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Man arrested after allegedly stealing Frances McDormand’s Oscar trophy

March 5, 2018 - 11:15am

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police say a man has been arrested for stealing Frances McDormand’s Oscars trophy after the Academy Awards.

Officer Rosario Herrera, a police spokeswoman, says 47-year-old Terry Bryant was arrested Sunday night on suspicion of felony grand theft. She says he was being held on $20,000 bail Monday morning.

Authorities say the Oscar was allegedly stolen during the Governors Ball after party. Herrera said Bryant had a ticket for the event.

McDormand received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

A telephone number for Bryant couldn’t immediately be located and it wasn’t clear if had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.


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After Steve Lebsock’s expulsion, Colorado Senate GOP says precedent for removing lawmakers hasn’t necessarily been changed

March 5, 2018 - 10:39am

Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham said Monday that last week’s House vote to expel Steve Lebsock following a wave of sexual harassment complaints does not necessarily change the precedent for ejecting a lawmaker, nor will it impact how similar accusations against members in his chamber are handled.

“We’re going to continue to press forward as we have been, regardless of the actions and regardless of the House vote on Friday,” the Cañon City Republican told reporters.  “… Bottom line is: Whatever process the House decided to take, whatever route they decided to take, it doesn’t change the fact there’s still a process in place here in the Senate.”

Lebsock, a former Democrat from Thornton, was voted out of the House on Friday on a bipartisan vote of 52-9. He changed his party affiliation to Republican just before being cast out, potentially putting his seat in GOP hands.

The expulsion follows sexual harassment complaints against three Republican state senators. Two of them — against Larry Crowder, of Alamosa, and Randy Baumgardner, of Hot Sulphur Springs — have been adjudicated and closed, Grantham said.

A third, against Sen. Jack Tate, R-Centennial, remains open after an outside investigation substantiated the complaints against him last month. No formal action in Tate’s case has been announced.

“The internal process is still working,” Grantham said. “And I don’t expect that to change.”

  • AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post

    Now-former state Rep.e Steve Lebsock prepares to address issues of retaliation against his accusers before a rare vote to expel him as he faces accusations of sexual harassment at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, March 2, 2018. Lebsock, of Thornton, in Nov. was publicly accused by state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and two other women of sexual harassment. Two more women later came forward with complaints against him.

  • AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post

    State Representative Steve Lebsock addresses issues of retaliation against his accusers before a rare vote to expel him as he faces accusations of sexual harassment at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, March 2, 2018. Lebsock, of Thornton, in Nov. was publicly accused by state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and two other women of sexual harassment. The three women - and two others who haven't come forward publicly - filed a series of formal complaints that an independent investigator this week determined were credible.

  • AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post

    Representatives and people in the gallery stand at the request of State Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, to show the number of people who have faced or have been witness to sexual harassment before a rare vote to expel State Representative Steve Lebsock as he faces accusations of sexual harassment at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, March 2, 2018.

  • AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post

    Representatives and people in the gallery stand at the request of State Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, to show the number of people who have faced or have been witness to sexual harassment before a rare vote to expel State Representative Steve Lebsock as he faces accusations of sexual harassment at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, March 2, 2018. Lebsock, of Thornton, in Nov. was publicly accused by state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and two other women of sexual harassment. The three women - and two others who haven't come forward publicly - filed a series of formal complaints that an independent investigator this week determined were credible.

  • AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post

    State Representative Steve Lebsock leaves the floor after addressing issues of retaliation against his accusers before a rare vote to expel him as he faces accusations of sexual harassment at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, March 2, 2018. Lebsock, of Thornton, in Nov. was publicly accused by state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and two other women of sexual harassment. The three women Ñ and two others who havenÕt come forward publicly Ñ filed a series of formal complaints that an independent investigator this week determined were credible.

  • AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post

    Rep. Alec Garnett stands before fellow representatives to reveal that he has been wearing a bullet proof vest to the legislative session for fear of retaliation before a rare vote to expel State Representative Steve Lebsock as he faces accusations of sexual harassment and retaliatory action against his detractors and accusers at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, March 2, 2018. Lebsock, of Thornton, in Nov. was publicly accused by state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and two other women of sexual harassment. The three women - and two others who haven't come forward publicly - filed a series of formal complaints that an independent investigator this week determined were credible.

  • DENVER, CO - MARCH 2: Rep. Chris Hansen leaves the podium after delivering an emotional testimony about the sexual assault of his wife and how that affected his upcoming vote before a rare vote to expel State Representative Steve Lebsock as he faces accusations of sexual harassment at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, March 2, 2018. Lebsock, of Thornton, in November was publicly accused by state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and two other women of sexual harassment. The three women Ñ and two others who havenÕt come forward publicly Ñ filed a series of formal complaints that an independent investigator this week determined were credible. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

  • DENVER, CO - MARCH 2: Rep. Chris Hansen sits at his desk after delivering an emotional testimony about the sexual assault of his wife and how that affected his upcoming vote before a rare vote to expel State Representative Steve Lebsock as he faces accusations of sexual harassment at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, March 2, 2018. Lebsock, of Thornton, in November was publicly accused by state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and two other women of sexual harassment. The three women Ñ and two others who havenÕt come forward publicly Ñ filed a series of formal complaints that an independent investigator this week determined were credible. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

  • DENVER, CO - MARCH 2: Rep. Chris Hansen hugs Rep. Faith Winter after delivering an emotional testimony about the sexual assault of his wife and how that affected his upcoming vote before a rare vote to expel State Representative Steve Lebsock as he faces accusations of sexual harassment at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, March 2, 2018. Lebsock, of Thornton, in November was publicly accused by state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and two other women of sexual harassment. The three women Ñ and two others who havenÕt come forward publicly Ñ filed a series of formal complaints that an independent investigator this week determined were credible. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

  • DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 2: Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp listens to testimony before a rare vote to expel State Representative Steve Lebsock as he faces accusations of sexual harassment at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, March 2, 2018. Lebsock, of Thornton, in November was publicly accused by state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and two other women of sexual harassment. The three women Ñ and two others who havenÕt come forward publicly Ñ filed a series of formal complaints that an independent investigator this week determined were credible. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

  • DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 2: Rep. Steve Lebsock talks in a back room to Rep. Jonathan Singer before a rare vote to expel State Representative Steve Lebsock as he faces accusations of sexual harassment at the Colorado State Capitol on Friday, March 2, 2018. Lebsock, of Thornton, in November was publicly accused by state Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and two other women of sexual harassment. The three women Ñ and two others who havenÕt come forward publicly Ñ filed a series of formal complaints that an independent investigator this week determined were credible. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

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But at least one of Lebsock’s accusers and the top Democrat in the House said it’s time for the Senate to heed the message of Friday’s vote.

“We had a process, and we listened to women,” Rep. Faith Winter, a Westminster Democrat who accused Lebsock of misconduct, said Friday of the handling of sexual harassment allegations in the House vs. the Senate. “We did our job. It’s time for them to listen to women, too.”

House Speaker Crisanta Duran, a Denver Democrat who has been critical of Grantham’s response to complaints against his caucus members, said more needs to be done in the Senate.

“Silence is not enough. Action is needed,” Duran said of the Senate after Friday’s vote. “There have been some egregious stories that have come forth. It is not enough to do nothing. We have to take action to make sure young girls and women across the state and country who are watching us that we are showing through action that the intolerable will not be tolerated anymore.”

House Speaker Crisanta Duran on what happens to Lebsock’s seat. And what this means for women in Colorado #copolitics #coleg pic.twitter.com/hFmo0ADOcp

— Jesse Aaron Paul (@JesseAPaul) March 2, 2018

Grantham stressed the importance of following a process and said that another precedent — from a 1915 vote to expel another Colorado lawmaker — suggests there must be criminal activity for there to be an expulsion.

That’s part of the reason why, he says, he is pushing for the Denver district attorney to investigate harassment complaints at the Capitol that might reach the level of assault. (The Denver District Attorney’s Office last week rebuffed Grantham’s request, as have statehouse Democrats.)

The 1915 expulsion of Rep. William Howland followed his admission to perjuring himself before a committee that was charged with investigating allegations of bribery. But at the point of his expulsion, he hadn’t been convicted of a crime. The state constitution, meanwhile, is vague on the matter of expulsion, leaving it up to each chamber what is considered egregious enough to warrant removal from office.

When asked if that precedent has been changed following Friday’s vote to expel Lebsock, Grantham said “not necessarily.”

“The actions the House took on Friday doesn’t change 100 years worth of precedent in one day,” he said. “You actually have to look at the individual case in the House. You actually have to look at the process or lack thereof that they took over there. … One day does not change 100 years.”

Senate Democrats have brought forth a resolution to expel Baumgardner. It remains in limbo until Republicans formally introduce it.

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Grantham said he couldn’t necessarily say, however, that the House’s decision was the wrong approach.

“That was difficult. That was difficult for both sides,” he said Monday. “Strip away any kind of partisan aspect of this, you look at the Democrats and Republicans as they went and talked about this (on the House floor), the sheer emotion that was there and the things that were said, the things that were done, multiple accusations, multiple accusers. Retaliation. We look at all of these things and I do not envy a single one of those members who had to make that decision or pass that vote. It couldn’t have been easy.”

He added: “I am not going to tell the House that they were right or they were wrong. I can see how difficult that decision was for them. It would have been difficult for me being on that chamber floor.”

On Monday, Lebsock’s former desk sat empty and without his name placard on the House floor.

“I absolutely love my job and today for the first time in a long time I’m excited to go to work,” Winter tweeted on Monday. “Everyone have a great day.”

I absolutely love my job and today for the first time in a long time I’m excited to go to work. Everyone have a great day. #coleg #copolitics

— Rep Faith Winter (@FaithWinterCO) March 5, 2018

The former desk of former state Rep. Steve Lebsock who was expelled from the Colorado legislature on Friday #copolitics #coleg pic.twitter.com/v0YvqHMW1f

— Jesse Aaron Paul (@JesseAPaul) March 5, 2018


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A guide to the restaurants inside Zeppelin Station, Denver’s newest food hall

March 5, 2018 - 10:24am

When Zeppelin Station opens on March 12, there might be so many new food and drink options that you freeze up from hunger and indecision. Do you want to freeze up with hunger and indecision? Of course you don’t, which is why you need a game plan to attack (attack!) the seven food vendors, two bars and coffee shop inside the city’s newest food hall.

Here’s the lowdown on all your options, where they come from and what to order. Knowledge is power, people.

Au Feu (pronounced “o-fu”)

What it is: Montreal-style smoked brisket

Comes from: Chicago

Order this: When in Canada, get the poutine with twice-fried fries and cheese curds.

injoi korean kitchen (pronounced  “enjoy,” mixed with a disdain for capitalization)

What it is: Korean comfort food — fried chicken, bibimbap, kimchi fried rice, bulgogi and more

Comes from: brand new, but Chef Bill Espiricueta worked at Acorn and Oak at Fourteenth

Order this: Spicy fried chicken tenders or the kimchi fried rice.

Aloha Poke Co.

What it is: Raw fish bowls

Comes from: Chicago

Order this: Shoyu ahi tuna crunch bowl with spicy aioli. If you’re avoiding fish, don’t worry, they will make you a veggie bowl.

Dandy Lion Coffee

What it is: Traditional coffee with an Asian twist

Comes from: Denver

Order this: Vietnamese cold brew chicory coffee over condensed milk.

Gelato Boy

What it is: Gelato!

