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Why Subscribing to a Car Equates Safety Plus Self-Reliance

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Why Subscribing to a Car Equates Safety Plus Self-Reliance

The world is slowly coming to terms with the new normal that the pandemic has introduced to us this year. While distancing ourselves is vital, we still need to resume our daily lives. The most significant challenge that has arisen for a large number of people is to find a safe and secure way of travelling. Previously, different modes of public transportation proved convenient for short as well as long-distance travel. But, now until there is a definite cure for Covid-19, it is not safe to journey with many people.

Instead, it would help if you opted for subscription cars in case you do not have a personal vehicle. Having such a car will provide you with all the benefits that come with one’s vehicle, only in a much more cost-effective way. Not only will you able to enjoy a sense of safety using such an option, but you will also be self-reliant in planning and taking any trip.

How does it offer Safety?

  • Private Travelling = Safe Travelling

Shifting to personal mobility is the need of the hour. While wearing masks and using hand-sanitizers is necessary, securing your travel should be your priority. Earlier travelling with people was regular, as no one ever cared about the safety aspect so much. However, now, since the Covid-19 virus is highly contagious, you must travel alone to keep all risk of transmission at bay. Self-driving should be followed as it allows social distancing. With the availability of long term vehicle hire, you can easily travel in a private car to avoid exposure of any kind.

  • Self Drive Option Over Driver-Ridden

In this scenario, if you think you can still hire a cab, you should reconsider your idea. When you travel using a hired cab, there is a risk of transmission through the driver by way of interaction or currency exchange. Also, in a cab, you can not be sure about the passenger travelling before you who could turn be a virus carrier. On the other hand, some car rental companies like Zoomcar provide self-drive cars on a subscription that allow you to travel all by yourself, so that chances of transmission are minimized furthermore.

  • Sanitization As Per Your Satisfaction

If you hire a subscribed vehicle, most companies thoroughly sanitize the car before delivering it to you. Further, since the vehicle will be with you for as long as the duration of your subscription period, you can sanitize it each time before taking any trip as per your satisfaction. Private long term car rental services assure you that the vehicle you are travelling in is free from virus and safe for your journey. With no sign of this virus ending anytime soon, you should consider such a service for the safety of your loved ones.

  • Secure all Travel Plans

There can be many situations which require you to travel inter-city—close cousin’s marriage, visiting sick grandparents or just visiting your parents. You will also need to make short-distance trips for the purchase of grocery supplies or to make an emergency visit to the hospital. Even for your business meetings in another city, there is the availability of business car rental long term services. It will be wise to travel with caution, no matter whether it is a short or long trip. Thus, availing a long term vehicle rental will secure your travelling plans.

Self-Reliance

While the current scenario necessitates the need to have a private vehicle, this is not the best time to invest in a car. Even otherwise, buying a car comes along with several other financial burdens like meeting with the cost of insurance premiums and repair and maintenance expenses.

On the other hand, the benefit of choosing long term vehicle hire service is that you can travel with self-reliance just as you would in your own vehicle, but in a much more cost-effective manner. Once you subscribe to a car for an extended period, say six months, all your travel plans during that period will be taken care of. You will not have to rely on public transport or any friend for making that sudden trip to the market, hospital, or office. You will have the car right outside your place, and you will be able to make any trip on your terms.

Another advantage of these cars is that you can opt for these cars on a monthly or annual basis depending upon your need. If you are unsure, avail the private monthly car rental services and extend your subscription if you want for further use.

Car Subscription: A Saviour during Crisis

Keeping in mind that precaution is better than cure, you should ensure travel safety. Car subscription services are making sure that you can fight the daily travel-related challenges easily. With long term vehicle rentals, all your frequent, emergency, and planned trips will stand secure. Avail subscription facility from any of the reliable companies like Zoomcar that offer you a wide range of cars, ranging from hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs. Depending upon the requirement, you can hire vehicles for as long as you need, so that you and your loved ones can travel with a sense of security.

Now, travel safely, and be self-reliant also!

Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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Passenger on JetBlue flight tried to storm cockpit, choke flight attendant with necktie, FBI says

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Passenger on JetBlue flight tried to storm cockpit, choke flight attendant with necktie, FBI says

BOSTON (WPRI/NEXSTAR) — A passenger on a JetBlue flight is facing federal charges after allegedly choking a flight attendant and trying to enter the cockpit on a recent flight, according to an FBI affidavit.

The flight, which originated in Boston, was about an hour out from landing in Puerto Rico when the attack occurred Wednesday.

Investigators say the passenger, identified as Khalil El Dahr in an FBI affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, became agitated when he was unable to make a call on his cell phone. A short while afterward, he ran toward the front of the plane yelling that he wanted to be shot, according to information obtained by an FBI investigator.

A flight attendant was able to intervene before El Dahr reached the cockpit door, per the affidavit. A member of the flight crew then opened the door to the flight deck, at which point El Dahr began again demanding to be shot.

The man also began choking the flight attendant attempting to keep him away from the cockpit by grabbing and pulling on the crew member’s tie.

Several crew members were eventually able to restrain the man using seat belt extenders and, as one witness noted, the very tie that belonged to the flight attendant, which was fastened around the man’s ankles.

The passenger now faces charges of interfering with a flight crew, according to the affidavit.

A representative for the San Juan field office of the FBI confirmed the incident but could not disclose additional details.

The Federal Aviation Administration said this week that the number of incidents involving unruly passengers was still “too high” despite dropping sharply amid the FAA’s announcement of a “zero-tolerance” policy, first enacted in January.

“Our work is having an impact and the trend is moving in the right direction. But we need the progress to continue. This remains a serious safety threat, and one incident is one too many,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a news release issued Thursday.

The FAA further said that reports of unruly passengers were still coming in at twice the rate they were reported at the end of 2020. Since January 2021, the agency has received reports of at least 4,385 such incidents, the majority of which involve passengers refusing to comply with mask mandates.

The FAA has also proposed over $1,100,000 in civil penalties (collectively) against some of those disruptive passengers since enacting its zero-tolerance policy.

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SLU doctor amasses 350k followers on hilarious TikTok account

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SLU doctor amasses 350k followers on hilarious TikTok account

ST. LOIUS – Dr. Benjamin Schmidt is a GI fellow at the SLU School of Medicine and he decided to combine his passion for film making and his career as a doctor to make some videos about being a doctor and educate people about all kinds of things.

Dr. Schmidt explained his inspiration to join TikTok out on the Lakeside Renovation and Design Weather Deck.

He has 350,000 TikTok followers and works to humanize doctors.

Click here to check out more of his videos.

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Getting ahead of the curve: A proactive approach to downsizing leads to a seamless sale in a great market

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Getting ahead of the curve: A proactive approach to downsizing leads to a seamless sale in a great market

Gene and Dorothy Lomme have a spacious, appealing ranch with a 3-car garage in one of the nicest neighborhoods in Centennial. The pair are in good enough health to keep enjoying it—but this weekend, they’re putting it on the market with help from their Realtors, The Steller Group.

“The kids are asking, ‘Who’s going to have Christmas?,’” says Dorothy Lomme.

“We love it so much,” she adds. Nevertheless, the couple started looking at retirement communities three years ago and were prompted along when she took a spill and broke her hip.

The Lommes, married 65 years, are off to Wind Crest, a senior living community in Highlands Ranch. The pair carefully studied the options there, taking note of the fact that unit availabilities in Wind Crest and other senior communities can’t be taken for granted in this market—something that’s urged them to move now, rather than wait.

Steller agent Blair Bryant says the market couldn’t be better for sellers than it looks to be this fall.

“Last weekend, the level of activity reminded me of last spring,” Bryant says. The lull that agents had talked about during midsummer never really brought anything close to a balanced market, and home inventory in the Denver area has now dropped beneath a paltry 2,000 available homes.

“People are having to compete for homes,” he adds. That looks all the more competitive in Mira Vista, the Lommes’ neighborhood of just 93 homes, wrapped in the rich resources of South Suburban Parks and Recreation, including the golf course, Kettle and Medema Parks, along with Lifetime’s huge pool/ fitness/tennis center; all served by well-rated schools including nearby Newton Middle School with a brand-new campus.

