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Rural America faces a vaccine shortage due to open spaces and a lack of pharmacies.

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Rural America faces a vaccine shortage due to open spaces and a lack of pharmacies.

 

In January, Charlome Pierce looked for a place where her 96-year-old father could get a COVID-19 vaccine but found none near their home in Virginia. Surry County’s sole medical center had none, and the last pharmacy in an area of about 6,500 inhabitants and a land mass larger than Chicago had closed years before.

Some locals took a ferry across the James River to cities like Williamsburg to get their shots. Others rode for over an hour past farms and woods to enter a medical center that offered the vaccine (the county received its first stoplight in 2007).

Pierce learned of a state-run vaccine event 45 minutes away, but there were no more appointments open, which was probably for the better because the wait there could last up to seven hours.

“That would have been a difficult task,” she said, citing her father’s health issues and regular bathroom visits. “I couldn’t have made him sit in a car waiting for anything to happen. We aren’t in a developing country.”

Getting vaccinated remains a problem for inhabitants in “pharmacy deserts,” areas lacking pharmacies or well-equipped health centers, as the nation’s campaign against the coronavirus shifts from mass inoculation sites to drugstores and doctors’ offices. The federal government has partnered with 21 organizations that operate free-standing pharmacies or pharmacy facilities within grocery stores and other places to expand access.

More than 40,000 supermarkets, ranging from Hy-Vee and Walmart to Costco and Rite-Aid, are planned to participate, according to the Biden administration, and about 90% of Americans live within five miles of one.

However, there are several holes in the map: About 400 rural counties, with a total population of nearly 2.5 million residents, do not have a retail pharmacy that is part of the collaboration. More than a hundred of those counties have no pharmacy or have a pharmacy that has traditionally not offered services such as flu shots and may lack the necessary equipment or trained personnel to vaccinate customers.

According to Keith Mueller, director of the University of Iowa’s RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis, independent pharmacies that have historically served rural areas have been disappearing as a result of mail-order prescriptions and increased competition from chains like Walgreen’s and CVS that have more leverage to negotiate with insurance companies.

According to Mueller, whose research center collected the pharmacy data for the 400 counties, “there are a number of counties that will be left out” of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. “You have a large geography and very few citizens in the Western states in particular.”

The difficulty of getting a vaccine shot close to home is not confined to rural areas. According to a study published in February by the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and the West Health Policy Center, there is a shortage of medical facilities in some urban areas, especially for Black Americans.

According to the report, Black people were much more likely to have to drive more than a mile to reach a possible vaccine location, such as a pharmacy, a hospital, or a federally accredited health center. The home counties of cities like Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, and New Orleans made up one-third of those counties.

Furthermore, the study found that Black residents were slightly more likely than white residents to have to travel more than 10 miles to reach a possible vaccination site. The counties were mainly located in the southeastern United States, with Virginia having the most (16) and Texas having the fewest.

The lack of pharmacies and other medical facilities in several of the country’s rural areas illustrates health-care inequalities that have widened throughout the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted ethnic minorities and low-income people.

In Surry County, where about 40% of the population is Black, a former drug store has been converted into a café. Although no one knows when the Surry Drug Company closed, café co-owner Sarah Mayo recalls going there as a girl. She now drives 45 minutes to the nearest Walmart or CVS.

If the pharmacy still worked, Mayo, 62, said, “I don’t know if more people will take the vaccine.” “At the very least, you’d have a local expert who might clarify the benefits and drawbacks.”

Residents of Surry County could also pick up drugs at Wakefield Pharmacy in Sussex County before it closed in November. Russell Alan Garner, the owner, decided to retire but couldn’t find a buyer.

“We’ve evolved into dinosaurs,” Garner observed.

Surry County officials noticed vaccinations arriving in other areas of Virginia in January, where there were more people or more coronavirus cases. They started to put pressure on state officials, fearful that doses would not arrive for months, if at all.

