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Hitmen let mom get child out before killing 7 in Juarez home, newspaper says

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Hitmen let mom get child out before killing 7 in Juarez home, newspaper says

Meth trafficking behind massacre, burning of bodies inside home on Division del Norte neighborhood, police say

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A group of sicarios allowed a woman to retrieve her 2-year-old son before murdering her brothers and some guests, then setting fire to their corpses inside a home in Juarez, Mexico, over the weekend, a newspaper reported.

The unidentified woman told El Diario she and a female friend had been consuming crystal meth inside the home, left momentarily to the store, then came back to find armed men holding people inside the house hostage. The woman told the newspaper the men let her get her child out but she couldn’t convince them to spare her brothers.

The gunmen killed five men and a woman inside the house Saturday after fatally wounding a seventh victim and injuring three others in the backyard, Chihuahua state police told Border Report on Monday. The attackers then set the six bodies inside the house on fire.

Drugs sales appear to be the motive behind the Saturday night attack, police said.

“A solid line of investigation points to the sale of drugs,” said state police spokesman Alejandro Rubalcava. “Investigators have compiled statements regarding drug sales in that home, specifically crystal methamphetamine.”

Juarez police investigate the scene where six men and one woman were shot to death inside the Division del Norte neighborhood. Six of the bodies were set on fire. (Border Report photo)

The spokesman said no arrests had been made as of late Monday morning. A total of 20 people were murdered between Friday and Monday in Juarez, a city used by two drug cartels – La Linea and Sinaloa – as a staging point for drugs into the United States and where domestic or in-house drug sales have skyrocketed in the past few years as well.

Residents of the Division del Norte neighborhood told KTSM they had repeatedly complained to police about drug activity at the home, but never got a response. Residents said a group of four or five men with guns and rifles arrived at the home late Saturday in a white Chevrolet Suburban before shots rang out.

Juarez police officials in the past have blamed drug cartels for attacks on civilians who police believe are involved in illegal activities and aren’t giving a cut to the cartels. Last month, members of one such organization allegedly burned cars in four junkyards and left a sign accusing the owners of selling stolen vehicles, El Heraldo reported. Authorities later arrested members of La Linea on arson charges.

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These are the remains of the home where seven people were killed in Juarez, Mexico, this past weekend. The bodies were set ablaze inside the house. (Border Report photo)

Last year, members of a criminal organization shot and cut off the hands of a man they accused of stealing auto parts, La Verdad reported. A sign warning other alleged thieves was left next to the man, who survived the assault. The warning was signed by the New Juarez Cartel.

Juarez has recorded more than 1,000 homicides this year, including 91 so far in September.

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Boat still stuck on the Mississippi’s Chain of Rocks after a week

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Boat still stuck on the Mississippi’s Chain of Rocks after a week

ST. LOUIS– A large sailboat is still stuck in the Mississippi River nearly a week since firefighters rescued two people from the vessel.

Bommarito Automotive Group Skyfox flew over the Chain of Rocks area of the Mississippi River this morning and spotted the boat still stuck as the current rushed by it.

The boat got stuck on the Chain of Rocks in the river last Tuesday afternoon.

There is a canal that allows boat traffic to bypass the chain. The vessel, a 44-foot sailboat, mistakenly went down the main river channel.

Last week, a tow company deployed three boats to recover the vessel stuck on the Chain of Rocks but determined they would need a barge and crane to safely move it. There was a concern the river current could take the rescue boats over the dam.

The tow company hoped the boat would have been retrieved Wednesday but it is still in the river.

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Colorado first state to require some health insurance plans to cover gender-affirming care

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Colorado first state to require some health insurance plans to cover gender-affirming care

Starting in 2023, health insurance plans covering about one-quarter of the market in Colorado will have to pay for gender-affirming care, some additional mental health services and pain-management alternatives like acupuncture.

The changes will affect plans sold on the individual and small group markets — so it won’t apply to people who get their insurance from large employers or government programs like Medicare.

Gender-affirming care is an umbrella term for services to transgender or nonbinary people, which can include hormone treatments, permanent facial hair removal, counseling, speech therapy, or surgery. Cisgender people sometimes also seek gender-affirming care, such as breast reconstruction after a mastectomy (though they may not think of it in those terms).

The state legislature would need to act in order to require large employers’ insurance plans to cover gender-affirming care.

Transgender people who have received gender-affirming care have lower rates of depression than those who were denied care, and are less likely to report thoughts of suicide.

Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway estimated the new benefits will cost about 64 cents per customer each month. Gov. Jared Polis said in a news conference that they will ultimately save money by reducing the odds of serious mental health problems in the future.

