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Updated: 8 min 54 sec ago

Pedestrian seriously injured following hit-and-run crash in Aurora

43 min 16 sec ago

Police in Aurora are investigating a hit-and-run crash that left one pedestrian with serious injuries Thursday morning.

The Aurora Police Department said the crash, which involved a white four-door sedan, happened around 5:32 a.m. on East Colfax Avenue near Billings Street.

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The driver fled from the scene northbound on Interstate 225, police said.

Police said the crash did not involve a RTD bus, though one was close to the scene.

At 7:35 a.m., police posted on Twitter they had located the suspected driver and vehicle.

UPDATE: The adult driver and vehicle involved have been located. No further info is available at this time.

— Aurora Police Dept

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Cherry Creek’s Parker Wolfe named Gatorade Colorado cross country player of the year

1 hour 22 min ago

Cherry Creek’s Parker Wolfe on Thursday was named the Gatorade Colorado cross country player of the year.

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The 5-foot-7 senior was the Class 5A state champion after setting a course record of 15 minutes, 10.4 seconds at the Colorado Springs meet in October. Wolfe had finished third in the state championships the year prior.

“Parker has taken about 30 seconds off his 5K time every year because of his constant dedication and focus,” Cherry Creek coach Ethan Dusto said in a news release. “He’s amazing at doing all the little things correctly, and does a great job of staying humble and being part of the team.”

Wolfe, who has a 3.86 grade-point average, signed a National Letter of Intent to North Carolina for cross country and track and field.

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Tokyo Games: Officials say cancelation, no fans still option

1 hour 38 min ago

TOKYO — Two top officials of Japan’s ruling LDP party on Thursday said radical changes could be coming to the Tokyo Olympics. One went as far to suggest they still could be canceled, and the other that even if they proceed, it might be without any fans.

Toshihiro Nikai, the secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, suggested the cancellation just a day after Tokyo reached the 100-days-to-go mark on Wednesday.

He made his comments in a show recorded by Japan’s TBS TV.

“If it seems impossible to go on with the games, they must be definitely canceled,” Nikai said. “If there is a surge in infections because of the Olympics, there will be no meaning to having the Olympics.”

Asked if a cancellation was still an option, Nikai said: “Of course.”

But he also added: “It is important for Japan to have a successful Olympics. It is a big opportunity. I want to make it a success. We will have many issues to resolve and prepare, and it is important to take care of them one by one.”

COVID-19 cases have been surging across Japan. On Wednesday, the second-largest city of Osaka recorded over 1,100 new cases, its highest total since January. Japan also recorded more than 4,000 new cases, also high-marks dating back to early in the year. Japan has attributed 9,500 death to COVID-19, good by world standards but poor by results in Asia.

Taro Kono, the government minister in charge of Japan’s vaccine rollout, said even if the Olympics go on, there may be no fans of any kind in the venues. He said it’s likely that the Olympics will have to held in empty venues, particularly as cases surge across the country.

That means only television cameras and still cameras will be around to record the action, joined by some reporters, judges and match officials.

The delayed 2020 Olympics are to open in just over three months on July 23, the Paralympics open on Aug. 24. Fans from abroad have already been banned. Now even Japanese spectators could be kept away as virus cases surge across the country.

“I think the question is how to do the Olympics in a way that is possible in this situation,”Kono said Thursday on a television talk show. “That may mean there will probably be no spectators.”

Kono did not suggest the Olympics would not go ahead, but he said they could be held under only “certain conditions.”

“The way these Olympics will be held will be very different from past ones,” he said.

Tokyo organizers have said they expect to announce a decision this month on the number of fans allowed into each venue.

Organizers had expected to receive about $800 million from ticket sales, their third-largest source of income. Any shortfall will have to be made up by Japanese government entities, which are already footing most of the bills.

The official cost for the Olympics is $15.4 billion, but several government audits have suggested it might be twice that much.

___

AP Sports Writer Stephen Wade contribute to this report.

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Denver weather: How much snow will Colorado get?

1 hour 41 min ago

Denver will rise to 46 degrees Thursday ahead of a snowstorm that will affect Colorado’s northern half, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

Side roads downtown could be coated in a few inches of snow by sunrise Friday. Still, the mountains and northeastern plains will definitely be impacted, with areas receiving up to 8 inches of snow and possibly even a foot localized.

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It will all start in the mountains and spread down the hills with rain in Denver and possibly a thundershower around 3 p.m. Precipitation is expected to all change over to snow after sunset as the low drops to 25 degrees in Denver with wind gusts over 20 mph.

The metro area is expected to get up to 4 inches of snow on grassy areas with less on pavement, though totals will be highly dependent on the sun’s heat due to the sun’s more overhead angle during the spring compared to the winter. The later part of the evening drive, especially further north, will be impacted. Up to 7 inches of snow could fall around Fort Collins.

Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for the mountains and northeast plains from this evening through tomorrow morning. A heavy wet snow will impact travel in those areas, and even outside the advisory areas we're still looking at a few inches accumulation. #cowx pic.twitter.com/lagOEmjNc1

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) April 15, 2021

Snow showers should wrap before noon Friday, with another inch of snow possible before lunch. It will be 40 degrees with a low 28 as flurries could move back into the area.

Saturday will be 43 degrees, with more snow falling in the mountains and possibly in and around Denver. Temperatures will drop to 20 degrees as the skies clear, finally.

Sunday will be 54 degrees with sun, ahead of more rain and snow on Monday.

Denver’s average high for mid-April is 61 degrees and the average date of last snowfall is April 28.

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Yoga on the Rocks to start in June with increased class sizes

1 hour 42 min ago

Yoga on the Rocks will return to Red Rocks Amphitheatre in June with significantly larger classes than it was able to accommodate last summer.

In 2020, the iconic yoga series didn’t begin until July because of the pandemic, and classes were limited to 175 people per session. For now, the plan is to allow 500 people per class, according to spokesman Brian Kitts.

“That’s about a third of the usual capacity, so they should sell quickly,” Kitts said. “Depending on capacity rules, that number may rise by the time Yoga on the Rocks starts in June.”

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Last year, three sessions per day were offered on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays because class sizes were so limited. This year, they will be held Saturday and Sunday mornings from June 5 through Aug. 1, with the exception of the Fourth of July weekend. Classes begin at 7 a.m. and cost $17. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. All will be sold online for “touchless” ticketing, and there will be no drop-in ticket purchases.

Classes will be taught by instructors from The River Yoga.

Also returning to Red Rocks this year will be SnowShape ski and snowboard conditioning classes. They will be held on four consecutive Saturdays beginning Sept. 18.

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Cartoonist’s “Queen City” celebrates a Denver that doesn’t always love him back

1 hour 54 min ago

Karl Christian Krumpholz loved other cities before Denver. But after living in Philadelphia and Boston, he can no longer see past the Mile High City’s agreeably jumbled architecture and culture. At least as a cartoonist.

“When I was in Boston there was a comics scene, but everyone was pretty much in their own little corners,” said Krumpholz, 50. “And I grew up in Philadelphia, where I worked in a comics store and put out my first, primitive little zine. But Denver is my wife’s city, so I’m the outsider.”

During the pandemic, Krumpholz published a daily, black-and-white comic, “The Lighthouse in the City,” which had begun in late 2019 as a document of his wife Kelly’s hysterectomy and recovery. His latest collection, “The Lighthouse in the City, Vol. 5,” gathers comics originally published between January and March of 2021, with Denver indie press Kilgore Books planning a 124-page edition later this year.

