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Aurora police are investigating a homicide after responding to a “suspicious death” at 12695 E Exposition Drive, the department tweeted Friday afternoon.

#APDAlert Responding to suspicious death 12695 E Exposition Dr PIO Responding. Media stage at E Exposition Ave and E Exposition Dr

— Aurora Police Dept (@AuroraPD) April 19, 2019

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Denver’s internationally renowned Beta Nightclub, which shuttered at the beginning of the year, is set to reopen this summer — with an outdoor swimming pool in tow.

That’s according to published reports over the past couple weeks that have revealed owner and founder Brad Roulier has proposed building a fenced, inground pool on the club’s outdoor patio at the corner of 19th and Blake streets in Lower Downtown. The information was first reported by the Denver Business Journal.

Roulier tried to sell the club after closing it earlier this year but was unsuccessful, leading him to renovate and reopen, reporter Andrew Dodson wrote. Denver property records show that the building’s ownership rests with Boulder-based Colman Kahn.

A Lower Downtown Design Review Board initially recommended approving the pool — a trend familiar to Las Vegas visitors — because it would be installed on a lower patio and would not block existing views of the historically contributing building, according to a staff memo obtained by the Business Journal.

Calls and emails to Beta officials were not returned as of early afternoon Friday.

RELATED: Denver’s internationally renowned Beta Nightclub to “close the curtains” in 2019

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The timeline for “Beta 2.0,” as Beta’s founders are calling it in an EDM.com article, is late spring or early summer. Partners Roulier and Mike McCray told EDM.com they’re renovating the club at 1909 Blake St. with multiple, elaborate LED screens and lighting rigs, a new sound system and more.

Justin Martinez of Colorado-based Werker Studio will take care of the furniture and interior design of the new space, with plans for the DJ booth to move out of the upstairs lounge area. The outdoor patio will act as a second room in its place.

“We’ll almost have two different businesses,” Roulier told EDM.com. “We’ll have the daytime pool party staff and then the club. We had 107 employees before and now we’ll be open twice the hours, so we’ll probably be excess of 150-160 employees. We’re figuring out how the daytime pool party staff interacts with the evening staff and how we bridge those times.”

That’s crucial because the pool idea reportedly rankled Beta’s bread-and-butter dance-music fans by taking the focus off of the music and their hallowed temple of beats.

However, Roulier and McCray have renewed their lease for another 14 years, despite only shutting down the club in January after its 11-year run.

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Part 3: The Changing Conversation - SoundCloud
(1604 secs long, 24 plays)Play in SoundCloud

In a three-part series, The Denver Post examines the news coverage behind the Columbine High School shooting, with interviews from the people who were there and those affected by the tragedy.

BEARING WITNESS PODCAST: COLUMBINE AND THE NEWS MEDIA

In Part 3, “The Changing Conversation,” Amy Brothers and Kyle Newman delve into how the media landscape has changed since the tragedy and how news outlets have evolved in the way they cover such events. This includes discussion of the “No Notoriety” movement — a campaign drawn into sharp focus just this week after a Florida teen “infatuated with Columbine” flew into Denver on a one-way ticket and immediately bought a shotgun, prompting a “massive manhunt” that closed schools throughout the metro area.

Among those interviewed are former Columbine High School principal Frank DeAngelis, Denver Post reporter Kieran Nicholson, former Denver post visual journalist Shaun Stanley, Denver Post breaking news editor Noelle Phillips, Columbine football coach Andrew Lowry, current Columbine students Kaylee Tyner and Rachel Hill, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Steve Wyant, and author/researcher Jaclyn Schildkrout.

RELATED: What is it like being a current Columbine High School student? Homecoming prep, AP classes and state legislature testimonies

Bearing Witness is written by Newman, Brothers, and Katie Rausch, with editing help from Matt Schubert, Patrick Traylor, Matt Sebastian and Mario Sanelli. Special thanks to DeAngelis, Lowry, Schildrout, Nicholson, Stanley, Jeliker and Denver7 for the use of their archival footage.

Click here for more coverage of “Columbine: 20 years later.”

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CALGARY, Alberta — Ahead of playing his third career NHL game Friday night against the team he grew up rooting for, Avalanche rookie Cale Makar felt at home.

