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Updated: 23 min 41 sec ago

Large rockslide in Glenwood Canyon completely closes Interstate 70

42 min 39 sec ago

A large rock slide closed both eastbound and westbound Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon Tuesday morning, authorities say.

The rock slide happened near mile post 122, according to a tweet by the Colorado State Patrol.

Commercial vehicles are parking at the Dotsero truck parking area at Exit 133, according to a CSP tweet.

The National Weather Service in Boulder has predicted that up to 18 inches of snow will fall in the mountains.

The storm triggered another I-70 closure Tuesday morning in East Vail following numerous traffic slide offs in the snow.

Check back on this breaking news story for updates.

#BREAKING UPDATE

Both Eastbound and Westbound Interstate 70 is CLOSED through the #GlenwoodCanyon.

CMV's going westbound are to stage at the Dotsero Truck Parking (Exit 133)#COtraffic

— CSP Eagle (@CSP_Eagle) May 21, 2019

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Eastbound Interstate 70 closed in Vail due to snowstorm hazards

1 hour 25 min ago

For the third time in two days, a testy winter-like storm in May has shut down a section of Interstate 70, one of the busiest East-West highways in the U.S.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed the highway at Exit 180 in East Vail due to multiple spun out vehicles.

#VailPass I-70 MP 180 EB CLOSED due to multiple spun out vehicles. #COtraffic pic.twitter.com/TKPYZrs7C0

— CSP Eagle (@CSP_Eagle) May 21, 2019

I-70 EB: Safety closure at Exit 180 – East Vail.

— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) May 21, 2019

The department shut down eastbound I-70 just east of the Eisenhower Tunnel early Monday morning after icy roads triggered numerous car crashes. It wasn’t until late in the day that the highways was cleared of wrecks and reopened.

RELATED: Denver weather: Snow, then rain in the city, up to a foot of snow in mountains

Also on Monday morning, westbound I-70 was closed in Glenwood Canyon.

It’s unclear how long the current closure will be in force.

The National Weather Service in Boulder predicted Monday that the mountains could get anywhere from 8 inches to 18 inches of snow.

Driving conditions are dangerous, said Natalie Sullivan, meteorologist for the NWS.

Check back for updates on this breaking news story.

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152 flights cancelled or delayed at DIA during late spring snowstorm

1 hour 43 min ago

The storm hitting Denver is rather tame as winter snowstorms go, but heck, it’s almost summer.

Mother Nature’s curve ball proved unsettling to Denver International Airport, where 152 flights were cancelled or delayed, according to FlightAware.

RELATED: Denver weather: Snow, then rain in the city, up to a foot of snow in mountains

“It’s unusual because it’s May. We know we did have quite a few delays,” said Alex Renteria, DIA spokeswoman.

A total of 82 flights were canceled and 70 were delayed on Tuesday, according to FlightAware. More than 290 flights were delayed on Monday.

At 6:30 a.m., Renteria said light snow flurries were falling at the airport. Pena Boulevard is slushy, but the runways are clear, she said.

“Passengers should spend a little more time on planes before takeoff,” Renteria said.

The National Weather Service in Boulder forecasts that snow will turn to a rain-snow mix around 10 a.m. By noon, only rain will be falling, the NWS says.

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NFL and players’ union to study potential use of marijuana for pain management

1 hour 51 min ago

The NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed to form two new joint medical committees, one of which is to study the potential use of marijuana as a pain-management tool for players and review teams’ policies and practices for the use of prescription medication by players.

The committees are to begin their work as soon as possible, league and union officials said. Any major policy changes still would have to be made through the traditional channels of the collective bargaining process between the NFL and NFLPA, or via their annual negotiations over the terms of their jointly administered drug policies.

But the committees are to provide recommendations and suggestions on key medical issues facing the league and its players, and the formation of the panels marks a shift for the NFL and NFLPA on topics that previously have been divisive for them.

“I think it’s a proud day for the NFL and the NFLPA to come together on these issues in a very public way,” Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, said in a phone interview. “I think it demonstrates the spirit of cooperation we have around our health and safety issues …. Both of these committees are about providing the best health care we can to players.”

The two committees being formed are a joint pain management committee and a comprehensive mental health and wellness committee. Both sides cautioned that the pain management committee is not a marijuana-focused committee. Its members will study a variety of pain-management issues and strategies for players, officials said. But the prospective use of marijuana for pain management by players will be among those issues examined, both sides said.

“We’re asking our pain management committee to bring us any and all suggestions,” Sills said. “We’ll look at marijuana.”

Marijuana remains on the league’s list of banned substances. Players are tested for it and can be suspended for positive tests. But some players and former players have said that marijuana helps to cope with the rigors of playing the violent sport and have called for the NFL to relax its standards in that area.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said in the past that the league would consider allowing players to use marijuana for pain management only if that practice were to be established as valid by medical and scientific experts. Goodell previously has said that such medical and scientific evidence has not yet reached the point at which a sufficiently convincing case can be made to allow players to use marijuana for pain management.

Each NFL team will appoint a pain management specialist by the 2019 season to work with players, the league and union said.

The NFL said in July 2017 that it had offered to work in tandem with the NFLPA to study the potential use of marijuana as a pain-management tool for players. The union did not immediately respond to that offer and was studying the issue through its own pain management committee.

DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA’s executive director, said in a January 2017 interview that the union was preparing a proposal to the league that would result in a “less punitive” approach to recreational marijuana use by players.

“How do you make sure that you address any potential addiction issue? Because I’ve read the literature on both sides,” Smith said then. “How do you deal with the fact that some people are using it purely recreationally and pivoting it to … people who are using it medicinally either as a pain eradicator or a stress-coping mechanism? So what we’ve decided to do is, to the best we can, look at it as related but nonetheless separate issues. Do I expect in the near future we are going to be presenting something to our board on the first issue? Yes.”

The league and union have begun talks about a new collective bargaining agreement. Their current labor deal runs through the 2020 season. Any significant changes to the sport’s marijuana policy could come within the context of those CBA negotiations. Or it could come via the two sides’ yearly deliberations about their drug policies.

The NFL and NFLPA said the committee that studies pain management also will receive reports from a prescription drug monitoring program “that will monitor all prescriptions issued to NFL players by club physicians and unaffiliated physicians.”

Sills said: “This is not out of step with what’s happening with medicine outside the NFL. This concept of prescription monitoring is happening throughout medicine, not just in the NFL.”

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The NFLPA filed a grievance in May 2017 accusing the league and teams of conspiring to violate the terms of the CBA governing health and safety issues. That grievance arose from allegations of teams recklessly using opioids and other painkillers to treat players. The grievance pointed to a federal lawsuit against NFL teams that included the allegation that teams illegally stored, transported and dispensed medication.