Comes from: Boulder, the husband/wife team owns Fior Gelato. If you spot them at either location, be sure to ask them how they met.

Order this: Flavors change all the time, but The Gelato Boy (fried sesame bun gelato sandwich) is forever.

Namkeen (pronounced “num-kinn”)

What it is: Indian street snacks from the owners of Spuntino restaurant

Comes from: Denver

Order this: The crispy, delicate aloo samosa with spiced potatoes and peas.

Vinh Xuong Bakery (pronounced “vin-song”)

What it is: Banh mi + baked goods from a third-generation, family-owned shop

Comes from: Denver

Order this: The sweet/spicy grilled pork bahn mi.

No Vacancy

What it is: A food stall that changes concepts every 60-90 days. Right now it’s Comal, the heritage food incubator that serves Mexican, El Salvadorian, Syrian and Ethiopian foods.

Comes from: Denver

Order this: If you’re there on a Friday, grab a couple empanadas. The Syrian food (Saturday-Monday) might be the best in town.

Kiss + Ride

What it is: Casual, ground-level bar

Order this: The Cobbler, with sherry blend, plum, cinnamon and citrus.

Big Trouble

What it is: Zeppelin Station’s tiki-ish mezzanine bar

Order this: The We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat — with vodka, white port, midori, lime and champagne — serves 3-5 people, or someone with a big Uber budget.

Zeppelin Station: 3501 Wazee St., Denver; zeppelinstation.com; opening March 12

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Aqib Talib blames The Denver Post’s columnist Mark Kiszla for Broncos’ poor season

March 5, 2018 - 9:05am

Aqib Talib, a captain of the 5-11 Broncos last season, says he blames the team’s poor performance on someone who didn’t even take the field last season.

Talib placed the blame on The Denver Post’s sports columnist Mark Kiszla, citing what he perceived to be a negative slant in his columns last season.

“@markkiszla I blame you and all of your negative stories all year,” Talib wrote on Twitter. “Why do you cover the Broncos if you hate them?”

@markkiszla I blame you and all of your negative stories all year. Why do you cover the Broncos if you hate them? https://t.co/bHw9IPHgvJ

— AqibTalib21 (@AqibTalib21) March 4, 2018

The tweet came in response to Kiszla’s weekly “Kickin’ it with Kiz” article, in which the columnist responds to readers’ questions and comments. In this Sunday’s edition, Kiszla wrote:

“For a clue as to why the Broncos fell to 5-11 in 2017, look no further than Talib. Oh, he can still play cornerback at a Pro Bowl level. But when the Broncos voted him as a captain, they put a joker in charge of the locker room. Skill matters. But leadership does, too. Any NFL team can use a little of the poke-em-in-the-eye craziness that Talib brings to a defense. But few successful NFL teams put that kind of crazy in a position of authority.”

Talib’s response generated a large amount of reaction on social media and even became fodder for local sports talk radio.

The reaction on Twitter ran the gamut. Some were shocked. Some agreed with Talib. Others felt Kiszla’s opinion was spot on. Here’s some of the reaction:

pic.twitter.com/aThy0exMh6

— Amber K (@RockiesBBallFan) March 4, 2018

Good for you Talib 💙💙💙💙 pic.twitter.com/m5A91kur0j

— BroncoFan4Life (@saf2564) March 4, 2018

You Rulz Talib !!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/8tTWCihi9S

— Justin Sanders (@volcom_zero18) March 4, 2018

pic.twitter.com/72nJhzeweA

— Brandon Fey (@brandonleefey) March 4, 2018

pic.twitter.com/IjvhBETgwF

— Adam Heimbichner (@AdamHeimbichner) March 4, 2018

Because it had nothing to do with the “coach” right?! Or how about that o-line? Or maybe even the sub-par (and that’s putting it nicely) play at QB? But yea sure, let’s put the blame solely on one person. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/cGjXQxD87R

— Nicole (@whatluvsabout) March 5, 2018

I’m sure your antics on the field had nothing to do with the morale of the team. Maybe if you stop ripping people property off their necks you’d be a better player.

— Rich B (@igod316) March 4, 2018

Not too many positive stories to tell in a 5-11 season that included a suspension.

— Felix Corral (@FelixKnowsNFL) March 5, 2018

Man… him blaming the entire season going wrong on you must be a real poke in the eye, huh?

— Andrew Raschke (@ar_dizzle) March 4, 2018

A real leader wouldn’t have that reaction. That being said, love your work on the field.

— Steve Connell (@electricsnail7) March 4, 2018

Ridiculous for @markkiszla to blame you, @AqibTalib21!! How many competent QB’s did we have? How well did the OC design a scheme based on strengths of offense? Sheesh. Seems like this guy is just looking for a scapegoat. Much blame to go around.

— Barbara (@Dr_Sprout) March 4, 2018

Maybe he doesn’t like chain-snatching eye-pokers

— #LackOfWorries (@clarkfreaknkent) March 4, 2018

Ouch, but a bit true….

— NBA Rigged (@NBArigged) March 4, 2018

I hear what your saying Aqib some people that cover the broncos only think about trying to make the big story trying to find all the negative and talking about it all the time just can’t discuss it a couple of times and move on got to keep on digging for more trash to talk about

— Matt Grajeda (@GrajedaMatt) March 4, 2018

Had NOTHING to do with VJ being in over his head…right? Naw…Had to be 21. What a fn joke.

— db (@7bronco7) March 4, 2018

Agreed Aqib! Uncalled for.

— Ty Walden (@tyflyguy15) March 4, 2018

Aqib is my favorite Bronco! Love it!

— Wes Mantooth (@RyanCaufield1) March 4, 2018

Love me some @AqibTalib21. Kick in’ it with Kiz is newsprint I use in my dogs’ kennels

— Jeffrey Fleischman (@jfleisch22) March 5, 2018

Please know media personalities do not represent Bronco Country!

