Sports






 

Petition launched to save UAH hockey program

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – After UAH announced its decision to eliminate hockey, an online petition was started to urge university officials to keep the program.

Tyler Curtis started the petition Friday. Though he said he was never a student at UAH, Curtis traces his love for the sport back to the Chargers’ program.

“Personally I would have never known about hockey if it were not for UAH Chargers Hockey,” Curtis said in the petition. “I lived in a very rural area of Tennessee. Fell in love with hockey because of UAH and the Channel Cats. I played for 6 years. We had clinics provided by UAH. My checking clinic and goaltending clinic was done by UAH coaches and players. I had a pair of jeans that was signed by the team one season. My whole family loves UAH hockey. Sometimes more than the hockey.”

UAH said it is discontinuing its hockey as well as its men’s and women’s tennis programs as cost-cutting measures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of 4 p.m. Saturday, the website says the petition has received more than 2,100 signatures with a goal of 2,500.


Coronavirus: NBA in talks with Disney to resume season at site in Florida

An NBA spokesman said the conversations were still ``exploratory,'' and that the Disney site would be used for practices and housing as well.


Canadian NHL teams offer season ticket holders varied refund options amid COVID-19

In a four-day span May 13-16, all seven teams contacted their season-ticket bases with options and, in some cases, deadlines to make a decision.


NHL awaits player feedback on 24-team playoff format before deciding league’s next steps

With the NHL Players' Association executive board could release the results of its vote as early as Friday, but numerous questions remain whatever the decision is.


UAH cutting hockey, tennis programs

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – UAH said Friday it is discontinuing its hockey and men’s and women’s tennis programs as cost-cutting measures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

University President Darren Dawson and athletic director Cade Smith said in a statement that the university was experiencing “enormous challenges” due to the pandemic.

“These actions are the necessary result of intensive review and discussion about where we can make adjustments that protect our current financial condition with the least possible disruption to our central mission – education, research and service to the community,” the statement read.

The university said it was making the decision to cancel the programs now in order to give the student athletes in those programs an opportunity to transfer to another school, but that their current scholarships would still be honored.

UAH said it has also has implemented a hiring freeze, cancelled faculty sabbaticals and temporarily suspended its voluntary retirement employer matching. The university also said it has heightened its review of spending.


SEC athletes can resume some activities June 8

The Southeastern Conference said Friday that athletes from its schools can resume some activities effective June 8.

Currently, the NCAA is only allowing voluntary activities supervised by strength and conditioning personnel, the SEC said in a news release. Those activities would be permitted based on the ability for them to be in controlled and safe environments while maintaining social distancing.

The SEC made its decision with the help of the conference’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force, which has doctors, infectious disease experts and sports medicine personnel from all 14 SEC schools.

“At this time, we are preparing to begin the fall sports season as currently scheduled, and this limited resumption of voluntary athletic activities on June 8 is an important initial step in that process,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a news release. “Thanks to the blueprint established by our Task Force and the dedicated efforts of our universities and their athletics programs, we will be able to provide our student-athletes with far better health and wellness education, medical and psychological care and supervision than they would otherwise receive on their own while off campus or training at public facilities as states continue to reopen.”

In addition to facility cleaning and social distancing, the SEC is taking more steps that include a three-stage screening process where athletes are screened when they arrive on campus, within 72 hours of entering athletic facilities and every day once they resume activities. They also plan to isolate anyone suspected of having COVID-19 and doing full contact tracing.

All other organized practices and other physical activities related to all college sports is still prohibited. Camps and coaches clinics are still suspended until July 31.


Bob Jones alumna Candice Storey Lee becomes SEC’s 1st woman athletic director

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt has removed the interim title, making Candice Storey Lee the first woman to become an athletic director in the Southeastern Conference.

With Vanderbilt’s announcement Wednesday, Lee now is among only five women and the second black woman in charge of a Power Five program. Daniel Diermeier, who takes over as Vanderbilt’s chancellor on July 1, said Lee is the “living embodiment” of the university’s values and aspirations.

“Candice is perfectly positioned to lead our athletics program to new heights of success on and off the field of play,” Diermeier said. “She has the drive, creativity, and perseverance to help elevate our student-athletes, and the entire Vanderbilt Athletics program.

The 41-year-old Lee, a former Commodores basketball captain, was named interim athletic director Feb. 4 when Malcolm Turner resigned after one year on the job for the former NBA G League president. That made Lee the first woman to run athletics at Vanderbilt, and she said she was incredibly honored and could not be in this position without the support of Vanderbilt’s leadership, coaches, staff and fans.

“There are challenges ahead and much uncertainty about what college athletics can and should look like during a pandemic, but I firmly believe that anything is possible if we all work together,” Lee said.

Tennessee’s Joan Cronan was the only other woman to have been at least an interim AD at an SEC school, the conference said. She was the interim for the Volunteers for approximately three months in 2011. Cronan and Bev Lewis at Arkansas both were in charge of women’s departments when both schools had separate athletics departments.

Lee joins Carla Williams at Virginia as the only black women athletic directors at a Power Five school, with Sandy Barbour at Penn State, Jennifer Cohen at Washington and Heather Lyke at Pittsburgh the other women ADs.

As a four-year letter winner for Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball team, Lee graduated with a degree in human and organizational development in 2000. She also received her master’s degree in counseling from Vanderbilt in 2002, and in 2012, Lee earned her doctorate from Vanderbilt in higher education administration.

She became Vanderbilt’s senior woman administrator in the athletics department in 2004 and deputy athletic director in 2016. In that role, Lee ran the day-to-day operations and also oversaw both football and women’s basketball for the Commodores.

Lee is a former member of the NCAA women’s basketball rules committee, former chair of the NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse committee and a former chair of the SEC Senior Woman Administrators. Lee also is on the board of the directors for the YWCA of Middle Tennessee and on the SEC Executive Committee.

Susan R. Wente, Vanderbilt’s interim chancellor and provost, said Lee hit the ground running after being appointed interim athletic director earlier this year.

“We will look back and see this decision as a major turning point for Vanderbilt athletics, and our entire university,” Wente said.


Coronavirus: Alberta looking at whether gyms could open earlier than planned

In the original relaunch strategy, gyms were part of Stage 3, along with recreation facilities and nightclubs.


Nick Saban and Big Al pair up for social distancing PSA

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama released a PSA for social distancing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nick Saban, Alabama Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine Jeff Allen, and Big Al teamed up for the video.

Coach Saban reminds Big Al of how important it is to wear a mask and keep his distance from others. He goes as far as asking people to respect the rules to make college football a possibility this fall.


Breckenridge not reopening for spring skiing; A-Basin makes plans to reopen with state permission

By Taylor SienkiewiczSummit Daily

DILLON — Vail Resorts has announced Breckenridge Ski Resort, Heavenly Mountain Resort and Whistler Blackcomb will not reopen for spring skiing.

CEO Rob Katz made the announcement via a letter Thursday morning. He explained that all of the communities the company operates are focused on creating timelines and guidelines for reopening for summer, which could have the lifts turning at resorts by late June or early July. The company also put lodging and retail stores within the same timetable.

Katz said the company plans to take its time in the reopening process and that not everything can open at once as the company has businesses beyond lift operations, including restaurants, wedding venues, retail stores and hotels. He said standard operating procedures are still being worked on and that each business will open on “its own timetable.”

The Summit County Board of Health discussed Wednesday the opening of ski areas for spring skiing related to a request submitted by Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. County Manager Scott Vargo noted that Copper Mountain Resort has expressed interest in opening for ski team training activities.

Read more on our partner site Summit Daily.

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Former Edmonton Oiler part of group set to operate RE/MAX Field

The future of baseball in Edmonton is looking brighter after a group led by a former Edmonton Oiler agreed to a 10-year lease to operate RE/MAX Field.


Abby Brooks eyeing big senior season with UAH Volleyball

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A star volleyball player at Madison Academy, Abby Brooks decided to continue her career at UAH. That has since paid off. Now entering her senior season with the Chargers, she’s hoping this team can take yet another big step in the right direction.

What we have been doing has clearly been working,” said Brooks. “I mean we’re been improving on this program for years once I got here as a freshman to now is incredible. A lot of that is due to Cade (Smith), the people that he recruits, his coaching style I mean it is what you make of it.”

UAH players and coaches were ecstatic when they got the news they would be playing in the NCAA Division II Tournament. It’s a new year for Brooks, and while she has goals of her own, she wants to accomplish it all with her teammates by her side.

“I am determined to win a GSC Tournament by the time I get out of here but you know the trophies do fade, the medals do go away,” said Brooks. “What it comes down to is the relationships you made while you were here.”


Abby Brooks eyeing big senior season with UAH Volleyball

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A star volleyball player at Madison Academy, Abby Brooks decided to continue her career at UAH. That has since paid off. Now entering her senior season with the Chargers, she’s hoping this team can take yet another big step in the right direction.

What we have been doing has clearly been working,” said Brooks. “I mean we’re been improving on this program for years once I got here as a freshman to now is incredible. A lot of that is due to Cade (Smith), the people that he recruits, his coaching style I mean it is what you make of it.”

UAH players and coaches were ecstatic when they got the news they would be playing in the NCAA Division II Tournament. It’s a new year for Brooks, and while she has goals of her own, she wants to accomplish it all with her teammates by her side.

“I am determined to win a GSC Tournament by the time I get out of here but you know the trophies do fade, the medals do go away,” said Brooks. “What it comes down to is the relationships you made while you were here.”


Coronavirus: Montreal athletes anxious to start training, playing again

"Everyone is trying to stay fit and in shape, if and when we go back."


Okanagan football player gets drafted by the Montreal Alouettes

Homegrown Kelowna athlete Andrew Becker hopes to trade in his Regina Rams’ university jersey for a professional one.


Former Lee football standout Chester Rogers gives back to Huntsville community

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Chester Rogers shined on the gridiron for Lee High School before living out his lifelong dream of playing in the NFL.

The free agent, who most recently suited up for the Indianapolis Colts, is now using his platform for something much bigger than football.

“I knew I had to do something,” Rogers said. “It’s not much but I just wanted to give my time give my effort and do what I can do to help out during this hard time.”

A lot of people are struggling to put food on the table right now, so that’s why Rogers decided to step in; Rogers gave out free meals for families and children in Huntsville.

Rogers and his team of volunteers also brought meals to our first responders to say thank you for all of their hard work during the pandemic.

“I think everybody just needs to stay safe, just wait it out and protect yourself and just know that we’re all in this together,” Rogers said. “Anything I can do and I know my peers we’re gonna give back and just try to help everybody get through it that’s all we can do and just stay prayed up.”

Rogers says being able to help others is really what being a professional athlete is all about to him and he’s thankful to be one of the many stars that’s able to give back to the Huntsville area.

“It’s everything. You have to use your platform once you get it,” Rogers said. “The city it raised us, this whole community raised us and helped us get to where we are, so it’s only right that we give back. We had some very big plans coming this summer and I did something last year, but due to the Coronavirus we’re not gonna be able to do it so that’s why I had to come up with something new and it was just a perfect opportunity to give back. It makes it all worth it for me all the hard work and everything that comes with it just being able to give back it just makes it worth it. I’m trying to be a part of someone’s helping hand so just whatever I can do I’m gonna do it.”

Rogers is currently waiting for training centers to open back up and is looking forward to finding his next home in the NFL.

“I’ve just been home I’ve been rehabbing because I had an injury and I’ve just been trying to do whatever I can to stay active and stay on it,” Rogers said. “It’s hard because they shut gyms down they shut a lot of stuff down, so of course it’s affecting us but I mean I’m getting through it.”


You might need reservations to drive to Maroon Bells this summer with shuttle service “not an option”

ASPEN — Park officials in Colorado have announced that bus service to a scenic area in White River National Forest will likely not be operational this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Park supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams made the announcement Thursday, citing plans to find alternative scenarios for people to enjoy the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, southwest of Aspen, The Aspen Times reported.

The U.S. Forest Service and its partners have started to look into a reservation system that would allow a limited number of private vehicles to drive up the popular destination, Fitzwilliams said. The number of vehicles allowed would be determined by the number of parking spots available, he said.

There are about 60 day-use parking spaces, 27 overnight visitor spaces and 30 overflow spaces.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Fitzwilliams said. But “the shuttle system is not an option, at least not at this time.”

The agency has a bus service agreement with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority that previously restricted private vehicles during summer days and into fall, but with an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, public transportation is not recommended.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

The use of private vehicles is intended to continue accommodating visitors without overwhelming the road or compromising safety, Fitzwilliams said. The buses would have prohibited packing in passengers to comply with social-distancing regulations.

“It can be done safely but I don’t think it can be done economically,” Fitzwilliams said.

Developed facilities on the national forest, such as the bathrooms at Maroon Bells, are currently closed by order of the Rocky Mountain Region of the Forest Service until June 1, but can be opened sooner as long as facilities comply with social distancing.

More details are expected in the coming weeks.

Fitzwilliams said “98% of the forest is still as open as it ever was.”


NFL QB, North Alabama native Philip Rivers named head football coach in Baldwin County

DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) – Philip Rivers will soon be on the sidelines in Baldwin County coaching high school football, as St. Michael named Rivers their next football coach.

The announcement was made during a press conference at the school on Friday. Rivers will take over coaching duties when his NFL career is over. There is no definitive timeline set.

Paul Knapstein will serve as the interim coach for the 2020 football season.

Rivers signed a one-year, $25 million dollar deal with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason. Rivers had previously played with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers.

The eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback is sixth in NFL history in career passing touchdowns and passing yards. Rivers attended Athens High School, where he played for his father, Steve Rivers.


Coronavirus: Raptors to resume training at Toronto facility in limited capacity

The team says that after working closely with the local government, infectious disease experts and public health authorities, players will be allowed to access the OVO Athletic Centre starting next week.


Colorado is a hot spot for #VanLife. So when the coronavirus hit, some got stuck here.

By Special to The Denver Post

If you were to flip open the cabinetry on the inside of Cat and Eric Owensby’s Ram Promaster van, mixed among household items, clothing and gear, you would also find small stashes of dry pasta, loose fruit and other foods.

“We have a limited amount of space,” said Cat, especially since the couple has been cutting their grocery runs from once or twice per week back to once every two weeks. Space for the extra groceries is at a premium, so detailed meal planning, using everything on hand, and wringing every drop of additional storage from their home on wheels has been critical.

More than a year ago, the South Carolina natives quit their tethered jobs as a tax accountant and engineer in favor of remote and contract work and a roving life, chasing powder skiing, mountain bike trails and the outdoors. They had been in Colorado all winter, exploring the state’s ski areas, when the coronavirus exploded onto the scene.

“We were in Summit County when the stay-at-home order went into effect, so we just decided to hunker down here,” Eric said. The option to head back East became impractical and unsafe before they could even consider it, they said.

And the Owensbys aren’t alone. Colorado is a hot spot for van lifers and other mobile adventurers, year-round. While many of these nomads have made the decision to temporarily rent a home or move in with friends or family during this pandemic, for others like the Owensbys, that’s not the most practical option, and are left trying to decipher stay-at-home orders, business closures and difficult public lands situations for themselves.

According to Colorado’s Joint Information Center, “home” doesn’t necessarily mean an immobile structure: “In this case, that would be the person’s van or car,” and that should become the focus of their shelter-in-place plans.

For Cat and Eric, altering their typically nomadic plans in favor of staying put in one place is key, as is picking the right spot to park. They’ve been forced to balance land and campground closures, trailhead and public land crowding, access to the facilities they need, and respect for the local community. Rather than spending time in coffee shops, they have been working from the small van, have had limited access to public showers, and have had to conserve water and propane to limit trips to stores.

One of the biggest stressors of the pandemic has come from driving a van with out-of-state license plates during a stay-at-home order. “We’ve gotten really good at backing into spots,” Cat said.

While negative interactions with locals have been minimal, they’re conscious of their appearance. “I think a lot of people jump to conclusions that you’re on this massive vacation. But our situation is we don’t really have another place to go,” Eric said.

Their worry, however, has been offset by their growing self-confidence in how they are handling the situation: “I think we’ve been doing an extremely good job of staying in one place and keeping to ourselves,” Cat said. “We may be in a different situation from most people right now, but we’re handling it in a lot of the same ways.”

The Owensbys, as well as local health officials, recommend similar best practices for vehicle dwellers as the general population, with some adjustments:

  • Find a good spot to camp and double-down on it. Pay attention to land closures, avoid popular trailheads and backcountry areas, and find someplace you’re comfortable staying at for long periods of time. Avoid changing campsites and stay in that spot, unless you have somewhere else you need to go. “Go hide out,” Cat said.
  • Limit grocery store and other supply runs. Purchase more bins and water jugs (experts recommend carrying 10 gallons at a time, if possible), if necessary, to stay self-sufficient for longer.
  • “Get out and stretch your legs,” Eric said. Vans are small spaces, so if you can responsibly find a way to exercise and enjoy fresh air near your campsite, take advantage of your likely proximity to the outdoors.
  • Be extra clean in your van’s interior. Use disinfectant wipes to clean regularly-touched surfaces, and wash your hands as much as possible.
  • Steer clear of mountain towns and areas along Colorado’s Western Slope, which have seen high concentrations of reported COVID-19 cases, and have health care systems that can be easily overwhelmed.

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Coronavirus: Cancellation of CFL season is ‘most likely scenario’, commissioner says

"Our best-case scenario for this year is a drastically truncated season," Randy Ambrosie said. "And our most likely scenario is no season at all.''


Bear Creek Lake Park closing its swim beach, marina due to crowds

Cross off another idea for your Memorial Day plans.

Because of overcrowding amid COVID-19 concerns, the city of Lakewood is closing the swim beach and marina at Big Soda Lake in Bear Creek Lake Park beginning Saturday. The closure will be re-evaluated after Memorial Day, according to a news release.

“The health and safety of our staff and visitors is a top priority at Bear Creek Lake Park,” said regional park supervisor Drew Sprafke. “We are experiencing mid-summer crowds in early May, causing public safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Parking lots and trail access to the lake will be barricaded. Park rangers will patrol the closures, first to educate and then to enforce as needed. Violators will be subject to citations.

The park remains open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and has been extraordinarily busy with swarms of cyclists, runners, hikers and anglers during the pandemic. Picnic shelters, playgrounds and the campground are closed.

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Bear Creek Lake Park closing its swim beach, marina due to crowds

Cross off another idea for your Memorial Day plans.

Because of overcrowding amid COVID-19 concerns, the city of Lakewood is closing the swim beach and marina at Big Soda Lake in Bear Creek Lake Park beginning Saturday. The closure will be re-evaluated after Memorial Day, according to a news release.

“The health and safety of our staff and visitors is a top priority at Bear Creek Lake Park,” said regional park supervisor Drew Sprafke. “We are experiencing mid-summer crowds in early May, causing public safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Parking lots and trail access to the lake will be barricaded. Park rangers will patrol the closures, first to educate and then to enforce as needed. Violators will be subject to citations.

The park remains open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and has been extraordinarily busy with swarms of cyclists, runners, hikers and anglers during the pandemic. Picnic shelters, playgrounds and the campground are closed.

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Vail Resorts exec explains why it took so long for to get credits for Epic Passes

Vail Resorts marketing chief Kirsten Lynch said there were good and thoughtful reasons the company took six weeks to come up with a plan to mollify Epic Pass holders following the shutdown of its North American resorts due to COVID-19.

Ten days after Colorado ski resorts were closed by order of Gov. Jared Polis on March 15, Lynch sent a letter to pass-holders acknowledging their frustration over the diminished value of their passes and promising news to address those concerns by the end of April. That came last week, as promised, but not before at least two class-action lawsuits were filed in federal court seeking refunds.

The plan doesn’t include refunds, but it does grant credits of 20% to 80% toward pass renewals for the 2020-21 season, depending on how often skiers used their passes this past season. Because of lingering COVID-19 uncertainty, the plan eliminates the spring deadlines for purchasing Epic passes at the best prices.

It also created a new pass insurance called Epic Coverage, which is free. That coverage includes compensation not only for pass-holders who cannot ski due to life-changing events (such as personal injury, loss of employment or pregnancy) but also for resort closures if they were to occur again next season. In the past, pass insurance for Epic products cost an extra $25 to $30 and did not cover closures such as those caused by COVID-19.

“Our pass-holders are our most loyal guests,” Lynch said in a lengthy interview on Tuesday. “Yeah, this is a big announcement, and necessary, because those loyal pass-holders are so critical to our business — and the future success of our business.”

Lynch said there were two primary reasons the company took its time working through solutions.

“We were in the middle of a crisis, and really focused on how to address the real impact of COVID on our employees, our guests, our communities, and making sure that was an immediate top priority,” Lynch said. “The second reason why we needed a few weeks to get the program together is to be comprehensive. We did not want to put out a simple one-size-fits-all approach. We wanted to be really thoughtful and deliberate, because we have over 1.2 million pass-holders, and we have a lot of different products. We have some people who skied 100 days and we have some people who didn’t get any days in, because they are planning on coming over spring. It really felt like we had to have a comprehensive, thoughtful approach.

