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Updated: 19 min 27 sec ago

Hundreds of South Koreans to enter North to reunite with loved ones

1 hour 5 min ago

SEOUL, South Korea — About 200 South Koreans and their family members prepared to cross into North Korea on Monday for heart-wrenching meetings with relatives most haven’t seen since they were separated by the turmoil of the Korean War.

The weeklong event at North Korea’s Diamond Mountain resort comes as the rival Koreas boost reconciliation efforts amid a diplomatic push to resolve a standoff over North Korea’s drive for a nuclear weapons program that can reliably target the continental United States.

The temporary reunions are highly emotional because most of those taking part are elderly people eager to see their loved ones once more before they die. Most of these families were driven apart during the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula still in a technical state of war.

Buses carrying the elderly South Koreans attending this week’s reunions arrived at a border immigration office Monday morning. Red Cross workers wearing yellow vests waved at them. Some were in wheelchairs and others were aided by workers as they got off the buses and moved to the South Korean immigration office in the eastern border town of Goseong. After undergoing immigration checks, they were to cross the border by buses and travel to Diamond Mountain.

Past reunions have produced powerful images of elderly Koreans crying, embracing and caressing each other. Nearly 20,000 people have participated in 20 rounds of face-to-face reunions held between the countries since 2000. Another 3,700 exchanged video messages with their North Korean relatives under a short-lived program from 2005 to 2007. No one has had a second chance to see their relatives.

According to Seoul’s Unification Ministry, 197 separated South Koreans and their family members will take part in the first round of reunions that run from Monday to Wednesday. Another 337 South Koreans will participate in a second round of reunions from Friday to Sunday.

South Korea will also send dozens of medical and emergency staff to Diamond Mountain to prepare for potential health problems considering the large number of elderly participants.

Many of the South Korean participants are war refugees born in North Korea who will be meeting their siblings or the infant children they left behind, many of them now into their 70s.

Park Hong-seo, an 88-year-old Korean War veteran from the southern city of Daegu, said he always wondered whether he’d faced his older brother in battle.

After graduating from a Seoul university, Park’s brother settled in the North Korean coastal town of Wonsan as a dentist in 1946. After the war broke out, Park was told by a co-worker that his brother refused to flee to the South because he had a family in the North and was a surgeon in the North Korean army.

Park fought for the South as a student soldier and was among the allied troops who took over Wonsan in October 1950. The U.S.-led forces advanced farther north in the following weeks before being driven back by a mass of Chinese forces after Beijing intervened in the conflict.

Park learned that his brother died in 1984. At Diamond Mountain, he will meet his North Korean nephew and niece, who are 74 and 69, respectively.

“I want to ask them what his dying wish was and what he said about me,” Park said in a telephone interview last week. “I wonder whether there’s a chance he saw me when I was in Wonsan.”

During the three years since the reunions were last held, the North tested three nuclear weapons and multiple missiles that demonstrated a potential of striking the continental United States.

North Korea has shifted to diplomacy in recent months. Leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a son of North Korean war refugees, agreed to resume the reunions during the first of their two summits this year in April.

South Korea sees the separated families as the largest humanitarian issue created by the war, which killed and injured millions and cemented the division of the Korean Peninsula into the North and South. The ministry estimates there are currently about 600,000 to 700,000 South Koreans with immediate or extended relatives in North Korea.

But Seoul has failed to persuade Pyongyang to accept its long-standing call for more frequent reunions with more participants.

The limited number of reunions cannot meet the demands of divided family members, who are now mostly in their 80s and 90s, South Korean officials say. More than 75,000 of the 132,000 South Koreans who have applied to participate in reunions have died, according to the Seoul ministry.

Analysts say North Korea sees the reunions as an important bargaining chip with the South, and doesn’t want them expanded because they give its people better awareness of the outside world. While South Korea uses a computerized lottery to pick participants for the reunions, North Korea is believed to choose based on loyalty to its authoritarian leadership.

Kim reported from Seoul. AP writer Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul contributed to this report.

Loveland, Niwot man share bond through injury, organ donation

1 hour 20 min ago

Jim Eastman and Scott La Point describe their describe their friendship as a double bond, built through a shared life-changing experience that neither of them chose — and a choice Scott made decades later.

“We’re attached at the kidney,” joked Jim, a 68-year-old Niwot man who, 14 months after a transplant, traveled to Utah with Scott, his donor, to compete in the Donate Life Transplant Games.

“It was beyond anything I have ever experienced, the sense of camaraderie” Scott, a 55-year-old Loveland man, said of the competition held Aug. 2-8. “It’s nice to come home with a medal, but you also come home with friendships.”

Scott and Jim spoke of the people they met at the games, including a 31-year-old who received a double lung transplant who, after years of living with cystic fibrosis, broke into a run just because, for the first time in her life, she could.

“You don’t realize how live-giving these donations are until you go to the transplant games,” said Jim.

The journey to the games is something the men took together — from surgeries to the finish line — yet their paths crossed because of traumatic brain injuries both had suffered separately decades earlier.

Read the full story at

Boulder’s Bridge House, Har HaShem get creative in housing formerly homeless

1 hour 32 min ago

Misti Doyle doesn’t remember the last time she lived had proper housing.

She used to live with family, until one night, when they decided to get high. Doyle didn’t feel like joining in, so they handed her $20 and sent her out into a snowstorm. She was homeless in Longmont for awhile, and spent the past year living at Bridge House, participating in its Ready to Work program.

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“It’s been a long time,” she said, since she had a real home.

But now she is newly installed in a three-bedroom house in Boulder, one of six Ready To Work graduates benefitting from a new partnership between Bridge House, Congregation Har HaShem and Boulder Property Management that the organizations hope will become a model for combatting homelessness and the city’s housing affordability woes in one.