“One of the outcomes of that (grievance) was to create something jointly that will generate far more trust,” a person with knowledge of the NFLPA’s view of the formation of the new medical committees said Monday. “I think this will lead to far more transparency. It will be a process that we will have to work to perfect. We’re both serious about it.”

As part of the establishment of the mental health and wellness committee, the league and union will mandate that each team have a clinician that spends eight to 12 hours per week at the team’s practice facility.

“This is a person who’s coordinating a network of providers,” Sills said.

RTD train derailment causes long delays on Tuesday’s commute

2 hours 7 min ago

A train derailment has been re-railed at the Lincoln Station, however there may be delayed light rail departure times by up to 45 minutes on the E, F and R lines Tuesday morning, authorities say.

RTD is advising passengers to allow for extra travel time until about 9 a.m.

UPDATE: Train has been re-railed at Lincoln Station, all E, F & R line trains will be entering the station normally. Bus shuttles will be called off after their next full trip. Delays of 30-45 minutes expected on some trips, more info here: https://t.co/627BJ5t9nk

— RTD (@RideRTD) May 21, 2019

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Denver weather: Snow, then rain in the city, up to a foot of snow in mountains

2 hours 14 min ago

A late spring storm caused tree branches to bend to the breaking point, covered roads with ice and slush, generated numerous traffic spin offs and crashes and piled up to 6 inches of snow in some areas of the Denver metro area.

As the storm swept through Colorado it triggered a large rock slide in Glenwood Canyon and many vehicle spin offs in East Vail. Interstate 70 is closed in both directions in Glenwood Canyon. Eastbound I-70 is closed in East Vail.

At sunrise, it was below freezing with a reading of 31 degrees in a spring that has been anything but typical. Summit County Schools, for example, has a two-hour delayed school opening Tuesday even though summer vacation is just around the corner.

RELATED: Denver weather: Monday’s snowstorm breaks all sorts of records

Snow is expected to continue until after the morning commute Tuesday morning. Then a mix of snow and rain will fall between 10 a.m. and noon. Thereafter rain and thunder is expected, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

A total of 6 inches of snow fell in Centennial while Aspen got a foot of snow, according to the NWS. New snow accumulation in Denver ranged from 1 to 2 inches.

Snow will change to rain on the plains, with accumulations & slushy roads south/southeast of Denver and in the mountains this morning. #cowx pic.twitter.com/0yCIEPm1FH

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) May 21, 2019

The warmest it will get in the Denver area will be 40 degrees. The low temperature Tuesday night will be around 32 degrees.

Afternoon rain and thunderstorms are expected Wednesday, when the high temperature will reach 53 degrees, the NWS says. The sun will peak out of the clouds.

Afternoon rain and thunderstorms are also in the forecast for Thursday, when the high will reach 54 degrees, forecasters say.

A big warm up starts Friday under sunny skies. The high temperature will be 70 degrees. Temperatures will reach the 70s on Saturday and Sunday.

It could rain and Saturday night and Sunday, the NWS says.

Rain is possible on Monday, which is Memorial Day. The high temperature on the holiday will be about 68 degrees, the NWS says.
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Longmont police latest Boulder County agency to start officer-worn camera program

2 hours 22 min ago

Longmont Police Department’s implementation of an officer-worn video camera program over the last four months has brought Boulder County one step closer to having every local law enforcement agent equipped with the recording devices.

Longmont contracted with Axon, formerly called Taser, to purchase more than 160 cameras so every patrol officer, detective and animal control personnel can be outfitted with a body-worn camera while on duty. Some officers began using them in February, with all officers brought onto the program by last month.

The initiative cost the city about $280,000 to start in its first year, with expected yearly data storage and other costs of $150,000 for the following four years, according to Longmont Deputy Chief Jeff Satur. Additionally, the department is hiring two full-time employees to help manage the video evidence database for the body-worn camera footage.

The costs of the equipment, data storage, software and new employees for the officer-worn camera program are being covered mostly by the city’s voter-approved 2017 public safety tax increase, Satur said.

The University of Colorado Police Department also is in the process of beginning an officer-worn video camera program, while the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, and the Boulder, Louisville and Erie police departments have used the devices for varying lengths of time, according to Boulder DA’s Office Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Kupfner.

Satur noted that police-worn recording devices make a big difference by capturing the raw emotions and reactions of alleged victims and suspects in the moments immediately following officers’ arrival on scene, filling in gaps in evidence left by police reports written after the fact and courtroom testimony delivered months or even years later, in some cases.

“Body-worn camera evidence is not perfect, but very helpful for investigations and prosecutions,” Kupfner said. “In Boulder County, we have had cases where the body-worn camera evidence of a victim’s statements on scene were instrumental in allowing a prosecution to move forward.”

Axon body-worn cameras rest in charging cradles Monday at the Longmont Safety and Justice Center. The charging cradles also allow officers to download videos and attach them to incident reports.

Satur said Longmont police officers are excited to use the camera technology more often, with software that seamlessly uploads footage and organizes it into separate files for each call for service. It allows officers to be more accurate in their reports and focus more on the conversation during interviews and interrogations, rather than on taking notes. The more conversational environment allowed by the cameras has been especially crucial for officers speaking to children while investigating sexual assault allegations involving minor victims, Satur said.

Officers will be expected to turn on the cameras to record most interactions with civilians, Satur said, and command staff will work with officers to ensure consistent use of the cameras by those who forget to activate them or choose not to when they should have.

“That’s going to happen, especially on high-stress events that are rapidly evolving,” Satur said. “We recognize that happens, and if it happens to the same officer and it happens a lot, we’ll have some conversations about, ‘Hey, you need to get better at turning it on.’ So far we haven’t had any issues with that. … I’m sure they will come up. We have it in our report, if you turn off your camera, or forget to, you have to explain why.”

But most officers regret finding themselves in situations where footage wasn’t captured, Satur said, and before the program started, some patrol staff were regularly using recording devices they had purchased themselves to help document their activity for writing reports.

“It’s so helpful, they want to remember,” Satur said. “They are usually self-critical, kicking themselves to remember to turn on the camera.”

Denise Maes, public policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, stressed members of the public always have the right to document interactions with police on their own cameras or audio recorders, even when officers are already recording on a body-worn device.

She lauded officer-worn camera programs as tools for both police and members of the public to serve as watchdogs of each other, mentioning the case of Darsean Kelley, who was caught by police body camera being controversially shocked with an electric stun gun by an Aurora officer. He later received a $110,000 settlement from the city.

“We also have seen body camera footage that can exonerate a police officer, as well,” Maes said. “It’s a good accountability tool regardless of who is seeking that accountability.”