“That means it took time to think through how to honor all of our pass-holders, how to come up with a way to reassure them about next season and completely revamp the concept of personal insurance, giving it for free, expanding it to include resort closures, and coming up with that program that can give you refunds and coverage all season.”

Lynch said reaction to the announcement over social media and in emails she has received has been “incredibly positive,” although there has been some dissent.

“We cannot make every single person happy,” Lynch said. “The person who feels that they should get a credit up to 100 percent is still frustrated, and I completely understand that.”

An Epic Pass-holder who didn’t ski any days this past season would receive an 80% credit, which Lynch said could be as high as $790. Those who had the Epic Local pass, a less expensive product with some restrictions, would be entitled to a credit of $590 if they did not use it this past season.

Ski industry observer Chris Diamond, who has written two books about the transformation of the ski industry over the past decade, gives Vail Resorts high marks for the way it handled the situation.

“What they came up with, to me, would answer almost any question you could possibly have,” said Diamond, who ran the Steamboat ski area for 16 years. “It was fair treatment for those who didn’t get the full use of their passes. They put in metrics that can be defended, both for the company and for the customer. They’re going to do whatever it takes to keep their pass-holders skiing, given all the uncertainty. I think it’s very well thought out.”

The minimum credit of 20% goes to frequent pass-users, and was set at that mark given that COVID-19 wrecked about 20% of the ski season.

“We felt like this was really customizing the approach,” Lynch said, “and acknowledging all of the different pass-holders and their situations.”

In creating Epic Coverage pass insurance, Lynch said the company wanted to ease the concerns of guests who might be reluctant to renew their passes because of uncertainty over how COVID-19 might affect the 2020-21 season.

“We felt like we really needed to address that, so we expanded that free coverage to include resort closures,” Lynch said. “We really spent time trying to be thoughtful about what our guests actually want from this coverage. The first is refunds — the ability to get a refund. Not just a credit for the following season, but an actual refund if there is a closure. And it actually gives you coverage all season long, so if the resorts open and then they have to close for some reason, that’s covered.”

Uncertainty over COVID-19 also was the reason for eliminating spring pricing deadlines.

“We do not want to pressure anyone into making a decision,” Lynch said. “We are giving our guests and our pass-holders the ability to use those credits all the way up until Labor Day, with the assumption being that things will look different, we’ll have a better outlook and understanding on next season. Everything really is about giving our pass-holders some time and some space to deal with what’s going on right now in their lives. We hope things will be clear by Labor Day. If not, we will be flexible and agile and readjust if we have to.”

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Popular Devil’s Head Recreation Area closed until December due to coronavirus outbreak

Devil’s Head Recreation Area temporarily closed Tuesday afternoon to protect public health.

The closure includes the Devil’s Head trailhead, campground, picnic area, fire lookout tower, several Forest Service roads and the Zinn trail (NFST615). The area is about 45 minutes southwest of Sedalia.

The order will remain in effect until Dec. 1, 2020, or until rescinded, whichever comes first, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

According to the order, which can be read in full here, the purpose of this move is to “protect public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Read more on our partner site Denver7.

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Calgarian named 1st recipient of junior B hockey scholarship in B.C.

Fruitvale’s Beaver Valley Nitehawks’ three-year player, Angus Amadio, hopes he can follow in Grant Sheridan’s footsteps as he received an honour in his name.


Carey Price sends heartfelt video message to boys who lost parents in N.S. shooting

Greg and Jamie Blair were two of the 22 people killed on April 18 and 19 during a shooting that happened in five rural Nova Scotia communities.


Camping ban extended indefinitely at Colorado state parks

With Memorial Day less than three weeks away, the ban on camping in Colorado state parks that began six weeks ago has been extended until further notice by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

CPW said the decision was based on Colorado’s Safer at Home guidelines, along with advice from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When it was announced on March 26, CPW said it would remain in effect until this week at least, and that it could be extended.

“We understand the strain these continued closures put on all of us, and we appreciate the public’s flexibility as we work through the process of reopening,” CPW director Dan Prenzlow said in a news release. ”Our staff is working hard to make sure we can provide safe and enjoyable experiences for everyone.”

CPW is working with local and federal partners, along with CDPHE, to establish a timeline when camping with social distancing can resume. Complicating the process, each county has “unique circumstances,” the release said.

Reservations through May 11 have been canceled and full refunds will be given. Cancellation fees have been waved through the end of May. Campers with reservations can change them through the end of the year at no charge. For more information, visit cpwshop.com or call 800-244-5613.

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More than half of Coloradans don’t plan to return to the gym after they reopen, one survey suggests

Fitness gyms may be facing a grim future in the aftermath of the coronavirus if an unscientific survey of gym members accurately signals what they are up against.

A website that caters to fitness enthusiasts reported Tuesday that 50.16% of American gym members responding to its online survey said they do not plan to return to their gyms when they reopen. The survey, conducted by RunRepeat.com, found that more than a third (35.7%) of those responding in the United States said they had either canceled their memberships or were considering canceling.

The survey was conducted from April 24 to May 1, asking that only people who belong to gyms take part. More than 6,600 responded in the U.S. Another 4,200 responded from other countries, where results were similar.

Of the Coloradans responding to the survey, 54.19% said they do not plan to return to their gyms when they reopen, and 38.7% said they had either canceled their memberships or were considering doing so.

Nick Rizzo, the fitness research director for RunRepeat.com, said the site is the world’s largest online athletic shoe review site with more than 2 million views per month. It began as a review site for running shoes and then branched out to include hiking shoes and other footwear.

“What I’m taking from this, there’s a couple different factors: One is that people are nervous about returning (to their gyms), for obvious reasons,” Rizzo said. “A portion of people will not go back for awhile, until they feel confident and comfortable with returning to the gym. We don’t know how long that may last, and if that number will grow the longer this goes.

“The other aspect is, there is a massive boom in the online fitness industry and at-home workout equipment because of all this. It’s hard to find dumbbells or kettle bells online, because they got purchased immediately during that first month of people being told to shelter in place. We might see a large portion of people who were previously actively going to the gym start shifting toward the convenience of being able to do it at home.”

And there are other signs that gyms are in trouble: Gold’s Gym filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week, and last month CNBC reported that 24 Hour Fitness was exploring that option. 24 Hour chief executive Tony Ueber responded to that report in a message to members.

“Regardless of any near-term challenges faced by 24 Hour Fitness and the fitness industry generally, I remain confident that we will reemerge stronger and better for the long term,” Ueber wrote. “Like many companies, we are looking at a number of different opportunities to work with our partners to improve and enhance value.”

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.


MLSE asked about Toronto being a hub city should NHL resume its season, Doug Ford says

Speaking at his daily COVID-19 media briefing Tuesday, Ford said Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment has reached out, but hasn't provided any details about a potential proposal.


Coronavirus: Toronto mayor says early talks underway with Jays, Raps on possible return

Mayor John Tory said the city is working with the Ontario provincial government on decision-making regarding the Raptors, and that "things are moving forward quite nicely."


Do you need to wear a mask when exercising in Denver? Glad you asked.

The city of Denver has ordered residents to wear face coverings when they are out in public, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffocate while trying to walk or run for exercise.

In a news conference announcing the rules going forward when the city’s stay at home ruling expires on Friday, Mayor Michael Hancock clarified what that means for people trying to get outdoor exercise.

“This is an order of the city of Denver that you wear a face covering when you’re in public, particularly when you’re going to these public venues,” Hancock said Tuesday. “You don’t have to wear them when you’re in the park, when you’re on a walk, when you are exercising outdoors, although we strongly encourage you to do so.”

At the state level, Colorado’s “safer at home” rules require that people wear non-medical cloth face coverings while grocery shopping, going to work or walking their dogs. They are asked to make or buy cloth coverings that cover the mouth and nose, using them whenever they are outside their own houses or yards.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.


Sorry, jocks, gyms still aren’t allowed to open in Colorado

If your upper body is starting to look a little puny in the mirror because the coronavirus has kept you out of your gym for the past seven weeks, we have bad news for you: Colorado’s new Safer at Home restrictions do not allow gyms to reopen.

The same goes for yoga, Pilates, barre and other fitness studios; they all remain closed under state orders. You can play tennis or basketball with fewer than four people, according to a Safer at Home fact sheet on the state’s COVID-19 website, but they must live in your household. So playing doubles or two-on-two hoops is unlikely.

“You can do indoor personal training/classes with a maximum of four people unless everyone lives in the same household,” the fact sheet says. “For example, a family of five can train together. Those from different households must be physically distant and can have no shared equipment.”

Swimming pools and playgrounds remain closed. State parks remain open but their campgrounds are closed. City and county parks will be open or closed depending on their jurisdiction.

You can play golf, though.

“Golf courses can remain open as an allowable outdoor activity,” the fact sheet says, “however, physical distancing requirements must be strictly followed. Clubhouses, restaurants, snack bars and pro shops must not be open and tee times and golf fee transactions made only online. Only household members may share a golf cart or be a caddie for a golfer. Golfers are strongly encouraged to not touch any equipment that is not their own (for example, tees and flags).”

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.


Spruce Meadows announces cancellation of 2020 Masters show jumping tournament

Officials at Spruce Masters announced on Tuesday the decision had been made to cancel the 2020 Masters Tournament amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ride the Rockies, Pedal the Plains postponed to 2021

The 34th Ride the Rockies tour of Colorado that was scheduled for next month has been canceled and the planned route moved to 2021 due to concerns over COVID-19.

The 418-mile, six-day ride, which typically attracts more than 2,000 riders, was set to begin June 14 and finish on June 19, beginning and ending in Durango with stops in Cortez, Norwood and Ridgway. The same route will be used next year, beginning June 13 and finishing on June 18.

“To ensure the health and well-being of everyone involved, we feel strongly the postponement is the best course of action to take at this time,” said tour director Deirdre Moynihan. “Ride The Rockies is a large, multiday event, and it was important to work through our next steps with the many organizations, companies and communities involved.”

September’s Pedal the Plains also was pushed to Sept. 10-12, 2021. Both events are sponsored by The Denver Post Community Foundation.

Ride the Rockies was expected to have a significant impact on Durango with an optional prologue ride on June 13, a 73-mile loop ride starting and finishing there on June 14, and the start of a 69-mile ride to Cortez on June 15. The last day of the tour was to have been a spectacular 85-mile ride from Ridgway to Durango over Red Mountain, Molas and Coal Bank passes.

“This is the right decision given the recent uncertainty brought about by COVID-19,” said Rachel Brown, executive director of Visit Durango. “The Durango tourism industry looks forward to welcoming Ride the Rockies back to Durango and La Plata County in 2021. Cycling will continue to play a big role in our recovery efforts and sustainable tourism strategy moving forward.”

Ride the Rockies is organizing a series of virtual challenges that will unfold next month on the days that the tour was to have been held. Details will be announced at a later date.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.


Ride the Rockies, Pedal the Plains postponed to 2021

The 34th Ride the Rockies tour of Colorado that was scheduled for next month has been canceled and the planned route moved to 2021 due to concerns over COVID-19.

The 418-mile, six-day ride, which typically attracts more than 2,000 riders, was set to begin June 14 and finish on June 19, beginning and ending in Durango with stops in Cortez, Norwood and Ridgway. The same route will be used next year, beginning June 13 and finishing on June 18.

“To ensure the health and well-being of everyone involved, we feel strongly the postponement is the best course of action to take at this time,” said tour director Deirdre Moynihan. “Ride The Rockies is a large, multiday event, and it was important to work through our next steps with the many organizations, companies and communities involved.”

September’s Pedal the Plains also was pushed to Sept. 10-12, 2021. Both events are sponsored by The Denver Post Community Foundation.

Ride the Rockies was expected to have a significant impact on Durango with an optional prologue ride on June 13, a 73-mile loop ride starting and finishing there on June 14, and the start of a 69-mile ride to Cortez on June 15. The last day of the tour was to have been a spectacular 85-mile ride from Ridgway to Durango over Red Mountain, Molas and Coal Bank passes.

“This is the right decision given the recent uncertainty brought about by COVID-19,” said Rachel Brown, executive director of Visit Durango. “The Durango tourism industry looks forward to welcoming Ride the Rockies back to Durango and La Plata County in 2021. Cycling will continue to play a big role in our recovery efforts and sustainable tourism strategy moving forward.”

Ride the Rockies is organizing a series of virtual challenges that will unfold next month on the days that the tour was to have been held. Details will be announced at a later date.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.


Keystone Resort proposes lift that would provide access to new beginner, intermediate trails

By Summit Daily

DILLON – U.S. Forest Service documentation released Thursday shed light on Keystone Resort’s plans to bring an unprecedented lift-served terrain expansion for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders above the resort’s tree line.

If and when the Forest Service approves Keystone’s plan for a detachable-quad lift serving 555 acres in its Bergman and Erickson bowl terrain, skiers and snowboarders would be able to ride two beginner trails and a web of intermediate trails down from above tree line in Bergman Bowl. The beginner and intermediate terrain then would go through trees to the new lift’s base and existing intermediate terrain on North Peak.

The collection of new trails would be located on the moderately slopped Bergman Bowl terrain that, since its opening in 2003, was previously accessible only by paid snow cat or hiking. The old cat track would be the location of the primary green beginner run.

Keystone’s plans are reminiscent of sister Vail Resorts property Breckenridge Ski Resort’s lift-served expansion less than a decade ago to the above-timberline terrain of Peak 6 on the Tenmile Range, where intermediate skiers and riders can often hit groomed runs for a high-Alpine experience more traditionally reserved for advanced skiers and riders.

Read more on our partner site Summit Daily.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.


Tired of coronavirus doom and gloom? You’re not alone.

It’s been more than six weeks since our physical worlds began closing in on us, from school and business closures that marooned many at home to travel restrictions that put most of our big, beautiful state out of reach.

Even as much of the Denver metro area remains under a stay-at-home order through Friday, there are increasing signs of fatigue. Each day under the uncomfortable new normal brings a stream of urgent coronavirus headlines and updates — as well as signs that people need an escape, from Denver parks and foothills trails crowded with sun-seekers to busy aisles at suburban home-improvement stores, which never closed down.

Lucy East understands the reasons for the continuing call for masks, social distancing and other precautions. She and her husband, Jonathan, both civil engineers, are working from home in Wheat Ridge. They’re being careful by ordering grocery deliveries and keeping their toddler out of day care to limit the family’s exposure.

But the longer it lasts, the lockdown takes a quiet emotional toll. The couple’s daughter, Alice, turned 1 on Thursday. Her grandparents are eager for family time.

“It’s getting a bit harder as time goes on not to see friends and family, especially for a birthday,” East said.

At times, frustrations have boiled over, as when a post on the Nextdoor site in northwest Denver declared last week: “It’s time to get back to living life.” The post quickly was met with competing torrents of applause and indignation. A day later, it had been taken down.

The rest of the state, along with Douglas County, began transitioning last week to Gov. Jared Polis’ “safer-at-home” order, which allowed many businesses to reopen with certain restrictions. The order keeps certain social distancing measures in place, and Polis still is urging people to wear masks when out in public — though adherence to this is spotty, at best.

But even as the governor called for continued vigilance and sacrifice, a public health expert who’s helped develop state COVID-19 projections says it’s natural that people are letting their guard down.

“More as a human being, I understand how people over time are feeling cooped up and experiencing this restlessness,” said Elizabeth Carlton, an assistant professor at the Colorado School of Public Health. “As someone who’s worked on the modeling team, I think the message that came through really clear when we were in our last set of simulations is that the next phase of this epidemic in Colorado will really be defined by how well we can maintain a certain amount of distance from each other, as hard as that is.”

Uncertainty in the new normal

How long variations on this new normal will last remains an unanswered question. It’s unclear how much longer it will be before we can go to the movies, attend sporting events or gather to hear live music. Or how long before younger children, after adapting to remote learning, can simply play with their friends again.

A look at the little data that’s available shows plenty of people have skirted the rules at times, whether it’s tossing a frisbee or a football in a park — despite Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s order against group sports activities — or venturing outside the house for trips deemed “unessential” by government orders.

Google has released periodic reports tracking movement through aggregate location data from people’s mobile phones. Through late March, its data for Colorado showed significant drops in travel to several types of destinations, compared to baseline levels prior to state and local restrictions taking effect.

But as April progressed, Google’s latest report shows, the extent that travel declined compared to baselines was considerably less, especially for trips to shop, eat and seek entertainment. When it comes to visiting parks and other outdoor places, Coloradans went from a 12% average decrease from normal in the March 29 report to 15% above the baseline in the April 26 report.

Some people are eager to move on.

When Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center in Arvada reopened its doors for in-person shopping on Thursday, after limiting sales to pickup orders for weeks, Gerald and Sandra Grant were among dozens of people in a line outside that snaked along the sidewalk and into the parking lot. The Grants said they relied heavily on President Donald Trump’s near-daily press conferences, calling them “encouraging.”

When asked how they were coping with the lockdown, Gerald laughed.

“What lockdown?” he said, before his wife said: “We’re off lockdown now.”

Another measure of fatigue came in a study released last week by the Pew Research Center. When it comes to following coronavirus news, Americans seem to be bordering on burnout.

Pew found 71% of more than 10,000 U.S. adults it surveyed in late April said they needed regular breaks from the news, compared to 28% who said they needed to stay constantly tuned in. More than 40% said COVID-related news made them feel worse emotionally.

Early on, Lucy East said she followed the news incessantly. Then a wellness challenge from her employer encouraged East and her coworkers to limit their news intake to 30 minutes per day. She says doing that has improved her mental health.

But Allea Ryan of Federal Heights still tunes in to broadcast news daily and receives breaking-news alerts on her phone. She likes keeping up, especially since her daughter is considered an essential worker at Walmart.

“I think if we stop hearing about it is when I’d become worried,” Ryan said.

Grappling with “what life might start to look like”

People dance as guitarist Russ Grabski ...
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

People dance as guitarist Russ Grabski , right, play with their band The Good Kind as they perform in front of house belonging Lisa Cooper on May 3, 2020 in Gunbarrel. The group played in front of four different homes in the Boulder area to help alleviate the isolation caused by the coronavirus. The band kept their performances to groups of small friends that watched from their driveways most wearing masks and keep their distances from one another. The money the band raised from donations goes directly to There With Care that has been providing support for families during the critical phase of a medical crisis, easing their daily stresses with compassion and care.

Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic response, psychologist Michelle Rozenman says any fatigue that develops often is rooted in prolonged stress, loneliness, guilt or exhaustion from new situations in people’s work or home lives.

“At this point, six weeks in, people have had an opportunity to see what life might start to look like,” said Rozenman, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Denver. “So whatever that means for them, however their routines have changed, if there’s a lack of consistency or structure, that may cause a problem.”

That upheaval has saddled children with anxiety and other challenges, too, she said, citing observations from her doctoral students’ remote therapy sessions with families in recent weeks.

Early last week, Polis acknowledged the pain brought by the stay-at-home orders. He took the tack of applauding the state’s residents for largely abiding by them. And he pleaded for patience, while announcing later in the week that his administration will put more emphasis on addressing the mental health effects of the crisis.

“There’s no easy answers here at all,” the governor said during his April 27 daily news conference. “We’re being challenged — we’re being asked to make sacrifices in our way. God willing, we should continue to be patient and treat each other with respect and love, knowing that better days (are ahead). … It’s a time not for anxiety, not for fear, but for justified caution.”

Rozenman said adults and children alike can enhance their mental calm in times like this by establishing routines, engaging in some kind of daily exercise, eating healthy food and getting consistent sleep as often as possible.

Carlton, the public health professor, urged common sense as restrictions are relaxed, adding that the onus would increasingly be on elected officials to “communicate what’s OK in addition to what’s not OK” to put people at ease.

As some models predict a second wave of coronavirus infections, she worries about limits in the public’s patience with social and physical restrictions.

“That has been a real big question that we’ve wrestled with,” Carlton said. “Nobody sees stay-at-home orders as sustainable for a very long period of time — or people will get restless.”

Join our Facebook group for the latest updates on coronavirus in Colorado.


Tired of coronavirus doom and gloom? You’re not alone.

It’s been more than six weeks since our physical worlds began closing in on us, from school and business closures that marooned many at home to travel restrictions that put most of our big, beautiful state out of reach.

Even as much of the Denver metro area remains under a stay-at-home order through Friday, there are increasing signs of fatigue. Each day under the uncomfortable new normal brings a stream of urgent coronavirus headlines and updates — as well as signs that people need an escape, from Denver parks and foothills trails crowded with sun-seekers to busy aisles at suburban home-improvement stores, which never closed down.