The Lommes’ ranch—four bedrooms, over 2,000 sq. feet plus added finish in the basement—has a unique floor plan by Genesee Company, a smaller well-regarded builder that only created five ranch plans in the entire enclave. Theirs has a very private feel, looking into a wooded gulch between homes; but the home site is relatively low maintenance.

It’s had recent remodeling and needed very little work, but The Steller Group, experts in these senior moves, supplied its contractors for some tasks needing to be done—something for which the Lommes are particularly grateful, in a market where finding any help is difficult.

Steller’s Bryant, with loads of experience in these sales, praises the Lommes for their proactive approach to downsizing—doing their research early, and getting ahead of the process of decluttering ahead of the sale.

Their ranch comes on the market this weekend at $765,000 (Steller can arrange a showing at 720-443-2804).

Meanwhile, Dorothy Lomme says the couple is grateful they waited until now to move, so they were able to stay in their very private surroundings during the height of the pandemic.

Steller’s next free seminar on downsizing is set for this Tuesday, Sept. 28, 9:30 to 11 a.m., at Southglenn Library. You can sign up for that, as well as for a 4-part webinar on downsizing, at DenverSeniorSeminars.com.

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

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Rolling Stones send message to fans ahead of Sunday concert at Dome

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Rolling Stones send message to fans ahead of Sunday concert at Dome

ST. LOUIS– The Rolling Stones kick off their “No Filter Tour” at the Dome at America’s Center on Sunday and the band has a special message for fans about keeping safe at their upcoming shows.

This weekend’s concert launches the band’s 13-date tour. It will be the band’s first St. Louis show since 2006 when they performed at the Savvis Center, now known as Enterprise Center.

The Instagram video says they are excited to be back on tour and want it to be a safe night. The band members say they’ve all been vaccinated and are encouraging fans to get the vaccine too.

In the video, Mick Jagger says if you aren’t vaccinated, get tested. He also says if you have symptoms don’t come to the show.

The band’s “No Filter Tour 2020” was going to include a June 2020 show at the Dome at America’s Center, but because of the pandemic, they had to take an unscheduled break and relaunch the tour. After the unscheduled break, the tour relaunches this weekend at the Dome at America’s Center.

The Rolling Stones have been touring since 1964, and this is the Stones’ first tour without late drummer Charlie Watts. The band announced this summer that the longtime drummer was ill and would be sitting out the tour. He died last month, not long after the announcement. Watts is being replaced on this tour by Steve Jordan, known for his role in the John Mayer trio.

The St. Louis City ordinance requires wearing a mask indoors. However, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test is not required to enter the Dome at America’s Center. The concert begins Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

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Colorado’s urban-rural divide put to the test in new 8th Congressional District

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Colorado’s urban-rural divide put to the test in new 8th Congressional District

Outside Eddie Braly’s window, empty fields roll northward from the edge of Adams County into Weld County, marking the spot where Denver’s northern suburbs seem to finally fade into farmland that’s dotted with grain elevators and oil pumpjacks.

Braly, a 10-year resident of Thornton’s North Creek Farms subdivision, said he and his wife “bought the view on purpose,” but he’s under no illusion it’s going to stay this way.

Nor will Colorado’s soon-to-be-formed 8th Congressional District, a mashup of fast-growing suburban neighborhoods that ooze into prime agricultural land and high-yield oil and gas territory between Greeley and Commerce City.

“At some point, the cities will grow together in a Dallas-Fort Worth type of way,” said Braly, whose neighborhood likely will be swept into the new district.

Via the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission

The third map of new proposed congressional boundaries was released on Sept. 23, 2021.

Colorado’s newest congressional district, which will become active for the 2022 election and contain exactly 721,714 people, is being drawn up due to the state’s rapid growth over the last 10 years. The latest 8th District map was released Thursday. It still must be finalized by the state’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission and sent to the Colorado Supreme Court by Tuesday; the court is expected to approve it in December.

The supercharged growth north of Denver will undoubtedly stoke simmering political and cultural tensions, often highlighted in the state’s urban-rural divide, and hand Colorado’s newest member of Congress the formidable task of stitching together the 8th District’s divergent interests.

