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Thunderstorms, showers possible Tuesday for Denver area

August 14, 2018 - 5:25am

Thunderstorms will build over the Front Range in the afternoon on Tuesday, bringing isolated rain, forecasters say.

There’s a 20 percent chance of rain showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

The high temperature will be around 85 degrees.

Between Wednesday and Saturday isolated rain and thunderstorms are expected each night, the NWS says.

Temperatures will range from the mid-to-upper 80s through that period.

More storms will be around the area this afternoon and evening due to the increased moisture. Highs will be a few degrees cooler than yesterday. #cowx pic.twitter.com/H3DeIZK3eW

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) August 14, 2018

It will get a bit cooler with temperatures lower 80s on Sunday and Monday, forecasters say.

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Backers of Denver campaign finance ballot measure agree to deal that would delay public financing, lower limits

August 14, 2018 - 5:00am

Backers of a sweeping Denver campaign finance initiative have agreed to a deal with city officials that would replace the measure on the November ballot with a revised version that delays the changes until after next year’s municipal election.

Voter approval for the new proposal this fall would bring about drastically lower contribution limits for candidates seeking city offices and would ban direct corporate and union contributions. It also would institute a voluntary public financing system that, for participating candidates, would tap into city funds to provide 9-to-1 matching of contributions up to $50.

While the thrust of those elements is unchanged, the City Council on Tuesday is set to begin the process of referring a replacement measure to the ballot that would make several changes to dates and details such as how quickly the city must issue matching checks. The council’s Finance and Governance Committee meets at 1:30 p.m.

In seeking changes that affect the timing and technical details, city officials — some of whom are lukewarm on the initiative’s ideas — are acting in large part on a belief that the measure has a good chance of passing.

Their talks with the Democracy for the People initiative’s backers concluded Monday afternoon with an agreement, both sides confirmed. The petitioners committee, which has five members, will withdraw its ballot-approved measure if the council votes to refer the revised question to the ballot, likely on Aug. 27, said petitioner Owen Perkins. He participated in recurring talks in recent weeks with council members, Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson’s office and the mayor’s office.

Under the current initiative, which qualified for the 2018 ballot last November, the proposed new contribution limits and public financing scheme would take effect immediately — creating a situation that Johnson argued would be difficult or impossible for her office, which is charged with implementation.

More than three dozen candidates already have declared for mayor, clerk and council races for the May 2019 election. Several have been raising money. And some, including Mayor Michael Hancock, already have collected donations above the lower limits that are proposed in the initiative, as Councilman Kevin Flynn points out.

Perkins acknowledged that the council measure’s delay might make the deal bittersweet for some supporters of tighter campaign finance controls. If approved by voters, it would take effect Jan. 1, 2020, at the start of the 2023 election cycle.

“The big tradeoff is that there’s so much eagerness to put this through now,” Perkins said. “What’s on the ballot already puts it into play in 2019, in our next elections. I haven’t seen anybody in Denver — other than the people I’ve talked to in the City and County Building — who is eager to wait for four more years. There’s a sense that something like this is really needed.”

But Perkins said the revised measure retains the intent of the initiative, with tweaks that ensure it would be implemented carefully. Among the changes is spelling out a frequent schedule for the city to deliver donation-matching payments to candidates, starting the August prior to the 2023 city election.

The council’s rewrite also removes provisions that seek to regulate independent spending in elections, since those would have conflicted with a clamp-down approved by the council a year ago, after the initiative was drafted.

Both the original and the council versions would reduce the per-donor contribution limits from $3,000 to $1,000 for mayoral candidates; from $2,000 to $700 for candidates for auditor, clerk and the two at-large council seats; and from $1,000 to $400 for the council’s 11 district seats. Those new amounts would be pegged to inflation.

The city also would have to set aside about $2 million a year in the new Fair Elections Fund, which would allow candidates who agree to even lower contribution limits to receive $450 from the city for every $50 donation. Participating candidates also would have to take part in debates.

The other petitioners include civic activists as well as Candi CdeBaca and Tony Pigford, who subsequently filed to run in council races.

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Perkins said the proposed matching system — which is similar to those available in a handful of other U.S. cities, including New York City — would free candidates from the need to court high-spending interests, allowing them to focus more energy on talking with voters.

A challenge facing the initiative was that organizers originally intended to qualify the measure for the November 2017 ballot. They fell about 400 signatures short, a gap they remedied by collecting more signatures — but not before the deadline to make the 2017 ballot.

That pushed the measure to this year’s ballot, resulting in a delay that would give the city little breathing room to implement the new ordinance before the next election.

“Even well-intentioned programs can be poorly executed, and I think that’s the case here,” Flynn said of the initiative. “It’s sort of like green roofs applied to public finance,” he added, citing the voter-approved Denver Green Roof Initiative last fall.

On Monday, Johnson said the council’s proposed measure, if it passes, would be workable. She called the discussions with the petitioners collaborative, but intense. “There was a lot of give and take in a lot of the conversations over the last 30 days,” she said.

Document: The City Council’s proposed ballot measure for referral to the Nov. 6 ballot

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Categories: All Denver News.

Broncos Mailbag: From Paxton Lynch to Chad Kelly, the backup quarterback edition

August 14, 2018 - 5:00am

Denver Post Broncos writer Ryan O’Halloran posts his Broncos Mailbag weekly during the season.