“I had to convinced this will save more than 64 cents per month,” he said.

The requirement that plans cover an annual mental health check-up and alternatives to opioids came from bills passed in the most recent legislative session, which also require large-group plans to offer the same coverage. The gender-affirming care requirements came from an administrative process, with the Division of Insurance consulting with stakeholders before asking the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for permission.

Sen. Brittany Pettersen, a Jefferson County Democrat, said the requirement to cover non-drug pain treatments, like acupuncture, will give patients options to avoid the risk of addiction from opioids. Some studies have found acupuncture provides pain relief, though debate is ongoing about how much of the improvement is due to a placebo effect.

“For decades, we had a system that incentivized overprescribing,” she said. Doctors “often talk about, ‘This (opioid medication) is the only thing covered by insurance.’ That is unacceptable.”

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Gabby Petito autopsy update expected today

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Gabby Petito autopsy update expected today

(NewsNation Now) — A Wyoming coroner is expected to update the public on Gabby Petito’s autopsy Tuesday afternoon.

Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue has not disclosed the 22-year-old vlogger’s cause of death, but did rule it was a homicide.

Petito vanished while on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie in a converted camper van. The trip was well-documented on social media until it abruptly ceased, allegedly somewhere in Wyoming. The couple documented most of their trip, which started in July, on a YouTube Vlog called “VAN LIFE”.

Petito, 22, was reported missing Sept. 11 by her parents after she did not respond to calls and texts for several days. Petito’s body was found Sept. 19 just outside Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Blue said he will discuss the autopsy at 2:30 p.m. ET. NewsNation will live stream the press conference in the player above.

It has been weeks since any firm new details emerged in the case as authorities search for Petito’s boyfriend. Brian Laundrie’s parents say they last saw him Sept. 13 when they said he took the car to a 24,000-acre Florida reserve. He was reported missing Sept. 17.

Despite searching for nearly a month in the Carlton Reserve, police have not found him or even said they’ve found clues.

“We need to find something,” North Port police Officer Josh Taylor told NewsNationNow.com Friday. “I think there’s so much attention on this. I don’t know that this case would ever get to be a cold case. We’ll continue to search. You know, we could be searching that Carlton Reserve and nearby lands for a long, long time.”

The FBI has issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie. He is wanted for “use of unauthorized access device” related to his activities following Petito’s death. The FBI says he used a debit card and a PIN to access two bank accounts Aug. 30 and Sept. 1.

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Ponzi scheme payback: Fraudsters ordered to pay $1.5M back to Missouri investors

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Sex offender accused of exposing himself near Edwardsville High School

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Scottsdale, Arizona man and affiliated security service companies have been ordered to pay restitution for defrauding investors from the Kansas City, Missouri area through a Ponzi scheme.

The Missouri Secretary of State Securities Division found the scheme promised investors higher performance on their retirement savings in the amount of a 10-12% annual rate of return.

Authorities said John D. Myers and Daniel S. Madasz Sr. convinced victims to invest in alternative investments in the form of illiquid and risky promissory notes to fund the growth and expansion of their fledgling businesses, Skytec Security Services and Skytec Service KC.

However, once Myers and Madasz received money from investors, they misappropriated the funds for their own benefit and used the money to pay earlier investors.

Missouri investors lost more than $1 million as a result of the scheme. Most investors received virtually none of their investments back.

Missouri’s Securities Division ordered Myers and the companies to pay $600,000 in civil penalties, and more than $1.5 million in restitution including interest and to pay investigation costs.

Meanwhile, Madasz is currently incarcerated in the state of Kansas for securities fraud committed during the same period of time with investors in Kansas.

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17-year-old dies in Centennial Park; Swansea police investigating

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Car strikes concrete post, woman dies in crash early Saturday in St. Louis

SWANSEA, Ill. – Swansea police detectives, the St. Clair County Coroner’s Office, and Illinois State Police are investigating the overnight death of a 17-year-old girl.

According to a police spokesperson, officers were called to Centennial Park along North Belt East around 1:30 a.m. for a person not conscious and not breathing.

Information was provided to dispatchers at the time indicating the teenager had suffered a possible overdose.

Swansea police used a defibrillator to try and keep the young woman alive. Firefighters and EMTs arrived soon thereafter but they were unable to save her.

The 17-year-old’s identity has not been disclosed, pending notification of family members.

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Two Colorado spots make it on The New York Times’ 2021 best restaurants list

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Two Colorado spots make it on The New York Times’ 2021 best restaurants list

In a time of such unprecedented struggle in the hospitality sector, naming any “best restaurants” can be tricky, if not altogether beside the point.

