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Updated: 49 min 21 sec ago

7-year-old launches campaign to help homeless in Colorado Springs

November 21, 2017 - 6:44pm

Wearing a spunky red velvet Santa dress her grandma bought, 7-year-old Ashley Scott delivers this insightful yuletide decree: “The homeless need a Merry Christmas, too.”

Ashley is making sure they get one.

“I feel sad for them,” Ashley said. “Doing this makes me feel happy.”

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The Rockrimmon Elementary second-grader started a small-scale holiday benefit for the homeless last year. This year, Kids Care Too has grown into a community-wide project. Ashley and her mom, Anne Turnbaugh, ran the whole production last year. The pair baked cookies and used some of their holiday spending money to buy blankets, socks and gloves. This year, about 20 businesses — as well as Ashley’s school — are joining the effort.

Read the full story at

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Arvada cops and youths create website to help break down barriers

November 21, 2017 - 6:39pm

“Who can tell me about predators, and what are some of the red flags?” Officer Bradley Gagon asks a classroom of sixth-graders at Lawrence Elementary. Six hands shoot into the air.

Gagon, the school’s resource officer, is conducting a digital safety class. He discusses subjects that include cyber-bullying, sexting and “textual harassment.” He has the students’ attention on lock, and they aren’t afraid to ask questions.

This comfortable and open channel of communication between an officer and students — especially when it comes to the tough topics — is something schools across Arvada are encouraging.

At the end of the 2016-17 school year, Arvada police Deputy Chief Link Strate decided to look at how to improve the department’s rapport with local youths. He wanted to know what issues kids are facing and how to address them.

And what better way to find out, he thought, than to ask students themselves?

Strate said he wanted to do something different than the pamphlet-and-brochure approach he’d seen so many times before.

“Basically, (pamphlets are) a lecture. (They) tell the audience, ‘This is how we expect you to interact with us.’ We wanted to do something very different than that. We didn’t want a one-way communication,” he said.

So, Strate, with help from department public relations coordinator Jill McGranahan, created the Youth Advisory Council. School resource officers at each of Arvada’s four high schools selected two students to serve on the council. Together, the officers and students spent the summer discussing information youths were seeking and the best way to deliver it.

By October, the council had its result:

The website, formatted to look and function like an app, provides simple answers to common student questions about topics, such as bullying, dating, drug use and their rights as minors.

“We put this website together from our own personal experiences, or stuff we see just walking the halls. It’s not like we’re just taking things from Google. This website is from us,” said Adrena Rocha, a junior at Arvada High School and a member of the Youth Advisory Council.

Rocha has taken an interest in a law enforcement career since attending youth programs at the Arvada Police Department.

“I just like helping people. I feel like all of us have a strong voice, and not much of us use it, and not everyone’s voice is heard. So, I want to be a voice not only for myself but for the people,” she said.

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Rocha said she hopes the website will “put everyone on the same page,” helping educate the public and ease any tensions between residents and police officers.

The website’s home page displays a list of topics: bullying, dating, drugs and drinking, graffiti and stealing, guns and weapons, rules of the road, getting searched and getting arrested. Selecting a topic takes a user to a FAQ-style page with easy-to-understand answers and links for more in-depth information.

Students also have access to tools and resources, including “Safe2Tell” (an anonymous reporting system), a guide to calling 911, safe activities in Arvada and contact information for all Arvada schools and their resource officers.

“In the ’70s, I think there was a sense in law enforcement that we are the experts, and we will tell you what your concerns are,” Strate said. “Now, the community is more willing to be involved, and they are more demanding that they have a voice. … We aren’t just telling the kids what their problems and issues are and then deciding for them the best way to solve them.”

Strate said he wants the website to help diminish walls between law enforcement and the public, especially youths.

“In a lot of communities, there can be a built-in barrier between the community and law enforcement. There’s often a misunderstanding of law enforcement’s role. We are a service-oriented profession,” he said. “If there is a barrier, we are doing everything we can to dispel that.”

Strate said he feels fortunate the Arvada community is rather supportive of the department — He said he thinks that is thanks in part to the department’s proactive approach toward the relationship.

Youth Advisory Council members and school resource officers have been passing out information about the website to Arvada students.

This is just the start, Strate said. The Youth Advisory Council and the police department are open to feedback on the website, and he hopes to keep improving it.

“We don’t know what we don’t know. So, we’re hoping kids, as they get on it, will say, ‘Well, what about this?’ And ask questions that we can continue to add and make the site more robust and get kids the information they’re looking for,” McGranahan said.

“I’m always so impressed with the youth,” Strate said of his experience working with local students to build the website. “It’s one of those things that makes you feel good and makes you realize the future is in good hands.”

Arvada Police Department, 8101 Ralston Road, 720-898-6900 (for non-emergencies),

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Four Broncos named among 27 semifinalists for NFL’s 2018 Hall of Fame class

November 21, 2017 - 6:39pm

Former Broncos Steve Atwater, Karl Mecklenburg, John Lynch and Brian Dawkins are among 27 semifinalists for the NFL’s 2018 Hall of Fame class.

