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Updated: 5 min 49 sec ago

Mostly sunny Thanksgiving week in Denver

1 hour 50 min ago

It’s shaping up to be a pleasant Thanksgiving week with sunny skies and temperatures climbing to above-normal levels, forecasters say.

Southwesterly winds will flow through Colorado until the weekend when a light snow storm is possible, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

On Monday, it’ll be sunny with a high of about 49 degrees. Temperatures will gradually increase as we get closer to Thanksgiving.

The high will be around 54 degrees on Tuesday, 59 on Wednesday and 58 on Thanksgiving, ideal for outdoor Turkey Day festivities.

The average high temperatures during Thanksgiving week range from 49 to 51 degrees, according to the NWS.

Quiet weather will start the week. #COwx pic.twitter.com/T7XZ9L4jI9

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) November 19, 2018

Friday will begin warm with a high temperature of 56, but a weak storm system will enter Colorado that night, possibly bringing snow showers after 11 p.m., the weather service says.

Rain and snow showers are possible on Saturday, when the high could be 47 degrees, the NWS says.

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It will be sunny again on Sunday, but the high will only be around 39 degrees.

How progressive groups put Colorado Democrats in the driver’s seat, and what they want in return

2 hours 22 min ago

Conservation Colorado, a political nonprofit that advocates for environmental policies, spent more than $4.6 million — a record for the group — to help Democrats take the levers of state government this month.

CIRC Action Fund, which works to protect immigrant rights, knocked on 86,649 doors across the Colorado, most of their efforts concentrated in key state Senate districts.

And NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, a group that fights to protect and expand abortion access in the state, sent 9,000 text messages during the 48 hours before polls closed encouraging voters to turn in their ballots.

These are just three examples of how Colorado’s left-leaning political nonprofits and unions helped mobilize an electorate eager to send a message to President Donald Trump on Nov. 6. In doing so, these groups provided historic financial and human resources to state Democrats who won every statewide office on the ballot, expanded their majority in the state House and flipped control of the state Senate in their favor.

AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver PostColorado state Sen. Leroy Garcia speaks during the Democratic watch party in downtown Denver on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

Come January, when the Democrats are sworn in, it will be payback time.

Among the issues this cadre of progressives expect Democratic lawmakers and Gov.-elect Jared Polis to deliver on based on interviews with leaders of these groups: protecting air quality, expanding the state’s driver’s license program for immigrants without documentation and changing the way transgender individuals can update their birth certificates.

While the state’s progressive coalition readies for a big payoff next spring, defeated conservatives are already sounding the alarm of “overreach.” Republicans have gone so far as to raise the possibility of recall elections if Democrats go too far. And given Trump’s outsized influence on the electorate, there is an open question of whether voters actually gave Colorado Democrats a mandate or if it was more of a message to Washington.

Daniel Ramos — executive director of One Colorado, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization — said voters understood what they were doing when they voted for Democrats down the ballot.

“The attacks at the federal level made people realize they could do more at the state level to protect their loved ones,” he said. “They knew for us to truly live in a state that carries out our values of fairness and justice that this was the year and that was the message to send, so voters turned out like never before.”

A campaign of historic resources

Long before the 2018 election was on the mind of most voters, NARAL began its work, shifting tactics with an aggressive year-round membership campaign.

The abortion rights organization fanned out across the state — including in traditional Republican territory — going door to door, hosting dinner parties and staffing phone banks to drum up support. In May, NARAL hosted a “reproductive rights barbecue” in Gunnison. And throughout the summer volunteers passed out literature and recruited support at community events in Grand Junction.

“We just weren’t reaching out to ask them to vote,” said Karen Middleton, NARAL Colorado’s executive director. “We were engaging them year-round to build relationships.”

Other political nonprofits, which aren’t in some cases required to disclose their donors under federal tax law, increased their activity in the run-up to the election.

Conservation Colorado knocked on 561,375 doors and sent more than 150,000 texts to voters.

AFL-CIO, the state’s federation of unions, visited or called 496,437 voters. And its efforts were fruitful: In crucial state Senate districts, union members voted at a much higher clip than nonunion members. For example, the union’s records show that members’ turnout rate was 78 percent in Senate District 5 while the rest of the public voted at about 67 percent.

One Colorado gave candidates a group-record $60,000 from its political action and small donor committees, called 41,000 voters and knocked on 6,128 doors.

The immigrant rights group CIRC Action, which worked with other nonprofits in prior elections, struck out on its own this year.

“It was an epic scale-up,” said Nicole Melaku, the organization’s executive director. “We had candidates we knew our voters would be excited about.”

To complete its work in Pueblo, Colorado Springs and the Denver suburbs, CIRC hired 204 people — most of them young and Latino. They knocked on 86,649 doors and sent more than 72,000 pieces of mail. In particular, they targeted new voters and those who don’t normally vote in midterm elections.

“We just felt it was really important that we don’t leave voter engagement on the table,” Melaku said.

In this Aug. 1, 2014, file photo, immigrant and longtime U.S. resident Rosalva Mireles is photographed by Jesus Sanchez of the newspaper El Commercio after Mireles was processed for her permanent driver’s license at a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Denver. A progressive wish list

These organizations did not devote all of their resources and might without an expected payoff.

With the state headed toward firm Democratic control in January, each organization has a list of policy proposals and executive orders — some more developed than others — they want enacted.

One Colorado for several years has lobbied for a ban on gay conversion therapy and a bill that would make it easier for transgender individuals to update the gender on their birth certificates. The LGBT rights group will be back with those proposals, said Ramos, the executive director.

Conservation Colorado’s executive director, Kelly Nordini, said her organization is still exploring policy options, but the broad goals are to see air quality standards hardened, progress on renewable energy and protection of federal lands.

The federal government can’t be counted on to address these concerns, she said: “That leadership, those solutions are coming from the state.”

Meanwhile, as there’s a push for renewable energy, labor unions want to ensure workers have protections and opportunities for job training, said Dennis Dougherty, executive director of Colorado AFL-CIO.

“A priority for us is to ensure a just and equitable transition for fossil fuel workers and the communities they live in,” he said.

CIRC, for its part, wants lawmakers to expand the state’s immigrant driver’s license program to rural communities and increase the number of individuals who would be eligible. According to the group, the state could reach its current cap by spring.

CIRC also wants the state to provide protections for immigrants here without documentation.

“We’ve seen places like our courthouses and schools targeted,” Melaku said. “We want them to remain safe places. We should not be concerned that ICE would go into those places.”

This last request could receive pushback from Polis’ office. During the campaign, Polis said he would not support policies that created so-called sanctuary status for the entire state. Instead, he championed local control for law enforcement officers.

More so than in any recent midterm election, voters were motivated one way or the other by the president. A Republican firm’s post-election survey of the state’s largest voting bloc, unaffiliated voters, suggested Trump’s brand is a strain on Republicans and propelled Democrats to victory.

It begs the question: Were voters voting for a progressive agenda or a check on Trump?

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NARAL’s Middleton said those two things aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

“It’s a little bit of both,” she said. “Do I think it’s a total green light? No. But voters said we want to protect Colorado’s way of life from what many of us see as a temporary occupation of the White House.”

Other progressive leaders agreed.

“The message that voters sent was that they want representatives that truly represent their values,” Ramos said.

Winter Park communities counting on new logo for a lift

2 hours 22 min ago
Winter Park & Fraser Chamber of CommerceWinter Park Resort, and the towns of Winter Park, Frasier and Tabernash have rolled out a new logo they will use together.

Winter Park Resort for years operated not unlike a mountain fortress, content to live on its own, with or without the nearby towns of Grand County.

But that is changing. The resort, under its new owner, along with the nearby towns of Winter Park, Fraser and Tabernash have launched a combined logo and tag line: Colorado Unfiltered.