Footage captured by the Longmont devices will be accessible to the public through a standard police records request, Satur said, for all files in cases that are closed or those whose release would not jeopardize an investigation. He said it will likely cost members of the public about $30 per hour of footage they request, a charge levied because records custodians will have to ensure content like victims’ identities or juvenile suspects are properly redacted from the recording, which requires a review of every second of video.

Employing body-worn cameras is not a substitute for traditional and other evidence-gathering techniques, although they often help speed up the prosecutorial review process for investigations of an officer’s conduct, Kupfner said.

“When the District Attorney reviews cases involving potential criminal allegations against officers, my experience is body-worn camera (footage) often expedites the review process,” Kupfner said. “District attorneys do rely on body-worn cameras, but it is important for prosecutors and juries to understand the limitations. Body-worn cameras only capture one perspective of an event and is not always conclusive, but is often helpful in determining and proving what occurred.”

Jacob Meyer, 16, who was waiting for a bus Monday afternoon in downtown Longmont, said he supports the city funding the police body-worn camera program. He said he believes that awareness of the ongoing recording makes both civilians and officers safer.

“You can see whether or not (police) are telling the truth,” Meyer said.

Control over future Denver Olympics bids to be decided in runoff election

2 hours 38 min ago

Denver’s long and complicated relationship with the Olympics will take another turn in the next two weeks as voters decide whether to forbid city officials from using tax dollars on future bids to host the Games without their approval.

If Proposition 302 is approved, city officials would have to ask voters before using city money or resources to coordinate any future bids. It’s the only issue to be decided in the June 4 runoff election, for which ballots began going out Monday.

The measure grew out of a proposal, since rejected, for Denver to host the 2030 Games. Proponents of Prop 302 say voters deserve the final say on whether Denver should pursue hosting Games, which come with a heavy price tag. Opponents say the measure is unnecessary and written poorly, tying the hands of government too tightly.

Since the 1970s, Denver has had a hot-cold relationship with the Olympics. In 1972, Denver voters cast a historic vote to reject the Winter Olympic Games that had been scheduled for the city in 1976. Numerous attempts since then have been floated. However, nothing serious took shape until late 2017, when Mayor Michael Hancock created a committee to pursue making Denver the U.S. candidate for the 2030 Winter Games.

The Denver bid backers had hoped private funding would pick up the majority of the estimated $2 billion price tag to host the games. However, they acknowledged some local and federal tax dollars would be required for such things as security.

In December, the United States Olympic Committee decided to pitch Salt Lake City for the 2030 games, but by then Proposition 302 was well on its way to the ballot.

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Does Tim Tebow belong in the Broncos’ Ring of Fame? Someone ask Champ Bailey

2 hours 38 min ago

On Monday, the Broncos named defensive back Champ Bailey the 33rd member of the Ring of Fame.

Looking ahead to who could be No. 34, all you need to do is mine the quotes of Bailey himself, who, when prompted, recalled his favorite moments as a Bronco.

First on the list? No, not the franchise’s victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the 2014 AFC title game. Instead, it was a January afternoon at Broncos Stadium two years earlier, when Tim Tebow hit Demaryius Thomas on a crossing route for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in overtime.

“A couple of weeks ago, I was watching the playoff game against Pittsburgh when we beat them in overtime on the first play,” Bailey said. “I was thinking about the moment when DT ran through the back of the end zone and I met him in the tunnel and I hadn’t felt like that since maybe (January 2006) when we beat the Patriots. Those are moments you just don’t forget.”

No doubt Broncos fans would agree.

Pats contract aside, Thomas is all but guaranteed to find his name in that ring someday.

But what about the Mile High Messiah himself? Shouldn’t the man who threw that pass — the one who captivated the Rocky Mountain Empire for one magical season — deserve consideration as well?

Someone ask Champ Bailey.

Matt Schubert, The Denver Post

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Scoreboard

5A state lacrosse championship: Cherry Creek 12, Kent Denver 7
Full story

4A state lacrosse championship: Golden 10, Cheyenne Mountain 9 (OT)
Full story

Must-Read Steve Nehf, The Denver PostBroncos defensive end DeMarcus Walker tackles New York Jets running back Matt Forte in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday, December 10, 2017. New head coach, new start for Broncos DL DeMarcus Walker

At some point over the last two years, as his position changed, his playing opportunities were limited and his production was non-existent, Broncos defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker had to feel the urge to watch some of his Florida State clips, right? Just to remember what making plays felt like, correct? Read more… 

David Zalubowski, The Associated PressColorado Rockies manager Bud Black, left, pulls starting pitcher Jon Gray from the mound after he gave up a single to San Diego Padres’ Austin Hedges during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 11, 2019, in Denver. Rockies’ rotation failing to meet high expectations as NL West hopes fade

Forty-five 45 games into the season, the shiny optimism of spring training is fading for the Colorado Rockies. Fast. Read more… 

Jack Dempsey, The Associated PressColorado Rapids coach Conor Casey argues a call during the second half of the team’s MLS soccer match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Friday, May 3, 2019, in Commerce City, Colo. Colorado Rapids’ first win shows team has what it takes to not collapse after a bad bounce

When rookie substitute Andre Shinyashiki left-booted a one-touch strike past the Los Angeles goalkeeper in the 82nd minute of Sunday’s match, the emotions that followed were a long time coming. Read more…

Quick Hits

+ Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly isn’t going anywhere.

+ Champ Bailey’s favorite Broncos memory? Tim Tebow was at the center of it.

+ Former Broncos backup QB Chad Kelly found a home, and it in no way involves a vacuum cleaner tube.

+ The largest endowment in the history of the CU Buffs football program came from a CSU grad.

+ The Golden State Warriors are heading back to the NBA Finals… and they didn’t even need Kevin Durant to do it.

+ Magic Johnson’s radioactive appearance on First Take dominated Monday afternoon’s introductory news conference for new head coach Frank Vogel.

+ A free solo climber who died over the weekend at Eldorado Canyon was identified.

+ Who says an air guitar competition isn’t a sport? Look at these maniacs sweating at 3 Kings Tavern.

Post Mailbag forms

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

+ Nuggets Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Mike Singer here.

+ Avs Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Mike Chambers here.

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

By The Numbers

$31.3 million

On the plus side, the CU Buffaloes got 5 percent more from the Pac-12 in 2018 distributions than in the previous fiscal year. But the Buffaloes’ per-school payout from the Pac-12 still trailed their former Big 12 compatriots. Read more…

Parting Shot Aaron Gash, The Associated PressColorado Rockies’ Raimel Tapia reacts after striking out during the seventh inning of the team’s baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, in Milwaukee. Newman vs. Kiz: Are the Rockies toast in the N.L. playoff race?