But Krumpholz’s magnum opus of civic cartooning — and the one that nearly, if indirectly, got him killed — is “Queen City.” (More on that below.) Published April 10 by Tinto Press, “Queen City” is a 170-page tribute to Denver’s built environment, however booming or busted. Krumpholz collected its drawings from his city commissions, weekly comic strips in Westword, magazines and other work, snowballing as he went.

“The original idea for (the book) was basically that Denver bars and restaurants are disappearing, so why don’t we illustrate these places to memorialize them?” said Krumpholz, whose books include the gritty, Colfax-inspired “30 Miles of Crazy!” ”Shelby’s had just closed, and everyone was wondering if Bar Bar and Knob Hill were still going to survive. So I thought, ‘I’ll throw a couple comics in from my Westword columns, and it’ll be about 40 pages.’ “

AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver PostDENVER, CO – MARCH 29: Cartoonist Karl Christian Krumpholz poses for a portrait in front of the Satire Lounge on East Colfax on Monday, March 29, 2021. Longtime, nationally celebrated Denver cartoonist Karl Christian Krumpholz’s magnum-opus graphic novel, “Queen City,” is a hyper-detailed and poignant love letter to the Mile High City’s fading past. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

But Krumpholz ended up with so much material, some of it sourced from bar portraits that friends and fans commissioned, that he realized a continuity amid Denver’s seemingly brutal cycle of growth and decline.

“The idea of a city is always changing,” Krumpholz said. “When people look back fondly on ‘classic Denver,’ they’re talking about the places they loved. But these new places that come in eventually become a classic part of that neighborhood, and everyone will say the same thing about that place.”

That’s not to say Krumpholz doesn’t miss the shuttered watering holes and venues he’s haunted. A few of the city’s best-known clubs and bars, including El Chapultepec, Barracuda’s, Three Kings Tavern and, recently, Streets Denver, have shut down permanently in the last 12 months. Others in the book, such as the Aladdin Theatre or the 15th Street Tavern, were demolished years or decades before Krumpholz arrived.

His “curious and fresh” eye, as Denver author Jason Heller writes in the “Queen City” introduction, appraises Civic Center’s stately Greek Amphitheatre the same as it does Tooey’s Off Colfax (R.I.P.), Gabor’s (also R.I.P.) or the 715 in Five Points (reinvented for a new century and crowd). It’s curated, not comprehensive. All the same, Krumpholz crams a good deal of history into the wide-armed book.

There’s precedent in the work of Julie Worth, whose “Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City” shared urban-history vignettes alongside cartoons from The New Yorker. Also on Krumpholz’s shelf: Paul Madonna (stunning watercolors of San Francisco), John Tebeau (an illustrated NYC bar guide) and others who tend to see their cities in shadow and line.

“Queen City,” with its moody, gray-and-blue inking, is a celebration of Denver’s eclecticism. Skyscrapers loom over dive bars while classic signage wiggles and wilts. Environments are mostly stripped of human life, allowing neon letters and cluttered storefronts to draw the eye instead of pedestrians. Some portraits are glancing and evocative, like late favorite Patsy’s Inn, while others offer thick impressions of stucco, or fine detail in skyscraper windows, roofs and Victorian brick designs.

“It seemed like there was this boom period when I first got out here,” Krumpholz said. “People were saying, ‘Oh, Colfax (Avenue) is so gentrified now.’ Not true. … Not at 2 p.m. on a Monday afternoon in broad daylight.”

That’s when Krumpholz met Denver Post photographer AAron Ontiveroz for a portrait shoot on March 29. If he looks a bit tense in the resulting photos, it’s because they were snapped minutes after police left the scene outside of Pete’s Satire Lounge, where an irate, apparently intoxicated man had randomly and violently attacked him and Ontiveroz.

The comic Krumpholz drew about it, which tells the story best, recounts a man who had cornered them and attempted to stab them with a shiv (in this case, brass knuckles with a 3-inch nail on the end) before being chased off to cause more havoc down the street.

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At one point, Krumpholz held off the attacker off by brandishing one of Ontiveroz’s 6-foot, collapsable light poles like a trident, he and Ontiveroz said.

“This is one of those things you deal with when living in a city,” Krumpholz said, while acknowledging nothing like this has happened to him before. “I’m just glad no one was hurt. … AAron said to me afterward, ‘I should have taken his photo!’ but the guy had thrown his gear into the middle of Colfax. It was insane, but also funny. I’m going to put that in the comic.”

“Queen City” is available at Denver’s Mutiny Information Cafe and Kilgore Books, and online at tintopress.com.

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Suburban wine bar owners investing in nearly a dozen delivery-only concepts

1 hour 55 min ago

Peter and Delinda Fatianow opened their first Indulge Bistro & Wine Bar 13 years ago in Highlands Ranch. Since then, they’ve added three more locations in Denver’s suburbs.

But despite success with brick-and-mortars, the latest lease the couple signed isn’t for a fifth Indulge restaurant.

Rather, it’s for a 200-square-foot commissary kitchen in CloudKitchens’ Lincoln Park facility, where the couple will operate what they say will be their focus going forward: 11 delivery-only concepts.

“When we first started this business we wanted to stay in the suburbs and offer a place for people who didn’t want to make the trek downtown,” Peter Fatianow said. “But this allowed us to plant a flag in Denver with these brands, which is something I never thought we would do.”

The Fatianows started making the shift before the pandemic. In the summer of 2019, they were looking for ways to expand revenue streams. They considered catering, but “we weren’t exactly set up for that,” and private parties, “but those just replace the business you otherwise already had inside,” he said.

They landed on the idea of third-party delivery services, but were worried that Indulge’s menu, which includes a selection of flatbreads, burgers, charcuterie boards and entrees, would not prove popular on the apps.

“My doubts quickly dissipated because things started to pick up,” Fatianow said. “Then I looked at our menu and saw how many more brands we could create with the ingredients we had, so I started making logos, putting menus together and getting the word out.”

Indulge Bistro & Wine Bar’s Southglenn location. (Photos courtesy of Indulge Bistro & Wine Bar via BizDen)

Throughout 2019, Fatianow created seven “ghost kitchen” brands, which each have a different focus that is generally pretty obvious. He’s launched Colorado Natural Burger Co., Colorado Flatbread Co., D’s Delicious Desserts, Colorado Vegan Bistro, Colorado Vegetarian Kitchen, Gluten-Free Colorado Bistro, and a franchise of Chicago-based Wow Bao.

The food has been prepared in the kitchen of Indulge’s existing restaurants. Two are in Highlands Ranch, one is in Golden and the final is in Centennial’s Southglenn.

“This was a big additive to revenue and the bottom line throughout the pandemic and helped us keep people employed,” Fatianow said. “We were able to expand delivery in a way I never thought was possible. For example, we’re usually closed on Super Bowl Sunday every year. But this year, we were able to open, and the delivery volume was crazy.”

Dine-in business is picking back up for Indulge, and the kitchens will continue making food for the delivery brands, Fatianow said. But the new spot in the “ghost kitchen” — as facilities that prepare food-only delivery are typically called — will allow the couple to get more orders from the urban core.

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The couple has even added four more concepts, bringing the count to 11. The new ones are Roost Burger, Colorado Slider Co., Colorado Chicken Wing Co., and The Colorado French Fry Co. They plan to move all of the brands into a 200-square-foot kitchen in CloudKitchens’ facility at 810 N. Vallejo St. on May 3.

“Each brand can answer the question, ‘What do I feel like tonight?’” Fatianow said.