“Out community go together and said we need a plan,” said Jimmy Lahrman, mayor of the town of Winter Park at a press event Thursday evening to discuss the new campaign.

That year-long process resulted in a decision to work more closely together on promoting the area, which has lagged behind many of Colorado’s other ski communities.

Alterra Mountain Co. took over as the operator of the resort, which is owned by the City of Denver, in April 2017 when it acquired Intrawest in a $1.5 billion deal that also gave it control of Steamboat Ski Resort.

Alterra spent $21 million on a new gondola and lift upgrades, part of a larger package of $30 million in investments in the resort. It also rolled out a new IKON Pass designed to rival Vail’s Epic Pass and bring new visitors into member resorts, including Winter Park.

Veteran developer Buz Koelbel and former cable entrepreneur Bob Fanch, along with others, have invested millions in the area, which is driving a transformation of the communities surrounding the resort.

“Winter Park is a golden opportunity. It is Winter Park’s time to shine,” said Charlie Johnson, owner of Cooper Creek Square and the nearby ice rink.

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Bus service, taken for granted in communities like Vail and Breckenridge, used to be a seasonal affair in Winter Park run by the resort. But two years ago, Grand County voters approved higher sales taxes to create a more consistent link between the towns and resort.

Colorado Unfiltered is designed to evoke a sense of place, absent the pretense and need to impress sometimes associated with the state’s best known and most expensive ski areas. It is also designed to evoke a sense of adventure tied closely to the land and the recreational opportunities it provides.

“The tag line felt right. You feel like you can be yourself,” said Eric Mason, COO of Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa.

At CU, it’s titles or bust: Why Buffs AD Rick George wants a coach who wants a crack at Alabama

2 hours 22 min ago

BOULDER — Rick George didn’t come out and say he wants Alabama. But he sure as heck sounded like a guy who wants a guy who says he wants a crack at the Crimson Tide.

“I know where I want this program to go,” Colorado’s athletic director said at a news conference Sunday afternoon, a few hours after the school announced it had dismissed Mike MacIntyre as football coach. “I want to win Pac-12 championships. I want to win national championships. I’m committed to that.”

Translation: 5-7, the average record of MacIntyre’s six seasons at the helm, isn’t good enough. And neither is MacIntyre’s mean of 2.3 victories per year in the Pac-12, a trend that saw CU finish last or tied for last in the South four times in the coach’s first five seasons.

“This is one of the great jobs in all of sports,” George continued. “There’s not a better job in America than here in Colorado.”

Translation: If you’re not here to win championships, pal, don’t throw your name into the hat.

“I think we’ve got an incredibly talented football team,” said George, who said he’d made the decision to fire MacIntyre Saturday night following the Buffs’ 30-7 loss at Folsom Field to Utah, CU’s sixth consecutive defeat after a 5-0 start. “I want someone to come in and install some energy and enthusiasm into the program.”

Translation: The pieces are already here. Sophomore wideout Leviska Shenault Jr. is an NFL talent, right now, who probably won’t be sticking around for a senior season if the money calls. Quarterback Steven Montez, a 6-foot-5 junior, has one year of eligibility left after throwing for 35 scores and rushing for seven more over the past two seasons.

“We need to be the talk of the country,” George said, “in a positive way.”

George named CU quarterbacks coach Kirk Roper as the Buffs’ interim coach for a Saturday visit to Cal (6-4, 3-4). In terms of a permanent replacement, speculative talk in the early going has centered around West Virginia’s Dana Holgerson, Syracuse’s Dino Babers, Fresno State’s Jeff Tedford, and Boise State’s Bryan Harsin.

George said he’s looking for  “a great teacher … a coach that cares for the student-athletes. They’ve got to be a great recruiter. At the end of the day, you need great student-athletes on the team.

“Most importantly, I want a coach that comes in here that (shares) the same passion about this place that I do and someone that’s going to come in and guide these young men to great things in the future.”

The Buffs’ collapse of the present has been nothing short of historic, putting the program at risk of becoming the first in school history to open a season with five consecutive wins and finish it with a losing record. CU is on the cusp of becoming the first Power 5 program to open 5-0 and wind up 5-7 since Kansas did it in 2009.

“What this came to,” George said, “was (that) I wanted to see more consistency with winning seasons.”

In the end, MacIntyre’s era will be defined by coming consistently close — but, with the exception of that “magical” season of 2016, not quite getting over the mark. Since “The Rise” of two seasons ago, the Buffs are 0-9 in games that would’ve clinched a sixth victory — and a soul-crushing 0-6 mark when faced with those opportunities this fall.

George said the timing of his decision, “just in my gut, it was the right thing. I wanted to do it now. I wanted to create new energy for our football team.”

Trump says he wouldn’t stop acting attorney general from curtailing Mueller probe

2 hours 23 min ago

President Donald Trump said he would not overrule his acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, if he decides to curtail the special counsel probe being led by Robert Mueller III into Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign.

“Look, it’s going to be up to him … I would not get involved,” Trump said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

In the weeks since Trump forced Jeff Sessions to resign as attorney general and chose Whitaker to serve as his interim replacement, Whitaker has faced calls from Democrats to recuse himself from oversight of the probe given his previous criticism of the investigation. Trump said in Sunday’s interview that he “did not know (Whitaker) took views on the Mueller investigation as such” before he appointed him to his position.

Trump also essentially shut the door to sitting down with Mueller, telling host Chris Wallace that his written answers mean “probably this is the end” of his involvement in the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.

“I think we’ve wasted enough time on this witch hunt and the answer is probably: We’re finished,” Trump said. He said that he had given “very complete answers to a lot of questions” and that “that should solve the problem.”

Trump said Friday that he had answered a set of written questions from Mueller “very easily.” The president told Wallace in Sunday’s interview that it “wasn’t a big deal” and that he expects his legal team to submit the answers “at some point very soon.”

Trump’s answers had long been sought by Mueller during the course of his 18-month-old investigation. The probe has led to charges against 32 people, including 26 Russians. While four aides to Trump have pleaded guilty to various charges, Mueller’s team has not given any public indications as to whether it has concluded that Trump associates conspired with the Russians or whether the president obstructed justice by pressuring Justice Department leaders.

Key lawmakers also weighed in on Whitaker on Sunday.

In an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” incoming Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., contended that Whitaker “was chosen for the purpose of interfering with the Mueller investigation” and said he “should have absolutely nothing to do” with the probe.

Schiff also said Whitaker should be subject to Senate confirmation.

“He auditioned for the part by going on TV and saying he could hobble the investigation,” said Schiff, calling Whitaker’s appointment unconstitutional and “an attack on the rule of law.”

Trump fired back in a tweet Sunday afternoon in which he argued that Mueller had not been confirmed by the Senate, either. However, Mueller, unlike the attorney general, is not a Cabinet-level official; he was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and his role does not require Senate confirmation.

Mueller, however, was twice confirmed by the Senate to serve as FBI director — in 2001 and 2011.

“So funny to see little Adam Schitt (D-CA) talking about the fact that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was not approved by the Senate, but not mentioning the fact that Bob Mueller (who is highly conflicted) was not approved by the Senate!” said Trump, misspelling Schiff’s last name.

Some Republicans on Sunday were looking past Whitaker and focusing on his potential successor. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said that Whitaker “seems to be a person who has the ability to do that acting job” but that the Justice Department needs a permanent leader as soon as possible.

“We need to move as quickly as we can beyond whoever’s the acting attorney general to an attorney general who’s going to be there for, hopefully, a much longer period of time,” he told ABC.

Blunt, a member of the Senate GOP leadership who also sits on the Intelligence Committee, said that he has confidence in the Mueller investigation and that it would be a “huge mistake” for Trump to seek to end it. “We need to get beyond this. We don’t need to have this starting again,” the senator said.