“We’re always looking for creative ways to help people get permanent housing,” said Isabel McDevitt, Bridge House CEO. “We really think this triumvirate of Bridge House, BPM and Har HaShem could be a model. We want this partnership to be a pilot for Boulder.”

Read the full story at

Colorado Classic winner Gavin Mannion moved here for love, now he loves what Colorado did for his career

2 hours 6 min ago

For more than 40 years, endurance athletes have moved to Colorado for the benefits of training at altitude, and the rarefied air of the Front Range unquestionably helped Gavin Mannion achieve a career breakthrough in capturing the Colorado Classic on Sunday. That’s not why the Massachusetts native moved to Fort Collins last year, though.

He had an even better reason.

“I moved to Colorado probably why most guys do anything, for a girl,” Mannion said Sunday, basking in the greatest achievement of his career. “It had nothing to do with training. But it’s clearly paid off in terms of cycling as well.”

Mannion, who turns 27 on Friday, took the general classification lead on Friday’s Stage 2 with an outstanding time trial on Vail Pass that compared well with past times posted by some of the greats in American cycling. He maintained it through Saturday’s 100-miler that took in the mountains of Jefferson County and Sunday’s circuit race in Denver to finish four days of racing with a 15-second victory margin over UnitedHealthcare teammate Serghei Tvetchov.

Mannion met his girlfriend while he was in Colorado for some altitude training in advance of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge.

“I’ve always loved Colorado, so I kind of needed an excuse to come here anyway,” Mannion said. “I’ve always performed well in Colorado, and the mountains here are awesome for training. I lived in Austin (Texas) for a while, which doesn’t have quite as long climbs, so my climbing has definitely improved with moving to the mountains and continuing to develop physically at altitude. Performing at these races is always awesome. To do it in front of a hometown crowd is even better.”

The son of an Irish immigrant who was a pro rider, Mannion has been in the sport all of his life and started racing when he was 9. He got on the Livestrong team owned by Lance Armstrong when he was 19, riding as a teammate with Taylor Phinney, Joe Dombrowski, Lawson Craddock and other strong young riders of that era. They got signed to World Tour contracts and he didn’t.

“I kind of was left scrambling,” Mannion said. “I’m definitely kind of a slow developer, and being on Livestrong with a bunch of superstars — it’s like the greats in basketball or baseball, they’re just good from the moment they’re born — but I’ve been somebody who just keeps chipping away. Hopefully I can continue to do that and eventually make it to the highest level of the sport.”

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Where that happens is now a big question. His season is over and his team — which went 1-2 in the men’s and women’s races — may be disbanding because UnitedHealthcare is not renewing its sponsorship for next year. Women’s winner Katie Hall doesn’t have to worry because she’s joining a top European team based in the Netherlands, Boels Dolmans, but she sympathizes.

“This is our last race together,” Hall said. “Some of us are retiring, some of us are moving on, and we also don’t know about the future of this team. We are just really celebrating being together and winning some bike races and each other.”

Despite the uncertainty, Mannion’s season ended Sunday on a jubilant note. Not only did he and Tvetchov go 1-2 in the GC, but teammate Travis McCabe won the final stage.

“This was the best week of my cycling career, and today is probably the best day,” Mannion said. “To wrap up all the hard work that my teammates have done for me, and to have Travis win the stage today, it doesn’t really get any better.”

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Steve Bannon says GOP must rally behind Trump to survive

2 hours 27 min ago

WASHINGTON — Steve Bannon has a dire warning for Republicans.

During a Sunday interview with The Associated Press, the former chief strategist to President Donald Trump said he believes the GOP would lose 35 to 40 seats in the House if the election were held today, thereby ceding their majority to Democrats he’s convinced will pursue impeachment. He argued there’s still time to turn that around and is launching a group, Citizens of the American Republic, to pitch the election as a vote to protect Trump from that outcome.

“You can’t look at this as a midterm and you can’t run it out of the traditional Republican playbook. If you do that, you’re going to get smoked,” said Bannon, arguing that Republicans must redouble efforts against motivated Democrats.

The effort is a test of Bannon’s sway in the GOP a year after he was fired from his White House post. His relationship with Trump soured after a tell-all book published in January included searing quotes of Bannon portraying Trump as undisciplined and criticizing son Donald Trump Jr. His stock fell further after he stuck by Alabama Republican Roy Moore’s Senate campaign even after decades-old sexual misconduct allegations emerged. A reliably Republican Senate seat turned Democratic.

As he attempts a comeback, Bannon acknowledged the challenges he faces, including an invigorated Democratic base. Less than three months from Election Day, Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats to retake the House, and the party is increasingly bullish about its chances after strong turnout in a series of special elections. Bannon said Republicans can gain ground if they focus on turning out Trump supporters.

“This is not about persuasion. It’s too late to persuade anybody. We’re 90 days away from this election. This is all about turnout and what I call base-plus,” he said.

While Bannon makes his move, many Republicans view holding the House as an uphill battle. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bannon said his new venture will focus on rapid response and polling with the goal of framing the election as an “up or down vote” on Trump and impeachment. He is also releasing a movie about the president, “Trump@War,” geared at Trump supporters.

Bannon said he was being backed by private donors, but he did not detail who was funding the effort or how much he had raised. He said his efforts were independent of the Republican National Committee, the White House or a Trump-supporting super PAC.

In keeping with his midterm mission, Bannon defended the president on both policy and style, arguing that the president had an economic record to run on and has been making the right pitch on the campaign trail.

On trade, Bannon backed the president’s aggressive tariffs, which have drawn criticism in agricultural states crucial to Trump’s victory. He argued they were a key part of Trump’s nationalistic economic strategy.

“People in Iowa, once it’s explained to them, will fully support the president in this,” he said. “We don’t have a choice. We either win the economic war with China or we’re going to be a secondary, a tertiary power.”

