led Egan to his table, a two-top, and he took the seat facing the wall.

“Anyone joining you tonight, sir?” she asked. “No,” he said.

Egan liked dining by himself. He’d bring the magazines he wanted to read, maybe the unopened mail. To Egan, being alone was OK, but dining alone was paradise. To sit at table and be properly served, to make of the snowy plane of the tablecloth and glimmer of polished glass his little world, that was delicious.

He was a regular at this restaurant, as much a fixture as the lacquered mahogany and brassstudded leather banquettes, the gleaming silver service and waiters in long white aprons that brushed the tops of their shoes.

He ordered the soup of the day because he always did and, tonight, a plate of sweetbreads. He chose a well-priced Savigny-Les-Beaune that the waiter informed him was the last one in the bin.

By and by, the woman who worked the door returned. “I’m terribly sorry to bother you, sir, but we’re just about a full house, as you see. Would you be so kind to have another single diner sit with you? We’d very much appreciate it.”

“Crap,” Egan said to himself.

He’d been barely two pages into a short story and he wasn’t keen on sharing the Savigny-Les-
Beaune.

“Sure, of course,” he said, because he’d been taught to be a good guy and because he knew that the woman who worked the door remembered favors.

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There, off her elbow, was his gatecrasher — nearly as tall as the season’s Christmas trees and as loudly dressed. Egan let go a sigh.

“Hey, thanks,” said the other man. “I’m Desmond. Nice to meet you.”

“Egan. Welcome to our table.”

Desmond ordered onion soup au gratin and a pork schnitzel. He told Egan that the Savigny-Les-Beaune was a splendid idea.

Though Egan was peeved, he also was patient. Most especially, he was curious. (He liked privacy, after all, because it more efficiently focused attention.)

Egan and Desmond talked about the usual things at first, where they worked, their hometowns, about their families. Chitter-chatter, for all it is disparaged, is that gentlest of probes under another man’s skin. In sufficient and disciplined amount, it is able to exfoliate a personality.

To his surprise, Egan was instantly taken with Desmond. When Desmond spoke, he looked straight at Egan; when he listened, he loosely shuttered his eyes, as though he were chewing on what Egan was saying.

Plus, Desmond was quite the character, well worth the look and listen. He talked terrible potty mouth, and alluded as easily and as effectively to The Byrds as to Bellow. He ate slowly, not because he was meditative but because, when he spoke, both his hands flapped like fans.

Because they both knew food and wine, they talked about their dinner. Egan was perturbed that he could find little really good, affordable Burgundy, but allowed that this Savigny was pretty tasty.

Desmond had asked the kitchen to top his schnitzel with two fried eggs and he popped open each in turn so that the sunny centers, still runny, oozed their deliciousness over the crispcoated meat.

Egan said that egg yolk spoiled any wine, much less this fine red, and Desmond agreed. So Desmond sipped less than Egan and Egan thought that that was just fine and a happy pretext for citing old saws.

They agreed to finish dinner with cheese, something that they both offered at home dinner parties but rarely ordered out, restaurants not being in the habit of stocking cheese carts.

“Whatever you have,” said Desmond to the waiter, “some goat cheese from the salad list and a wedge of Gorgonzola from your steak sauce recipe. A cut-up apple, some more bread — and a knob of butter.

“You know,” he said, turning to Egan, “a little butter on the bread first, then the cheese, my God it’s terrific.”

In the end, after the waiter put down the check and they disposed of it, Desmond stood up, brushed the crumbs from his lap, shook Egan’s hand heartily and bid him a happy holiday.

For a moment, Egan sat back in his chair that faced the wall, closed his hands over his lips and mulled over, in what room was left in his breast, how pleasant it was to have been interrupted that night by the woman who worked the door.

A very nice Christmas present I let happen, he said to himself.

Pork Schnitzel

From foodnetwork.com, recipe from Family Circle Magazine; 6 schnitzels

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless top pork loin chops, about 2 pounds total, cut ½ -inch thick, trimmed of fat
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil

Directions

Place chops between 2 sheets of waxed or plastic paper. With meat mallet or rolling pin, pound to 3/8-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt.