You can pose a Broncos- or NFL-related question for the Broncos Mailbag here. Follow Ryan for more daily updates on Twitter.

Just ask yourselves, Vance Joseph and John ElwayCase Keenum is hurt in the second quarter of the Seattle opener, who do you hand your season to? It’s either Chad Kelly or a backup vet to be determined. It’s not Paxton Lynch, so bite the bullet and do what needs to be done.

— Dan, St. Louis, Mo.

Ryan: Since you’re asking me, the Broncos’ lean should be exploring other avenues for a backup quarterback. For the fans who did not attend any of the open practices in camp — Lynch played Saturday night like he had been practicing. Tentative. Indecisive. Unsure. Kelly has earned the right to get some second-team reps this week, particularly in the practices against Chicago. But even if Lynch struggles against the Bears, I would have my list of available quarterbacks at the ready.

I think Chad Kelly is probably not ready to be a No. 2 QB right now. Do the Broncos carry three QBs and keep him? Is it three QBs wth Kelly or two QBs without?

— AJ Struyk, Canada

Ryan: If Kelly makes the 53-man roster, it will be as the third quarterback and if they carry two, it’s because they have tried to slide Kelly through waivers and onto the practice squad.

Eric Lutzens, The Denver PostDenver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (2) celebrates running in a Broncos touchdown during the fourth quarter on Saturday August, 11 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The Denver Broncos hosted the Minnesota Vikings.

How are Phillip Lindsay‘s chances of making the team looking? He balled out against the Vikings.

— Sandra, Littleton

Ryan: Emerging players at receiver could impact Lindsay’s chances, but he is doing the right things (like scoring a touchdown) to make his case. I think there is a place for him on this offense. But if the Broncos keep Isaiah McKenzie as the punt returner and keep six receivers (Tim Patrick or River Cracraft being the sixth), that may mean only three tailbacks (Devontae Booker, Royce Freeman and De’Angelo Henderson) are kept. I would put Lindsay at making the initial roster at 59.2 percent.

Let’s say Paxton Lynch gets cut. Is there any big — or even just capable — names in free agency who we can sign to come in as the backup?

— Max P., Commerce City

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Ryan: Not including Colin Kaepernick (because that’s not happening), the top available name is Matt Moore, formerly of Miami. That would be the only free agent I consider. On the trade front, do the Broncos really want to give up a late-round pick for Teddy Bridgewater? Not ideal, but circumstances may force their hand.

So what the reason behind Von Miller sitting out the Vikings game? Is he hurt?

— James, Denver

Ryan: Yeah, that was interesting. On Thursday, Vance Joseph said Miller would play since he was healthy. Miller went through warmups, but was then told he was not playing. Why not tell him before the game? He’s a tenured player who deserves that consideration. The bottom line for him not playing: They want him healthy for Week 1.

What is it going to take for John Elway to swallow his pride and cut Paxton Lynch? Most all agree Paxton is a bust and will never get it. Additionally, by not giving Chad Kelly more of a chance (e.g. playing with the second team), the Broncos won’t get a good feel for if he could have a significant future with the team or not! Elway is making a big mistake by railroading Paxton into the backup role without earning it. If it comes to a point where Keenum gets hurt and Paxton has to play both players and fans alike will be disgusted, me included! I would rather see the Broncos cut their losses with Paxton now, sign a veteran backup and focus on developing Kelly as a potential future QB (or at least truly better understand if has a future or not). We know already Paxton has no future here! Your thoughts?

— Bob Terwilliger, Frederick

Ryan: Bob got on a roll, didn’t he? For Elway to swallow his pride and give up on Lynch — a minimum of two more lousy games. I kind of agree on your theory that Kelly’s development this month may be stunted because he’s stuck on the third team..

Should we be concerned about the Broncos’ run defense? Latavius Murray ran wild on us…

— James Wilkins, Cheyenne, Wyo.

Ryan: Not exactly a great first impression, that’s for sure. The first big Murray run was a missed downfield tackle by linebacker Brandon Marshall. The second big Murray run, a few Broncos couldn’t get off their blocks. Not concerned yet, but something to monitor. Keep in mind, inside linebacker Todd Davis and outside linebacker Von Miller did not play.

Ryan, here are my realistic observations/expectations this year. 1. Case Keenum is the QB the NFL knew in Houston and Los Angeles. 2. Vance Joseph WILL be fired during the season. 3. Our defense will struggle at crucial times (2015 this ain’t). 4. It’s time to move on from Paxton Lynch (whether they do or don’t remains to be seen). 5. Chad Kelly deserves additional time, and work with the 2s. 6. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will be crowing in the media they need more balls week by week. 7. This team is unfortunately destined for six wins max. 8. I hope I’m wrong about all of this (but I have a bad feeling I’m not). Thoughts?

— Greg S., Castle Pines

Ryan: Greg and Bob need to meet up to talk Broncos football. Responding to your thoughts. 1. The Broncos are banking on Keenum being the quarterback they saw in Minnesota. 2. It will take a lot for an in-season coaching change. 3. The defense will struggle if their depth is tested at cornerback and inside linebacker. 4. You sit in the majority of fans about Lynch. 5. Agreed on Kelly deserving time with the second team. 6. If the season falls apart, many players will be crowing. 7. I would still bet the “over” on six wins. 8. Vance also hopes you’re all wrong.