— Lynn Owen Ault II (@LynnOAult) March 4, 2018

Elway is to blame.

— Neil @ BerniesTix (@BerniesTix) March 4, 2018

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Longmont resumes discussion about reinstating affordable housing mandate

March 5, 2018 - 9:05am
Cliff Grassmick, The Daily CameraRosario Lopez works on the clubhouse at the VerraWest Apartments in Longmont in January.

Longmont’s city staff will seek City Council direction Monday night about what the council members want in any resumed “inclusionary housing” residential development requirement.

A council majority has voted its support of the idea of returning to some form of an inclusionary-housing program that would require developers of market-price housing to build a certain number of units that qualify as affordable housing for low-income buyers and renters.

Under a program adopted in 2001 but repealed in 2011, Longmont required that all new residential developments getting their preliminary plats or site plans approved by the city after July 10, 2001, have 10 percent of all of the residences affordable.

On Jan. 30, a 4-2 council majority voted to proceed with preparation of a reestablishment of an inclusionary housing program in Longmont. The council directed the city staff to work with consultants that previously conducted affordable housing research and analysis for the city, to update market data and conduct additional research that could suggest how best to structure a new program that addresses Longmont’s affordable-housing needs.

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That consultant, Economic and Planning Systems, Inc., is to present its report and recommendations at Monday’s council meeting, when the six current council members will be joined by newly elected Councilman Tim Waters, who expressed support for some version of an inclusionary housing program during his campaign.

In a memo for Monday’s meeting, the city staff the consultant’s report will include data on how the housing market has changed over recent years, and existing gaps between that market and what moderate-income and Longmont workforce wage-earners can afford.

Read the full story at TimesCall.com.

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Driver who allegedly caused I-70 fatal crash, fire facing vehicular homicide charges

March 5, 2018 - 9:03am

A suspected drunken driver who ran away after allegedly causing a fatal tractor-trailer fire on eastbound Interstate 70 in Denver faces vehicular homicide and hit-and-run charges, authorities say.

Denver Police DepartmentIvan Zamarripa Castaneda

Ivan Zamarripa-Castaneda, 26, was arrested after running off the freeway apparently in an effort to avoid arrest following the 11:51 p.m. Saturday crash, said Sonny Jackson, Denver police spokesman.

Denver police closed I-70 in both directions for about 12 hours following the crash investigation, Jackson said.

The name of the deceased semi driver will be released by the Denver coroner’s office.

The tractor-trailer was driving east on I-70 near the Interstate 25 interchange when the pickup truck collided with the bigger truck as two lanes merged into one, Jackson said.

The semi struck a concrete highway barrier and caught on fire, he said. The driver apparently could not get out of the cab, Jackson said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The pickup driver ran from the scene and ended up at a Denver home where police arrested him on Sunday, Jackson said.

When police interviewed Zamarriapa-Castaneda his eyes were watery, his speech was slurred and his breath had a moderate odor of alcohol, according to an incident report.

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Greeley-based honey company rebrands to emphasize location where honey is made

March 5, 2018 - 9:02am
Joshua Polson, The Greeley TribuneRebecca Valdez works on the assembly line at Rice’s Honey last week at the Rice’s Honey facility, 3331 W 29th St. in Greeley.

Rice’s Honey bottles are getting a sweet new look.

The Greeley-based company, 3331 29th St., has been headquartered in city limits since 1924, and the honey bottles that have long sported a photo of founder L.R. Rice with an emphasis on the words “Raw and Unfiltered” are being re-branded.

Sure, all of that will still be on the new bottles, but the current owners of the company invented a design that emphasizes the true locality of the brand. The new brand? Local Hive Honey, from L.R. Rice and his family.

Tony Landretti, CEO of Rice’s Honey, said the brand refresh started in August as a way to elevate the company’s presence and reach consumers in a different, more educational way. According to data presented by Landretti, honey is the 11th fastest growing category in grocery stores. Raw and unfiltered honey, specifically, is projected to grow by 24 percent in the next few years. Consumers, in general, appear to be swapping their sugars and artificial sweeteners for honey, Landretti said, presenting Rice’s Honey a golden opportunity to capitalize.

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“We thought, ‘how do we differentiate ourselves from everything else on the same shelf?'” he said. “(The re-brand) is how we’ll separate ourselves in a sea of sameness.”

Read the full story at GreeleyTribune.com.

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Fire forces evacuation of housing, diverting of patients at Fort Carson Sunday

March 5, 2018 - 8:52am

A fire at Force Carson forced several evacuations of homes and barracks, and also diverted incoming hospital patients, from Sunday afternoon until the evening.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the base. Fort Carson Fire and Emergency Personnel continued to patrol the area throughout the night to watch for flare-ups. The base told Fort Carson residents to keep air conditioning units off to limit smoke exposure.

Fort Carson evacuated the Navajo Village Housing area, the Warrior Transition Battalion and the 10th Special Forces Complex as a precaution. Evans Army Community Hospital temporarily diverted patients to off-post urgent care centers or emergency rooms. Concerns over smoke inhalation closed down Gate 5.

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The weekend’s high winds and warm temperatures coupled with dry conditions led to several fires and red flag warnings. A 370-acre fire just south of Kiowa destroyed four homes and five secondary structures, such as barns, on Sunday.

Towns and cities across Colorado remain on a high wind warning, a red flag warning or a fire weather watch, according to the National Weather Service.


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Fort Collins comfort dog helps at Florida school after shooting

March 5, 2018 - 8:31am
Bonnie Fear, Special to the Reporter-HeraldCubby, a Golden Retriever from Fort Collins, offers comfort to students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last week during their first days back after the Feb. 14 mass shooting. Cubby is one of 11 Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs from around the country who visited the school that week and among 30 total who have offered comfort since the shooting.