Measure flour and bread crumbs onto separate sheets of waxed paper or shallow bowls. Whisk together egg and milk in bowl. Lightly coat cutlets in flour, shaking off excess; dip in egg mixture, then into bread crumbs, pressing crumbs to coat.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add cutlets to skillet; cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove cutlets to warm platter. Serve immediately.

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UK’s May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

December 12, 2018 - 8:26am

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a brush with political mortality Wednesday, winning a no-confidence vote by Conservative lawmakers that would have ended her leadership of party and country.

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally that reflected the discontent within the party over her handling of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Despite the victory, Brexit remains her government’s biggest problem. May is heading to Brussels to seek changed to her divorce deal from the European Union in order to make it more palatable to Parliament.

The balloting came after May’s Conservative opponents, who circled the weakened prime minister for weeks hoping to spark a no-confidence vote, finally got the numbers they needed to call one.

The result was announced to loud cheers from lawmakers gathered in the wood-paneled room where they had voted. Under party rules, May cannot be challenged again for a year.

May had earlier vowed to fight for the leadership of her party and the country “with everything I’ve got,” and spent the day holed up in the House of Commons trying to win over enough lawmakers to secure victory.

“A change of leadership in the Conservative Party now will put our country’s future at risk,” May said in a defiant statement outside 10 Downing St.

She said that ousting her and a vote on her replacement — a process that could take weeks — could result in Brexit being delayed or even halted. May, who spent Tuesday touring European Union capitals to appeal for changes to sweeten her divorce deal for reluctant U.K. lawmakers, has until Jan. 21 to hold a vote on the agreement in Parliament, a timetable that could be scuttled if she is replaced.

In a bid to win over wavering lawmakers, May indicated she would step down before the next election, due in 2022.

Solicitor-General Robert Buckland said May told lawmakers at a meeting that “it is not her intention to lead the party in the 2022 general election.”

Another Tory legislator, Nick Boles, tweeted: “She was unambiguous. She will not be leading the Conservative Party into the next election.”

May has not said what she will do if, as many expect, there is an early election triggered by Britain’s Brexit crisis.

The leadership challenge marked a violent eruption of the Conservative Party’s decades-long divide over Europe and throws Britain’s already rocky path out of the EU, which it is due to leave on March 29, into further chaos. It comes days after May postponed a vote to approve the divorce deal to avoid all-but-certain defeat.

The threat to May has been building as pro-Brexit Conservative lawmakers grew increasingly frustrated with the prime minister’s handling of Brexit.

Many supporters of Brexit say May’s deal, a compromise that retains close economic ties with the EU, fails to deliver on the clean break with the bloc that they want.

Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson accused May of acting like a “supplicant” in dealings with the EU.

“She’s not the person to see Brexit through,” he said.

Opposition lawmakers expressed astonishment and outrage at the Conservative civil war erupting in the middle of the fraught Brexit process.

“This government is a farce, the Tory party is in chaos, the prime minister is a disgrace,” Scottish National Party leader Ian Blackford said during a pugnacious Prime Minister’s Questions session in the House of Commons.

British business figures had expressed alarm at the prospect of even more political uncertainty.

“At one of the most pivotal moments for the U.K. economy in decades, it is unacceptable that Westminster politicians have chosen to focus on themselves, rather than on the needs of the country,” said Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce.

Graham Brady, who heads a committee overseeing Conservative leadership contests, announced early Wednesday that he had received letters from at least 48 lawmakers asking for a vote. That’s the 15 percent of Conservative legislators needed to spark a leadership challenge under party rules.

May canceled a Wednesday trip to Dublin to meet Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar so she could stay in London and battle for lawmakers’ support.

But before it, Cabinet colleagues rallied to May’s support. Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted that a leadership contest, with Brexit little more than three months away, “will be seen as self-indulgent and wrong.”

Justice Secretary David Gauke said: “I think it’s vital for the country that she wins tonight.”

He said that if May lost, “I don’t think we will be leaving the European Union on the 29th of March.”

EU leaders tried to stay out of the fray. There was no change in plans for May to address them about Brexit at a summit on Brussels on Thursday.

The European Parliament’s Brexit point man, Guy Verhofstadt, could not contain a note of annoyance, tweeting: “Once again, the fate of EU-U.K. relations, the prosperity of businesses & citizens’ rights are consumed by an internal Conservative party catfight over Europe.”