Atwater and Mecklenburg are semifinalists for the seventh time, Lynch for the sixth and Dawkins for the second. Atwater, Lynch and Brian Dawkins — all safeties — are among a crowded class of defensive backs up for election into the class.

The 27 semifinalists will next be trimmed to 15 modern era finalists. Of the 15 finalists, as many as five players will be elected to the 2018 class.

Mecklenburg, a linebacker, played for the Broncos from 1983 to 1994. He finished his career with 79½ sacks and was elected to six Pro Bowls.

Atwater won two Super Bowls with the Broncos and was twice named a first-team all-pro. He played in Denver from 1989 to 1998 and finished his career with 1,180 tackles.

Lynch played with the Broncos from 1994 to 1997, helping the franchise win its first Super Bowl. The current general manager of the San Francisco 49ers is also a member of the Broncos Ring of Fame.

Dawkins played the final three seasons of his decorated career with the Broncos, from 2009 to 2011, and earned two Pro Bowl berths during that span.

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Everything you need to know for Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche

November 21, 2017 - 6:11pm

DALLAS AT COLORADO, 7 p.m. Wednesday, ALT, 92.5 FM

Buy Tickets: Stars at Avalanche

Spotlight on: Ben Bishop. The Stars’ Denver-born goalie was pulled in his last start at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 24 after allowing three goals on 12 shots, and following the Avalanche’s 5-3 victory, Bishop publicly questioned coach Ken Hitchcock’s decision to remove him for Kari Lehtonen. The 6-foot-7 Bishop, who is in his first year with the Stars, likely will get another shot at the Avs on Wednesday to complete a back-to-back. The former Maine Black Bear entered the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and has also played for the Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Los Angeles Kings.


Stars — They hosted the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday and will not have a morning skate at the Pepsi Center. … Dallas is 3-7-1 on the road. … Defenseman Marc Methot, who has missed the last five games, will be out another 4-6 weeks after undergoing knee surgery. The Stars recalled Julius Honka from the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars to replace Methot. Dallas also will be without center Martin Hanzal (hand injury) and perhaps Lehtonen, whose wife gave birth Sunday. Mike McKenna is scheduled to back up Bishop.

Avalanche — Jonathan Bernier will make his second consecutive start in net because Semyon Varlamov is sick. Varlamov, who did not practice Tuesday, is expected to be well enough to back up Bernier. … The Avs are last in the 31-team league in faceoff winning percentage (42.6). “It’s important like any aspect of our game,” coach Jared Bednar said. “We got to keep working at it to get better, and the guys are. We’ll get better there.” … Defenseman Patrik Nemeth remains out with a lower-body injury and is not skating. Fellow blue-liner Anton Lindholm (broken jaw) practiced in a regular jersey and is a candidate to come off the injured list. … Center Nathan MacKinnon has 17 points (six goals) in his last nine games and was named the NHL’s third star of the week Monday.

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White House military personnel removed amid probe into contacts with foreign women during Asia trip

November 21, 2017 - 6:10pm

Three military personnel have been reassigned from their White House jobs amid allegations that they had improper contact with foreign women while traveling with President Donald Trump on his recent trip to Asia, according to officials familiar with the situation.

The service members all worked for the White House Communications Agency, a specialized military unit that helps provide the president, vice president, Secret Service and other officials with secure communications.

The military is scrutinizing three Army noncommissioned officers who allegedly broke curfew during Trump’s trip to Vietnam this month, officials said.

Mark Wright, a spokesman for the Defense Department, confirmed that the Pentagon is examining the behavior of personnel during the visit to Vietnam.

“We are aware of the incident, and it is currently under investigation,” Wright said.

Trump visited Vietnam as part of a 12-day swing through Asia.

The episode comes after four military personnel on the same White House team faced allegations related to their behavior during a trip to Panama in August with Vice President Mike Pence. Those men – two from the Army and two from the Air Force – stood accused of taking foreign women after hours into a secure area as they were preparing for Pence’s arrival, officials said.

They were all flown home before Pence arrived and stripped of their White House assignments pending the findings of the investigation, officials said.

Army Col. Amanda Azubuike, a military spokeswoman, said an investigation into the Panama case has been closed and the findings forwarded to senior military officials for review. She said she was not aware of the final conclusions or any disciplinary action.

NBC previously reported that military members on the Panama trip had been removed from White House duty.

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Service members with high-level security clearances are expected to report contacts with foreign individuals to ensure that their interactions do not compromise national security.

The mission of the White House Communications Agency is to prevent eavesdropping on presidential communications and to ensure that White House officials can be securely reached worldwide at a moment’s notice.

If found guilty, the service members face the risk of losing their security clearances or could be subject to administrative discipline or courts-martial.

Spokesmen for Trump and Pence declined to comment and referred questions to the office of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

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Why Denver International Airport has the best cellular service in the city of Denver

November 21, 2017 - 6:00pm

More than 1 million travelers passing through Denver International Airport over the long holiday weekend will experience better cellular service than nearly anywhere else in Denver. Then they’ll board their planes and leave the city or return to their Denver neighborhood where subpar mobile service is the norm.