Ryan, I’m trying to stay positive, but that first half was brutal to watch. Is the Broncos offense any better than last year? Case Keenum had two 3-and-outs and Paxton was, well, garbage. Royce Freeman looked pretty good, but overall it seemed like Denver kept running terrible conservative plays like they did last year. What says you?

— Mike M., Denver

Ryan: Agreed, the first half was a tough watch. Imagine trying to write about it. Like putting lipstick on a pig. The Broncos offense will be better than last year … a lot better. I say that with confidence. Fans should want to see Freeman as the Week 1 starter. Conservative plays is the nature of the preseason. Bill Musgrave is clearly saving some tricks for Seattle.

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Denver Sports Omelette: Dissecting the Chicago Bears’ mindset for joint practices with Broncos

August 14, 2018 - 5:00am

Football fans in Chicago and Denver can certainly relate these days.

Two proud NFL franchises full of optimism for a leap forward in 2018. Two winless teams in the early goings of preseason. Worse for the Bears, though, is an 0-2 mark after close defeats to Baltimore and Cincinnati. But of course, the results don’t matter — yet.

Both teams will soon have an opportunity to blow off some collective steam during a pair of joint practices at UCHealth Training Center, Wednesday and Thursday, before meeting in a game at Broncos Stadium on Saturday night.

“The No. 1 thing that you get playing in Denver is you get a change of scenery,” Chicago coach Matt Nagy told local media. “You get some different guys that you’re going against. In my opinion, it spices up practice a little bit. There’s that monotony when you’re out here every single day going through the same thing over and over again. It’s a long camp, so this changes things up a little bit. They’ll be juiced up. We as a team come together more. Rather than offense and defense against each other, now we’re (rooting) for each other.”

Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post 

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Must-Read Eric Lutzens, The Denver PostDenver Broncos running back Royce Freeman (37). Broncos camp rewind, practice 12 : Roster moves aplenty after first preseason game

The first practice after the Broncos’ preseason opener came with its ups and downs, and finished, oddly, on a down note for the offense. Read more…

Shaban Athuman, The Denver PostColorado reliever Jake McGee (51). Disaster waiting to happen, or high-priced unit ready to pitch clutch? Rockies’ bullpen identity over the final six weeks is critical.

In Colorado’s momentum-shifting series victory over the Dodgers at Coors Field this past weekend, the team’s Jekyll-and-Hyde bullpen tuned in mixed results — as it has all season.. Read more…

Eric Lutzens, The Denver PostMinnesota Vikings defensive end Tashawn Bower (90) takes down Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch (12). Broncos Mailbag: From Paxton Lynch to Chad Kelly, the backup quarterback edition

For the fans who did not attend any of the open practices in camp — Lynch played Saturday night like he had been practicing. Tentative. Indecisive. Unsure. Read more… 

Quick Hits

+ Colorado State football coach Mike Bobo went on medical leave after recently experiencing numbness in his feet.

+ Little piece of news coming out of Broncos practice Monday: There’s a new backup QB on the depth chart.

+ Broncos safety Jamal Carter suffered a season-ending hamstring injury during Saturday’s game.

+ The Broncos picked up three-time all-SEC linebacker A.J. Johnson, who hasn’t played since 2014.

+ The Colorado Buffaloes backup quarterback battle continues.

+ Buffs lineman Jake Moretti has a blueprint for recovery from a horrific knee injury he suffered prior to his senior year of high school.

+ Colorado State fullback Adam Prentice finds time to make a difference off the field.

+ Colorado State football’s defense makes its point: “The one defense didn’t give up a point, which was awesome to see,” head coach Mike Bobo said.

+ Jim Furyk gets the core of Ryder Cup team, and an obvious pick in Tiger Woods.

+ Tim Dahlberg wonders if there is a path forward in the NFL national anthem protests.

+ WATCH: Wayne Rooney’s makes a spectacular steal before his cross sets up the game-winner for DC United.

+ Heisman 2018 darkhorses: Here’s a look at Washington’s Jake Browning and six other longshots.

+ WaPo’s Tim Bontemps with winners and losers from the NBA Eastern Conference offseason.

+ Sad news in the world of pro wrestling: Former WWE star Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart dies at 63.

+ Broncos Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Ryan O’Halloran here.

+ Rockies Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Patrick Saunders here.

By The Numbers

$2.4 million

How much Carmelo Anthony’s one-year deal with the Houston Rockets is worth. Read more…

Parting Shot Adam Hunger, The Associated PressCleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway (11) runs away from New York Giants’ Orion Stewart (45) and Tae Davis (58) for a touchdown during the second half of a preseason NFL football game Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Browns punished Antonio Callaway by refusing to take him out of a preseason game

For Cleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway, playing in a preseason game was punishment. Literally. 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.

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Colorado ranks as seventh best state to have a baby, study says

August 14, 2018 - 5:00am
Provided by WalletHubColorado ranked as the seventh best state to have a baby according to WalletHub.

The holiday season was about nine months ago. Thus, it’s now baby season.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that August is the most popular birth month. And Coloradans are in luck, because the state was recently ranked by WalletHub as the seventh best state to have a baby.

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WalletHub’s study compared 26 key measures across the 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine the most ideal place to give birth. Factors included birthing costs, health care accessibility and family friendliness.

Colorado’s best ranking was in the “baby friendliness” category where the state placed fourth. Baby friendliness was ranked according to each state’s parental leave policies, number of mom groups, number of child care centers, number of nationally accredited child care centers and birth weight.