The new district will also have the heaviest concentration of Latinos — nearly four of every 10 residents — among Colorado’s congressional districts, according to 2020 Census data compiled by the redistricting commission. And that segment of the population is only projected to grow.

Long-time Weld County resident Terry Wiedeman, who farms corn and sugar beets on 650 acres outside Gilcrest, worries whether anything can stop the impending wave of development. He’s already seen farmland around him steadily overtaken by homes and shopping centers over the last 50 years.

“Eventually there won’t be any farms in this area,” Wiedeman said. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Add to all of that the fact that the new district pulls together two counties — Weld and Adams — that lean away from the other on the blue-red political spectrum. Two-term Adams County Commissioner Steve O’Dorisio said finding common ground will be a challenge.

“Whoever represents this 8th Congressional District has their work cut out for them,” he said.

Colorados urban rural divide put to the test in new 8th

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Farmer Terry Wiedeman checks the moisture in his corn silage as he dumps it into piles at a feedlot on Sept. 21, 2021, in Gilcrest. His silage is a high-quality feed for cattle. Wiedeman has run TWC Farms near Gilcrest for decades and has been a farmer his whole life.

Rapid growth

The last time Colorado added a congressional district — the 7th — was 20 years ago. It currently splits much of Adams County’s big cities with the 6th District. Once established, the 8th District will cover just about all of Adams County’s significant population centers.

Weld County is currently in the 4th Congressional District, a conservative district represented by Republican Rep. Ken Buck.

“There’s excitement to have an Adams County-anchored congressional district,” said state Sen. Faith Winter, a Democrat who represents Thornton, Northglenn, Federal Heights and a portion of Westminster. “Even if the (new congressperson) doesn’t come from Adams, they have to pay attention to the votes.”

And those votes are becoming more plentiful with every passing year.

Data from the 2020 Census showed Weld County was the No. 2 county in Colorado for growth over the last decade — trailing only Broomfield — with a more than 30% gain in residents. Projections from the state demographer’s office show both Weld and Adams counties, which make up the bulk of the 8th District, continuing their population surge.

1632503237 674 Colorados urban rural divide put to the test in new 8th

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Heavy traffic moves along State Highway 52 at rush hour near the Silverstone subdivision in Frederick on Sept. 21, 2021.

“We are forecasting the fastest growth in Weld and Adams over the next decade,” state demographer Elizabeth Garner said.

In raw numbers, Adams County’s population will leap from nearly 520,000 to about 613,000 in 2030, while Weld County will add nearly 100,000 people to the 331,500 it has today. Most of that growth, demographers say, will happen in the new congressional district.

Starting out, the 8th Congressional District should be one of the most competitive in Colorado. Though registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 12,000 voters out of nearly 430,000 total, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 1.7% in the 2016 presidential contest, according to an analysis from the redistricting commission.

However, placing populated areas of Adams and Weld counties together for the first time could make for some strange bedfellows. Even within Weld County itself, the clash of old and new is revealing itself in the 8th District’s future footprint.

Matt Boddy just moved out of a townhouse in Broomfield to a newly built single-family home in the Silverstone subdivision in Frederick, a neighborhood that sits a mile east of Interstate 25 on Colorado 52. Builders haven’t even broken ground on hundreds more planned homes in Silverstone, along with retail space.

1632503237 565 Colorados urban rural divide put to the test in new 8th

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Matt Boddy stands outside of his new house in the Silverstone subdivision in Frederick on Sept. 21, 2021. Boddy, who grew up in Colorado, was excited to be able to buy a house after living in a townhome in Broomfield.

It’s a scene that’s mushrooming along the I-25 corridor in nearby Dacono and Firestone, too.

“I just wanted to get into a house while prices are still reasonable,” Boddy said, standing on his front porch last week while construction crews framed up homes on his street. “I’m definitely not a city guy — I like it less crowded and more quiet.”

A district divided?

Just 40 miles northeast of Boddy’s house, at the likely very northern end of the new 8th District, people live a far more rural life, where center-pivot irrigation equipment soaks farm fields and cattle sun themselves on grazing land and at feedlots.

