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High winds blow over semi trucks on I-70

November 1, 2017 - 5:44am
The Denver ChannelAn overturned semi truck sits at the side of Interstate 70 in Georgetown early Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.

GEORGETOWN, Colo. — Strong winds caused big problems for drivers on Interstate 70 Wednesday morning, resulting in travel restrictions for high profile vehicles.

At least two semi tractor trailers were blown over on I-70 in Georgetown around 3 a.m.

A Colorado Department of Transportation weather station in the area was showing gusts over 70 miles per hour at the time.

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Clear Creek School District closed its schools Wednesday “due to the continued high wind restriction for high profile vehicles,” according to a district spokeswoman. Buses were unable to pick up students.

CDOT issued a high wind restriction for all high-profile and empty-load vehicles on the interstate between the Eisenhower Tunnel and Idaho Springs, warning drivers they would not be allowed through the restriction.

Read the full story at

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The real John Kelly slowly revealing himself at White House

November 1, 2017 - 4:46am

WASHINGTON — In his three months on the job, John Kelly has been credited with bringing order to a chaotic West Wing, but don’t call him a moderate.

President Donald Trump’s chief of staff was the enforcer of Trump’s controversial immigration policies, has frequently criticized the president’s enemies, and this week echoed his boss’ defense of Confederate monuments.

It all suggests that “The Chief,” as he is known among aides, may have instilled order, but he is more ideologically aligned with Trump than many believed.

Much has been made of the imagery of Kelly silently lurking on the sidelines of presidential addresses, seeming to cringe when Trump gets out of line. But it may be wishful thinking by Trump’s critics to believe that he’s tugging the president in another direction.

White House officials and Kelly allies say he is not so much partisan as he is ideological, holding hawkish views on issues like immigration and national security.

One ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said Kelly was undoubtedly conservative in mindset. The ally said Kelly’s striking Oct. 19 press conference lamenting the nation’s diminishing respect for women, religion and Gold Star families bared his true feelings.

Kelly also has proven to be no stranger to controversy. His defense of Confederate monuments Monday in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham eclipsed even earlier comments by Trump, as he praised Confederate commander Gen. Robert E. Lee.

“I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man,” Kelly told Ingraham. “He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., a frequent critic of the administration, said in a statement that Kelly “needs a history lesson” for ignoring slavery as the root cause of the conflict.

“He is starting to sound a lot like his boss,” Richmond said.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Kelly’s comments, citing a single historian’s assessment of the war’s roots.

“I’m not going to get up here and re-litigate the Civil War,” Sanders said.

And White House spokesman Raj Shah credits Kelly with ensuring Trump gets “the best counsel and can continue making the right decisions for the American people.”

Kelly’s star rose in the Trump orbit earlier this year in part because of the worldview he shares with the president. A retired Marine general who led the U.S. Southern Command, Kelly moved swiftly to enforce — and then defend — the president’s controversial travel ban, which remains tied up in litigation.

And Trump credited Kelly, then the secretary of Homeland Security, for his tough talk on illegal immigration.

In a speech in April, Kelly told lawmakers to “shut up and support the men and women on the front lines,” and to change immigration laws if they don’t agree with how they are being enforced. The previous month, he announced that his department was considering separating families crossing the border illegally in a bid to deter their migration.

Trump took to marveling at statistics showing reduced crossings along the nation’s southern border, and credited Kelly as his most effective Cabinet secretary, officials said.

Kelly has also made clear he shares Trump’s frustration with the media, mocking anonymously sourced stories of palace intrigue and what he perceives to be a negative tone in coverage. At the Coast Guard Academy commencement on May 17, then-Homeland Security Secretary Kelly joked that Trump ought to take a gifted ceremonial sword and “use it on the press.”

After Trump drew criticism for the tone of his call with the widow of a fallen service member, Kelly angrily attacked Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., who had described the president’s conversation with the widow to reporters.

He went on to deliver a factually inaccurate condemnation of a speech Wilson had given years earlier, accusing her of using the families of fallen law enforcement officers for political gain and referring to the congresswoman as an “empty barrel.”

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Kelly told Ingraham he had nothing to apologize for: “For something like that, absolutely not. I stand by my comments.”