___

Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit crisis at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

___

Associated Press writers Danica Kirka and Gregory Katz in London contributed.

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Two Denver schools in Montbello lift lockouts after police deem suspicious packages not dangerous

December 12, 2018 - 7:48am

Two Denver schools in Montbello were on lockout Wednesday morning while police investigated two suspicious packages nearby, which were later deemed not dangerous.

Denver police were alerted to the packages at about 7 a.m., a spokeswoman said. One was found in the 4500 block of North Crown Boulevard and the other was found in the 14200 block of East Albrook Drive.

Police found that the packages were not dangerous about 8:18 a.m. and cleared the scene, according to Denver police.

Staff at McGlone Academy, an elementary school, asked parents to not bring their students to school until 9:15 a.m., Denver Public Schools spokeswoman Alex Renteria said.

Farrell B. Howell, which is nearby and serves students through eighth grade, was also placed on lockout, according to the district.

No further details were immediately available.

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NFL’s salary cap to jump about $10 million or more per team in 2019

December 12, 2018 - 7:44am

IRVING, Texas — NFL teams were told by the league Tuesday that the salary cap is projected to increase to an estimated $187 million to $191.1 million per club for the 2019 season.

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That would represent a jump of about $10 million or more from this season’s figure of $177.2 million per team. The increase should ensure that most teams will have considerable flexibility to make player-related moves during the upcoming offseason.

The estimates were distributed by the league as general managers and team presidents participated in meetings Tuesday at a Dallas-area hotel. Owners are scheduled to meet Wednesday.

It is the sixth straight year that the salary cap is projected to increase by $10 million or more. The cap will have jumped 40 percent since 2014, when it was set at $133 million per team.

The salary cap is calculated as a prescribed portion of league revenue under the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association. The current 10-year CBA expires following the 2020 season. That deal was struck between the league and union in 2011 after a lockout of the players by owners and after the sport had a season without a salary cap in 2010.

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Naked driver crashes into Arapahoe County apartment building, injuring himself and a resident

December 12, 2018 - 6:46am
Denver7A car crashed into the Country Club Villas apartment complex around 2:28 a.m. on Dec. 12, 2018 on E. Florida Ave. near Parker Road in Arapahoe County.

A naked man drove his car into an Arapahoe County apartment complex early Wednesday morning, injuring himself and a woman inside the building.

The car crashed about 2:28 a.m. into two garden level units in the Country Club Villas apartments at 8828 E. Florida Avenue, just outside the southeast border of Denver, Colorado State Patrol spokesman Josh Lewis said.

The driver and a woman were transported to hospitals with minor injuries, South Metro Fire Rescue spokesman Eric Hurst said.

Residents at the scene told firefighters that the driver was naked when he got out of the car, Hurst said.

Firefighters evacuated the two units that were hit by the car as well as the four units on the two floors directly above them, Hurst said. Firefighters added pillars to the structure to make sure the ceilings of the garden level apartments remained stable.

“It’s just out of an abundance of caution,” Hurst said.

Investigators with the state patrol are still investigating what caused the crash, Lewis said. It was unclear whether drugs or alcohol were involved, he said.

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Another car crashed into an Edgewater home early Sunday morning, barely missing a person sleeping inside. The previous weekend, someone crashed a car into a Denver restaurant and an elderly woman crashed her car into the sanctuary of a Littleton church.

Calls for cars crashing into buildings are not uncommon, Hurst said.

“It kind of ebbs and flows,” he said.

South Metro Firefighters are on scene of a vehicle into an apartment building at 8828 E. Florida Ave. No one trapped, 2 people transported with minor injuries. 2 garden level apartments with major damage, technical rescue team on scene working on stabilizing the building. pic.twitter.com/iL2Q04dDNs

— South Metro Fire Rescue (@SouthMetroPIO) December 12, 2018

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Gusty winds, chilly nights for the next two days in Denver

December 12, 2018 - 6:37am

Blustery winds are expected to cruise through Denver on Wednesday and Thursday as the pattern of 50-degrees days and low 30s nights continues.

Wednesday is forecasted to have rolling clouds with a high near 51 degrees. Breezy conditions will be brought by southwest winds blowing 7 to 17 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 26 mph.

