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Mistrial declared in assault case against Adams County deputy

October 16, 2018 - 9:36pm

GREELEY — A judge has declared a mistrial in the case against an Adams County deputy accused of kicking a suspect off a roof.

Weld County District Attorney's OfficeJames Cook

The Tribune reports a Weld County jury was unable to a reach a verdict last week on the second-degree assault charge against 34-year-old James Cook.

The Adams County deputy was accused of excessive force after Cook followed Alejandro Martinez to a roof in March 2017. Martinez ended up on the ground with a broken pelvis.

A Weld County deputy later filed a complaint against Cook.

Cook testified last week that he slipped on some debris and inadvertently kicked Martinez, causing him to fall off the roof.

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The Weld County District Attorney’s Office says a decision has not been made on if the case will be retried.

___

Information from: The Tribune of Greeley, Co, http://greeleytribune.com

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CU Boulder student critically injured in fall in Gregory Canyon

October 16, 2018 - 9:00pm

A University of Colorado student sustained a “severe head injury” after falling about 60 feet in Gregory Canyon Tuesday afternoon, according to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.

The 19-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was taken to Boulder Community Health Foothills Hospital via ambulance and underwent surgery. His condition was considered critical, according to the sheriff’s office.

The man was reportedly with friends and scrambling on a rock formation near The Ampitheater rock formation in Gregory Canyon around 3:45 p.m. when he fell about 60 feet. Investigation revealed the man had been free climbing without a helmet or safety gear.

Rescuers located the man about a half-mile up the Ampitheater Trail and evacuated him via technical rescue, a process which took about an hour and 15 minutes from the time of the first call to 911.

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Read more at dailycamera.com.

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Scattered power outages hit Denver, including hard-hit area along East Colfax Avenue

October 16, 2018 - 8:01pm

Widespread power outages plagued Xcel Energy customers in the metro area Tuesday night, including a hard-hit area along East Colfax Avenue in Denver.

A rough boundary of Tuesday night’s hard-hit area was from Downing Street to Quebec Street, east to west; and from East 6th Avenue to MLK Boulevard, south to north; according to an Xcel Energy power outage map.

Overall, about 30,000 customers lost power just before 8:30 p.m. in East Denver and Aurora, said Michelle Aguayo, an Xcel spokeswoman. Most of the outages stemmed from a problem at a sub-station.

At about 9:30 p.m. there were 72 outages impacting 28,552 customers, according to Xcel. By 10:30 p.m., there were 14 outages impacting 1,763 customers.

Other Denver areas with outages included Five Points and East Alameda Avenue in Aurora, just south of the Aurora Hills Golf Course.

Crews were working on bringing downed customers back online by about 11:30 p.m., Xcel Energy said.

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Red Sox crush Astros 8-2 in Game 3 of ALCS

October 16, 2018 - 7:27pm

HOUSTON — Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a grand slam, Nathan Eovaldi hushed Houston a day after some social media trash talk and the Boston Red Sox beat the Astros 8-2 on Tuesday to take a 2-1 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Steve Pearce hit a tiebreaking solo homer for Boston off Joe Smith in the sixth inning, a drive that sailed just inside the foul pole in left field for a 3-2 lead.

Bradley’s slam capped a five-run burst in the eighth against Roberto Osuna. The Astros closer got two outs but allowed two singles and plunked consecutive batters to force in a run. Bradley then crushed a 1-1 fastball into the right field seats to send Houston fans streaming toward the exits.

Game 4 is Wednesday night, with Boston’s Rick Porcello opposing Charlie Morton.

With his childhood hero and fellow Alvin, Texas, native Nolan Ryan sitting behind the plate, Eovaldi turned in another solid start. He allowed six hits and two runs with four strikeouts in six innings for the win in the second playoff start of his career.

“For him, I know it’s a special one,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.

Red-hot slugger Alex Bregman had shared a video Monday on Instagram of Houston hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs off Eovaldi in his previous outing against the Astros in June. Eovaldi downplayed the post when asked about it Monday.

Bregman did much of the damage against Eovaldi, getting two hits, an RBI and a walk in three plate appearances. Bregman has reached base safely in 20 of 28 plate appearances this postseason.

Bradley hit a three-run double during Boston’s Game 2 victory, giving him three RBIs in consecutive games for the first time in his career. Moments after his slam, fans at TD Garden in Boston began chanting “JBJ!” during the Celtics season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Bradley had caught the ire of many Red Sox fans while batting .210 during the first half of the season.

“It’s a credit to him, because at this level, when you’re hitting .180 after two months or I think it was three months, it is hard,” Cora said. “And he kept showing up. He kept working. He kept working his craft. Now you see the results.”

Osuna had two on and two out when he hit pinch-hitter Brock Holt in the shoe. Plate umpire Joe West didn’t see that Holt was hit, but Cora challenged successfully for the hit-by-pitch. Osuna then drilled pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland.

Osuna was a controversial midseason pickup from Toronto while he served a 75-game ban under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

Pearce nearly delivered an extra-base hit with two on in the third, but 5-foot-6 left fielder Tony Kemp jumped at the wall and came up with Pearce’s towering fly. Replays showed the ball may have clanked off the wall just before falling into Kemp’s mitt, but umpires upheld the decision when Boston challenged.

“That’s a completely different inning if he hits that ball a foot further or if Tony can’t get up on the wall and make that catch,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said.

Boston jumped on Dallas Keuchel for two runs in the first, but the Astros cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning and tied it on an RBI double by Bregman in the fifth.

The Astros went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position in the first home game of the series, which was played in front of a sellout crowd of 43,102 and included Astros Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and Houston Rockets stars James Harden, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. Bregman’s double was the only extra-base hit for a team which entered the game having hit at least one homer in a record 14 straight playoff games.

Jose Altuve, at designated hitter on Tuesday because of a bruised knee, walked with two outs in the fifth and scored from first on the double by Bregman, which bounced past third baseman Rafael Devers and into the corner of left field to tie it at 2-2. Altuve also bunted for a single in the seventh.

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Eduardo Nunez started at third base for Boston after Cora benched him in favor of Devers in Game 2. Devers took over at third in the bottom of the fourth after pinch-hitting for Nunez in the top of the inning.

Keuchel’s lousy first inning was a continuation of problems he had in the regular season when he allowed 26 runs in the opening frame to give him a 6.88 ERA in the first inning. He settled down after that to pitch four scoreless frames before Smith took over to start the sixth.