Lucy East understands the reasons for the continuing call for masks, social distancing and other precautions. She and her husband, Jonathan, both civil engineers, are working from home in Wheat Ridge. They’re being careful by ordering grocery deliveries and keeping their toddler out of day care to limit the family’s exposure.

But the longer it lasts, the lockdown takes a quiet emotional toll. The couple’s daughter, Alice, turned 1 on Thursday. Her grandparents are eager for family time.

“It’s getting a bit harder as time goes on not to see friends and family, especially for a birthday,” East said.

At times, frustrations have boiled over, as when a post on the Nextdoor site in northwest Denver declared last week: “It’s time to get back to living life.” The post quickly was met with competing torrents of applause and indignation. A day later, it had been taken down.

The rest of the state, along with Douglas County, began transitioning last week to Gov. Jared Polis’ “safer-at-home” order, which allowed many businesses to reopen with certain restrictions. The order keeps certain social distancing measures in place, and Polis still is urging people to wear masks when out in public — though adherence to this is spotty, at best.

But even as the governor called for continued vigilance and sacrifice, a public health expert who’s helped develop state COVID-19 projections says it’s natural that people are letting their guard down.

“More as a human being, I understand how people over time are feeling cooped up and experiencing this restlessness,” said Elizabeth Carlton, an assistant professor at the Colorado School of Public Health. “As someone who’s worked on the modeling team, I think the message that came through really clear when we were in our last set of simulations is that the next phase of this epidemic in Colorado will really be defined by how well we can maintain a certain amount of distance from each other, as hard as that is.”

Uncertainty in the new normal

How long variations on this new normal will last remains an unanswered question. It’s unclear how much longer it will be before we can go to the movies, attend sporting events or gather to hear live music. Or how long before younger children, after adapting to remote learning, can simply play with their friends again.

A look at the little data that’s available shows plenty of people have skirted the rules at times, whether it’s tossing a frisbee or a football in a park — despite Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s order against group sports activities — or venturing outside the house for trips deemed “unessential” by government orders.

Google has released periodic reports tracking movement through aggregate location data from people’s mobile phones. Through late March, its data for Colorado showed significant drops in travel to several types of destinations, compared to baseline levels prior to state and local restrictions taking effect.

But as April progressed, Google’s latest report shows, the extent that travel declined compared to baselines was considerably less, especially for trips to shop, eat and seek entertainment. When it comes to visiting parks and other outdoor places, Coloradans went from a 12% average decrease from normal in the March 29 report to 15% above the baseline in the April 26 report.

Some people are eager to move on.

When Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center in Arvada reopened its doors for in-person shopping on Thursday, after limiting sales to pickup orders for weeks, Gerald and Sandra Grant were among dozens of people in a line outside that snaked along the sidewalk and into the parking lot. The Grants said they relied heavily on President Donald Trump’s near-daily press conferences, calling them “encouraging.”

When asked how they were coping with the lockdown, Gerald laughed.

“What lockdown?” he said, before his wife said: “We’re off lockdown now.”

Another measure of fatigue came in a study released last week by the Pew Research Center. When it comes to following coronavirus news, Americans seem to be bordering on burnout.

Pew found 71% of more than 10,000 U.S. adults it surveyed in late April said they needed regular breaks from the news, compared to 28% who said they needed to stay constantly tuned in. More than 40% said COVID-related news made them feel worse emotionally.

Early on, Lucy East said she followed the news incessantly. Then a wellness challenge from her employer encouraged East and her coworkers to limit their news intake to 30 minutes per day. She says doing that has improved her mental health.

But Allea Ryan of Federal Heights still tunes in to broadcast news daily and receives breaking-news alerts on her phone. She likes keeping up, especially since her daughter is considered an essential worker at Walmart.

“I think if we stop hearing about it is when I’d become worried,” Ryan said.

Grappling with “what life might start to look like”

People dance as guitarist Russ Grabski ...
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

People dance as guitarist Russ Grabski , right, play with their band The Good Kind as they perform in front of house belonging Lisa Cooper on May 3, 2020 in Gunbarrel. The group played in front of four different homes in the Boulder area to help alleviate the isolation caused by the coronavirus. The band kept their performances to groups of small friends that watched from their driveways most wearing masks and keep their distances from one another. The money the band raised from donations goes directly to There With Care that has been providing support for families during the critical phase of a medical crisis, easing their daily stresses with compassion and care.

Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic response, psychologist Michelle Rozenman says any fatigue that develops often is rooted in prolonged stress, loneliness, guilt or exhaustion from new situations in people’s work or home lives.

“At this point, six weeks in, people have had an opportunity to see what life might start to look like,” said Rozenman, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Denver. “So whatever that means for them, however their routines have changed, if there’s a lack of consistency or structure, that may cause a problem.”

That upheaval has saddled children with anxiety and other challenges, too, she said, citing observations from her doctoral students’ remote therapy sessions with families in recent weeks.

Early last week, Polis acknowledged the pain brought by the stay-at-home orders. He took the tack of applauding the state’s residents for largely abiding by them. And he pleaded for patience, while announcing later in the week that his administration will put more emphasis on addressing the mental health effects of the crisis.

“There’s no easy answers here at all,” the governor said during his April 27 daily news conference. “We’re being challenged — we’re being asked to make sacrifices in our way. God willing, we should continue to be patient and treat each other with respect and love, knowing that better days (are ahead). … It’s a time not for anxiety, not for fear, but for justified caution.”

Rozenman said adults and children alike can enhance their mental calm in times like this by establishing routines, engaging in some kind of daily exercise, eating healthy food and getting consistent sleep as often as possible.

Carlton, the public health professor, urged common sense as restrictions are relaxed, adding that the onus would increasingly be on elected officials to “communicate what’s OK in addition to what’s not OK” to put people at ease.

As some models predict a second wave of coronavirus infections, she worries about limits in the public’s patience with social and physical restrictions.

“That has been a real big question that we’ve wrestled with,” Carlton said. “Nobody sees stay-at-home orders as sustainable for a very long period of time — or people will get restless.”

Join our Facebook group for the latest updates on coronavirus in Colorado.


Tired of coronavirus doom and gloom? You’re not alone.

It’s been more than six weeks since our physical worlds began closing in on us, from school and business closures that marooned many at home to travel restrictions that put most of our big, beautiful state out of reach.

Even as much of the Denver metro area remains under a stay-at-home order through Friday, there are increasing signs of fatigue. Each day under the uncomfortable new normal brings a stream of urgent coronavirus headlines and updates — as well as signs that people need an escape, from Denver parks and foothills trails crowded with sun-seekers to busy aisles at suburban home-improvement stores, which never closed down.

Lucy East understands the reasons for the continuing call for masks, social distancing and other precautions. She and her husband, Jonathan, both civil engineers, are working from home in Wheat Ridge. They’re being careful by ordering grocery deliveries and keeping their toddler out of day care to limit the family’s exposure.

But the longer it lasts, the lockdown takes a quiet emotional toll. The couple’s daughter, Alice, turned 1 on Thursday. Her grandparents are eager for family time.

“It’s getting a bit harder as time goes on not to see friends and family, especially for a birthday,” East said.

At times, frustrations have boiled over, as when a post on the Nextdoor site in northwest Denver declared last week: “It’s time to get back to living life.” The post quickly was met with competing torrents of applause and indignation. A day later, it had been taken down.

The rest of the state, along with Douglas County, began transitioning last week to Gov. Jared Polis’ “safer-at-home” order, which allowed many businesses to reopen with certain restrictions. The order keeps certain social distancing measures in place, and Polis still is urging people to wear masks when out in public — though adherence to this is spotty, at best.

But even as the governor called for continued vigilance and sacrifice, a public health expert who’s helped develop state COVID-19 projections says it’s natural that people are letting their guard down.

“More as a human being, I understand how people over time are feeling cooped up and experiencing this restlessness,” said Elizabeth Carlton, an assistant professor at the Colorado School of Public Health. “As someone who’s worked on the modeling team, I think the message that came through really clear when we were in our last set of simulations is that the next phase of this epidemic in Colorado will really be defined by how well we can maintain a certain amount of distance from each other, as hard as that is.”

Uncertainty in the new normal

How long variations on this new normal will last remains an unanswered question. It’s unclear how much longer it will be before we can go to the movies, attend sporting events or gather to hear live music. Or how long before younger children, after adapting to remote learning, can simply play with their friends again.

A look at the little data that’s available shows plenty of people have skirted the rules at times, whether it’s tossing a frisbee or a football in a park — despite Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s order against group sports activities — or venturing outside the house for trips deemed “unessential” by government orders.

Google has released periodic reports tracking movement through aggregate location data from people’s mobile phones. Through late March, its data for Colorado showed significant drops in travel to several types of destinations, compared to baseline levels prior to state and local restrictions taking effect.

But as April progressed, Google’s latest report shows, the extent that travel declined compared to baselines was considerably less, especially for trips to shop, eat and seek entertainment. When it comes to visiting parks and other outdoor places, Coloradans went from a 12% average decrease from normal in the March 29 report to 15% above the baseline in the April 26 report.

Some people are eager to move on.

When Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center in Arvada reopened its doors for in-person shopping on Thursday, after limiting sales to pickup orders for weeks, Gerald and Sandra Grant were among dozens of people in a line outside that snaked along the sidewalk and into the parking lot. The Grants said they relied heavily on President Donald Trump’s near-daily press conferences, calling them “encouraging.”

When asked how they were coping with the lockdown, Gerald laughed.

“What lockdown?” he said, before his wife said: “We’re off lockdown now.”

Another measure of fatigue came in a study released last week by the Pew Research Center. When it comes to following coronavirus news, Americans seem to be bordering on burnout.

Pew found 71% of more than 10,000 U.S. adults it surveyed in late April said they needed regular breaks from the news, compared to 28% who said they needed to stay constantly tuned in. More than 40% said COVID-related news made them feel worse emotionally.

Early on, Lucy East said she followed the news incessantly. Then a wellness challenge from her employer encouraged East and her coworkers to limit their news intake to 30 minutes per day. She says doing that has improved her mental health.

But Allea Ryan of Federal Heights still tunes in to broadcast news daily and receives breaking-news alerts on her phone. She likes keeping up, especially since her daughter is considered an essential worker at Walmart.

“I think if we stop hearing about it is when I’d become worried,” Ryan said.

Grappling with “what life might start to look like”

People dance as guitarist Russ Grabski ...
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

People dance as guitarist Russ Grabski , right, play with their band The Good Kind as they perform in front of house belonging Lisa Cooper on May 3, 2020 in Gunbarrel. The group played in front of four different homes in the Boulder area to help alleviate the isolation caused by the coronavirus. The band kept their performances to groups of small friends that watched from their driveways most wearing masks and keep their distances from one another. The money the band raised from donations goes directly to There With Care that has been providing support for families during the critical phase of a medical crisis, easing their daily stresses with compassion and care.

Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic response, psychologist Michelle Rozenman says any fatigue that develops often is rooted in prolonged stress, loneliness, guilt or exhaustion from new situations in people’s work or home lives.

“At this point, six weeks in, people have had an opportunity to see what life might start to look like,” said Rozenman, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Denver. “So whatever that means for them, however their routines have changed, if there’s a lack of consistency or structure, that may cause a problem.”

That upheaval has saddled children with anxiety and other challenges, too, she said, citing observations from her doctoral students’ remote therapy sessions with families in recent weeks.

Early last week, Polis acknowledged the pain brought by the stay-at-home orders. He took the tack of applauding the state’s residents for largely abiding by them. And he pleaded for patience, while announcing later in the week that his administration will put more emphasis on addressing the mental health effects of the crisis.

“There’s no easy answers here at all,” the governor said during his April 27 daily news conference. “We’re being challenged — we’re being asked to make sacrifices in our way. God willing, we should continue to be patient and treat each other with respect and love, knowing that better days (are ahead). … It’s a time not for anxiety, not for fear, but for justified caution.”

Rozenman said adults and children alike can enhance their mental calm in times like this by establishing routines, engaging in some kind of daily exercise, eating healthy food and getting consistent sleep as often as possible.

Carlton, the public health professor, urged common sense as restrictions are relaxed, adding that the onus would increasingly be on elected officials to “communicate what’s OK in addition to what’s not OK” to put people at ease.

As some models predict a second wave of coronavirus infections, she worries about limits in the public’s patience with social and physical restrictions.

“That has been a real big question that we’ve wrestled with,” Carlton said. “Nobody sees stay-at-home orders as sustainable for a very long period of time — or people will get restless.”

Join our Facebook group for the latest updates on coronavirus in Colorado.


NFL plans to start season on time, possibly without fans in stands

The NFL says it will likely start its season on time, but it’s not clear if fans will be in the stands.

The league is expected to release its schedule this week. The plan is to start the season on September 10, with some contingency plans in place, in case COVID-19 is still an issue this fall.

League officials also say they will wait for states to lift their stay-at-home orders to determine whether fans will be allowed at stadiums.


Crews trying to get Pointe-Claire tennis courts ready for May 15

Social distancing measures will be enforced, meaning the clubhouse, deck, barbecues and most of the patio furniture will be off-limits.


All NHL players must follow quarantine orders before resuming season, Trudeau says

The NHL could face another hurdle if the league decides to continue the 2019-20 season in the near future — getting non-Canadian resident players across the border to join their respective teams. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday that players would — at a minimum — need to follow quarantine protocols if they were to...


Coronavirus: MLS will allow individual training on practice fields

Team training facilities have been closed, other than for approved rehab, since the league suspended play March 12 due to the global pandemic.


Copper Mountain offering refunds, vouchers for 2019-20 pass holders

By Taylor SienkiewiczSummit Daily

Copper Mountain Resort announced Thursday that it has officially closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, while also saying it would offer vouchers and refunds for skiers impacted.

The resort’s newly formed Passholder Promise offers a voucher to anyone who purchased a 2019-20 season pass, four-pack or premier pass and can be applied to any 2020-21 season, four-pack or premier pass through April 25, 2021.

Vouchers will be based on the value of the pass purchased. For example, adult season pass holders and adult premiere pass holders will receive a $100 voucher while child season pass holders and child premier pass holders will receive a $60 voucher. Four-pack vouchers are based on the number of days used, with benefits ranging from a bonus day to a $249 voucher for people who didn’t ski.

A refund policy also will be available for all 2020-21 season, four-pack and premiere pass holders, which allows pass holders to request a full refund on or before Dec. 10 if they are concerned about or impacted by COVID-19.

Read more on our partner site Summit Daily.

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Colorado’s downhill skiing ban extended into late May, hurting chances of future spring skiing

On Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis extended a statewide ban on downhill ski operations until May 23 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In the order, Polis said mountain towns need to conserve their limited health care resources as much as possible as the virus continues to spread.

“Mountain communities, where many of Colorado’s premier ski areas are located, have been particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak in the State,” the governor wrote in Thursday’s order. “Medical centers in these areas have limited ability to meet the needs of individuals with COVID-19. Further strain on their resources creates a risk that medical personnel in the area will be unable to provide needed care to residents and visitors to our mountain communities.”

RELATED: Gov. Jared Polis cuts immediate state spending by $228.7 million, limits evictions, extends ski closures

At least three Colorado ski areas had considered reopening should restrictions loosen: Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands and Wolf Creek Ski Area. But the extension is a death blow to many spring skiing hopes.

Initially planned to end March 22, Polis has already extended the ski ban a few times.

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Colorado’s downhill skiing ban extended into late May, hurting chances of future spring skiing

On Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis extended a statewide ban on downhill ski operations until May 23 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In the order, Polis said mountain towns need to conserve their limited health care resources as much as possible as the virus continues to spread.

“Mountain communities, where many of Colorado’s premier ski areas are located, have been particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak in the State,” the governor wrote in Thursday’s order. “Medical centers in these areas have limited ability to meet the needs of individuals with COVID-19. Further strain on their resources creates a risk that medical personnel in the area will be unable to provide needed care to residents and visitors to our mountain communities.”

RELATED: Gov. Jared Polis cuts immediate state spending by $228.7 million, limits evictions, extends ski closures

At least three Colorado ski areas had considered reopening should restrictions loosen: Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands and Wolf Creek Ski Area. But the extension is a death blow to many spring skiing hopes.

Initially planned to end March 22, Polis has already extended the ski ban a few times.

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Front Range open spaces plead with visitors to stop destroying parks, trails

The Front Range’s four open spaces sent out a joint plea asking visitors to be more aware of safety during the coronavirus outbreak and, for the love of God, stop destroying our dang parks.

The joint statement sent out Thursday said rangers, ecologists and staff members at Boulder County Parks and Open Space, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, Denver Parks and Recreation Mountain Parks and Jefferson County Open Space have seen high visitation over the last month, leading to trail widening, plant damage, sensitive habitat disturbances and creation of “social” trails.

The agencies have been attempting to manage crowding in various ways, including temporary closures of crowded trailheads and full parking lots. They’ve also temporarily closed areas to mitigate trail and habitat damage.

But with no signs of visitation slowing, plus declining tax dollars hurting maintenance efforts, the open spaces requested that visitors following the below advice:

  • Wear a face covering and maintain six feet of physical distance from others.
  • Walk through — not around — the mud.
  • Politely announce yourself if you need to pass another hiker. If you must step off the trail to maintain social distancing during this, avoid stepping on vegetation. Instead, aim for a rock or bare spot.
  • Stay as close to home as possible and avoid unnecessary travel. (Gov. Jared Polis advised Coloradans to stay within 10 miles of their homes when recreating.)
  • If a parking lot is full or an area is crowded, move on to another spot. Also, only park in designated parking areas.
  • Visit open space areas in groups of four or fewer. Large groups can cause traffic on the trails and make it difficult to maintain social distancing.
  • Follow dog regulations for specific trails. And please, pick up after your dogs and remove their trash.
  • Don’t go into wildlife closure areas and other areas closed to the public. This can cause significant disturbances to wildlife.
  • Know your limits and don’t take risks. Nobody wants to be putting first responders at risk of contracting the virus. There’s no shame in turning back early. Just think, the sooner you turn back, the sooner you get that post-hike beer.

The agencies also reminded people to plan their trips carefully. Trail maps and closures for each agency can be found here:

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Doug Anakin, winner of Canada’s 1st Olympic gold in bobsled, dies at 89

Anakin, Peter Kirby, John Emery and Vic Emery claimed four-man gold at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria — Canada's first gold medal in bobsled.


NASCAR to resume season May 17 with seven races in 10 days

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR announced Thursday that it will resume its season without fans starting May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina with the premier Cup Series racing three more times in a 10-day span.

NASCAR joins the UFC as the first major sports organizations to announce specific return to play plans since the coronavirus pandemic shut down U.S. sports in mid-March.

“NASCAR and its teams are eager and excited to return to racing, and have great respect for the responsibility that comes with a return to competition,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “NASCAR will return in an environment that will ensure the safety of our competitors, officials and all those in the local community.

NASCAR’s revised schedule goes only through May and has a pair of Wednesday races, fulfilling fans longtime plea for midweek events. The first race is scheduled for Darlington, NASCAR’s oldest superspeedway, followed by a second race at the 70-year-old, egg-shaped oval track three days later.

Charlotte Motor Speedway will then host the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 to mark 60 consecutive years the longest race on the NASCAR schedule will be held on Memorial Day weekend. The track in Concord, outside NASCAR’s home base of Charlotte, will then host a Wednesday race three days later.

There will also be lower-tier Xfinity and Trucks series races at the two tracks.

“This has been a proactive effort to put our motorsports industry back to work and boost the morale of sports fans around the world, while at the same time keeping the health and safety of all who will be on site the top priority,” said Marcus Smith, president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports. He said “sports fans around the world need this, a return to some sense of normalcy with live sports on TV, and NASCAR is uniquely positioned to deliver it from a competition standpoint.”

NASCAR has set guidelines to safely hold the events using CDC guidelines on social distancing and personal protective equipment. Only essential personnel will be permitted to attend the events, and cloth face masks will be required.

NASCAR suspended its season March 13 with only four of its 36 scheduled races completed. The stock car series, heavily reliant on television money and sponsor payments, has vowed to complete its full schedule. The revised schedule for now stays at tracks within driving distance of Charlotte-based race teams and in states that have started reopening.

Almost all teams began returning to their race shops this week with either a reduced initial workforce or in split shifts. Now that NASCAR has told the teams where it will be racing this month, they can start preparing cars suitable for the two tracks.

Although Florida and Texas have invited NASCAR to compete in those states without spectators, the sanctioning body is holding off on scheduling events at tracks that require air travel and hotel accommodations.


No Little League Baseball World Series in 2020

WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The idea that there could be Little League Baseball in 2020 has struck out.

According to president/CEO Steve Keener, “After consultation with the Secretary of Health, here in Pennsylvania, certainly our governor, and pubic health officials in about 10 or 12 states where we play regional qualifying tournaments and our six additional World Series, we’ve come to the conclusion based on the recommendations and guidance from them that it will be virtually impossible for us to conduct regional and World Series tournaments in the summer of 2020.”