Jeff Schwartz, a retired doctor who has lived in his 120-year-old Weld County home just outside Greeley since 1993, said development along I-25 has not only brought more traffic and noise but also changed the political complexion of the long-red county.

“Look at the map and it’s all blue up and down I-25,” he said. “It’s changing the whole state and the whole attitude.”

Schwartz referenced a movement that arose earlier this year calling for a potential ballot measure to break Weld County off from Colorado and merge it with its conservative and rural northern neighbor, Wyoming. Short of that, he said, Adams and Weld counties should keep a respectful distance when it comes to politics.

“I don’t know if anyone in the northern suburbs of Denver knows at all what’s going on up in Greeley,” he said. “They need to leave me alone and I’ll leave them alone.”

Farmer Terry Wiedeman and his crew ...

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Farmer Terry Wiedeman and his crew use a corn forage harvester to pulverize corn, stalks and leaves into silage, which was then put into a semitruck on Sept. 21, 2021, in Gilcrest.

Wiedeman, the Gilcrest farmer who also owns a real estate company and runs farm equipment auctions, said a Weld County secession “may not be a bad idea.”

“Our interests in Weld County are not represented by (the state) government,” he said.

He said there is too often a disconnect between the people who grow and process food and produce energy in rural parts of the state, and those who consume it in urban areas. Weld County is Colorado’s top oil and gas producing county and Thornton and other Adams County communities have a history of fighting drilling near homes.

“They gotta realize in the cities that you gotta allow production so that we can make the products you use every day,” Wiedeman said.

Whoever the new congressperson for the 8th District is, he said, he or she should be able to bridge the divide “if they have common sense.”

1632503237 517 Colorados urban rural divide put to the test in new 8th

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Farmer Terry Wiedeman, left, and his crew take a break for lunch in the cornfield during silage harvest on Sept. 21, 2021, in Gilcrest.

Weld and Adams counties have a long history of economic cooperation but “differing political philosophies do exist,” said Rich Werner, CEO of Upstate Colorado Economic Development in Greeley. He feels the redistricting commission created a map “that will perpetuate the urban-rural divide not alleviate it.”

“With all the attention and support being given to assist our rural communities, it seems counterintuitive to create a hub-and-spoke map that ensures a metro Denver urban voice in six out of eight districts,” he said. “The concern of using the urban density to fill in multiple congressional districts will perpetuate the likelihood that candidates come from the denser areas of those particular districts.”

Latinos on the rise

So far, only State Rep. Yadira Caraveo has declared her candidacy for the 8th District seat. No Republicans have jumped into the race but are likely to do so once the final boundaries of the district are established.

If Caraveo is elected, the Thornton Democrat and pediatrician would be the first Latina to represent Colorado in Congress.

“It’s a district that is driven by suburban moms and Latinos,” said statehouse colleague Winter, who backs Caraveo’s bid.

The state demographer’s office projects the Latino population in Adams County to surge nearly 30% over the next 10 years, to 284,000. In Weld County, the leap will be even more dramatic: a nearly 50% jump over the next decade.

By 2030, both counties together will account for just over a quarter of Colorado’s projected 1.7 million or so Latinos, with 436,000.

Aislin Dominguez, an 18-year-old high school student who lives in the Aristocrat Ranchettes subdivision just northeast of Fort Lupton, said she would love to see a Latino congressperson in the 8th District.

“It would be great to have someone represent us,” she said.

Dominguez’s mostly Latino neighborhood is a grid of dirt roads with no sidewalks. Many residents own horses and other livestock. Peacocks wander the streets. Last week, a man holding a stick guided sheep and goats as they ate weeds on the side of the road.

1632503237 324 Colorados urban rural divide put to the test in new 8th

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Suahil Dominguez, who’s with her dog Jack, tries to get her daughter Aislin’s horse back into his enclosure on Sept. 22, 2021, near Fort Lupton. Dominguez and her family live in the Aristocrat Ranchettes, a small rural neighborhood made up of one-acre parcels near Fort Lupton.