The clouds will stick around Wednesday night with a low around 21 degrees. The blustery night air is expected to blow 19 to 24 mph with gusts as high as 37 mph.

The sun will peak out on Thursday, with a high near 43 degrees. After the blue sky fades to black, the temperature will drop to around 23 degrees.

Friday is slated to be a sunny 56 degrees with a light southwest wind around 5 mph. Friday night should be mostly clear, with a low around 28 degrees. Saturday should be mostly sunny, with a high near 58 degrees.

Saturday night is expected to be partly cloudy, with a low around 30 degrees. Sunday will be sunny, with a high near 56 degrees. By nightfall, the sky will remain mostly clear with a low around 29 degrees.

Monday is slated for sunny skies with a high near 55 degrees. Monday night is forecasted to be partly cloudy, with a low around 30 degrees.

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Responding to coach’s critique, Broncos QB Case Keenum says “I’ve got to play better”

December 12, 2018 - 6:00am

Befitting somebody who knows the spotlight is always on the position he plays, Broncos quarterback Case Keenum reacted succinctly Tuesday to coach Vance Joseph’s request for him to play more aggressive.

“I’ve got to play better,” Keenum said. “I’ve got to get my guys chances down the field. That’s it.”

Joseph’s criticism of Keenum on Monday came out of nowhere considering the Broncos had won their previous three games before Sunday’s eyesore of a loss at San Francisco. On Sunday, only six of Keenum’s 42 pass attempts traveled at least 16 yards in the air, which was not to Joseph’s satisfaction. The coach wants Keenum to challenge the defense more.

One thought is maybe Joseph believes poking Keenum in the media will light a figurative fire for the season’s final three games, starting Saturday night against Cleveland.

“We’re at the point of the season where we have to make plays (and) we have to score points,” Keenum said. “I have to get guys chances down the field. Continue to be smart with the football, but give guys chances when we feel it’s a good match-up and an advantageous time to take a shot.”

Following practice on Tuesday, Joseph didn’t add much to his Monday comments.

Asked what parts of the field and what situations of the game he wants Keenum to be in attack mode, Joseph said: “It’s overall play. We’ve got three weeks to play. We have to all play that way, not just Case. Defensively (also). We have to coach that way. We are playing to win, not to keep it close (and) not to lose. That’s the message to the entire team.”

But does Joseph have a point that Keenum hasn’t been aggressive enough throwing the ball downfield?

A deep dive into the numbers didn’t so much confirm Joseph’s view as reveal how Keenum stacks up with the league’s elite quarterbacks, per Stats, Inc.

Attempts that traveled at least 21 yards in the air: Keenum is tied for ninth with 45, well behind Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (70) and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (62). Keenum is 16 of 45 for 602 yards on those attempts. Mahomes and Rodgers have 981 and 937 yards, respectively, on those throws.

Completions of at least 20 yards: Keenum’s 45 such plays are tied for ninth-most, well behind Mahomes (66) and the Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff (60).

Touchdown passes of at least 20 yards: Keenum’s seven are tied for 13th. The top three are Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (13), Mahomes and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers (12 apiece).

One metric that stood out is Keenum’s out-of-the-gate play.

Among the 19 quarterbacks with at least 80 first-quarter pass attempts, Keenum’s 80.4 rating is last.

Losing receiver Emmanuel Sanders last week to a torn Achilles will certainly impact the Broncos’ vertical strategy. Sanders’ 12 catches of at least 20 yards is tied for 20th in the league. That puts the onus on the remaining players, all young.

“It’s our job as receivers, tight end, running backs — all of us — to get open for Case,” tight end Matt LaCosse said. “It’s not all on Case.”

Joseph did not provide specific examples of missed opportunities by Keenum on Sunday. But a couple emerged after watching the All-22 tape.

On third-and-2 in Sunday’s first quarter, Courtland Sutton was wide open on a post route 11 yards downfield, but Keenum shuffled left and threw incomplete to Tim Patrick (four-yard attempt).

On first-and-10 in the second quarter, DaeSean Hamilton got open on an in-breaking route 17 yards downfield, but Keenum, instead of trying to loft a pass over the linebacker, threw incomplete to running back Phillip Lindsay.