“We are formally announcing that we are canceling the Little League Baseball World Series here in Williamsport, Pennsylvania effective today. We’re disappointed as anyone,” Keener said.


Colorado extends camping ban at state parks, warns it could be extended again

Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced that it has extended its camping ban at state parks and wildlife areas until May 4, warning that the ban could be extended again due to the coronavirus outbreak.

CPW said it is following Gov. Jared Polis’ Safer at Home order, as well as the advice of both the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People with reservations that have been canceled have been given an automatic refund.

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People are lending their RVs to frontline workers who can’t stay at home — and you can, too

When Bailey Queen came home from work in March and early April, he followed a strict routine to avoid potentially infecting his family with coronavirus. He’d take off his EMT uniform in the garage, walk straight down the stairs to the basement and take a shower. He washed his uniform after every shift. His family prepared all of his meals and left them outside his door.

But now, 23-year-old Queen is breathing a little easier. He’s camped out in front of his Thornton house in an RV, temporarily on loan from Arvada resident Joe Brown — who, until a few weeks ago, was a total stranger.

Self-isolating in Brown’s RV means Queen doesn’t have to worry so much about accidentally spreading the virus to his three younger siblings or his parents, who wave to him from the driveway or from inside the house.

How to help

If you’re interested in donating your RV or you’re a frontline worker who needs to borrow an RV, join the RVs for MDs Facebook group

“It’s pretty incredible that people are being as generous as they are, to do this for free,” Queen said. “I’m very, very grateful for it. It’s making our lives a lot safer.”

The two men connected through RVs 4 MDs, a national grassroots organization formed in the wake of the pandemic that matches healthcare professionals and other frontline workers with RV owners.

The group started organically in late March when Texas mom Emily Phillips put out a call on Facebook, asking if anyone could spare an RV for her husband, an emergency room doctor. With help from an army of volunteers, the initiative has since spread to nearly all 50 states, plus Canada and Dubai; a Facebook group that helps match RV donors with frontline workers has grown to more than 30,000 members.

Like Queen, many healthcare professionals and first responders are doing their best to stay away from family members or roommates within their own homes, but worry they could still spread the highly contagious virus.

Colorado RV owners are more than happy to help.

“You sit there and you see all the stories of frontline workers who have to go back to their homes and risk infecting the rest of their family,” said Brown. “There’s not a lot I can do. I can’t sew masks for everybody. But we just felt this was something we could do to help.”

Similar efforts to provide housing for frontline workers are underway around the state. River Run RV Resort in Granby, for example, has made its vacation rentals available for free to healthcare professionals, relief workers and first responders. So far, traveling nurses working at Granby Medical Center and EMTs are taking advantage of the offer.

“We knew that River Run’s vacation rentals were uniquely suited to meet the needs of emergency workers,” said Dave Huber, the resort’s general manager. “With private entrances, kitchens and bathrooms, they provide built-in social distancing but, just as important, they offer comfort and a sense of home to people who really deserve that peace of mind right now.”

Several Colorado KOA campgrounds, working in partnership with RVs 4 MDs, are also providing free RV sites to first responders and healthcare workers. And a Denver-based organization called Housing Covid Heroes is providing medical professionals with free stays at hotels, condos, apartments and homes.

“We all want to do something to help in situations like this, and we’re all kind of uniquely in the same boat — people want to help, they often just don’t know how,” said Woody Faircloth, who founded Housing Covid Heroes and is a member of the leadership team for RVs for MDs. “When they see something like this, they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’ve got an RV out in the back or in storage. Let’s go help somebody out.’ It’s the best of human nature.”

For Alan Pollack, a cardiovascular technologist who’s now working in the intensive care unit caring for COVID-19-positive patients at Rose Medical Center, the RV now parked at the end of his Lakewood driveway has been a gift.

Though isolating is lonely (he celebrated his 40th birthday by himself in the RV), it’s given him peace of mind that he won’t bring coronavirus home to his wife and two kids. And, perhaps equally as important, it’s giving people a way to help the helpers.

“It feels good to help people,” he said. “Most people are trapped at home right now and can’t do anything. When people look back at this in 10 years, what are they going to say? ‘I sat at home.’ Some people are going to say, ‘I lent out my RV to this healthcare employee who is making a difference. And by helping them, I’m making a difference.’ It’s some way to feel that you’re doing something.”

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NCAA allows name, image and likeness compensation for student-athletes

WASHINGTON – Student-athletes will be able to make money from endorsements, the NCAA announced Wednesday.

“They said this would never happen,” Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) said.

Congressman Walker is welcoming news of the NCAA now supporting some student-athlete compensation.

“To see them come this far after decades of saying this was not gonna happen – listen, it’s a consolation win,” he said.

The NCAA Board of Governors announced Wednesday it will support rule changes allowing student-athletes to receive compensation from third-party endorsements both related to and separate from athletics.

“The action was started by the considerable feedback and engagement of our members including numerous student-athletes from all three divisions,” Michael Drake, Chair of the NCAA Board of Governors said.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been pushing for the change for over a year. But Walker says Congress still needs to pass legislation to make sure the NCAA keeps its promise.

“That’s why the legislation is so important to be as a backstop,” Walker said.

Walker teamed up with Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) on the Student-Athlete Equity Act.

The legislation would require the NCAA to allow student-athletes compensation. It’s just one of three similar bills currently on Capitol Hill.

But with the House out of session because of the coronavirus pandemic, passing the legislation right now is unlikely.

“But it has to be done this year,” Walker added.

The NCAA says it already plans to implement the changes on its own by January 2021.


Part-time Denver resident posts photos snowmobiling at closed ski resort

View this post on Instagram

Solid park sesh, no lift ticket needed.

A post shared by David Lesh (@davidlesh) on

By Taylor SienkiewiczSummit Daily

KEYSTONE RESORT — Part-time Denver resident David Lesh has once again stepped into the public spotlight by posting controversial photos on his social media.

After being cited for snowmobiling in off-limits terrain in Aspen last summer, the 34-year-old outdoor clothing company owner, who also lives part-time in Breckenrdige, posted photos of himself snowmobiling at a terrain park at Keystone Resort on Sunday on his Instagram page. Lesh posted the photos with the caption, “solid park sesh, no lift ticket needed.”

Keystone spokeswoman Loryn Roberson said the resort is aware of the trespassing that took place over the weekend and is working with law enforcement.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all Colorado ski areas are closed under Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order. Summit County ski areas are closed to all activity, including uphill access. In March, the local ski areas urged people to respect the closures to protect local communities and first responders.

The comments under Lesh’s Instagram have been a mixed bag. Some are praising the snowmobiler, commenting “Savage” or tagging friends suggesting they do the same. Others were upset, one of whom asked, “why is this guy such a tool?”

Read more on our partner site Summit Daily.

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NCAA board supports name, image and likeness compensation

The NCAA is moving forward with a plan to allow college athletes to earn money for endorsements and a host of other activities involving personal appearances and social media.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that its Board of Governors supports a plan that gives athletes the ability to cash in on their names, images and likenesses as never before and without involvement from the association, schools or conferences.

Ohio State President and board chairman Michael Drake called it an “unprecedented” move by the NCAA.

The next step is for membership to draft legislation by Oct. 30. A formal vote will be taken by schools at the next convention in January and new rules will go into effect no later than the 2021-22 academic year.

“NCAA membership schools have embraced very real change,” NCAA President Emmert said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

The nation’s largest governing body for college sports said it will still seek a federal law to keep individual states from passing their owns laws on compensation for college athletes.

The board on Monday and Tuesday reviewed detailed recommendations put forth by a working group led by Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman. The recommendations took an aggressive approach, opening the door for athletes to make money on everything from autograph signings and memorabilia sales to signing endorsement deals with companies large and small.

College athletes will not be allowed to use their schools’ logos or markings in any sponsorship deals, but they will be permitted to use agent representation in making any deals.

Smith said there will be “guardrails” in place to ensure athletes are being compensated at an appropriate rate for their services and there will be consequences for athletes who do not meet disclosure requirements.

Payments to athletes will not be permitted to be used as recruiting inducements to high school athletes.

The need for change was sped up by pressure from state lawmakers. California was first to pass a bill into law that would make it illegal for NCAA schools to prohibit college athletes from making money on endorsements, social media advertising and other activities tied to name, image and likeness.

Dozens of states have followed California’s lead, some more aggressively than others. California’s law does not go into effect until 2023 while a Florida bill awaiting the governor’s signature would go into effect July 2021.

“It’s clear we need Congress’ help in all of this,” Emmert said.

NCAA leaders have already been engaged with federal lawmakers.

The working group was put together about a year ago, but its work kicked into high gear since the NCAA convention in January.


Canadian Football League asks government for $150M in assistance amid COVID-19

The June start to the regular season already has been postponed, and there is no timeline for when or if the campaign will begin.


Ikon Pass adds two mountains for the next ski season

Ikon Pass announced Tuesday that it has added two more mountains for the upcoming ski season: Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor and New York’s Windham Mountain.

This brings the total number of mountains on the pass to 43. Some of its existing mountains include Winter Park, Steamboat, Copper Mountain and Eldora.

Ikon Pass holders will have seven days at each ski area without blackout dates. Base Pass holders will have five days at each with some blackout dates. The mountains are not included in the Session Pass 4-Day.

Mt. Bachelor has 4,323 acres of terrain with a 9,065-foot volcanic peak. The ski area also offers 15 Woodward terrain parks, snowshoeing and tubing.

Windham Mountain, located two and a half hours north of New York City, has 732 acres with 54 trails, 11 lifts and six terrain parks. It also offers sunset skiing on some nights.

This announcement comes two weeks after Ikon said it would increase its renewal discounts for next season after the current ski season was cut short by the coronavirus.

Alterra Mountain Company, which owns the Ikon Pass, and its rival Vail Resorts were both hit with a class-action lawsuit from pass-holders after the two shut down ski areas a month early due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Breckenridge 11-year-old catches lake trout the size of a small dog

By Sarah WatsonSummit Daily

BRECKENRIDGE — Breckenridge local Tanner Wilson, 11, caught an estimated 30-pound lake trout, sometimes known as a mackinaw fish, while fishing with his father Tuesday, April 21, at a Summit County reservoir.

It was a “once-in-a-lifetime catch …” his father, Matthew Wilson, said. “Any fisherman would love to catch a fish that size.”

While Tanner reeled in the fish by himself, his father helped him net the gigantic trout.

After posing with his catch, Tanner returned the trout to the water as quickly as he could.

Read more about the catch on our partner site Summit Daily.

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Colorado governor says you still can’t go to the mountains during new “safer at home” phase

As Colorado slowly starts to reopen during the “safer at home” phase of the coronavirus response, it’s natural to start wondering what this means for outdoor recreation.

Surely we can head up to the mountains again, right? Unfortunately, the answer is still no. In fact, the governor doesn’t even want you recreating more than 10 miles away from your home.

“I know the weather’s nice, but the coronavirus doesn’t care about the weather,” Gov. Jared Polis said during a press conference on Friday. “It cares about physical proximity and we need to make sure we stay safe.”

Along with encouraging people to stay away from the mountains, Polis also reminded folks to stay at least 6 feet from others and to wear masks.

“Colorado is beautiful, that’s why we live here,” Polis said. “But our mountains and our rivers and forests will be here long after coronavirus. Long after any of us. So give it a break and we look forward to being able to have more of those recreation opportunities in the future.”

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Sport Calgary says 55% of organizations to have layoffs, aren’t eligible for wage program

The survey shows that almost half of all sports organizations in the city feel they can only sustain operations for up to six months without further assistance.


Matt Kenseth back to NASCAR as Larson replacement at Ganassi

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Former NASCAR champion Matt Kenseth will again come out of retirement to compete for Chip Ganassi Racing as the replacement for fired driver Kyle Larson.

Larson lost his job two weeks ago for using a racial slur while competing in a virtual race. Although Ganassi developement driver Ross Chastain was assumed to be the leading contender to replace Larson in the No. 42 Chevrolet, the team instead announced Monday it will go with the two-time Daytona 500 winner.

“I think Matt gives us the best chance to win, run up front and compete for wins,” Ganassi told The Associated Press. “I’ve always gone with the mantra of trying to take the best driver available, and he’s the best driver available right now. And he brings something to our sponsors that they need right now. Stability. No baggage. Family man. Daytona 500 winner. Championship winner.”

Kenseth is in a class of drivers that includes Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Richard Petty and David Pearson as the only competitors to win a Cup Series championship, rookie of the year award and the Daytona 500.

Ganassi said the team will petition NASCAR for a waiver to make Kenseth, the 2003 Cup champion, eligible to race for the title this season. NASCAR completed just four of its 36 races before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kenseth retired from Joe Gibbs Racing after the 2017 season but came back for 15 races to drive for Roush Fenway Racing, his original team, in 2018. He turned 48 on March 10.

He was Cup rookie of the year in 2000 driving for Roush, where he won his only championship. He has 39 career victories and won the Daytona 500 in 2009 and 2012.

Kenseth joined Gibbs in 2013 and was an immediate title contender. He qualified for the playoffs — which began the year after he won the Cup title without winning a race — in every season he was eligible but one.

Kenseth won 15 races in five full seasons driving for Gibbs and was runner-up for the title in 2013, the year he won seven races.


Vail Resorts provides credit to season pass holders for lost days due to coronavirus outbreak

Vail Resorts today announced updates to its season pass program for the 2020/2021 North American ski season, which includes providing credits to 2019/2020 season pass holders whose season was cut short by concerns over COVID-19.

“Following the difficult decision to close our North American mountain resorts as a result of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19, we have been developing a comprehensive plan to address our pass holders’ concerns about the early closure this past season and provide improved coverage for the future. We are committed to providing the best passes in the ski industry and are focused on both honoring the loyalty of our guests and providing peace of mind for next season,” Rob Katz, Chief Executive Officer, said in a release.

According to the release, 2019/2020 season pass holders will receive a minimum credit of 20% toward next season’s pass. For season pass holders who used their pass less than five days, they will be eligible for higher credits up to a maximum of 80% for season pass holders who did not use their season pass at all. For Epic Day Pass, Edge Card and other frequency-based products with unused days remaining, Vail Resorts will provide credits for each unused day up to a maximum of an 80% credit.

The credits will be available to pass holders who purchase 2020/2021 passes by September 7, 2020.

Read more about season passes on our partner site Vail Daily.

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Running industry walloped by COVID-19, and it may take years to recover

With more than a third of this year’s competitive road racing schedule canceled or postponed by the coronavirus, and running stores enduring massive drops in sales because of restrictions on retail businesses, America’s running industry is bracing for months or years of fallout.

The effects of COVID-19 on the sport may not be all bad, many in the running community believe, citing a running boom that followed the Great Recession in 2008. The only thing a runner really needs to run is a pair of running shoes.

“People turn to this sport in particular in times of economic downturns and crises,” said Rich Harshbarger, chief executive of Running USA, an industry trade group. “We saw this in the late 2000s. People gave up their country club memberships and returned to simpler sports like running. You saw a downturn in golf, you saw a downturn in skiing — things that are more expensive. Runners turned to the sport, or returned to the sport, to relieve stress. And, to get and remain healthy.”

But the number of road race registrations — more than 17.6 million in 2019, according to Running USA — is bound to decline significantly this year and maybe beyond. Meanwhile, many running stores are prohibited from having customers in their stores, as is the case with other “non-essential” retail stores, and that has hit them hard.

Sales have declined 80% at Runner’s Roost in Lakewood and 70% at In Motion Running in Boulder, according to owners of those stores. The Lakewood store cannot have customers inside but is finding other ways to fill shoe orders, and owner Sonya Estes senses an influx of newcomers to the sport because of COVID-19 — just as Running USA predicted.

“We can look at all the bad, or we can look at the good, and the good in this is that running has been touted as one of those things that is great for your mental and physical health,” Estes said. “To have the governor stand up there and say, ‘Get out and go for a hike,’ or, ‘Go for a run, just don’t do it in a large group,’ I think long-term it’s going to be amazing for the business. When you see gyms and rec centers close down, I’ve never seen so many people up on Green Mountain or at Bear Creek. People that wanted to work out are now embracing running. If they find that they really like this, I think long-term, for running, it’s actually a good thing.”

In Motion Running has remained open, in part because owner Mark Plaatjes practices physical therapy at In Motion Rehabilitation, a clinic attached to the rear of the store, and that stayed open. Only two retail customers are allowed in the store at a time, though, and store personnel disinfects after customers leave.

Like Estes, Plaatjes has seen newcomers. ”It’s definitely nice to see new people coming in that we haven’t seen before,” Plaatjes said. “Once our regular customers come back, I’m sure that will translate into an increase in sales and participation in running.”

Both stores are offering non-contact curbside service and home deliveries. They and other running stores are offering virtual gait analysis to assist customers in choosing the right shoes, a process that normally is conducted on treadmills inside the stores. Customers submit videos of them running so trained staff can analyze them and recommend shoes constructed for their anatomical particulars.

The carnage in road racing could be significant, though. Running as a solitary fitness or mental healthy pursuit is one thing, but for many runners, the social aspect of the sport comes out in racing. Races are community celebrations of the running lifestyle. That part of the sport has been dealt a devastating blow, and officials fear it could take years to recover.

Spring is the busiest season of the year for racing, with 35% of America’s races scheduled in March, April and May. Most of those have been canceled or postponed until fall. Some of those events, and the companies that support them by providing timing and other event services, may never recover. The vast majority of the road race industry is comprised of small businesses with eight employees or less, according to Running USA’s Harshbarger.

“It absolutely can be a fatal blow, and unfortunately it will be for a lot of the industry,” Harshbarger said. “We were already seeing some event management companies have to close their doors. Their sole business is to go around their region or their city and help produce events. When those events cease to have revenue, their livelihood evaporates.”

The Bolder Boulder was able to reach quick agreement with the City of Boulder and the University of Colorado (where the race finishes) to postpone from Memorial Day to Labor Day. But the Cherry Creek Sneak, which was scheduled for April 26, is still waiting for the City of Denver to approve a new date it sought to reserve in September. So is the Colfax Marathon, which includes a half marathon, a 10-miler and marathon relay that were scheduled for May 17.

Colfax race director Andrea Dowdy said 14-15,000 medals for her races were scheduled to arrive last week, and there’s no guarantee those races will be held this year.

“We feel very comfortable that operationally we’re in a sound place, so that when the city says to us, ‘You can have an event this fall,’ or ‘We need all events to wait until the spring,’ we can work either way,” Dowdy said.

Harshbarger fears that races will “cannibalize” each other if they are rescheduled in the fall, which is already the second-busiest season with 31% of the nation’s races scheduled in September through November. The Bolder Boulder has already folded its Fortitude 10K, normally scheduled for Labor Day in Fort Collins, into the Boulder race. In effect, both races will be run concurrently in Boulder.

If the Cherry Creek Sneak and the Colfax event are added, September would become an extremely crowded race calendar in Denver. And that would come on top of non-running events already scheduled in the city or looking to reschedule then. Dowdy and Cherry Creek Sneak race director Pat Downing can only wait on word from the city’s Office of Special Events.

“They need to form a new process on how they’re going to allocate a very limited number of spaces into a space now that is overcrowded,” Downing said.

Another question that arises: What will races look like when they do resume?

“Who knows, resurgence or not, what social distancing guidelines are going to be?” Harshbarger said. “Let alone the emotional fog of, ‘Do I really want to get in a corral with 50 people? Do I want to get in a race with 10,000 people?’ We don’t know. When we come through this — and I don’t know when that is, a year? Maybe two years? — I do think the sport will be strong. I do think there will be demand to do this. I think there will be new guidelines and corral set-ups. But history shows us that runners are resilient.”

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Golden’s Yeti Cycles making and donating 20,000 face shields in coronavirus response

Count Golden’s Yeti Cycles, a manufacturer of mountain bikes, among the many U.S. companies that have pitched in to produce personal protective gear in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since production began April 13, Yeti has produced 9,500 face shields at its Golden headquarters toward a commitment of 20,000 it expects to complete by the first week in May. As of Friday, more than 8,300 had been delivered to 117 different beneficiaries that have included Children’s Hospital, St. Anthony’s Hospital, Jefferson County Open Space and the Golden Police Department, the company said.

“When it came to distribution, we called on the local community to help us get in touch with healthcare workers, first responders and those in need via social media,” said Yeti marketing director Kristi Jackson. “Our initial commitment was to product 10,000 face shields. Within the first 24 hours we doubled our commitment in an effort to support the overwhelming response from the community.”

In addition to the face shields, Yeti was able to acquire 24,000 medical-grade masks from one of its suppliers. Masks and shields are being distributed free of charge, an effort Jackson said would cost the company $100,000.

Yeti got the idea from Utah-based DPS skis, which also has been manufacturing face shields. There is a connection between the companies because Yeti chief financial officer Bill Mueller is a member of the DPS board of directors. Mueller brought the idea to Yeti owner Steve Hoogendoorn, who worked up a prototype from a template created at the University of Wisconsin, his alma mater.