UP NEXT

Morton will make is 2018 postseason debut. Morton, who spent time on the disabled list late in the season with shoulder discomfort, hasn’t pitched since Houston’s regular-season finale on Sept. 30. Porcello was scheduled to start Tuesday but was pushed back a game after he pitched in relief in Game 2.

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Avalanche come up short in shootout loss to Rangers

October 16, 2018 - 7:08pm

NEW YORK — The positive was that in a building that promotes and monetizes its history, Nathan MacKinnon authored a bit of his own. The negative was that against a team in flux, the Avalanche left with one point instead of two.

MacKinnon became the first player in Quebec/Colorado franchise history to score at least one goal in the first six games of a season in the Avalanche’s 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Avalanche fell to 3-1-2.

Boxscore

“We played pretty (well),” said MacKinnon, who broke the record he held with Mats Sundin, who scored in the first five games of the 1992-93 Quebec Nordiques season.

“We played decent.”

Trailing 2-1 with 13 seconds left in the second period, MacKinnon and Gabe Landeskog set screens in front of Henrik Lundqvist for Mikko Rantanen, who fired a shot that deflected off the Avalanche captain’s and Hart Trophy finalist’s sticks for the tying goal. Rantanen, who was credited with a secondary assist on the goal, has a team-high eight assists and nine points in the Avalanche’s first six games.

“They’ve been good,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said of his top line. “Offensively, when they have the puck, they’re dangerous.”

While MacKinnon’s season-opening streak is what people will remember from this game in the future, the record should also show that the Avalanche — a Stanley Cup playoff team last spring — was outplayed for stretches by a team in the embryonic stages of a rebuild.

The Avalanche are scheduled to practice Wednesday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., ahead of Thursday’s match against the Devils. They finish the trip with games at the Hurricanes on Saturday, and at the Flyers on Monday night.

Theoretically a portion of the practice on the other side of the Hudson River would be dedicated to the importance of authoring a 60-minute effort. Because, in their first game after irritating Bednar with their effort in the second, third and overtime periods against the Flames Saturday night, the Avalanche were outscored 1-0 and outshot 19-7. For the game, the Avalanche were outshot 43-33.

“They did get a lot of shots,” Avs defenseman Ian Cole said. “Obviously I have no idea what the possession numbers were, but it seemed like we had some good extended shifts in their end. We can certainly do a better job cutting the shots down.”

Not helping the cause was that Patrik Nemeth used his stick blade to hook New York’s Vinni Lettieri as he was breaking in on a scoring attempt, leading to a power play in which Chris Kreider redirected a Kevin Shattenkirk shot at 12:07 for the game’s opening score.

That the Avalanche was still in the game at the intermission should be fully accredited to Semyon Varlamov, who made 18 of his 41 saves in the period.

“He was at his best,” Bednar said about his goaltender, a few moments after saying he wasn’t unhappy with the opening 20 minutes.

“Call me crazy, but I didn’t mind the first,” Bednar said.

The second period was markedly improved. The Avalanche had a slight advantage in shots in the period, 15-12, and twice solved Henrik Lundqvist. It did not hurt that Varlamov kept the deficit at 1-0 with a left pad save on a Jimmy Vesey breakaway backhand attempt early in the period.

Landeskog tied the game with a power play goal at 8:13 into the second. But Kevin Hayes’ slap shot from above the right circle allowed New York to regain the lead just 2:40 later.

“There are some things we have to clean up on the defensive side of things. But we also did some good things offensively getting to the net and coming up with some rebounds,” Bednar said.

Against a team which will likely look drastically different after the trade deadline, the Avalanche killed a four-minute high-sticking penalty assessed to Landeskog before MacKinnon scored his franchise-record setting goal.

The game remained tied 2-2 until the one-on-one. Both teams had terrific chances in the overtime session, as Varlamov stopped Vesey on the goalmouth, while Landeskog hit the post.

Mats Zuccarello and Shattenkirk scored for New York in the shootout, while only Ratanen was able to beat Lundqvist.

“Shootout, you can flip a coin for me (as to) how it’s going to turn out,” Bednar said.

Defenseman Mark Barberio and left wing J.T. Compher were the scratches. The teams meet again Jan. 4 at the Pepsi Center.

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Kiszla: Angry Von Miller is dope. But it’s way cooler these days to be Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.

October 16, 2018 - 6:56pm

It’s better to be a Joker than the Vonster.

The Nuggets laugh like winners do. The Broncos are grumpypants losers.

And who would’ve predicted that? What the heck is going on in this dusty old cowtown?

On a beautiful autumn day in Colorado like they write postcards about, I rambled up and down Interstate 25, dropping in on both Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Broncos linebacker Von Miller at practice, to check in on the state of our local superstars. This much I know is true: While Broncos Stadium at Mile High and the Pepsi Center stand barely a mile apart, Miller and Jokic are currently working in very different corners of the Denver sports scene.

On the eve of the Nuggets’ season opener, the Joker was basking in the light of promised good times ahead. Meanwhile, with the clock ticking at 10 minutes until Armageddon on the Broncos, the Vonster was fumbling for a way out of the dark.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a must win, but we’re going to kick their (booty), though. Make sure you put that out there. We’re going to kick their (booty),” Miller declared Tuesday, going all Jerry Lawler on the Arizona Cardinals.

Angry Vonster is dope. But picking a fight with the Cardinals, the NFL’s 98-pound weaklings? Isn’t that kind of like daring Baby Groot to put up his dukes?

There are a whole lot of chafed chaps in Broncos Country. But I’ve never seen Miller so irked. And I told him so.

“I’m not irritated,” Miller replied. “I’m just confident.”

Well, he’s as confident as a man who plays football for a team that’s lost 15 of its most recent 22 games can be. The bumbling Broncos have made Denver mad as …

“The city’s on fire,” said Broncos coach Vance Joseph, sitting on a seat that has been dialed up to broil.

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If you don’t mind, might I suggest a good sports reason for Denver to smile? (Hey, they don’t call me Mr. Sunshine for nothing.)

Jokic is as happy as a dude whose eardrums are thumping to the beat of a brand-new boombox, gifted by Nuggets teammate Isaiah Thomas. The Joker, blessed with a new five-year contract worth nearly $150 million, is also fixing to make some sweet noise in the NBA.

Are 50 victories and the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference really a possibility for Jokic and these Nuggets, a team that hasn’t qualified for the playoffs since 2013? Well, that sounds about right to me. Mo’ money, mo’ W’s.