The calendar hasn’t even flipped to June and already Mark Kiszla and Rockies beat writer Kyle Newman are wondering if the Rockies’ NL West hopes are dead. Read more…

Get in Touch

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

Colorado poll finds strong support for vocational education, concern about teacher pay

2 hours 38 min ago

If you wanted to craft a winning educational platform in Colorado, you could do worse than pushing for more vocational training and higher teacher pay.

A new poll by Magellan Strategies found 83 percent of a sample of Colorado registered voters surveyed favored increasing opportunities for vocational education in high school. The idea was popular across subgroups, with at least 80 percent support from men, women, Democrats, Republicans, unaffiliated voters and people in a range of geographic areas and income groups.

There also appeared to be a broad consensus that teachers were underpaid, with nearly three-quarters of those surveyed agreeing with that statement. At least half of every subgroup thought teachers should be paid more, though Republicans were less likely than Democrats or unaffiliated voters to think they were underpaid.

Two-thirds of voters polled said they thought schools were underfunded, but more than half thought they also weren’t managing their money well. Those two ideas aren’t necessarily contradictory, said Ryan Winger, director of data analysis and campaign strategy at Magellan.

“There’s a general perception that school districts aren’t managing their money well because not enough money is getting directly into the classroom — the implication being that too much goes to administration or other costs,” he said in a written response. “So I think a voter could believe that to be the case but still believe that public schools are underfunded.”

RELATED: These are Colorado’s top 20 high schools, according to U.S. News & World Report

The poll didn’t ask respondents’ opinions about specific proposals, however, and it’s possible the consensus could splinter when voters have to weigh trade-offs.

State Sen. Jeff Bridges, a Democrat representing Arapahoe County and a member of the education committee, said he anticipates both parties could work together on vocational education next year. This year, the legislature passed a bill establishing a pilot program to give schools full funding when students spend part of their week at internships, and another to expand access to both vocational and college courses in high school, he said.

“There’s more that we can and need to do,” he said. “If you can graduate from high school and get a good job, that’s a win for the student and the state.”

Sage Naumann, spokesman for Colorado Senate Republicans, said he wasn’t surprised to see high levels of support for vocational education, despite decades of emphasis on pursuing college.

“It’s not only important that our schools offer pathways to these vocational careers, but that our leaders make it clear that those careers are worthy, well-paying and of extreme importance to the fabric of our nation,” he said in a statement.

Both Naumann and Bridges pointed out that school boards set salaries for their own teachers, limiting what the legislature can do, but they had different ideas about how to move forward. Naumann pointed to two unsuccessful bills sponsored by Republicans, which would have given bonuses to “highly effective” teachers and offered a tax credit for purchasing supplies. Bridges suggested that if school boards don’t raise teacher pay, voters might rally behind a potential ballot question to give state government more power to set salaries.

Other issues didn’t have support from a clear majority. Half of voters polled supported vouchers to pay for private-school tuition, while 37 percent opposed them and 13 percent weren’t sure. The poll has a margin of error of about 3.5 percentage points, so actual support for vouchers could be as low as 46.5 percent, or as high as 53.5 percent — and where it falls within that range would be an important question for any politician pushing such a program to ask.

Opinions also were closely divided on whether parents needed more freedom to choose a school for their children, with 40 percent saying they had enough freedom, 47 percent saying more needed to be done and 13 percent unsure.

The margin of error is larger for subgroups in the poll, so in some cases it’s difficult to tell if there’s any meaningful difference of opinion between groups. Many questions broke down along a clear partisan divide, though.

More than eight out of 10 Democrats supported state funding for full-day kindergarten, which passed this session, while fewer than half of Republicans did. Democrats were more likely to have a favorable view of Colorado’s public education system as a whole, while Republicans were more likely to have positive feelings about charter schools.

Overall, however, people who responded to the survey said they had positive views of their local schools, and of public education. About 58 percent said they had a favorable opinion of public education in Colorado, and 59 percent approved of their local schools’ work.

The questions were worded differently, but it wouldn’t be surprising if people’s feelings about their local schools shaped their views of public education as a whole, Winger said.

“I would expect those numbers to be similar unless someone has had either an extremely positive or an extremely negative experience with their local school district that they are able to separate from their opinion on public schools in general,” he said.

The breakdown was different for charter schools, with 43 percent reporting a favorable opinion and 22 percent an unfavorable one. But 35 percent, or more than one person out of three, said they weren’t sure or had no opinion.

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Magellan surveyed 731 registered voters, with a mix of party affiliations that reflects the Colorado voting population. It’s the firm’s first in-depth poll on Coloradoans’ opinions on education, which Democrats and unaffiliated voters consistently rank as one of their top issues, Winger said.

“The idea is that this would be the first in a series of annual surveys so that we can track results over time,” he said.

One question, on school safety, could already generate different answers. The survey ended May 1, less than a week before nine students were shot — one fatally — at STEM School Highlands Ranch. At that time, 71 percent of respondents thought schools were “somewhat safe,” and 11 percent thought they were “very safe.”

“It’s the kind of question that can be impacted by recent events, and so I would expect both the ‘very safe’ and ‘somewhat safe’ responses to drop some, though it’s difficult to say how much,” Winger said. “The voter’s proximity to STEM School Highlands Ranch would obviously be a significant factor.”

Other highlights of the poll:

  • Three-quarters of those who answered said education was a “very” or “extremely” important issue for them.
  • Two-thirds of respondents agreed schools were spending too much time preparing for standardized tests, while one-fifth disagreed.
  • About 63 percent of those surveyed agreed public schools were “setting students up for success,” while 26 percent disagreed.
  • When asked what they wanted out of a school, parents were more likely than non-parents to list safety and a positive environment. While strong academics was the top choice of both parents and non-parents, those without children chose it by a greater margin.
  • When asked what type of school they would prefer for their child (regardless of whether they have one), all groups were most likely to choose a traditional public school except Republicans, who were most likely to choose a private school.

Denver weather: Monday’s snowstorm reaches all sorts of milestones

2 hours 38 min ago

Monday’s Denver-area snowfall snapped trees, summer-loving hearts — and all sorts of weather milestones.

As of Monday night, Denver International Airport had officially seen 3.0 inches of snowfall, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder. That snowfall total was likely to climb into Tuesday morning. That total, however, makes it Denver’s latest measurable snowfall since 2002, when 0.7 inches fell on May 24 of that year.

8:30 PM…Denver International Airport has received 1.0" of snow so far. #COwx

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) May 21, 2019

Perhaps even more rare, however, is the fact that Denver picked up multiple inches of snowfall during the third week of May. Denver hadn’t seen an inch or more of snow this late in the season since 2001, and this marked only the seventh time since 1882 that Denver had seen an inch or more of snowfall this deep into spring.