But The New York Times on Tuesday made its attempt at a national “Restaurant List” for 2021 — during a year when many dining establishments have shuttered from the immediate effects of the pandemic, and many others have faced crippling staffing shortages that underscore a larger reckoning with the whole labor system.

The Times’ 50-restaurant list is meant to guide diners as they explore restaurants again after 19 months of closures and restrictions in place, it says. The list includes American classics and newcomers alike, and represents the “rich mosaic” of dining across the country now, showcasing the places that editors and dispatchers are most excited about.

Two Colorado restaurants, very different in their styles and approach, made the cut.

Josie Sexton, The Denver Post

An end-of-summer crudo at Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder. Frasca was named one of the 50 most exciting restaurants in America in 2021, according to The New York Times. (Josie Sexton, The Denver Post)

In Boulder, Frasca Food and Wine has been perfecting its culinary game for 17 years and counting, which is an eternity in the restaurant world. That’s especially true considering the accolades Frasca has received along the way.

Over the past 19 months of the pandemic, Frasca’s ownership switched gears to become a leader in the national independent restaurant community, fighting for government legislation and aid for small businesses. But beyond this recent work, the owners, sommeliers and chefs here have also stayed true to their original mission of translating a tiny Italian regional cuisine from Fruili-Venezia Giulia to an even tinier town in Colorado.

According to The Times, “On a recent summer tasting menu, a crudi misti with cucumber and buttermilk (pictured) elegantly balanced tang and freshness, while a meticulously constructed cjalson pasta was filled with a silky mixture of beet and smoked ricotta. The Rockies are a long way from Trieste, but the flavors here make the journey beautifully.” frascafoodandwine.com

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Mark Davis’ “dream” hire of Jon Gruden turns into Raiders nightmare

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Mark Davis’ “dream” hire of Jon Gruden turns into Raiders nightmare

When Jon Gruden returned to the Raiders back in 2018 he was greeted with a pep rally news conference, owner Mark Davis calling it a “dream come true” and the “biggest day of his life.”

There was much less pomp and circumstance surrounding the coach’s rapid departure, with Davis sending out a simple statement: “I have accepted Jon Gruden’s resignation as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.”

While Gruden was done in by emails he sent in the years before he rejoined the Raiders that the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported were filled with racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments, his work on the field never quite lived up to what Davis hoped when he completed his years-long pursuit of the coach of his dreams.

The Raiders had a 22-31 record in three-plus seasons under Gruden, ranking 22nd in winning percentage, last in points allowed and 24th in scoring as his poor personnel moves ultimately sabotaged his coaching record.

The revelations of the emails also brought shame to an organization that prides itself on a history of inclusion which includes refusing to play an exhibition game in the segregated South of the 1960s; the hiring of the second coach of Mexican descent in Tom Flores; and the first Black coach in the modern NFL in Art Shell.

That wasn’t what Davis signed up for after pining for Gruden ever since taking over the Raiders following the death of his father, Hall of Fame owner Al Davis, in 2011. Mark Davis made several trips to Tampa, Florida, to meet with Gruden over the years to get his opinions on the Raiders and gauge his interest in leaving the broadcast booth to return to the sideline.

He finally got the answer he wanted in 2017, leading Davis to fire Jack Del Rio — who led the Raiders to their only playoff berth in the past 18 seasons in 2016 and the only Raiders coach with a winning record since Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay following the 2001 season after turning the Raiders into a contender.

But Gruden’s second tenure never matched the first, when he was the hot-shot offensive guru with the “Chucky” persona who took the Raiders to the AFC title game in his third season and the playoffs again the following year, when they lost in the “Tuck Rule” game at New England.

Gruden was traded to Tampa Bay after that season for a boatload of draft picks and cash, then beat the Raiders in the Super Bowl his first season in 2002.

But he never won another playoff game in 10 seasons as a coach and was unable to turn the Raiders into a contender in his second stint.

Armed with a 10-year contract and total control of personnel, Gruden opted to overhaul the roster rather than retool it with the Raiders only a year removed from a 12-win season.

He traded away the team’s best player, edge rusher Khalil Mack, before the start of his first season for a package that included two first-round draft picks. He then dealt star receiver Amari Cooper for another first-round pick midway through the season as the Raiders stumbled to a 4-12 record.

The following offseason ultimately defined Gruden’s second tenure as he made a failed push to contend in the Raiders’ final season in Oakland. He handed out big free agent contracts to Trent Brown, Lamarcus Joyner and Tyrell Williams, and got little production out of the three. His flashiest move was a trade for temperamental receiver Antonio Brown, whose erratic behavior led to his release before even playing a game.