CloudKitchens, which is backed by Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, isn’t the only ghost kitchen in Denver.

Nextbite Brands, whose food concepts include Monster Mac, Grilled Cheese Society and Mother Clucker, leased space in Riverfront Park in 2019. And ChefReady opened in the Overland neighborhood last summer with 10 kitchen spaces.

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The 10 coolest Colorado Airbnbs that people go crazy over

1 hour 55 min ago

From a treehouse tucked amid spruce trees to a mining-era cabin with its own private hot springs, the most coveted Airbnbs throughout our state are true Colorado classics.

We asked Airbnb, a vacation rental marketplace, to share its most popular listings in Colorado. Some are luxe. Others historic. One log cabin in the woods comes with a stunning copper tub.

Take a look at the 10 Airbnbs that people really, really want to stay at during their next vacations or staycations.

Rocky Mountain Treehouse in Carbondale

Average price: $338 a night

It’s a childhood dream come true: You can slumber in a treehouse. To get to this 1970s-era cabin in the sky, you’ll cross over a creek via footbridges and then ascend a winding rock staircase. Perched 25 feet up in a canopy of spruce trees, the Rocky Mountain Treehouse is outfitted with a wood-burning stove, rock shower, a private balcony perfect for stargazing and a hot tub.

Modern Mountain Getaway in Breckenridge

Average price: $445 a night

A log cabin, but hold the kitsch. This mountain zen Airbnb listing looks as though it were torn from the page of a design magazine. Large windows pay respect to this property’s prime amenity: Unobstructed views of Mount Quandary, one of the state’s favorite fourteeners. Plush blankets, a mid-century mod-inspired fireplace plus a sleek black spiral staircase all add to the high-altitude, high-style vibe.

Classic Colorado A-Frame in Grand Lake

Average price: $265 a night

The triangular shape of this A-frame looks extra dramatic during the golden hour as the sun sets over Mount Baldy. Situated amid trees, the family-friendly listing is a mile from the town of Grand Lake. Large decks off the front and back of the house, Adirondack chairs and a portable fire pit make it extra cozy. Bring binoculars; moose are known to make cameos around these parts.

Holloway Cabin on Creek & Private Hot-Springs in Buena Vista

Average price: $379 a night

A hot springs time machine! This lovingly restored 1800s mining-era cabin comes with a custom-built hot springs hot tub. The hot tub with an infinity edge is odorless and was constructed with rocks from the property. You can listen to your choice of music through the outdoor Bluetooth-enabled speakers, but might we suggest tuning in to the sounds of the nearby creek? Inside the historic cabin, you can access a queen-size bed in the loft via a handcrafted wooden ladder.

The Glass House in Winter Park

Average price: $906 a night

This stunning, artistic glass house shatters expectations. Enormous windows have a cascading effect, subtly scaling down in size as they span across the wall and look like custom frames for the surrounding mountain landscape. With three bedrooms, the modern home has luxe touches throughout, from the espresso maker to the leather sectional and gas fireplace.

Ski-in, Ski-Out Penthouse in Breckenridge

Average price: $743 a night

Wake up. Enjoy your coffee on the balcony. Click into your boots and within minutes you’ll be on the Quicksilver SuperChair. The three-bedroom chalet-inspired condo is in a resort-style complex, so you’ll have access to on-site hot tubs and a swimming pool. Plus restaurants and shops and the Village at Breckenridge are steps away.

Picturesque Lodge, Seventy A. Bordering Flat Top Wilderness in Gypsum

Average price: $421 a night

The secret’s officially out about this custom log home that’s tucked away in a million-acre Aspen grove in Flat Tops National Forest. And we’re about to spoil another surprise for you: There’s a gorgeous copper tub in the main bathroom. The secluded three-bedroom lodge has handcrafted details throughout. Spend sunrises watching wildlife, including deer, elk and bald eagles. Spend sunsets sidled up by the firepit.

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Carriage House Fort in Colorado Springs

Average price: $78 a night

Test run the tiny house trend at this lovely 215-square foot carriage house in Colorado Springs. Modern updates like hardwood floors and a chandelier are juxtaposed in the best of ways with historic details, like the original early 1900’s carriage house doors.

Frying Pan River Cabin in Basalt

Average price: $226 a night

A rustic cabin with a red A-frame roof, this Airbnb is just about as close to the Frying Pan River as it can get without falling in. What are we getting at? You’ll wake up to the burbling sound of the river each morning that you stay here. Guests can go fly fishing in a private section of the river.

The Log Cabin on the River near Black Hawk. (Provided by Airbnb)

Log Cabin on the River near Black Hawk

Average price: $276 a night

Skip the casinos and hit a guaranteed jackpot at this log cabin on the river. (Though, if you can peel yourself away from the wood-firing fireplace or hot tub, the casinos are only 25 minutes or so away.) Surrounded by mountains, trees and a rushing river, this log cabin has all of Colorado’s best amenities.

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Nikola Jokic on NBA media deserting Nuggets bandwagon: “I’ve been an underdog my whole life, to be honest”

2 hours 35 min ago

Hey, Nikola Jokic heard that panicked, scrambling sound, too.

You know, the stampede of national pundits falling all over one another to try and hop off the Nuggets bandwagon after Jamal Murray’s season-ending knee injury.

“I mean, (I’ve been) an underdog my whole life, to be honest,” the Nuggets’ All-Star center said late Wednesday night after racking up his 15th triple-double of the season to pace Denver’s 123-106 rout of Miami.

“And I’m kind of used to it. It’s (a) normal option for me.”

For a few weeks, the Nuggets — the cow town, flyover, uncool Nuggets — were the darlings of the coastal media cognoscenti. The NBA media king-makers loved Denver’s addition of forward Aaron Gordon and center JaVale McGee at the trade deadline. While the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets were beat up as all heck, the Nuggets reeled off eight wins in a row coming out of the March 25 deadline day.

Only this past Tuesday, the music stopped.

When the team announced Murray, the Nuggets point guard who became a national star at the 2020 NBA bubble in Orlando, had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, those same coastal media elites headed for the exits.

And you know what?

The Joker won’t miss ‘em.

“And (it) gives us a lot of kind of relief,” explained Jokic, whose Nuggets (35-20) snapped a two-game losing skid and visit Houston (14-41) on Friday.

“We’re not going to be tense. We’re just going to play.”

The Nuggets appeared to be loose and limber against the Heat, outscoring Miami by 16 in the second quarter to take control of the contest. After some shaky defensive moments early on, the evening was among the most satisfying in recent memory for coach Michael Malone, especially coming off of Murray’s shocking fall in San Francisco.

Denver got star turns from the “big three” in the starting five — Jokic (17 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists), Michael Porter Jr. (25 points, 10 boards) and Aaron Gordon (16 points, nine rebounds, three assists) — and balance across the board, with six players pouring in 11 points or more.

“We’ve got 16-17 games (to figure out) how we want to play,” Jokic said of the new-look Nuggets rotation. “We need to build. It’s not going to happen in a moment. We need to build it and hopefully we can do it as best that we can.”

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Loneliness is rampant. A simple call, or hug, may be a cure.

2 hours 38 min ago

CHICAGO — The stranger’s call came when Dianne Green needed it most.

Alone in the home where she’d raised four kids, grieving recently deceased relatives, too fearful of COVID-19 to see her grandkids and great-grandbabies, she had never felt lonelier.

Then, one day last spring, her cell phone lit up.