This is because in a city that ranks as one of the worst nationwide for cellular service, every major mobile carrier has beefed up the number of antennas at DIA so more people can get a good signal and decent data speeds during the busy travel season, which the airport expects to be busier than last Thanksgiving holiday.

“Airport upgrades should be up and running” by Tuesday afternoon and are permanent, Suzanne Trantow, a Denver-based AT&T spokeswoman, said in an email. She added that the latest improvements offer 80 percent more LTE capacity at the airport.

Those enhancements include indoor antennas called DAS, or a distributed antenna system, which are small antennas spread throughout the airport. It’s a way to improve the signal inside buildings where outdoor cell towers can’t reach. And while the signal is technically only as good as what AT&T or another mobile carrier provides elsewhere in Denver, the technology is so targeted to a location that reception and data speeds are much more consistent than in areas without enough antennas, especially in neighborhoods where residents don’t want another cell tower built.

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“Being an indoor, somewhat controlled environment, DAS solutions typically offer improved user experience by virtue of bringing the (cellular) access closer to users, and with that delivering better signal quality, better data speeds, as well as improved network resource utilization,” said Milan Milanovic, a “technical evangelist” at Ookla, a research firm that runs, a site where people can check their internet speed.

AT&T is not alone in investing in airport coverage. Since January, Verizon installed antennas in all three terminals and the east and west parking garages. Sprint improved its existing DAS technology at the airport and enhanced outdoor coverage to support the various bands of 4G LTE technology.  And T-Mobile tackled the airport train tunnels, Westin Hotel and terminals in an effort that has improved average user success at making calls or accessing internet by 200 percent since last year.

T-Mobile spokesman Joel Rushing said DAS is just one technology the company has invested in at DIA and throughout the city to improve speed and service. As a result, T-Mobile customers on the DIA network are increasing data use by 110 percent, plus improving call quality and getting fewer dropped calls, Rushing said.

The Denver airport is known for very good Wi-Fi internet service. In July, Ookla ranked the Denver airport as North America’s fastest for free public Wi-Fi. Not only did DIA have the fastest download speed at 78.2 megabits per second, that was a 27 percent increase from the last time Ookla tested airports.

The airport’s cell service also ranked relatively well, with DIA coming in 10th compared to other North American airports, according to Ookla. Average download speeds over cellular connections were 26.3 mbps — an improvement from DIA’s 16 mbps last year.

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But outside of the airport, Ookla ranked Denver as one of the worst cities in the nation for mobile download speeds, averaging 12.3 mbps. The city ranked second to last, just behind Portland, Maine, population 66,194.

Analysts have blamed Denver’s poor mobile reception and slower download speeds to factors like increased population, nearby mountains and limited wireless spectrum that each company owns.

The mobile companies say they’re still working on improving service throughout Denver, not just the airport. Verizon said it’s activated about 40 small cells this year “and we’re not done,” said Meagan Dorsch, a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman. “Small cells will help densify our network and add capacity to meet the demand for data today and in the future.”

Sprint has been investing in Denver and appears to be winning because of it. But the company also operates on a different wireless technology than its competitors. RootMetrics, a market research firm that tracks mobile service, named Sprint as Denver’s fastest mobile service earlier this year.

But even with hitting speeds of 19.6 megabits per second, Sprint’s service in Denver was slower than places like Lansing, Mich., where T-Mobile ruled with 50.4 mbps, and Atlanta, where Verizon topped the chart at 41.6 mbps.

“Denver is always going to have challenges specific to the Rocky Mountains,” RootMetrics director Annette Hamilton said at the time. “But I’m telling you that whatever it is the carriers are doing in Denver, it’s making a noticeable difference. There is no reason that any (customers) of the carriers can’t do normal tasks in Denver now, whereas before it was a little hit and miss.”

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Nuggets forward Paul Millsap to undergo wrist surgery, miss up to 3 months

November 21, 2017 - 5:17pm

Denver Nuggets All-Star forward Paul Millsap will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist and could miss up to three months, a league source confirmed to The Denver Post on Tuesday evening.

Millsap sustained the injury, which had previously been diagnosed by the team as a sprain, in Sunday’s loss at the Los Angeles Lakers and missed Monday’s win at the Sacramento Kings. Nuggets assistant Wes Unseld Jr., who filled in as the head coach while Michael Malone was suspended for Monday’s game, said prior to that contest that he was not aware of a timetable for Millsap’s return but that he would be re-evaluated “at some point.”

Millsap was the Nuggets’ splashy free-agent signing, and a lengthy absence could be a significant hit on Denver’s push for its first playoff berth since 2013. He is Denver’s second-leading scorer (15.3 points) and rebounder (6.2 per game) behind standout center Nikola Jokic and has been praised for his veteran leadership in the Nuggets’ locker room. A three-month recovery time would put Millsap’s return date around the All-Star break in mid-February.

Kenneth Faried started in place of Millsap against the Kings, while Mason Plumlee, Trey Lyles and Juancho Hernangomez are also options at power forward. Starting small forward Wilson Chandler, who missed Monday’s game with lower back pain, can also shift to power forward.