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On another first-and-10 in the second quarter, Hamilton (from the left slot) was open on a post route 10 yards downfield, but Keenum threw a four-yard pass to Sutton.

The common theme: Keenum threw outside the numbers instead of challenging the middle of the field.

Keenum knows it’s not all on him, but it does start with him.

“Quarterback is a tough position to play,” he said. “That’s why I play it. I love it. I love the challenge of it. I love how much goes into it. My entire life, I’ve loved having the ball in my hands and making decisions and really being a big part of why my team wins.”

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Departing U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman reflects on Donald Trump and eyes the Aurora mayor’s office

December 12, 2018 - 6:00am

Mike Coffman was seemingly invincible — until he wasn’t.

In the weeks since President Donald Trump’s unpopularity in Colorado resulted in across-the-board misfortune for Republican candidates Nov. 6, including Coffman, the five-term suburban Denver congressman has been pondering his next step. One option is close to home.

“I’ve been getting calls to run for mayor of the city of Aurora — but I’m going to hold off on even thinking about that” until next year, he said during an exit interview with The Denver Post last week.

Coffman, 63, has served almost continuously in elected office since 1989, except during overseas military service in the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars.

He had survived three consecutive strong Democratic challenges in his redrawn swing district. On Jan. 3, he will pass the 6th Congressional District’s baton to Jason Crow, the well-supported Democrat who defeated Coffman by 11 percentage points.

Recently divorced from outgoing Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Mike Coffman says he may consider not only a run for Aurora mayor but also private-sector possibilities. Aurora’s top office is up in the November 2019 election, and it’s expected to be an open race.

But Coffman said he has ruled out seeking another partisan office like those he occupied in the state legislature and as Colorado treasurer, secretary of state and, finally, representative for the 6th District.

“Washington, D.C., was hyper-partisan, and I just want a change,” he said.

Here are excerpts from his comments, which have been edited for clarity and slightly condensed.

Feelings about leaving Congress

“Well, I’m glad I had the experience. I worked hard to get re-elected. It didn’t happen, but I’m just ready to move on. It’s odd: I think that for members who are there for a shorter period of time, and they don’t get re-elected, it’s hard on them. But 10 years is longer than I’ve been in any office.”

Thinking about what’s next

“First I want to do something that is not political. I want to do some fundraising, just as a volunteer. I’m looking at some veterans groups or (groups for) first responders. A lot of people would like my help, and there are going to be some hard choices. I can’t spread myself too thin.”

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver PostU.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, left, joins in a Sunday service at Addis Kidan Evangelical Church on Nov. 4, 2018, in Aurora, during a last-minute campaign push before the election. Appeal of the Aurora mayor’s office

“Well, it’s nonpartisan. I grew up here. I’ve spent my whole life here. My business was here. The frustration of Washington is you have to concentrate on just a few areas to really make a difference, and then so much of the power is at the top, at the committee chairman level.

“I think at the local level, you’re just directly in contact with the people. You’re not removed. And you see the results of your politics very directly. One of the things I love about (being congressman) is the constituent work.”

President Trump as a major factor in his race

“I was told at the beginning, by the (National Republican Congressional Committee), that you have to try and localize this race. You have to make this race a referendum on you. If it’s nationalized and it’s a referendum on the president, you’re not going to win.

“And, it was nationalized. I couldn’t help that. I’m trying to look at this historically — the first midterm for a new president, particularly when they control the House and Senate, is always problematic (for his party).

“Now I kind of look back and say, ‘It was inevitable,’ given the nature of the district and the way the president campaigned, too. I mean, he campaigned in red states for Senate candidates, but every rally that he held consumed the news cycle. It didn’t matter where he was, he might as well have been here.

“You know, I always thought that somehow I could win. But I remember walking into a restaurant one morning, in Greenwood Village. And this suburban mom comes up, and she says, ‘I’m really scared about what’s happening in the country.’ This was last year, I think. And it was really (about) the president’s tone. She wasn’t an activist. It wasn’t some planted thing. It was something that was really genuine.”

His prediction about a Trump effect in 2020

Last month, Coffman told Vox.com that he was pessimistic about Republicans’ chances of taking back the House majority in 2020, given Trump’s impact on 2018 races. But he says he has re-evaluated that view.