Surry joined with surrounding communities in a letter to the governor’s office, expressing concerns about vaccine “equity,” especially for low-income and other vulnerable populations. Some of those communities stated that funds had been reallocated to support vaccination efforts.

“The thing about living in a rural community is that you’re always ignored by everyone from lawmakers to agencies,” county Supervisor Michael Drewry said.

In a letter to the regional health district, Surry County Administrator Melissa Rollins stated that traveling outside the county was not feasible for most people. Surry was willing to fund a mass vaccination venue, according to her, and she had formulated a scheme to hire people who could administer vaccinations and ensure that qualified residents were prepared.

The first clinic in Surry County took place on Feb. 6 at the high school in Dendron, a small town. The school district was in the process of inoculating teachers and other staff members when officials from the county and regional health districts learned of the extra doses, causing a rush to spread the message.

Surry already had a waiting list of registered residents after conducting a survey to identify vulnerable residents. Since internet service is spotty, it used its emergency warning telephone system.

Pierce got the call and went out with her boyfriend, Charles Robbins, right away. It was a 20-minute drive and a two-hour wait to get to the high school. Pierce, 64, was one of about 240 people who received a shot that day.

In the county, three more vaccine clinics have been held. As of March 2, the regional health district had given out 1,080 doses. Although several hundred people got their shots outside of the county, this number represents the majority of doses given to county residents.

A total of 1,800 people in the county have received at least one dose. That was nearly twice the state’s average rate and accounted for around 28% of the population. Around half of those who have received vaccinations are African-American.

Vaccine delivery has been dependent on population and COVID concentrations, according to the Virginia Department of Health. However, the department stated that it is considering changes to achieve greater regional and ethnic equality in the future.

In late February, Pierce and her father were delighted to receive their second shots. However, she said that Surry’s rural nature put it at a disadvantage in the beginning.

“I have close friends who are important staff who have had to travel up to an hour for a shot,” she said. “You shouldn’t be judged solely on the basis of your zip code.”

However, for many people in rural areas, driving long distances is a way of life, according to Bruce Adams, a cattleman and commissioner for Utah’s San Juan County, which is nearly the size of New Jersey and borders the Navajo Nation.

Adams, 71, said, “I got both shots and had to travel 44 miles roundtrip for each one to a public health facility.” “I don’t think it’s any more of a challenge than going to the doctor, the dentist, or having your hair cut.”

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Cool start with temps in 50s Friday, afternoon highs reach low-80s

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Cool start with temps in 50s Friday, afternoon highs reach low-80s

St. Louis weather from FOX 2 Meteorologist Jaime Travers:

ST. LOUIS – Another cool start with temperatures in the 40s and 50s Friday morning. It will get warmer in the afternoon with plenty of sunshine and breezy winds. High temperatures will be in the low 80s. Clouds increase in the late afternoon and evening from the west as a weak cold front approaches the region.

Friday night into early Saturday, a spot shower or two will be possible with this front. Overnight lows will be in the 50s.

Saturday will have plenty of sunshine and be a touch cooler with highs in the mid-70s. Sunday will be warmer with highs in the mid-80s. The warming trend continues into Monday with highs near 90.

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Lawsuit over Rams relocation returns to court in St. Louis today

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Lawsuit over Rams relocation returns to court in St. Louis today

ST. LOUIS – A pre-trial conference over the Rams relocation lawsuit scheduled for this morning has been postponed. It is unclear as to why.

The Missouri Supreme Court refused to block an order Thursday morning from Judge Christopher McGraugh, who is presiding over this case. That order requires Rams owner Stan Kroenke, the NFL, and five other team owners to turn over financial records that could be used for a jury to determine punitive damages if this case goes to trial and Kroenke loses. For Kroenke, those records include other sports franchises, management groups, a winery, and other businesses as well as financial details about Kroenke’s wife Ann Walton Kroenke. She is a multi-billionaire heir to the Walmart fortune.

That legal blow for Kroenke came after Judge McGraugh rejected a motion by lawyers last week for Kroenke and the other defendants to dismiss the case altogether. Last month, McGraugh refused to move the case out of St. Louis.