During Sunday’s wide-ranging interview, Trump said he does not feel it is necessary for him to listen to an audio recording of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month.

“We have the tape. I don’t want to hear the tape. No reason for me to hear the tape,” Trump said. He described it as “a suffering tape” and told Wallace, “I know everything that went on in the tape without having to hear it. … It was very violent, very vicious and terrible.”

The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi leaders and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post. But Trump maintained on “Fox News Sunday” that the crown prince had told him “maybe five different times” and “as recently as a few days ago” that he had nothing to do with the killing. Aides have said that Trump has been looking for ways to avoid pinning the blame on Mohammed.

“Well, will anybody really know?” Trump said in Sunday’s interview when asked whether the crown prince might have been lying to him. He added: “You saw we put on very heavy sanctions, massive sanctions on a large group of people from Saudi Arabia. But, at the same time, we do have an ally, and I want to stick with an ally that in many ways has been very good.”

Trump also weighed in on the performance of several top members of his administration and maintained that his party had succeeded in the midterm elections despite losing the House.

Trump said there are people in “three or four or five positions” in his administration whom he is thinking about replacing and that of those, “maybe it’s going to end up being two.”

He declined to say whether chief of staff John Kelly will remain in his position through 2020 as previously indicated, saying only, “I mean, it could be. Let’s see what happens.”

“There are certain things I love what he does,” Trump said of Kelly. “And there are certain things that I don’t like that he does that aren’t his strength. … It’s not his fault; it’s not his strength.”

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Trump praised Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen but also suggested that she may leave his administration at some point. Trump has voiced dissatisfaction about Nielsen’s performance on immigration enforcement and has previously told advisers that he has decided to remove her in the coming weeks.

“I want her to get much tougher, and we’ll see what happens there. But I want to be extremely tough,” Trump said in Sunday’s interview.

He claimed that despite Republicans’ defeat in the House, where they have lost at least three dozen seats, their holding on to the Senate was “historic” and “a tremendous victory.”

“I didn’t run. I wasn’t running. My name wasn’t on the ballot,” Trump said. During the months leading up to Election Day, he repeatedly told supporters at his “Make America Great Again” rallies to “pretend I’m on the ballot.”

Trump also said Sunday that he could not envision a situation in which he would try to amend the Constitution to run for a third term as president in 2024.

“Just won’t happen,” Trump told Wallace. “I think the eight-year limit is a good thing, not a bad thing.”

Denver Sports Omelette: A roundup of the Denver Broncos’ Week 11 win over the Los Angeles Chargers

2 hours 23 min ago

Happy Monday, Omelette readers! The Broncos came back strong after their bye week, beating their AFC West rival, the San Diego, I mean, Los Angeles Chargers, 23-22. Here’s a roundup of what you may have missed from yesterday’s game:

— Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post

NEW 

Ask Amy: Grandfather’s death leaves many open questions

3 hours 52 min ago

Dear Amy: My father-in-law died by suicide. Because of his local prominence, the suicide made local news. If you Google his name, stories mention his suicide, some in graphic detail.

My in-laws’ religion is very clear on suicide and the family feels a great deal of shame over his death. My mother-in-law insisted that none of the grandchildren (who were all very young) should be told how their grandfather died.

My husband agrees with me that our daughter eventually has the right to know how her grandfather died. I don’t want to disrespect his family, but I believe that our daughter has the right to know her complete health history.

I do not believe that there is any reason to be ashamed. I have gone along with my mother-in-law’s wishes because I don’t want my daughter to have the burden of keeping a secret from her cousins, whose parents believe in sheltering their children from bad news.

My daughter is now learning how to use the internet and has started Googling her relatives’ names. It’s only a matter of time before she finds out about how he died. I feel my husband and I should guide the discussion.

My husband feels that because it’s his dad, he should decide how to talk about it.

If my daughter finds out about her grandfather through the internet, she will likely believe that because we haven’t talked about his suicide, then it means that she’s not supposed to talk about it.

I don’t want her to navigate her emotions on her own. I want to talk to her, but I don’t want to anger my husband and alienate my in-laws.

— Anxious

Dear Anxious: Denial and secrecy surrounding a suicide is not a good thing — obviously. But people — especially loved ones who might still be struggling — have a right to privacy.

You seem overly invested in controlling a specific outcome. Yes, of course, your daughter will eventually learn about her grandfather’s death. But your stated concern about your young daughter’s “health history” seems disingenuous.

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Are you focused on this death more than other deaths in the family? And if so, why? Would you be as eager to explain a grandparent’s death from cancer to a young child as you are to discuss this suicide?

For family survivors of suicide, there is a distinct sort of pain and grief that is mixed with confusion, anger and — yes — sometimes shame. But this is your husband’s father you’re talking about. Let him handle this, and be supportive of him — even if he struggles.

The narrative, like the loss, might be messy. You do not have the right to pre-empt this discussion for your own reasons.

When your daughter learns of this, make sure that you and her father also tell her about the fullness of her grandfather’s life, so that his death alone doesn’t define him. Your compassion toward him will guide your daughter.

Dear Amy: I have a female relative who frequents a psychic.

She then uses her visits to fuel conversations at family gatherings, frequently embarrassing other family members.

For example, she once reported back that her psychic had told her that my husband and I were having marital problems! I replied that every marriage has its ups and downs.

However, despite my negative reaction, she continues this pattern of behavior.

I have visited psychics myself, and I thought the purpose was to enlighten you about your own life, not to be nosy about friends and relatives.

Your thoughts?

— Not Happy

Dear Not Happy: You’re right — it is uncool and unkind of your relative to cast aspersions on your (or anyone else’s) private life, especially in front of other people. When she does this in the future, you should simply respond that you don’t think it’s right for her to speculate about others private lives.

That having been said, even though I don’t believe in psychic powers, I could imagine that the thoughts and predictions of a psychic might be an interesting conversation starter.

Dear Amy: Responding to “Pay to Play,” the two friends who meet, and linger, over lunch justify this by leaving a 30 percent tip. If each meal is $15 to $20, then 30 percent of the tab is only $12, at most.

That seems miserly for hanging out for three hours.

As a server, I would find it much more palatable if each left $10 to $15, rather than an “increased” percentage tip.

These guests may be low maintenance, but they still require periodic attention.

— Been There Done That

Dear Been There: Great advice. Thank you.

Greeley pizzeria’s Thanksgiving smallpox ad spurs outrage, disgust, demands for public discussion

10 hours 12 min ago

A Greeley pizzeria put out an ad in a magazine that refers to the genocidal deaths of Native Americans — and is facing an outcry.

The ad that Right Coast Pizza placed in the November issue of BandWagon — a Greeley-based music, arts and entertainment publication — shows a woman holding a pizza box in front of a kneeling native man wearing a headdress. The ad shows the woman saying: “Sorry about all the smallpox. ….. Who wants a slice of pepperoni?”

Right Coast owner Justin Vogel on Sunday evening said he was trying to prevent circulation of the ad after he and Right Coast employees received phone calls and electronic messages lambasting their conduct. BandWagon’s electronic versions of the ad have been removed.

Vogel was trying not to be delinquent in minimizing circulation of print versions of the magazine, he said, and planned to meet Monday morning with BandWagon’s publisher.

“I don’t know if the right term is ‘racist.’ It is definitely not correct. It is, basically, making light of genocide. It is coarse and inappropriate,” said Vogel, 32, who has owned this pizzeria in central Greeley for 3 1/2 years and also owns one in Wheat Ridge.

“I take full responsibility. … We screwed up. How can we make this right?”

Smallpox ranked among the most destructive diseases brought by European settlers. Scholars are exploring the extent to which smallpox was used as a biological weapon before settlers displaced, forcibly removed and in some cases slaughtered native communities.