The state’s other category rankings:

  • 38th in cost of health care
  • 8th in quality of health care
  • 14th in family friendliness

The study found that the best state to have a baby in is Vermont, followed by Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Hampshire. On the other end, the worst state to give birth in is Mississippi, followed by Alabama, South Carolina and Louisiana.

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Centennial’s Innovation Pavilion silent in new CEO announcement about recent sexual assault allegations against founder

August 14, 2018 - 5:00am
Helen H. Richardson, Denver Post file photoVic Ahmed, chairman of Innovation Pavilion, middle, is pictured with Suzy Gutierrez, left, and Kerrianne Leffew, at the company’s Centennial headquarters on June 4, 2015. Ahmed stepped down in May after Gutierrez accused him of sexual assault in a lawsuit.

It’s been more than two months since Innovation Pavilion founder Waqar “Vic” Ahmed resigned from the business incubator and co-working space after a former employee filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault.

The Centennialcompany has since named interim CEO Kitty Kolding Ahmed’s permanent replacement. In a July 31 news release from Innovation Pavilion Kolding’s appointment is described as part of “key changes to its leadership structure that took effect this past month.”

The release doesn’t say what triggered those changes. The nearly 500-word statement does not mention Ahmed or the lawsuit that described him as a “serial predator” at all.

For Steven Silvers, a corporate reputation and crisis management professional, that lack of acknowledgement is an issue that could undermine the company beyond the allegations against Ahmed.

“The optics are so obvious to so many people in this era of #MeToo,” Silvers said. “The first thing a good business would do is come out and say ‘We are going to initiate an internal investigation to find out exactly what happened.’ Their response to this crisis is going to have a far lengthier and more damaging effect on the company than if they handled it more directly.” 

Silvers, senior partner with Silvers Jacobson LCC, has provided crisis management planning and response counseling to clients that include the city of Denver, Noble Energy, Vail Resorts and the Candelas mixed-used development that abuts the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge in Arvada. Innovation Pavilion has harmed its reputation by telling media outlets it “stands squarely behind Vic,” as it told 9News this spring, Silvers said.

“Whether or not that allegations are true, this has raised an issue that is way too prominent in this country’s corporate business community,” he said. “Why are they saying, ‘We are standing with the accused’? This is setting exactly the wrong kind of example for a company that is supposed to be showing other companies how to be successful.”

In Innovation Pavilion’s July 31 news release Kolding, a past CEO of other businesses and a previous Innovation Pavilion partner, described the company’s aim of creating business incubators like the one it operates at 9200 E. Mineral Ave. in Centennial in other communities across the country as “brilliant.”

“It’s a big, bold vision, and I’m enormously proud to lead this exciting venture,” she said in the release.

A company spokesman told The Denver Post Kolding would not be commenting about leadership at Innovation Pavilion beyond what was shared in the prepared statement.

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The lawsuit against Ahmed was filed on behalf of Suzy Gutierrez, a former IP executive that helped launched a wing of the company focused on internet of things technology in 2015. She alleges that in addition to repeated instances of sexual harassment, Ahmed sexually assaulted her on a business trip in 2017. Innovation Pavilion is named as a co-defendant in that suit. At least one other former employee has come forward to accuse Ahmed of harassment.

In a statement released this spring, Ahmed denied the assault allegations but said he engaged in a consensual relationship with Gutierrez. He apologized for unprofessional behavior.

An attorney representing Innovation Pavilion in the case declined to comment on the litigation.

The lawsuit may already be impacting Innovation Pavilion’s future, including its plans to expand to other cities, including Parker, Olathe, Kan., and Joliet, Ill.

Kolding visited Joliet this summer to discuss the patch of city-owned land that was offered to Innovation Pavilion for a new campus after city officials expressed concern about the lack of progress and how the lawsuit could impact the company’s finances, said Derek Conley, an economic development specialist for the city. City staff are working now to develop a progress timeline to hold Innovation Pavilion to, Conley said. If the campus is built, IP is in line for $200,000 in incentives, but the city does has the right to reclaim the property if the project stalls. 

“We didn’t give them any money up front,” Conley said.

Parker officials say the company has yet to submit any plans or paperwork to the town regarding a possible campus there.

Trouble could be brewing in Centennial, too. BusinessDen, which broke the story of the lawsuit against Ahmed, reported last week that the space Innovation Pavilion occupies at 9200 E. Mineral Ave. in Centennial has been listed as available on a commercial real estate website. Property owner Northstar Commercial Partners declined to comment on the listing citing privacy concerns.

“They have got to take action,” Silvers said of Innovation Pavilion. “They have to make it clear they care about this issue and not make this about Vic. Otherwise, ultimately the company goes away. And, obviously, the landlord is projecting that.”

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Ask Amy: Reader wonders how to help a depressed friend

August 14, 2018 - 3:30am

Dear Amy: I have a very close friend who is extremely depressed. She is negative about every aspect of her life: marriage, career and self-image. She posts negative memes on Facebook about how ugly she is, how depressed she is and how bad life is.

She is on medication and is seeing a licensed therapist. She is also extremely overweight. None of this is helping. She has tried different meds and has seen different therapists.

Every time I talk to her she is negative, depressed and complains constantly. I want to help her but I don’t know what else I can offer her. We have been close for many years and she has always been depressed, but it’s far worse now than ever.