The Calgary native traveled from Denver with his new team Thursday, and had dinner with teammates before meeting up with friends and family — many of whom are diehard Flames fans. (Makar’s parents are Flames season-ticket holders.)

“A lot of friends have reached out and told me who their alliance is, but, no, I know a lot of people are excited to come to the game tonight and watch in general,” Makar said.

Makar, 20, replaces the injured Sam Girard (upper-body) as Colorado looks to clinch its first playoff series since 2008 in Game 5. The Avs lead the first-round series 3-1, having won the last three games — the latter two with Makar in the lineup.

“It’s going to be pretty cool,” Makar said after the morning skate Friday at the Scotiabank Saddledome. “I haven’t been on this ice probably since I was 12 years old. So it’s going to be pretty special, (and) fun fighting for this group. Every game, the more experience you get, it’s going to be a confidence thing. Tonight is just going to be another step for me as an individual and hopefully improving.”

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar has faith in Makar. Girard skated in a red non-contact jersey Friday morning but appeared as if he was 100 percent. Bednar could be holding Girard out because he doesn’t want to change the lineup for a team that produced more than 50 shots in Games 3 and 4.

Girard, 20, is a special player in his own right, having finished second among Colorado defenseman with a career-high 27 points in the regular season. He played in all 82 games and was sixth on the club in average ice time (19:53).

But if Bednar added Girard to the lineup, he’d either have to scratch a stay-at-home defenseman in Patrik Nemeth or Nikita Zadorov or go with an extra defenseman (seven) and one fewer forward (11).

Given the way the Avs are playing, that decision is probably on hold.

“I think he’s a special kid and I think his game kind of speaks for itself,” Bednar said of Makar. “He played 14 (minutes) and change the first night, made an impact, and we ramped him up to about 20 (in Game 4) based on what we liked from his performance in game one and he continued it in game two. He was an impact player for us there. Didn’t seem like the moment rattled him at all. He’s going out and playing his game and having fun. That’s what we want him to do. He was great for us and I expect him to be the same tonight.”

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Makar said he hasn’t felt overly nervous because he spent the last month playing playoff hockey for the University of Massachusetts. The Minutemen lost in the Hockey East semifinals before advancing to the Frozen Four and playing for the NCAA title on Saturday against Minnesota-Duluth.

“It’s a fast pace (in college) and I think this is even faster. You just go with the flow,” Makar said.

Footnotes. Avs forward Derick Brassard did not participate in the morning skate and is expected to miss his third consecutive game with an illness. … Bednar said NHL all-star right winger Mikko Rantanen will again start on the second line with center Carl Soderberg but also will play with fellow all-stars Nathan MacKinnon and Gabe Landeskog on the top line.

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We’re not trying to jinx things here, summer lovers. We promise.

But, there are a few signs that Denver’s last measurable snowfall of the 2018-19 winter season could be in the rearview mirror.

According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, the next seven days show little in the way of snow chances, though there’s an outside chance a storm on Sunday and Monday could bring a little wet snow. Beyond that, Denver and much of the state appears poised for a warmup that should last into the early portion of May.

Denver’s average last measurable snowfall is on April 27, and with snow looking unlikely in the foreseeable future, it’s looking more and more likely that you’ve shoveled the driveway for the last time this winter.

RELATED: How official weather observation measurements differ at DIA, downtown Denver and Stapleton

Measurable snowfall means that snowfall at Denver International Airport has to pile up to the tune of a tenth of an inch or greater. In other words, a few snowflakes fluttering through the sky and melting on your windshield don’t officially count as a measurable snowfall.

Of course, this all comes with the normal Denver weather-related caveats. Seven of the past 13 winters have featured measurable snowfall in May, almost always in the month’s opening fortnight. Memorial Day might be known to most as the unofficial start of summer, but in Denver and along the Front Range, it’s usually the day that you can — finally — safely stash away the snow shovels in the back of the garage.

In case you’re just joining us, Denver’s weather is notoriously wild and unpredictable — we’ve had measurable snow as late as June 5 and as early as Sept. 3 — and Mother Nature has a tendency to act in especially mysterious ways around the Front Range.