The Nuggets are 10-7 so far this season and wrap up a three-game road trip at Houston on Wednesday night.

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Staff Pick: “Solo” by Kwame Alexander

November 21, 2017 - 5:00pm
BlinkSolo by Kwame Alexander

Poet Kwame Alexander has written a unique book in verse prose, straddling the worlds of poetry and prose (and text messages), as well as the continents of the United States and Ghana.

Teenager Blade Morrison is an emerging musician, the son of a rock star whose career took a dive when he drowned himself in alcohol after the death of Blade’s mother. When Blade makes a discovery about his heritage shortly after his father ruins his high school graduation, he takes a trip to Ghana, where he makes new friends from several generations.

There are many moving passages as the story investigates themes ranging from unconditional love to betrayal, from creativity to destruction, and from celebrity culture to living conditions in the developing world.

While the story is told by a 17-year-old, adults will enjoy the music recommendations that Blade receives from an older generation.

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Avalanche teenage defenseman Sam Girard happy to be booted from team hotel

November 21, 2017 - 4:53pm

Teenage defenseman Sam Girard took the call from Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic late Saturday night in Nashville, where Colorado had just played the Predators. Sakic was calling from the NHL GM meetings in Montreal, and he essentially told Girard, 19, that he was on his own, that the team would no longer put him up at a Denver-area hotel.

It was the exact eviction notice Girard was hoping for. He was grateful, and began inquiring about where he would live in Denver, where the Avs play six of their next seven games.

Girard’s three-year, entry-level contract kicked in when stepped on the ice in his 10th NHL game Sunday at Detroit. On Tuesday after practice, following a day off in which he and his girlfriend looked at nearby apartment buildings, Girard said he was “very, very happy” to put hotel living behind him.

Acquired Nov. 4 from Nashville in the three-team trade that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa, Girard, 5-foot-11 and 162 pounds, had been living out of a hotel since late August, before reporting to the Predators’ training camp. He will now live with his girlfriend at a rented property in the Cherry Creek area.

“I’m very happy about that. It was my goal at the start of the season to stay in the NHL,” Girard said in front of his locker stall, which used to belong to Duchene. “I want to stay here with the boys, with the organization. I’m at my place here. I look forward to the rest of the season.”

Girard is playing with Erik Johnson in the top pairing at even strength and he’s quarterbacking the No. 1 power play. He has logged more than 21 minutes of ice time in each of his five games with Colorado, including a career-high 24 minutes, 20 seconds in Sunday’s 4-3 overtime win at Detroit.

“He’s an impact player for us,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “Even at a young age, he does a lot of things real well. He’s helped our back end in a lot of ways, so I’m glad we’re keeping him. He’s going to get a chance to grow here with the group.”

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Johnson, 29, enjoys playing with Girard and doesn’t expect he will be demoted at any time this season.

“I don’t see that happening at all. I never thought it would happen before that 10-game mark,” Johnson said. “I think he was here to stay after that first game we played in Sweden. He’s clearly showing he belongs and I think if you asked any of the forwards over there what guy you want to be on the ice with in the offensive zone, I think they’re saying G. He gets them the puck on their tape and off they go. I love playing with him so far. It’s been a lot of fun. I don’t think we’ve played in our own zone much. I don’t think we’ve gotten hemmed really once.”

Indeed, Bednar likes the Girard-Johnson pairing. “They’ve been good. They both move the puck real well. They both have the ability to skate out of trouble,” Bednar said. “EJ is a little heavier and closes plays out. Girard defends with positioning and his stick.”

Girard could still be sent back to his junior team in Quebec, but the Avs would still be on the hook for his NHL salary of $728,333. So that’s highly unlikely. Assuming Girard reaches his 40th NHL game this season, it will count as an accrued year of service toward the seven years required to become an unrestricted free agent.

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Uber waits a year to reveal massive hack of 57 million customers’ data

November 21, 2017 - 4:45pm

A cyberattack exposed sensitive personal information belonging to tens of millions of Uber customers and drivers before the company hid the breach from public view for more than a year, the company revealed Tuesday.

The information includes names, email addresses and phone numbers of of 57 million people around the world, including around 600,000 U.S. drivers, according to a statement released by the company’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi.

“Our outside forensics experts have not seen any indication that trip location history, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers or dates of birth were downloaded,” the statement said. “At the time of the incident,” the statement added, “we took immediate steps to secure the data and shut down further unauthorized access by the individuals. We subsequently identified the individuals and obtained assurances that the downloaded data had been destroyed.”

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The statement said users’ personal information was accessed by two individuals via “a third-party cloud-based service” that Uber uses. Those individuals are no longer with the company, the statement noted.

“I’ve asked Matt Olsen, a co-founder of a cybersecurity consulting firm and former general counsel of the National Security Agency and director of the National Counterterrorism Center, to help me think through how best to guide and structure our security teams and processes going forward,” the statement added.

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Eye on the Raiders: Oakland turns to Boulder native John Pagano to run defense

November 21, 2017 - 4:28pm
Denver at Oakland, 2:25 p.m., KCNC-4.

