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Weld County investigators recover 8 stolen vehicles and $140,000 in property

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Sheridan officer allegedly uses a chokehold on a shoplifting suspect

Eight stolen vehicles and more than $140,000 in tools and other items stolen from throughout the metro area have been recovered as part of an ongoing investigation, according to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office.

Two suspects have been arrested in the case which began on Sept. 1 when deputies responded to a self-storage business east of Longmont as part of an assault investigation, the sheriff’s office said in a news release Tuesday. At the business, deputies found two vehicles that had been reported stolen, one in Firestone and the other in Westminster. Both vehicles were packed with tools. The case was turned over to the Weld Strike Team, an investigative unit.

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Misfortune follows Von Miller from Denver to Hollywood

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Misfortune follows Von Miller from Denver to Hollywood

After Von Miller left his Russian sable hat and the tears behind in Denver following his trade from the Broncos to the Los Angeles Rams, he cracked, “I went to bed 4-4 and woke up 7-1.”

Talk about a Hollywood ending for the Super Bowl 50 MVP.

He figured he had Super Bowl 56 in his sights just like he did Cam Newton all afternoon all those years ago when he kept separating the football and the Lombardi Trophy from the Carolina quarterback’s grasp.

An encore, however, seems to be slipping away from Miller’s clutches, just like so many quarterbacks of late.

L.A. has been more dystopia than utopia for Miller, even with Odell Beckham Jr. working his way out of cloudy Cleveland and teaming up with him in sunny Southern California.

The Rams haven’t won since Miller’s arrival.

The drought began with a 28-16 loss to Tennessee at home when Miller sat out with a bum ankle that also forced him to miss his final game for the Broncos. He made his nondescript Rams debut in a 31-10 loss at San Francisco a week later, and finally made his mark in L.A.’s 36-28 loss at Green Bay on Sunday.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t for a sack — he hasn’t had one of those since sharing a takedown of Ravens QB Lamar Jackson with McTelvin Agim way back on Oct. 3 — but for his late helmet-to-jaw hit on Aaron Rodgers that drew a 15-yard penalty.

Miller has just half a sack since September, when he had four sacks and won the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Month award in his return from an ankle injury that cost him all of 2020.

He has lost the last six games he has played in, and his former teammates in Denver are riding high after winning three of four without him, including a victory over Washington that he sat out, a signature victory at Dallas and a thumping of the Chargers on Sunday that tightened up the AFC West.

While the Rams (7-4) are still sitting pretty in the NFC playoff picture despite being two games behind the Cardinals in their division, the Broncos (6-5) can surge into the AFC West lead with a win Sunday night at Kansas City (7-4).

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Harry Potter-inspired pub Slytherin to Belmar shopping district

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Harry Potter-inspired pub Slytherin to Belmar shopping district

Raise your butterbeers — a new Harry Potter-inspired bar is opening in Lakewood.

The owners of Denver restaurant group Handsome Boys Hospitality plan to open Muggles Pub at 7260 W. Alaska Drive in the Belmar shopping district.

The British pub chain Baker Street Pub and Grill operated in the space until late 2018 and then became Winston’s Pub & Grill, which closed shortly thereafter in 2019.

“When we took over the lease and walked in it just screamed London pub,” said Handsome Boys Hospitality founder Josh Schmitz. “And for us, in everything we do, we always want to add an extra twist. So, the Harry Potter-inspired theme made perfect sense. Coming out of COVID, it’s not just a good cocktail that will bring you out of your house anymore — it’s an experience as well.”

Schmitz said he’s somewhat limited by what words he can use at the bar due to trademarks. But he said Muggles Pub — “muggles” refers to non-wizards in the series by author J.K. Rowling — will feature floating candles reminiscent of Hogwarts’ famous dining room, butterbeer-like drinks and other cocktails and Hogwarts house flags. It will serve concession fare like hot dogs and nachos.

The bar will be open 4 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and until 2 a.m. on weekends.

Another Harry Potter-inspired pop-up bar called The Wizard’s Den debuted in Denver last January at 435 W. Colfax Ave. in Denver’s Central Business District and stayed open through mid-March. The immersive bar is back again starting Dec. 1.

Courtesy of Handsome Boys Hospitality via BusinessDen

Muggles Pub is taking over the former Baker Street Pub and Grill space.

Handsome Boys Hospitality signed a lease for their 6,400-square-foot space in early November, and Schmitz said they expect to open Dec. 1. Josh Kruse, former general manager of Uptown’s The District, will be Muggles Pub’s new general manager.