But, overall, signs are pointing to Denver’s last snow of the winter likely having come from the kind of/sort of bomb cyclone earlier this month. If that’s indeed the case, Denver will officially finish with below average snowfall for the third consecutive winter — though that number may be a tad misleading. Through Thursday, Denver had accumulated 43.2 inches of total snow this season, a few inches off the official full winter average of about 57 inches. Since 2006, though, Denver International Airport has averaged about 49 inches per winter, so this winter’s total is within striking distance of both numbers.

If Denver’s final snow total does indeed finish around 43 or 44 inches, that’d be close to what Denver’s seen in the last two winters combined. That, however, is more of a statement about how horrific the last two winters were snow-wise, rather than a reflection of how much snow we actually saw in 2018-19.

In short, this was a near-normal snowfall winter for the immediate Denver metro area, thanks to an active February and March. The mountains, however — where snow matters far more for both filling up the state’s crucial reservoirs, as well as for ski-related tourism reasons — received much more snow than usual. That’s really good news for the state, particularly after a rough few winters.

Chris Bianchi is a meteorologist for WeatherNation TV.

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With all of the construction going on now — around 13,000 new homes per year in the Denver area, not counting commercial buildings — how many of those jobs as framers, carpenters, electricians, installers and other crafts are going to Denver kids from Denver area schools?

Homebuilding jobs

Builders need every trained craftsman they can find now. When a home comes out of the ground, production efficiencies require an array of skills to be applied in unison; if one craft is missing, expensive delays build up. But builders say there’s a huge gap in local kids to fill those jobs.

There are two problems, contractors say. One is finding incoming workers willing to work in a construction environment — starting early, without a lot of creature comforts. Kids’ perceptions of those jobs make them less ready to sign on, despite how well they pay.

“Construction jobs get a bad rap,” says Cheryl Schuette, former vice president at Village Homes, now acting director of the Colorado Homebuilding Academy, an industry-coordinated training ground for skilled trades.

Builders, she explains, are overwhelmingly dependent on small contractors to provide that range of skills.

“Thousands of little entrepreneurial companies build the houses in our country,” she adds. “These are job opportunities where you can create a great lifestyle.”

That leads to the second problem: teaching required skills. Schuette says high schools did a better job of preparing graduates for trade crafts in decades past, but around 20 years ago, they began feeling pressure to put all students on a college-prep track.

“They took funding away from the shop and automotive classes, and people who wanted to work with their hands were forced to go into technology.”

Combined with the 2008 housing bust, those forces gutted the industry of a generation of workers who would now be in their 30s who should be prospering from the market. Colorado high schools and colleges are gearing up to provide that training now, but needs are becoming even more acute as baby-boom-aged workers slip into the “silver tsunami” — ready to retire.

Meanwhile, housing needs will keep growing, particularly in an area like Denver, named No. 2 last week on U.S. News’ annual ranking of “Best Places to Live” in the entire nation.

“We have a new population to take care of,” says department chairman Mark Broyles of the Center for Career & Technical Education at Community College of Denver’s Auraria campus, training in a range of skills from power tools to computer-assisted architectural design.

Broyles says in addition to specific preparation on the tools of the trade, CCD’s program nurtures creative and problem-solving capacities — ones that will repeatedly pay off in years ahead. The program has a low student-teacher ratio, working in small teams on campus, with plenty of opportunities for on-site experiences in construction environments, too.

“High schools are discovering there are folks who learn differently, who should be leveraging their skills to use their hands,” notes Schuette. “When you’re just doing math without a purpose, it’s hard for some. But when you’re looking at a set of blueprints and figuring how to cut something, all of a sudden they nail it.”

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Denver kids may need a little help in seeing the dollar opportunities here as opposed to waiting tables and other service jobs. But Andy Vedquam of Fargo, N.D., needs no prompting in figuring that out.

After school, Vedquam started work as a glazier in his hometown, where he earned $45,000 a year with a window contractor. He then moved to Colorado, a more expensive place to live, where his pay climbed to around $50,000.

Last fall, he began CCD’s CCTE program, where he’s after three certificates: basic and advanced building crafts, and revit (CADD) software. With those in hand, he anticipates he’ll land a job as a project manager at $60,000 to $70,000, with potential to head well beyond, over six figures in time.