For the record: It will be a battle of interim coordinators in Oakland. The Broncos fired Mike McCoy on Monday and promoted Bill Musgrave into his role as offensive coordinator. On Tuesday, the Raiders fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and named Boulder native John Pagano his replacement. The move by coach Jack Del Rio came after the Raiders lost to the Patriots 33-8 on Sunday. It was the third time in the last four games that Oakland had surrendered at least 30 points.

Who’s hot: Jared Cook. Oakland’s offense hasn’t scared anyone lately, but the veteran tight end has 20 catches for 326 yards in his last four games, an average of 16.3 yards per catch. The Broncos held Cook to three catches for 46 yards in the the teams’ first meeting.

Who’s not: The secondary. The Raiders aren’t the first team to give up 339 yards passing and three touchdowns against Tom Brady, as they did Sunday, but it was simply the latest letdown for one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL. Oakland is giving up 253.2 passing yards per game, 27th in the NFL. Cornerback Obi Melifonwu had a rough day against the Patriots.

Key stat: 0. The number of interceptions by the Raiders’ defense this season. Every other team in the NFL has picked off at least three passes in 2017. The Raiders, who have recovered six fumbles, are the only team in the NFL with fewer takeaways (six) than the Broncos (seven).

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FYI: Pass rusher Khalil Mack had just a half sack in his previous five games before taking down Tom Brady on Sunday. But Mack has often found success against the Broncos. That includes a two-sack performance during the teams’ first matchup of the season, a 16-10 Broncos victory Oct. 1 in Denver.

Streaking: The Broncos have won five of their last six games in Oakland dating back to 2011. But their five-game winning streak at Coliseum was snapped last season in a 30-20 loss. A victory over the Raiders would ensure at least a .500 record in the AFC West for the Broncos for the 20th time in the last 22 seasons.

Playerspeak: “Mailing it in and those type of things, that will never happen. Not as long as I’m here.” — Raiders QB Derek Carr following Sunday’s loss, which dropped Oakland to 4-6.

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Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets: How to watch, preview and more

November 21, 2017 - 4:05pm

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Toyota Center, Houston

TV, Radio: ALT, 950 AM

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Spotlight on James Harden: The Rockets star is an early MVP frontrunner, entering Tuesday leading the NBA in scoring (31 points per game) and assists (9.1 per game) and ranking fifth in the league in efficiency (30.6) for a Houston club tied with the Golden State Warriors atop the Western Conference. He’s shooting 45 percent from the floor and 40.4 percent from 3-point range and getting to the free throw line nearly 10 times per game. Harden spearheads the NBA’s second-most potent offense, entering Tuesday at 112.6 points per game and with a rating of 111.3.


Nuggets: Denver will get its head coach back against the Rockets, as Michael Malone served a one-game suspension against the Kings for his actions toward the officials that resulted in an ejection in Sunday’s loss at the Los Angeles Lakers. … The status of injured forwards Paul Millsap (sprained wrist) and Wilson Chandler (lower back pain) is uncertain entering Wednesday. … The Nuggets entered Tuesday leading the NBA in offensive rebounds (11.9 per game) and second-chance points (16.8). … Denver entered Tuesday still ranked last in the NBA in opponent points off turnovers (20.1), though the Rockets were 29th at 19.7 per game. … Nikola Jokic has recorded a double-double in five of his last seven games and entered Tuesday ranked 11th in the NBA in efficiency (25.2).

Rockets: Houston has won eight of its last nine games to bolt out to a 13-4 start. The Rockets haven’t played since Saturday, topping the Grizzlies 105-83 in Memphis. … Houston entered Tuesday ranked second in the NBA in overall rating (8.8). … The Rockets lead the NBA in 3-point field-goal made (15.6 per game), while Denver entered Tuesday ranked 24th in opponent 3-point field-goal percentage (37.8). … Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon is averaging 20.9 points and 2.9 assists per game, while big man Clint Capela is averaging a double-double at 13.3 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. … The Rockets allow 45.2 points in the paint per game, while the Nuggets entered Tuesday ranked third in the NBA in that category at 50 per game.

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Tainted yeast caused Left Hand Brewing to dump $2 million of Nitro Milk Stout, IPAs, brewery says in lawsuit

November 21, 2017 - 3:47pm

Longmont’s Left Hand Brewing is suing its yeast supplier after the brewery said contaminated yeast led to a $2 million recall of its Milk Stout Nitro and IPAs last year.

The lawsuit was filed in Boulder District Court by Indian Peaks Brewing — which does business as Left Hand Brewing — on Nov. 14 against White Labs Inc. and was first reported by Courthouse News.

The lawsuit alleges that “contaminated yeast product supplied by White Labs caused secondary fermentation in beers brewed using that yeast, including Milk Stout Nitro, resulting in over-pressurized bottles, broken bottles, off flavors, and disruption of the distinctive nitrogen cascade.”

The lawsuit said the contaminated yeast required Left Hand to issue recalls for the stout, Extrovert IPA and Warrior Fresh Hop IPA and destroy thousands of barrels of unpackaged beer.

Left Hand — which operates out of 1265 Boston Ave. in Longmont — also had to shut down its brewery for two weeks and disassemble its equipment, according to the lawsuit.