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Whistleblower fraud allegations about Colorado air quality division “unsubstantiated,” report finds

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Whistleblower fraud allegations about Colorado air quality division “unsubstantiated,” report finds

State health officials said Friday morning that they don’t have enough guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency to know when to estimate whether “minor” polluters in Colorado exceed air quality limits on particulates, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

The Colorado Attorney General’s office released Friday an independent report on an investigation into a complaint filed by three whistleblowers in March. The report also found that claims of fraud and suppression were unsubstantiated, according to Shaun McGrath, director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s environmental programs.

The three, who worked for the state’s Air Pollution Control Division of CDPHE, said in that 14-page complaint in March that division director Gary Kaufman ordered managers to tell employees not to review or model estimated emissions at certain facilities for those gases and particulates less than 2.5 micrometers. All three contribute to unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone.

The employees alleged that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment was “suppressing information” and “approving air quality permits” that violated national air quality standards. Through the Maryland-based organization Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the whistleblowers said the state fosters a culture of approving permits for industrial polluters “at all costs” and to the detriment of public health.

Gov. Jared Polis and CDPHE Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan asked Attorney General Phil Weiser in April to investigate the whistleblowers’ allegations, and in July, state officials chose national legal firm Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP to lead the probe.

Ryan said Friday that the report highlighted that lack of federal guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA representatives did not immediately respond to request for comment.

“The report does illustrate the need for more scientifically sound criteria and better processes for when to model minor sources,” Ryan told The Post.

Kaufman is still the director of the Air Pollution Control Division, Ryan said.

That surprised Chandra Rosenthal, who is the Rocky Mountain Field Office director for PEER: “They’re really sticking by (Kaufman), huh?”

Rosenthal said state officials have known for years that employees had concerns about how smaller facilities are monitored, and acted after the whistleblower complaint went public.

Her nonprofit is considering whether to ask law enforcement officials to examine whether Kaufman broke any laws.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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Glenwood Caverns workers didn’t properly check girl’s seatbelts before fatal plunge, report finds

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Glenwood Caverns workers didn’t properly check girl’s seatbelts before fatal plunge, report finds

A 6-year-old Colorado Springs girl plunged more than 100 feet to her death at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park over Labor Day weekend because operators of the vertical drop thrill ride she was on did not properly check her seatbelts, according to a state investigation into the fatality.

Investigators found the girl, Wongel Estifanos, was actually sitting on the two seatbelts instead of wearing them across her lap, and the ride’s two newly hired operators never noticed even though they checked that everyone’s belt was fastened.

An alarm system warned of a problem, but the two workers weren’t trained well enough to know what to do about it, so one of them reset the system and sent the ride on its way, investigators with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s division of oil and public safety found.

Inspectors ordered the park to remain closed shortly after the Sept. 5 incident while outside trainers were brought in to retrain staff on how to safely operate the various rides there. It reopened nearly a week later but the Haunted Mine Drop ride remains closed.

Operators are responsible for “fastening and checking two separate seatbelts for each passenger prior to dispatching the ride,” the report says, noting an alarm system warned of a seatbelt problem. “Operators took several incorrect actions and reset the ride seatbelt monitors which allowed them to dispatch the ride.”

Estifanos died of multiple blunt force trauma from the fall, according to the Garfield County coroner. No other injuries were reported, officials have said, and the girl was found at the bottom of the ride’s mine shaft.

The nine-page report does not say who occupied the other five seats on the Haunted Mine Drop, but the girl was on vacation with her family at the time, officials have said. The state expects to issue violations and fines related to the incident but has not determined the extent.

The ride is equipped with two lap belts. The report describes one as using a special metal rod at the end that is affixed to a locking mechanism. The second is more akin to a seatbelt in a motor vehicle. Operations manuals for the ride say operators are expected to fasten both but do not tell them what to do if an error occurs.

Investigators said the manufacturer’s operating manual was not part of the workers’ training, nor is an explanation of the alarm system or what to do when there’s a problem.

The workers were apparently confused over whether the lap belts were actually across Estifanos’s lap when she was actually sitting on them, according to the report. No one from the previous ride had been sitting in one of the middle seats where Estifanos sat, so the seatbelt there had not been detached, investigators found.

Seatbelts are fastened even if there is no passenger in the seat so that the ride will operate, the report says. Operators are supposed to unfasten all the belts after each ride and passengers are unloaded so the next load of riders can be buckled in.