She has told me numerous times that I don’t fully know what has happened in her past so I will never understand what she is going through, and then she proceeds to put herself down. Her marriage is falling apart and I know she has many issues going on with her career and her life, but is everything really that bad?

What else can I offer besides a listening ear, without getting down myself?

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What advice can I give her when she is complaining?

— Out of Answers

Dear Out: I think that offering advice in this context is a nonstarter.

When someone is clearly depressed and so obviously negative, the best thing you can do is to point the person toward therapy and treatment. And so you can respond: “What does your therapist say about that?”

Your friend might respond that she doesn’t disclose a lot of this to her therapist. Many people paradoxically don’t actually disclose the very things that cause them the most pain to their therapists. She might say that she isn’t currently taking her meds. Encourage her to seek and continue to seek treatment.

I believe that posting negative or self-hating thoughts on social media can actually perpetuate a negative cycle, but many people reach out in this way to vent, and in turn receive supportive comments and affirmations, which they must find — otherwise they wouldn’t do it. Try not to judge her harshly for doing this.

A huge challenge for friends and family members in dealing with someone with depression is to be present and supportive, while not taking on the burdens of the depressed person.

The concept of “self-care” is currently in vogue, but many of us don’t really know how to exercise self-care in our own lives. In your case, it might mean learning to ritualize walking outdoors, reading poetry or listening to a favorite piece of music. If you aren’t feeling strong, you can’t be a supportive presence.

Dear Amy: This guy that I used to work with started a “friends with benefits” relationship with me about three years ago.

I quit my job when I graduated from college. He then reached out to me and we hooked up again.

Right after we hooked up, he told me that he didn’t like me and that he liked another girl.

Fast-forward — it is now three years later and he is still a part of my life.

I have tried to stop this multiple times, but he always says, “Let’s talk it out” — and we end up hooking up. He still states that he doesn’t like me and doesn’t want to have a relationship with me.

Every time I ignore him or tell him I don’t want to be “friends with benefits” anymore, he tries harder to be in my life. I just don’t know what to do.

My friends all think that he likes me, but if he really did like me he wouldn’t be doing this. Any idea what I should do?

— Frustrated

Dear Frustrated: You actually do know what to do, but you don’t seem ready to do it.

When you start to value yourself more, and love yourself more, you’ll see this pattern for what it is: depleting, degrading and depressing. The day you say “enough” and decline to “talk it out,” will be a great new day for you.

Dear Amy: The question from “Bothered Daughter-in-Law” really bothered me. Bothered reported that her mother-in-law, an alcoholic and organ transplant recipient, seemed to be drinking again.

As the grateful recipient of a transplanted organ, I know that it is extremely important to protect my second chance at life.

This family needs to act, right now.

— Grateful

Dear Grateful: This woman’s drinking is definitely putting her health at risk.

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Self-order kiosks, mobile customer parking part of McDonald’s $111-million Colorado update plan

August 13, 2018 - 11:05pm

McDonald’s and its local franchisees are combining to invest $111 million in physical and technological upgrades at 140 Colorado restaurants this year and next, the company has announced.

The work, which ranges from remodeling to complete rebuilds, is part of a $6 billion modernization effort McDonald’s will roll out across the U.S. by the end 2020, according to a news release issued Tuesday.

The work includes:

  • Adding self-order kiosks to make ordering and paying easier
  • Creation of new counters that allow workers to bring food to customers at the table
  • Creation of designated parking spots for mobile order pick-ups
  • Expanded McCafé counters and new digital menu boards
  • New dining room decorations and updated exteriors
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McDonald’s has more than 200 independently owned locations in Colorado, according to the company. State Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, called the company “a leader in job creation and economic growth,” in Tuesday’s release.

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Boulder County commissioners to vote Tuesday on alternative sentencing, jail tax for November ballot

August 13, 2018 - 10:40pm

Boulder County voters in November will be asked to extend an 0.185 percent sales and use tax to fund an alternative sentencing facility and programs as well as improvements to the county jail. County commissioners Tuesday morning are slated to take formal action to advance the issue to the ballot.

The tax, if approved, would generate a projected $10 million a year between Jan. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2024.

The tax would essentially continue collections of the 0.185 percent sales and use tax Boulder County voters approved in 2014 to fund flood-recovery efforts, although revenues would no longer be spent on flood recovery and mitigation.

The flood-recovery sales tax is set to expire Dec. 31, 2019.

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On Aug. 2, commissioners voiced support for Sheriff Joe Pelle’s proposal for the tax extension and dedicating revenues to pay for a new alternative sentencing facility and upgrades to the jail. Tuesday, commissioners are expected to translate that support into adoption of two resolutions: One outlines the proposed tax extension and how it would be spent. The second approves the language voters would see on the November ballot when they will be asked to vote yes or no on the measure.

Read the full story at dailycamera.com.

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Broomfield council to hold special meeting on agreement with Extraction Oil & Gas

August 13, 2018 - 10:32pm

Broomfield residents who wanted a public meeting on the latest revision to Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc.’s drilling plan in that city are getting their wish.

Residents will have a chance to make public comments at a special city council meeting 5 p.m. Tuesday at the George DiCiero City and County Building, 1 Descombes Drive.

Broomfield’s operator agreement with Extraction requires that Extraction submit to Broomfield a Comprehensive Drilling Plan, which contains 23 sections on topics ranging from air quality and noise control to emergency preparedness and risk management.