The Rams moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles back in 2016. St. Louis City, St. Louis County and the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority sued the next year. The suit alleges that the Rams and the NFL broke the league’s relocation rules and misled the public with the move. The suit also claims the Rams departure cost St. Louis City millions of dollars in amusement, ticket and earning taxes.

The civil trial in this case where monetary damages could be assessed is set to begin on January 1, 2022.

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Hell’s Kitchen winner meets with fans at Blue Duck before moving to Vegas

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Hell’s Kitchen winner meets with fans at Blue Duck before moving to Vegas

ST. LOUIS – From small-town Union, Missouri, to the winner of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen season 20. Trenton Garvey, or Trent, as most people call him, had to keep a big secret for two years.

“It’s amazing, it’s insane. I’m super grateful. It’s a relief to finally let everyone know. I feel like I’ve lived a double life,” Garvey said.
He’s been working as the executive chef of the Blue Duck in Maplewood for about three years. He started at the original The Blue Duck location in Washington, Missouri, before getting this position.

He’s spent three years with an hour commute to and from work each day. Now, as the winner of Hell’s Kitchen, he’s taking his talents west to Las Vegas as part of his prize package from Hell’s Kitchen.

“My role is going to be head chef out there, so I’m going to be running the pass, helping run the kitchen and really just learning the ropes, and put myself in the learning position, which I’m really excited about, (and) understanding the structure the new facets of a $20 million a year restaurant,” Garvey said.

He said the support from the community has been overwhelming. He was in Las Vegas while The Blue Duck had a watch party for the season finale. He said the show hadn’t aired in Las Vegas yet, but he saw videos from his restaurant in Maplewood and couldn’t hold back the tears.

“I was like outside crying and tearing up. It’s just so incredible how many people have reached out. I just want to cook. I just want to make food. And I love to get to touch so many people by doing it, and getting to share that awesome journey with them because I didn’t expect to make it that far. Then when I won, I was like oh my god, this is not what I expected, but I’m so grateful for it.”

When Garvey found out his door was the one that opened on the show, signifying he was the winner, he also had a surprise under his belt. He proposed to his longtime girlfriend Macee on the show.

As the dinner bell rings in Vegas, so do wedding bells. The two have been engaged for two years since the show was originally filmed, but they could never tell anyone exactly how they got engaged, until now. 

With a big move to Las Vegas and a new job on the horizon, they haven’t set a wedding date yet but plan to soon.

“With all of the awesome money that comes along with the show, that’s also going to help catapult the wedding dreams for her because she wants it simple but I’m like you deserve an awesome wedding. So, I’ve been waiting to be able to provide something really incredible for her,” Garvey said.

Garvey and his fiancée Macee came back to The Blue Duck for a meet-and-greet Thursday night with fans.

“I’m just so happy he won, but from episode two or three, I was like there’s no way he won’t win. He’s obviously the best,” James Kathriner said.

He and his girlfriend are big fans of the show and frequent The Blue Duck at least weekly.

“It’s definitely upsetting that he’s leaving but I know The Blue Duck can handle it,” Caila McLaughlin, a fan of the show said. “I’m just hoping to get a picture with him and get his autograph so I can hold onto that when he leaves.”

While Garvey is moving to Las Vegas, he said his dream is to still come back to St. Louis and open a restaurant of his own, where it all started eventually.

“Now it’s just going and learning, gaining as much knowledge as I can from Gordon Ramsay, and the restaurant group. And then I just want to just keep moving forward,” Garvey said.

“Maybe open up a restaurant out there, and then just keep making it back to St. Louis is what I’m excited about.” 

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CDC leader adds people with risky jobs to COVID booster list

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CDC leader adds people with risky jobs to COVID booster list

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans, opening a major new phase in the U.S vaccination drive against COVID-19.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on a series of recommendations from a panel of advisers late Thursday.

The advisers said boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems. The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.

However, Walensky decided to make one recommendation that the panel had rejected.