That didn’t happen for Estifanos’s ride, according to the report.

Instead, Estifanos sat atop the seatbelts and pulled the tail flap across her lap, making it appear as if she was buckled in.

“As Operator 1 tightened the seatbelts, the tail was pulled out of Ms. Estifanos’ hands, and Operator 1 did not notice that the seatbelts were not positioned across her lap,” the report says.

Because the belts on Estifanos’s seat had not been unfastened from the previous ride cycle, the alarm system showed an error. The operator went back to double-check all the rods and saw they were properly affixed.

The second operator arrived and, when told of the problem, unlocked the rods, went and removed them all, and then reinserted them “without understanding and resolving the actual issue — that Ms. Estifanos did not have the seatbelts across her lap.”

When the reset alarm system showed no more errors, the ride was activated. The operators didn’t notice Estifanos was missing until the ride platform returned about two minutes later, the report says.

Both workers were hired within weeks of the incident. The operator who activated the ride had been an employee for just two weeks, according to the report.

Jack Affleck, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park/Denver7

The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.

Caverns workers in the past were required to take a six-page exam showing they understood the ride they were to operate as well as its safety features, according to copies of the exam from a 2011 accident the state investigated. The report does not address whether workers are still required to take those tests.

The exam asked what procedures are to be followed if a worker feels a ride is unsafe and whether they’re authorized to unload passengers as a result. It also asked about the instructions operators must give to riders, as well as safety checks they must conduct of each rider, such as whether seatbelts are fastened correctly.

Dan Caplis, the attorney representing the Estifanos family, and officials at Glenwood Caverns could not be immediately reached Friday morning.

The ride was designed without shoulder harnesses in order to make it more exciting, The Denver Post has reported. The investigation concluded the ride operated properly and there was no equipment malfunction.

The Haunted Mine Drop ride only uses seatbelts and has no safety bar, according to a promotional video by Coaster Studios in May 2019 in which a park employee was interviewed. The safety belt system relies on a metal rod that is locked into place across the riders’ laps, according to the video.

Riders sit facing forward and raise their arms and legs at an operator’s direction and then the six-seat platform is released, plunging down through a mine-shaft-like tunnel. The ride takes about 2.5 seconds and drops 110 feet.

A counterweight and a braking system are used to slow the ride as it approaches the bottom, according to the video.

Ride designer Stan Checketts of Providence, Utah, has not responded to Denver Post efforts to contact him at his company, Soaring Eagle Zipline.

Checketts founded and later sold S&S Sansei, one of the biggest amusement ride design manufacturers in the world. The company has about 150 tower drop rides internationally — the latest in China — and none are without a shoulder harness.

A spokesman at S&S, which did not make or design the Haunted Mine Drop, said modern rides cannot operate if any of their safety features are not properly affixed, but did not say whether alarms could be overridden.

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Birthplace of modern mountain biking listed for $2.4M in Steamboat Springs

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Birthplace of modern mountain biking listed for $2.4M in Steamboat Springs

The iconic cone-shaped building on the corner of Yampa and 11th streets in downtown Steamboat Springs was once a wood-waste burner before being moved to become the home for Sore Saddle Cyclery and Moots Bicycles.

The 6,771-square-foot property is now for sale for $2.4 million, and it includes the three-story building where Moots, one of the first purpose-built mountain bike manufacturers in the country, got its start. There are also two additions that were built more recently.

The building is owned by Kent Eriksen and Bruce Alston, who teamed up in the late 1980s to provide a space where Eriksen’s Sore Saddle Cyclery business could expand into a year-round operation.

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House to vote on abortion rights as Roe v Wade is challenged

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House to vote on abortion rights as Roe v Wade is challenged

WASHINGTON — The House is voting Friday on legislation aimed at guaranteeing a woman’s right to an abortion, an effort by House Democrats to circumvent a new Texas law that has placed that access under threat.

The expected House passage is likely to be mostly symbolic, as Republican opposition will doom it in the Senate. But Democrats say they will do all they can to codify the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision after the Supreme Court recently allowed the Texas law banning most abortions in the state to take effect. The court will hear arguments in December in a separate Mississippi bid to overturn the landmark decision.