The company said that an investigation discovered that the beer was contaminated by a strain of wild yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae variant diastaticus that is known to cause secondary fermentation in beer.

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According to the lawsuit, Left Hand was able to trace the source of the wild yeast to White Labs. Left Hand said it used White Labs yeast exclusively to brew several beers, including the Milk Stout Nitro and the two IPAs involved in the recall.

“It is unfortunate we had to file a lawsuit, but we didn’t have a choice,” Eric Wallace, co-founder and CEO of Left Hand Brewing, said in a statement.

Milk Stout Nitro is the company’s flagship beer, with the beer making up about half of the company’s sales historically, according to the lawsuit.

To read more of this story go to

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Market Street Station chewed up as downtown Denver block is cleared for mixed-used project

November 21, 2017 - 3:25pm

For once, RTD is the one being inconvenienced by someone else’s construction project.

Rubble piles are reaching new heights this week as crews continue demolishing the former Market Street Station bus terminal to make way for an urban infill project of office, retail and apartment space that will rise on three sides of RTD’s headquarters building at 1660 Blake St.

Property owner/developer Continuum Partners is accommodating its neighbor as best it can, project director Doug Alexander said. It has rented parking spots across the street to make up for a razed parking lot at 17th and Blake and is keeping an eye on vibration monitors attached to RTD’s 110-year-old HQ, just to ensure it’s not rocking the boat too much. But, as RTD can attest, there is just not much to do about construction noise.

Wielding a tool that looks like a T-Rex’s jaws got crossed with technology for “The Terminator,” an excavator driver tore into one of the glass pavilions on the station property Tuesday morning, peeling off sheets of laminated glass and crumpling metal support beams. The pavilion stood just a few feet from RTD’s offices.

The impressive display of destruction marked the beginning of the end for the most visible, above-ground portions of the former station, which crews began demolishing in late September. The entire structure, including the underground bus barn that for years was the pickup and drop-off point for many regional RTD bus lines, will be gone come spring. Market Street Station opened in 1982, according to RTD, part of the 16th Street Mall project that also built Civic Center Station, a structure undergoing a face-lift of its own at the moment.

“We’ll be done with demolition by the end of January and start our foundation work after that,” Mike Bowman, project manager for general contractor Kiewit Building Group, said. “It’ll be next summer before you start seeing it really go vertical.”

Eventually, the corner will be home to 375,000 square feet of new office, retail and apartment space, as well as a 100,000-square-foot, underground garage where valets will be able to stack 320 cars. Housed in one 10-story building facing 16th Street and an L-shaped, five-story building along Market and 17th, the project will bring 54 luxury apartments and 178 market-rate apartments to an area that can’t stop gobbling up housing. Sixty-four of the units will be micro apartments of 450 square feet or less, Continuum’s Alexander said.

Alexander said the buildings will have retail space on all four sides, utilizing a “paseo” or walkable space similar to what can be found at nearby Writer Square, to create a central retail plaza with pop-up food vendors as well as permanent space for nationally known retailers and restaurants. He’s not naming names, but said Continuum has already inked two leases for the project expected to open in summer 2019.

“One is a large seafood restaurant that started in California and isn’t in Colorado yet,” Alexander said of the eatery expected to take up 9,400 square feet, roughly 10 percent of the project’s retail space. “Every other seafood restaurant in Denver pales in comparison.”

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Before the building comes more un-building. The same, toothy excavator tool used to tear down a glass pavilion Tuesday will soon be called upon to remove the escalators that lead down to the bus terminal and chew up the deck separating the terminal from open air above.

RTD is familiar with Continuum. The company was the co-developer on Union Station. RTD spokesman Scott Reed said the incoming project will be a “huge improvement” to a block that has needed an overhaul since buses stopped using it three years ago. Still, it’s been bittersweet to watch.

“I caught my bus in Market Street Station for 23 years,” Reed said. “My office overlooks the Market Street Station plaza area, and it is quite interesting but a bit sad to see the demolition workers strip back the layers of the old station and plaza area.”

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Soft? John Elway said comment was directed at entire organization. Himself included.

November 21, 2017 - 3:24pm

Brandon Marshall took offense. Vance Joseph was initially taken aback. Von Miller was a bit, too.

John Elway‘s four-letter description of his team — that it got “soft” since the bye — struck a chord with players.

“I felt like if anybody has any type of pride about them, it should have struck a competitive chord,” Marshall said Monday. “I wasn’t taking shots at him. I think everybody said, ‘Oh, he’s taking shots at the GM.’ That’s just ridiculous. I’m a competitive guy and I have skin in the game. I’m out here running around busting my tail, so if somebody said that, it really makes me feel some type of way.”

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Tuesday, in an interview with Orange and Blue 760 radio’s Dave Logan, Elway explained his thinking and why he falls under the label of “soft,” too.

“I think first of all if you think about the comment: No. 1 I was talking about everybody. … I wasn’t just talking about the football team and I wasn’t just talking about the coaches. I was talking about everybody in the organization and kind of the track record that we’ve had. And sometimes success will make you soft and you won’t pay attention to some of the details that you need to pay attention to. I put myself first in line there. … ‘Wait, I got to think about this and we’ve got to now put the hammer back down and get back to our winning ways.'”