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He said Trump’s culture wars, which have included public attacks on women and minorities, don’t present a problem, calling it his “house style” and saying people should “separate out the signal from the noise.” He argued that Trump would benefit from shutting down the government over funding for his border wall, saying it would “galvanize the populist right,” though he acknowledged it was a minority view.

Bannon also pushed back against the idea that a loss of the House could be a positive development for Trump as it would give him a new foil heading into the 2020 presidential election. He called such notions “dangerously naive.”

Looking ahead to 2020, Bannon said attorney Michael Avenatti, who is weighing a bid as a Democratic candidate, could be a contender. The combative attorney has been taking on Trump on behalf of a porn actress who claims a sexual encounter with the president, which Trump denies.

“He’s a fighter and people are looking for fighters,” Bannon said of Avenatti, though he believes Trump would defeat any opponent. “He’s going to be a force in the primary for the simple reason that he comes across as what many of the Democrats don’t, which is a fighter.”

Bar patrons tackle gunman after being held at gunpoint

2 hours 35 min ago

FALLBROOK, Calif. — Authorities say patrons tackled and disarmed a man after he held them at gunpoint outside a Southern California bar.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports sheriff’s officials say the man had pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at people in the parking lot outside Red Eye Saloon at 2 a.m. Saturday in Fallbrook.

He demanded their wallets and cellphones and fired a shot into the air.

Authorities say several patrons rushed and tackled the gunman, holding him on the ground until deputies arrived.

Deputies recovered a 9 mm pistol with a loaded 16-round magazine and one spent shell casing on the ground. Authorities say the man also had two additional loaded 10-round magazines in his pocket.

He was arrested on numerous charges and booked into the Vista jail.

Clayton Kershaw earns 150th career win as Los Angeles Dodgers beat Seattle Mariners

2 hours 46 min ago

SEATTLE — Clayton Kershaw pitched seven sharp innings for his 150th career win, Justin Turner homered and drove in five runs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the Seattle Mariners 12-1 Sunday.

Kershaw (6-5) gave up four hits, struck out seven and walked one. The 30-year-old lefty with three NL Cy Young Awards improved to 150-69 in the majors.

Turner extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a season-high four hits, including a three-run homer in the ninth inning with position player Andrew Romine on the mound.

Kike Hernandez had an RBI single as part of the Dodgers’ five-run first inning. He added his 18th home run and a bases-loaded walk as the Dodgers won for the third time in four games.

Cody Bellinger pushed his own hitting streak to 12 games with three hits and two RBIs for Los Angeles.

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Cyclist Taylor Phinney savors a jubilant crowd in Denver in final stage of Colorado Classic

2 hours 49 min ago

Taylor Phinney stood a few steps from the stage where he had just won the day’s most aggressive rider jersey. An 11-year-old boy named Zach stepped forward, looking for a keepsake from the final stage of this year’s Colorado Classic.

Phinney, a Boulder native, removed the most aggressive rider jersey and then unzipped his racing jersey underneath, adorned with logos of the team’s owner and primary sponsor, EF Education First, and gave it to him — sweat, racing numbers and all. Zach traded him a Pepsi cycling cap.

Turns out that Zach scored @taylorphinney’s jersey in a swap. Taylor got a sweet cap out of the deal.

— EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale (@Ride_Argyle) August 19, 2018

Phinney’s ebullience was on full display Sunday at the four-day stage race’s conclusion. On stage after being presented with the most aggressive rider jersey, he indulged the adoring crowd — which included hundreds of employees from EF Education First’s offices in Boston and Denver who had been flown to support their team.

Just two weeks ago, Phinney had suffered seven fractures to his face after crashing in the Pyrenees on the final mountain stage of the Tour de France.

“I took a tree to the face,” he said at the time.

He finished the Tour two days later, managing to race in a breakaway of riders along the Champs-Élysées in Paris until a mechanical issue with his bike ended the effort.

He flew back to the United States, underwent four days of surgery in and around Boulder — which included full anesthesia — and got back on his bicycle just two days before the start of the four-day Colorado Classic. Even on Sunday, his face remained partially inflamed as he dealt with ongoing congestion.

“I feel all right,” Phinney told The Denver Post. “I came back and had a surgery and took a little bit longer than I anticipated to get on my bike and training. These stages are short, intense. It’s the home race. You gotta do what you gotta do to make it happen.”

Cycling’s season is largely built around three, three-week summer Grand Tours — the Giro d’Italia in May and June, the Tour de France in July, and the Vuelta a España in late August and early September. Dozens of other races on the calendar are sprinkled throughout the season. The Tour is the sport’s crown jewel and Super Bowl, which makes coming back for more racing difficult. Add to that surgery, and it becomes even harder.

“It’s amazing that he raced as well as he did,” said Jonathan Vaughters, manager of EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale. “It wasn’t just a little surgery. It was general anesthesia. … He really didn’t ride his bike at all be the Tour de France and this race. He was funny, saying, ‘I’ll be able to ride the day after the surgery.’ And I was like, ‘Taylor, I don’t know if you can do that.’ ”

“Not being able to come home, be able to train like normal, and recover like normal, put me back a little bit,” Phinney said. “I can’t say I feel amazing. But I pretty much had two weeks of running around to hospitals, then four days of surgery, plus post-surgery, post anesthesia, all of that — just getting all of that out of the system before this race.”

On Sunday’s eight-lap circuit in Denver, which took riders through the city streets of City Park, RiNo and the Central Business District, Phinney got himself into a breakaway, albeit one that didn’t hold. Travis McCabe of United Healthcare won the stage.

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“Unfortunately, it wasn’t really the right group because it included a guy who was a little too close on the overall classification,” Phinney said. “So the peloton was keeping it tight, and my team director was not allowing me to work as much as I would have liked. But rolling through Denver, giving people a show, it was nice to hear my name all day. We stacked the crowd (with fans).”