The three-inch total marks only the fifth time in recorded history that Denver has seen that much snowfall this late in the season. It’s also the latest three-inch-or-above snow event in Denver since 1975.

RELATED: Colorado snow totals for the 2018-19 winter season

That said, May snowfall is relatively common in Denver. The city averages 1.7 inches of snow each May. However, almost all of that snow typically comes during the first half of the month — making late May snowfall a much more uncommon occurrence.

The snow came as a part of a dynamic and abnormally strong Plains storm system. It also drew in plenty of moisture — helping lead to Denver’s wettest day in over two years on Monday as well.

Denver Int'l Airport has received 3.0" of snow as of midnight. 1.01" of liquid precipitation has been recorded for the day which is the largest daily precipitation amount since 1.13" fell on May 18, 2017. #COwx

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) May 21, 2019

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We recently wrote about recent trends towards more late season snows in Denver and other locations along the Front Range. In the meantime, please forget our April article that speculated that Denver might be done with snow for the season.

“Medicare for All’s” rich benefits “leapfrog” other nations

3 hours 40 sec ago

WASHINGTON — Generous benefits. No copays. No need for private policies. The “Medicare for All” plan advocated by leading 2020 Democrats appears more lavish than what’s offered in other advanced countries, compounding the cost but also potentially broadening its popular appeal.

While other countries do provide coverage for all, benefits vary. Canada’s plan, often cited as a model, does not cover outpatient prescription drugs and many Canadians have private insurance for medications. Many countries don’t cover long-term care.

But the Medicare for All plan from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would charge no copays or deductibles for medical care, allowing only limited cost-sharing for certain prescription drugs. Sanders would cover long-term care home and community-based services. Dental, vision and hearing coverage would be included. The House version of the legislation is along similar lines.

“Medicare for All proposals would leapfrog other countries in terms of essentially eliminating private insurance and out-of-pocket costs, and providing very expansive benefits,” said Larry Levitt, a health policy expert with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “It raises questions about how realis tic the proposals are.”

Shifting the sprawling U.S. health care system to a government-run “single-payer” plan is one of the top issues in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, but the candidates are divided. Some have endorsed Sanders’ call, while others want to expand coverage within the current mix of private and government insurance. Independent studies estimate Medicare for All would dramatically increase government spending, from $25 trillion to $35 trillion or more over 10 years. It stands no chance with Republicans controlling the White House and the Senate, but it is getting hearings in the Democratic-led House.

Economist Sherry Glied, dean of New York University’s Wagner school of public policy, says the offer of generous benefits may be needed to persuade Americans satisfied with employer coverage that they would be better off in a new government plan.

“You are going to have to be very generous if you want this to be politically appealing to lots of people,” said Glied, who was a senior health care adviser in the Obama administration.

Glied says components like benefits, copayments and deductibles would all be negotiable.

“People put out talking points and then they see what Congress is willing to swallow,” said Glied. “Who knows where it would come out in the end.”

A second congressional hearing on Medicare for All is scheduled Wednesday before the House Budget Committee. Votes this year appear unlikely. The plan is a punching bag for Republicans trying to tag Democrats as “socialists.”

In a statement, Sanders’ office said it’s fair for the senator to compare Medicare for All to what other countries have because “all those other countries guarantee health care as a right,” as his plan would.

“Sen. Sanders believes providing comprehensive coverage through the government to all residents is the best way to do it,” said the statement.

If the legislation were to advance to votes, “we will hear out concerns from our colleagues and work with them to get this bill passed,” the statement continued. “But we are very clear about what we want and what this country needs. Insurance company CEOs are going to pay well before the American people are.”

Two recent reports have called attention to differences among countries that cover everyone and are often held up as models for Medicare for All.

A report from the Congressional Budget Office will be the focus of Wednesday’s House hearing. Another report, for the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund, was written by Glied. Among its findings: Other countries don’t necessarily take the same approach as Medicare for All, using a range of strategies to cover all their residents.

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“Currently, single-payer bills in the U.S. tend to share the same key goals: centralizing…the system, expanding the public benefits package and eliminating private health insurance entirely,” the Commonwealth report said. “However, these three features are not the norm across countries that have achieved universal coverage for health care.”

The report found that one group of countries — including Denmark, Britain and Germany — provide comprehensive benefits. That includes, for example, mental health. They charge low copays. Those countries are the closest to Medicare for All.

A larger group — including Australia, France, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan — offer broad benefits but there may be gaps, and cost sharing is higher. Australia charges $60 for specialist visits. The Netherlands has a $465 deductible. Dental coverage may be limited.

Finally, Canada has a narrow national benefits package. It doesn’t cover outpatient prescriptions, long-term care, mental health, vision and dental. But there’s no cost sharing for hospital and doctors’ services. Canadians rely on private insurance and provincial governments to fill the gaps.

Ask Amy: Friendship falters over dangerous liaisons

4 hours 8 min ago

Dear Amy: I recently ended a treasured friendship that I believed would last a lifetime.

We’re both 40 years old, but late bloomers. While I got married and had a baby, she got divorced and bought her first place alone. The first thing she did was begin inviting people she’d met over the internet into her home, dating married men, and seeming to lose all moral boundaries.

At first, I just decided not to bring my daughter to her house. Then she continued to invite strangers to her home. Some of them are admittedly still married, others just admitting to still sleeping with their “separated” wives, and some have asked her to be STD tested (which offended her). She discussed everything in front of my toddler.

I decided that this is not the kind of person that I want to continue a relationship with. Also, I’m raising a child who will look at my friendships for guidance and clues on healthy behavior, and I don’t think this is it.

I’ve highlighted her dangerous behavior and she has stated, repeatedly, that she does not worry about herself at all, does not care if she’s harmed, and she does not see how this behavior could affect my family. I cannot continue to give my worries to someone who does not care for herself.

I have explained to her that we’re at an impasse and I no longer want her in our lives. Still, I miss our previous friendship. Have I made the right decision?

— Former Friend

Dear Former Friend: You’ve laid down non-negotiables — about your friend’s morality, no less — and now you are experiencing the consequences of your choice. So is she.

It is natural to miss any relationship that ends, even if you end it. If you had continued to tolerate behavior you consider intolerable and ended the friendship later, you might miss this person a little less.

Some people go a little crazy when they find themselves single and living independently. They do dumb and sometimes imprudent or dangerous things.

Your judgments about how your friend is behaving might be prudent and your choice not to involve your young daughter is a sound one, but no one enjoys being judged. She might not miss you as much as you miss her.

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You seem to want to educate and influence her in a positive way, but you can’t do that if you don’t have a relationship.

If you had merely distanced yourself, rather than severing the relationship altogether, you might have had a slender relationship to return to, when (or if) she ever settled down.