The magazine’s website says it circulates for free to Greeley, Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor and more. Vogel said he’d put ads in BandWagon before and that, when BandWagon sales reps contacted him about what sort of ad he wanted for November, he told them to “get creative and come up with something.”

The BandWagon staffers suggested a “Thanksgiving theme” and Vogel said he told them that sounded fine. When BandWagon designers sent the ad for him to review before publication, Vogel was busy, he said, and didn’t look at it carefully.

Messages sent to Right Coast — including some from a native community estimated at 1,500 strong — criticized the ad as deeply offensive. Some people said they’ll stay away.

Northern Colorado Latino Foundation board president Joe Molina was organizing a public forum Monday at 7 p.m. at his gallery in Greeley. “We would like to take the time to discuss the recent cultural insensitivity of both a local restaurant chain Right Coast Pizza and the very public racist ad they placed in BandWagon Magazine in Greeley,” Molina announced in a Facebook post.

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“We are saddened by the privilege of Right Coast Pizza in turning the genocide of Native Americans into a very inappropriate display of derogatory humor. We ask that BandWagon Magazine publisher take this experience seriously and acknowledge their mistake.”

BandWagon’s publisher issued an apology using Facebook “to anyone that was offended by one of our ads,” saying “those of you who responded so strongly to that ad are a part of the same community that we are, and your voices are valid.” The apology statement said the ad is “insensitive,” that “both the magazine and our clients regret ever printing it,” and that “the creative team behind this advertisement went too far and both the client and our publisher deeply regret our lack of quality control in letting this go to print.”

Right Coast is considering what to do, said Vogel, who discussed the matter in two phone calls with people who identified themselves as Native Americans. He was considering contacting community groups and charities, he said.

“We never intended any harm. … We don’t want to make it a spur of the moment thing. We need to take our time and make it right.”

Larimer animal control officer hospitalized after dog attack near Loveland

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 23:55

An animal control officer was seriously injured after he was attacked by two dogs southeast of Loveland on Saturday.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office was called to the 8200 block of East County Road 18 about 12:30 p.m. to help an animal control officer with the Larimer Humane Society, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

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The animal control officer had responded to that address to follow up on a previous incident but was unable to contact the home owner, the press release states. As he was leaving the property, he was attacked by two dogs and seriously injured, according to the press release.

The officer was transported by ambulance to a Loveland hospital, where he underwent surgery for his injuries, the sheriff’s office reports. He was listed in stable condition late Sunday afternoon.

Other Larimer Humane Society animal control officers and Larimer County Sheriff’s deputies were able to secure the two dogs. Officials have not released information on the breed and size of the dogs involved.

Read more at reporterherald.com.

Searchers in California wildfire step up efforts; 77 dead

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 23:33

CHICO, Calif. — Volunteers in white coveralls, hard hats and masks poked through ash and debris Sunday, searching for the remains of victims of the devastating Northern California wildfire before rains forecast this week complicate their efforts.

While the predicted downpours could help tamp down blazes that have killed 77 people so far, they also could wash away telltale fragments of bone, or turn loose, dry ash into a thick paste that would frustrate the search.

A team of 10 volunteers went from burned house to burned house Sunday in the devastated town of Paradise, accompanied by a cadaver dog with a bell on its collar that jingled in the grim landscape.

The members of the team scrutinized the rubble in five-minute sweeps, using sticks to move aside debris and focused on vehicles, bathtubs and what was left of mattresses. When no remains were found, they spray-painted a large, orange “0” near the house.

Up to 400 people were involved in the overall search and recovery effort. Robert Panak, a volunteer on a different team from Napa County, spent the morning searching homes, but didn’t find any remains.

Asked whether the job was tough, the 50-year-old volunteer said, “I just think about the positives, bringing relief to the families, closure.”

He said his approach was to try to picture the house before it burned and think where people might have hidden.

About 1,000 names are on a list of people unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began in Butte County, authorities said late Saturday. They stressed that the long roster does not mean they believe all those on the list are missing.

Sheriff Kory Honea pleaded with evacuees to review the list of those reported as unreachable by family and friends and to call the department if those people are known to be safe.

Deputies have located hundreds of people to date, but the overall number keeps growing because they are adding more names, including those from the chaotic early hours of the disaster, Honea said.

“As much as I wish that we could get through all of this before the rains come, I don’t know if that’s possible,” he said.

Honea said it was within the “realm of possibility” that officials would never know the exact death toll from the blaze.

On Sunday afternoon, more than 50 people gathered at a memorial for the victims at First Christian Church in Chico, where a banner on the altar read, “We will rise from the ashes.”

People hugged and shed tears as Pastor Jesse Kearns recited a prayer for first responders: “We ask for continued strength as they are growing weary right now.”
Hundreds of search and recovery personnel are involved in the effort, going to homes when they receive tips that someone might have died there.

But they are also doing a more comprehensive, “door-to-door” and “car-to-car” search of areas, said Joe Moses, a commander with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, who is helping oversee the search and rescue effort.

The search area is huge, Moses said, with many structures that need to be checked.

The fire also burned many places to the ground, creating a landscape unique to many search-and-rescue personnel, he said.

“Here we’re looking for very small parts and pieces, and so we have to be very diligent and systematic in how we do your searches,” he said Friday.

The remains of five more people were found Saturday, including four in Paradise and one in nearby Concow, bringing the number of dead to 77.

Among them was Lolene Rios, 56, whose son, Jed, tearfully told KXTV in Sacramento that his mother had an “endless amount of love” for him.

President Donald Trump toured the area Saturday, joined by California’s outgoing and incoming governors, both Democrats who have traded sharp barbs with the Republican administration. Trump also visited Southern California, where firefighters were making progress on a wildfire that tore through communities west of Los Angeles from Thousand Oaks to Malibu, killing three people.

“We’ve never seen anything like this in California; we’ve never seen anything like this yet. It’s like total devastation,” Trump said as he stood amid the ruins of Paradise and pledged the full support of the federal government.

Soon after the fire began, Trump blamed state officials for poor forest management and threatened to cut off federal funding.

“He’s got our back,” outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“There have been some back and forth between California leaders and the president,” Brown said. “But in the face of tragedy, people tend to rise above some of their lesser propensities. So I think we’re on a good path.”

He also suggested California’s severe wildfires will make believers of even the most ardent climate change skeptics “in less than five years,” and that those living near forests might need to build underground shelters to protect them from fires.

Rain was forecast for midweek in the Paradise area. The National Weather Service said the area could get 20 mph sustained winds and 40 mph gusts, which could make it hard for crews to keep making progress against the blaze.

Northern California’s Camp Fire has destroyed about 10,500 homes and torched 233 square miles. It was 65 percent contained.

Honea expressed hope that Trump’s visit would help with recovery, saying the tour by the Republican president and California’s Democratic leaders “signals a spirit of cooperation here that ultimately benefit this community and get us on a path toward recovery.”

Mikko Rantanen’s overtime goal completes Avalanche’s comeback over the Ducks

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 23:12

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Avalanche have shown a knack for late-game comebacks over the first six weeks of the season, but Sunday’s rally to start off a three-game trek was something new.

NHL scoring leader Mikko Rantanen tallied with 1.3 seconds left in overtime to send Colorado to a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks, the team’s first triumph in five trips to the extra period this season.

The goal came from a pass by Nathan MacKinnon, whose goal at the end of the second period and shot that was deflected in by Gabe Landeskog a little more than midway through the third period spurred the Avalanche (10-6-4, 24 points) back from a 3-1 deficit.

It was the fifth comeback win for Colorado, which plays 12 of its 16 games at home following Wednesday’s game at Los Angeles and Friday’s at Arizona.