As Jokic leaned against the wall in the Pepsi Center after the final workout before the Nuggets departed to Los Angeles to play the Clippers in the season opener, I asked him: Is it tough being a big, rich NBA star?

“Nah. No,” replied Jokic, faking annoyance. “I would have to say: No!”

Jokic seems destined to be invited to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career. He stands 6 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 250 pounds. But you will never see him be too big for his britches or act like a star. Why?

“The Joker is not,” said Jokic, who doesn’t see a star in the mirror when he shaves. “I’m telling you right now.”

For Jokic and the Nuggets, the No Excuses Tour is about to begin. It’s playoffs or bust.

So allow me to ask again: What the heck is going on in this dusty old cowtown, when the Rockies, Nuggets and Avalanche all are legit playoff material, while the reputation of our local NFL team is in tatters?

For Miller and the Broncos, this season has become such a bumpy ride it has left everybody sore. There’s a soap opera being played out at Dove Valley.

Meanwhile, Jokic works in a far better place. He’s an all star. Getting his game on. Time to go play.

On a scale of one to 10, how excited is the Joker for this NBA season?

“Right around 2½ or 3,” deadpanned Jokic, who was quick to add: “No, I’m joking.”

Why curse the Broncos, when you can laugh with the Nuggets?

Categories: All Denver News.

Lafayette firefighter leaving Mexican hospital with help of Congressman Perlmutter

October 16, 2018 - 6:22pm

Army veteran and Lafayette firefighter Lt. Jason Oliver took off for Cancun last week to celebrate his anniversary with his wife, Maigan. Just three days into their week-long tropical vacation, however, Jason Oliver was confined to a Mexican hospital bed rather than a poolside cabana.

GoFundMeMaigan and Jason Oliver

Trained as paramedic firefighter, Oliver said he began to notice some troubling neurological symptoms Friday and was taken by ambulance to the local hospital for a checkup. Following a CAT scan the doctors found Jason’s brain had spontaneously started to bleed.

The doctors told the couple the tests would cost $3,000 and it would cost an additional $6,000 a day for him to stay in the intensive care unit and continue to be monitored.

Three days and more than $20,000 later — their insurance did not cover the costs in Mexico —- Maigan Oliver told Fox31 the doctor had done no further tests or even offered a plan for any sort of treatment.

Unable to move Jason Oliver without permission from the hospital and unsure of exactly how serious his medical condition was, the Olivers and their family and friends were at their wit’s end trying to figure out what to do. Their last hope was to call Congressmen Ed Perlmutter’s office and ask for help.

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Read more at dailycamera.com.

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A red wave swept Republican Rep. Scott Tipton into office. Will a blue wave push him out?

October 16, 2018 - 6:08pm

Republican Rep. Scott Tipton rode into Washington on a red wave that swept more than 60 House Democrats out of office in 2010. Now, with talk of a nationwide blue wave, Tipton is the one looking vulnerable.

Democrats across Colorado have been hinting for weeks that the state’s 3rd Congressional District, where their candidate, Diane Mitsch Bush, is outraising Tipton, is a “sleeper” race. On Tuesday, FiveThirtyEight, a national news organization that specializes in poll tracking, moved Tipton’s seat into its tossup category and forecast his victory by a single percentage point — in a district he won by 15 points in 2016.

After the 6th Congressional District, where Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman has held on despite the demographics, the 3rd is the most competitive district in Colorado this year. Two of Colorado’s other House seats are solidly Republican and three favor Democrats.

Tipton, a Cortez native, said he isn’t taking his re-election for granted but is casting his opponent as too liberal for the sprawling 3rd District, which covers most of the Western Slope and the San Luis Valley before curving northeast into Pueblo County.

The race is more of an uphill battle for Mitsch Bush than it appears on paper. Democratic enthusiasm is palpable, but even her campaign manager says that won’t be enough to carry her across the finish line. She’s going to need to win the majority of unaffiliated voters and probably a few Republicans, too.

“Even if the blue wave hit us, there’s not enough blue in our district to make the wave meaningful,” said Mitsch Bush campaign manager Sonja Macys. “Diane needs a purple wave to win.”

The Ph.D. in sneakers

Mitsch Bush darted around her downtown Pueblo campaign office one Saturday in September wearing moss-green pants, a button-down shirt and sneakers.

The 68-year-old former Routt County commissioner and state legislator has a Ph.D. in sociology and a plainspoken way of talking. Mitsch Bush, a longtime Steamboat Springs resident, also has a belief that she’s the right candidate in the right political moment to take Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District from Tipton.

“If this were a standard job interview, Diane Mitsch Bush would be the hands-down choice against Scott Tipton for her deep knowledge of rural and Western Slope issues, and her incredible passion for her constituents,” said Ian Silverii, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado. “However, this isn’t a job interview. It’s an election in a very oddly drawn congressional district that’s stymied well-qualified Democrats in the past.”

On paper the 3rd District is less red than nearly a dozen U.S. House districts across the country where Republicans are considered vulnerable, but Tipton’s seat hasn’t attracted national money or attention — until now. What makes CD-3 different from those suburban battlegrounds where national groups have spent millions is its demographics.

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It’s as big as New York State, and two of every five voters in the district live in Mesa or Pueblo counties — areas where recovery from the Great Recession is a recent phenomenon and support for President Donald Trump remains strong. Tipton outperformed the president in both counties, and he won Pueblo County, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans, in both 2014 and 2016.

Puebloans, who are often compared to Rust Belt voters in the Midwest, told The Denver Post they believe the president’s “America first” attitude has finally brought home the economic recovery they’ve watched Front Range folks enjoy for years.

“This is sort of not new. Gary Hart never did very well in Pueblo, and he ran in the 1980s,” said Pueblo County Democratic Party chair Mary Beth Corsentino. “We still have the majority as far as registration goes here, but that doesn’t translate to Democratic votes. And that goes back to values that have been around for a long time.”

Mitsch Bush and her campaign recognize the challenge those kinds of Democrats pose for her candidacy. Pueblo County is a must-win for her.

When she received a question about Trump at The Pueblo Chieftain debate this month, Mitsch Bush didn’t mention the president’s tweets, the Russia investigation or his push for the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Instead she took a local angle, slamming the president’s proposed budget because it would have cut small business loans for rural communities, farmers and ranchers.