Phinney expects his final race of the season to be the Tour of Britain in September. His contract with the team is up after this season, but he is set to re-sign for next year.

“I can’t imagine riding for anyone else,” he said.

“I recognize that at this point in my career what I can have is a multitude of really extraordinary experiences that I can share and have in my memory bank as I get old and think about retiring,” Phinney said. “I think I logged some solid memories and experiences. The season’s not over, but I feel like I had a good one. It’s been a memorable year.”

Golden Fine Arts Festival has “really grown” in 28th year

3 hours 5 min ago

A decade ago, Myron Whitaker took his first ceramics class at a North Carolina community college. This weekend, he won first place in ceramics at the Golden Fine Arts Festival.

“When my kid went to college, I went back to school,” Whitaker said. “I found something I didn’t know I had a passion for.”

His booth was filled with colorful vessels of all shapes, sizes and finishes. Some of them were topped with a thin slice of stone.

“All my life, I hunted for an art form that suited me,” Whitaker said. “When I found ceramics, it was instant. I sat down, and I was at peace.”

Whitaker, who used to build freight liners for Mercedes, was one of 132 artists from across the country who were chosen to display their work at the 28th annual festival in Golden.

“We had more than 500 artists apply this year,” Golden Chamber President Leslie Klane said. “It’s really grown from a little craft show and turned into one of the best shows in the country.”

The two-day event featured artists who worked in glass, paint, silk, photography and even with scraps of paper from magazines. Visitors could also snack on traditional fair foods such as funnel cakes and fried Oreos while enjoying live music inside two beer gardens that flanked the ends of the shows.

Andrew Shows came from New Mexico with his wife to display their jewelry.

The couple have spent more than 40 years perfecting the way they cut and polish stones and shells into scenes filled with animals and set in gold. The inlay process is long, with about 17 steps to get the stones to resemble a bear, cactus or moon.

Mark Zirinsky didn’t have to travel far to hang his aluminum sculptures. The Denver-based artist spends hundreds of hours designing his metal sculptures in a way that seems to mimic nature when they’re finished.

One of the things he enjoys about his abstract pieces is that they can mean different things to different people.

“Like a Rorschach test,” Zirninsky said while asking visitors to his booth to tell him what they saw while looking at one of his swirling metal creations.

One thing people should expect to see if they visit the show next year is a larger display of artwork from the children at Jefferson County’s elementary schools, Klane said.

The festival has started work with the district to raise money for art supplies and to encourage the kids attending those schools to keep painting, drawing and creating.

“Someday, if this is their dream, they could show their work here,” Klane said.

“Crazy Rich Asians” shines bright at the box office

3 hours 26 min ago

LOS ANGELES — Glitz won over guns as the gilded romance “Crazy Rich Asians” debuted at No. 1 in North American theaters this weekend, surpassing industry expectations and beating out action-packed fare like “Mile 22.”

Warner Bros. estimates that the film earned $25.2 million over the weekend and $34 million since its opening Wednesday. It’s a surefire win for the film, which cost $30 million to produce and went into the weekend with months of buzz and a 93 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Breakout star Henry Golding told The Associated Press on Sunday that the film’s performance is a “testament to the people who are turning up.”

“It’s not just the Asians who are coming. It’s people of all colors from all walks of life who are enjoying this cinematic experience,” Golding said. “It’s a real shift in Hollywood.”

Adapted from Kevin Kwan’s best-seller, “Crazy Rich Asians” stars Constance Wu as an American woman who gets a culture shock meeting her boyfriend’s obscenely wealthy family in Singapore. The studio strategically bumped up the film’s opening to a Wednesday earlier in the summer.

“We knew we’d get avids who read the book and a large Asian following,” said Warner Bros. domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein. “We figured OK, we get good reviews, open on Wednesday, word of mouth will spread and really propel the movie into the weekend, and that’s exactly what happened.”

As recently as July 26, box office experts were predicting that the film would open to at least $18 million over its first five days, but no one expected a launch of over $30 million.

“I think the audience isn’t an obvious audience,” Goldstein said. “When you get a culturally important event like this movie, I think it just takes off like wildfire.”

The stakes were high for the first studio-produced movie led by Asian-Americans in 25 years. The filmmakers even turned down a big offer from Netflix to give the historically significant film a theatrical platform. Cast members and fans started using the hashtag #GoldOpen to try to encourage more opening weekend support.

Director Jon M. Chu tweeted his appreciation Sunday and asked audiences to keep spreading the word.

“We still have a long run to go but our message to the world has been heard. We have arrived,” Chu wrote. “Now let’s go tell more of our stories! We have a lot more to say. And I don’t want to wait another 25 years to see them. This is only the beginning.”

Despite the success of “Crazy Rich Asians,” other films still found audiences this weekend, including Warner Bros. shark movie “The Meg,” which fell only 53 percent in its second weekend, adding $21.2 million. The Jason Statham-led film has now grossed over $300 million worldwide.

Mark Wahlberg’s action-packed “Mile 22,” his fourth collaboration with director Peter Berg, debuted in third place with an estimated $13.6 million. The STX film had a $35 million production budget.

Launching with $10.5 million, “Alpha,” an Ice Age-set adventure tale, tied for fourth place in its opening weekend with “Mission: Impossible — Fallout.”

In limited release, Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Wife” opened with $111,137, and Roadside Attractions’ “Juliet, Naked” debuted with $60,922. Both films opened in four theaters.

One film that did not find much of an audience was Kevin Spacey’s “Billionaire Boys Club,” which Vertical Entertainment released in eight theaters this weekend after making it available for purchase on Video on Demand last month. Official earnings were not reported to comScore, but industry trade publication The Hollywood Reporter said Sunday that the film earned a dismal $425.