The cheerful voice on the line was Janine Blezien, a nurse from a Chicago hospital’s “friendly caller” program, created during the pandemic to help lonely seniors cope with isolation. Blezien, 57, lives with her rescue dogs, Gordy and Kasey, in a suburban brick bungalow, just six miles from Green’s two-flat apartment in the city.

“She wasn’t scripted. She seemed like she was genuinely caring,” said Green, 68, a retired dispatcher for the city’s water department. The two women started talking often and became friends without ever setting eyes on each other.

“I called her my angel.”

Rampant loneliness existed long before COVID-19, and experts believe it’s now worse. Evidence suggests it can damage health and shorten lives as much as obesity and smoking. In addition to psychological distress, some studies suggest loneliness may cause physical changes including inflammation and elevated stress hormones that may tighten blood vessels and increase blood pressure.

Yet loneliness as a public health issue “has kind of been swept under the rug,” said Dr. Ada Stewart, president of the American Association of Family Physicians. There’s no formal medical diagnosis and no mandate to screen for it.

“Now the pandemic has unveiled it,” Stewart said. “This is real.”

Just a month before a global pandemic was declared, a National Academies report showed that one-third of U.S. adults aged 45 and up were lonely. Surveys have surprisingly found higher rates in younger adults.

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A British online survey in 2018 of more than 55,000 people in 237 countries found that loneliness affected 40% of young adults, compared with 27% in those older than 75. Rates were highest in countries including the United States that prize individual success over collectivism.

The true impact from the pandemic is yet to be seen.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who has called loneliness a public health crisis, points out that much of the world including the U.S. ‘’was struggling with remarkably high levels of loneliness before COVID-19.’

“The pandemic has shed new light on this struggle and reminded us of an unmistakable truth: we need each other,’ he said in an emailed statement.

Facing troubling loneliness statistics, the United Kingdom in 2018 created a parliament position called the minister of loneliness, believed to be the world’s first. In February, after a rash of suicides, Japan appointed the second.

The UK’s current minister, Baroness Diana Barran, says the pandemic has kept her busier than ever.

“I have quite a wide portfolio of responsibilities, but I think I get probably 8 or 10 times as much correspondence on loneliness as I get on anything else,” she said.

Some of the solutions they’re trying: Mental health support via texting for young people, “garden gate” visits by volunteers offering social distanced conversation outside older folks’ homes, and a campaign encouraging people to wear yellow socks to highlight loneliness in teens and young adults.

Claire Muhlawako Madzura, a 16-year-old from Manchester, helped design the socks program. Madzura is Black and an only child; her family is originally from Zimbabwe. She said growing up in mostly white areas has made it hard for her to embrace her heritage and contributed to her loneliness.

Lockdowns made her realize how much she relied on school for socializing. Using video calls to maintain friendships has been tough.

“Whenever I wear yellow socks now, I wear them proudly, because I know I’m not just representing me, I’m representing a massive group of people who’ve experienced loneliness,” Madzura said.

Some doctors have gone as far as writing prescriptions for loneliness. There’s no recommended medicine, so they’ve gotten creative.

Evelyn Shaw’s physician knew the widowed grandmother had been holed up in her New York City apartment, too frightened to venture out. She hadn’t seen her close-knit family in person for months.

So the doctor wrote her patient a prescription that said simply: “You are allowed to hug your granddaughter.”

The hug “was magical. It was surreal. We just held onto each and we cried,” Shaw said. Her daughter filmed the moment in a video that was posted on Twitter last month and went viral.

“We don’t want to live lonely and alone and terrified and afraid,” said Shaw, who along with her granddaughter has gotten a COVID-19 vaccine. “We all want to be able to gather with the people we love and our friends. We want to go back to normalcy.”

Stewart, of the American Academy of Family Physicians, said loneliness came up recently with a patient during a checkup at her Columbia, South Carolina office.

“While I was talking to her I saw something move in her purse,’ Stewart said. It was a tiny dog and the patient told her ‘’this new baby has really helped me get through my loneliness right now. He has been a comfort to me.’

Stewart offered to buy her a carrier more suitable for pets than a handbag, and to help her get approval to use her dog as a therapy animal.

Loneliness won’t vanish even when the pandemic ends, said psychologist Benjamin Miller, a health policy analyst with Well Being Trust. Some people may still fear interaction and Miller said programs to help will be needed more than ever.

In Chicago, the friendly caller program initially targeted seniors but will expand to primary care and pediatric practices, and will continue even when the pandemic subsides, said social worker Eve Escalante, manager of program innovation at Rush University Medical Center.

University of Texas researchers tested a similar friendly caller program with adults involved in a Meals on Wheels program. They found meaningful improvements in loneliness, anxiety and depression after four weeks. Several health centers have contacted the researchers to learn how to launch similar programs.

Even health insurers are paying attention.

Last fall, Humana Inc. posted an online loneliness screening tool for doctors and included links for referrals to programs to help affected patients, some free and others covered by its health plans.

The insurer also created a “Far From Alone” campaign for older adults, with online links to free virtual programs, including exercise classes, cooking lessons and how-to courses on gardening and journaling.

In Chicago, vaccination allowed Dianne Green and Janine Blezien to meet briefly in person recently for the first time.

Amid hugs, tears and laughter, they seemed like old friends.

They plan to shop and spend time together as soon as it feels safer. Meantime, they talk by phone about everything — cooking, family, personal stuff. Green, a Black woman, remembers one call starting with her crying over the footage of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Conversation always seems to come easy with Blezien, who is white.

“Dianne helps me as much as I help her,’ Blezien said.

Now Green is considering becoming a volunteer for the friendly caller program, an idea that thrills Blezien.

“Dianne,” she said, “has so much to offer the world.”

Categories: All Denver News.

Mountain town grocer Clark’s Market to join Target in new Lowry retail complex in Denver

2 hours 38 min ago

A grocer operating in ski towns on the Western Slope has chosen the Lowry neighborhood for its first Front Range location.

Aspen-based Clark’s Market will join Target as co-anchors of the Exchange at Boulevard One retail complex under construction at the southwest corner of 1st Avenue and Quebec Street in Lowry, the project’s developers said Tuesday.

Clark’s, which specializes in organic and gourmet options, has signed a lease for 25,000 square feet of custom-built grocery space at the corner of Lowry Boulevard and Pontiac Street.

Exchange at Boulevard One is being developed by Englewood-based Kelmore Development and Denver-based Confluent Development.

Boulder County-based Lucky’s Market originally intended to build a store within the project, but abandoned its plans in January 2020 shortly before filing for bankruptcy and shuttering most of its stores around the country. Lucky’s sold the land back in May.

Target then confirmed in October that it will open where Lucky’s planned to operate. The Minneapolis-based retailer is taking 30,000 square feet of space at 93 N. Quebec St. for a small-format store, about a quarter the size of the company’s typical stores.

This will be Clark’s seventh location in Colorado, joining ones in Crested Butte, Telluride, Snowmass Village and other communities.

Clark’s Market’s new location will feature a bakery, meat department, and a large fresh fish ice table. The in-store deli will offer chef-prepared meals, fresh cheeses, stone-fired pizza and gelato. It will also offer draft beer for shoppers on-site.

In addition to Clark’s Market, the developers on Tuesday announced five newly signed tenants: California-based Pacific Dental Services, F45 Training, Mountain View Pain Center, and Blue Sky Nails & Lash.

Previously announced Exchange at Boulevard One retail tenants are SCL Health, Sushi Ronin, Mod Pizza, YogaSix and Logan House Coffee, according to Kelmore and Confluent.