“We’re kind of a little bit of a roller-coaster in overtime,” head coach Jared Bednar said. “We were real good for a long stretch and we’ve dropped a couple, but I think our group’s maturing and managing the puck a little bit better in overtime.

“We’ve created some chances and, obviously, we have some dynamic players there, so to be able to come back and get better as the game went on was real important. To be able to finish in overtime and not have to go to a shootout is real important.”

MacKinnon and Landeskog scored their 13th goals of the season, with Rantanen picking up assists on both en route to 32 points, the best 20-game start in Avalanche history. Rantanen has 23 assists, tops in the league, and is four points ahead of MacKinnon and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, who scored the opening goal in a 6-3 loss to Vegas.

Rantanen held off Jacob Larsson in a duel behind the net to feed MacKinnon for the shot that was redirected by Landeskog for the tying goal with 8:40 to go in regulation, then won the game with a slap shot from just beyond the circles after MacKinnon, who fired just high twice in the extra period, collected a cleared puck near mid-ice and took it up the left wing.

“It was a big win, for sure …,” Rantanen said. “You don’t want to go to shootouts, it’s always 50-50, so it was good to get a win in overtime.”

Colorado was without winger Colin Wilson, scratched with a lower-body injury, and Southern California native Matt Nieto missed his second straight game, also with a lower-body injury. Philipp Grubauer, made his second successive start over No. 1 goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

The Ducks (8-9-5, 21 points) did well to slow Colorado’s attack despite limited defensive options — including four rookies, one of them a 20-year-old NHL debutant — after Hampus Lindholm was placed Sunday on injured reserve with a lower-body injury (joining Cam Fowler, who went on IR six days earlier) and No. 1 goaltender John Gibson sidelined with the flu.

The Ducks started aggressively and were rewarded with Brandon Montour’s wraparound goal at the 4:45 mark. Grubauer, who had stopped Jakob Silfverberg 1-on-1 just 15 seconds earlier, turned aside Aberg’s blast from the top of the right circle but left a rebound to the right of the net.

Montour took advantage, taking the puck behind the net and, with Grubauer diving rather than moving his feet, tucked it in on the left.

The Avalanche were better defensively the rest of the period but got little going on the attacking end, never really testing backup goalie Ryan Miller until after the first break.

Colorado was the superior team the last two periods but played from behind when it conceded goals 71 seconds apart, both terrific finishes, after pulling even on Sven Adrighetto’s second goal of the season just 2:17 into the second period.

Andrighetto, taking Wilson’s spot on the Avalanche’s second attacking line after coming off the IR two days earlier, finished inside the left post after a strong second effort from Patrik Nemeth. Vladislav Kamenev fed the Swedish defenseman from behind the net, Miller saved the initial shot, and Nemeth took the puck out of the air with his hand, curled behind the net and found Adrighetto just to the left of the goal for a quick shot.

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The Ducks were ahead just 66 seconds later. Nikita Zadavov went to the penalty box for holding 41 seconds after Andrighetto’s goal, and Ryan Getzlaf struck quickly, with a blast from above the circles to the upper-right corner past a well-screened Grubauer.

Ondrej Kase made it 3-1 a little more than a minute after that, redirecting the puck in the air past Grubauer off Montour’s feed from the right wing.

MacKinnon pulled Colorado within a power-play goal with a little less than 2 minutes to go in the second, and Landskog deflected his shot for the tying goal from a Rantanen feed from behind the net.

“(Anaheim) was real aggressive and skated real well early — they were hard to play against,” Bednar said. “But we created some extended zone time in the second period and did some good things. Eventually we grind out way back in.”

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Von Miller interception highlights Broncos’ defensive resiliency in win at Chargers

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 22:34

CARSON, Calif. — Von Miller intercepted the football with nothing but green grass ahead.

“I thought I was going to the house,” he said.

A 6-foot-3, 250-pound Broncos’ defensive back? Not quite.

Miller just played the role to perfection on a single snap which proved crucial in a dramatic comeback victory. The Chargers led by 12 late in the third quarter and faced third-and-9 at the Denver 35. Miller stared down L.A. quarterback Philip Rivers off right tackle with three receivers bunched nearby.

Miller took steps toward Rivers at the snap, but as Rivers drew the football back to throw, Miller stopped in his tracks. He’d played in 15 regular season games versus Rivers before Sunday. This play looked familiar.

“I stayed there for the screen,” Miller said, “and he threw it to me.”

A mad dash ensued (complete with teammate commentary).

Cornerback Chris Harris: “That was good awareness — I think I taught him that.”

Defensive end Adam Gotsis: “It was pretty dope. I thought he was a bit slow on the return (laughs).”

Safety Justin Simmons: “That’s just stuff you expect from Von.”

Forgive Miller for not out-sprinting Chargers’ wide receiver Travis Benjamin and falling 18 yards shy of glory, because three offensive snaps later, running back Royce Freeman found the end zone — and the spark for a 23-22 comeback victory ignited.

“It was probably one of the biggest plays of the game,” linebacker Bradley Chubb said. “Because when you see one of your best leaders doing something like that, it has the whole team wanting to go out there and reciprocate that same energy.”

The Broncos’ defensive performance was far from perfect inside the StubHub Center as Rivers completed seven passes of 25-plus yards and L.A. converted nine third-down attempts. But Denver limited Chargers’ running back Melvin Gordon to 69 yards rushing, Harris had an interception and Denver sacked Rivers three times.

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The Broncos’ defense made a critical stop late. Denver opted to punt instead of attempting a long field goal late in the fourth quarter — warranted trust as the Broncos’ forced a third-down incompletion that gave their offense the ball back with 1:51 on the clock. Just enough time for a gritty drive by quarterback Case Keenum capped by Brandon McManus‘ game-winning field goal.

Miller nabbed one of those Rivers takedowns to make history. Including the playoffs, Miller now has 100 sacks to join Reggie White and DeMarcus Ware as the only players in league history to record at least 10 sacks in seven of their first eight seasons

However, Miller downplayed his pick in his postgame interview. The focus shifts to Pittsburgh next week.

“I was just trying to win,” Miller said. “That’s our motto: Somebody make a play. It doesn’t matter who it is. I read the thing and he threw it straight to me. We’ve been in games like this all year long. … This week, it had the same type of feeling as the all the other games. We were able to make a play or two to come out with the win.”

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PHOTOS: Denver Broncos top Los Angeles Chargers 23-22, Nov. 18, 2018

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 22:31

The Denver Broncos beat the Los Angeles Chargers 23-22 on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. A 38-yard catch by Emmanuel Sanders and a 30-yard reception by Courtland Sutton set up Brandon McManus’ 34-yard field goal as time expired.

Kiszla: Nice move, dummy. Philip Rivers started war of words with Chris Harris, who made yappy QB pay in Broncos’ victory.

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 22:25

CARSON, Calif. — Final score from La La Land: Chris Harris Jr. 23, Philip Rivers 22.

Well, at least that’s the way it felt when the Broncos beat the Chargers. This was personal. In a tough NFL season for Denver, nothing feels quite as good as shutting up Philip.

In his long-running role as the Chargers’ yappy quarterback, Rivers is the football villain Denver loves to hate most. On this November afternoon, Rivers inexplicably decided to pick a fight with Harris, the Broncos’ shutdown corner.

“I’m throwing at you all day!” Rivers warned Harris on the field.

Throw at Harris? On purpose? A crash-test dummy is smarter than that.

“That’s all right,” Harris responded. “I’ll make you pay.”

Harris was shocked Rivers seemed to be on a mission to embarrass him.  “He just came out screaming at me. I’ve never had a quarterback just really pointing me out in front of everybody,” Harris said. “Everybody on the D-line and all the linebackers looked at me like, ‘Is he really hollering at you like that?”