Hollywood’s winning streak continues with the summer season up 12.4 percent from last year and the year overall up 8.9 percent.

“The box office is on a roll,” said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian, noting the diverse genre offerings in cinemas this summer. “The line-up basically looks like a streaming service. That’s what people have become accustomed to and the movie theater is delivering it in a big way this summer.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Crazy Rich Asians,” $25.2 million ($730,000 international).

2. “The Meg,” $21.2 million ($67 million international).

3. “Mile 22,” $13.6 million ($538,000 international).

4. “Alpha,” $10.5 million.

4.(tie) “Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” $10.5 million ($20.5 million international).

6. “Christopher Robin,” $8.9 million ($7.9 million international).

7. “BlacKkKlansman,” $7 million ($1.2 million international).

8. “Slender Man,” $5 million.

9. “Hotel Transylvania 3,” $3.7 million ($28.3 million international).

10. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” $3.4 million ($15.3 million international).

Ready or not, Bills are that much closer to Josh Allen time after AJ McCarron injury

3 hours 49 min ago

In this year’s class of prized rookie NFL quarterbacks, there is no prospect more intriguing than Josh Allen. To listen to some talent evaluators, he could be the next Carson Wentz. Or he could be the next JaMarcus Russell, to listen to others.

The Buffalo Bills might begin finding out sooner than expected which it will be.

The Bills’ quarterback situation was thrown into disarray when AJ McCarron reportedly suffered a hairline fracture of his right collarbone during Friday’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. A three-way competition among McCarron, Nathan Peterman and Allen for the Bills’ starting quarterback job entering the regular season seemingly now becomes a two-way tussle among Peterman and Allen.

That does not necessarily mean that Allen, taken with the No. 7 overall selection of the NFL draft in April, will be the Bills’ Week 1 starter. But it does move him that much closer to the assignment. Coach Sean McDermott’s only alternative is Peterman, the second-year pro who had a five-interception first half in the first of his two NFL starts last season.

The Bills reached the playoffs last season with Tyrod Taylor as their quarterback but opted to remake the position by trading Taylor to the Browns. They moved up in the draft to get Allen as their quarterback of the future but gave themselves a potential placeholder by adding McCarron, the former backup to Andy Dalton in Cincinnati.

There was every reason to believe that McCarron, before this injury, would have emerged as the starter going into the season. He is relatively well regarded around the league. And that would have kept the Bills from asking too much, too soon of Allen.

Allen’s size, athleticism and dazzling arm strength remind some of Wentz, the former No. 2 overall draft choice by the Philadelphia Eagles who might have been the league’s MVP last season as a second-year pro if not for his December knee injury.

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But Allen’s physical traits do not guarantee NFL success. He was just a 56 percent passer during his college career at Wyoming. Of the four quarterbacks drafted in the top 10 in April — Baker Mayfield by the Browns, Sam Darnold by the New York Jets, Allen by the Bills and Josh Rosen by the Arizona Cardinals — Allen was regarded by some observers as the least polished and least NFL-ready. He would need time to develop, those observers believed, and only then could it be fairly determined whether his physical tools would lead to NFL stardom.

Allen looked good during Friday’s game, and the temptation for the Bills now will be to turn to Allen as the starter and see what he can do. It is not known at this point how long McCarron will be sidelined.

But the Bills must be careful. This must be a decision based on Allen’s readiness, not on the lack of good alternatives. This must be about Allen’s long-term development and whether that would be aided — or perhaps harmed — by being thrown into regular season competition so soon.

Before Friday night, it appeared that Darnold had a great chance to emerge as the Jets’ season-opening starter and that Mayfield, Allen and Rosen could only hope for the same. Now, things have changed quickly and dramatically for Allen and the Bills.

Douglas County to utilize plow trucks to move crashes off major roads

3 hours 58 min ago

Traffic continues to get worse and it can be dangerous when crashes occur, yet there has been an ongoing effort to get those crashes out of traffic lanes and onto the shoulder.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is implementing a new plan, part of the “quick clearance” initiative by training plow drivers to push crashed cars out of the way of traffic.

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“It keeps us safer,” said Sgt. Chris Washburn. “It also prevents secondary accidents.”

Drivers from Douglas County Public Works Operations have been going through training at the Emergency Vehicle Operations Center near Chatfield Reservoir.


Not “just a punter,” Alex Kinney a weapon and leader for Colorado Buffaloes

4 hours 7 min ago

Alex Kinney receives text messages from his mother as a matter of routine. It was one Colorado’s punter received late last year that delivered a pleasant surprise.

Not a player prone to dissecting his own statistics, Kinney was unaware he had set a school record in 2017 with 28 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. It was took a text from his mom to inform Kinney about the good news.

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Kinney received more good news last month when he earned the rare distinction of being voted as a Colorado team captain as a punter. After an up-and-down first two seasons with the Buffs, Kinney settled in with a standout campaign in 2017. And the senior from Fort Collins expects even bigger things this fall.

“It was awesome that everyone on the team respected me … that was kind of cool to see that everyone is behind me, even though I’m the punter and hopefully I only get three punts every game or something like that,” Kinney said. “It’s about doing everything (the rest of the team) does. If they see us on the side not running with them, or if we’re not doing lifts, I think it’s kind of hard to respect that.

“We really wanted to run with them, lift with them, do everything with them so we’re a part of them and they won’t think of us as just a punter or kicker.”

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Suspect in Weld County mobile home park slaying returned to Colorado

4 hours 11 min ago

An Aurora man accused of strangling his mother at her Weld County home in July was booked into the Weld County Jail on Friday night.