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Colorado tested more prisoners for COVID-19 than most states — but it’s not clear if that prevented deaths

2 hours 38 min ago

Colorado was near the top when it came to testing its prison inmates for COVID-19, but it’s not clear that helped reduce deaths behind bars.

A study from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found that people incarcerated in state prisons were more likely to die of COVID-19 than free people in all but four states: Vermont, New York, Arizona and Rhode Island. States that did more testing tended to have smaller gaps, though.

Colorado ranked fifth in tests performed compared to the state’s prison population. It was 24th, however, on the number of deaths among prisoners compared to deaths in the general population. The Colorado Department of Corrections and an expert in prison health questioned the way the study compared deaths.

The study can’t prove that increased testing caused lower death rates, because states also differed in how effectively they quarantined new prisoners and encouraged or enforced mask-wearing and social distancing, said Kevin Schnepel, who analyzed the data and is an associate professor of economics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

A few states also prioritized inmates for vaccination, while others, including Colorado, vaccinated prisoners based on age and chronic conditions. About 56% of prisoners and half of prison staff had been vaccinated as of Wednesday, said Annie Skinner, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Anecdotally, Colorado and other states reported a significant portion of prisoners who tested positive didn’t have symptoms, Schnepel said. While that’s good for those individuals, it means that relying on testing only those who look sick will miss cases, giving the virus a chance to spread to more-vulnerable prisoners, he said.

“Trying to test everyone is potentially an important strategy,” he said.

Testing is important, but it’s only useful if facilities that use it to make good decisions about housing prisoners, said Dr. Carlos Franco-Paredes, an infectious diseases specialist at UCHealth who works with incarcerated populations. When someone in a unit tests positive, it’s important to quarantine the rest of the unit, and to temporarily isolate prisoners who have the virus, he said.

“What matters is not the number of tests, but how do you use that information from testing,” he said.

In the beginning of the pandemic, when testing was scarce, jails allowed prisoners who had been exposed but weren’t showing symptoms to mix with the unexposed population, Franco-Paredes said. As the science developed and showed asymptomatic people could spread the virus, it became clear screening for a fever wasn’t a substitute for frequent testing, he said.

The Colorado Department of Corrections tests inmates who are showing symptoms, contacts of people who tested positive and those who recently arrived or are preparing for release or a court date, Skinner said. Medical staff and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment work together to determine how often to test other inmates, she said. As of last week, the department had performed an average of 10 tests per inmate, though they weren’t evenly distributed.

Staff members also take a test looking for the virus’s genetic material weekly, Skinner said, as well as rapid tests daily. The study couldn’t draw conclusions about how testing affected prison staff, because states didn’t report that information in comparable ways.

The study found prisoners in Colorado were about three-and-a-half times more likely to die of COVID-19 than free people, by comparing the number of deaths among prisoners and free people to their population numbers. The Colorado Department of Corrections reported 29 prisoners have died of COVID-19 as of Tuesday. The statewide death toll from COVID-19 is 6,316.

Prisoners have more chronic conditions than the general public, and long sentences in a high-stress environment appear to essentially speed up aging by wearing on the blood vessels, which would make them vulnerable to COVID-19 and could raise death rates, Franco-Paredes said. He questioned comparing deaths to the total population, however, saying it makes more sense to compare the percentage of infected people who died.

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Skinner said 0.3% of prisoners who tested positive died from the virus, which is lower than the nationwide mortality rate. About 1.3% of people who tested positive in Colorado died of COVID-19.

“Every death from this insidious disease is a loss, and deeply impacts the person’s loved ones, and our community as a whole,” Skinner said in a statement.

Schnepel said that comparing the percentage of infected people who died can be misleading, however, because people in the general community were less likely to be tested regularly than prisoners. That means states may have missed mild cases in their overall populations, making the virus look more deadly for people who aren’t incarcerated than for those who are, he said.

Regardless of how you look at the death data, it’s clear that deaths could have been avoided if the state better managed COVID-19, especially in prisons, Franco-Paredes said.

“They should not be be celebrating this as a low case fatality rate, because a lot of these deaths were preventable,” he said.

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Rockies’ losing streak hits five games with loss to Dodgers, manager Bud Black ejected

8 hours 33 min ago

Randy Newman’s 1983 diddy — “I Love L.A.” — blares out of the speakers at Dodger Stadium after every Los Angeles victory.

The Rockies must hear that song in their dreams. Or nightmares.

The Dodgers beat them again Wednesday night, winning 4-2, and sending the Rockies to their fifth consecutive loss. Since Sept. 9, 2018, the Rockies have dropped 32 of 40 games against Los Angeles, including 18 of 21 at Chavez Ravine.

“Obviously, right now, we are not playing the baseball we want to play,” all-star shortstop Trevor Story said of his 3-9 team. “Guys feel that. But each day that we show up, we feel we’re going to win. We feel confident in that.

“Obviously this road trip hasn’t been great and we just have to get the process going a little better and execute better.”

Frustation boiled over in the third inning.

Rockies manager Bud Black blew up at home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi and got ejected for the 32nd time in his career, his seventh time with the Rockies. Black was, rightfully, upset with Cuzzi’s called strike on Garret Hampson. Starter Dustin May’s pitch was well below the strike zone. Plus, Black thought Rockies starter Jon Gray had been squeezed by Cuzzi in the first inning.

“I think right now we are just in one of those spots where we are not getting some calls and not taking advantage of some situations where we can score,” said bench coach Mike Redmond, who took over for Black. “Buddy did what managers do and sometimes you have to get thrown out to make a point.”

The only slice of good news for the Rockies was that they finally touched home plate.

Colorado had not scored a run for 26 innings, dating back to the top of the fifth inning on Saturday at San Francisco. The dry spell finally ended in the fifth inning. It wasn’t the needed cloudburst, by any means, but the two runs cut L.A.’s lead to 3-2.

“We could feel the momentum shift a little bit there,” Story said, but added that he didn’t think the small burst of runs would carry over into Thursday’s series finale.

“It would be different if we scored six or seven runs and lost that way,” he said. “Two runs is just not going to get it done.”

The mini-rally began when pinch hitter Yonathan Daza ripped a one-out single to right off May and moved to second on Garrett Hampson’s bunt single to the left side. Raimel Tapia drew a four-pitch walk, loading the bases for Story. Then Story’s RBI single to right scored Daza and Charlie Blackmon’s fielder’s choice groundout scored Hampson.

But that was as close as Colorado could get against the Dodgers’ formidable bullpen.

The game’s clinching blow was an opposite-field, solo homer by Zach McKinstry off Daniel Bard in the eighth. It was the first run Bard has surrendered this season.

May had dynamic stuff early but he pitched only 4 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits while striking out six.

Gray gave the Rockies a workmanlike start — emphasis on work. He needed 89 pitches to get through his four innings, including 36 pitches in L.A.’s two-run first inning. Still, Gray kept the Rockies in the game, leaving with his team trailing 3-0.

“I think I made the right adjustment,” Gray said. “I just made it too late in the first (inning), and I think that’s what kept me from going five or six.”

As they often do against the Rockies, the Dodgers came out aggressive in the first, combining Mookie Betts’ leadoff single, a walk by Corey Seager, an RBI single by Justin Turner and a sacrifice fly by Gavin Lux for a 2-0 lead.

Turner’s leadoff solo homer in the third, off a changeup that Gray left up in the zone, made it 3-0. Turner’s dinger to center landed smack dab in the middle of a fan’s plate of nachos. The nacho, nacho fan, splattered with cheese, not only got the baseball, Turner made sure the fan got a fresh plate of nachos delivered and the Dodgers gave him a blue World Series hoodie.