The debate audience inside Colorado State University-Pueblo’s student center hollered when Mitsch Bush said she wanted a public option like Medicare because it’s not fair that people in Steamboat Springs pay two or three times what people in Denver do for health insurance. They shouted when she called on the federal government to invest in broadband and the electric grid.

The unaffiliated middle

Winning Pueblo County is necessary but not sufficient to carry Mitsch Bush to Washington. She will have to close a sizable gap in Mesa County, run up the numbers in small, blue pockets around resort communities, and appeal to unaffiliated voters who outnumber both registered Republicans and Democrats.

Tipton and his campaign understand that, too.

He pushed out John Salazar, the last Democrat to represent the district, in 2010 by repeating a line about how often Salazar’s vote aligned with then Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s policies. Tipton says Mitsch Bush is too liberal for the district, using her support for what he called “socialized medicine” and her wavering on the proposed natural gas pipeline from Jordan Cove to the Oregon coast as examples.

Mitsch Bush says she isn’t convinced that the project would bring enough jobs to the region to offset some of the environmental concerns, while Tipton, Gov. John Hickenlooper and both of Colorado’s senators support the project.

“According to Grand Junction’s Chamber of Commerce, we lost 6,000 residents out of Grand Junction during the last boom-and-bust cycle,” Tipton said. “They literally picked up and left. They went up to North Dakota.”

He thinks Pueblo’s steel mills could be in the running to manufacture pipelines for the Jordan Cove project even though the lines themselves will be laid in Oregon — a belief that earned him raucous applause at The Chieftain debate.

“You never take anything for granted,” Tipton said when asked about his re-election chances.

Trump’s approval rating is in the low 40s nationally and in Colorado, and midterm elections are historically referendums on the current administration. Democrats have a comfortable lead in most generic polls. The conditions are ripe for a wave election like the one that ushered Tipton into office in 2010.

Corsentino has been spotting Mitsch Bush yard signs all over town.

“We’re kind of a yard sign community,” Corsentino said. “There were Trump yard signs all over the place in 2016, and the Hillary campaign didn’t have yard signs. … I see a lot of Diane’s these days.”

Categories: All Denver News.

Rockies Mailbag: Nolan Arenado update, hot stove questions, talking bullpen and more

October 16, 2018 - 5:20pm

Denver Post sports writer Patrick Saunders posts his Rockies Mailbag every other week on Tuesdays during the season and once per month during the offseason.

Pose a Rockies — or MLB — related question for the Rockies Mailbag.

Hi Patrick, first thank you for the great coverage of my favorite baseball team. Two questions: Can we trade both Jake McGee & Bryan Shaw? Will the Rockies sign or trade for a front-line starting pitcher? Thank you, Dan the greatest Alaskan Rockies fan.
— Daniel, Juneau, Alaska

Daniel, thanks so much for reading my stuff. A journey to Alaska is on my bucket list. I had hoped to go in 2019, but I just looked at my checking account and it looks as if that trip will have to wait. Bummer.

I don’t see the Rockies trading either McGee (6.49 ERA, .285 average against) or Shaw (5.93 ERA, .313 average against.) Both will be in the second year of their three-year, $27 million deals. Those salaries will likely preclude a trade, unless it’s part of a package deal that involves multiple players (or the Rockies agree to eat some of the salary).

At this point, the Rockies have to hope both relievers bounce back, because they invested a lot and got nothing in return. It’s certainly possible that Shaw and McGee can rebound, because relievers tend to be fickle from year to year. Two things, however, concern me.

First, McGee’s average fastball velocity was down to 94.3 mph this season, down from 95.3 last season and 97.5 in 2014 when he was pitching for the Rays. He lives and dies by his fastball.

Second, Shaw’s bread-and-butter cut fastball, was all over the place in 2018. Was it the mile-high altitude? The product of a heavy workload all those years in Cleveland? It’s tough to say, but this is fact: Shaw had a 3.13 ERA over his first seven seasons and a 5.93 ERA in 2018.

For the record, I must admit I was on board with the Rockies’ idea of bolstering the bullpen by signing Shaw.
As for the Rockies trading for a big-time starter, I wouldn’t count on it. General manager Jeff Bridich and Co. prefer a homegrown approach. That said, the Rockies’ window to win remains wide open and they do need another big-time arm to go with Kyle Freeland and German Marquez. I don’t see such a bold move, but you never know.

Hey Patrick, wanted your thoughts on Rockies fans booing during the National League division series home game vs. the Brewers. Was it fans that don’t come to many games or is it something else that I am missing? I just found it to be low class.
— Joey, Strasburg

Joey, it’s impossible for me to say. I suspect it was a mixture of hard-core fans who attend a lot of game and bandwagon jumpers. I don’t mind booing, especially when a team is performing poorly, a pitcher is walking batters or a player doesn’t hustle.

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But considering the season the Rockies had, I was surprised and a little ticked off that so many fans booed the home team.

Patrick, I have this fear the Rockies are going to miss on trading Nolan Arenado and get nothing for him. I love him in purple pinstripes but everyone knows he wants to play for a winner and likes California. Do you think the Rockies should move him this offseason if they can’t reach a long-term deal? Might be better if he turns down 150-200 million. At least then the Monfort’s can say they tried. What do you think?
— Kevin, Aurora

Kevin, I’m going to save myself some typing and copy-and-paste my thoughts from a recent debate I had with Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla:

I think the Rockies need to do everything they can — within reason — to sign Arenado to a long-term deal. He’s a once-in-a-generation player and the Rockies need his platinum glove and his power. This team is already losing a lot of its core, most notably second baseman DJ LeMahieu, so I don’t think it can afford to lose Arenado, too. If the future is bright, Arenado needs to be a part of it. Don’t trade him. …

In my mind, trading Arenado would have to include a front-of-the-rotation starting pitcher, as well as a good bat and some hot prospects. I don’t think that’s very likely to happen. …

The Rockies’ window to win is still very much open, and Arenado needs to be a part of it. However, if the team is clearly out the race by mid-summer and Arenado has not been re-signed, than you have to trade him. Here is my proposal: make Arenado a good-faith offer on a five-year deal worth about $150 million. No 10-year deals, but perhaps include an “opt-out” clause of some sort. If Arenado truly wants to stay in Colorado, he’s going to take a hard look at the offer. If he balks, I think that would be an indication that he wants to play somewhere else. But at least the Rockies would have tried to hold onto a player who’s on track for the Hall of Fame.