Logan, a former NFL receiver, told Elway that if someone had called him soft, he would have had a similar reaction to Broncos players. He, too, would have been offended.

“Now, if someone took offense to that, I would understand that,” Elway continued. “And you know what? I would have welcomed a response that you just told me, that you would’ve gotten mad. That was the intent, that at some point in time we needed a little jolt and I knew before I said it that some guys weren’t going to like it. But my job is not to be liked. My job is to try to win football games. So therefore, I made that comment and hopefully we can get this thing going.”

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Denver jail brawl sends two inmates to the hospital, two others arrested

November 21, 2017 - 3:19pm

Two Denver jail inmates were hospitalized and two others were arrested after a fight broke out in a pod for unruly inmates early Tuesday morning, authorities say.

The fight happened in Pod 3F in the downtown Denver jail at 5:30 a.m., according to jail and police officials. Two of the men were severely injured, Denver Police spokeswoman Christine Downs said.

Police records administrator Mary Dulacki confirmed two of the four men involved in the fight were arrested, but she denied a request for video of the brawl because it is evidence in a criminal investigation.

“To maintain the integrity of that investigation and the integrity of a potential prosecution, your request is denied,” she said in a message.

Bennie Milliner, spokesman for the Denver Sheriff’s Department, confirmed that the fight happened early Tuesday morning. It happened about an hour after the jail began serving breakfast to inmates at 4:30 a.m., he said.

“It was a fight in the jail,” Milliner said. “Not much news there.”

He confirmed that the fight broke out in a special pod for offenders who have shown aggression and for numerous other reasons and need more supervision. The offenders are kept in cells with between 3 and 8 inmates rather than in dorm areas that hold many more inmates, he said.

Milliner said the suspects have been separated from the injured inmates.

Few details about the fight itself including the types of injuries the hospitalized offenders suffered and the names of the inmates have been released.

“Our detectives are investigating it and they have not been able to do so at this time,” Downs said.

Milliner said there will be an internal investigation into the roles of inmates involved in the fight and the deputies who oversee Pod 3F.

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Hot holiday toys: Oonies, Fingerlings, Legos and some “surprises”

November 21, 2017 - 3:12pm

The holidays are upon us, which means toys are popping up everywhere.

There are Hatchimals and Shopkins, Fingerlings and Oonies, and of course updates on classics like Legos and Nintendo. The most popular of the bunch have already begun selling out online and in stores.

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Shoppers are projected to spend an average of $967.13 this holiday season, a 3.4 percent increase from last year, with the bulk of that money going toward gifts for family members, according to the National Retail Federation. Spending on toys is also on the rise, with roughly 40 percent of adults saying they plan to buy toys this year, up from 29 percent five years ago, according to data from Deloitte.

But finding the right toys can be overwhelming.Here are some newcomers that retailers and industry experts say are likely to be among the season’s most popular.

The Washington PostNintendo Switch

1. Nintendo Switch

Who says you have to stay home to play video games? The $299 Nintendo Switch is a portable home console that doubles as a handheld device for when you’re on the go.

The console, introduced in March, is widely expected to surpass the Wii to become Nintendo’s best-selling product. Nearly 8 million units had been sold as of September. The company expects to sell more than 17 million Switch consoles this year, and is planning on making up to 30 million more next year, according to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal.

“Momentum for Nintendo Switch is in full swing,” Doug Bowser, Nintendo’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, said in a statement earlier this year.

Games, which typically start at $59, include “Super Mario Odyssey,” “Mario Kart 8,” “Splatoon 2” and “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” In early November, Nintendo introduced a new Switch video app that allows users to stream movies and television shows on the device. Users can also record 30-second video clips of “great gaming moments” to share with friends.

Getty Images

2. “Big” surprises

No surprise here, say toymakers: Kids love big reveals. And that’s exactly why two of the season’s most popular toys, the L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise and Hatchimals Surprise, both priced at $69.99, are flying off shelves.

The L.O.L. Big Surprise, by MGA Entertainment, is a glittery, dome-shaped plastic case filled with four dolls — along with dozens of accessories, clothing, charms and other knickknacks — that must be individually unwrapped. It can take hours to peel away the toy’s layers and figure out exactly what’s inside. Some dolls cry, spit or “tinkle.” Others change color in cold water.

Hatchimals Surprise, meanwhile, adds a twist to last year’s hit holiday toy. This time around, there are two Hatchimals — fuzzy creatures that sing, dance and interact with one another — inside each speckled egg. But first, users have to help the creatures hatch, which generally requires about 15 minutes of holding, tapping and cajoling the outer egg.

“You don’t know what you’re going to get until you go through the process and hatch the egg,” said James Martin, head of robotics at Hatchimal game company Spin Master. “People just love that anticipation. They love the surprise.”