But, in the end, Harris served Rivers crow for Sunday dinner. How did the Chargers find a way to blow a 12-point lead in the second half and lose as time expired in the fourth quarter?

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“We shouldn’t have been in that situation,” Rivers insisted. “It should’ve been about 33-7 at that point.”

C’mon, Philip. Whine a little bit more for us, would you? It’s kinda cute.

“He whines a lot on the field,” Harris said last week, as Denver prepared to play Rivers for the 26th time in his Hall of Fame career. “I would say guys just get tired of him whining.”

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Rivers must get this internet thingy, because the Chargers duly noted the shots fired from Denver. At least Harris is quite certain of it, because Rivers barked at him nonstop, like an off-the-chain Chihuahua.

“It was crazy, man,” Harris said. “Philip came out like the first play … and he started screaming at me. He was talking so much (trash) at me. I was like, ‘OK, you want to wake up the dog, today? You woke up a sleeping giant. Now I’ve got to get you!’ ”

In a season when the Broncos have invented ways to lose, it was Rivers who made the knucklehead mistakes that Los Angeles will regret.

It was stunning enough to watch a quarterback with 15 seasons of pro experience gift-wrapped interceptions to both Harris and Von Miller.

Harris made a point of letting the entire Chargers bench know how good it felt to force a turnover on Rivers. Miller’s 42-yard interception return in the third quarter is what turned the momentum in Denver’s favor.

But with the Chargers still in position to seal a two-point victory in the final two minutes, Rivers committed a bonehead move of carelessly dumping an incomplete pass in the dirt on third down, when curling up in the fetal position to take a sack would’ve run at least another 30 seconds off the clock.

Considering the Broncos’ seven-play, 76-yard drive to win the game was conducted without any timeouts and ended with a field goal by Brandon McManus as time expired, this victory couldn’t have been possible without the brain freeze by Philip the Whiner.

“We botched the game at the end, when we had a chance to finish it,” Rivers said.

If Rivers were the quarterback in Denver, we wouldn’t be doing the math of how many more times the Broncos, whose record improved to 4-6, have to win in order to save coach Vance Joseph’s job.

Full disclosure: I have a mancrush on Rivers. And so does Miller, who thinks it’s hilarious that all the quarterback’s smack talk is rated G, scrubbed clean of any curse words. It’s like the late, great Mr. Rogers walking into your neighborhood, looking to start trouble. According to Miller, this is as trashy as Rivers’ on-field conversation gets: “I got the first down, sucker!”

After improving its record to 4-6, the laughter was back in the Denver locker room. “One for the good guys!” exclaimed nose tackle Domata Peko. “About (bleeping) time!”

And for those of you keeping score at home, the Broncos’ career record against Rivers is now 14-12.

I asked Rivers why he thought it was a good idea to attack Harris. “I think while having respect for him, there’s a difference in respect and fear,” he replied.

Much to our dismay, we recently learned Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes puts ketchup on steak, as well as macaroni and cheese.

That’s gross.

But perhaps Harris should ship a case of Dijon mustard to Rivers.

After this loss to the Broncos, Mr. Motormouth has got a heaping helping of his own words to woof down.

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Broncos Briefs: A “typical” game for rookie running back Phillip Lindsay

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 21:26

CARSON, Calif. — Ten games into his sensational rookie season, Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay can score two touchdowns like he did in Sunday’s 23-22 win over the Los Angeles Chargers and it feels and looks normal.

“That’s (the) typical Phillip Lindsay,” linebacker Von Miller said. “I wasn’t surprised.”

Lindsay scored the Broncos’ first touchdown (41-yard run) and gave them a 20-19 lead early in the fourth quarter on a two-yard scoring carry. Lindsay, who started even though Royce Freeman (ankle) was active, carried 11 times for 79 yards and caught four passes for 27 yards.

“He’s growing before our eyes,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “He’s an NFL first-, second- and third-down back and it’s amazing at his size what he can do on all three downs — catching the ball, protecting (the quarterback) and running. He’s a good little football player. Obviously, it’s no fluke.”

Lindsay’s first touchdown came one play after the Broncos’ successful fake punt. He burst up the middle and got seal-out blocks from center Connor McGovern and left guard Billy Turner.

“I had lanes,” Lindsay said. “For us, we needed to be physical and be able to run the ball for us to win this game.”

Lindsay’s second touchdown came on a direct snap “Wildcat” formation. For the season, he has six total touchdowns.

Offensive line shines. The Broncos’ rebuilt offensive line did not allow a sack, two weeks after center Matt Paradis sustained a season-ending broken leg and two days after left guard Max Garcia was ruled out for the season with a torn ACL. Elijah Wilkinson started at right guard, McGovern moved from right guard to center and Turner played left guard.

“Incredible,” quarterback Case Keenum said. “To not give up any sacks was big time.”

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Right tackle Jared Veldheer credited McGovern for his pre-snap communication.

“Connor did an awesome job,” Veldheer said. “There wasn’t a time where I felt I was in the dark. Everybody stayed composed and stayed with their (assignment) rules and we were able to be productive.”

Joseph said the offensive line received game balls for their performance. The Broncos did not allow a sack for the first time this year.

Fake punt success. Trailing 6-0 in the second quarter, the Broncos needed a spark so Joseph approved of a fake punt call.

Punter Colby Wadman drifted to his left before throwing to Andy Janovich, who gained 12 yards on fourth-and-5.

“It turned out to be pretty big,” Janovich said. “We worked the heck out of it all week (in practice) and they said, ‘Get ready, we’re calling it no matter what.’”

Lindsay scored his first touchdown on the next play.

“Every single time we ran it (in practice), we were completing it,” Wadman said. “I was super confident. I didn’t have any (extra) adrenaline, honestly, because I knew it was such a short pass.”

Said Joseph: “We try to have a fake punt in each week. It was the perfect time (and) the perfect yard-line to call it.”

Two players injured. Broncos receiver DaeSean Hamilton (knee) and cornerback Bradley Roby (evaluated for a concussion) were injured and did not return. Hamilton was playing for the first time since spraining his MCL at Arizona in Week 7.

“Same knee; he aggravated it (but) not as bad as the first time,” Joseph said.

Cornerback Chris Harris and linebacker Josey Jewell missed snaps but returned to the game.

Footnotes. Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (foot) made his season debut and had one tackle and one quarterback hit. … Los Angeles’ 14 penalties for 120 yards were both season highs for a Broncos’ opponent. … Joseph said he thought about challenging Keenum’s failed two-point conversion but there was not a good enough replay.

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Former Classical Academy star Daniel Carlson’s last-second FG gives Raiders win in Arizona

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 21:12

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The hollering in the post-game locker room sounded as if Oakland had just won a playoff game or something.

That’s how good victory finally felt for the Raiders.

Daniel Carlson — who graduated from The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs — kicked a 35-yard field goal as the game ended to give Oakland a 23-21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in a matchup of teams scraping the bottom of the NFL standings.

The Raiders (2-8), who had lost five straight, matched the record of the Cardinals.

“It’s fun to win again,” said Jon Gruden, whose return to coaching this season after a decade away has been difficult, to say the least. “With the injuries and the lack of practice, I really credit our guys for finishing the football game and finding a way to win.”

Derek Carr threw for two touchdowns and had completions of 32 and 20 yards on the final drive that led to Carlson’s winning kick.

“I was just ready,” Carlson said. “I stayed ready those last two drives because I didn’t know when it was going to happen. I had a feeling it was going to happen eventually. … It’s awesome.”

Carlson also had field goals of 49 and 21 yards in the second half after the teams were tied 14-14 at the break.

“We all believed. There was never a doubt,” Carr said. “There’s been times when we believed and we didn’t win. It was the same feeling you need to have, same mentality, same look in everybody’s eye. It was a good win.”