Codifying the Roe ruling would mean creating a right to abortion in federal law, a monumental change that would make it harder for courts and states to impose restrictions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that congressional action would make a “tremendous difference” in Democrats’ efforts to maintain access to abortion rights. She called the Supreme Court’s decision “shameful” and counter to its own precedent.

Pelosi said just ahead of the vote that it should “send a very positive message to the women of our country — but not just the women, to the women and their families, to everyone who values freedom, honors our Constitution and respects women.”

The vote is bound to fall mostly along party lines. Nearly every House Republican, including the few who favor abortion rights, is expected to vote against the legislation, which would supersede state laws on the subject, give health care providers the right to perform abortions and patients the right to receive them. Republicans argue it would prevent states from setting requirements like parental involvement and could weaken laws that allow doctors to refuse to perform an abortion.

The legislation “isn’t about freedom for women, it’s about death for babies,” said Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri. She said it would eliminate protections for women and girls who may be coerced into having abortions.

“It ends the life of a living human being with a plan and a purpose from God and who deserves to live,” Hartzler said.

The vote comes as Democrats have spoken boldly about fighting the Supreme Court — which has a more conservative tilt after Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed last year — but struggled privately to find an effective strategy. They control Congress by the slimmest of margins, including the evenly split 50-50 Senate, making the prospects of a successful legislative response difficult.

The party has split, in some cases, over how far Washington must go to preserve access to abortions. Liberal lawmakers backed by advocates of reproductive rights who helped power President Joe Biden to office want to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court to rebalance power, changing the rules if needed to lower the 60-vote threshold typically required in the Senate to advance legislation.

“Democrats can either abolish the filibuster and expand the court, or do nothing as millions of peoples’ bodies, rights, and lives are sacrificed for far-right minority rule,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. “This shouldn’t be a difficult decision.”

But other Democrats — Biden among them — have been wary of such a move.

Biden supports the House bill and called the court’s ruling on Texas an “unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights.” He has directed multiple agencies to conduct a government-wide effort to ensure women have abortion access and to protect health care providers. But he has not endorsed the idea of adding justices to the Supreme Court, instead forming a commission to study it.

The court’s decisions on abortion could prompt political tensions among Republicans, as well.

Former President Donald Trump was able to secure three new conservative Supreme Court justices because Republican leadership in Congress led by GOP leader Mitch McConnell paved the way. Now, as the court upheld the strict new Texas aw outlawing most abortions in the state, the political fallout will test the limits of that strategy.

Women and advocates of abortion rights are quickly mobilizing to take on not just those Republicans, but also the big businesses that backed them, aiming squarely at those that contributed to many of the Texas Republicans behind the abortion law.

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Biden: Budget talks hit “stalemate,” $3.5 trillion may take a while

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Biden: Budget talks hit “stalemate,” $3.5 trillion may take a while

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Friday that talks over his $3.5 trillion rebuilding plan have hit a “stalemate” in Congress as he made the case for his expansive effort to recast the nation’s tax and spending programs and make what he sees as sweeping, overdue investments.

Biden spoke at the White House as Democrats in the House and Senate are laboring to finish drafts and overcome differences between the party’s centrist and moderate factions. Despite efforts by the president and congressional leaders to show progress, Biden cast the road ahead as long and potentially cumbersome, even with upcoming deadlines.

“We’re getting down to the hard spot here,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “We’re at this stalemate at the moment.”

Biden said the process is “going to be up and down” but ”hopefully at the end of the day I’ll be able to deliver on what I said I would do.”

The president said his private meetings with some two dozen Democratic lawmakers this week in efforts to hasten progress and close the deal went well — describing the tone as collegial and with “no hollering.”

But as lawmakers raised objections over the sweep and scope of the plan, which is to be funded by higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, Biden said he tried to get them focused on priorities — what they can and can’t live with.

”It’s about paying your fair share, for lord’s sake,” Biden said. “There clearly is enough, from a panoply of options, to pay for whatever it is.”

In a stark reality check, Biden suggested talks could drag to the end of the year. “It’s just going to take some time,” he said.

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