Weld County Sheriff's OfficeJoseph Keith Ribble

Online jail records indicate Joseph Keith Ribble, 43, was taken into custody at the jail shortly before midnight. They also indicate that Ribble was also briefly in custody at the Boulder County Jail a few hours earlier on Friday.

Ribble faces first-degree murder and aggravated motor vehicle theft charges in connection to the death of his mother, 65-year-old Lila Ann “Susie” King. King’s body was discovered by neighbors inside her home at the River Valley Village mobile home park in Del Camino east of Longmont on July 24.

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Ribble is on probation for a felony charge of negligence of an at-risk person, as well as violating a protection order in a separate case out of Boulder County and was arrested in Brownsville, Texas a few days after his mother’s body was found by a neighbor.


Fort Collins man jailed for fourth DUI, causing crash on I-25 near Johnstown

4 hours 15 min ago

A Fort Collins man is in the Weld County Jail on suspicion of causing a crash on Interstate 25 near Johnstown while fleeing from police in an effort to avoid a fourth DUI arrest.

James Hensley

James Hensley, 48, remains incarcerated on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular eluding, as well as misdemeanor reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.

The charges stem from an incident on Aug. 12 when about 7:15 p.m. a Colorado State Patrol trooper noticed a Chevrolet SUV parked on the northbound shoulder of the I-25 frontage road near milepost 248. The trooper decided to contact the driver, later identified as Hensley, when a short while later he found the SUV again parked on the shoulder, just a mile up the road.

Police say Hensley had blood-shot eyes, that there was an odor of burnt methamphetamine in the car and he was confused while talking to the trooper. He said he was at the same time driving to and coming from the Fort Collins Wal-Mart.

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Police say Hensley was argumentative and refused to exit his car. When the trooper tried to reach inside the car to put the vehicle in park, Hensley grabbed the officer and then sped off, according to court records. The driver was able to free himself and wasn’t dragged.

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The new Aaron Rodgers rule (or is it the Anthony Barr rule?) may baffle NFL fans

4 hours 17 min ago

Sometimes a quarterback, at least one not named Tom Brady, is a runner and sometimes he’s a passer. Under a new rule this season, some defensive penalties will hinge on how officials make that determination.

While most of the early talk during the NFL’s preseason has concerned implementation of the helmet rule, this rule — call it the Anthony Barr rule or, more precisely, the Aaron Rodgers rule — came up Saturday and the Minnesota Vikings were again involved.

This time, the key players were Antwione Williams and Cody Kessler of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Williams was flagged for what looked like a perfectly legal sack of the quarterback, if you were living in 2017. Head to the side? Check. Quarterback brought down cleanly with both players emerging uninjured? Check.

The problem was that Williams’ weight landed on Kessler and he was called for roughing the passer.

Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer hated the fourth-quarter call as he stood on the sideline, but he later changed his tune. After all, he has a franchise quarterback, too.

“After I calmed down a little bit, I looked at it and he was, his head was to the side and he was going to the side, and if he would have just rolled, but he kind of pumped him to the turf,” Zimmer said (via the Pioneer Press). “I actually think that was a good call.”

Observers will recall that Rodgers’s 2017 was essentially ended in Week 6 when Barr brought him down, with his weight driving Rodgers, who was out of the pocket on the play, into the ground and snapping his right collarbone. Barr was not flagged on the play and received death threats because of it.

“It was deemed a legal hit,” Rodgers, who required surgery to repair the displaced fracture and played in only one game the rest of the season, said last December. “You know that you don’t have the same protection outside the pocket. A simple shove-down probably would have sufficed in that situation, but it is what it is.”

Had that play occurred in 2018, it would have drawn a flag.

“Players will have to kind of roll to the side when they make that tackle instead of plopping down on them,” referee Pete Morelli said earlier this month (via the Pioneer Press). “So, yeah, (the) Aaron Rodgers (tackle) would be a foul this year. As long as he’s out of pocket, established, and all that. If he’s running, that’s not the same.”

Even though Rodgers was out of the pocket, Morelli said he had reestablished himself as a passer.

“When he’s a passer in a defenseless position,” Morelli said. “If you roll out and get set up, you’re still a passer now. But if you’re rolling out and throwing, and a guy is chasing you and tackles you, then you’re not defenseless. They get two steps and they can tackle you. Becoming defenseless is setting up (for a pass) again, pocket or outside the pocket.”

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Barr admitted that it is a “very difficult situation” to be in. “You’re playing fast, trying to make a play on the ball. It’s going to be tough,” he said in early August. “It will be interesting to see how that’s … called this year.

“I’m sure there will be some debate from the players, from the coaches, from the officials as to who’s right and who’s wrong. … You can complain about it all you want, but it’s not going to change unless they change it. It’s your duty as a player to continue to play by the rules.”

The 2017 season was all about which quarterbacks were injured and weren’t playing.

In addition to Rodgers, the two-time NFL MVP, the list of star players who were sidelined by injuries included Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz, Houston’s Deshaun Watson and Miami’s Ryan Tannehill in addition to Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck. Those injuries wouldn’t have been prevented by the rule change, but clearly teams know it’s in their best interests to protect the quarterback.

Drilling activists, planning commissioner among those vying for vacant Lafayette council seat

4 hours 21 min ago
Paul Aiken, Times-CallConstruction on the Lafayette Promenade development is pictured in September 2017. As leaders begin the replacement process for its vacant council seat, the future of the project and the development-poised intersection it sits on, are talking points.

Lafayette’s eventual choice for a new city councilmember will draw from a candidate pool reflective of the city’s varying identities: Oil and gas activists, a sitting planning commissioner and multiple committee leaders are among the 10 vying for the seat.

Applicants include Jonathan Bent, Ralph Frid, Mary Henry, Patricia Kelly, Shaun LaBarre, Jennifer Belle Lake, JD Mangat, Julie Marshall, Andrew J. O’Connor and DL Thomas, the city announced Friday.