“We have a special event permit for the month of December, and we’re partnering with Mayor Adam Paul and the city of Lakewood to continue special event permits until our full liquor license comes through,” Schmitz said. “We were approached with the idea of Belmar being the new hot downtown of Lakewood, and they knew we were the only group that could get something like this up and running this fast.”

Seattle-based real estate investment firm Bridge33 Capital purchased Belmar in June with plans to “increase the vibrancy” of the shopping center.

Josh Sampson, owner of Good Baby Management, a Denver real estate and brand development company, is also opening a Holiday Bazaar across from Muggles Pub at 439 S. Teller St. from Dec. 3-19 with more than 80 craft vendors, fashion trucks, holiday-themed pop-up bars and live entertainment, according to Belmar’s website.

Good Baby Management owns Big Wonderful, a pop-up beer garden and festival, and Garage Sale, a Larimer Square vintage clothing and vinyl shop.

“I’m a west side kid to begin with,” Schmitz said. “I grew up going to Baker Street and was raised on the west side of the town. So, this is really full circle for me and goes back to my roots. To do something for that side of town is really exciting.”

Schmitz, 35, launched Handsome Boys Hospitality with his longtime friend and business partner Nick Brown during the pandemic and has since grown it from five to 70 employees.  The restaurant group has offices at 1409 Larimer St., and Brandon Jundt, founder of Denver-based Wynkoop Financial, is a partner in the business.

1638286130 102 Harry Potter inspired pub Slytherin to Belmar shopping district

Courtesy of Handsome Boys Hospitality via BusinessDen

Naughty List, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar at 1403 Larimer St.

The restaurant group owns three themed concepts in Larimer Square: Hidden Gems, a Wizard of Oz-themed ice cream shop at 1411 Larimer St.; Drunken Bakery, an Alice in Wonderland-themed bakery on its right; and Naughty List, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar at 1403 Larimer St., which was previously Spirits, a Halloween-themed bar for the month of October.

Naughty List will be open from Black Friday until New Year’s Day, and Schmitz hopes to open another concept permanently in the space afterward.

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Final U.S. hurdle for Merck’s COVID-19 pill: FDA panel review

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Final U.S. hurdle for Merck’s COVID-19 pill: FDA panel review

WASHINGTON — An experimental COVID-19 drug that could soon become the first U.S.-authorized pill to treat the coronavirus faces one final hurdle Tuesday: A panel of government experts will scrutinize data on the medication from drugmaker Merck.

The Food and Drug Administration is asking its outside experts whether the agency should authorize the pill, weighing new information that it is less effective than first reported and may cause birth defects. The panel’s recommendations aren’t binding but often guide FDA decisions.

Tuesday’s meeting comes as U.S. infections are rising again and health authorities worldwide scramble to size up the threat posed by the new omicron variant.

If authorized, Merck’s pill would be the first that U.S. patients could take at home to ease symptoms and speed recovery, a major step toward reducing hospital case loads and deaths. The drug, molnupiravir, is already authorized for emergency use in the U.K.

Given the ongoing threat of the pandemic the FDA is widely expected to approve emergency use of Merck’s pill. But new data released last week paint a less compelling picture of the drug than when the Merck first publicized its early results in October.

On Friday, Merck said final study results showed molnupiravir reduced hospitalization and death by 30% among adults infected with the coronavirus, significantly lower than the 50% reduction it first announced based on incomplete results.

FDA regulators said they were still reviewing Merck’s update and would present a new assessment of the drug’s benefits to the outside panel. Molnupiravir’s effectiveness is a key question as panel members weigh whether to recommend the drug and for whom.

One key question is whether the drug should be restricted from use in pregnant women or women of child-bearing age.

In its safety review, FDA staffers said animal studies suggested Merck’s drug could cause birth defects when given at high doses. Regulators said they are considering a complete ban on molnupiravir’s use during pregnancy and other safeguards, including recommending contraceptives for some patients taking the pills.

Merck’s drug uses a novel approach to fight COVID-19: it inserts tiny errors into the coronavirus’ genetic code to stop the virus from reproducing. That genetic effect has raised concerns that the drug could cause mutations in human fetuses or even spur more virulent strains of the virus.

Another key question is whether the drug should be offered to patients who have been vaccinated or previously had COVID-19. Merck didn’t study the drug in vaccinated people, but data from a handful of patients with prior infections suggested it had little benefit. Still, it may be impractical for doctors to screen out those patients. The Merck drug works best when given within five days of first COVID-19 symptoms, underscoring the need for speedy treatment.

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