When students and teachers returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week after a Feb. 14 school  shooting that left 17 dead, a team of golden retrievers were there to offer comfort and hope.

Cubby, a comfort dog from Fort Collins, was among the furry, four-legged counselors, gently placing her paw on the hands and arms of the traumatized students and teachers, lying alongside teenagers in classrooms with glaringly empty seats and offering pure, plain comfort.

Bonnie Fear, one of Cubby’s ministry team, described how students and teachers, in a time of stress and tragedy, smiled when they saw the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs, how they would drop to the floor to pet Cubby or stretch out next to her and just relax.

“You saw that relief of forgetting what happened when they see the dog,” said Fear, who along with Carol Salander, both volunteer handlers, traveled to in Parkland, Fla., with Cubby. “She’s called a comfort dog, and that’s exactly what she did, bring comfort to people who were hurting.”

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The national Lutheran organization sent 30 dogs from around the United States to Florida, in the aftermath of the shooting, with teams visiting elementary and middle schools, memorial services and vigils before the high school reopened. Cubby was one of 11 dogs in the second round, visiting last week to be at the school when teachers and students returned.

Read the full story at ReporterHerald.com.

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Aspen spent $500K on rent for city offices in 2017

March 5, 2018 - 8:19am
Anna Stonehouse, The Aspen TimesIn 2016, taxpayers paid nearly $16,000 in special assessments for a pool that is used by residents in the mixed-used building where the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority rents.

The city of Aspen spent nearly a half-million dollars in rent and homeowner association dues last year for four departments that have been displaced.

The engineering and building departments, along with the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority and the Aspen Police Department, all rent spaces outside of municipally owned buildings.

The housing authority, which has been leasing two units in a mixed-use building on East Hyman Avenue since 2014, is the only department that has to pay HOA dues. Last year, those amounted to just under $22,000. But in 2016, the housing authority had to pay a special assessment of almost $16,000 to pay for the remodel of the complex’s pool and hot tub.

And while housing staff can use the pool because they are tenants, the public can’t even though some taxpayer money pays the dues.

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All told, the city has spent well over $1 million in rent since departments began moving out of the armory where City Hall is located because of cramped working conditions.

And it’s the reason the city plans to build a 37,000-square-foot municipal office building.

Read the full story at AspenTimes.com.

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Boulder police chief supports assault-rifle ban

March 5, 2018 - 8:09am
Matthew Jonas, Boulder Daily CameraA rack of AR and AK-style rifles at Grandpa’s Pawn and Gun in Longmont, last fall.

Boulder police Chief Greg Testa has said that he would support a proposed ban on assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks in the city.

The idea for the ban came from Councilwoman Jill Adler Grano, and her fellow council members agreed the city should look into how such a ban would work at a meeting last week.

While Testa did not comment at the time, he has since said in an email to the Camera that he is in favor of the idea.

“I am in support of the ideas brought forward by Council member Grano and others on council,” Testa wrote. “The police department will continue to work closely with the City Attorney’s Office and Council as this process moves forward. Our goal and fundamental responsibility is to keep our children, our community and our police officers safe.”

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The stance is a bit of a shift from Testa’s position on gun laws in 2015, when he said, “If a person wants to harm somebody else, ordinances and laws are not something they’re concerned about.”

Read the full story at DailyCamera.com.

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Mother arrested in murder connected to fight over Colorado ranch worth millions

March 5, 2018 - 7:52am

A 68-year-woman has been arrested on a charge of first-degree murder in the death and burial of her son. The arrest is the second in a growing investigation revolving around a wealthy Western Colorado ranch.

Deborah Sue Rudibaugh, of Palin, was arrested Friday in connection with the death of her son Jacob Henry Millison.

Her daughter and Millison’s sister, Stephanie Jackson, 33, was arrested Thursday in connection with the same case.

Authorities in Gunnison County have said Millison’s death is tied in some way to the 700-acre ranch, which is worth millions of dollars.

Rudibaugh is being held in the Gunnison County jail on $500,000 bond, according to the Associated Press.

Facebook photoJake Millison

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Blustery Monday with wind gusts up to 55 mph in Denver

March 5, 2018 - 7:30am

Strong winds and dry conditions triggered a red flag warning for virtually the entire eastern half of Colorado Monday, forecasters say.

Steady winds are expected to blow between 31 and 36 mph and wind gusts could reach 55 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

A red flag warning is in place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for the Denver metro area and the Eastern Plains, the weather service says.

The high temperature Monday is expected to be around 45 degrees.

Strong Winds and Critical Fire Danger across northeast Colorado today. #cowx pic.twitter.com/GGjGNFxaxq

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) March 5, 2018

Temperatures are expected to climb throughout the week with a high of 52 degrees on Wednesday, 66 on Thursday and 64 on Friday, the weather service says. Temperatures are expected to be in the 50s on the weekend.


Categories: All Denver News.

Neighborhood where deputy was killed is Colorado Springs’ auto-theft central

March 5, 2018 - 7:30am
Nadav Soroker, The GazetteAn El Paso County Sheriff’s deputy works the scene of an officer-involved shooting that left at least one El Paso County Sheriff’s deputy dead Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, at an apartment complex in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The apartment complex where El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy Micah Flick was killed during an attempted auto-theft arrest is at the heart of a city neighborhood most afflicted by motor vehicle thefts in 2016, a Gazette analysis of the latest full year for which census data was available.

Murray Hill Apartments, at Murray Boulevard and Galley Road, is in census tract 60, the boundaries of which stretch from Academy Boulevard east to Babcock Road, and from East Platte Avenue north to Palmer Park Boulevard. It’s where 60 of the city’s 1,828 motor vehicle thefts in 2016 happened, tying for highest in the city with tract 21.02, which intersects in the southeast at Pikes Peak Avenue and Chelton Road.