The panel on Thursday voted against saying that people can get a booster if they are ages 18 to 64 years and are health-care workers or have another job that puts them at increased risk of being exposed to the virus.

But Walensky disagreed and put that recommendation back in, noting that such a move aligns with an FDA booster authorization decision earlier this week. The category she included covers people who live in institutional settings that increase their risk of exposure, such as prisons or homeless shelters, as well as health care workers.

The panel had offered the option of a booster for those ages 18 to 49 who have chronic health problems and want one. But the advisers refused to go further and open boosters to otherwise healthy front-line health care workers who aren’t at risk of severe illness but want to avoid even a mild infection.

The panel voted 9 to 6 to reject that proposal. But Walensky decided to disregard the advisory committee’s counsel on that issue. In a decision several hours after the panel adjourned, Walensky issued a statement saying she had restored the recommendation.

“As CDC Director, it is my job to recognize where our actions can have the greatest impact,” Walensky said in a statement late Thursday night. “At CDC, we are tasked with analyzing complex, often imperfect data to make concrete recommendations that optimize health. In a pandemic, even with uncertainty, we must take actions that we anticipate will do the greatest good.”

Experts say getting the unvaccinated their first shots remains the top priority, and the panel wrestled with whether the booster debate was distracting from that goal.

All three of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the U.S. are still highly protective against severe illness, hospitalization and death, even with the spread of the extra-contagious delta variant. But only about 182 million Americans are fully vaccinated, or just 55% of the population.

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Police shoot man in Eaton during exchange of gunfire

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Police shoot man in Eaton during exchange of gunfire

Eaton police officers shot a man after he fired at them Friday morning, according to a new release from the Weld County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities say they were responding to a disturbance in progress in the 1200 block of Aspen Court at 1:28 a.m. Friday. Eaton police officers were dispatched after callers said they could hear an argument between a man and woman.

When the police officers arrived at the scene at 1:32 a.m., they encountered a man with a gun, authorities said.

The man fired multiple rounds at officers, the news release said.

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Editorial: Older, at-risk Americans need vaccine boosters without having to lie

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FDA backs Pfizer COVID-19 boosters for seniors, high-risk

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are botching the communication of another vital order for public health and it is infuriating to watch.

However, that doesn’t mean that we should get out ahead of the CDC or the FDA and ignore their painstakingly cautious approach to booster shots for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Gov. Jared Polis’ heart is in the right place with his advice to older Coloradans that they lie to pharmacists to get their booster vaccine even if they don’t strictly meet the existing CDC or FDA guidelines for eligibility. But we cannot join him in calling for Coloradans to ignore the guidance set forth by this nation’s health experts.

That being said, we are frustrated and perplexed by the rollout of booster vaccines.

A CDC advisory panel said on Thursday that Pfizer boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents, and those between 50 and 64 who have underlying health problems. That is a far narrower distribution of the booster shot than what President Joe Biden has advocated for, and it puts us behind other nations like Israel and Great Britain where the third round of shots are going out to the general population.

We share Polis’ concerns that the CDC and the FDA are letting practical and not health considerations drive their decisions. Much of the opposition to recommending vaccines for a larger swath of the population centers around the fact that millions of Americans still don’t have their first vaccines and neither do people in most of the world, particularly poorer countries. We think those concerns are valid, but misplaced. The FDA and the CDC must focus on three things: Saving lives, preventing hospitalizations, and whether it is safe to get a third shot.

Polis and Dr. Richard Zane from the University of Colorado Health both told The Denver Post editorial board that the science behind the safety and efficacy of a booster shot as clear.

“We’ve been very unequivocal about the value of boosters and third doses. The data is without ambiguity. The experience is without ambiguity and we’re talking to you from the front lines,” Zane said, noting that UC Health has already provided many employees working in its hospitals with booster shots or third doses. “It has really been twofold: complete immunity for those who couldn’t mount a complete immunologic response and then protecting society, protecting health care workers, protecting first responders, protecting the workforce to be able to deliver health care, to deliver education, to be able to continue to recover economically.”