Arizona rookie Josh Rosen threw for three touchdowns, two to Larry Fitzgerald, but was intercepted twice. Both picks led to first-half touchdowns for Oakland. David Johnson rushed for a season-best 137 yards, including a 53-yarder that set up Rosen’s 5-yard TD pass to Fitzgerald that gave the Cardinals a 21-20 lead with 5:02 to play.

Later, Johnson had a 57-yard touchdown run called back by a holding penalty against Ricky Seals-Jones and also had a key drop. That possession also featured an unnecessary roughness penalty on tight end Jermaine Gresham that helped force the punt to Oakland.

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“It was just a dumb play by me,” Gresham said. “I turned around and saw my guy (Fitzgerald) on the ground. It was a stupid thing. … I cost us the game.”

Carr completed 19 of 31 passes for 192 yards.

Rosen was 9 of 20 for 136 yards, but three of the completions went for scores: 18 and 5 yards to Fitzgerald and a 59-yard pass play to fellow rookie Christian Kirk. Fitzgerald has 114 career TD catches, seventh most in NFL history.

“This one is going to definitely sting,” Johnson said. “You know, the Raiders, everyone knows they’re trading guys away, they’re doing everything to try to rebuild. This one is a tough one.”

Or, as Rosen put it, “No disrespect to the Raiders but we feel we are the better football team. That’s what makes this so frustrating.”

The day started badly for the Cardinals and ended that way.

On Arizona’s second play, Gareon Conley made a diving interception and returned it 28 yards to the Cardinals 33-yard line. Three plays later, Carr threw to wide-open Jared Cook for the touchdown.

Arizona took the subsequent kickoff and tied it with a nine-play, 64-yard drive. Rosen threw 18 yards to Fitzgerald for the touchdown.

The Cardinals took the lead when Rosen, changing the play at the line of scrimmage, threw short to Kirk. Kirk, on his 22nd birthday, shook loose from a would-be tackler and raced to the end zone, a 59-yard play to make it 14-7 late in the first quarter.

Karl Joseph intercepted a deflected pass at the 50 and Oakland drove from there for the tying score. Carr threw 5 yards to Brandon LaFell for the touchdown .

Carlson’s 49-yard field goal on Oakland’s first possession of the second half gave the Raiders the lead. Later in the quarter, the Raiders used 7:39 in a drive that stalled at the 1-yard line and Carlson’s 21-yard field goal made it 20-14.

Both of Arizona’s wins came against San Francisco. The 49ers, Cardinals and Raiders are now tied for the worst record in the NFL.

TIMEOUT TROUBLES

Oakland drew a 5-yard penalty for calling consecutive timeouts in the second quarter. It moved what would have been a third-and-2 situation to third-and-7 and the Raiders failed to convert. Coach Jon Gruden was demonstrably upset with Carr afterward on the sideline.

INJURIES

Raiders: LaFell left in the second half with an Achilles tendon injury. Cornerback Leon Hall hurt his back in the first half.

Cardinals: Linebacker Deone Bucannon left with a chest injury in the second half.

UP NEXT

Raiders: at Baltimore next Sunday.

Cardinals: at the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.

Broncos’ Brandon McManus earns redemption with game-winning field goal at Chargers

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 21:00

CARSON, Calif. — Quarterback Case Keenum watched anxiously from the sideline Sunday with 3 seconds left, and the Broncos trailing by 2 points while pinning their hopes on one player’s foot.

Brandon McManus lined up for the 34-yard attempt, and with the ghosts of a Week 9 miss against the Texans in the same scenario, he exorcised those demons. Broncos 23, Chargers 22.

Keenum’s reaction? “That’s a high you can’t buy,” he said.

For a moment, though, it appeared Denver would never get the chance. With 43 ticks left, an offensive pass interference call on wide receiver Tim Patrick moved the football from the LA 34-yard line to Denver’s 45. But Keenum connected on deep passes to wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton to reach the red zone. McManus took care of the rest and Keenum spiked the ball to stop the clock.

“This team was resilient,” McManus said. “It’s obviously great with how bad you want to get back out there and make another kick.”

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Coach Vance Joseph gave McManus a game ball in a jubilant visiting locker room.

“We’re proud of B-Mac,” Joseph said. “He’s our guy.”

McManus has made 14-of-17 field goals plus all 24 extra-point tries. He’s had two game-winners this season — adding to his late-game heroics versus the Raiders in Week 2. The Broncos never lost confidence in their battle-tested kicker.

“We all believe in (McManus),” cornerback Chris Harris said. “We won Super Bowl with him kicking amazing. He misses one every once in a while. It is what it is. But we have 100-percent trust with B-Mac. We’re always going to ride with him.”

Mobile playgrounds travel to low-income kids to help them get fit

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 20:41

In a state with the fourth-highest rate of youth obesity in the nation, the Baton Rouge parks and recreation agency wanted to lure Louisiana kids away from their screens and into the parks to get moving.

But the low-income youths who needed exercise the most weren’t showing up at the parks. Officials learned that they didn’t have transportation, and their parents were too busy working to take them. So they decided to take the parks to the kids.

With money donated in 2012 by corporate sponsors and a portion of their parish budget, the local parks and recreation agency, known as the Baton Rouge Recreation, or BREC, bought a box delivery truck, painted it with bright colors and filled it with scooters, hula-hoops, balls, slack lines, trampolines, sidewalk chalk and jump ropes.

“The idea came to us one day while we were watching a bunch of kids turn flips on an old mattress someone had discarded near the office,” said Diane Drake, who directs BREC’s playground on wheels. “We realized it wouldn’t take much to get kids moving if we put it right in front of them.”

Naming the mobile playground BREC on the Geaux (a Cajun play on words for the word “go”), the agency in 2013 started what would become a daily program by holding community events at housing complexes, churches, parks and schools in low-income neighborhoods.

If peals of laughter and swarms of activity are any indicator, BREC on the Geaux was an immediate success, Drake said.

“Once word spread, children would come running out of their apartments as soon as we pulled into the parking lot,” Drake said. “It was all we could do to unload the equipment before they grabbed it and ran off.”

A year after it began, BREC officials drove the mobile playground to a meeting of the National Recreation and Park Association in Charlotte, N.C.

Since then, BREC has received dozens of emails and phone calls from other cities seeking advice on how to start a similar program, Drake said. Recreation officials in Knoxville, Tenn., said in an interview that they plan to start a copy of BREC’s program next year.

Other imitators include Waynesville, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Mount Pleasant, Mich.; and Alexandria, La.

Transporting the joy and the health benefits of play to kids in underserved neighborhoods isn’t a new idea.

A concept called “Play Streets,” in which local volunteers work with police and health officials in urban neighborhoods to temporarily block traffic so kids can play, has been thriving for decades in places such as London, Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

But the idea is now starting to take root in small and medium-size cities — and in a handful of rural towns — where low-income children and adults are even more susceptible to obesity than in the nation’s urban centers, according to a June report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We stole the truck idea from Rochester, N.Y.,” Drake said, having researched other cities after their initial idea. “But our concept was different because it was designed to combat obesity.”

Rochester’s “Recreation on the Move” program offers homework help, read-aloud programs, and art and music, in addition to some sports and group games.

The oldest known mobile playground started in Sioux Falls, S.D., more than 70 years ago, and it’s still operating, Drake said: “They temporarily repurposed vehicles used to transport seniors one summer and the rest is history.”

In Winter Park, Fla., a decommissioned firetruck was converted into a playground on wheels in 2012. In 1997, East Point, Ga., started using an old police SWAT truck to take play equipment to a basketball park for kids whose parents couldn’t afford to send them to summer camp, Drake said.

BREC started its mobile playground project with $110,000, half from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and half from the parish budget.