Tristan Fewings, Getty ImagesLONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 12: A LEGO BB-8 model is displayed as Hamley’s announce it’s top ten toys for Christmas at Hamleys on October 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

3. Women of NASA and Star Wars Lego sets

Lego has had a bumpy year — it ousted its chief executive in August and the following month posted the first sales decline in more than a decade. But now the Danish toymaker may be poised for a comeback with two fast-selling lines: Women of NASA and Star Wars.

Women of NASA, which sells for $24.99, honors four female scientists and astronauts, including Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, and Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space. The set, released Nov. 1, sold out on within 24 hours. (Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, also owns The Washington Post.)

Still available, though, are the BB-8 building kit ($99.99) and First Order Star Destroyer ($159.99) from the upcoming movie, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Also part of the line: The Millennium Falcon ($149.99), which comes with 7,541 pieces, making it Lego’s largest set to date.

And for those who can’t wait until Christmas: The Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar, which sells for $39.99, is currently the best-selling toy on Amazon.

Getty Images

4. Interactive animals

Meet the Fingerlings: A family of tiny monkeys, and the occasional unicorn and sloth, that latch onto your finger and respond to voice, movement and touch by blinking, babbling and blowing kisses. The animatronic toys, which sell for $14.99 apiece, are already sold out online at Walmart, Target and Toys R Us.

Tap their heads, and they’ll burp. Hang them upside down, and they’ll laugh hysterically. The critters — which are about the size of fingerling potatoes — also coo when cuddled, and doze off when rocked. And if you run out of ways to keep them entertained, the toy company WowWee also sells pint-size jungle gyms and playground sets for $25 to $40.

“Fingerlings,” said brand manager Sydney Wiseman, “are like having an interactive friend at your fingertips.”

Another animal that’s being marketed as a friend: FurReal Roarin’ Tyler, a plush tiger that blinks, roars and wags its tail. Tyler, which costs $129.99, comes with his own squeaky chicken toy and is among Amazon’s best-selling toys.

The Washington Post

5. Oonies

What are Oonies? According to Moose Toys, they’re “air-filled balls of amazing fun.”

The bubbles — part-balloon, part-bubble — are made of a latex-free plastic material. Once inflated, Oonies can be stuck together and decorated to create animals, monsters, even elaborate games. But the fun is temporary: Oonies typically deflate within a matter of days.

The Oonies Mega Starter Pack, on the Toys R Us “hot toy” list, costs $29.99 and comes with 90 pellets and an “inflator.”

Moose Toys, the company behind other hits like Shopkins and Pikmi Pops, says Oonies is on track to become the company’s most popular craft toy.

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Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne voices support for universal health care in forum at UNC

November 21, 2017 - 2:36pm

Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne has a story she likes to tell when she talks about health care. She was traveling around Europe, got in a car crash and had to go to the emergency room. Months later, after she came home, she got her bill. It was $44.

Then she asked a question to the half-dozen people who came to a health care forum in the University of Northern Colorado’s University Center on Sunday afternoon before a handful of constituents: What if a tourist from Europe had to go to the emergency room in the United Sates? The bill would be extraordinarily expensive.

“They might even be denied coverage,” said Lynne, who was a top Kaiser Foundation Health Plan executive until she was named lieutenant governor in 2016.

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That was the crux of Lynne’s message as she sought support for her bid to replace the term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper as governor in next year’s election.

“I support universal (health care) coverage,” she said. “It’s like public education.”

Lynne also touched on several other issues that are sure to be important in her gubernatorial campaign — affordable housing, infrastructure, the environment and education.

No matter what issue was raised, Lynne tied it back to health care. When the subject of hydraulic fracturing came up, she said Colorado can’t afford to lose the jobs the oil and gas industry provides, but she said the “No. 1 issue when it comes to oil and gas is public health and safety.”

To read more of this story go to


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Cory Gardner booed at Pueblo town hall while defending GOP tax plan

November 21, 2017 - 2:22pm

PUEBLO — Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner received boos and jeers while attempting to defend Republican efforts to rewrite the tax code.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports Gardner, at a town hall meeting in Pueblo on Monday, argued that President Barack Obama also wanted to cut taxes. He also reminded everyone President Donald Trump won the popular vote in Pueblo County.

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The Colorado Republican told the crowd of about 150 people that cutting corporate taxes would lead to better wages and a stronger economy.

That caused some in attendance to boo and yell out that “trickle down” economics had failed during President Ronald Reagan’s administration.

Gardner cancelled a previously scheduled town hall meeting in September, choosing instead to go inspect hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico.

Sen. Cory Gardner’s town hall in Pueblo has ended. Full story tonight.

— KRDO NewsChannel 13 (@KRDONC13) November 20, 2017

Information via The Pueblo Chieftain.

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PHOTOS: Trump pardons Thanksgiving turkeys Drumstick and Wishbone

November 21, 2017 - 2:12pm

President Donald Trump is using his pardon power to keep a pair of turkeys from the Thanksgiving roaster.

Trump continued the annual presidential tradition during an event Tuesday in the White House Rose Garden. The act of leniency means 47-pound Drumstick and 36-pound Wishbone will instead get to live the rest of their lives at a Virginia farm. First lady Melania Trump and son Barron joined the president for the light-hearted ceremony.

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