Patrick, what are your plans for this offseason? Any vacations or Bruce Springsteen concerts planned?
— JB, Berthoud

JB, I saw “Springsteen on Broadway” in May along with my wife, Nancy, so I don’t think I’ll see him again for a while. Second greatest show I’ve ever been to, behind only seeing Bruce at Red Rocks in August 1981.

Anyway, aside from monitoring the Rockies’ offseason, I plan to ski a lot at Winter Park (I got a season pass), lose the 20 pounds I’ve packed on from press box dining over the last three seasons, and sleep. Lots and lots of sleep.

No question, I just wanted to thank you & Mark Kizla for comments on DJ LeMahieu. He truly has been a class act representing not only our Rockies but baseball as a whole. Heck of a player. I loved the statement “Pride of the Rockies” and will miss him should he move on as it seems. Our loss will be some other team’s treasure.
— Pete Gonzalez, Durango

Pete (from God’s Country), I’m with you. I’ll be surprised if LeMahieu returns. One of the favorite athletes I’ve ever covered. He has a wry sense of humor and a fire to win that’s tough for fans to see. Plus, I just love how he plays second base with such grace and easy flair. “Pride of the Rockies” indeed.

Which impending free agents are realistic financially and would make sense for the Rockies going into the 2019 season?
— Brad, Denver

Brad, I’m not dodging your question, but I honestly don’t know at this point.

Here’s good list for you from MLB Trade Rumors.

Here is my early wish list, but it’s nothing more than that:
• Catcher Wilson Ramos
• First baseman Matt Adams (with some reservations)
• Outfielder A.J. Pollock (he rakes at Coors Field)
• Left-hander starter Patrick Corbin (probably cost prohibitive)
• A left-handed, late-game reliever, but they are tough to find.

I was watching the wild-card game and one of the ESPN commentators noted that Matt Holliday’s mysterious illness last year wasn’t the virus it was eventually attributed to in the press, but was in fact due to mercury poisoning. This was something of a startling revelation – are there any other pertinent details? Is Matt OK? Scary-sounding stuff!
— Max, Denver

Max, talked with Holliday about this a little bit and asked him if he would talk about it publicly. He declined, saying he wasn’t ready to discuss it. In July 2017 when he was playing for the Yankees, he told the New York Post that he tested positive for Epstein-Barr virus, most commonly associated with mononucleosis.

He later found out that it there were problems with his blood that accounted for him fatigue and muscle weakness. It’s a big reason why he was unsigned heading into the regular season. He told me he’s fine and healthy now.

Hi Patrick. Do you think the Rockies could get the White Sox to bite at a John Gray for Jose Abreu trade? Or the Marlins to go for a Gray for JT Realmuto trade? Do you think trading Gray for an offensive (and defensive) upgrade makes sense? Thank you, and go Rockies!
— Josh Weiss, Denver

Josh, I love both of those trades, but it’s never going to happen. I think a change of scenery might be good for Gray, but I still think he’s got a huge upside. Don’t give up on him yet. Now, if the Rockies were to package Gray with a top prospect (say infielder Brendan Rodgers), then a trade for a top-tier player just might fly. We’ll see over the coming months.

The most glaring failure of Colorado’s season, other than the inexplicable, prolonged, hitting slumps, was the $100M bullpen. What would it cost for Bridich to pick up and move on from Shaw and McGee? Is there a future for Mike Dunn? And what would it cost to keep Ottavino in purple?
— Dan O’Reilly, Colorado Springs

Dan, I already answered a question regarding Shaw and McGee. In regard to Dunn, the lefty had shoulder surgery on Sept. 19 and his future is in limbo.

Ottavino told me he wants to come back to Colorado, but I’m sure he’s going to explore the market. This is his chance for a big payday. Despite some struggles in final third of the season, Ottavino is surely one of the most-coveted free-agent relievers, and after Colorado spent $106 million last offseason on closer Wade Davis, Shaw and McGee, it might not want to pay big money for the bullpen again. Also, the emergence of Scott Oberg would make losing Ottavino less painful.

No question this time Patrick. Just wanted to say thanks for a great season, you guys at the paper did a nice job covering this team all summer.
— Daniel, Westminster

Wow, thanks Daniel! Please tell my editor, Scott Monserud: smonserud@denverpost.com.

Check’s in the mail!

Patrick, in a season filled with highs and lows I wanted your thoughts on your favorite moments of 2018.
— Willy, Littleton

My favorite moment(s) was the National League wild-card game at Wrigley Field. Freeland was remarkable and when Tony Wolters hit that game-winning single in the 13th inning, the Cubs fans went stone silent.

The other one has to be Trevor “True” Story’s three home run game on Sept. 5 at Coors Field against the Giants. His 505-foot blast was the longest in Coors Field history (although there is some debate about that). Story’s three home runs traveled an estimated 1,380 feet. What a night.

Here’s a link to my story.

Denver Post sports writer Patrick Saunders posts his Rockies Mailbag every other week on Tuesdays during the season and once per month during the offseason.

Pose a Rockies — or MLB — related question for the Rockies Mailbag.

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“Our kids are suffering”: Colorado attorney general puts $2.8M toward new effort to address youth suicide

October 16, 2018 - 5:18pm

Pledging to tackle a statewide crisis in youth suicides, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman on Tuesday announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration with hospitals and nonprofit organizations to increase access to pediatric mental health treatment.

The Attorney General’s Office will provide a $2.8 million grant to support Partners for Children’s Mental Health, a program led by Children’s Hospital Colorado that brings together nonprofits, pediatric experts, government agencies and partners across the state.

“Bold action is needed to save lives and get mental health treatment to Colorado’s children,” Coffman said in a news release. “It isn’t a lack of caring that’s at issue, it is an unconscionable lack of resources devoted to the mental health of children.”

Suicide is the leading cause of death in Colorado for ages 10 to 24, and the state has the ninth highest suicide rate in the country.

Coffman said her office started looking with concern at this issue as the number of suicides and self-harm reports went up “astronomically” over the past few years.

“We thought we needed to do more to get upstream of the problem,” she said in an interview.

Part of the problem is that Colorado “does not have a functional statewide pediatric mental health system,” said Shannon Van Deman, vice president of the Pediatric Mental Health Institute and executive director of Partners for Children’s Mental Health.

“Our mental health system varies drastically by location,” Van Deman said. “Kids, depending on where they live, can have very different experiences.”