Overall, there was a 23 percent jump in car theft in 2016 from 2015, leading to a more robust effort by the Beat Auto Theft Through Law Enforcement, or BATTLE, task force. The group of officers was designed to reduce thefts, catch prolific offenders and eliminate crime rings. Funding for the task force doubled to $1.2 million that year, increasing again this year to $1.4 million, grant applications show.

To reverse the rising thefts, the unit focused enforcement on high-crime neighborhoods, using tracking devices to monitor the movement of stolen vehicles and tailing suspected thieves to catch them behind the wheel, State Patrol spokesman Rob Madden said.

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But, even before tragedy struck with the Feb. 5 shootout that killed Flick and wounded sheriff’s Deputy Scott Stone, sheriff’s Sgt. Jacob Abendschan and Colorado Springs police Detective Marcus Yanez, the unit was in an uphill fight. A passerby, Thomas Villanueva, was also gravely injured in the shootout. The car theft suspect, Manuel Zetina, 19, who pulled a pistol, was also killed.

Read the full story at Gazette.com.

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Could technology help solve Colorado’s rural teacher shortage problem?

March 5, 2018 - 6:30am

Two Colorado schools occupying different educational landscapes may hold clues on how to solve the state’s teacher shortage and to bridge the technological divide between urban and rural classrooms.

About twice a week, teachers and students from the high-performing, 1,800-student STEM School Highlands Ranch use video and teleconferencing know-how to reach across about 100 miles of prairie to the 100-student Arickaree School District.

Students in both schools then collaborate on subjects including social studies, computer science, middle school math and music. Recently, the schools also took on the heady subjects of world hunger and poverty.

This use of “synchronous online education” gives smaller rural schools access to the most recent technology. To communicate with the STEM SCHOOL, a state-of-the-art video conferencing camera was installed in the Arickaree school, which rests on Colorado’s high prairie east of Denver in a county that has about three to five people per square mile.

High-tech, remote learning also lets one teacher reach students in different classrooms in almost every corner of the state. This could be an important tool for Colorado schools that lack enough instructors to teach key subjects such as math, science or special education, proponents said.

“Synchronous online learning allows teachers anywhere to connect with students everywhere,” STEM’s Gregg Cannady said. Cannady, a music educator who leads the school’s collaboration effort, is an Arickaree High School graduate and set up the effort between the two schools.

“We see the potential in all this,” Cannady added. “It could help in a lot of areas.”

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Arickaree Superintendent Shane Walkinshaw still doubts that a video-displayed teacher can outperform the flesh-and-bone variety. “I just don’t think you can replace an actual person in a classroom that a student can relate to face to face,” Walkinshaw said.

But, he added, “if you run into a situation when you do not have a teacher for a certain subject, this (video via teacher) is the next best alternative.”

While other rural districts in the state have gone months, and sometimes years, without full-time teachers in some subjects, Arickaree is fully staffed for now.

But Walkinshaw has encountered problems filling slots.

“A lot of times applicants will call and express interest in coming out here, but then they find out we are not even near the mountains, so they look elsewhere,” he said.

He’s in favor of trying any kind of “out of the box” measure to get more teachers into classrooms. That includes a proposal by state Rep. Dave Williams that would allow a school district board of education to issue a district-authorized teaching license to an applicant who has had at least three years of in- or out-of-state teaching experience within the previous seven years.

Current law requires a teacher applicant to have three consecutive years of teaching experience to be eligible for a Colorado teaching permit. That requirement is particularly tough for many military spouses who are teachers and have recently relocated to Colorado, Williams said.

The proposed legislation, HB1130, cleared the House and is now in the Senate.

As many as 10 bills aimed at easing the state’s teacher shortage were introduced this legislative session, but many have died over budgetary concerns, Matt Cook, director of public policy and advocacy for the Colorado Association of School Boards, said this week.

Those that survive will emphasize flexibility in hiring, Cook said. “Lawmakers like the idea of getting people in the classroom who didn’t have to jump a lot of hoops to get there,” he said.

STEM Highlands Ranch and the Arickaree District piloted a few joint online music, science and social studies lessons last spring. This fall, an infusion of technology got more classes and students involved.

Polycom, a San Jose, Calif., based company that provides video and teleconferencing equipment and services, donated interactive smartboards and 360-degree cameras to the STEM School. The equipment is housed in the SYNK, an asymmetrical, windowless room in in the school overseen by Cannady, who has an almost evangelical zeal for this kind of learning.

“One-on-one learning is so overrated,” Cannady said. “Collaborative learning, where minds get together and work out problems, is when the real innovative learning begins.”

Zoom, a videoconferencing company, also donated accounts to the STEM School to make ongoing collaborations possible and affordable, Cannady said. Arickaree also got a Polycom camera to mount in a classroom.

During a recent interactive learning session, several STEM School students arranged themselves around the center of the SYNK to talk to five Arickaree students about a U.N. plan to end world hunger, pollution and poverty.

The Arickaree students, who were arranged around two desks, were reluctant at first to speak out but soon warmed to the assignment. Some said community service projects such as building roads in high-poverty areas could help. Others suggested that working to address problems closer to home should be the first priority.

Arickaree junior Micah Koostra said the experience was worthwhile.

“We had a more personal connection with everyone,” Koostra said. “It was the best collaborate session we ever had.”

STEM School freshman Maria Prosperi said the video interplay between the suburban Highlands Ranch kids and the deeply country Arickaree students show how differently they lead their lives.

“It’s almost like visiting a different world every day,” Prosperi said. “It’s different. But I think it is a good different.”

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The Morning After: Three stars, five takeaways from the Avalanche’s OT loss to Nashville

March 5, 2018 - 6:21am

The Avalanche rallied from a third-period deficit but allowed the game-tying goal on a 6-on-5 disadvantage in the final minutes of regulation before losing 4-3 in overtime to the Nashville Predators. The game story looks at Mikko Rantanen and his big bomb from the right circle that gave Colorado a 3-2 lead late in the third.