Since his arrival in the White House on July 31, Kelly has focused his efforts on tightening the flow of information to the president and reforming the administration’s decision-making processes. But he has insisted that his role is not to manage Trump, but to manage those around him.

“I was not sent in to, or brought in to control him,” Kelly told reporters on Oct. 12. “And you should not measure my effectiveness as a chief of staff by what you think I should be doing.”

Kelly declined a request to be interviewed.

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Investigators scour NYC truck attack driver’s background

November 1, 2017 - 4:37am

NEW YORK — Investigators worked through the night to determine what led a truck driver to plow down people on a riverfront bike path near the World Trade Center, brandishing air guns and yelling “God is great” in Arabic as his deadly route of terror ended with a crash, authorities said.

Eight people were killed and 11 seriously injured in a Halloween afternoon attack that the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror.” The driver — identified by officials as an immigrant from Uzbekistan — was in critical condition but expected to survive after a police officer shot him in the abdomen.

A roughly two-mile stretch of highway in downtown Manhattan was shut down for the investigation. Authorities also converged on a New Jersey home and a van in a parking lot at a New Jersey Home Depot store. Authorities were scrutinizing a note found inside the attacker’s rented truck, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Police and the FBI urged members of the public to give them any photos or video that could help. The attack echoed a strategy that the Islamic State group has been suggesting to its followers. While police didn’t specifically blame any group for the strike, President Donald Trump railed against the Islamic State and declared “enough!” and “NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”

The victims reflected a city that is a melting pot and a magnet for visitors: One of the dead was from Belgium. Five were from Argentina and were celebrating the 30th anniversary of a school graduation, according to officials in those countries. The injured included students and staffers on a school bus that the driver rammed.

“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat.

Officials who were not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity identified the slight, bearded attacker as Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old who came to the U.S. legally in 2010. He has a Florida driver’s license but may have been staying in New Jersey, they said.

Records show Saipov was a commercial truck driver who formed a pair of businesses in Ohio. He had also driven for Uber, the ride-hailing company said. An Ohio marriage license shows that a truck driver with one of Saipov’s addresses and his name, spelled slightly differently, married a fellow Uzbek in 2013.

During his time in Fort Myers, Florida, several years ago, Saipov was “a very good person,” an acquaintance, Kobiljon Matkarov, told The New York Times.

“He liked the U.S. He seemed very lucky, and all the time, he was happy and talking like everything is OK. He did not seem like a terrorist, but I did not know him from the inside,” Matkarov said. He said Saipov later moved to New Jersey and began driving for Uber. San Francisco-based Uber said he started over six months ago.

Police said the attacker rented the truck at about 2 p.m. at a New Jersey Home Depot and then went into New York City, entering the bike path about an hour later and speeding toward the World Trade Center, the site of the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history.

He barreled along the bike path in the truck for the equivalent of about 14 blocks, or around eight-tenths of a mile, before slamming into a small yellow school bus.

“A person hopped out of the car with two guns and started yelling and screaming,” said a 12-year-old student who had just left a nearby school. “They were yelling ‘Allahu Akbar.'”

The student, whose mother asked that his name be withheld, said he ran back into the school, where students cried and huddled in a corner.

Video shot by bystanders showed Saipov walking through traffic wielding what looked like two handguns, but which police later said were a paintball gun and a pellet gun. A police officer shot Saipov when he wouldn’t drop the weapons, police said.

The mayhem set off panic in the neighborhood and left the pavement strewn with mangled bicycles and bodies that were soon covered with sheets.

“I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground,” said Chen Yi, an Uber driver.

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The note inside the truck was handwritten in a foreign language, according to one of the two law enforcement officials who spoke about the document. Both said its contents were being investigated but supported the belief the act was terrorism.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, called Tuesday’s carnage a “lone wolf” attack and said there was no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot.

Statements of support and condolences rolled in from around the world Wednesday.

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev sent his condolences to the president and the families of the victims, and offered his country’s assistance in investigating the attack.

Similar statements were issued by Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.

New York and other cities around the globe have been on high alert against attacks by extremists in vehicles. England, France and Germany have seen deadly vehicle attacks in the past year or so.