Every facility and provider works independently, and there has been no statewide support for care coordination. This is confusing for families who try to navigate the “system”. Some never break through the barriers.

“Our kids are suffering because of the existing barriers to care,” Van Deman said.

And the kids who need help the most often aren’t getting it.

An estimated 226,000 kids and teens in Colorado have diagnosable mental health conditions, yet only 21 percent receive professional care, according to Children’s Hospital. Colorado ranks 48th in the nation for the number of kids who need mental health services but cannot access them.

Van Deman said the goal is to move Colorado into the top 10 in the next 10 years.

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A stark indication of this crisis came in late August when 9-year-old Jamel Myles died by suicide after being bullied for coming out as gay, his mother said.

“I think this case raised awareness and conveyed to a lot of people the drastic situation we’re dealing with,” Coffman said. “I don’t think most of us realized that kids as young as 9 and 10 know what to do or are in a position in their lives to take that action.”

The rise in youth suicides has been noticed at Children’s Hospital, where the number of patients coming into its pediatric intensive care unit for suicidal behaviors has jumped 600 percent in the past nine years.

Children admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for suicide attempts at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, this grant money will support the following initiatives:

  • Complete a children’s mental health service array assessment in Colorado to identify what services are available and where kids are falling through the cracks
  • Pilot the implementation of an evidence-based practice model in rural Colorado to improve the quality of care for kids no matter where they are
  • Implementation of the School Mental Health Toolkit
  • Create a Zero Suicide pediatric care pathway for primary care physicians and begin holding training academies for 130 Colorado pediatric practices representing 700 pediatric physicians
  • Develop trauma-informed care training modules and begin delivering the training modules across Colorado
  • Create an assessment to identify which level of care coordination would be most beneficial to youth and families

The Attorney General’s Office already runs the Safe2Tell program, an anonymous way for students, parents, school staff and community members to report concerns regarding their safety or the safety of others. Since 2011, suicide has been the No. 1 most reported concern to Safe2Tell.

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Morrison man tells police “I did it” after 61-year-old woman shot dead in their home, documents state

October 16, 2018 - 4:45pm

A 64-year-old man arrested for allegedly shooting a woman in the head, inside the Morrison home they shared, met sheriff’s deputies at the door and ushered them into the residence, according to court documents.

Jefferson County Sheriff's OfficeJerald Arthur Cross

The fatal shooting happened Oct. 7 at 5288 Pintail Court. Jerald Arthur Cross appeared Monday and was formally charged with first-degree murder in the death of 61-year-old Julie Isaacson, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

An arrest affidavit in the case was unsealed Monday.

Deputies who arrived at the home the day of the incident, initially on a report of a stabbing, made about a half-dozen announcements for people inside the residence to come out, according to the affidavit. Cross eventually appeared at the front door and motioned for deputies to come inside.

Inside the home, deputies saw Cross on his knees “tending” to a woman who was in an upright sitting position against a wall in the living room. The victim, later identified as Isaacson, was already deceased, the affidavit said. She had been shot on the upper left side of her face.

Deputies ordered Cross to move away from the body, but he failed to comply, the affidavit said. Cross warned deputies that there was a loaded firearm — a 9mm pistol — on a nearby end table.

Eventually, a deputy was able to lead Cross away from the body. Two spent shell casings and two expended bullets were found near Issacson, the affidavit said.

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Cross complained to first responders that if they had arrived earlier Isaacson would “still be alive,” according to the affidavit. He also complained of needing medications for “high blood pressure, depression, blood clots, diabetes and diarrhea.”

A deputy asked Cross if he saw what had happened. According to the affidavit Cross responded: “Yeah, I’m gonna tell you, I did it.”

Cross is being held at the Jefferson County Jail without bail. His next court hearing is scheduled Oct. 25.

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Crash on I-25 north of Denver Tuesday shuts SB lanes at Dacono for about 90 minutes

October 16, 2018 - 4:41pm

A traffic crash on Interstate 25 north of Denver closed southbound lanes, backing up traffic for about 90 minutes Tuesday during the evening rush hour.

The crash, near exit 232, Dacono, blocked lanes at the Erie Parkway, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

SB 25 under Erie exit, expect long delays pic.twitter.com/4kE8hJ5SKM

— CSP Larimer (@CSP_Larimer) October 16, 2018

Traffic initially was passing only in the left shoulder. Drivers were urged to avoid the area if possible. There was no reports of injuries.

The highway wreckage was cleared and lanes reopened at about 5:50 p.m., according to the Colorado State Patrol.

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Missy Franklin, Todd Lodwick, Daniel Graham among 2019 Colorado Sports Hall of Fame inductees

October 16, 2018 - 4:02pm

Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin and silver medalist Todd Lodwick are among six Coloradans who will be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

Aside from the two Olympians, former Denver, CU and Broncos football player Daniel Graham, area wrestling coach Bob Smith, longtime Colorado School of Mines coach and administrator Marvin Kay and multi-sport athlete Tom Southall will join the class.

Franklin is a six-time Olympic medalist, earning five golds and one bronze in the past two Olympics. She is a graduate of Regis Jesuit High School and had previously been honored while in high school and as an amateur swimmer.

Graham played football and basketball at Denver’s Thomas Jefferson High School before taking his football skills to the University of Colorado, where he won the John Mackey Award as the best tight end in the country. He won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots before being signed in 2008 by the Broncos, where he played until 2011.

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Read more at thedenverchannel.com

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Trump tells AP he’s not to blame if Republicans lose House

October 16, 2018 - 3:52pm

WASHINGTON — Facing an electoral defeat that could imperil his presidency, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he won’t accept the blame if Republicans lose the House in November, arguing that he is “helping people” in the midterms.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, Trump also accused his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen of “lying” under oath, defended his use of the derisive nickname “Horseface” for porn actress Stormy Daniels and argued that the widespread condemnation of the Saudis in the disappearance of a Washington Post columnist was a rush to judgment.

Of his efforts on the campaign trail, Trump said: “I don’t believe anybody has ever had this kind of impact.” He resisted comparisons to former President Barack Obama, who took responsibility for the Democrats’ defeat in 2010 by acknowledging that his party got “shellacked.”

Democrats are hopeful about their chances to recapture the House, while Republicans are increasingly confident they can hold the Senate. If Democrats take the House and pursue impeachment or investigations — including seeking his long-hidden tax returns— Trump said he will “handle it very well.”