Dear Amy: We live in a middle-class suburban neighborhood. Over the years, most of the homes have been improved or at the very least are well maintained.

One house on our block, which is owned by a very nice family who have lived there for many years, has fallen into disrepair and is an eyesore, with conditions that could pose issues for the homeowner, such as a collapsing chimney, gutters filled with debris and plant life, rusted handrails, piles of debris that could house rodents, etc.

The family is young and athletic with high school-age children.

Never knowing someone else’s finances, we cannot expect major improvements. But is it too little to expect some pride in ownership? For someone to paint a rusted rail, clean a gutter out, etc.?

How should neighbors concerned about home values and other quality-of-life issues address this?

— Behind Closed Blinds

Dear Behind: Your town should have rules regarding property upkeep; research any ordinances to see if they are in violation. Your town’s website will have a phone number you can call to report this unkempt property. A ticket or the threat of a fine might inspire this family to at least clean up the outside of their home.

Church groups, youth groups, or nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity will also help a homeowner with renovations. Neighbors can also help.

It is time-consuming and hard work to take care of a house. But finances don’t necessarily dictate how well a family takes care of their property.

Dear Amy: Thank you for the clarity of your response to “Adulting,” who didn’t seem able to inspire her husband to take care of his own hygiene.

I hope she is paying attention. I spent many years with a man with similar habits. I waited too long to leave.

— Regretful

Dear Regretful: “Adulting” was eager to try to solve his problem for him.

Frank Vogel introduction caught up in Magic Johnson comments, ongoing Lakers drama

8 hours 43 min ago

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Frank Vogel’s determination to build “organizational togetherness” within the Los Angeles Lakers met the reality of the team’s current dysfunction Monday.

Vogel’s introduction as the Lakers’ coach was almost overshadowed by comments made earlier by Magic Johnson. The former Lakers great appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” and said general manager Rob Pelinka “betrayed” him, which was one of the reasons he resigned as president of basketball operations. That put the GM in the position of using most of Vogel’s 26-minute news conference to respond.

Pelinka said he has talked to Johnson several times since his resignation on April 9 and said Johnson’s comments surprised him.

“It’s saddening and disheartening to think he believes things are a misperception,” Pelinka said. “I think all of us in life probably have been through things where maybe there’s third party whispers or ‘he said, she said’ things that aren’t true.”

LeBron James watched the news conference from the back of the gym at the team’s facility, but did not shake hands with Vogel and declined interview requests. He shot baskets on another court while Vogel did one-on-one interviews with television reporters.

Vogel, who replaced Luke Walton, said the news conference took on a different tone than he imagined at the start of the day.

“It was definitely different than I expected and different than I’ve ever been a part of,” Vogel said. “But I understand the line of questioning in light of the events of this morning. So you just roll with the punches.

“The perception about our team is not always the same as reality and you block out the noise.”

Johnson stunned everyone by giving up his role during an impromptu news conference roughly 90 minutes before the regular-season finale. He said he wanted to fire Walton but that others blocked that. Walton did end up being dismissed before being hired by Sacramento.

“I started hearing, ‘Magic, you’re not working hard enough’ and ‘Magic’s not in the office.’ People around the Lakers office were telling me Rob was saying things, and I didn’t like those things being said behind my back,” Johnson said. “So I started getting calls from my friends outside of basketball saying those things now were said to them outside of basketball now, just not in the Lakers office anymore.”

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Pelinka said owner Jeanie Buss has eliminated Johnson’s position and the Lakers chain of command is now clearer.

“When it comes to a basketball decision I collaborate with the staff, many of whom are at this press conference today. Then I make a recommendation to Jeanie and she blesses that or not,” he said.

The 45-year-old Vogel takes over a team that has also struggled on the court. The Lakers have missed the playoffs for six straight seasons, a drought that was expected to end in James’ first season. But injuries to James, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, as well as the internal discord, resulted in a 37-45 record. Vogel will be the Lakers’ sixth coach since Phil Jackson stepped down after the 2010-11 season.

Vogel worked for the organization before as an advance scout during the 2005-06 season. He did not coach last season following two years with the Orlando Magic. Vogel went to Orlando following five-plus seasons leading the Indiana Pacers, including trips to the Eastern Conference finals in 2013 and ’14. He has a career record of 304-291.

Pelinka said it was his decision to hire Vogel and that he made that recommendation to Buss. The road to hiring a new coach was not smooth, though.

The Lakers appeared to be closing in on a deal with Tyronn Lue, who played for the Lakers and coached James to the 2016 NBA title in Cleveland. But that deal never got to the finish line, and they quickly moved toward Vogel.

Vogel and Lue share the same agent. He said there were some discussions about joining the Lakers as an assistant if Lue was hired.

Vogel’s reputation has been built on being strong defensively but he said his approach with the Lakers will be analytics-based. He stressed creating space to attack the basket on offense and building a strong defense from the inside.

Vogel and James did not have any public interactions Monday but Vogel said the two have talked since he agreed to take the job May 11.

“I have a good feel for the way I want to use him and hopefully the respect on his end that we were a formidable threat to his teams in Miami each year,” Vogel said. “Hopefully, our past experience together will serve as a foundation for the relationship that we’re going to have here and that we can do great things together here.”

Vogel confirmed Jason Kidd will join his staff as an assistant and said it was something Pelinka brought up during the job interview.

Vogel said he likes having former players on his staff with coaching experience. He said he discussed Kidd’s history with domestic violence.

The Lakers expect to have more than $40 million in salary cap space this summer and have the fourth pick in the NBA draft. When free agency starts on July 1, they will likely try to land Kawhi Leonard and other big names.

“We have a great coach again, a high draft pick and a great young core,” Pelinka said. “I think that people can look at this as an opportunity to come and win a championship, possibly next year. I think being concerned about the outside noise or the opinions of what people may or may not think is really not where our focus is right now.”

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Warriors beat Blazers 119-117 in OT for NBA Finals berth

8 hours 47 min ago

PORTLAND, Ore. — Experience bred confidence for the Golden State Warriors, even when challenged by the upstart Portland Trail Blazers.

No matter how far they were down, they’ve been through too much to ever think they’re out.

“We just really understand what we’re capable of on both sides of the basketball,” Draymond Green said. “We’re never out of the fight. That’s just always our mindset.”

The Warriors swept their way to a fifth straight NBA Finals, getting triple-doubles from Stephen Curry and Green in a 119-117 overtime victory on Monday night.

The two-time defending champions overcame a double-digit deficit for the third straight game against the Blazers, back in the conference finals for the first time since 2000.

Green had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, and made a key 3-pointer in overtime. Curry added 37 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. They became the first teammates to have triple-doubles in the same playoff game.