Whoever is appointed to fill the seat left vacant by Gustavo Reyna’s exit last month will be charged with helping steer decisions on two of the city’s most pressing issues: staving off oil and gas development without the cover of Boulder County’s now-expired drilling moratorium and creating “affordable” housing options that don’t automatically preclude a large portion of its residents.

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City Council on Tuesday will narrow the group into an unspecified number of top finalists who will face the board for a series of public interviews later this month.

Officials say the final appointment would be made either Aug. 28 or Sept. 4.

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In new outburst over Mueller probe, Trump insists that White House counsel McGahn is no “rat”

4 hours 58 min ago

President Trump insisted Sunday that he’s unconcerned by reports that White House Counsel Don McGahn has cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe into possible Russian collusion and obstruction of justice.

The president said on Twitter that McGahn was not a “rat” and added, “I have nothing to hide.”

The president’s latest series of disparaging tweets came at what may be a pivotal point in the investigation into Russia’s election interference, possible Trump campaign complicity and any obstruction of justice.

The New York Times reported Saturday that McGahn had voluntarily given some 30 hours of interviews to Mueller’s team, acting in part on fears that Trump would try to shift the blame to him for any wrongdoing.

Trump, spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf resort, said he was not worried about whatever McGahn had told investigators, adding he had authorized his aides’ cooperation with the special counsel. The New York Times report noted that McGahn was personally knowledgeable about many events central to the possible obstruction of justice case being built by Mueller’s team.

Trump, who has a habit of making unguarded references while seeking to bolster a contrary argument, voiced confidence that McGahn was not a “John Dean type of RAT,’” referring to the Watergate-era White House lawyer whose testimony helped bring down then-President Nixon. Although the substance of McGahn’s statements to Mueller is not publicly known, Dean went on Twitter Saturday to praise the White House counsel for “doing right.”

The president’s tweets came as a parallel Mueller-related drama was playing itself out: A federal court jury was set Monday to resume deliberations in the trial of Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort, accused of tax evasion and bank fraud.

Trump, who in recent months has issued presidential pardons to some political supporters, last week took the highly unusual step of publicly opining about the case while the jury, which is not sequestered, was still out. The president said Manafort had been treated badly and was a “very good person.”

For the past week, the White House has also been confronted with a steady drip of allegations by fired presidential aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, who became a reality-show star under Trump’s tutelage. She is now promoting a book billed as a tell-all about her months in the White House, with some elements of her storyline backed by surreptitiously made recordings. On Sunday, she said on MSNBC that Trump is trying to start a “race war.”

In addition, the president has prompted an outcry by stripping former CIA Director John Brennan, an outspoken critic, of his security clearance, with the White House indicating more such intelligence defrockings are in the works. Dozens of retired intelligence professionals, including prominent former agency chiefs, have called the president’s move against Brennan an act of petty vengeance motivated by an improper desire to muzzle critics.

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In the midst of the August doldrums, when the capital is normally somnolent amid the congressional recess, Sunday’s news-talk shows brought the usual mix of condemnation and praise for Trump.

But the McGahn report, the pending Manafort verdict, the security-clearance contretemps and the ugly ongoing spat with Manigault Newman — whom Trump has called a “dog” and a “lowlife” — generated a tone of urgency on the part of Trump’s opponents and supporters alike.

Some statements, though, created more confusion than clarity.

National security advisor John Bolton, defending the decision to nullify Brennan’s security clearance, suggested the former CIA chief’s denunciations of Trump were prompted by his knowledge of classified matters — implying, perhaps inadvertently, that such secret documentation of wrongdoing exists.

“A number of people have commented that [Brennan] couldn’t be in the position he’s in, of criticizing President Trump and his so-called collusion with Russia, unless he did use classified information,” Bolton told ABC’s “This Week.”

But Bolton said he didn’t know “the specifics” and did not offer any proof that Brennan had improperly cited classified information, even indirectly.

Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, meanwhile, said in a somewhat puzzling separate interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “truth isn’t truth.” The extraordinary exchange came as interviewer Chuck Todd raised the issue of a possible presidential sit-down with the special counsel. Trump’s legal team has so far blocked such an encounter, although the president has publicly expressed willingness.

“I’m not going to be rushed into having him testify so he gets trapped into perjury,” Giuliani said. “And when you tell me that he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because that’s somebody’s version of the truth, not the truth.”

“Truth is truth,” Todd replied.

“No, it isn’t,” Giuliani responded. “Truth isn’t truth.”

Trump, not for the first time, invoked the McCarthy era in his Sunday tweets, echoing his contention that the Mueller probe is a witch hunt akin to the late Wisconsin’s senator’s crusade against supposed Communist sympathizers in the U.S. government in the 1950s.

“Mueller and his gang … make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby!” the president tweeted, adding: “Rigged Witch Hunt!”

Some national security figures also pointed to the McCarthy precedent — but in connection with the rationale employed by Trump to revoke security clearances of former intelligence officials who voice dissent.

Retired Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Trump’s clearance revocations were reminiscent of the McCarthy era, as well as Nixon’s famous “enemies list.” Traditionally, former senior officials retain their security clearances so they can be tapped for advice in the event of a national emergency or international crisis

Mullen, interviewed on “Fox News Sunday,” faulted Brennan for the overtly political tone of some of his remarks, but nonetheless said retaliation for such speech “historically has proven incredibly problematic for the country.”

“I am concerned about the whole issue of free speech, and as long as [Brennan] is not revealing classified information that he shouldn’t, I certainly think he has the right to speak,” Mullen said.

Some former intelligence chiefs, including Brennan, said Trump’s actions to revoke clearances might be on shaky legal ground.

Former CIA Director Leon E. Panetta, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said the president’s actions raised due-process questions, and Brennan said on NBC he might consider legal action to prevent others’ clearances from being stripped.