“We acquired a die-cutting machine needed to produce the main plastic component, the shield,” Jackson said. “Our friends at Smith Optics and Black Diamond jumped onboard, donating straps, and graphics were provided by Victory Circle Graphics. The rest of the materials were sourced from our supply chain. Within seven days we procured all the raw materials, equipment and established a production protocol.”

Close collaboration of the companies made it possible to begin production quickly.

“We typically design products from the ground up, but in this case we wanted an efficient way to make the most effective thing,” Hoogendoorn said in an email. “Time is critical, so we’re doing it with materials we’re pulling together from industry friends and available through our supply chain. It’s not surprising, but everyone we contacted wanted to help, and their help was critical in this coming together so quickly.”

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Colorado sports betting set to launch May 1 with most teams sidelined and state’s casinos closed

When legal sports betting comes to Colorado on May 1, the landscape will look vastly different than fans and regulators anticipated.

The 146th Kentucky Derby, originally slated for the same weekend, would have been one of the first events available for wagering. Major League Baseball was supposed to be in full swing. And both National Basketball Association and National Hockey League playoffs would have been heating up.

Instead, the coronavirus pandemic sidelined most major events indefinitely. Though no one is certain when sports will return — or how they might be different — the Colorado Division of Gaming isn’t waiting.

Regulators are moving ahead as planned, meaning fans will soon be able to wager on whatever limited offerings are available. And because casinos are not permitted to open by then under Gov. Jared Polis’ “safer at home” rules, the industry will debut entirely online with more than a dozen mobile and web-based apps.

“Even though it will be a slow time for sports, we are still planning on May 1,” said Dan Hartman, director of the Division of Gaming. “We’re really hoping to get through this and see the resurgence of the industry.”

Colorado’s competitive edge

Colorado sports betting is poised to generate $6 billion in annual wagers and an estimated $400 million in revenue once the industry matures, according to Dustin Gouker, chief analyst for PlayColorado.com. Factor in a 10% tax on sports betting revenue and the state could bring in $40 million each year to benefit initiatives like the Colorado Water Plan.

That’s if Colorado tracks with trends in similarly established markets in Europe and the United States, which mature after four or five years, Gouker said. Coronavirus will slow that trajectory, but he believes the state will blossom into a success story for legal sports gambling because of the business-friendly tax rate and other regulations that make the industry ripe for competition.

According to state statute, sportsbook operators must partner with one of Colorado’s 35 local casinos to enter the market.

“That allows for just about the most open market we’ve seen in the United States,” Gouker said. “Anybody who wants to be a major player in the U.S. sports betting markets will be in Colorado. That means a ton of competition and that really should be good for consumers.”

Fans will have their pick of 17 digital sportsbooks currently licensed to operate in the state, including FanDuel, DraftKings and BetRivers, though few plan to go live on May 1.

For several providers, Colorado is the only place they’ll be available outside of their home market. The iconic SuperBook and NFL SuperContest, for example, are expanding beyond Nevada for the first time with an “as close as you can get to Vegas” retail sportsbook at the Lodge Casino in Black Hawk, said Jay Kornegay, executive vice president of race and sports operations. The mobile app will launch closer to football season, he added.

London-based betting app SBK will make its stateside debut in Colorado in late-May, thanks to a partnership with Full House Resorts, which owns Bronco Billy’s Casino in Cripple Creek and four others throughout the U.S.

“It’s a nice, medium-sized state,” said Jason Trost, founder and CEO of parent company Smarkets. “The regulation is very friendly.”

Digital provider Circa Sports was also enticed by the favorable business laws, such as remote signup. In its home state of Nevada, fans are required to visit a casino in-person to open a mobile betting account. That’s not so in the Centennial State, the company’s first expansion market since coming online in June 2019.

“In Colorado, you can sit on your couch, you can register for an account and fund your account all within 10 minutes and then start betting,” said Mike Van Ermen, strategic operations manager.

A waitress carries a tray of ...
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

A waitress carries a tray of drinks while she works at Bar 8042 at Ameristar Casino Resort and Spa on March 5, 2020, in Black Hawk.

A softer than expected launch

May, June and July are typically the slowest months for sports betting, even in a world unravaged by the coronavirus, said many operators. Launching in the spring, however, enables sportsbooks to acquire new customers and work out any kinks before football season, the undisputed high roller of sports betting.

Opening May 1 isn’t an option for physical sportsbooks, which must be located inside casinos in Black Hawk, Central City or Cripple Creek. Polis closed casinos in mid-March to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and they are not permitted to reopen under the statewide “safer at home” order that takes effect on Monday, said Shelby Wieman, spokeswoman for the governor’s office.

That leaves at least 10 retail operators in limbo without a definitive opening date. But some, like Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk, are still preparing.

Marcus Rohrbaugh, director of gaming operations, said construction is underway to convert an elevated area of the gaming floor into an experiential sportsbook with TVs displaying games and betting odds, and digital kiosks where gamblers can place bets. It’s slow going — he is working virtually with UK-based partner Betfred to design and build out the space — but Rohrbaugh expects it will be ready by the end of May if casinos are allowed to open.

Monarch Casino in Black Hawk also plans to open a retail sportsbook as part of a $440 million renovation and launch a proprietary app, but neither will likely happen immediately. At its sister casino in Reno, Nevada,, sports betting accounts for 1% to 2% of gaming revenue under normal circumstances, said David Farahi, chief operating officer. Until major league sports come back online, he doesn’t expect betting will gain much traction.

Launching the sports betting industry entirely online isn’t inconceivable. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, online betting accounts for more than 80% of all wagers, said Gouker. That’s only expected to increase.

DraftKings, one of the biggest operators in the U.S., is bringing both retail and digital sportsbooks to Colorado. Though the bulk of the company’s revenue comes from its online product, which will be available May 1, its retail location inside Black Hawk’s Golden Mardi Gras Casino will help DraftKings reach a different demographic.

“Certain consumers prefer to bet in cash. They like to go to a physical location and hold a ticket that represents their bet,” said Matt Kalish, DraftKings co-founder and president of the North American branch. “That’s the traditional model you’ll see in Las Vegas or some of the older markets that offer sport betting. There’s still a pretty big audience that prefers to bet that way.”

Still, the COVID-19 crisis is likely to accelerate growth in mobile gambling, Kalish added. Mike Raffensperger, chief marketing officer of FanDuel Group, which operates the hugely popular FanDuel app, agrees. The more comfortable Coloradans become entertaining themselves at home, the more he expects they will build lasting habits with online platforms.

“You’ll see an adoption of people who maybe historically have gone to racetracks, casinos, physical sportsbooks,” Raffensperger said. “I expect some of that to retain even after we overcome this moment of difficulty in the country and the world gets back to normal.”

On your mark, get set, bet

The Denver Post has confirmed four digital sportsbooks — DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and BetRivers — will be available to Colorado residents starting May 1. Others, including PointsBet, SBK, FOX Bet and BetWildwood, expect to go live shortly thereafter.

The coronavirus pandemic forced operators and leagues to get creative with their offerings to fill the void of major sports. NASCAR, for example, recently began hosting virtual races, where professional drivers do laps around a video game track. The contest was an unexpected hit for DraftKings, which received “tens of thousands of entrants” in one of its pools, Kalish said.

Other unusual offerings like the NBA’s HORSE tournament, lesser-known soccer leagues, and sumo wrestling have drawn interest from bettors, as have free-to-play games that let gamblers wager on the weather, politics and television shows. The NFL draft also proved to be one of the hottest events of the year, said Patrick Eichner, director of communications at PointsBet.

“Overall handle (was) almost three times larger than last year, making it on par with the betting of a typical Monday Night Football or Thursday Night Football matchup,” he said.

Uncertainty still looms over the future of sports betting, even as fans and operators eagerly await the return of baseball, basketball and hockey, and the kickoff to football season. The coronavirus all but guaranteed these sports are not likely to happen under normal circumstances.

Still, most operators don’t believe the current situation will hinder the sports betting industry long-term.

“If there’s a scenario where baseball, NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, football season are all starting around the same time, that’s like a golden era of being a sports fan and being a sports bettor,” said Gouker at PlayColorado.com. “It could happen in the snap of a finger… and you see things take off really, really quickly.”


Here are the 17 sports betting apps coming to Colorado

On your mark. Get set. Bet!

Legal sports gambling comes to Colorado on May 1, and despite the absence of most major league competitions, several sportsbooks are ready to bring wagering entertainment to Centennial State residents.

Casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek remain closed under Gov. Jared Polis’ statewide “safer-at-home” COVID-19 response, so betting in person won’t be an option right out of the gate. Instead, mobile and web-based apps will be the only games in town.

Four digital sports betting operators plan to go live on Day 1, offering a mix of free-to-play games, niche sports like table tennis and more. That’s a fraction of the 17 companies currently licensed to operate in the state, meaning Coloradans will have plenty of choices of where to place their digital bets when sports return full-force.

Fans can already download apps like FanDuel and DraftKings, but geofencing technology restricts their ability to place wagers inside Colorado until May 1. (FanDuel and DraftKings’ platforms specific to fantasy sports are available and legal to play.) Many companies release apps exclusive to each state where they operate, so some might not be available to download until a later date.

Here’s a list of digital sportsbooks coming to Colorado this year.

Barstool Sportsbook

Expected release: Third quarter of 2020

Ameristar parent company Penn National Gaming acquired a 36% stake in media company Barstool Sports in January and is preparing to bring both digital and retail sportsbooks to Colorado under that brand. The app is currently under development and slated for a Q3 release, Penn President and CEO Jay Snowden said in a recent letter to stakeholders.

Bartstool Sportsbook will be available for iOS and Android devices, and online.

BetAmerica

Expected release: TBA

BetAmerica is a sportsbook owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated, owner-operator of more than a dozen racetracks and casinos, including its namesake and home of the Kentucky Derby. The company also has a license to open a retail sportsbook, but hasn’t offered any details about it.

BetAmerica will be available for iOS and Android devices, and at betamerica.com.

Betfred

Expected release: TBA

UK-based bookmaker Betfred is coming across the pond through a partnership with Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk. Plans include building a retail sportsbook and launching its digital app later this year, said Mark Pearson, head of communications.

Betfred will be available for iOS or Android devices, and at betfred.com.

BetMGM

Expected release: May 1

Colorado marks the fifth market expansion for BetMGM, a product of MGM Resorts. The sportsbook is also planning a retail location at a yet-to-be-announced casino.

BetMGM will be available for iOS and Android devices, and at betmgm.com.

BetRivers

Expected release: May 1

In addition to live odds and betting, BetRivers has recently begun streaming live table tennis games on its website.

BetRivers will be available for iOS and Android devices, and at betrivers.com.

Betwildwood

Expected release: Late May

This app, the product of a partnership between Internet Sports International and Wildwood Casino, is currently in beta testing. But Andrew Jones, director of marketing for the casino, expects it will be available by the end of sports betting’s first month in Colorado.

Betwildwood will be available for iOS or Android devices, and online.

Circa Sports Colorado

Expected release: TBA

Launched in June 2019, Circa Sports is a newcomer to the betting scene with a stronghold in its hometown Las Vegas, where it operates two retail locations. Colorado marks the company’s first expansion market.

Circa Sports Colorado will be available for iOS or Android devices, and at circasports.com.

Digital Gaming Corporation

Expected release: TBA

Digital Gaming Corporation obtained an internet sports betting license, but is staying quiet about what’s in store for Coloradans. Spokesman Keith Furlong offered “no comment” when asked to discuss what the app will be called, when it will debut, or where it will be available.

DraftKings

Expected release: May 1

DraftKings began as a fantasy sports app in 2012 and has grown into one of the most popular wagering platforms — No. 2 in the United States, according to a ranking by gaming trade publication EGR. DraftKings also plans to open a retail sportsbook at Black Hawk’s Golden Mardi Gras casino.

DraftKings is available for iOS and Android devices, and at draftkings.com.

FanDuel

Expected release: May 1

Touted as the top sportsbook in America by handle and revenue, FanDuel adds live sports to its fantasy offerings already available in the Centennial State. Expect free-to-play games exclusive to Colorado, among other ways to build betting credit (up to $5 per day) to use when major leagues return.

FanDuel is available for iOS and Android devices, and at fanduel.com.

FOX Bet

Expected release: Late May

Former Denver Bronco Shannon Sharpe is just one of the many experts offering real-time betting insight on the FOX Bet app. Though it won’t be live May 1, the company’s free-to-play Super 6 app, which allows users to make predictions in six specific games, will be.

FOX Bet will be available for iOS and Android devices, and at foxbet.com. Super 6 is available for iOS and Android devices, and at foxsuper6.com

PointsBet

Expected release: TBA

With a new headquarters in Denver, PointsBet wants to be synonymous with Colorado sports betting. Though the app won’t be available May 1, it “won’t be far behind,” said CEO Sam Swanell. PointsBet also plans to open a retail sportsbook at Double Eagle Hotel and Casino in Cripple Creek.

PointsBet is available for iOS and Android devices, and at pointsbet.com.

SBK

Expected release: Late May

SBK is powered by a proprietary betting exchange that Jason Trost, CEO and founder of parent company Smarkets, claims has “the best odds in the world.” Colorado marks the first place the UK-based app will be available in the United States.

SBK will be available for iOS and Android devices, and at getsbk.com.

theScore Bet

Expected release: TBA

This app integrates game scores and sports news with betting odds to help give users the information they need to make wagers. According to the company, it serves 4 million to 5 million fans each month.

theScore Bet will be available for iOS and Android devices, and at thescore.bet.

SuperBook

Expected release: TBA

The iconic SuperBook and NFL SuperContest are expanding beyond Nevada for the first time with plans to open both retail and digital sportsbooks in Colorado. The retail location will be housed in Lodge Casino in Black Hawk. The SuperBook app is expected to launch around the kickoff to football season.

SuperBook will be available for iOS and Android devices, and at superbookusa.com.

William Hill Sports Book

Expected release: TBA

Founded in 1934, William Hill began its gaming operations in the UK before expanding in 2012 to the United States, where it now operates more than 100 race and sportsbooks. The company has yet to announce its plans for Colorado, but has obtained three operating licenses — two retail and one internet.

WSI US

Expected release: TBA

WSI US, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts, received an internet sports betting operator license in Colorado, but has yet to disclose details about its digital platform. One, called Wynn Sports, made an untimely debut on Feb. 4, right before the coronavirus pandemic forced sports on hiatus, according to Legal Sports Report.


Coronavirus: Scotiabank Arena turns into giant kitchen as MLSE looks to make 10,000 meals daily

Scotiabank Arena, home to the Maple Leafs and Raptors, has been turned into a giant kitchen during the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare 10,000 meals a day to go to Toronto's front-line health-care workers and their families as well as the city's most vulnerable via community agencies and shelters.


‘It’s unprecedented’: How the NFL and ESPN plan to broadcast a virtual NFL Draft

(CNN) — This year’s NFL Draft was supposed to be one of the most elaborate productions in NFL history. It was going to take place on the glitzy Las Vegas strip with thousands of fans in attendance, and the league was going to ferry players via boat to a stage on the Bellagio fountain.

The coronavirus quickly changed all that: No more Las Vegas, no more live audience, and no more boats. But that doesn’t mean that this weekend’s draft will be any less complex to produce. In fact, it may even be more complicated.

The NFL Draft, which kicks off on Thursday night on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network, will take place virtually. ESPN’s anchors will be at the network’s studios in Bristol, Connecticut. Players, coaches, general managers, analysts and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be in their homes. Goodell will reportedly announce first-round draft picks from his basement.

A watershed moment for media

ESPN will coordinate more than 100 camera feeds for this weekend’s draft, according to Seth Markman, ESPN’s vice president of production, who oversees the draft.

“It’s unprecedented as far as having all of these people not be in one spot,” Markman told CNN Business. “The amount of feeds we’re going to get coming into our building, we’ve never seen anything like it. How do we communicate with all those people? How do we choose the best shots? There’s a lot of variables and I think until Thursday night actually happens, it’s hard to tell exactly how this is all going to work out.”

ESPN and NFL Network’s production will be supported by a vast amount of technology.

Amazon Web Services is hosting hundreds of camera feeds through its cloud system, Verizon is helping with connectivity and supplying more than 100 phones for communications, Microsoft is working with several teams to create virtual war rooms and Bose is providing more than 130 headphones.

The draft could be a watershed moment in media, says Michelle McKenna, the NFL’s chief information officer.

“This might impact the way we traditionally mix user-generated content with traditional media in the future,” McKenna told CNN Business.

She added that the league sent “tech kits” to those who will be on air during the draft. The kits included multiple phones, a light, a microphone and a tripod stand.

“Typically in a broadcast situation, you have professionals that are curating and transmitting the programming. We are now having individuals create and transmit their own content,” she said. “It’s not going to be like having a high production camera operator in your living room. It’s you. Well, you or your mom.”

Even if everything goes as planned and all the technology works without a hitch, it’s still the NFL Draft — one of the most unpredictable events in all of sports.

The truest reality TV show there is… on steroids

“I always call the draft the truest reality television show there is because there is no script, and this one’s going to be that on steroids,” Trey Wingo, ESPN’s host for the draft, told CNN Business. “Suddenly the IT guy on your team is the most important member of the entire broadcast.”

The NFL Draft is one of the biggest marquee events on the sports calendar. Nearly 50 million viewers watched last year’s draft in Nashville, Tennessee over the three-day broadcast. 600,000 people were in attendance over those three days.

This year’s draft obviously won’t break any attendance records, but it could achieve record ratings with millions stuck at home, starving for sports content.

ESPN has scrambled to fill its air since the coronavirus outbreak put the sports world on hold. It’s done so with a mix of live studio shows, archival content and “stunt event programming.” One stunt event, for example, was the network’s broadcast of the NBA and WNBA’s remote H-O-R-S-E tournament last week.

The draft will not just be about football, however. The league will also hold a “Draft-A-Thon” during the event that will pay tribute to healthcare workers and benefit charities like the American Red Cross and Feeding America.

NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, who is hosting the “Draft-A-Thon,” told CNN Business that the draft is a significant sporting event, which is something that’s in short supply right now.

“I don’t know the next time we’re going to have that. I do hope we have it multiple times over the rest of the year, but you can’t say that for sure right now,” Eisen said. “It’s an event that feels normal, even though it doesn’t look that way.”

While many things are different about this year’s draft, the preparation for it will mostly be the same, according to Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN’s longtime draft analyst.

“Oh, nothing has changed. You’re looking at more players probably on tape now since you’re not traveling back and forth,” Kiper told CNN Business. “Everything we’ve been doing for dot com, for radio, for TV is exactly the same as it would’ve been except the draft won’t be in Las Vegas.”

Wingo agreed, saying that the draft has always been about turning “a very large ship very quickly.”

“It may be increased a little bit, but my view of the draft doesn’t change at all. It’s going to be the same thing,” he said. “It’s just a matter of how we’re going to disseminate the information.”

Despite it being held virtually, Wingo hopes that one draft day tradition stays alive.

“It’s become sort of a tradition over the last few years that every time Roger Goodell gets up there to make the pick, there’s a smattering of applause and then loud booing,” Wingo said. “I think it’d be great if Roger, at his house, somehow plays a boo track when he walks out.”


‘It’s unprecedented’: How the NFL and ESPN plan to broadcast a virtual NFL Draft

(CNN) — This year’s NFL Draft was supposed to be one of the most elaborate productions in NFL history. It was going to take place on the glitzy Las Vegas strip with thousands of fans in attendance, and the league was going to ferry players via boat to a stage on the Bellagio fountain.

The coronavirus quickly changed all that: No more Las Vegas, no more live audience, and no more boats. But that doesn’t mean that this weekend’s draft will be any less complex to produce. In fact, it may even be more complicated.

The NFL Draft, which kicks off on Thursday night on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network, will take place virtually. ESPN’s anchors will be at the network’s studios in Bristol, Connecticut. Players, coaches, general managers, analysts and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be in their homes. Goodell will reportedly announce first-round draft picks from his basement.

A watershed moment for media

ESPN will coordinate more than 100 camera feeds for this weekend’s draft, according to Seth Markman, ESPN’s vice president of production, who oversees the draft.

“It’s unprecedented as far as having all of these people not be in one spot,” Markman told CNN Business. “The amount of feeds we’re going to get coming into our building, we’ve never seen anything like it. How do we communicate with all those people? How do we choose the best shots? There’s a lot of variables and I think until Thursday night actually happens, it’s hard to tell exactly how this is all going to work out.”

ESPN and NFL Network’s production will be supported by a vast amount of technology.

Amazon Web Services is hosting hundreds of camera feeds through its cloud system, Verizon is helping with connectivity and supplying more than 100 phones for communications, Microsoft is working with several teams to create virtual war rooms and Bose is providing more than 130 headphones.