Trump also declared that Cohen’s testimony was “totally false” in his August plea deal to campaign finance violations alleging he coordinated with Trump on a hush-money scheme to buy the silence of Daniels and a Playboy model who alleged affairs. But in entering the deal with Cohen, prosecutors signaled that they accepted his recitation of facts and account of what occurred.

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He derided Cohen, who worked for Trump for a decade, as “a PR person who did small legal work,” and said it was “very sad” that Cohen had struck a deal to “achieve a lighter sentence.”

And Trump did not back down from derisively nicknaming Daniels “Horseface” in a tweet hours earlier.

Asked by the AP if it was appropriate to insult a woman’s appearance, Trump responded, “You can take it any way you want.”

Trump said that Washington lawyer Pat Cipollone will serve as his next White House counsel and that he hoped to announce a replacement for U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley in the next week or two. He again repeated his frustration with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the special counsel investigation, saying, “I can fire him whenever I want to fire him.”

On the ongoing Russia investigation, Trump defended his son Donald Trump Jr. for a Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer offering damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump called his son a “good young guy” and said he did what any political aide would have done.

Trump also touted the successful confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as helping to motivate GOP voters. Trump said he spoke to former President George W. Bush about Kavanaugh but, when asked by the AP, said he did not thank him for the calls he made to lobby GOP senators.

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Elizabeth Warren’s DNA claim inflames some Native Americans

October 16, 2018 - 3:20pm

OKLAHOMA CITY — The DNA test that Sen. Elizabeth Warren used to try to rebut the ridicule of President Donald Trump angered some Native Americans, who complained that the genetic analysis cheapens the identities of tribal members with deeper ties to the Indian past.

Warren was born in Oklahoma, which is home to 39 tribes and where more than 7 percent of the population identifies as Native American, one of the highest proportions in the nation.

But she’s not a member of any tribe, and many Indians take exception to anyone who claims to be part Indian without being enrolled in a tribe, especially for political purposes.

“It adds fuel to that misconception that I can go out, get a DNA test and then, boom, that’s all I really need,” said Brandon Scott, a Cherokee Nation citizen and the executive editor of tribe’s newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix. “But the facts of the matter are you need a lot more than that.”

The nation’s 573 federally recognized tribes collectively do not have a single standard for determining membership. Tribes such as the Cherokee Nation use lineal descent, meaning a person is Cherokee if an ancestor is listed on an original roll regardless of their amount of Indian blood. Descendants of black slaves the Cherokee once owned are also members of the tribe.

DNA tests are not typically used as evidence to determine tribal membership.

The genetic results released Monday provide some evidence of a Native American in Warren’s lineage, though the ancestor probably lived six to 10 generations ago.

Native Americans also resented Trump’s continuing use of Indian heritage as a means to mock Warren, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts who is widely expected to run for president in 2020.

Trump’s references to Warren as “fake Pocahontas” are particularly offensive because they show how pop culture has glossed over the treatment of Native Americans, particularly women, said Chelsey Branham, a member of the Chickasaw Nation.

“It’s a sore topic to begin with,” said Branham, a Democratic candidate for a state House seat in Oklahoma City. “Then on top of that, using it as a derisive term to put someone down, it’s a racial slur. It certainly was offensive to me.”

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Many Oklahomans take pride in their Indian blood even if, as in Warren’s case, they cannot trace an ancestor to the original tribal rolls.

“Even in 1907, people were proud of that Indian heritage,” said Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, referring to the year Indian Territory was dissolved and became part of the new 46th state of Oklahoma. The ceremony was marked with a symbolic “wedding” between an Indian woman and a white man.

Questions about Warren’s heritage first emerged during her race for the Senate in 2012, when reports surfaced that she listed herself as a racial minority in an academic legal directory. Trump then made the “Pocahontas” jibe a laugh line at his rallies in 2016 after Warren became an outspoken critic.

Warren acknowledged identifying herself as a minority in the directory for nearly a decade. At the time, she said she listed herself as having Native American heritage because she hoped to meet people with similar roots.

She was also listed as a Native American in federal forms filed by the law schools at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, where she worked, The Boston Globe reported in 2012.

Warren has denied using her heritage to get ahead, and the Globe’s research found that it was not considered by the Harvard or Penn faculties or those who admitted her to law school at Rutgers University or offered her jobs at the University of Houston or the University of Texas.

In a slickly produced five-minute video also released Monday, Warren was seen walking through a working-class neighborhood of Norman, Oklahoma, and talking to her brothers about their mother’s Native American ancestry.

“I’m not enrolled in a tribe, and only tribes determine tribal citizenship,” Warren said in the video. “I understand that distinction. But my family history is my family history.”

Claiming Native American heritage is an especially sensitive matter in Oklahoma because of the state’s history as a relocation spot for Indians who were forced to move from other regions in the 1800s.

After the tribes were placed on reservations in what eventually became Indian Territory, the government decided that their communal property should be divided into individual allotments for members. The goal was to free up more “excess” land for white settlers expanding westward and to accelerate the Indians’ assimilation into American society.

Unlike other states where some tribes live on separate, remote reservations, Oklahoma is a checkerboard of land where tribal members lived in the same communities with whites and intermarried over the generations, creating families with varying fractions of Native American heritage.

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The tribes reject the idea that, having taken much of their land, others can now claim their ethnic heritage with any DNA connection.

People who casually mention some Indian heritage are “dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven,” said Chuck Hoskin Jr., secretary of state for the Cherokee Nation.

In Oklahoma, some politicians claim Native American heritage but are careful about doing so. Two of the state’s five House members — Republicans Tom Cole and Markwayne Mullin — are enrolled members of Oklahoma-based tribes.

While there are occasional reports of false claims of Indian heritage, mostly in the art or literary communities, such claims would be terribly damaging in politics, said Keith Gaddie, a political scientist at the University of Oklahoma.

“Cultural appropriation is the dumbest thing that anybody can do, but especially a Democrat.”

Said Branham: “It’s not a costume. You can’t put on and take off being native whenever you feel like it or whenever it benefits you. It’s really actively being a part of that culture.”

___

Follow Sean Murphy at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

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Broncos podcast: Examining who must step up at Arizona for Denver to end losing streak

October 16, 2018 - 3:04pm

In the latest First-and-Orange podcast episode, Broncos beat writers Ryan O’Halloran and Kyle Fredrickson break down three members of the organization who are under pressure, yet under the radar, entering Thursday night’s showdown in Arizona — including center Matt Paradis and linebacker Brandon Marshall.