“I’m going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in the future, and if it means going to court, I will do that,” Brennan said.

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Broncos Journal: Five things we learned from loss to Chicago Bears

5 hours 14 min ago

Five things we learned from the Broncos’ 24-23 loss to the Chicago Bears on Saturday night:

1. The Broncos don’t have a penalty problem.

For years, officials have thrown too many flags in the preseason to enforce new rules and give players a baseline for what they can and can’t do.

The Broncos and Bears were each called for 14 enforced penalties. The Broncos (24 penalties) are one of nine teams with at least 20 penalties through two preseason games. Saturday’s game was a three-hour, 18-minute slough.

“I’m hopeful it won’t look like that,” coach Vance Joseph said. “If it’s close, they’re throwing (the flag). I get it. It’s preseason. They want to change the behavior. It happens every preseason, but it seems like it’s more this preseason. Hopefully, (when) Week 1 starts, it kind of calms down a little bit. It usually does.”

The Broncos, who had 21 penalties in the first two preseason games last year, have only one lowering-the-head-to-initiate contact penalty — by cornerback Isaac Yiadom against Chicago, and it was a brutal call. They had two roughing-the-passer penalties in the Bears game.

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2. The Broncos’ margin for error in the secondary is razor thin.

One of the Broncos’ best defensive players in the two preseason games was safety Will Parks. So it was concerning when he limped off the field against Chicago with a knee injury.

Joseph said the injury was a “contusion; he didn’t have any structural damage,” a fortunate break for a secondary that is nicked up.

Two cornerbacks and two safeties apiece sat out the Bears game, including starting cornerback Chris Harris (oblique) and projected subpackage safety Su’a Cravens (knee).

The Broncos’ main subpackage is six defensive backs (three corners/three safeties). It allows them to blitz athletic players and use the rest in coverage (zone or man) and also move Bradley Chubb to defensive end, his more natural position.

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Cravens could return to practice and face his former team (Washington) on Friday night. If Parks is fine and Cravens makes it through in good order, the Broncos should feel good about safety until something else happens.

Cornerback is another story. If healthy, Tramaine Brock would be opening-week No. 3, but after that remains uncertainty. Management should be scouring the depth charts for potential reinforcements.

3. Chad Kelly will remain the backup quarterback for at least another week.

And we’ll go a step further. Kelly will be the backup when the Broncos play Seattle in Week 1.

It is good fodder to say the Broncos should pursue a veteran, but at what price? They should be against giving up a draft pick for a player who ideally will not play. And once the wave of quarterbacks hits the waiver wire/free-agent market on Labor Day weekend, there may not be a personality, scheme or financial fit available.

Kelly was 7-of-9 passing for 90 yards and one touchdown against Chicago.

“I think the more reps I get, the more rhythm I’ll have,” Kelly said. “I have to put in way more work. I have to see things way quicker.”

4. Don’t read too much into Garett Bolles getting second-team work.

Bolles, the Broncos’ starting left offensive tackle, stayed in the game for Kelly’s first series. Bolles played 32 snaps, as did starting right guard Connor McGovern, who moved to center for Kelly’s first possession.

“He needs to play,” Joseph said of Bolles. “Simple as that.”

Let’s face it: There is nobody on the roster who will challenge Bolles, so we’ll buy what the Broncos are selling.

“(To play an extra series) was the game plan, just to get the rust out of me and continue to go out there and get the timing right,” Bolles said of playing with the second unit. “I’m glad I went back out.”

By our review, Bolles played a clean game (no penalties, no quarterback pressures allowed).

5. Quarterback Paxton Lynch took another step back.

Five days after being demoted to third-team quarterback, Lynch was 5-of-11 passing for 39 yards against the Bears. Lynch was booed as he walked onto the field to start his tour.

“I feel bad for Paxton, but our fans want to win,” Joseph said. “He has to ignore it and go play. It’s professional football. No one is going to hold your hand, so he has to go out there and perform.”

What’s the old saying? “If you don’t like the boos, do something about it.” Lynch has done nothing this preseason to give those booing fans a reason to shut up.

“I just haven’t been playing well,” Lynch said. “That’s not acceptable, especially playing quarterback here. You’ve got to play well and give your team an opportunity to win every week. … I want to be the (starting) quarterback. I don’t want to be a backup, and I definitely don’t want to be third-string.”

The Broncos are less than two weeks from a major decision: Status quo with their three quarterbacks or move on from Lynch. It won’t impact this year’s win-loss record, but giving up on a first-round pick is always a big deal.

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Greg Bird crushes grand slam as New York Yankees beat Toronto Blue Jays

5 hours 19 min ago

NEW YORK — J.A. Happ stayed unbeaten with the New York Yankees by topping his former Toronto teammates, and former Grandview High School star Greg Bird hit a grand slam during a six-run first inning Sunday in a 10-2 win over the Blue Jays.

The Yankees completed a three-game sweep, but lost shortstop Didi Gregorius to an injured left heel. Gregorius was hurt when he collided with Toronto first baseman Kendrys Morales beating an infield hit in the first, and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Rookie Miguel Andujar drove in two runs and backup infielder Ronald Torreyes, who replaced Gregorius, added three hits.

Happ (14-6) facing the Blue Jays for the first time since they traded him to the Yankees on July 26. The 35-year-old has won all four of his starts for New York.

Happ allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight. Randal Grichuk hit a solo homer in the first.

The Yankees’ first six batters each reached base against Ryan Borucki (2-3). Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton walked and Andujar hit a tying single.

Already thin in the middle of the order because of injuries to All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge and starting catcher Gary Sanchez, the Yankees saw Gregorius barrel over Morales for a hit in the first. Gregorius stayed in the game for the moment, but was lifted prior to the start of the top of the third.

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