The Warriors will face the winner of the Eastern Conference finals between Toronto and Milwaukee. The Bucks lead that series 2-1 with Game 4 on Tuesday night in Canada.

The Warriors came back from 17 down after erasing an 18-point deficit in Game 3 and a 17-point hole in Game 2.

“We’ve been here before. We’ve seen everything, every experience you can imagine. So we relied on that,” Curry said.

Playing without Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors became the first team to reach five straight finals since the Boston Celtics went to 10 in a row from 1957-66.

Damian Lillard, playing with separated ribs, had 28 points and 12 assists for Portland. He missed a 3-point attempt as time ran out in the extra period. Meyers Leonard added a career-high 30 points along with 12 rebounds.

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The Warriors were up 114-113 in the extra period after Green missed the first of a pair of free throws. CJ McCollum’s jumper from out front briefly gave Portland the lead but Alfonzo McKinnie’s basket put Golden State back ahead and Green made a 3-pointer to push it to 199-115 with 39 seconds left.

Lillard made a layup and Curry missed a jumper to give Portland back the ball. Facing stifling defense from both Green and Klay Thompson, Lillard couldn’t get off a shot but the ball went out of bounds in the scramble. The Blazers got it back with 3.3 seconds left but Lillard’s final shot didn’t fall.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts was asked if he was expecting another buzzer-beating winner from Lillard, who had a memorable 3-pointer at the buzzer to clinch the first-round series against Oklahoma City.

“Yeah, I did. I thought it was going to — kind of meant to be,” Stotts said. “When he shot it, it had a good arc. I thought it had a chance.”

The Blazers stretched the lead to 17 points in the third quarter, but the Warriors went on a 12-0 run to close within 95-90 early in the final period.

Green’s long baseline jumper gave the Warriors a 108-106 lead with 3:30 left. Lillard’s 3-pointer put the Blazers back ahead and Leonard’s dunk extended it to 111-108 with just under 2 minutes to go.

After Thompson’s 3-pointer tied it up again both Curry and Lillard missed 3s. Curry made a 3 from the corner with 10.7 seconds left but he was called for traveling first and it didn’t count.

Lillard’s layup bounced around the rim and out and the game went to overtime.

Iguodala was out because of a sore left calf. The veteran swingman, who is averaging 10.1 points in the playoffs, was hurt in the second half of Saturday’s Game 3 victory.

It was not known how long he’d be out, but the Warriors said an MRI Sunday was clear.

Golden State was already missing Durant because of a sore right calf. It’s unknown when the two-time NBA Finals MVP will return. Also sitting is Cousins, who injured his left quadriceps in the opening round.

“We’ve had guys step up all along this entire time and we’re going to look forward to those guys continuing to step up, no matter what happens with the injuries that we have,” Green said. “You know, we’re trying to go win this thing. Never the goal is just to get there.”

Lillard separated his ribs in Game 2 but was playing through the pain. He averaged 33 points in the first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City but struggled against Golden State’s defensive focus on him.

Playing with urgency in an elimination game, Portland pulled in front 30-28 in the opening quarter on CJ McCollum’s layup and free throw, but Curry answered on the other end with a step-back 3-pointer.

Portland went ahead 59-50 after back-to-back 3-pointers from Leonard, who finished with five 3s in the first half.

Curry hit a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left in the half to close the Warriors within 69-65 at the break.

Portland pushed the lead to 83-72 on McCollum’s 3-pointer. After he made another 3 to push the lead to 91-78, he gestured to the crowd to make noise. McCollum finished with 26 points.

TIP INS:

Warriors: Curry has made a 3-pointer in a playoff-record 106 games. … Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was among the fans at the game, sitting a few seats down from the Warriors bench. … Per Elias Sports and the Warriors, Curry had a streak of 81 consecutive free throws made in the fourth quarter and overtime in the postseason — before he missed one with 9:25 left in the game against the Blazers.

Trail Blazers: Leonard, who didn’t even play in five of Portland’s postseason games, had a playoff-high 16 points in Game 3. After scoring 25 in the first half, fans at the Moda Center chanted his name.

FIVE AIN’T EASY

The Warriors are just the sixth professional team from North America to go to five straight championships, along with the Montreal Canadiens (NHL), Boston Celtics (NBA), Cleveland Browns (NFL), New York Yankees (MLB) and New York Islanders (NHL).

HONORING LOWE

Former Oregon wide receiver Keanon Lowe got a standing ovation when he was introduced to the crowd at the Moda Center in the first quarter. Lowe, a coach at Portland’s Parkrose High School, stopped a student who came to the school armed with a shotgun on Friday.

“I saw the look on his face, the look in his eyes, I looked at the gun, I realized it was a real gun and then my instincts just took over,” Lowe, 27, said about wrestling the gun away from the teenager. Lowe spoke to reporters before the game.

The suspect, 19-year-old Angel Granados-Diaz, pleaded not guilty earlier Monday during a brief court hearing.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Hoover Dam ceremony marks Colorado River drought plan

8 hours 53 min ago

BOULDER CITY, Nev. — Federal, state and tribal water managers are marking completion of a long-negotiated plan for 40 million people and vast irrigated farms to share crucial Colorado River water despite ongoing drought in the arid U.S. Southwest.

Interior Department official Tim Petty, Bureau of Reclamation chief Brenda Burman and representatives from seven states met Monday at Hoover Dam to commemorate an agreement spurred by nearly 20 years of drought and shrinking reservoirs.

President Donald Trump signed the so-called “drought contingency plan” last month.

Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Mexico are affected.

The agreement aims to keep the key Lake Mead and Lake Powell reservoirs from getting so low they can’t produce hydropower or deliver water for cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

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Colorado man dies while skiing to backcountry lodge for 21st birthday celebration

9 hours 11 sec ago

VAIL — Authorities say a Colorado man died while skiing to a popular backcountry lodge to meet some friends for a celebration of his 21st birthday.

The Vail Daily reports Paul Cuthbertson, an accomplished skier and lifelong resident of Eagle and Summit counties, left late Friday afternoon and was headed up the usual route to the Polar Star Inn, which is part of the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association.

He apparently deviated from the normal route at some point, and his friends started looking for him early Saturday morning.

Friday night’s weather was snowy and windy, especially in the area where Cuthbertson was skiing. The Polar Star Inn is just below timberline on the west side of New York Mountain.

Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis has not released a cause of death.

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Information from: Vail Daily, http://www.vaildaily.com/

Boulder man who died free solo climbing Eldorado Canyon identified

9 hours 14 min ago

The Boulder County Coroner’s Office on Monday identified the man who died Saturday after falling roughly 100 feet while climbing in Eldorado Canyon State Park as Robert Dergay, 48, of Boulder.