The document provides specific processes and procedures that regulate control measures for the six proposed well pads and the 84 wells allowed under an operator agreement Broomfield signed with Extraction in October.

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The Broomfield city manager’s office was expected to administratively approve the latest plan Aug. 1, but public outcry halted that action. The plan is subject to approval by the city manager, and not through a public city council vote, as determined in the operator agreement.

Read the full story at broomfieldenterprise.com.

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What’s the deal with Longmont’s roadside straw? So far, it’s a mystery.

August 13, 2018 - 10:20pm

For now, at least, the oversized drinking straw adorning a utility marker on Airport Road will remain a mystery.

Longmont area political parties, a public art group and an environmental group all said Monday they didn’t know the straw’s origin.

A neighbor said it appeared about two weeks ago on the west side of Airport Road, south of Buckthorn Drive and north of the intersection with Clover Basin Drive.

The straw is largely made of papier mache, painted white with a red stripe on the street-facing side and a yellow stripe on the side facing the sidewalk. The bend in the bendy straw is made using a PVC pipe joint.

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Is it a guerrilla art installation? A protest prop left for the public to contemplate?

Read the full story at timescall.com.

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University of Colorado Hospital falls off list of the best U.S. hospitals, according to new ranking

August 13, 2018 - 9:01pm

The University of Colorado Hospital is no longer among the top 20 hospitals in the nation, according to the latest ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

The University of Colorado Hospital has fallen off the list after becoming the first Colorado hospital to be listed on U.S. News’ “Best Hospitals Honor Roll” two years ago. The facility ranked as the 20th best hospital in 2016 before moving to the 15th slot in 2017.

Dr. Jeffrey Glasheen, chief quality officer for UCHealth and University of Colorado Hospital, said the hospital’s drop in the ranking is the result of U.S. News changing its measures for the ranking rather than the facility’s performance.

“We actually believe we performed at a higher level this year,” he said.

The best hospital in the U.S. is the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., followed by the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, according U.S. News.

For the ranking, U.S. News looks at measures such as survival and readmission rates, patient experience, patient safety and quality of nursing. The ranking, which is in its 29th year, compared more than 4,500 medical centers across the nation.

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While it may not hold one of the top 20 spots in the nation, University of Colorado Hospital is listed as the best facility in the state, according to U.S. News.

“I would say, overall, we are very proud of our performance,” Glasheen said.

The hospital is followed by Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver and Parker Adventist Hospital in Parker, both of which are under Centura Health’s umbrella. Rose Medical Center in Denver places fourth in the state, followed by UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, according to U.S. News.

“This is just a very exciting thing that reflects back on our mission,” said Dr. Patty Howell, chief medical officer of Porter Adventist Hospital. “What really sets us apart is our connection to the community and being a legacy hospital here in town.”

University of Colorado Hospital, alongside National Jewish Health in Denver, were ranked the best hospital in the nation in the specialty of pulmonology, which deals with the respiratory system. The two hospitals are academic affiliates.

National Jewish Health said this is the 17th year it has topped the list for pulmonology.

“We are honored to be recognized once again as the leading respiratory hospital in the nation,” said Dr. Michael Salem, president and chief executive officer of National Jewish Health in a statement. “The U.S. Newsranking is one of many measures, including patient satisfaction surveys, research grants, publications and many others, which place us at the forefront of respiratory care and research.”

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Authorities identify boy pulled from Colorado Springs pool

August 13, 2018 - 8:58pm

COLORADO SPRINGS — Authorities have identified the 5-year-old boy who died after nearly drowning in a pool at a Colorado Springs apartment complex last week.

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The Gazette reports the El Paso County Coroner’s Office has identified the boy as Fabrice Niyogushima who died Wednesday after he, a 3-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy were pulled from the pool Aug. 5.

A 12-year-old relative told the newspaper that he found the children at the bottom of the pool after hearing their screams. Adults initiated CPR, and police and firefighters continued attempts to revive the children before they were taken to the hospital.

Police say the two younger children were released from the hospital last week.

KKTV reports Fabrice’s family entered the U.S. as refugees, fleeing violence in Burundi, Africa.

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Photos of Congress Park peeping Tom suspect released by Denver police

August 13, 2018 - 8:38pm

Surveillance photos were released Monday of a suspected peeping Tom in Denver’s Congress Park neighborhood.

The man is suspected of peeping in neighborhood windows in the late-night and early-morning hours going back to December 2017 through earlier this month, according to police.

#Denver, can you help identify this suspect who is wanted for several window peeping incidents? If so, call 720-913-7867 and you could earn a cash reward! pic.twitter.com/ITYTnBVTr6

— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) August 13, 2018

Anyone who recognizes the man in the photos, or who has information on a suspect, is asked to call police at 720-913-7867.

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Mother of 2-year-old killed in I-70 crash ID’d by state police

August 13, 2018 - 8:21pm

DENVER — Colorado State Patrol said Monday that the woman whose 2-year-old child was killed in a crash on Interstate 70 last Friday near Lookout Mountain is under investigation for driving under the influence of drugs during the crash but has not been charged.

The Colorado State Patrol is investigating a mother suspected of driving under the influence before a crash that killed her toddler.

Troopers identified Samantha Maestas, 28, of Westminster as the driver in the deadly crash on Monday. CSP Trooper Josh Lewis told Denver7 Maestas was not wearing a seatbelt during the crash and said investigators believe she was on drugs during the crash, though they are still awaiting the results of toxicology reports.