The notebook looks at Nashville’s reign over the Avalanche, among other things.

In my Sunday column I suggest the Avs are in playoff position partly because of what they went through with Matt Duchene, and the irony of Duchene not wanting to be in another rebuild in Colorado. Well, that rebuild could make the playoffs while Duchene and the Ottawa Senators focus on their draft-lottery odds.

THREE STARS

  1. Ryan Ellis. Nashville’s defenseman logged a team-high 26:50 and had three points, including the game-tying goal and game-winning assist.
  2. Carl Soderberg. Avs center had an exceptional game in every area and drew the penalty that led to Mikko Rantanen’s power-play goal. “Just Carl” was plus-2 in 18:01.
  3. Filip Forsberg. Preds forward had the OT goal and was plus-3 — the best rating of anyone in the game.

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

The Western Conference-leading Predators scratched forwards Mike Fisher and Craig Smith and defensemen Roman Josi and Anthony Bitetto for “maintenance.”

NEXT UP

At Chicago, Tuesday

FIVE TAKEAWAY

Homemakers. The Avs are 13-1-1 in their last 15 games at the Pepsi Center. That’s getting it done where it counts the most.

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Varlamov. I’m no expert on goaltending, but it looked like Semyon Varlamov misplayed two Nashville shots — the one by Kyle Turris that gave the Preds a 2-1 lead and Forsberg’s OT winner. Varlamov finished with 27 saves but he over-played Turris’ shot and had the puck carom in off his glove. And on Forsberg’s goal seems like the goalie wasn’t ready to compete.

Bernier. Expect goalie Jonathan Bernier to return to the lineup and likely start one of the next two games on the road. Bernier (17-11-2) has missed eight games with a concussion. The Avs are a better team when they have net options. Based on goals-against average and save percentage, Varlamov and Bernier were equals entering Sunday. Varlamov (18-14-3) had a 2.81 GAA and .914 SP and Bernier is 2.82 and .914.

Powerful. The Avalanche has scored a power-play goal in each of its last four games, a season-high. The last time the Avs scored a PPG in four consecutive games was Dec. 19-31, 2015. Colorado is 9-for-27 (33.3 percent) on the PP in its last seven games. … Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon each produced their 26th power-play point this season and are tied for 10th in the league.

Bottom line: The Avs have 17 remaining games. If they go 10-7 they’ll finish with 96 points, an amount that could get them in the playoffs. Nashville was the Western Conference’s No. 8 playoff seed a year ago with 94 points.

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Jared Polis’ record on guns and oil and gas makes Colorado Democrats think twice ahead of caucus

March 5, 2018 - 6:05am

Five years ago, Jared Polis objected to a ban on assault rifles after the Sandy Hook school massacre because it would interfere with the use of guns by law-abiding citizens. Now, after a gunman killed 17 at a Florida high school just over two weeks ago, Polis is a co-sponsor on a bill to outlaw the military-style weapons.

Four years ago, the Democratic congressman backed an effort that put forward nine ballot measures to prohibit or limit oil and gas operations in the state — including one to increase setbacks to 2,640 feet. This year, he opposes an effort to increase the distance between drilling rigs and communities to 2,500 feet.

The difference between then and now, political observers say: Polis is running for governor of Colorado.

He enters this week’s Democratic caucus as the clear front-runner in the race, but cracks are beginning to show as his stance on key issues and shifts on policy alienate some party activists.

“The problem with Jared is I’m not sure which Jared will show up,” Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a prominent environmental activist from Boulder, wrote in a Facebook post.

Katie Farnan plans to attend her neighborhood caucus meeting, but she’s not sure she can support Polis because of his past record on gun control. She said she is looking for a candidate “to stand on principle.”

“I don’t want them to be milquetoast. I don’t want them to be just like a wilting flower,” she said.

Polis dismissed concerns about his record, saying in an interview ahead of the caucus that he has been consistent and exhibits a “proven record of turning bold results into real results.”

Democrats jockey for votes in caucus

Polis’ current stances on guns and energy production, respectively, make him more appealing in the Democratic primary, which will be dominated by activists, and the November general election, where he will need to appeal to independent voters.

How he balances his liberal reputation as a Boulder lawmaker and his sometimes moderate record in two decades of public office will speak to his success against rivals in the crowded Democratic primary.

Mike Johnston, a former state senator from Denver, recently emphasized his support for tougher gun control in a new TV ad, allowing him to contrast Polis’ mixed record on the issue. And Cary Kennedy, a former state treasurer, wants to double the state’s renewable energy standard, a move Polis does not embrace as part of his effort to make the state’s power grid 100 percent renewable by 2040. Polis has not offered specifics on how he would achieve his goal.

All three candidates — and Noel Ginsburg — are competing in the caucus to earn a place on the Democratic primary ballot in June. The party will hold a preference poll at Tuesday’s meetings to assign delegates in a process that builds to the state assembly in April. To make the ballot, a candidate must get 30 percent of the vote at the assembly.

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The complicated path is a test for candidates, and Kennedy is the only candidate putting all her energy into the caucus. The others, including Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, are also seeking to qualify by gathering petition signatures.

The different strategies make the early contest hard to predict, but most Democratic strategists put Polis at the top and identify Johnston and Kennedy as two additional candidates to watch.

“(Polis) absolutely has name recognition, he has a following, he has money, he has a base, he definitely has an advantage,” said Melanie Layton, a political strategist and lobbyist. But, she added, “Michael Johnston is really shaping up to give Jared Polis a run for his money.”

The pressure is building on Polis

Karen Duggan, a 57-year-old technical writer from Littleton, said she supports Polis’ focus on conserving public lands and appreciated his approach at a recent town hall.

“He answered questions. He didn’t just dance around the issue. He said yes or no, which is just so refreshing from anybody in Washington,” she said.