“We’ve failed as an industry in describing this incredible path,” Schuette says. “But the success stories bring tears to your eyes.

“And all of that provides housing for families. Is that meaningful, or what?”

The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.

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A man who punched and kicked two people while yelling racial epithets faces up to 15 years in prison after a Denver jury convicted him of a hate crime.

Denver District Attorney's Office
Ryan Austin Lee

Ryan Austin Lee, 43, was convicted of two counts of assault and two counts of bias-motivated crimes for a 2018 incident in which he reached into a car window to punch the driver, then pulled down and kicked a passenger trying to leave the scene, all while yelling racial epithets.

At the time of the 2018 assaults, he was on suspended judgment for chasing a biracial couple and their 7-year-old son around Denver’s Garfield Park with a hammer, also while yelling epithets, in 2017.

Lee’s sentencing is set for May 3. The hate crime conviction raises the assaults from misdemeanors to felonies, each punishable by up to six years in prison. He also faces up to three years for menacing the family in Garfield Park, because the court revoked his suspended judgment in that case after his latest conviction.

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Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said in a news release that hate crimes can be more difficult to prove because the jury must be in agreement on the defendant’s motive.

“Hate crimes are criminal expressions of bigotry that terrorize the entire community,” she said. “We are pleased that the jury agreed with us that these crimes were racially motivated.”

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A small plane traveled off the runway at Centennial Airport on Friday, prompting the closure of that runway — the second such incident this week.

One person was onboard the single-engine Cessna aircraft on Friday, according to a tweet from South Metro Fire Rescue. There were no injuries reported, although South Metro Fire Rescue is responding, according to a tweet by Centennial Airport.

#UPDATE Single engine aircraft off RWY 10/28. One person on board. No injury. @SouthMetroPIO assets now on scene. RWY 10/28 remains closed. pic.twitter.com/DnAu7k09hv

— Centennial Airport (@FlyCentennial) April 19, 2019

It’s the latest in a string of incidents at the airport. On Tuesday, another single-engine aircraft crashed following a hard landing. And in February, two aircraft had rough landings in a single afternoon.

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The Denver Post received top awards for general excellence and in numerous other categories for large newspapers in the 2018 contests sponsored by the Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters and Colorado Press Association. In addition to the general excellence award, The Post won sweepstakes awards for editorial and photography and design from the CPA.

Among the work most frequently recognized by judges was The Post’s “Shrouded Justice” project by David Migoya. The stories explored the extent to which judges’ orders keep cases hidden from public view.

Awards were given April 12 and 13.

Joe Amon, The Denver Post
For the children on the property, most days can be magical. Lakota Douglas, left, and Makayla Davis walk under a rainbow with the morning sun shining on them at the start of a beautiful day, July 29, 2017, near Hooper. (From a story about off-grid life for a family in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, part of Joe Amon’s photography portfolio awarded first place by CPA)

First place awards from CAPER:

General Excellence

Headline Writing: Dale Ulland

Business Story: “Lehman Collapse Reshaped Colorado Economy, for Better and Worse,” Aldo Svaldi

Informational Graphic: Jeff Neumann

Investigative Reporting:  “Shrouded Justice,” David Migoya

Online Special Package: “State of Marijuana”

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Sports Column: Mark Kiszla

Sports Story: “An Oral History of Unlikely Broncos Running Back Phillip Lindsay,” Kyle Fredrickson

First place awards from the CPA:

Editorial Sweepstakes
Photography and Design Sweepstakes
General Excellence

Best of Show – Editorial:  “Shrouded Justice,” David Migoya

Best Photography Portfolio: Joe Amon

Best Cover Design: Denver Post Broncos Book, Jeff Neumann

Best Photo Slideshow or Gallery: “West is still wild,”  Helen Richardson

Best News Story: “It wasn’t his ashes,” John Ingold

Best Photo Essay: “A week with Colorado Task Force 1,” RJ Sangosti

Public Service: “Shrouded Justice,” David Migoya

Best Informational Graphic: “How Colorado has voted in presidential elections” and Colorado wildfires map, Kevin Hamm

Best Sustained Coverage: “New Years Eve ambush,” staff

Best Investigative Story Package: “Shrouded Justice,” David Migoya

Best Education Story: “Colorado public schools are paying millions to settle lawsuits,” Christopher N. Osher