When the FDA approved the Pfizer booster shot on Wednesday, the board did have concerns about the size of the test study noting that only 300 people participated in the trials. But otherwise, the board did not express reservations about the safety or efficacy of the third shot at least six months from the first two.

So we’re left puzzling why the CDC and FDA wouldn’t open up the boosters to a broader segment of the population other than for reasons unrelated to health and safety. Only 55% of the nation has received their vaccines, but that is by choice, not because of a limited supply. Those who feel they need the booster shots should not have to lie to get the added protection.

The CDC should remember how poorly trying to ration supplies worked when it discouraged mask-wearing in early 2020 trying to preserve masks for first responders and health care workers. The backlash from that decision is still haunting us as we try to persuade folks to mask up.

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

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Denver weather: A fall Friday before weekend temperatures near 90

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Denver weather: A fall Friday before weekend temperatures near 90

Friday will be a lovely fall day ahead of a weekend warmup with potential record daily high temperatures.

According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, Denver will touch 77 degrees under sunny skies. The seasonal day will have light winds before cooling off to 49 degrees under the stars.

Saturday is forecasted to warm up to 85 degrees, nearing a record high of 91 degrees, recorded in 1998. It will be sunny and dry before cooling off to 52 degrees.

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Guest commentary: Afghan refugees need America’s compassionate spirit

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Guest commentary: Afghan refugees need America’s compassionate spirit

The desperate evacuation from Afghanistan jarred our conscience for good reason. For me, it’s because my own family was left behind in Vietnam after Saigon fell in 1975. We eventually fled on a boat and resettled in the United States. I was only 3 years old. Today, I’m a proud
American and work in our community as a physician. Even though I never served in the military, war has shaped my life story. What I’ve learned is that the power of America is not in our military might, but it is in the mighty hearts of the American people.

In the 1970s, courageous men and women from World Vision responded to the flood of Vietnamese refugees pouring out in rickety boats. This Christian humanitarian organization sent a ship to assist the refugees. While the world dismissed families like mine as a political problem, the World Vision crew saw us as human beings. Out in the South China Sea, they rescued my family, provided for our needs, and brought us to safety. The heroes of this rescue mission were also the countless Americans who donated financially. They helped a group of people most of them would never meet.

When my family was being resettled in America, a small Lutheran church in Fort Smith, Ark., welcomed us. They greeted us at the airport with warm smiles and nods that needed no translation. They drove us to our new home and paid the rent for six months. Volunteers brought donated furniture, clothing, and food for my family. They also enrolled my older siblings into schools, signed us up for social services, and helped my father find a job. We don’t remember most of the volunteers’ names, but we’ll never forget their compassion.

Over time, our neighbors invited us to church. I could not understand what the elderly men and women taught during Sunday School. But their faces communicated clearly how much they cared. In elementary school, my teachers had to spend extra time with me because I struggled
with English. My friends’ parents drove me to football practice and academic competitions when I couldn’t get a ride. When I applied to college and didn’t have a typewriter, the school’s secretary typed my handwritten scribbled mess. When I got into Harvard but had no money, scholarships paid for it. This pattern of kindness and generosity continued for years until I graduated from medical school.

As a skin cancer surgeon, I have the profound privilege of caring for our veterans. I’m particularly fond of Vietnam veterans because we are all products of the same war. This horrific trauma hijacked and forever changed our lives. For many, the losses are so great that we are still grieving decades later. We all suffered, but we are also survivors. All is not lost, and our friendships today are proof of that. War is never final.

My life story has been shaped by Americans who did not speak Vietnamese or understand my culture. They did not have all the answers to a “refugee problem.” They only saw my family as individuals with needs. And they did what they could. They cared, and they responded. These Americans did not have military or political authority, so they exercised the greatest power we possess as humans. And that is the power to love their neighbors…even when they are strangers. My journey from the ashes of war eventually evolved into an adoption story, when the compassion of America made me one of her own.