Asked why the Dodgers dominate the Rockies so thoroughly, especially in L.A., Gray answered: “That’s a good question. I think they are definitely are a good team and you can’t make mistakes against them.

“They battle and they live on homers and they are a good club. But I don’t think there is any excuse for us. We should be playing them a lot better than we have been. It hasn’t been a good week for us overall. But I know that with our team, as soon as we get hot, we’re hard to stop.”

Boxscore: Dodgers 4, Rockies 2

Mark J. Terrill, The Associated PressA fan pets his service dog as he watches during the seventh inning of a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

On Deck
Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (0-2, 2.89 ERA) at Dodgers LHP Julio Urias (2-0, 2.84)
8:10 p.m. Thursday, Dodger Stadium
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM

Gomber is getting better. After allowing seven walks in his Rockies’ debut against the Dodgers, he followed up with a strong game at San Francisco, allowing two earned runs off one hit and four walks in 6 1/3 innings. He’s tied for fourth among National League lefties with a 2.89 ERA. Urias handcuffed the Rockies in the first series of the season at Coors Field, allowing one run on three hits, with six strikeouts, over seven innings. In 11 games (eight starts) vs. Colorado, the lefty is 1-1 with a 5.01 ERA. He’s dominated the current Rockies lineup, especially all-star shortstop Trevor Story, who’s hit just .154 (2-for-13) with four strikeouts against Urias.

Trending: Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager is a Rockies killer. In 65 career games against them (entering Wednesday), he’s batted .324 with 14 doubles, 13 homers and 45 RBIs. In 32 career games against Colorado at Dodger Stadium, he’s slashed .339/.394/.605 with five doubles, eight homers and 24 RBIs.

At issue: Right fielder Charlie Blackmon entered Wednesday night’s game in a deep funk, hitting just .171. The silver lining? Of his six hits, four have gone for extra bases (three doubles, one home run).

Pitching Probables
Friday: Mets RHP Marcus Stroman, (1-0, 1.42) at Rockies RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (1-0. 3.60), 6:40 p.m, ATTRM
Saturday: Mets TBD at Rockies RHP German Marquez (0-1, 4.02), 6:10 p.m., ATTRM
Sunday: Mets RHP Taijuana Walker (0-0, 2.61) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (1-2, 7.07), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM

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Nuggets snap losing streak, knock of Heat in first game since Jamal Murray’s ACL tear

10 hours 16 min ago

Jamal Murray never made his way to the Nuggets’ bench Wednesday night. His teammates played inspired basketball anyway.

One day after Murray’s devastating ACL tear became official, the Nuggets put forth a masterful effort to snap a two-game losing streak and knock off Miami, 123-106. Even without Murray, it was the type of encouraging effort that revealed this team’s character, yet again. Now 35-20 on the season, the Nuggets will attempt to build on their egalitarian offense in Friday’s game at Houston.

“I just felt like there was joy in how we played,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “We had guys that looked like they were having fun. That was one of my challenges to our guys today. Even before Jamal went down with that injury, I just felt like there was not a lot of joy in Mudville. You can’t play like that.”

Nikola Jokic secured his 15th triple-double of the season, pouring in 17 points, dishing 11 assists and snatching 10 rebounds in the win. The Nuggets take their cues from Jokic, and as long as he keeps competing, the rest of the team will follow.

“We’re going to miss (Jamal) as a team, he’s a big part of our team, but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to quit,” Jokic said.

Now the No. 2 option in Denver’s offense, Michael Porter Jr. was fantastic. He registered a team-high 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting, along with 10 rebounds. The Heat had absolutely no answers for his ruthless efficiency from the floor.

Starting in place of Murray, Monte Morris did exactly what the Nuggets needed him to do. Morris, who finished with 11 points and three rebounds in 26 minutes, showed he’s more than capable of handling Denver’s starting point guard duties at a moment’s notice.

Denver’s bench pounded Miami’s 48-34, led by 17 points from JaMychal Green.

Even without Murray’s one-two combo with Jokic, the Nuggets’ offense proved it’s still capable of raining points on opponents. Denver dropped 36 in the third quarter alone, an all-encompassing showing from guys up and down the roster.

Porter continued his torrid shooting, but he was hardly alone. Backup P.J. Dozier rained in 3-pointers as did Green. Facundo Campazzo ended the quarter on a soaring, step-back 3-pointer to give the Nuggets a 96-79 lead. With each momentum play, Jokic applauded and fist-pumped his teammates’ resolve.

In the wake of Murray’s devastating injury, Malone implored his guys to assess their situation and realize the position they’re still in with a month left of the regular season.

“As bad as we feel for Jamal, we have 18 games to go, and we have to find a way to collect ourselves and understand the opportunity we have in front of us,” Malone said. “… How do we re-group, collect ourselves, collect our emotions and move forward? And not one guy on our team can replace Jamal. It’s going to take a collective effort. We need everybody’s best.”

As fresh as the injury still was, Malone said he and team were doing their best to be positive and encouraging as Murray begins what will likely be a 9-to-12 month rehab.

“I have no doubt that he will come back a better player, a stronger player,” Malone said. “That’s just how he’s made. That’s in his DNA. I expect nothing less.”

Denver’s much-maligned second unit flipped a five-point deficit into a three-point lead by the time the starters checked back in midway through the second quarter. From there, the Nuggets relied on their two rocks. Jokic played inspired basketball, finishing the first half with 13 points and six assists, while Porter, his new sidekick, cleaned up everything around the glass. Porter hung 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting, with nine rebounds over the first two quarters.

His production may need to make the biggest leap in order to help offset the loss of Murray.

Denver’s star duo forged a 60-49 halftime lead, which would’ve been bigger had the Nuggets not turned the ball over nine times. For at least one half, it was an encouraging start.

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Congressional Democrats to introduce bill to expand Supreme Court from 9 to 13 justices

10 hours 32 min ago

A group of Democratic lawmakers plan to introduce a bill Thursday to expand the Supreme Court from 9 justices to 13.

In a statement on Twitter, Rep. Mondaire Jones said he is introducing the Judiciary Act of 2021 because “our democracy is under assault, and the Supreme Court has dealt the sharpest blows. To restore power to the people, we must #expandthecourt.”

Reps. Jones, Jerry Nadler, Hank Johnson and Senator Ed Markey are reportedly holding a press conference Thursday morning to unveil their bill.

The bill is unlikely to become law, given the Democrats’ slim majority in the House and Senate.

Full Story via Denver7

Our democracy is under assault, and the Supreme Court has dealt the sharpest blows.

To restore power to the people, we must #ExpandTheCourt.

That's why I'm introducing the Judiciary Act of 2021 with @RepJerryNadler, @RepHankJohnson, and @SenMarkey to add four seats to SCOTUS. https://t.co/iW0hlmIpwk

— Rep. Mondaire Jones (@RepMondaire) April 15, 2021

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Rockies’ Bud Black OK with MLB experimenting with moving mound back 12 inches

April 14, 2021 - 7:35pm

Rockies manager Bud Black, who pitched in the majors for 15 seasons, considers himself something of a baseball purist. So it might surprise some to discover that Black is wide open to baseball’s latest experiment. This one tinkers with the hallowed dimensions of the game.

Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that it will move the pitching rubber and mound back 12 inches — to 61 feet, 6 inches — during the second half of the independent Atlantic League’s season. The goal is to see if the change will increase offense and reduce strikeouts.