Witnesses reported that Dergay was free soloing — a form of rock climbing without the use of any ropes, harnesses or other protective equipment — the popular Bastille Crack alone when he fell. Emergency responders were first called around 7:49 p.m. Saturday, according to Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Andy Smith.

Eldorado Canyon, southwest of Boulder, has cliffs as high as 700 feet, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The American Alpine Institute rates the formation as one of North America’s 50 classic climbs. In 2012, a 41-year-old man died after falling an estimated 250 feet from the top of the Bastille rock formation.

The coroner’s office said the cause of death is pending further investigation.

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Trump tells ex-counsel Don McGahn: Defy subpoena, don’t testify

9 hours 26 min ago

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump directed his former White House Counsel Donald McGahn to defy a congressional subpoena Monday, citing a Justice Department legal opinion that maintains McGahn would have immunity from testifying about his work as a close Trump adviser. A lawyer for McGahn said he would follow the president’s wishes and skip a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday.

Trump’s action, the latest in his efforts to block every congressional probe into him and his administration, is certain to deepen the open conflict between Democrats and the president. Democrats have accused Trump and Attorney General William Barr of trying to stonewall and obstruct Congress’ oversight duties.

The House Judiciary Committee had issued a subpoena to compel McGahn to testify Tuesday, and the committee’s chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., has threatened to hold McGahn in contempt of Congress if he doesn’t. Nadler has also suggested he may try and levy fines against witnesses who do not comply with committee requests.

McGahn’s lawyer, William Burck, said in a letter to Nadler that McGahn is “conscious of the duties he, as an attorney, owes to his former client” and would decline to appear.

Still, Burck encouraged the committee to negotiate a compromise with the White House, saying his client “again finds himself facing contradictory instructions from two co-equal branches of government.”

McGahn was a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, describing ways in which the president sought to curtail that federal probe. Democrats hoped to question him as a way to focus attention on Mueller’s findings and further investigate whether Trump did obstruct justice.

“This move is just the latest act of obstruction from the White House that includes its blanket refusal to cooperate with this committee,” Nadler said in a statement. “It is also the latest example of this Administration’s disdain for law.”

Separately on Monday, a federal judge in Washington ruled against Trump in a financial records dispute, declaring the president cannot block a House subpoena for information from Mazars USA, a firm that has done accounting work for him and the Trump Organization.

Also, a hearing is planned in New York on Wednesday in another case, this one involving an effort by Trump, his business and his family to prevent Deutsche Bank and Capital One from complying with subpoenas from two House committees for banking and financial records.

If McGahn were to defy Trump and testify before Congress, it could endanger his own career in Republican politics and put his law firm, Jones Day, in the president’s crosshairs. Trump has mused about instructing Republicans to cease dealing with the firm, which is deeply intertwined in Washington with the GOP, according to one White House official and a Republican close to the White House not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

Administration officials mulled various legal options before settling on providing McGahn with a legal opinion from the Department of Justice to justify defying the subpoena.

“The immunity of the President’s immediate advisers from compelled congressional testimony on matters related to their official responsibilities has long been recognized and arises from the fundamental workings of the separation of powers,” the department’s opinion reads. “Accordingly, Mr. McGahn is not legally required to appear and testify about matters related to his official duties as Counsel to the President.”

The Judiciary Committee still plans on meeting even if McGahn doesn’t show up and McGahn “is expected to appear as legally required,” Nadler said.

Trump has fumed about McGahn for months, after it became clear that much of Mueller’s report was based on his testimony. The president has bashed his former White House counsel on Twitter and has insisted to advisers that the attorney not be allowed to humiliate him in front of Congress, much as his former personal legal fixer Michael Cohen did, according to the official and the Republican.

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The Justice Department has long held the opinion that close presidential advisers have “absolute immunity” from being compelled to testify before Congress about their work for the president.

A federal judge rejected a similar argument in 2008 in a dispute over a subpoena for Harriet Miers, who was White House counsel to George W. Bush. U.S. District Judge John Bates said it was an unprecedented notion that a White House official would be absolutely immune from being compelled to testify before Congress. Miers had to show up for her testimony, but still had the right to assert executive privilege in response to any specific questions posed by legislators, the judge said.

But in 2014, under the Obama administration, the Justice Department issued an opinion arguing that if Congress could force the president’s closest advisers to testify about matters that happened during their tenure, it would “threaten executive branch confidentiality, which is necessary (among other things) to ensure that the President can obtain the type of sound and candid advice that is essential to the effective discharge of his constitutional duties.”

The House Judiciary Committee voted earlier this month to hold Barr in contempt after he defied a subpoena for an unredacted version of Mueller’s report.

Colorado weather: Denver under winter weather advisory as Front Range gets May blast of snow

9 hours 44 min ago

Snow fell hard in parts of Colorado on Monday, including in Kiowa, where the National Weather Service reported 9 inches of new snow just before 9 p.m., and a short time later the Palmer Divide area was under a “winter storm warning.”

Other snow total reports in Colorado on Monday included: Silverton, 8.4 inches; Black Forest, 7 inches; and Monument and Peyton, 6 inches.

In Denver, just before 9 p.m., a light snow was falling in misty and foggy skies, according to the National Weather Service. The humidity in the city was at 100 percent and the temperature had dropped to 32 degrees. The weather service also upgraded Denver to a winter weather advisory.

The weather service said heavy, wet snow is expected overnight with accumulation of 2 to 6 inches, with the heavier amounts in the southern and eastern sections of the Denver metro. Denver’s winter weather advisory is posted through 9 a.m.

Denver upgraded to a Winter Weather Advisory. Palmer Divide upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning.

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) May 21, 2019

The wet, heavy snow is expected to break tree branches, possibly leading to scattered power outages.

Sections of roads in the Denver area became snow-covered and slushy on Monday night. Planes taking off from Denver International Airport late Monday were delayed for deicing operations, airport officials said.

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Winter driving conditions have returned to I-25 and Monument Hill. Crews are out in force. Motorists are urged to not travel during this spring storm. If you must be out, use extreme caution and #knowbeforeyougo check https://t.co/uOU0HHbUQ6 pic.twitter.com/wAUBFKfVMv

— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) May 21, 2019

The Colorado Department of Transportation said that “winter driving conditions” returned to Interstate 25 and Monument Hill and that plow crews “are out in force.”

At 10:20 p.m., CDOT reported that multiple crashes shut down eastbound lanes of the highway in Vail. Multiple sections of I-70 in the mountains were closed and reopened earlier on Monday by weather-related collisions, including an eastbound stretch east of the Eisenhower Tunnel.

In Denver on Tuesday, patchy fog is expected before 7 a.m. and snow should change to rain between 10 and 11 a.m., the weather service said. Thunder is possible and the high temperature will be about 45 degrees.