The draft could be a watershed moment in media, says Michelle McKenna, the NFL’s chief information officer.

“This might impact the way we traditionally mix user-generated content with traditional media in the future,” McKenna told CNN Business.

She added that the league sent “tech kits” to those who will be on air during the draft. The kits included multiple phones, a light, a microphone and a tripod stand.

“Typically in a broadcast situation, you have professionals that are curating and transmitting the programming. We are now having individuals create and transmit their own content,” she said. “It’s not going to be like having a high production camera operator in your living room. It’s you. Well, you or your mom.”

Even if everything goes as planned and all the technology works without a hitch, it’s still the NFL Draft — one of the most unpredictable events in all of sports.

The truest reality TV show there is… on steroids

“I always call the draft the truest reality television show there is because there is no script, and this one’s going to be that on steroids,” Trey Wingo, ESPN’s host for the draft, told CNN Business. “Suddenly the IT guy on your team is the most important member of the entire broadcast.”

The NFL Draft is one of the biggest marquee events on the sports calendar. Nearly 50 million viewers watched last year’s draft in Nashville, Tennessee over the three-day broadcast. 600,000 people were in attendance over those three days.

This year’s draft obviously won’t break any attendance records, but it could achieve record ratings with millions stuck at home, starving for sports content.

ESPN has scrambled to fill its air since the coronavirus outbreak put the sports world on hold. It’s done so with a mix of live studio shows, archival content and “stunt event programming.” One stunt event, for example, was the network’s broadcast of the NBA and WNBA’s remote H-O-R-S-E tournament last week.

The draft will not just be about football, however. The league will also hold a “Draft-A-Thon” during the event that will pay tribute to healthcare workers and benefit charities like the American Red Cross and Feeding America.

NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, who is hosting the “Draft-A-Thon,” told CNN Business that the draft is a significant sporting event, which is something that’s in short supply right now.

“I don’t know the next time we’re going to have that. I do hope we have it multiple times over the rest of the year, but you can’t say that for sure right now,” Eisen said. “It’s an event that feels normal, even though it doesn’t look that way.”

While many things are different about this year’s draft, the preparation for it will mostly be the same, according to Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN’s longtime draft analyst.

“Oh, nothing has changed. You’re looking at more players probably on tape now since you’re not traveling back and forth,” Kiper told CNN Business. “Everything we’ve been doing for dot com, for radio, for TV is exactly the same as it would’ve been except the draft won’t be in Las Vegas.”

Wingo agreed, saying that the draft has always been about turning “a very large ship very quickly.”

“It may be increased a little bit, but my view of the draft doesn’t change at all. It’s going to be the same thing,” he said. “It’s just a matter of how we’re going to disseminate the information.”

Despite it being held virtually, Wingo hopes that one draft day tradition stays alive.

“It’s become sort of a tradition over the last few years that every time Roger Goodell gets up there to make the pick, there’s a smattering of applause and then loud booing,” Wingo said. “I think it’d be great if Roger, at his house, somehow plays a boo track when he walks out.”


Huntsville company is new title sponsor for Independence Bowl

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — The Independence Bowl has a new title sponsor.

The Shreveport, Louisiana-based bowl game will be called the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl, officials announced Tuesday. The Huntsville, Alabama-based company struck a five-year deal that will cover the bowl game’s new set of contracts with Conference USA, Pac-12, American Athletic Conference, Army and BYU, The Shreveport Times reported.

“The long-term partnership with Radiance Technologies is very exciting for the Independence Bowl, as it brings tremendous potential for the future as we embark on our 45th year,” 2020 Independence Bowl Chairman Frank Auer said. “It will allow the superior work Radiance Technologies is performing for our military, along with the top-quality events the bowl undertakes each year to be highlighted to millions of people as we push forward together.”

Radiance Technologies is an employee-owned small business prime contractor that develops customer-focused solutions in cyber security, systems engineering and other areas for the Department of Defense, other government agencies and the national intelligence community, the company’s website said.

Radiance Technologies’ contract runs from 2020 to 2024. It becomes the ninth title sponsor of the I-Bowl, replacing Walk On’s, which held that spot from 2017-2019.


Ottawa Senators tap former Arizona Coyotes exec to lead business

The Ottawa Senators have named a new president of business operations six weeks after the short-lived tenure of former CEO Jim Little.


Shaw Charity Classic donates $100K to Calgary charities during COVID-19 pandemic

Shaw Charity Classic organizers were expecting to be making player announcements this time of year, but now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament is stepping up to the tee box in a different way.


Edmonton soccer star Alphonso Davies signs 2-year contract extension with Bayern Munich

Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies has signed a two-year contract extension with Bayern Munich that will keep the teenager with the German powerhouse through June 2025.


Denver to re-open city golf courses starting Wednesday with social distancing policies enforced

Golfers in the Denver area have reason to celebrate this week with the announcement Monday that city courses will re-open to the public starting Wednesday with strict social distancing policies enforced.

The city had closed its seven municipal golf courses — City Park, Evergreen, Harvard Gulch, Kennedy, Overland Park, Wellshire and Willis Case — amid the statewide stay-at-home order. However, many privately owned courses in Colorado have remained open without specific guidelines from Gov. Jared Polis on whether golf is an approved outdoor activity or nonessential business.

Denver initially declined to keep its city courses open and cited “logistical challenges to work through to reopen our courses amid our social distancing guidelines,” in a statement provided to The Denver Post. Those issues have since been resolved with the introduction of new golf social distancing policies provided at cityofdenvergolf.com/covid-policies.

Players who do not follow new rules will be removed from the course without a refund.

“We are taking the restrictions very seriously,” said Cynthia Karvaski, a spokeswoman for the parks department. “If we see that there is not compliance, we do have enforcement on our courses. Players will be kicked off the course if they do not adhere to the restrictions that we put into place. … If it becomes something egregious, we will probably look at not keeping them open.”

Here’s what golfers in Denver need to know, according to the city:

Reserving a tee time

  • Tee times can be made over the phone — 720-865-4653 — or online at cityofdenvergolf.com for up to 14 days in advance for loyalty members and seven days in advance without a loyalty membership.
  • Only single-rider carts will be allowed. The only exception will be for persons with disabilities accompanied by a caretaker.
  • Pull carts will be available for rent.
  • Golf carts and pull carts will be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Reservations of less than four may be paired with other golfers to fill out the foursome. If you are not comfortable having a group join you, we encourage you to book and show up with four players.
  • Scorecards and pencils will not be available. We encourage you to keep score on the Denver Golf app or you can print the scorecard prior to arriving at the course at cityofdenvergolf.com.

Checking In

  • Do not arrive more than 15 minutes before your tee time.
  • Call the pro shop when you arrive at the course to pay for your fees over the phone with a credit or debit card.
  • We will not be accepting cash, gift cards, credit book or rainchecks.
  • We encourage one person to pay for the entire reservation and have the other players use an electronic form of payment to settle-up later.

After check-in

  • Guests must wear a face cover in/around the clubhouse and when interacting with staff. This can be a home-made face cover.
  • The pro shop will be closed to the public.
  • A maximum of four people allowed in the clubhouse at any time.
  • Restrooms in the clubhouse will be open and disinfected regularly.
  • The doors to the clubhouse and bathrooms will be propped open (weather permitting).
  • The practice green is open to guests 10 minutes prior to teeing off. It is closed to anyone without a tee time. There will be no holes or flags. Find an area to putt and stay at least 6 feet away from everyone at all times.
  • The driving range, chipping green and all other practice facilities will be closed to everyone.

On the course

  • Do not head to the first tee until your group is called.
  • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet from everyone in your group and our staff must be adhered to at all times.
  • Leave flagsticks in the cup at all times.
  • Cups will be left 2 inches above the ground. When a ball hits the cup, it is considered holed out.
  • Do not touch anyone else’s golf equipment including bag, clubs, balls, tees and pull carts.
  • Bunker rakes, ball washers, water coolers, sand bottles and towel buckets have been removed.
  • Bring your own prefilled water bottles. There will be no coolers on the course or ice/bottle fill stations in the clubhouse.
  • On-course bathrooms will be closed.
  • Hold on to all trash especially food items until the end of your round and deposit it in the properly marked trash and recycle bins around the clubhouse.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer and/or disinfectant wipes, mask and any personal protective equipment you feel necessary.
  • No caddies or spectators are allowed.

Food and Beverage Service

  • Food served in the restaurant will be to-go only with a limited menu. Call ahead to place your order.
  • Customers must limit their time in the restaurant and not congregate in groups.
  • Credit card payment only and no cash sales.
  • Hours may vary due to limited staffing.


60th running of Coke 600 could go on as scheduled

In the world of NASCAR, the 60th anniversary of the Coke 600, which is scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend could go on as planned – but without fans.

The race would be broadcast as originally scheduled.

NASCAR had wanted to restart the season at Martinsville May 9, but that race is now postponed. The Coke 600 is scheduled for May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.


Former Montreal Expos coach Bobby Winkles dies at 90

 On Friday, former Montreal Expos coach Bobby Winkles died at the age of 90 with his loved ones at his bedside.


Coronavirus: Marquis Downs is hoping for a 51st racing season

The horse racing season is set to kick off at the end of May, but that too, could be delayed.


Coronavirus: Gymnast Ellie Black embraces Olympic postponement, aims for Tokyo 2021

The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 over the novel coronavirus pandemic gave Canadian gymnast Ellie Black the gift of time.


Newest Edmonton Eskimos receiver ready for return to Canada

After a short stint in the XFL, receiver Armanti Edwards is back in the Canadian Football League.


Backcountry skier killed in one of two skier-triggered avalanches on Wednesday

A skier-triggered avalanche on a mountain in Summit County killed a backcountry skier Wednesday, according to a Summit County Rescue Group news release.

The victim, who has not been identified, was in a party of three that climbed Red Peak, a 13,000-foot summit about 5 miles west of Silverthorne. His body has not been recovered.

The accident occurred after the skiers summitted the peak and began their descent.

“The trio was at the upper portion of their planned path when a shallow avalanche broke at the location of the uphill skier, who was not caught in the ensuing slide,” according to the release. “The other two skiers were knocked down. One slid only a short distance and managed to roll back over onto his skis and right himself. The third member was carried approximately 1,800 feet and sustained fatal injuries.”

The skiers involved were well-versed in backcountry travel and equipped with avalanche beacons, shovels and snow probes, SCRG said. One of them had skied the route before.

RELATED: This mountain rescue shows what can go wrong when hiking during the coronavirus crisis

The accident comes at a time when Colorado rescue teams have been pleading with backcountry users to be extremely careful because of the added risks that the coronavirus places on rescuers and first responders.

The Summit County Rescue Group elected not to send in a team to recover the body because of “snow and avalanche conditions, fading light, the distance to the victim (8-9 miles round trip in difficult terrain)” and an impending snowstorm that was forecast to be heavy. Recovery teams will go in when weather conditions permit.

That was not the only skier-involved avalanche on Wednesday. A skier on the east side of Loveland Pass triggered a wind-drifted slab that broke about 2 feet deep and swept the skier a few hundred feet downhill, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. That skier was able to deploy a safety airbag.

On Tuesday, the Summit County Rescue Group and the Alpine Rescue Team, which covers Clear Creek County, both responded to an accident that seriously injured a snowboarder on the Clear Creek side of Loveland Pass. The victim fell hard after attempting to execute a jump, according to Dale Atkins, a member of the Alpine Rescue Team who was part of the rescue mission, and suffered a “very serious” lower-body injury.

RELATED: Human-triggered avalanches rise as more people go into backcountry to exercise

“We went in, packaged the fellow up, and evacuated him down to the road,” Atkins said. “He got an ambulance ride to the hospital.”

It was a miserable evening to execute a rescue. The temperature on the pass was 10 degrees and winds were blowing 30 mph to 50 mph, Atkins said. The accident occurred about 6:30 p.m., and it was after 9 p.m. when the rescuers got the victim to the ambulance.

“He fell late in the afternoon, and it took us awhile to get there and get to him,” Atkins said. “An important part of this story is that we’re being very deliberate with our response because we don’t want to expose any more people than necessary to the coronavirus, which sometimes means we might be a bit slower.”

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Why some Colorado state parks are staffing gate entrances again

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has resumed staffing guard stations at Chatfield and Cherry Creek state parks during times of high use, four weeks after closing visitors centers and removing personnel from entrance gates in response to the novel coronavirus.

The reason: By attempting to solve a problem, it created another one. Visitors were able to purchase passes using credit cards or debit cards at kiosks, but connectivity issues for the self-serve machines and long lines compromised social distancing.

“Because of the visitation increases we’ve seen across the system, but certainly at those two specific parks, the decision was made to again staff the entrances at Cherry Creek and Chatfield State Parks for the safety of our guests by eliminating the need for people leaving their cars to access kiosks and potentially violating the six-foot social distancing rules,” said CPW spokeswoman Rebecca Ferrell.

CPW personnel at entrance gates will be wearing personal protective gear and maintain social distancing “to the highest degree possible,” according to a news release announcing the decision.

“This gives us the ability to provide direct messaging to our customers, provide better customer service at the entrances, and allow for proper social distancing by avoiding the crowded interactions at the pay stations,” CPW Northeast Region manager Mark Leslie said in the release.

CPW managers may close other park areas that tend to concentrate groups of people, such as fishing piers. Narrow trails or boat launches also could be closed.

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Standley Lake bald eagle hatchling, remaining eggs not expected to survive after imposter attack

The highly scrutinized family dynamics of a bald eagle nest at Standley Lake Regional Park and Wildlife Refuge have taken another unfortunate turn.

Two eggs and one hatchling are not expected to survive, a park official confirmed Wednesday, after an imposter bald eagle known as a “floater” attacked the Westminster nest last week and forced out the mother eagle. She remains missing with her health status unknown.

The father bald eagle initially accepted the floater, who is suspected to have either injured or killed the mother, but their forced union has since fared poorly.

Lexie Martinez, the park naturalist, said the bald eagles squabbled briefly and the eggs were left partially uncovered. One egg surpassed its 40-day incubation period and is not expected to hatch.

On Easter Sunday, one eaglet’s hatching was a major cause for celebration among thousands of online viewers watching a live-streamed web feed of the nest. Their joy was short-lived, though, when a pair of bald eagles later infiltrated the nest Monday night. Chaos followed.

The father bald eagle left the hatchling and two eggs behind to engage the new intruders, whose identities are uncertain because the park does not use bands. The father vacated the nest for roughly two hours during bitter cold weather, Martinez said, and the hatchling did not survive. Martinez added that it is possible the initial floater played a role in the attack.

One egg remains within its 40-day incubation period and still might hatch. But odds are slim.

“Based on dad’s behavior and the lack of incubation, we think that the third egg probably isn’t viable,” Martinez said. “He hasn’t done a real good job of covering them back up.”

The father bald eagle’s resistance to the floater makes park officials hopeful the mother is alive and in the area. Crews initially ground-searched for her, came up empty, and were called off upon request of Colorado Parks and Wildlife with an increase of reported bald eagle activity in the area.

“Nothing is absolute at this point,” Martinez said. “The last egg could still hatch. We’ll find out something by the end of the week. “

Despite the destruction, Colorado Parks and Wildlife advises Coloradans to let nature take its course and not intervene. This Standley Lake saga is not uncommon in the animal kingdom and floater bald eagles do whatever it takes to survive after the loss of a nest or mate, Martinez said.

The best way to actually help the bald eagle population in Colorado?

Donate to wildlife conservation groups — such as the American Eagle Foundation — that specialize in keeping bald eagle populations thriving across the county. Or support eagles’ environment through countless charities and initiatives that promote wetlands and open space protections.

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Catching up with Trash Pandas owner Ralph Nelson on what should have been team’s home opener

MADISON, Ala. – No, they didn’t play a game at Toyota Field on April 15th, but the grounds crew treated it like the home opener. The field was lined and the logo was painted crisply behind home plate for a day that many had circled on their calendars. We caught up with team owner Ralph Nelson at his field of dreams to talk about what could have been.

Rocco DiSangro: We’re gonna practice some social distancing and have a catch Ralph and talk about this. When you talk about April 15th 2020 what did you envision before the COVID-19 Pandemic? 

Ralph Nelson: Well obviously I didn’t envision this you know we had planned on just a fantastic day here we had special people to sing the National Anthem, special people to throw out the first ball. It was just gonna be an amazing day. You know I’ve had about 40 opening days in my life they’re as special to me as Christmas and birthdays. To think that this one you know is in an empty stadium is a little bit tough. 

RD: Ralph when did this dream all begin?

RN: Yeah believe it or not playing catch is ironic because every dad loves to play catch with his son. My son is a attorney and CEO of a financial firm and he came to Vermont and said what do you think about buying a minor league team and putting some investors together and all that and so I was living up in Vermont kind of living the retired life and I started working on this in an empty bedroom in a house in St. Johnsbury, Vermont on an empty legal pad and it all started that was July of 2015. L

RD: What’s the best seat in the house to watch a Trash Pandas baseball game?

RN: Best place in the house in the ballpark is the Rock Porch.

RD: What’s the best dish to eat on game day?

RN: Well on gameday there’s only one that you can have and that’s a hot dog, just too much tradition there.

RD: Ralph what would you say your favorite jersey combo is? 

RN: I love all our home jerseys I like the one you’re wearing Rocco, but to be honest the one we’ll wear on Saturdays.

RD: Ralph, well since we’re here at Toyota Field it’s supposed to be opening day. I think it’s only right that the man who brought Minor League Baseball back to North Alabama gets to throw out the first pitch so here you go… Right down Broadway! Fantastic!


Former Flames head coach Bill Peters moves to Russia in 1st job since leaving Calgary

Bill Peters made a return to professional hockey on Wednesday when he was appointed coach of Russian hockey club Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg.


Lethbridge native Kris Versteeg announces retirement from NHL

Two-time Stanley Cup champion Kris Versteeg has retired after 11 NHL seasons.


Ikon Pass doubles renewal discounts for next season after coronavirus outbreak cut short spring skiing

Denver-based Alterra Mountain Company has stepped up to ease the pain of Ikon Pass skiers who lost out on a month or more of spring skiing because of the coronavirus.

For current Ikon Pass-holders, the renewal discount for 2020-21 has been doubled from $100 to $200, bringing the price down to $799. The renewal discount for the Ikon Base Pass has been doubled from $50 to $100, which puts its price at $599.

And the discounts aren’t just for those who haven’t yet renewed. Pass-holders who have already renewed will receive the same discounts retroactively.

“It will either be refunded to their credit card or applied to their payment plan, if they are enrolled,” said Alterra spokeswoman Kristin Rust.

Buyers can take advantage of the interest-free payment plan with a non-refundable deposit of $199 and four monthly payments. Alterra also announced that Ikon’s spring promotion pricing, which was set to expire next week, has been extended to May 26. (Prices will increase the next day.)

In Colorado, the Ikon Pass is honored at Winter Park, Steamboat, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, Eldora and the four Aspen-area mountains (Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk). It’s also good at more than 30 other destinations across the United States and overseas.

RELATED: Alterra Mountain Co. announces layoffs, furloughs and cutbacks following coronavirus outbreak

“These are the days when we are particularly grateful for all those in the Ikon Pass community who share our passion and enthusiasm for winter, and we want to acknowledge our appreciation and gratitude by doubling 20/21 renewal discounts and offering some of the lowest prices since we launched Ikon Pass,” Alterra chief marketing officer Erik Forsell said in a news release. “The Ikon Pass (and its 41 global destinations) has always been about adventure, and during these challenging times, we hope to enable and inspire loyal and new Ikon Pass-holders to look forward and plan their next adventure with us. We know that the seasons change, but the mountains and our Ikon Pass community will endure.”

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Skiers and boarders donated more than 28,000 ski goggles for medical personnel in two weeks

As an orthopedic surgeon at Rose Medical Center, Catherine Logan believes wearing ski goggles gives her better protection from coronavirus transmission in the operating room. That makes her especially grateful for the efforts of Goggles for Docs, a national organization that has collected more than 28,000 goggles from donors for distribution to medical personnel in a little more than two weeks.

And in Colorado, Lakewood-based Christy Sports — a chain of winter sports specialty stores with more than 55 locations in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Washington — has donated more than 60 pairs of new goggles to Rose Medical Center. It’s also making 11 of its Colorado stores available as Goggles for Docs drop-off points for people who want to donate to the cause.

“In the operating room, we’re always worried about splatter risk but also airborne risk,” Logan said. “I feel so much more safe having that seal around my face, as opposed to an open-ended shield.”

As of Tuesday, 28,340 goggles have been donated to Goggles for Docs since it was founded by Jon Schaefer, the general manager of two small ski areas in the Northeast: Berkshire East in western Massachusetts and Catamount in upstate New York.

That response “is crazy,” Schaefer said. “It almost feels like a fake number at this point.”