Gruden also failed to hit on the three first-round picks expected to provide the foundation for the franchise’s future. No. 4 overall pick Clelin Ferrell is relegated to backup duty this season, while No. 24 pick Josh Jacobs and No. 27 selection Johnathan Abram have yet to make a big impact.

That led to a 7-9 season in 2019 as Gruden couldn’t deliver success to the fans in Oakland who never stopped adoring him even after he left the first time.

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Watch: MoDOT kicks off work on I-70 Missouri River Bridge

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Watch: MoDOT kicks off work on I-70 Missouri River Bridge

ROCHEPORT, Mo.– MoDot is officially kicking off construction on the new I-70 Missouri River Bridge near Rocheport this morning.

The bridge is said to be the “lynchpin of America” connecting Missouri’s two largest cities as well as a majority of the country.

MoDOT says the bridge carries 12.5 million vehicles per year, including 3.6 million trucks. In fact, within 48 hours, trucks carrying goods to all 48 lower states will have crossed this bridge.

The design of the new bridge will include two bridges, one in each direction, each one will have three lanes.

Preliminary work will start soon on the bridge with nighttime lane closures. Later, there will be work during the daytime with traffic shifted. Any lane closures will happen at night.

Construction of the new bridge is expected to be complete by the end of 2024.

The current bridge was built in 1960 and is rated in poor condition. If it was not fixed, it could have resulted in weight restrictions in the coming years.

MoDOT says rehabilitation work would have only extended the life of the bridge by as little as 10 years and could have caused three-to-eight hour backups along I-70.

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Adults 60+ shouldn’t take aspirin daily to prevent heart attack, task force says

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Adults 60+ shouldn’t take aspirin daily to prevent heart attack, task force says

Older adults without heart disease shouldn’t take daily low-dose aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke, an influential health guidelines group said in preliminary updated advice released Tuesday.

Bleeding risks for adults in their 60s and up who haven’t had a heart attack or stroke outweigh any potential benefits from aspirin, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said in its draft guidance.

For the first time, the panel said there may be a small benefit for adults in their 40s who have no bleeding risks. For those in their 50s, the panel softened advice and said evidence of benefit is less clear.

The recommendations are meant for people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity or other conditions that increase their chances for a heart attack or stroke. Regardless of age, adults should talk with their doctors about stopping or starting aspirin to make sure it’s the right choice for them, said task force member Dr. John Wong, a primary-care expert at Tufts Medical Center.

“Aspirin use can cause serious harms, and risk increases with age,’’ he said.

If finalized, the advice for older adults would backtrack on recommendations the panel issued in 2016 for helping prevent a first heart attack and stroke, but it would be in line with more recent guidelines from other medical groups.

Doctors have long recommended daily low-dose aspirin for many patients who already have had a heart attack or stroke. The task force guidance does not change that advice.

The task force previously said a daily aspirin might also protect against colorectal cancer for some adults in their 50s and 60s, but the updated guidance says more evidence of any benefit is needed.

The guidance was posted online to allow for public comments until Nov. 8. The group will evaluate that input and then make a final decision.

The independent panel of disease-prevention experts analyzes medical research and literature and issues periodic advice on measures to help keep Americans healthy. Newer studies and a re-analysis of older research prompted the updated advice, Wong said.

Aspirin is best known as a pain reliever but it is also a blood thinner that can reduce chances for blood clots. But aspirin also has risks, even at low doses — mainly bleeding in the digestive tract or ulcers, both of which can be life-threatening.

Dr. Lauren Block, an internist-researcher at Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York, said the guidance is important because so many adults take aspirin even though they have never had a heart attack or stroke.

Block, who is not on the task force, recently switched one of her patients from aspirin to a cholesterol-lowering statin drug because of the potential harms.

The patient, 70-year-old Richard Schrafel, has high blood pressure and knows about his heart attack risks. Schrafel, president of a paperboard-distribution business, said he never had any ill effects from aspirin, but he is taking the new guidance seriously.

Rita Seefeldt, 63, also has high blood pressure and took a daily aspirin for about a decade until her doctor told her two years ago to stop.

“He said they changed their minds on that,’’ recalled the retired elementary school teacher from Milwaukee. She said she understands that science evolves.

Wong acknowledged that the backtracking might leave some patients frustrated and wondering why scientists can’t make up their minds.

“It’s a fair question,’’ he said. ‘’What’s really important to know is that evidence changes over time.’’

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Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon in COVID-19 protocol

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Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon in COVID-19 protocol

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is in COVID-19 protocol and not practicing on Tuesday, a day before the season opener against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.

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