Associated Press writers Sadie Gurman in Washington; Jake Pearson, Tom Hays, Adam Geller, Jennifer Peltz, Kiley Armstrong and Tom McElroy in New York; Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles; Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Michael R. Sisak in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

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CDPHE scientists warn Climax Mine molybdenum may pose health risk, oppose company push to raise statewide pollution limit

November 1, 2017 - 4:00am

Colorado health scientists have opposed a global mining giant’s push to raise by 43 times the statewide limit for molybdenum pollution of streams, revealing that discharges from the open-pit Climax Mine already may pose public health risks to Summit County communities.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment water-quality scientists said, in a recommendation to state commissioners, that Climax Molybdenum’s proposed hike “would be acutely lethal to aquatic life” and probably not protective of people.

A Climax report on molybdenum exposures in Colorado “demonstrates that current levels of molybdenum in drinking water may pose a public health risk to communities downstream” of the mine, CDPHE scientists said in filings reviewed by The Denver Post.

State data show molybdenum discharges from the Climax Mine above Leadville in recent years increased to levels 10 times higher than the current statewide limit of 210 parts per billion. CDPHE water-quality control commissioners granted Climax a “temporary modification.” When it expired, the commissioners extended the modification to provide more time to complete a study of molybdenum.

CDPHE officials Tuesday declined to discuss this issue.

Federal Environmental Protection Agency officials, who oversee Colorado’s compliance with the Clean Water Act, informed state commissioners last week that the EPA would allow a limit higher than what Climax Molybdenum is proposing, according to a document filed Friday.

A regional EPA spokesman issued a prepared statement saying the EPA’s filing is “preliminary,” confirming that “our initial review indicates that the proposed standard would protect water supply uses,” but declined to further discuss this issue

State commissioners often follow EPA guidance in setting pollution limits sufficient to protect people while accounting for variability and uncertainty.

A subsidiary of the $46 billion mining company Freeport-McMoRan, Climax Molybdenum runs the Climax Mine, located above Leadville, which discharges wastewater into Tenmile Creek, headwaters in the Colorado River Basin that flow into Denver Water’s Dillon reservoir, the main drinking water supply for 1.4 million Denver residents.

Climax officials cited three rat studies the company helped fund in asking CDPHE to relax the statewide water quality limit for molybdenum in streams used for domestic water to 9,000 ppb billion from 210 ppb. Climax also wants limits for waterways used for agricultural irrigation raised to 1,000 ppb from 160 ppb.

EPA recommendations submitted to the CDPHE said a molybdenum limit for streams tapped for drinking water of 10,000 ppb “would be protective … and consistent with Clean Water Act requirements.” However, EPA regional officials said in the document filed Friday that they would not object if Colorado’s commission “chooses to be more conservative and adopts a more stringent table value standard of 9,000 ug/L (ppb) as proposed by Climax Molybdenum Company.”

The EPA “must review and act upon any revised standards once they are adopted by the commission for them to be in effect under the Clean Water Act,” the agency’s statement said. “If the commission chooses to retain current standards, EPA will not have an approval or disapproval role.”

The relaxed pollution limits could reduce water-treatment costs at the Climax Mine. Climax Molybdenum also runs the Henderson Mine near Empire and a mill in Grand County.

Previously, when Colorado water-quality control set the agriculture limit at 300 ppb, EPA officials favored a more cautious approach, prompting state officials to tighten the limit to 160 ppb.

The CDPHE scientists submitted their recommendation Friday to state commissioners, who are scheduled to deal with the matter in December.

Denver Water is opposing the push for a looser statewide limit, along with downstream communities including Frisco, the Copper Mountain resort and people to the west along the Eagle River.

“We want to make sure the commission sets a standard that is protective of human health,” said Boulder-based attorney Steve Bushong, a former aquatic scientist who represents a coalition of downstream communities. “Tenmile Creek and the Eagle River are used for public drinking water supplies. Therein lies the concern. This standard needs to be right. It needs to be adequately conservative.

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“The appropriate water supply standard is important because existing concentrations of molybdenum in Tenmile Creek and at Copper Mountain at times are more than 10 times higher than the current molybdenum standard.”