A Play Streets project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supported play events in four diverse low-income rural communities last summer — Warrenton, N.C.; Talihina, Okla.; Oakland, Md.; and Cameron, Texas — on a much smaller budget: $6,000 for a handful of community events.

Instead of shutting down a street, the communities held the events in parks, fields and other public spaces.

Working with a local health department, an agricultural extension service, a church and a tribal health center from the various towns, Robert Wood Johnson researchers found that the Play Streets concept could be cost-effectively adapted for rural communities, said Keshia Pollack Porter, a health policy professor at Johns Hopkins University who worked on the project.

In addition to providing needed community interaction as rural residents traveled to town centers for the events, bouncy houses and other inflatable play equipment inspired kids and some adults to get moving. Strapping pedometers on kids who volunteered, researchers showed that physical activity among participating children was higher during the three- to five-hour events than it otherwise would have been.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center found that similar events sponsored by BREC resulted in children getting about 50 percent more physical activity, as measured in Fitbit steps, compared with weekdays and weekends without Play Street events.

“Play Streets are not a magic bullet,” said Jamie Bussel, a pediatric health expert at the Johnson Foundation. But combined with food and nutrition initiatives, and institutionalized by communities, including schools, day care centers and recreation departments, they can go a long way to tamping the nation’s obesity epidemic, she said.

Nationwide, the childhood obesity rate was nearly 16 percent in 2016-2017, CDC data shows. And obese children are more likely to continue to be obese as adults, which puts them at a higher risk of developing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and other conditions.

States vary widely in the rate of obesity among youths ages 10 to 17, according to the most recent National Survey of Children’s Health. Mississippi has the highest rate at 26 percent, and Utah has the lowest rate at 9 percent. The obesity rate in Louisiana is 19 percent.

BREC on the Geaux parks in the Elm Grove community, where children have few play options, once a week. “You can see the kids peeking out of their windows and doors as we pull up,” Drake said. “When they see our truck, they start running.”

Dee Taylor calls herself the grandmother and great-grandmother of the subsidized apartment complex there. “We didn’t have much of anything for the kids on the grounds,” she said. “They stayed in their apartments and watched too much TV or played video games all day in the summer. It was the only thing they knew to do.”

“So, when I heard about BREC on the Geaux, I made a call and they came.”

Taylor put up a notice about the mobile playground’s schedule in the window of her apartment and another one on the door of the building’s management office. She told everyone she knew.

“A child needs that kind of physical activity to grow up in a wholesome way,” she said. “The more we can give them, the better their lives will be.”

Broncos report card and game balls from Week 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 20:28

Offense — B

Terrible on third down (3 of 10), but the other parts of the Broncos’ offense made up for it. The re-configured offensive line did not allow a sack. Phillip Lindsay averaged a whopping 7.2 yards per carry on 11 attempts (two touchdowns). Courtland Sutton showed his progress by getting mega yards after the catch. Royce Freeman returned from an ankle injury in Week 7 to carry seven times (one touchdown). But the offensive line deserves much of the praise. They basically had four tackles playing, including new starters at right guard (Eli Wilkinson) and left guard (Billy Turner) and a new center (ex-right guard Connor McGovern). Quarterback Case Keenum made it work (19 of 32 for 205 yards).

Defense — B

The good: The Broncos sacked Philip Rivers three times, got interceptions from linebacker Von Miller and cornerback Chris Harris and limited the Chargers to 3.7 yards per rush. The bad: Rivers passed for 401 yards, including completions of 27, 32, 27, 29, 26 and 23 yards. And the Chargers were 9 of 15 on third down. But at least the Broncos did not give up the monster play that resulted in a touchdown. The Chargers had to use 13, eight, nine, nine and eight plays on their scoring drives. Safeties Darian Stewart and Justin Simmons each had 10 tackles. But let’s go back to the Miller play, one of supreme awareness and athleticism. It set up a Broncos touchdown and turned the game.

Special teams — A

A successful fake punt and a game-winning field goal as time expired always equals the highest grade. Punter Colby Wadman extended an eventual touchdown drive with a 12-yard pass to Andy Janovich. Two weeks after missing a game-winning field goal against Houston, Brandon McManus was good from 34 yards out as time expired. Wadman averaged a solid 40.4 yards net and the Chargers had only one punt return for two yards. The Broncos’ return game remains in-flux — Devontae Booker and Adam Jones returned kicks and Jones and River Cracraft caught punts.

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Coaching — A

The Broncos needed a win after entering on a 1-6 skid and coach Vance Joseph certainly needed a clean game. Both happened on Sunday. Praise to Joseph for going along with a fake punt idea during the week of preparation, knowing as a seven-point road underdog, he had to steal a possession. Game balls, though, were well deserved for offensive line coaches Sean Kugler and Chris Strausser for putting together a group that had three new starters compared to the last game. A hat-tip, too, for offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who used the time off to devise new ways for Sutton to get involved.

Game Balls

RB Phillip Lindsay: The undrafted rookie keeps on keeping on. He rushed 11 times for 79 yards, including touchdowns of 41 and two yards and also caught four passes for 27 yards.

K Brandon McManus: His only field goal attempt came from 34 yards and delivered an upset win for the Broncos.

LB Von Miller: His first regular season interception since 2012 set up Royce Freeman’s three-yard touchdown run.

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Broncos’ up-down drill: Best and worst against the Chargers

Sun, 11/18/2018 - 19:32

Tracking the best and worst from the Broncos’ victory Sunday against the Chargers.

UP: Broncos Country. As expected, lackluster Chargers’ fan support paired with a venue that seats just 27,000 produced a strong showing of Denver fans at the StubHub Center. The split appeared about 50-50 from a press box view, but the noise generated for Broncos’ points suggested Denver fans might have held the advantage.

DOWN: Fast starts.  Broncos coach Vance Joseph emphasized the need to start fast against LA. It didn’t happen. The Chargers led 6-0 after the first quarter with Denver’s offense accounting for only 28 yards. And, once again, the Broncos played the vast majority of the game from behind.

UP: Punter passes. Early in the second quarter, the Broncos faced fourth-and-5 at midfield when they pulled off some impressive trickery. Denver lined up in a punt formation, but Colby Wadman didn’t boot it. He received the snap, rolled left and threw an on-target short toss to fullback Andy Janovich — who rumbled 12 yards to move the chains. It led to Denver’s lone touchdown of the first half.

DOWN: Return decisions. Among the priorities for Denver’s bye week was addressing issues in the return game. Clearly, more work is required. The Broncos returned two kickoffs from their end zone in the first half. Adam Jones reached the 15-yard line. Devontae Booker managed to reach the 17-yard line. Both players should have taken a knee.

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UP: Phillip Lindsay. Might as well just reserve his spot in the “UP” column all season. Lindsay provided Denver with its most consistent explosive plays.  He led the Broncos in both rushing and receiving entering the fourth quarter and finished the game with 11 carries for 79 yards and two rushing touchdowns, plus four catches for 27 yards.

DOWN: Clean Football. There were so many flags thrown Sunday, you might think it was part of an elaborate in-game Tide advertisement (look how yellow they are!). The final flag tally sure wasn’t pretty. The teams combined for 20 penalties for 153 yards, with the Chargers most often the guilty party.

UP: Von Miller. The Broncos’ all-pro edge rusher proved he’s more than a one-trick pony. Miller sacked Rivers in the second quarter, his 10th of the season, and Miller later snagged an interception he ran back 42 yards. Denver capitalized quickly with a touchdown. It marked Miller’s first regular season interception since 2012.

DOWN: Third-down defense. The Broncos’ defensive effort ultimately kept them in the game with multiple turnovers and limiting LA running back Melvin Gordon to just 69 yards on the ground. Where Denver fell flat, though, was defending third downs. The Chargers converted 9-of-15 attempts and weren’t forced to punt until late in the third quarter.

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