Even though military engagement in Afghanistan is over, we can still help the survivors. In the coming weeks, Afghan airlift evacuees will be settled here in Colorado. My medical practice, churches, businesses, and neighbors are partnering with Lutheran Family Services Rocky
Mountains. We hope to welcome them with the same kindness that my family received. Together, we can write our collective story with the enduring faith that good will always prevail.

Perhaps one of these Afghan children could find a safe home, grow up, and become a doctor in our very own community. Wouldn’t that be an incredible story?

Dr. Vinh Chung, is a former refugee and proud American. He is a surgeon at Vanguard Skin Specialists. His memoir Where the Wind Leads is available everywhere books are sold. To find out how you can help welcome refugees to Colorado, visit Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains.

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Colorado fall bucket list: 10 ways to celebrate the season, from hiking to apple-picking

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Colorado fall bucket list: 10 ways to celebrate the season, from hiking to apple-picking

Some places celebrate the coming of fall with pumpkin spice lattes. Not here.

In Colorado, we mark the changing of seasons with awe-inspiring gold leaves, bountiful apple and chile harvests, and the famous elk rut.

Here are 10 very Colorado activities to cross off your fall bucket list.

Snap a leaf-peeping selfie

Whether you’re experiencing the magic of leaf-peeping season by a scenic car ride, hike or mountain town getaway, don’t be ashamed to immortalize the moment with a picture or 10. After all, the brilliantly-colored gold and red leaves are fleeting. A photo will last you forever.

Andy Cross, The Denver Post

Part of Numina, the swamp exhibit at Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station Aug. 13, 2021. Convergence Station, Meow Wolf’s third permanent location, is set to open Sept. 17, 2021.

Be among the first to visit Meow Wolf Denver

After years of anticipation, psychedelic playground Meow Wolf finally opened its doors in Denver on Sept. 17. The four-story, 90,000-square-foot installation features the works of more than 100 Colorado artists. Hungry visitors will also find local eats on the menu. We have all the tips and tricks you need to know before you go, including routes to the obscure area where it’s located, parking information and where to eat and drink nearby ahead of your ticket time. Open 10 a.m.-10 p.m.Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. $45 for general admission ($35 for Colorado residents), $40 for children, seniors and military personnel ($30 for Colorado residents). 1338 1st St., Denver. meowwolf.com/visit/denver. 720-792-1200.

Isla Anderson, 8, places her hand ...

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Isla Anderson, 8, places her hand picked apples into her cart as she picks her own apples at Adam’s Apple Orchard & Country Store on Sept. 19, 2021 in Ault.

Go apple-picking

It’s been nearly a decade since the apple harvest was as bountiful as it is this year, according to Colorado growers, so there’s no better time to visit an orchard and collect some apples for seasonal pies and jams. Our top apple-picking places are Adam’s Apple (42135 Weld County Road 43, Ault) and Ya Ya (6914 Ute Highway, Longmont). Visit adamsapplecolorado.com and yayafarmandorchard.com for reservation information.

James Peak, one of the Continental ...

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

James Peak, one of the Continental Divide peaks that explode into view for motorists at the Genesee overlook on Interstate 70, is a great thirteener for hiking. And if you’re feeling fit, it’s adjacent to two other thirteeners just to the south, Parry Peak and Mount Bancroft. This photo was taken from Genesee with a telephoto lens.

Hike a 13er

Fall is an amazing time to hike in Colorado, as summer crowds dissipate and cooler weather rolls in. Because some of the state’s peaks at 14,000-plus feet are already getting a dusting of snow, we recommend tackling a thirteener to close out the season. Here are three near Denver worth hiking.

Eric Hernandez, an employee at Milgerber ...

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

Pueblo chiles are meatier and spicier than Hatch chiles, which make them great for use in hot sauces, salsas and other dressings.