“That was my first inkling — ‘Well, since Trump is on the ballot, why wouldn’t it be the same?’ But I don’t think it will be. Midterms behave very differently than presidential elections. Midterms, for a federal candidate, often times are a referendum on the president, where in presidential years, voters make two separate choices: one for president and one for a federal officeholder.

“There’s a pressure valve in a presidential year that doesn’t exist in a midterm.”

Andy Cross, The Denver PostJason Crow, center, and his wife, Deserai, along with their children, Anderson, 8, and Josephine, 5, celebrate leaving the stage at the DoubleTree by Hilton Denver Tech Center on Nov. 6, 2018. No hunger for a rematch with Crow

“I’m just not eager for another two years. If they gave it to me … no, I’m not going to say that. I think 10 years has been a great experience. I got things done that were important to me and, I think, important to the country. But you know, I don’t want to go back.”

Changing views on immigration, social issues post-redistricting

“I’ll tell you what, I think the experience has been so extraordinary in this district — forcing me to reach out, forcing me to really expand my views — where the (previous) district was not diverse. I think I really grew as a result of that, and I think I not only became a better congressman, I became a better person.

“I voted against a DREAM Act bill (in 2010). And then in the new district, of course I’m meeting these people, and I’m sitting across the table from them and listening to their stories. It really changed me. Whereas before it was just like it was on paper, and now it was just real, and in front of me.”

What Coffman has found fulfilling in Congress

“Early on, putting together a bipartisan caucus on rare earth metals. When I got the new district, in 2013, I got on the Veterans Affairs Committee and became the subcommittee chairman for oversight and investigation and began to look at the (Aurora) hospital. We certainly found out that things were going in the wrong direction fairly quickly, and I was able to lead the effort to bring the Army Corps of Engineers on the project and get the VA off of it.

“I did a lot of things in the mental health area, both for veterans and the active-duty side. I worked to prevent sexual assaults in the military, which continues to be a problem. One of the big wins was with the Ethiopians,” involving the passage of a resolution condemning that country’s government, a move cheered by Ethiopian immigrants in his district.

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“There’s the level of partisanship, but also how difficult it is even to work with your own leadership to get things done. In the majority, the power is so centralized between the committee chairs, the majority leader and the speaker of the House that you literally have to have their support to get something through.”

Where he finds personal fulfillment

“Are you kidding, it’s just been (about) work. I’m going to have to start working out more. I worked out twice yesterday, and it felt good.”

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Colorado Supreme Court to hear arguments in case that will decide future of pot-sniffing police dogs

December 12, 2018 - 6:00am

Beaker the Belgian Malinois was only 7 years old when changing marijuana laws led his handler to hang up the dog’s police vest.

Beaker, like many police dogs across the country, is trained to alert his handler when he smells marijuana. But his signal for pot is the same as it is for other drugs, such as heroin or meth, said Arvada police Officer Brian Laas, the dog’s handler.

That’s a problem in Colorado, because K-9 handlers can’t tell whether the dog is alerting them to the presence of an illegal substance or legal amounts of weed, and police need probable cause that a crime has been committed before searching further.

On Wednesday, the Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that will set standards for the use of police dogs’ drug-detection skills in this state — and could have repercussions across the country. The state appeals court previously ruled in the same case that a police dog’s signal that a drug is present is not enough evidence on its own to support a search of a vehicle if the dog is trained to detect pot.

RJ Sangosti, The Denver PostVince Petkosek, with the Pueblo Police Department’s K-9 Unit, plays with Sage, a yellow Lab, outside the department on Dec. 11, 2018, in Pueblo.

The opinion from the state’s highest court could set informal, though not legally binding, precedent for K-9 programs across the country, said David Ferland, executive director of the United States Police Canine Association. Not only will it affect dogs trained to find drugs, similar arguments could be made about canines trained to find guns and explosives, he said.

“All states are paying attention to what’s going on in Colorado right now,” he said.

Since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012, law enforcement agencies in Colorado have struggled to decide what to do with their K-9s trained to signal for pot. Between 100 and 120 police dogs work in Colorado, and about 20 percent still alert for marijuana, said Laas, who is the president of the Colorado Police K-9 Association.