Goggles for Docs began March 28 when one of Schaefer’s ski coaches forwarded an email he received from a New York City emergency room doctor asking for donations of goggles to make up for the shortage of personal protective equipment. Almost immediately, the chain of emails grew.

“That same email circulated through our little network so fast, I was like, ‘This guy is going to wind up with 10,000 goggles on his back porch if he’s not careful,’ ” Schaefer said. “I wanted to help, and I sort of got in the middle of it. We were hoping to come up with five hundred, or maybe a thousand goggles.”

Within hours, a ski industry software company, Inntopia, created a website for the effort. Word spread and people began offering volunteer help, including setting up drop-off locations.

“I’ve been telling people I felt like I was suddenly the guy in ‘A Clockwork Orange,’ strapped to the chair, watching the screen as this thing just accelerated away from me at like Mach ten pace,” Schaefer said. “Mikaela Shiffrin put it on Snapchat. It exploded, not just in New England, not just in the United States, but requests from Europe, New Zealand, Australia. I was fielding calls from heads of ski goggle companies, Tiger Shaw (U.S. Ski Team chief executive), volunteers — just a million messages.”

Soon, they were getting requests from 40 hospitals per day, which all had to be vetted for legitimacy.

“Just when we thought we were getting ahead of it, we’d have a lot more hospital requests,” Schaefer said. “Or, just when we thought we couldn’t get enough vetted fast enough, we’d have 10 more volunteers. At one point we had over 100 hospitals to be vetted.”

Mackenzie Dunster, a Denver woman who normally works in the music industry, is serving as the organization’s national volunteer coordinator. She estimates the number of volunteers around the country now exceeds 400.

“The people are incredible,” Dunster said. “I’ve had contact with a majority of them, and it’s pretty wild to communicate with this large of a group of people and have zero negative experiences. Every single person has just been extremely pleasant and gung-ho about trying to participate and get involved and do as much as they can. It’s really amazing.”

Christy Sports locations serving as drop-off points in the metro area include its stores in Boulder, Cherry Creek and Park Meadows. Donors are asked to disinfect the goggles as thoroughly as possible, place them in plastic bags with zipper closures, and deposit them in the drop boxes.

“Number one, it fits with what we do,” said Brian Sullivan, the operations manager for Christy locations in Summit County and Winter Park. “Number two, it just felt like the right thing to do.”

Rose surgeon Logan also has a relationship with Burton Snowboards because she is a U.S. Ski & Snowboard team doctor and sits on the board of the Chill Foundation, Burton’s charity branch. Burton has donated to Goggles for Docs and also is committed to donating 500,000 KN95 masks to medical personnel.

“I talk to colleagues up and down the East Coast who are using the goggles,” said Logan, who did her residency in Boston. “Wearing something that feels a little tight or foreign is certainly better than a cough to the face. There is an immediate feeling of safety. The transformation in two weeks has been wonderful.”

And it’s not just the goggles.

“One of the coolest things is the communication that is occurring between the donors and the people receiving them,” Schaefer said. “The testimonials we receive show people who feel like they can finally pitch in and help from home — because it’s a really helpless feeling to not be able to pitch in during a crisis, so that’s a real moving experience for folks — but then once the goggles start rolling in, people are so thankful. They are also extremely moved by the experience. And, they get gear that’s pretty useful.”

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Larson fired after sponsors drop NASCAR driver over slur

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Larson was fired Tuesday by Chip Ganassi Racing, a day after nearly every one of his sponsors dropped the star driver for using a racial slur during a live stream of a virtual race.

Larson, in his seventh Cup season with Ganassi and considered the top free agent in NASCAR just weeks ago, is now stunningly out of a job in what could ultimately be an eight-figure blunder by the star.

“After much consideration, Chip Ganassi Racing has determined that it will end its relationship with driver Kyle Larson,” Ganassi said. “As we said before, the comments that Kyle made were both offensive and unacceptable especially given the values of our organization. As we continued to evaluate the situation with all the relevant parties, it became obvious that this was the only appropriate course of action to take.“

The 27-year-old Larson had been prepping to test free agency for the first time in his short career and Ganassi was expected to find himself in a bidding war to keep the sprint car driver he had gambled on and developed into one of NASCAR’s future stars.

The unraveling began Sunday night when Larson was competing in one of the iRacing virtual events drivers are playing during the sports stoppage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Larson appeared to lose communication on his headset with his spotter.

During a check of his microphone, he asked his spotter, “You can’t hear me?” That was followed by the N-word. The slur from Larson was directed at his spotter, who is white.

He was suspended without pay by Ganassi early Monday, then suspended indefinitely by NASCAR and Larson, who is half Japanese, was ordered to complete a sensitivity training.

But his entire program fell apart as primary sponsors McDonalds and Credit One Bank pulled their funding from Larson. Chevrolet suspended its relationship with him, and all but one commercial partner denounced Larson’s comment and indicated they were ending their relationship.

Without funding on the No. 42 Chevrolet so long as Larson was in the car, the situation became untenable for Ganassi to not fire Larson.

Larson’s famed sprint car career could also be in jeopardy: Kyle Larson Racing fields a Chevrolet in the World of Outlaws Series that is sponsored in part by Lucas Oil, a company that said it was indefinitely ending its partnership with Larson.

Although Larson has just six wins in the Cup Series and his sixth-place finish in last year’s standings was a career-best, he is considered the future of NASCAR. Fans loved his journey from sprint cars and the style of aggressive racing in the top lane against the wall he brought to NASCAR.

The married father of two young children has raced his entire life, all meticulously chronicled in thousands of videos and photographs his parents made to document his meteoric rise. Long before he got a shot in NASCAR, he was lauded by Stewart, Jeff Gordon and others as a future superstar.

Now his career is on hold, his racing future uncertain after a year that began with a January victory at the prestigious Chili Bowl in his 13th try.

The win put Larson on the path for the biggest year of his career and he was expected to make a decision between loyalty to Ganassi or a move to close friend and fellow sprint car racer Tony Stewart’s NASCAR team. He also might have been a long-shot candidate to replace seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports.

Instead, his slur went viral because viewers can follow the races on the gaming app Twitch and eavesdrop on the drivers’ typical lighthearted banter. Larson apologized in a video posted on his social media accounts.

“I made a mistake, said the word that should never, ever be said,” Larson said. “There is no excuse for that. I wasn’t raised that way. It is just an awful thing to say. I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community and especially the African-American community.

“I understand the damage is probably unrepairable and I own up to that.”

He also reached out to many sponsors and friends to apologize. Brent Powell, president of Plan B Sales and Marketing, was the only sponsor to remain behind Larson. He said the driver called him personally to “express his regret about what transpired.”

“We know he is an awesome young man that made a mistake and we are going to stand behind him 100% and help any way we can,” Powell said.

Larson, whose grandparents spent time in an interment camp in California during World War II, climbed from short-track racing into NASCAR through its “Drive for Diversity” program. He is the only driver of Japanese descent to win a major NASCAR race.


Vehicles line up on Saskatchewan highway for Colby Cave tribute

Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave died on Saturday after suffering a brain bleed days earlier.


Is fishing allowed during Colorado’s stay-at-home order? Reporter finds answers from his kayak.

AURORA — My paddle takes one final jab at the sandy shoreline behind me as I glide into Cherry Creek Reservoir to search for peace in a world of chaos from the seat of a blue fishing kayak.

I am not alone.

Three trucks with empty trailers sit in the parking lot when I arrived at sunrise, and by mid-morning on an April weekday, the parking lot is almost full. A dozen or more fishing boats are backed down the ramp and motor across the water. Other anglers stake claim to land on shoreline. All of us find refuge from the pandemic with the promise of a bite, a hook-set, and, if we’re lucky, a catch to break our cabin fever.

But here’s my issue: Should fishing be allowed in the coronavirus age?

Gov. Jared Polis’ stay-at-home order states that outdoor activity including but not limited to “walking, hiking, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, biking or running” is permitted with “at least a six-foot distance” from others. Without specifics on fishing, much like golf, there are varying policies for the lakes and reservoirs across Colorado.

State parks remain available for boating and fishing with invasive species checks and marinas currently staffed. However, fisheries owned by municipalities are split. Standley Lake in Westminster is closed to the public. Bear Creek in Lakewood prohibited the use of its boat ramp, but the lake is open for anglers.

“Fishing is an activity that provides great benefits from a mental standpoint,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Jason Clay. “To get out and connect with nature.”

My fishing story began as a young kid in Fort Collins, standing at home in the front yard alongside my brother with our spinning rods. Dad tied plastic action figures to each line and we practiced by casting our comic book heroes across the grass and reeling them back. Before that, we crawled around in dad’s boat with crayons and coloring books while he landed fish across lakes in Colorado and Wyoming.

My passion for fishing bit.

I bought a cheap used kayak last spring and spent months updating the 8-foot piece of plastic with every tool a solo angler might need: three rod holders, foot pedals, landing net, paddle clips, internal wall storage, bow and stern tie-downs, removable anchor and milk crate storage (with cooler), Bluetooth speaker, cup holder, safety flag, and a few vinyl stickers (for extra style points).

Every boat needs a name. I call mine the SS Yooper.

It’s a nickname given to those from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula — Yoopers — and where my family first settled in America after emigrating from Scandinavia. Imagine a wooded outdoor paradise where self-reliant folks have happily social-distanced from the world at large since, well, forever. The ideal way to decompress in my family tree is on the water.

Today, in a seemingly distant world, the beauty of kayak fishing is its intimacy. A gentle wave lapping the boat. The sharp slice of bird wings overhead. The surprise splash of fish breaking water. Or deep frog bellows from a nearby brush. For anglers of all types, these simple joys are universal.

On Wednesday, I paddled the SS Yooper toward Cherry Creek Reservoir’s east boat ramp and found Michael Quinones, 63, preparing to load up his vessel — a 21-foot fiberglass fishing boat with a 300-horsepower outboard motor, painted red with a metallic-silver stripe down the hull.

Quinones, a Denver-area resident, spent his day charting the lake with advanced sonar that maps water depth and ground structure. Our modes of fishing were night-and-day different. Yet we shared an equal angling philosophy.

“This is the one true place you can social distance and still have a good time,” Quinones said. “It’s relaxing. I come out here for solitude.”

Later on, I drove out to Chatfield Reservoir in Littleton as the sun dipped beneath a mountain-peaked horizon. Floyd Pratt, 65, was in the parking lot unloading gear from the back hatch of his small SUV for a time-honored tradition here — night fishing for walleye.

The delicious fish with razor-sharp teeth often feed after sundown, especially when aided by a full moon (like the one we had last week). Pratt lives about 10 minutes from the lake and walked down toward the rocky shoreline Wednesday night in pursuit of some normalcy.

“Most of it is just getting out here at night for an hour or two,” Pratt said. “With all the stuff going on right now, being caged up at home, it’s nice knowing that when I get out here it won’t be shoulder-to-shoulder with people.”

Therein lies the catch for Colorado anglers.

The closure of some area fisheries and the need to avoid lengthy non-essential travel, notably into mountain communities, has limited options. CPW already reported a surge in state park activity well before their typical busy fishing season as Coloradans itch to break quarantine. Crowds will continue to grow.

Maintaining at least six feet between anglers might prove difficult.


“People want to get outdoors and do it the right way,” said Clay, the CPW spokesman. “You have to be flexible. A lot of these open spaces and parks are getting crowded, so maybe don’t go during peak times. Go early in the morning or later in the day in areas where I can get that fresh air and exercise, but in a manner that is going to be safe for yourself and others.”

With my research complete, and all safety boxes checked, I purchased my annual fishing license (available online), loaded up the SS Yooper in my pickup, and hit the water at dawn.

First, I tipped a brightly colored jig head with artificial bait and dragged it slowly across a rocky flat to draw the attention of any nearby walleyes. Nothing. Next, I tossed out flashy spinners and crank-baits to retrieve along the edge of weed beds, just begging a hidden bass to dash out for a meal. No bites.

But lessons offered by angling are applicable to all aspects of life. Success comes with the simultaneous mastery of patience, adaptability, persistence and knowledge of your craft. Plus, a little luck never hurts.

Colorado’s open-water angling season is just starting up, and CPW aquatic biologist Jeff Spohn told The Post that “fish populations across the state are strong. Warm water species such as post-spawn walleye are feeding well. Pre-spawn bass fishing is starting to pick up.”

Why should fishing be considered essential outdoor recreation?

Our ability to live in the moment without feeling the weight of the outside world has suddenly gained immense value. Nothing in life purifies that process, for me, like coasting along in the SS Yooper in search of hungry fish to catch. Call it my coronavirus salvation.

If you ever spot me on the water, casting from my little blue boat, be sure to stop by for an update on the bite. I’ll give you something we could all use right about now.

A good fish story.

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Battle of Alberta: Edmonton, Calgary orchestras unite to perform physically distanced ‘Hockey Night in Canada’

Since sports are on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is another way to get your Battle of Alberta fix.


Battle of Alberta: Edmonton, Calgary orchestras unite to perform physically distanced ‘Hockey Night in Canada’

Since sports are on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is another way to get your Battle of Alberta fix.


Rogers Cup women’s tennis tournament in Montreal cancelled

The Rogers Cup women's tennis tournament will not be played this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave dead at 25

The 25-year-old native of Battleford, Sask., had been in a medically-induced coma in a Toronto hospital.


Denver closing Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre amid coronavirus outbreak

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre will close until further notice beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Denver Parks and Recreation announced Friday afternoon via Twitter.

The amphitheatre has been closed for concerts since March 16, and the cancellation of the traditional Easter sunrise services was announced last month, but the park has remained open. Roads and trails in the park are popular for runners, hikers and tourists.


Alberta golf courses deemed non-essential service: ‘It could be devastating for the industry’

The general manager of an Alberta golf course says not being allowed to operate this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic could be devastating, both financially and mentally.


Former Calgary Flames scout Tom Webster dead at 71

The man responsible for signing and drafting beloved Flames, capturing championships in the WHA and throwing a punch or two as an NHL head coach has passed away.


Tagovailoa’s agent says he’s healthy, will be ready for camp

Tua Tagovailoa’s agent says the quarterback is healthy and will be ready for training camp.

Tagovailoa held a virtual pro day with former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer on Thursday after the former Alabama star’s personal pro day was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. Video of Tagovailoa’s workout will be sent to NFL teams.

Tagovailoa injured his hip on Nov. 15 and had season-ending surgery two days later. He is expected to be among the top five picks in the NFL draft later this month.

“His health is just fine,” agent Leigh Steinberg told The Associated Press. “There’s two doctors that have seen him, Dr. Lyle Cain (Alabama’s orthopedic surgeon), and Dr. Chip Routt, who performed the surgery. Both have said that he is healthy and he’ll be lively and ready to go for training camp and the likelihood of recurrence is very low.”

Doctors cleared Tagovailoa to run and begin football activities on March 9 and he has been training with Dilfer, who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.

“He’s running around, he’s bouncing around with high energy,” Steinberg said.

Tagovailoa replaced Jalen Hurts in January 2018 and rallied Alabama to a victory over Georgia in the national championship game. He won the starting job that fall, beating out Hurts, then led Alabama back to another title game, where it lost to Clemson.

Tagovailoa was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2018.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL


Steamboat rafters return to a different world after 3-week raft trip

By Shelby ReardonSteamboat Pilot

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When Steamboat Springs residents Patrick Keogh and Michelle Johnson concluded an 18-day rafting trip in the Grand Canyon, they emerged to discover an unfamiliar world.

“That’s always a joke on the Grand Canyon. I did a trip in November 2018. There was some conflict in the world, talking about nuclear weapons across the world,” Keogh said. “You always joke, what if things are different? What if we come out, and there’s a nuclear war going on? This time it was actually true.”

The world wasn’t flattened or poisoned from nuclear warfare, but it still had a post-apocalyptic feel to it. As the couple traveled, they drove by lighted signs that said “Stay Safe,” “Stay Healthy” and “Wash Your Hands,” which Keogh said reminded him of zombie movies. The scene resembled a movie, like something out of “2012” or “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Roads were empty, gas station bathrooms were closed, toilet paper shelves were bare and there were new words and phrases circulating on social media. Keogh and Johnson had to look up the terms “social distancing” and “flatten the curve.”

Read the rest on our partner site Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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Nest-wrecking bald eagle attacks beloved Standley Lake pair, replaces mother eagle

Sports might be canceled in the coronavirus age, but at Standley Lake Regional Park and Wildlife Refuge in Westminster, an epic heavyweight bout just took place.

It was a brutal showcase of real life in the Colorado animal kingdom — between three bald eagles.

Standley Lake has been home to nesting bald eagles since 1993 when a first pair settled an estimated 30-feet high in the branches of a Cottonwood tree on the northwest side of the lake. Over the past 72 hours, an HD online live stream video from a camera posted near the nest captured footage that, quite frankly, has stunned park rangers and thousands of viewers.

Starting Monday afternoon, an intruding female bald eagle attacked the nest and appeared to peck at three eggs within. Their status is currently unknown, but the park’s office said the father continued incubation as if the eggs were healthy. Up-close viewing is closed to the public outside of a designated “eagle blind” area roughly a half-mile from the nest, requiring a scope or binoculars.

What happened next further shocked park officials.

On Tuesday morning, a female bald eagle with blood on her face and talons appeared at the nest and she was not attacked by the father. Park officials initially debated whether the female was the original mother or the intruder. Lexie Martinez, 26, is the park naturalist at Standley Lake. She told The Denver Post on Wednesday afternoon that it is now believed the bloody bird is the intruder.

As Kanye West rapped in a self-titled 2011 single: No church in the wild.

“While it might not happen to every bald eagle nest, it does happen regularly in nature,” Martinez said of the incident, which was caught on video. “Typically, we see a lot of floaters taking over a nest because they lost their own nest, or maybe they lost a mate. This a great deal for this intruder if she comes in and the eggs are already laid and a mate is waiting for her.”

Park officials have since ground-searched the area for the original mother — who, if injured and alive, likely needs to regain strength through food and rest, according to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife district wildlife manager. She would then be transported for rehabilitation.

Officials hope the injured bald eagle could be isolated in recovery with a chance for a new start. Eagles typically mate with one partner until death or physical separation, Martinez said, and the previous pair had occupied their nest together for 5 years at Standley Lake.

Now, her search for a new mate likely begins.

“We do think mom is young, under 10 years, we suspect,” Martinez said. “They are able to heal.”

Standley Lake Regional Park is mostly closed amid the pandemic, but its public bald eagle viewing area is open with strict social distancing policies. So, those seeking an in-person look at the bald eagle drama should respect fellow birdwatchers at open parks across the state.

Getting between a mother bald eagle and her eggs has potentially dire consequences.

“The females are bigger than the males and can have up to a 7-and-a-half-foot wingspan,” Martinez said. “(They have) an extremely powerful beak, big feet, talons they use mostly for hunting fish and prairie dogs in our case at the park. I assume it would hurt very badly if you got attacked.”

The positive spin on this tale is the introduction, hopefully, of three new bald eagles into Colorado’s thriving population. There are an estimated several hundred of them currently living across the state, Martinez said, a massive upswing from the handful of bald eagles that populated Colorado in the early 1970s. They were near extinction before the ban of the pesticide DDT.

Bald eagles are not endangered in the U.S. but are federally protected. Continued wildlife conservation efforts ensure Coloradoans have the opportunity to view them for decades to come, even if that means the savage circle of life continues uninterrupted.

“We had a lot of people asking if we were going to intervene,” Martinez said. “Nature needs to take its course.”

Think about it this way: Is a significant other driving you crazy during Colorado’s quarantine?

Try being a bald eagle.

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U.S. Forest Service discourages dispersed camping, hiking and river activities

The U.S. Forest Service has announced new fire restrictions and released more information about recreation site closures in the Rocky Mountain Region and due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Forest Service already announced a series of closures in Colorado but further clarified them this week. “Developed” recreation sites are temporarily closed, according to a news release, while dispersed camping, hiking and river activities are “allowed but discouraged.” Developed recreation sites include campgrounds, day-use areas, picnic areas and any other amenities involving a “constructed facility.” That includes potable water stations, fire rings and grills, picnic tables, restrooms and trash cans.

Parking facilities, trails and trailheads remain open. Dispersed camping essentially means backpacking on national forests or grasslands where there are no facilities or services.

RELATED: Boulder threatening to close open space parks if crowding continues amid coronavirus pandemic

The Rocky Mountain Region includes Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota. Colorado is home to 11 national forests and two national grasslands.

“While we know that going outside provides forest and grassland visitors needed space, exercise and satisfaction, we are taking the risks presented by COVID-19 seriously,” acting regional forester Jennifer Eberlien was quoted in the release. “We are providing some recreation opportunities where we can, while protecting and keeping employees, the public and our communities safe from the virus, as well as protecting and keeping communities and natural and cultural resources safe from unwanted human-caused wildfires.”

Igniting, building, maintaining and using fires is prohibited, including charcoal grills, barbecues, coal and wood-burning stoves and sheepherders stoves.