Stock up on Pueblo chiles

Forget Hatch: Late September into October is the best time of year to find Pueblo’s signature chile peppers. These homegrown peppers are meatier and spicier than their rivals to the south, making them a favorite for local chefs to put in hot sauces, salsas and other dressings. Buy ‘em and try ‘em at the Pueblo Chile and Frijoles Festival Sept. 24-26, or find them at Whole Foods stores, farmers markets and roadside stands thereafter.

Get festive

Whether it’s corn mazes and pumpkin patches or Oktoberfest and Halloween celebrations, the Colorado calendar is rife with fall-themed festivals for fun-loving residents of all ages. A couple of our favorites include Fall Festival at Anderson Farms in Erie (Sept. 22-Oct. 31; andersonfarms.com), Estes Park Elk Fest (Oct. 2-3; visitestespark.com), and Paranormal Palace (Oct. 30-31; denverhalloween.org).

Denver's Prost Brewing Co. is deeply ...

Provided by Andy Petek

Denver’s Prost Brewing Co. is deeply influenced by German beer making tradition, evidenced in its name which means “cheers” in German. Its true-to-style Märzen is a medium-bodied, amber-colored lager with notes of toasted bread and a clean finish.

Drink an award-winning local beer

Fall is Märzen season, but there are plenty of other styles that pair well with the changing of seasons. Colorado breweries made a commendable showing at this year’s Great American Beer Festival, which honors beers that are always worth seeking out. Denver’s Our Mutual Friend Brewing Co. was the biggest winner this year, earning gold for its Australian pale ale Inner Light and silver for Biere Ovale, a mixed-culture beer. See the full list of GABF award winners here.

Guests sit around a private fire ring outside a glamping tent at the Royal Gorge Cabins at the Royal Gorge near Canon City.
Guests sit around a fire ring outside a glamping tent at the Royal Gorge Cabins at the Royal Gorge near Canon City. (Provided by Royal Gorge Cabins)

Glamp in the great outdoors

It might be too chilly for some to go camping this time of year, but those craving the great outdoors don’t need to worry at these glamping locations across Colorado. While locations like Lake George’s Puma Hills offer Australian sheepskin furs to keep visitors warm, others like the Royal Gorge Cabins near Cañon City offer accommodations with radiant heat concrete floors.

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Letters: Abortion battle in Texas crosses state lines

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Letters: Abortion battle in Texas crosses state lines

Abortion battle in Texas crosses state lines

The recent law that essentially bans abortions in Texas demands a discussion of the term “pro-life,” which typically means anti-abortion.

However, if taken literally, it would have additional components. For example, those who identify as such would acknowledge that even before birth, children need the basic necessities of life (prenatal care) that mothers living in poverty are often unable to provide. It, therefore, becomes the role of government to do so. In addition to the obvious needs of food, clothing and shelter, affordable health care, child care, and quality education are also essential and require significant government spending. However, conservatives have long opposed such expenditures and describe them disparagingly as “socialism,” “welfare state,” and “wasteful spending.”

Those who respect life would follow the advice of epidemiologists who maintain that vaccines, masks and social distancing are essential to stemming the COVID pandemic that has ravaged the nation for 18 months.

Furthermore, one who values life would recognize the work of scientists who have concluded that climate change is real, is an existential threat to life on earth, and is primarily caused by human activity by the burning of fossil fuels.

Being truly pro-life requires far more than opposition to abortion.

Frank Tapy, Denver


Re: “Colorado remains a safe haven for abortion,” Sept. 5 commentary

President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Vicki Cowart’s opinion piece is truly self-serving. Planned Parenthood (a misnomer, if ever there was one) is not a “health care” option for women; rather, it is a death chamber for fetuses in the womb, which should be the safest place on earth. It is also a gold mine for those involved in killing the unborn and selling or donating their body parts for immoral medical research.

Even Texas isn’t safe, as a judge there prohibited one group — Texas Right to Life — from filing suit against Planned Parenthood employees under the new law that protects babies after six weeks of gestation.

We won’t be a civilized society until we protect all our citizens, born and unborn. Never forget that we were all in the womb at one point, and we should thank pro-life moms for the privilege of being born. We must not deny this privilege to others.

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