Some agencies, such as police departments in Arvada and Rifle, have retired a few dogs early to make way for K-9s that are not trained to alert to marijuana.

Beaker’s health issues also contributed to the dog’s early retirement, Laas said. But Beaker likely would have worked at least another year if the legal questions around marijuana were not a factor. Instead of working, Beaker spends his days at Laas’ home, while Rudy — his replacement, who is not trained to alert to pot — continues his police work.

The Pueblo Police Department purchased a new dog, a yellow Labrador retriever named Sage, in December 2017 as an addition to its other K-9 after the appeals court ruling. Sage does not alert to marijuana.

“Our chief took steps to get ahead of the game and any court decision that might come,” said Pueblo police Detective Vince Petkosek, who handles Sage and Widget, the other dog.

Other departments, such as Loveland police and the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, simply have replaced dogs as they retire with additions that aren’t trained for pot.

Some agencies in states with legal pot have sent their marijuana-trained dogs to states where the substance is still illegal, Ferland said, but even those states are starting to shy from such K-9s.

RJ Sangosti, The Denver PostSage, a yellow Lab, plays outside the Pueblo Police Department on Dec. 11, 2018, in Pueblo.

“I live in New Hampshire, surrounded by three states that have legalized recreational marijuana,” Ferland said. “Even though it’s illegal in New Hampshire, I don’t know of a dog team that is is being trained to detect pot.”

The national association does not recommend that most police dogs be trained to detect marijuana, Ferland said. The association changed its training standards four years ago to allow handlers to opt out of marijuana training, which used to be a requirement, he said.

Replacing the highly trained dogs isn’t cheap, however, and smaller agencies may not be able to afford such a purchase, Laas said. Rudy, the Arvada Police Department’s Dutch shepherd, cost about $14,000 untrained, and trained dogs can cost up to $20,000.

Some organizations where pot remains banned — such as schools, drug rehabilitation facilities or corrections departments — still need dogs trained for weed, said Chris Pelle, owner of Complete Canine Training in Brighton. But as Pelle watched case law around the issue change over the past few years, he decided to stop training dogs to detect marijuana unless it is requested.

“Anyone involved in the industry can see where it’s headed,” he said.

RJ Sangosti, The Denver PostVince Petkosek, with the Pueblo Police Department’s K-9 Unit, demonstrates the skills that Sage, a yellow Lab, has for smelling narcotics as they demonstrate for media cameras outside the department on Dec. 11, 2018 in Pueblo.

Undoing a dog’s marijuana training is not feasible, Pelle said, and likely would affect the dog’s ability to signal for other substances.

The case before the Colorado Supreme Court, People vs. Kevin Keith McKnight, originated with a 2015 traffic stop in Moffat County. A deputy with the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office stopped a truck he suspected had drugs in it and requested a K-9 sniff test of the vehicle, according to a court filing summarizing the case.

The police dog, Kilo, was trained to detect cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamine and marijuana, and alerted its handler that one of the substances was in the truck. Deputies then searched the truck and found a pipe commonly used to smoke meth and arrested the driver, Kevin McKnight. He later was convicted of two drug-possession charges.

But three Colorado Court of Appeals judges overturned the man’s convictions in 2017 and ruled that Kilo’s alert by itself was not enough evidence to conduct a search because he could have been alerting to a legal amount of marijuana. Officers need other indications that a crime has occurred to back up the dog’s signal, they ruled.

“But although Kilo’s alert increased the likelihood that McKnight’s truck contained evidence of a crime, a significant level of ambiguity arose from the combination of Kilo’s training and Colorado’s marijuana laws,” Judge John Daniel Dailey wrote in the appellate opinion. “At bottom, Kilo’s alert communicated only that he detected either a legal substance or an illegal substance.”

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The Colorado Supreme Court ruling, expected sometime next year, could have effects outside of drug detection, said Ferland, the head of the national police dog association.

The alerts from dogs trained to detect explosives and guns also could come under question because the dogs have no way of knowing whether the weapons are held legally, Ferland said. The alert alone would then not be enough evidence to warrant a search for the gun or explosive.

“That could remove a significant public safety tool,” Ferland said.

But many handlers in Colorado are ready for more solid answers about the future of their canine partners. Laas plans to attend the oral arguments Wednesday morning.