The U.S. Forest Service has asked users to:

  • Stay close to home to keep other communities safe
  • Observe the 6-foot social-distancing rule
  • Avoid crowding at parking lots, trails, scenic overlooks and other areas
  • Observe CDC precautions regarding the spread of COVID-19
  • Be prepared for limited or no services
  • Pack out trash and human waste

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WATCH: Coronavirus canceled their wrestling tournament, then they turned their singlets operation into face mask making

The Rocky Mountain Nationals wrestling tournament was set to begin weigh-ins. Around 10,000 competitors and spectators from across the country arrived in Colorado. Trophies were on display and mats were laid ready to go.

On the day the tournament was set to start, Gov. Polis banned gatherings of more than 250 people to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The tournament was canceled.

The Gutierrez brothers, organizers of the event, were devastated. “It was like a gut punch,” said Adam Gutierrez. They tore down their preparations and went home to hunker down.

As they watched the news, they wondered if there must be something they could do. The brothers also own Xtreme Pro Apparel that makes wrestling singlets and athletic gear. Masks, they thought, we could make masks. Within a day they had a prototype, within a week and a half they’d produced three thousand masks.

The masks, which are double layered and made of 90% polyester and 10% spandex, have not been certified as medical grade. There is no definitive evidence backing up the effectiveness of cloth masks in general, and it is uncertain what protection Xtreme Pro Apparel’s masks offer — if any. A filter can be added to the masks, but it is also unknown how much of a safeguard an insert would provide.

“Our take on it right now is a mask is better than no mask,” Adam Gutierrez said.


Boulder threatening to close open space parks if crowding continues amid coronavirus pandemic

Boulder officials on Tuesday put a city open space system closure on the table as a potential step to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements meant to slow the global coronavirus spread locally, but less stringent measures are going to be tried first.

City leaders are also continuing to struggle with dispersing gatherings of sizes against public health recommendations at private residences throughout Boulder, especially among University of Colorado students.

Officials have received requests for an open space closure, as open space visitation is booming in good weather even on weekdays, which is atypical for this time of year.

“Closure is something that on the sidelines we are putting plans together for how it would work and how it would be rolled out,” Boulder open space director Dan Burke said. “It couldn’t be done overnight, it would take a series of steps. There are over 254 access points onto our system, we have a very porous system. What we learned from 2013 (during the flood), even if we did officially decide to close the system, we know we’re going to have a lot of noncompliance with that.”

Officials estimate that 25% to 30% of open space users are wearing a mask over their mouths and noses, as is recommended by the state as the virus remains on the move.

Read more on our sister site The Boulder Daily Camera.

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PHOTOS: Largest supermoon of the year rises over a Colorado under lockdown

As the largest supermoon of the year rose into the sky on Tuesday, Coloradans watched it from their homes or in parks, social distancing from others. As the country fights against the coronavirus outbreak, it provided a moment of peace. Or, conversely, it gave the city something to howl at. Regardless, it was a delightful sight.

See the gallery on The Know Outdoors.


Wildlife may turn up in unusual places because of increased human activity at open-space parks

Wildlife along the Front Range seems to be reacting to increased human activity at open-space parks and trails during the coronavirus quarantine by moving to places where there are fewer people, a state wildlife biologist says.

“Everything with wildlife is risk assessment, especially this urban wildlife,” said Shannon Schaller, a wildlife biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “They learn how to manage the risk, and if open space has five times the number of people they normally have, but the golf courses don’t, being on the golf course is a lot less risk and a lot more comfortable for them.

“I think that’s what we’re seeing, this shift in their ability to be comfortable and live around people but definitely adapting to what we’re doing differently right now.”

One local elk herd splits time between the Fossil Trace and Rolling Hills golf courses in the Golden area, although Fossil Trace head pro Jim Hajek says elk sightings there haven’t increased.

RELATED(ish): Pets on conference calls, napping on laptops, stealing socks and social distancing with us

“We have a herd of about 110 that will camp out here most of the winter,” Hajek said. “They are still here, but I would expect that we probably see them leave after this next cold spell that happens this weekend. Since the golf course was built, this is Candyland for them, so they have a tendency to hang out with us. As soon as we get to a certain temperature where it’s too warm down here, they head back over Sixth Avenue and back up into the hills. I would expect if it gets warm next week, this weekend probably will be the last time we see them until fall.”

Fossil Trace closed due to coronavirus on March 26 but will reopen Wednesday. Tee times are sold out through Saturday.

Spring is normally a time when there is a lot of wildlife movement because dormant vegetation is turning green. Wild animals that like to summer in the mountains come down in elevation because there’s still snowcover higher up.

“They’re coming out of the winter, they’re getting that much needed new growth and nutrient boost,” Schaller said. “You also have baby animals that are hitting the ground now. Then animals that eat other animals tend to prey on those babies. This is just an active time for wildlife.”

In recent years, wildlife biologists have noticed by following tracking collars that some elk herds are spending more time in the foothills or on the edges of the urban area than they have historically.

“Those elk which should be going up into the mountains and away from people this time of year as winter is alleviating and the snow is receding, they are actually staying in the foothills closer to people, even in town, year-round,” Schaller said. “A growing number of elk are starting to do that. They’ve just learned that life is easier on golf courses or around people for the most part.”

And that, combined with the crowds massing on open space lands, means you may be more likely to see elk in unusual places.

RELATED: Crowded trails force Jeffco Sheriff to step up enforcement of “physical distancing”

“I think it’s a combination of what we are seeing on the Front Range, which is a growing number of elk around people, but also this time of year when it’s greening up and our activity level is really high on some of the open spaces where they live,” Schaller said. “It’s an interesting year for all wildlife, even those bigger ones like elk.”

And like bears. This time of year, they are coming out of hibernation with hungry cubs to feed back at the den. Bears cubs typically are born in January.

“If it’s a sow, she still has little cubs, so she’s really going to be thinking about taking care of those guys until they’re out and about in, like, June,” Schaller said.

This time of year, bears like to eat aspen catkins, those fuzzy, cylindrical blooms on aspen trees that come out in the spring before leaves appear. They are blooming now around Front Range homes.

“That’s a really important food source for bears,” Schaller said.

So are serviceberries, chokecherries, huckleberries and raspberries, as well as oak brush.

“Where we have the most oak brush is where we have the most bears,” Schaller said. “We have quite a bit of it in Douglas County, so we tend to have higher concentrations of bears there.

RELATED(ish): Why people keep howling like wolves at 8 p.m. across Denver

“But also, unfortunately, you tend to have a lot of bears where you have available human food sources, whether that is trash or bird feeders or stuff like that. They are very much tied to what’s available to them in the wild. In a good food year for bears, when we have a lot of berries and acorns — when we don’t have a late (spring) frost and all that stuff comes on really well — that’s where you will find the bears, up in the hills eating that stuff. In a year when we have a frost and everything dies, you’re going to find them closer, in and around people.”

Either way, Schaller urges Front Range homeowners to take measures to make sure their yards don’t have treats that might attract bears.

“Even in a year when we have a frost, there is food in the wild for them,” Schaller said, “but they will go to the easy sources around homes if people don’t do their part by keeping attractants away from bears.”

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Aidan Atkinson has sex assault preliminary hearing rescheduled for June

Aidan Atkinson has had the preliminary hearing on his sexual assault case pushed back to June, one of many hearings to be delayed due to court restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Atkinson, 18, was arrested and charged in November as a juvenile after investigators say he sexually assaulted multiple young women on a party bus in September 2018.

Atkinson was set for a preliminary hearing on March 31 to determine whether there is probable cause to move the case forward, but that hearing was canceled after Chief District Judge Ingrid Bakke ordered all non-essential hearings be delayed due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Because Atkinson is out of custody on a personal recognizance bond, the preliminary hearing was not one of the hearings exempt from Bakke’s order.

Atkinson is now scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 5, according to court records.

Bakke has already ruled that the hearing will be closed to the media and most of the public due to concerns about coverage of the case affecting Atkinson and the named victims, all of whom were juveniles at the time of the alleged incident.

Bakke noted Aktinson, formerly a star quarterback at Fairview, has received more press coverage than a typical juvenile defendant because of his athletic career.

Named victims can be present or have up to two representatives at the hearing.

Atkinson is charged with three charges of sexual assault, one charge of attempted sexual assault, and five charges of unlawful sexual contact. He is also facing additional charges that were added to the case but have not yet been made public.

According to an arrest affidavit, a student told officials she was on a party bus for homecoming in 2018. She said she became too drunk to stand and sat next to Atkinson, who began to sexually touch her.

The girl said she told Atkinson to stop and that others saw what was happening but did not intervene, and the girl said Atkinson’s behavior continued at a restaurant.

While the Daily Camera does not typically name juvenile defendants, it is naming Atkinson because of the serious nature of the allegations and the fact that his initial arrest and charges were public record because he was 18 at the time.

Marilyn Lori, a mental health worker accused of failing to report accusations against Atkinson while embedded at Fairview High School, also had her case delayed as a result of the court restrictions.

Lori, 46, is now set for a case management conference on June 15.

She is charged with one count of failure to report suspected child abuse in relation to the Atkinson case as well as a second count of failure to report that is not related to the Atkinson matter.

Lori is also free on bond.


Edmonton Oilers GM hopeful season can be completed

There's a lot of speculation about how the NHL could finish the 19/20 season, but the league can't do anything until health officials and governments give the green light.


Edmonton Oilers GM hopeful season can be completed

There's a lot of speculation about how the NHL could finish the 19/20 season, but the league can't do anything until health officials and governments give the green light.


Edmonton Oilers GM hopeful season can be completed

There's a lot of speculation about how the NHL could finish the 19/20 season, but the league can't do anything until health officials and governments give the green light.


COVID-19 pandemic forces CFL to postpone start of season

The league announced the postponement in a release Tuesday morning, noting that some CFL cities have indicated they won't allow sporting events through the end of June.


80 Vail Resorts employees from Ecuador are stuck in Colorado’s mountain towns

A month ago, Grace Barrera had a seasonal job picking up trash and cleaning tables for about $12 an hour at a mountaintop restaurant on Vail Mountain. It was a job she liked because the people where she worked  “were very kind,” she said.

But now, the 28-year-old is one of about 80 Ecuadorians stranded in Eagle and Summit counties because the ski areas have been shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. She has a plane ticket to return home on April 30, but she could not afford the exorbitant change fee to re-book for an earlier flight, she said. And even if she could, Ecuador closed its borders because of the coronavirus outbreak the same weekend Colorado ski resorts were closed.

So with two parents and a sister back in Ecuador, Barrera lives rent-free in Vail employee housing, and she waits.

“I’m sad because I can’t go back home and see my family,” said Barrera, who is from Quito, Ecuador’s capital city. “If I had the money, I would buy the flight, but I can’t.”

Susy Osorio-Kinsky of Denver, a native of Ecuador who has been a resident of Colorado and U.S. citizen for 20 years, is working on behalf of Ecuador’s consul general to assist the workers who are stuck in the mountains of Colorado, 3,200 miles from home. They are here on J-1 exchange student work visas for a few months during the ski season. 

“Some of the students left when Vail Resorts closed,” Osorio-Kinsky said. “But the majority of the students, I was told, said they needed to clean the kitchen for next season, so they didn’t leave right away. For them, it was shocking, like, ‘What am I going to do?’ They have a ticket to go back (home), but the ticket was booked for May. For them to call the airline, it was like, ‘Yes, you can go, but you have to pay $1,500,’ things like that.”

Most of the stranded workers range in age from 18 to 26, Osorio-Kinsky said, working as cooks, hostesses or on the cleaning staff. A few were able to find other places to stay.

“The ones who had relatives or friends in the United States, those were the ones who left (Summit and Eagle counties),” Osorio-Kinsky said. “The ones who were unlucky and did not have that, they had to stay because they didn’t know what to do. They were freaking out. These are young adults who didn’t know what else to do.”

Barrera worked for Vail Resorts last winter and enjoyed the job so much, she reapplied for this year. Barrera was working at Vail’s Two Elk Lodge, perched above China Bowl, when Gov. Jared Polis closed the state’s ski resorts on March 15. She is living at Vail’s Timber Ridge apartments, which is one of the sites Vail Resorts uses for employee housing.

“Sometimes I feel sad, but I’m good here because Vail Resorts has helped us,” Barrera said. “We don’t have to pay rent for this month. I can be happy for that, grateful.”

Barrera said she does not know anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus. She has been tested, just as a precaution.

“I have to wait for the results,” Barrera said, “but I am healthy.”

With the blessing of Ecuador consul general Laura Machuca, who is based in Phoenix, Osorio-Kinsky has written a letter to Gov. Jared Polis asking for his help. She has contacted non-profit organizations in Eagle and Summit counties to provide food and other supplies for the workers who are not being paid, and she is working with the Denver Lions Club Foundation to get them more help. On the Lions Club’s website, people can donate money specifically to help the Ecuadorian students. Enter the words “Ecuadorian students” in the memo field to make sure the money gets to them, she said.

“I know Americans are the most generous people in the world,” Osorio-Kinsky said. “I was an exchange student myself, when I was 18 years old. When I came as an immigrant with my two little kids, Americans and people in Colorado were so generous, oh my gosh, I cannot describe the help that I received. I consider myself now an American, and that’s why I’m giving back. I have to do this.”

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The biggest supermoon of 2020 will shine Tuesday night

Well, there’s at least one thing you can enjoy this week while practicing social distancing: a supermoon.

Tuesday and Wednesday will see the largest supermoon of the year as the lunar orb makes its closest approach to Earth in 2020.

The moon will be only 221,918 miles from Earth on Tuesday. The average lunar distance, according to NASA, is 238,855 miles. On March 24, the moon was 252,700 miles away, the farthest it will be in 2020.

The moon will rise Tuesday at 7:16 p.m. and will be the highest in the sky at 12:25 a.m. On Wednesday it will rise at 8:32 p.m. Skies are expected to be clear both nights, making this supermoon easy to enjoy from the comfort of your home.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.


The biggest supermoon of 2020 will shine Tuesday night

Well, there’s at least one thing you can enjoy this week while practicing social distancing: a supermoon.

Tuesday and Wednesday will see the largest supermoon of the year as the lunar orb makes its closest approach to Earth in 2020.

The moon will be only 221,918 miles from Earth on Tuesday. The average lunar distance, according to NASA, is 238,855 miles. On March 24, the moon was 252,700 miles away, the farthest it will be in 2020.

The moon will rise Tuesday at 7:16 p.m. and will be the highest in the sky at 12:25 a.m. On Wednesday it will rise at 8:32 p.m. Skies are expected to be clear both nights, making this supermoon easy to enjoy from the comfort of your home.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.


In the midst of pandemic, Brockville Ontario Speedway prepares for the best in 2020

"Any night you can lose in the summer but not opening night," said the owner of the track, Paul Kirkland.


Meet the Castle Rock sisters on the front lines of the coronavirus battle

They don’t finish each other’s sentences. They capsize them, warmly, the way sisters do.

“It helps with us having different personalities,” Cheryl Padaken says, “because I’m more …”

“Assertive,” Hydelene Batson interjects.

Everybody laughs.

“I’m more assertive, A to B,” Padaken confirms, picking the thread back up again.

“And I know how to get through things,” Batson says. “You have to pick and choose your battles.”

They didn’t pick this one. But the campaign to defend some of the most vulnerable among us along the Front Range from the coronavirus pandemic roped them in anyway.

Padaken and Batson’s front line is Abundant Life Assisted Living in Castle Rock, where the sister team are live-in care-givers, a combo who’ve devoted more than three decades of service to older people.

“It’s just more being vigilant about who comes in,” Padaken says. “And under my watch, (we’re) sanitizing and wiping everything now. We’d do that anyway, but it’s about being more assertive about washing the hands and touching. And washing the residents’ hands and not really following them around, but being cautious.”

Abundant Life is based inside a 6,000-square-foot, two-story home about a mile from the Red Hawk Ridge golf course. The facility has six residents and is licensed for nine, with ages ranging from the mid-80s to the mid-90s.

Padaken and Batson alternate shifts in order to make sure that one or the other is on call around the clock. Essential visitors have to fill out a state-provided form, sanitize their hands, get their temperatures taken and wear face masks and gloves just to make it past the front door.

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Sisters Hyde Batson, left, and Cheryl Padaken, right, pose for a portrait outside of the Abundant Life residential home on March 31, 2020 in Castle Rock. The sisters are from Hawaii and have been in health care for more than 25 years professionally. They moved to Colorado to join the Abundant Life team in Nov. 2018, and they’ve never seen anything like COVID-19 before. They are able to continue providing care at Abundant Life because they live on sight.

“For the other health care workers that come through, we have a table stationed outside,” Padaken says. “I’m like, ‘Everybody gets screened outside the house.’ Because once they get in, it’s too late, because (the virus) is airborne. The less we have to bring in, the less we have to worry about.”

In other words, COVID-19 just picked a fight with the wrong ladies.

“Yeah, they work well together,” Abundant Life owner Allyson Gehring says. “So each gives strengths that are applied to the home.”

Padaken took on a life’s work on a lark. The fork in the road hit about 1987. While teaching in her mid-20s, she applied for, and landed, a position as a nursing aide.

“(And) took it because the pay was good,” she says. “And I was like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t know if I can — how should I say it — change diapers.’

“At the time, my husband said, ‘Well, you won’t know if you like it until you try, versus passing on the opportunity and not knowing. If you try it and you don’t like it, you can always quit.’”

She never did. The next 30 years saw Padaken run the health care gamut, from hospitals, care homes and nursing homes to her own consulting service with clients spread across the country.

“And to this day, they still find me,” Padaken cracks, “as much as I change my number.”

Batson, the older of the two, went into the health care field back in their native Hawaii to help support four boys. With the nest empty, Padaken queried her big sister in the fall of 2018 as to whether she’d be keen on becoming an assisted-care package deal in Colorado.

“And I was like, ‘Why not? You know, I’ve never been to Colorado, give it a try,’” Batson says.

Padaken, whose areas of expertise include Alzheimer’s, dementia and hospice care, joked that a few residents are even enjoying a mini-vacation, of sorts, from frequent family visits. The social distancing and stay-at-home edicts remind her of the fallout from volcano eruptions back home. Only on steroids.

“When we had lava flows in Hawaii, it was pretty much on lockdown,” says Padaken, author of the book “Making Sense of the Death and Dying.” “But not so extreme, like it is in this situation. As live-ins, we’re locked down anyway. This is, to us, to me, not a crisis. Not being able to go to Starbucks for two days, that’s a major crisis.”

And where caffeine fails, teamwork turns the engine over. The tandem’s skill sets are as complementary as their personalities: Batson, for example, handles more of the cooking; Padaken takes on the majority of the house management. One’s a planner. The other’s a hugger.

“I’m the good cop,” Batson laughs.

I’m the bad one,” Padaken counters.

“It’s like (parenting) kids. One’s got to be the disciplinarian and one’s got to be the one who goes, ‘That’s OK, come here.’

“So we each have our roles. Which is nice.”

They play them with love. Which is even better.

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Huntsville figure skater describes COVID-19 impact

Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Athletes all over the world are having to put their lives and normal routines on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Belle Buehrle, a junior at St. John Paul II Catholic High School, has been figure skating for nine years.

She was getting ready for her first competition of the season when she found out it had been canceled. Now, she doesn't know the next time she'll be back on the ice.

"I can't even explain how weird it is. It's more than half of my life has just been taken away and I just don't know what to do with myself," Buehrle said. "Staying active and staying motivated is one of the big struggles that I'm seeing from a lot of people. Like, why am I getting out of my bed today and going for a lap around the neighborhood instead of just sitting here and my sweats watching Netflix? Like, why am I doing that? I've had those days myself, and it's really hard to stay motivated."

Buehrle said she doesn't think there's much of a bright side during this difficult time, but knowing she's not alone through all of this helps her spirit.

"The thing that makes me feel just a little bit better is that I'm not the only one suffering. I'm not the only one who's being held back. Everyone else that I know in the skating community is without ice," Buehrle said. "We're all kind of miserable, but also kind of together."

Buehrle says she's not sure what it'll be like when she gets back on the ice, but she misses skating and will love getting back to the sport that she has trained so hard for.

"I'm expecting to cry a lot because I just missed it," Buehrle said. "I really don't know. I have no idea how it's gonna be, but even if I have a terrible practice I'm just gonna take away from this whole experience and never take a moment on the ice for granted because it can just all be taken away from you faster than you can imagine."


Coheed And Cambria - Neverender: NWFT w/ Special Guests Chon

Coheed And Cambria - Neverender: NWFT w/ Special Guests Chon
Friday, October 2, 2020 at 8:00 PM

The Fillmore Miami Beach

1700 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, Florida 33139 United States

Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren
Friday, June 12, 2020 at 8:00 PM

The Fillmore Miami Beach

1700 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, Florida 33139 United States