“Let’s be creative and try it,” Black said, noting that, for the foreseeable future, the change is just experimental in one league. “I think baseball is listening to what fans are saying and doing what they can to maybe enhance the offense and enhance the action.”

Black added that pitchers’ fastball velocities continue to climb and wondered if that fact will demand changes in the future.

“I don’t know where pitcher’s stuff is going to be 50 years from now, so this might be a good thing that’s happening now,” he said. “Are pitchers going to throw 100-105 mph 50 years from now? Possibly. I’m OK having a look at this, in the Atlantic League situation.”

Said Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations: “It’s a direct response to the escalating strikeout rate, where you’re giving the hitter approximately one one-hundredth of a second of additional time to decide whether to swing at a pitch, which has the effect just in terms of reaction time of reducing the effective velocity of a pitch by roughly 1.5 mph. The purpose of the test and hope is giving hitters even that tiny additional piece of time will allow them to make more contact and reduce the strikeout rate.”

Mood booster. The Rockies’ offense is in a funk, no doubt about it. They entered Wednesday night’s game against the Dodgers having lost four in a row and getting shut out in two straight games.

Black, however, said it’s important that a number of players, including slumping C.J. Cron and Josh Fuentes, don’t get down on themselves.

“We have some guys who are off to slow starts and I don’t want them to beat themselves up and have that affect their performance,” Black said. “There’s a fine line there.”

Jake the Giant. Former Rockies lefty Jake McGee is thriving with the San Francisco Giants. Wednesday night, McGee pitched a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit and one strikeout to earn the save in a 3-0 win over Cincinnati. It was his big league-leading sixth save. He has a 0.00 ERA and a 0.41 WHIP in 7 1/3 innings.

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McGee, along with veteran right-hander Bryan Shaw, was released by the Rockies just prior to the 2020 season. Both of them had signed three-year, $27 million deals prior to the 2018 season.

So why is McGee pitching so well now, when he failed with Colorado in 2019? Part of the reason is that McGee’s left knee is finally strong and healthy.

“I think that’s definitely part of it,” Black said. “I don’t think he’s pitching with a knee brace now. I know that he did with us, and it was troublesome.”

Black said McGee’s success with the Dodgers last season, and with the Giants early this season, has likely boosted his confidence.

“I think he feels like he can really pump that fastball, with extra velocity, to really attack hitters,” Black said.

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Devan Dubnyk earns 4-3 victory in Avalanche goalie debut

April 14, 2021 - 7:23pm

The Avalanche traded for NHL veteran Devan Dubnyk with the need to solidify a shaky backup goalie situation.

He passed the first test.

Colorado earned a 4-3 road victory Wednesday at the St. Louis Blues with Dubnyk making his Avs debut. He recorded 31 saves playing in relief of starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who was placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list earlier in the day. The timetable for Grubauer’s return is unclear, however, the Avs did not falter with a newcomer in net.

“It’s too bad for (Grubauer) and we want him to feel great,” Dubnyk said. “But that’s just this year. It could happen to anybody. I try not to think too much. Just go and work.”

Colorado surged for three goals in the second period as Nathan MacKinnon extended his league-leading points streak to 11 consecutive games (assist). The Avalanche, winners in four straight, continue to pace the NHL in points (64) entering a Friday night home tilt vs. the Los Angeles Kings.

On Wednesday, the Avs’ fourth line struck first.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, on a touch pass from Liam O’Brien, beat Blues goalie Jordan Binnington glove side for an early 1-0 lead. But St. Louis went on the power-play minutes later and defenseman Vince Dunn capitalized with an easy goal past Dubnyk — tying the game to close the first period.

“A little sloppy at the start,” Dubnyk said. “Obviously, there were a few nerves for me with the new team. I got away with it and felt a little better and settled in as the game went on.”

The Avs simply overpowered St. Louis in the second with a trio of goals.

J.T. Compher cleaned up a rebound in the crease. Mikko Rantanen blasted a deep one-timer on a power-play chance. Brandon Saad, with a perfect behind-the-net feed from Tyson Jost, scored to make it 4-1 entering the third period.

But the lead wasn’t safe.

The Blues cut into their deficit when forward Mike Hoffman shot a puck that ended up on Dubnyk’s back and rolled into the goal near the right post. Then Hoffman scored again, on a power-play chance, with Colorado clinging to a 4-3 lead. St. Louis pulled Binnington from goal with about 3 minutes left.

Dubnyk made several impressive saves in the final seconds to secure the Avs win.

“In the third period, they were coming at us with everything they had,” coach Jared Bednar said. “We didn’t handle it very well. But (Dubnyk) made the saves that he needed to make. To be able to come in with a new team, first game, and have that performance, I was proud. He’s only going to get better and he spends more time with us and continues to put more work in.”

Carl Soderberg, an Avalanche forward from 2015-19, made his first appearance back with Colorado since being acquired at the trade deadline. Soderberg wore No. 34 and played on the team’s second line alongside Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky.

The Avalanche canceled its morning skate prior to the game after a player tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday. A team statement read that the “person is in isolation and all other staff/players have been negative at this time” with Grubauer later placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol absence list.

“It will be more than 14 days until he’s back wearing a jersey for us,” Bednar said. “I don’t love the time off. When you’re playing really well as a goalie — or any player — you want to keep playing games and you want to stay active. That’s where (Grubauer) has been for us all year. It’s been a heavy workload.

“He’ll put in the work. I know he’ll be hungry to get back in the net when he gets healthy.

Colorado, with six games over the next 11 days, is expected to rely heavily on Dubnyk as the playoffs near in May. The 34-year-old journeyman goaltender brings a wealth of experience after more than 500 career NHL starts.

“Each game is going to get easier working with this group,” Dubnyk said. “It’s a good opportunity for me to play a significant role here over the next couple of weeks.”

Categories: All Denver News.

59 acres of federal land in Lakewood hits the market — again

April 14, 2021 - 6:30pm

A vacant 59-acre plot of land in Lakewood with a convoluted history is back up for sale, two years after it could have been the site of a 500- to 600-unit low-income housing complex.

The parcel at the corner of West Sixth Avenue and Simms Street, and next to a W-Line light-rail station, is owned by the federal government and was listed for sale by the General Services Administration last month. The starting bid is $15 million.

Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul described the property Wednesday as a “blank slate with some good bones and good things surrounding it,” even though it has a 15-acre section that would need to be remediated for environmental contaminants like asbestos.

“It’s got great highway access, it’s at a light rail stop and some of our biggest employers are in a radius around it,” he said.

A dense transit-oriented development, with multi-family housing and some retail, could be a good fit, Paul surmised, considering its proximity to the Denver Federal Center and St. Anthony Hospital.

Once home to the Denver Ordnance Plant, a World War II-era ammunition production facility, the property was first put on the market by the federal government seven years ago. Lakewood had proposed building a laboratory at the Federal Center in exchange for the land.

That deal never happened and the property was relisted in 2016. Soon after, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless sued to stop the auction, citing the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which gives agencies that serve the homeless the right of first refusal when surplus federal properties are sold.

The coalition pitched a two-phase approach to housing up to 1,000 people there with the use of temporary structures — trailers, geodesic dome shelters or large insulated tent structures. The proposal faced fierce opposition from neighboring residents and businesses.

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Ultimately, a federal judge in 2019 ruled that the coalition had not adequately explained how it would finance the multimillion-dollar project and upheld a rejection of the project by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Cathy Alderman, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, said her organization would no longer try to make a claim on the property.