“I hope this gives some clarity for all of us,” Laas said. “It’ll give us a standard, and we’ll have to adjust for it.”

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Denver Sports Omelette: Tulo chants no more in Canada

December 12, 2018 - 6:00am

Clap clap, clap clap clap, clap clap clap clap, “Released.”

The “Tulo” chants are long gone in Toronto as the Blue Jays have released oft-injured shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Don’t feel sorry for the former Rockies shortstop as Tulowitzki is officially a free agent and is owed $38 million over the next three seasons. Yep, that’s correct, $38 million to play for someone else.

The Blue Jays made an organizational decision, and the one they made was big with Tulo. If he ends up in the American League East the Jays will be paying him millions to play against them all season. When you think about it that way, he really wasn’t wanted north of the border in Canada.

Yes, there is going to be a team that will pick him up on a minor league deal or a smaller one-year contract with the hope he returns to all-star form. It’s a gamble a number of teams may take since it is low risk, high reward.

The Rockies, however, aren’t that team.

To those who would love to see him back in purple pinstripes, let’s keep the good ‘ol days where they belong — in the past. Some might enjoy seeing him play first base at Coors Field, but that isn’t going to happen. Tulo has said he is a shortstop and wants to play that position. Folks also need not forget that Rockies GM Jeff Bridich and Tulowitzki didn’t end things on the best of terms when he was traded to the Blue Jays back in 2015.

Colorado is going to have another competitive team in 2019 as they chase their third consecutive playoff berth and first National League West title.

The hot stove season is just starting to heat up. It’s sure to be a good one with a lot of huge names still on the open market.

Jeff Bailey, The Denver Post

NEW 
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Relive “Dumb and Dumber” with this insane, $10,000 Colorado hotel and ski package

December 12, 2018 - 5:50am

Taking homage to a whole new level is just The Curtis Hotel’s thing. Witness the boutique pop-culture lodge’s themed rooms, which include furnishings, fixtures and decor that invoke everything from disco and video games to movies such as “Ghostbusters” and “Talladega Nights.”

With it latest marketing stunt, however, the Curtis is doubling down on its tongue-in-cheek brand with a “Dumb and Dumber”-themed package that costs a whopping $10,000.

So what, in the name of Lloyd and Harry, does $10,000 get you?

The package, officially dubbed “Dumb and Dumber: Lloyd and Harry Meet the Curtis,” includes custom and locally sourced items that gleefully evoke the drooling 1994 cult-comedy starring Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels and Lauren Holly. And given that large parts of the film were set and filmed in Colorado, you won’t be surprised to hear Aspen is involved.

The package begins with two nights at the Curtis’ Corner King Deluxe room, which features views of downtown Denver on two walls. Next — and in keeping with the film’s hot-steppin’ gala scene in Aspen — you’ll get one powder blue and one orange tuxedo, with matching top hats. (Many of the scenes set in Aspen were actually filmed at Estes Park’s Stanley Hotel, the original inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Shining”).

Given the Aspen connection, you’ll get two pairs of Icelantic Nomad 95 Skis — handmade in Colorado with custom Denver skyline art — which you can bring on your luxury jet service to and from Aspen, including transportation to and from The Curtis Hotel and Centennial Airport.

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What about when you arrive in Aspen and your nose is frozen from the crisp winter air? An SUV will be waiting to transport you to and from Aspen Mountain, where you can use the package-included pair of single-day lift tickets at Aspen Mountain (and those new skis). Whether you choose to instinctively flock to local watering holes like the salmon of Capistrano, or return to Denver on your private jet (so you can cash in your three-hour moped rental and explore downtown Denver), you’ll have a 12-pack of Aspen Beer Co. bottles waiting.

The Corner Office, the Curtis’ bar/restaurant across the street from the Denver Performing Arts Complex, will also have a $100 credit with your name on it. Use that before or after your $200 Oxford Club spa and salon credit, and take your time checking out Sunday (a late check-out is part of the deal, of course).

If that sounds like it’s worth $10,000 — and you’re unrepentantly obsessed with “Dumb and Dumber” — call 303-571-0300 or visit thecurtis.com before April 21, when the getaway expires. (And let us know how it goes.)

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