According to investigators, Maestas could also face vehicular homicide charges, CSP said Saturday. The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office will make the final determination on which charges she could face.

Lewis also said that Maestas’ 2-year-old daughter, Sophia Maeastas, was strapped into her car seat when the vehicle in which she and her mother were traveling crashed.

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Read the full story at thedenverchannel.com.

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CU Buffs lineman Jake Moretti follows road map to recovery

August 13, 2018 - 7:54pm

A year ago, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith sometimes showed the talent that made him one of the best linebackers in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Smith recorded 99 tackles and was impressive at times for the Cowboys, despite still battling back from injury. Now it appears he’s fully healthy.

The Colorado Buffaloes are paying attention, because the devastating knee injury suffered by Smith during his final game at Notre Dame in 2015 is similar to the injury that CU offensive lineman Jake Moretti had during the summer of 2016, just before his senior year at Pomona High School.

Like Smith, Moretti tore his ACL and stretched his peroneal nerve. He also dislocated his knee. It’s the nerve issue that has led to Smith and Moretti spending so much time battling back.

“It’s tough,” Moretti said. “Sometimes I wish it was just the ACL, but it’s the cards I’m dealt and I just have to make the most of it. The toughest part has just been the time period, because with the nerve you don’t really know. The training staff and the strength staff have been awesome in helping me get through it.”

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Read the full story at buffzone.com.

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CSU football’s Adam Prentice leads life of purpose

August 13, 2018 - 7:36pm

FORT COLLINS — Adam Prentice doesn’t mind what people don’t know.

Mike Brohard, Loveland Reporter-HeraldColorado State fullback Adam Prentice is taking full advantage of his college experience.

He’s gotten used to answering the question, “What does a fullback do?” They probably don’t know he’s a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council or about his trip to Jamaica with CSU’s Green & Global initiative.

He’s pretty sure what he does as a volunteer — or the connections he’s made through the John W. Mosley Student-Athlete Mentoring program, one run out of Colorado State’s Black/African American Cultural Center — are of little interest to anybody. Or how his idea for carport roof was adopted and built through the internship he does with CSU facilities.

His work off the field in the community is constant, leading to a nomination for the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works team.

Prentice does what he does because it means everything to him and the young man he was raised to become.

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Read the full story at reporterherald.com.

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Jefferson County DA charges Nevada inmate in 1984 hammer killing of Lakewood grandmother

August 13, 2018 - 7:04pm

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office has formally charged a 57-year-old Nevada prisoner with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual assault in the 1984 hammer bludgeoning death of a 50-year-old Lakewood grandmother.

Nevada Department of CorrectionsAlex Christopher Ewing, 57

Alex Christopher Ewing faces four counts of murder in the first degree and two crime of violence counts in the death of Patricia Smith. Her death was later connected by DNA to the murders of three members of an Aurora family.

Ewing is serving a 40-year prison term for two counts of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon in the Aug. 9, 1984, attacks on a Henderson, Nev., couple. Nevada authorities took Ewing’s DNA in May and later entered that in the FBI’s national DNA database. The day after it was entered, a Colorado Bureau of Investigators crime analyst found a match between Ewing’s DNA and that found at Smith’s crime scene.

Ewing was 23 when he allegedly entered the townhome Smith shared with her daughter and two grandchildren at 12610 W. Bayaud Ave. on Jan. 10, 1984. Smith’s grandchildren discovered her partially clothed body soaked in blood near the entrance of their home. The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office concluded she had been struck 16 times in the head with a Craftsman brand auto body hammer that was found near her body, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Ewing also faces 18 felony sexual assault and murder charges including three counts of first degree murder in the Jan. 16, 1984, hammer bludgeoning deaths of Bruce and Debra Bennett and their 7-year-old daughter, Melissa. Only one family member, then-3-year-old Vanessa, survived, but with severe facial injuries.

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In June 2002, then-Arapahoe County District Attorney Jim Peters filed the charges against John Doe in the Bennett killings based on the DNA. Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler’s office amended the complaint Friday adding Ewing’s name.

“We are moving for extradition and at this stage it is a waiting game,” said Terry Combs, a spokeswoman for Brauchler.

The same killer who killed Smith and the Bennetts is believed to have first struck Jan. 4, 1984, when he slipped inside an Aurora home and used a hammer to beat James and Kimberly Haubenschild. James Haubenschild suffered a fractured skull and his wife had a concussion. Both survived. On the same day, a man using a hammer attacked flight attendant Donna Holm in the garage of her Aurora home, leaving her in a coma. Holm survived.

  • The Denver Post archive

    Snow was stuck to the knife that authorities removed from front yard of the Bennett home so it was tapped off on pavement Jan. 16. 1984. Coroner is at right.

  • Denver Post Archive

    Aurora Coroner's officers and police officers remove one of the three bodies from house at 16387 E. Center Drive on Jan. 16 1984.

  • Family photo

    DNA evidence has linked Alex Christopher Ewing to the 1984 murders of three members of the Bruce and Debra Bennett family. Only 3-year-old Vanessa (on right) survived.

  • Photo courtesy of Smith family

    Patricia Smith: Two small children rushed into their home to find their grandmother. They found her immediately. The 50-year-old woman was lying on the floor next to the front door. Someone had beaten her to death with a hammer.