Best Editorial Writing: Megan Schrader

Best Feature Story: “It still resonates: 20 years after Matthew Shepard’s murder, his parents continue their work as LGBTQ activists,” Elise Schmelzer

Best feature Photograph: “Valentine’s Day Dance,” Helen Richardson

Best Sports Photograph: “Tearful victory,” Helen Richardson

Best Sports Story: “Allegations of abuse against ex-boys basketball coach John Anderson have divided the community of Golden,” Kyle Newman

Best Agriculture story: “Vanishing Rio Grande puts pressure on San Luis Valley farmers,”  Bruce Finley

Best Story/Picture Combination: “Life off the grid,” Tom McGhee, Joe Amon, Maggie Andresen

Best Series: Shrouded Justice, David Migoya

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The latest in identity politics legislation raining down from the state Capitol is House Bill 1192 which expands U.S. civics and history K-12 education requirements for history and civil government studies to add: the contributions of Asian Americans, LGBTQ individuals, religious minorities and the “intersectionality of significant social and cultural features within these communities.”

For those not familiar with the ever-changing newspeak of progressive victim celebration, the “intersectionality” to be taught in U.S. civics means the overlapping systems of discrimination meant to keep oppressed people down. Because America — not most of the world like Venezuela, China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, India, etc. — is the shining example of systematically keeping people down.

It’s important to note that current state law already requires the teaching of civics “which includes the history, culture, and contributions of minorities.” HB 1192 would micromanage that mandate to what social justice fanatics live for — separating people into smaller and smaller boxes, then pitting those boxes against each other in a contest of who has been most oppressed.

Since the politically correct police update terminology like Apple updates iPhones, HB 1192 also renames “Hispanic Americans” to “Latinos” and now “the” American Indians are just American Indians.

The same progressives who are hiding behind the fib of “local control” when it comes to attacking oil and gas production in Colorado are using the opposite of local control to mandate their re-education efforts onto school boards across the state. But consistency doesn’t matter to Colorado’s power structure. Political expediency does.

One would think the goal of teaching the history of racial discrimination is to instill in young, impressionable minds the lesson that discrimination is wrong and the “intersectionality” of cementing discrimination into policy is really, really wrong.

So, what my little white-male privileged brain doesn’t quite get is the blatant systematic discrimination written into HB 1192.

The difference between “liberal” and “progressive” should be becoming clearer to Coloradans. Over fifty years ago a liberal Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of a nation where we wouldn’t be judged by the color of our skin. Today our progressive controllers want to legally mandate racial and religious discrimination.

One could assume HB 1192’s mandate to educate about the “persecution of religious minorities” means teaching why it’s wrong to force a Christian baker to make a cake celebrating a gay wedding against his faith. But I’m thinking the legislature might intend to teach just the opposite.

So, who is the arbiter in choosing who will be the villain in the tales of persecution?

Well, the bill requires a stacked commission, chosen by the governor, to oversee the indoctrination. And the governor must discriminate based on race. Two must be American Indian. Two must be Asian. Two must be Latino. Two must be African American. And one must be LGBT.

In other words, the progressive’s new law enshrines discrimination based on the color of someone’s skin.

To teach kids about institutional racial discrimination the state must institute racial discrimination.

Not quite “Irish need not apply” because if the Irish man says he’s gay, he at least has a small chance of getting appointed.

This same ploy of stacking commissions was played with House Bill 1032, the sex ed bill, which also ripped local control from school boards. You’d think it was about teaching how babies are made but it was about teaching how to have healthy transsexual relationships.

As originally introduced the “human sexuality education” bill mandated eight representatives be added to the oversight entity and required at least seven members “who are members of groups of people who have been or might be discriminated against.”

Again, I doubt Christian cake bakers are meant to be included as a member of a discriminated group.

This game of stacking “oversight entities” is a two-edged sword progressives could live to regret. It is based on the premise their lock on Colorado government is permanent.

There once was a premise that Trump could never become president too.

Should a Trump-like governor ever win in Colorado, the left is empowering him to put his idea of victims in these roles. Christian bakers all.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a libertarian-conservative think tank in Denver.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit online or check out our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.

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