“It’s a huge missed opportunity for people experiencing homelessness and for affordable housing, which is desperately needed,” she said Wednesday.

Bidders have until June 15 to make an offer. So far, no bids have been made.

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Biden to pull US troops from Afghanistan, end “forever war”

April 14, 2021 - 5:00pm

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Wednesday he will withdraw remaining U.S. troops from the “forever war” in Afghanistan, declaring that the Sept. 11 terror attacks of 20 years ago cannot justify American forces still dying in the nation’s longest war.

His plan is to pull out all American forces — numbering 2,500 now — by this Sept. 11, the anniversary of the attacks, which were coordinated from Afghanistan. Soon after Biden made his announcement, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels said the alliance had agreed to withdraw its roughly 7,000 forces from Afghanistan, matching Biden’s decision to begin a final pullout by May 1.

The U.S. cannot continue to pour resources into an intractable war and expect different results, Biden said.

The drawdown would begin rather than conclude by May 1, which has been the deadline for full withdrawal under a peace agreement the Trump administration reached with the Taliban last year.

“It is time to end America’s longest war,” Biden said, but he added that the U.S. will “not conduct a hasty rush to the exit.”

“We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result,” said Biden, who delivered his address from the White House Treaty Room, the same location where President George W. Bush announced the start of the war. “I am now the fourth United States president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.”

Biden’s announcement, which he followed with a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, marks perhaps the most significant foreign policy decision in the early going of his presidency.

He’s long been skeptical about the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. As Barack Obama’s vice president, Biden was a lonely voice in the administration who advised the 44th president to tilt towards a smaller counterterrorism role in the country while military advisers were urging a troop buildup to counter Taliban gains. Biden has also made clear he wants to recalibrate U.S. foreign policy to face bigger challenges posed by China and Russia.

Withdrawing all U.S. troops comes with clear risks. It could boost the Taliban’s effort to claw back power and undo gains toward democracy and women’s rights made over the past two decades. It also opens Biden to criticism, mostly Republicans and some Democrats, even though former President Donald Trump had also wanted a full withdrawal.

“This administration has decided to abandon U.S. efforts in Afghanistan which have helped keep radical Islamic terrorism in check,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. “And bizarrely, they have decided to do so by September 11th.”

While Biden’s decision keeps U.S. forces in Afghanistan four months longer than initially planned, it sets a firm end to two decades of war that killed more than 2,200 U.S. troops, wounded 20,000, and cost as much as $1 trillion.

Biden spoke with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday ahead of his speech. The White House said in a statement that Biden told Ghani the United States would continue to support the Afghan people through development, humanitarian and security assistance.

“The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan respects the U.S. decision, and we will work with our U.S. partners to ensure a smooth transition,” Ghani said in a Twitter posting.

Biden spoke, too, with former President Bush ahead of announcing his decision. He also spoke with allies, military leaders, lawmakers and Vice President Kamala Harris to help make his decision, according to the White House.

He emphasized that his administration will continue to support peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban and assist international efforts to train the Afghan military.

Biden noted that the “forever war” has led to service members who weren’t even alive at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks serving, as well as young troops following in the steps of their mothers and fathers in deploying to Afghanistan.

“The war in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking,” Biden said.

Obama, who had hoped but ultimately failed to end the war during his time in office, said in a statement that he supported Biden’s decision, that “it is time to recognize that we have accomplished all that we can militarily, and that it’s time to bring our remaining troops home.”

Following his speech, Biden visited Arlington National Cemetery to honor those who died in recent American conflicts. After paying his respects, Biden told reporters it was “absolutely clear” to him that ending the war was the right decision. Biden, in his speech and during his visit to the hallowed cemetery, reflected on his own late son Beau Biden’s service. The president’s son, who died of cancer in 2015, had deployed to Iraq with the Delaware Army National Guard.

“I’m always amazed that generation after generation, women and men give their lives to this country,” Biden said. “It means I have trouble these days showing up to this cemetery and not thinking about my son.”

CIA Director William Burns acknowledged at a hearing Wednesday that America’s ability to contain the terrorist threat from Afghanistan has benefited from the military presence there, and that when that presence is withdrawn, “the U.S. government’s ability to collect and act on threats will diminish.”

“That’s simply a fact,” Burns said. “It is also a fact, however, that after withdrawal, whenever that time comes, the CIA and all of our partners in the U.S. government will retain a suite of capabilities, some of it remaining in place, some of them that we will generate, that can help us to anticipate and contest any rebuilding effort.”

A senior administration official said the September withdrawal date was an absolute deadline that won’t be affected by security conditions in Afghanistan.

The long conflict has largely crippled al-Qaida and led to the death of Osama bin Laden, the architect of the Sept. 11 attacks. But an American withdrawal also risks many of the gains made in democracy, women’s rights and governance, while ensuring that the Taliban, who provided al-Qaida’s haven, remain strong and in control of large swaths of the country.

As Biden announced his decision, his top national security aides — Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin — were consulting in Brussels to coordinate NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan with the planned pullout of American troops.

Stoltenberg, the NATO chief, said the alliance’s full withdrawal would be completed “in months” but did not mention the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“We went into Afghanistan together, we have adjusted our posture together and we are united in leaving together,” he said.

___ Lee reported from Brussels. Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Alexandra Jaffe, Zeke Miller and Darlene Superville contributed reporting.

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U.S. agency says women can get abortion pill via mail

April 14, 2021 - 4:49pm

WASHINGTON — Women seeking an abortion pill will not be required to visit a doctor’s office or clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. health officials said Tuesday in the latest reversal in an ongoing legal battle over the medication.

The Food and Drug Administration announced the policy change a day earlier in a letter to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, one of several medical groups that has sued over the restriction put in place under the Trump administration.

The FDA’s acting head, Dr. Janet Woodcock, said an agency review of recent studies “do not appear to show increases in serious safety concerns,” when women take the pill without first visiting a health facility and discussing the drug’s potential risks, including internal bleeding.

The change clears the way for women to get a prescription for the pill — mifepristone — via telemedicine and receive it through the mail. However, abortion opponents are pushing legislation in several Republican-led states that would head off easier access.

Medication abortion has been available in the United States since 2000, when the FDA approved the use of mifepristone. Taken with a hormone blocker called misoprostol, it constitutes the so-called abortion pill. About 40% of all abortions in the U.S. are now done through medication — rather than surgery — and that option has become more pivotal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, the FDA waived in-person requirements for virtually all medications, including tightly controlled drugs such as methadone. But the FDA and its parent health agency argued the rules were necessary to ensure the pills were used safely. The rule requires patients to pick up the single tablet of mifepristone at a hospital, clinic or medical office and sign a form that includes information about the medication’s potential risks.

The obstetricians and gynecologists group sued to overturn the rule, setting off a series of conflicting court decisions. Most recently, in January, the Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration to reinstate the longstanding rule on getting the drug in person.

The obstetricians group said in a statement Tuesday the FDA’s about-face on the requirement shows “it is arbitrary and does nothing to bolster the safety of an already-safe medicine.”

The move was also hailed by congressional Democrats, some of whom had called on FDA to reverse its policy in a February letter.

But abortion opponents said the move would jeopardize women’s health.

“With this action, the Biden administration has made it clear that they will prioritize abortion over women’s safety,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of the anti-abortion group March for Life. “Chemical abortions should have more medical oversight, not less.”

The FDA policy only applies during the COVID-19 health emergency. The obstetricians and gynecologists group and several other medical organizations are pushing to make medication abortion permanently available via online prescribing and mail-order pharmacies.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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