Subscribe to the podcast
SoundCloud | iTunes | Stitcher | RSS

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“Carruth” series provides in-depth look into a reporter’s 21-year coverage of CU Buffs’ Rae Carruth

October 16, 2018 - 2:57pm

Former Colorado Buffaloes wide receiver Rae Carruth’s fall from grace took him from a budding NFL star to being convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.

With Carruth set to be released from prison on Oct. 22, the Charlotte Observer has launched “Carruth,” a seven-part, nearly five-hour serialized podcast featuring journalist Scott Fowler, who has covered Carruth since the Carolina Panthers drafted him out of Colorado in 1997.

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The series follows the winding journey of what happened the night of Nov. 16, 1999, when Carruth’s pregnant girlfriend Cherica Adams suffered four gunshot wounds to the manhunt and the trial to the story of Carruth and Adam’s son Chancellor Lee Adams.

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Broncos Briefs: Von Miller on Arizona — “We’re going to kick their (butt)”

October 16, 2018 - 2:22pm

Broncos linebacker Von Miller fell just short of guaranteeing a win Thursday night at Arizona, but he is supremely confident that his team’s four-game losing streak is coming to an end.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a must win, but we’re going to kick their (butt),” Miller said after Tuesday’s practice. “Make sure you put that up there. This week, Thursday night, prime time, they’re going to get the Broncos’ best.”

Miller isn’t known as a trash talker so his comments obviously had a purpose, be it to build his teammates up after falling to 2-4 or turn the focus toward him and away from the embattled defense.The Broncos’ rush defense is the NFL’s worst, allowing at least 270 yards in each of the last two games, a first in the league since 1978. Miller expects that to change against a Cardinals’ offense that is last in rushing.

“That was the last two weeks,” Miller said, referring to the Jets and Rams. “This week is totally different. … They’re going to get our whole team’s best and that starts with me. We’re going to go out there and kick their (butt). That’s the way I’m feeling.”

Miller feels better about the Broncos’ pass rush after they had five sacks against the Rams. Miller had 1 1/2 sacks (breaking a three-game drought) and rookie Bradley Chubb had three sacks.

“Like I said before, if we’re playing our best, I don’t think there is anybody in the league that can block me and Bradley,” Miller said. “Especially not the Cardinals. … We just have to go out there and play Broncos football. If we play Broncos football, they won’t be able to play with us.”

Impressed with Rosen. The Broncos evaluated then-UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen before the draft, but passed on him at No. 5 (taking Chubb). Rosen went 10th to the Cardinals and will start Thursday.

“He was a guy that made every throw on tape,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “He makes it look easy. He has great footwork in the pocket. He has a very, very high football IQ. He was ready to play. He was one of the guys, when you interviewed and watched (him) work out and watched the tape, he was ready for NFL football.

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“As I watch him now, he’s making some plays with his feet and his arm. He’s right where he should be as a rookie quarterback.”

Injury report. The Broncos practiced in helmets (no pads) Tuesday. Not participating were right tackle Jared Veldheer (knee), cornerback Adam Jones (thigh), linebacker Shane Ray (ankle) and safety Dymonte Thomas (chest). Tight end Matt LaCosse (knee) was limited.

Footnotes. Joseph on the Cardinals’ defense, which is allowing 394.3 yards per game. “When you watch them, they play really fast. It’s an aggressive defense, they have great pressures, they have a great back end and they have one of the best pass rushers in the league with Chandler Jones (5 1/2 sacks). It’s going to be a challenge.” … Before flying to Phoenix on Wednesday, the Broncos will have a 7-on-7 and team red zone periods during their workout

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Record Mega Millions jackpot up for grabs Tuesday night

October 16, 2018 - 2:19pm

With Mega Millions boasting its largest jackpot ever at $667 million, even the most skeptical lottery players are buying in.

Elise Schmelzer, The Denver PostThe Mega Millions jackpot is up to a record $667 million.

Heather Sherwood almost never leaves the Centennial office where she works for lunch. On Tuesday, she made an exception.

She took a short break from her work as an accountant and drove to a nearby gas station on Arapahoe Road to buy six Mega Million lotto tickets and six PowerBall tickets.

Sherwood said she was an irregular lotto player, but had to take a chance now because the jackpots were so high.

“It just takes that one time,” she said.

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While Mega Millions is grabbing headlines for its record prize, Wednesday’s PowerBall jackpot isn’t too shabby either — $345 million. Combined, more than $1 billion is up for grabs.

An Aurora office pool came close to winning last week, according to a Colorado Lottery news release.

A nine-member office pool from Kaiser Permanente won a $1 million lower-tier Mega Millions prize Oct. 9. The group purchased a ticket that matched five out of six winning numbers.

Jackpot winners may choose a one-time cash/lump sum option rather than a 29-year annuity, in which case the current payout would be $380 million for Mega Millions and $199 million for Powerball.

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Black Hills Energy launches two solar projects in southeastern Colorado

October 16, 2018 - 1:50pm

Two new community solar projects will provide power in southeast Colorado to schools, municipal governments and homes.

Black Hills Energy, a natural gas and electric utility, teamed up with Greenskies Renewable Energy to install the “solar gardens.” A ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday marked the launch of a 500-kilowatt installation in Rocky Ford. A 2-megawatt facility will provide power in Ordway.

“We are excited to deliver a solution to the growing interest in solar energy from both customers and community leaders and expand our renewable portfolio at the same time with the construction of these new community solar gardens,” Vance Crocker, Black Hills Energy’s vice president of Colorado’s electric utility operations, said in a statement.

Greenskies, a Clean Focus company, will maintain and operate the facilities for subscribers to the solar power. Clean Focus Yield Limited will own the arrays as part of its portfolio of commercial, industrial, small utility and community solar projects.

“The Rocky Ford and Crowley County community solar projects provide clean energy to local housing authorities, schools, community colleges and city governments and enable customers to benefit from solar without any equipment on their roofs or property,” said Stanley Chin, president and CEO of Greenskies and Clean Focus Group.

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Black Hills Energy said construction will start early next year on the 60-megawatt Busch Ranch II wind farm in Huerfano and Las Animas counties. With this addition, the utility said it will meet Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard, requiring utilities to get 30 percent of their power from renewable energy resources by 2020.

Black Hills Energy serves 1.25 million customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. It is part of Black Hills Corp., based in Rapid City, S.D.

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