But the pressure on Polis is becoming evident. At a campaign event in Greeley on Feb. 17, three days after the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., he deflected a question about banning certain gun equipment, drawing groans from audience members.

Days later, he announced support for an assault-weapons ban and joined as a co-sponsor on federal legislation, even though he said in 2013 that banning guns possessed by law-abiding people violated the Second Amendment.

“The courts have ruled that (an assault-rifle ban) is consistent with our Second Amendment rights, and I think most gun owners agree,” he said, explaning his support for the new federal bill.

His remarks at the same event drew concern from environmental activists regarding his opposition to a potential ballot measure that imposes a 2,500-foot buffer between homes and other public spaces from oil and gas operations.

The setback proposal, Polis said, is too onerous and doesn’t allow exemptions for homeowners. All the leading candidates for governor oppose the measure.

But in 2014, Polis backed nine ballot measures that put the distance at anywhere from 1,500 feet to a half-mile. Only two proposals — one requiring a 2,000-foot buffer from drilling rigs and the other boosting local control — advanced to the ballot and both were pulled as part of a compromise deal.

In a recent interview, Polis said he supported the two on the ballot — and still does — but he never endorsed all nine put forward by the organization that he helped fund.

“I don’t even think I was aware of them at the time,” said Polis, despite being widely cited at the time as a leader of the effort.

His latest comments in support of the state’s oil and gas operators — which generate $31 billion in economic impact, according to an industry report — are catching even one-time critics by surprise. He told the crowd at a recent election forum that the state’s energy industry is in “a great place as a state.”

The comment garnered criticism from environmentalists opposed to hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, but in an interview Polis sought to calm their fears.

“Of course we need to stand up to Big Oil and Gas, which I have always done, to protect the health and safety of Coloradans,” he said.

But Merrily Mazza, a Lafayette councilwoman and environmental activist, said she’s disenchanted.

“(The candidates) are saying basically nothing. They are pivoting to renewable (energy),” she said. “They are telling people that fracking can be made safe and fracking can be made safe, and that’s not the case.”

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Denver Sports Omelette: Forget about last year. The Colorado Avalanche is on the brink of a playoff berth.

March 5, 2018 - 6:00am

This time last year, the Colorado Avalanche was dead last in the NHL, en route to one of the most disappointing seasons in, well, ever.

But the team has bounced back in fantastic fashion. The trade of disgruntled star center Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators earlier this season has helped set the Avs on a path back to the playoffs. Plus Nathan MacKinnon has emerged to become a bona fide superstar. Entering Sunday’s game, he averaged a league-leading 1.36 points per game at home.

Although Colorado lost in overtime to the Predators on Sunday — Nashville has nine straight wins against the Avs — the team finished its four-game homestand with a 3-0-1 record and is now just a point away from a playoff spot.

What a difference a year makes. It’s March and professional hockey is again relevant in Colorado.

Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post

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  • Cactus League: Cubs at Rockies, 1:10 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Here’s what sports are airing today

Scoreboard

NHL: Predators 4, Avalanche 3 OT
Recap | Box score

Cactus League: Angels 7, Rockies 6
Recap | Box Score

Men’s College Hoops: (3) Denver 90, (6) Oral Roberts 88, 2OT — Summit Tournament

Women’s College Hoops: (5) Oral Roberts 76, (4) Denver 71 — Summit Tournament

Must-Read Michael Conroy, The Associated PressBradley Chubb. Defensive end Bradley Chubb could be enticing pick for Denver Broncos in NFL draft

Bradley Chubb’s plan to destroy NFL quarterbacks starts with locking himself in a science lab and creating a monster that would make Dr. Frankenstein blush. Read More…

Norm Hall, Getty ImagesJon Gray. Shohei Ohtani brought a six-man rotation to the Angels. Would it work for the Colorado Rockies?

As a thought exercise, the idea of a six-man staff could alleviate issues that long plagued teams looking for a sweet spot of effective pitching and arm health — especially the Rockies. But it would be a radical change. And not everyone likes the idea. Read More…

Michael Conroy, The Associated PressJosh Allen. On feverish mission to improve, quarterback Josh Allen stays fueled by the calls that never came

So Allen’s appearance at the NFL scouting combine Friday afternoon — when he was peppered with questions inside the Indiana Convention Center about everything from his footwork to his childhood chores on his family’s portion of a 2,000-acre farm — provided a stark reminder of how swift his rise to such a scrutinized stage has been. Read More…

Quick Hits

+ “Icarus” wins an Oscar: Colorado native Bryan Fogel’s doping doc led to the Russian athlete ban at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

+ Kobe Bryant won an Oscar, too. Seriously.

+ Jeff Hoffman scratched with an injury as the Rockies play cautious with the right-hander.

+ Kevin Harvick dominates Vegas for back-to-back NASCAR wins. Martin Truex Jr. finishes fourth.

+ WATCH: LB Shaquem Griffin puts on a clinic at the NFL combine.

+ Roger Bannister, the first person to run a sub 4-minute mile, dies at 88.

+ Larry Eustachy’s departure still leaves questions for the Colorado State men’s basketball program.

+ Why Northern Colorado’s Jeff Linder might fit as Colorado State head coach.

By The Numbers

22

Total number of goals Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen has scored this season.

Parting Shot Benjamin Hager, Las Vegas Review-Journal via APCris “Cyborg” Justino. Cyborg doubts she’ll ever face Rousey — in the UFC or WWE

Rousey is now wrestling in WWE and Cyborg, who successfully defended her featherweight title Saturday night in Las Vegas, doubts that the two, who never fought in MMA competition, will face each other, either in the Octagon or in a ring. Read More…

Get in Touch

If you see something that’s cause for question or have a comment, thought or suggestion, email me at dboniface@denverpost.com or tweet me @danielboniface.

Categories: All Denver News.