Denver Water treatment plants lack the capacity to remove molybdenum, which in trace amounts can be healthy. While data on human toxicity is limited, chronic ingestion of molybdenum can cause diarrhea, stunted growth, infertility, low birth weights and gout, and can also affect the lungs, kidneys and liver.

Climax officials have told state water quality commissioners their proposal “is not based on any intent or need to increase molybdenum in Climax discharges, and, in particular, Climax does not intend to change its mining or water treatment process in a manner that would cause an increase in the historical discharge of molybdenum into Tenmile Creek.”

The Climax Mine above Leadville opened in 1918 and closed in 1987. Freeport-McMoRan reopened it in 2012. It employs 355 workers.

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Ask Amy: Architect engages in poorly designed deception

November 1, 2017 - 3:30am

Dear Amy: I am a 30-year-old man. I used to live in New York City, where I worked as an architect.

I met a 22-year-old girl on Tinder two weeks ago in New York.

The first date went well, and we agreed to meet again after I returned from my two-week vacation in Sydney, Australia.

The thing I could not tell her was that I would not be taking a two-week vacation. I had to leave the U.S. because of my visa status, and now I have to live in Sydney until I get this matter resolved.

I would like to return to the U.S. after resolving this visa situation and see her.

Do you have any suggestions about my situation?

— Aussie

Dear Aussie: My suggestion is pretty simple: Don’t lie. What you’ve chosen to lie about is a fairly pedestrian legal issue that most people have the capacity to understand.

I’m not sure why you are acting like George Costanza, caught in an Art Vandelay deception, but if this young Tinder date has a brain in her head, she will quickly discern that you are not actually on a two-week vacation in Sydney. She will figure this out either because you tell her, or she will notice that you haven’t returned, tanned and rested from your holiday.

You could paper over your lie by telling her now that once you re-entered your home country, you realized that your visa status was in trouble and that you will be in Australia for an indefinite period.

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Tinder makes it very easy to quickly connect with people. This seems to accelerate the whole dating dynamic in all sorts of ways. Not only are people closing the deal much faster, but an ancillary result of this speed-matching is that people are also less interested in putting up with shenanigans. Because Tinder users know that there are always other people out there to meet.

Dear Amy: Being an “unashamed animal lover,” I recently spent a lot of money on a cat, who was very ill and has since recovered because of the expensive treatment I paid for.

A frugal (cheap!) relative of mine heard of my expense and has been broadcasting it to the family, saying that I’m foolish and extravagant.

I’m no longer speaking to her, and in fact I’ve stated that I’d never spend “near” that amount on her if she was ill. Furthermore, I refuse to attend any family gathering that she would attend. So, Amy, am I wrong about this? Don’t I have the right to spend what I want on my own animals?

— Pet-Friendly Guy

Dear Pet-Friendly: Congratulations, you are in a catfight! And just like catfights involving actual cats, it is undignified and over something trivial.

You are being rude and inconsiderate. Your relative is also being rude and inconsiderate, but unfortunately by slinging insults, you now owe her an apology.

What she did was in poor taste. You could have taken the high road and responded with a simple chuckle and shoulder shrug, or my mother’s favorite situation-diffusing line: “OK, and what’s your point?”

Any number of responses could have put this spat to bed, but you have chosen to escalate it — and are dragging your other relatives into your feud.

I also love my pets like family, and occasionally I’ve thought about ditching my family events so I can hang out with the four-legged contingent. That’s when I remind myself that while my pets are lovely, they can’t call me on my birthday, pick me up if I get a flat tire or invite me over for a nice dinner after a tough day.

It’s time for the fur to stop flying, and for everyone to settle down and lick their wounds.

Dear Amy: Thanks for your response to “Lonely Woman.” She was a 28-year-old woman who was desperate to find love, and was looking in all the wrong places.

She needs to join some organizations. If she wants to meet men, she should go where she will find the kind of men she wants to be with.

— Avid Reader

Dear Reader: “Lonely Woman” might easily meet men by joining organizations, but first she has a lot of work to do. She seemed woefully out of touch when it came to her own issues. People can’t succeed in their relationships unless they are at least somewhat secure and happy with themselves. That’s why I suggested that this woman should take a total break from dating.

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