  • The Denver Post archive

    Aurora detective Eganies still hunting clues in to the Bennett case as he reads a lab report on his way to this office where the bulk of his work is done April 21, 1984.

  • Susan Biddle, The Denver Post archive

    Chester Atwater of Bennett Fire Dept. With his truck Jan. 20 1984. In background is Mike Williams, also a volunteer from fire department, and his truck.

  • Eric Bakke, The Denver Post archive

    Co-worker Augie (no last name for protection and advice of police) talks of the Bennett's at his place of work Jan. 17, 1984.

  • Photo courtesy of Lakewood Police Department

    Patricia Smith

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Broncos backup quarterback switch: Chad Kelly up, Paxton Lynch down

August 13, 2018 - 6:02pm

There was one noticeable change to the Broncos’ depth chart when they returned to practice Monday.

Through at least Saturday night’s game against Chicago, Chad Kelly is the backup quarterback and Paxton Lynch is third string.

“Chad’s earned the right to be our ‘2’ at the moment,” coach Vance Joseph said. “The depth chart is fluid, and it rewards guys who are playing well.”

For Kelly, who did not play last year because of injuries suffered in college at Mississippi, the promotion is a product of a solid spring translating into a solid summer.

For Lynch, a former first-round pick, the demotion is yet another sign that his NFL future — if he has one — is not in Denver.

Lynch took every second-team snap during the spring practices that were open to the media and through the first two weeks of training camp. But inconsistent practice play continued during Saturday’s loss to Minnesota (6-of-11 passing for 24 yards and an interception).

Kelly replaced Lynch against the Vikings and sparked the offense, going 14-of-21 for 177 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

“It’s really more about what Chad has done, honestly,” Joseph said. “Chad has played well, he’s played with poise, he’s played with confidence and he moved the ball for us Saturday, and it’s been that way since the spring. He had a great spring, he’s had a great camp and now it’s his turn to be the ‘2.’”

The Broncos desperately wanted Lynch to win the backup job to Case Keenum, but he failed to capitalize on the chance.

“(Lynch is) obviously disappointed, but he understands it’s a performance business,” Joseph said. “He has great physical potential, but it has to equal performance eventually. Everything we do is graded and counted.”

If the Broncos cut Lynch, he will count $3.18 million on the salary cap this year and $1.87 million in 2019 per the industry website Over The Cap. If they somehow find a team willing to take on his contract, the Broncos would have manageable hits of $1.72 million this year and next.

Lynch, though, is unlikely to have much value since he has played only five games and attempted 128 passes, too small of a sample size for a team to dig into his tape and decide if he is salvageable.

The depth chart change could also force the Broncos to change gears with their eventual backup quarterback plan. Kelly has no NFL regular-season experience. Adding a veteran should not be ruled out even if they believe Kelly can develop.

“Chad’s a young player, and this is Chad’s first time playing ball in two years, so we have to be patient,” Joseph said. “You obviously want a guy who can go into the game and operate the offense and not beat his football team, but also has the confidence to make some plays and lead our unit. So far, Chad has done those things.”

Kelly called the promotion “nice.”

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“I wouldn’t have gotten there without my teammates; those guys made the plays,” he said.

Asked how big of an opportunity he now has, Kelly sidestepped the question and said: “I’m coming out here to learn each and every day. I’m going to keep on working extremely hard on the field and in the film room. I have to stay on top of it so when the bullets are flying, you make sure you execute.”

During Monday’s practice, Kelly’s promotion meant he was throwing passes to receivers Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton and tight end Jake Butt.

“All those guys are doing extremely well,” Kelly said of his new second-team targets. “I’m excited about this upcoming week and for all of us to jell together. I have to work hard, have to watch more film than I ever have before and when my time is called, I’d better be ready to step up and go.”

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Naked man runs halls of Colorado hotel, throws toilet out the window before being taken into custody

August 13, 2018 - 5:51pm

A 38-year-old hotel guest held Greenwood Village police at bay all day Monday, throwing furniture and other items out of his hotel window, including the bathroom toilet, before being removed from the destroyed room and taken to a local hospital.

The incident started at about 3:30 a.m. when police were called to La Quinta Inn & Suites, 9009 E. Arapahoe Road, on a report of a disturbance. Officers arrived to find a naked man running the hotel hallways, screaming and banging on room doors, said Crystal Dean, a police spokeswoman.

The man ran into his room, slammed the door and locked it. Officers tried talking to the man through the door, Dean said, but there was no response.

Instead, at about 6 a.m., the man broke out his hotel window and started throwing furniture out of it. Not knowing whether the suspect was armed, police evacuated nearby rooms of the hotel.

Police SWAT members were at the hotel Monday, as was South Metro Fire Rescue responders. The incident ran through three police shifts and two negotiators were on scene all day trying to make contact with the man to no avail, Dean said.

With most, if not all, of the furniture thrown from the room, the man moved onto the bathroom and ripped out the toilet, which caused flooding and severe property damage, Dean said.

Once the toilet was ripped out, police evacuated everyone on the first floor of the five-story hotel because of the cascading water.

A police emergency response team broke down the hotel room door at about 4:30 p.m. and a police dog rushed in, tackling the suspect, who surrendered to officers.

The man was identified as Jason Day. An investigation into the day-long, destructive disturbance is ongoing. When Day is released from the hospital, Dean said he’ll face multiple charges in the case.

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