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Ask Amy: Memorial service brings on acute anxiety

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Ask Amy: Woman should leave abusive relationship

Dear Amy: My mother-in-law passed away last month.

I had asked my wife if she would be willing to delay her mother’s memorial service for three or four months until COVID recedes, but she and her siblings have decided to proceed with a memorial service next month.

My wife’s Mom lived 2,000 miles away from us, so we would need to fly to the memorial service.

There will be a church service and a meal afterward, where people will share their stories.

The meal will be either outside or in a banquet room (depending on the weather).

Many of the attendees have been vaccinated for COVID.

I am 64 years old and have been vaccinated.

I have a few health issues, which are not currently on the list of high-risk factors.

I would prefer not to attend, and I get anxious when I think about flying and being in a group setting.

I would like to visit her home with my wife sometime next year and pay my respects then.

However, my wife and her siblings may feel that I am being disrespectful if I do not attend.

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Denver and much of the metro area now in extreme drought

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Denver and much of the metro area now in extreme drought

Denver alongside parts of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Jefferson and Weld counties are now all considered to be in an extreme drought, according to fresh data from the National Drought Mitigation Center.

The center, based out of the University of Nebraska Lincoln, updated Colorado’s drought map this week to indicate that much of the state sunk deeper into drought. That means increased wildfire risk and worsening conditions for pasture, cropland and livestock.

National Drought Mitigation Center

The latest data from the National Drought Mitigation Center shows worsening drought conditions across the state, especially in and around Denver.

“We can probably call it a heat wave,” Russ Schumacher, a climatologist with Colorado State University and director of the Colorado Climate Center, said. “It’s much much above normal for early December, not just in Colorado but across a big swathe of the country.”

Currently 38% of the state is in severe drought and 14.34% of the state is in extreme drought, up from 32% and 8.75%, last week, respectively, the drought map shows. The rest of the state varies between moderate drought and abnormally dry. Less than 5% of the state is not classified as in a drought, though those portions are still categorized as abnormally dry.

The worsening drought comes as Denver not only continues to set the record for how long the city has gone without its first measurable snow (the previous record was Nov. 21, 1934), ending the ninth driest November on record. Plus, the city tied its high temperatures for Dec. 1.

Higher temperatures exacerbate the already dry conditions, according to Richard Heim, a meteorologist with the National Centers for Environmental Information.

“You’re getting a lot of evaporation of moisture out of the ground,” Heim, who also authored Colorado’s latest drought statistics, said.

Aside from the more immediate risk of wildfires, the worsening drought also means Colorado’s snowpack levels are lagging further behind normal levels. Therein lies the bigger concern, Schumacher said.

“We should be building up the snowpack right now but instead we’re flat or getting worse,” he said.

Data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service shows that snowpack around Alamosa sits at 36% of normal levels, down 1% from last week. Snowpack around Durango decreased by the same amount and now sits at 33% of normal levels.

Snowpack further north worsened even more with levels around Ouray and Gunnison at 53% of normal, down from 61% last week. And snowpack around Aspen and Glenwood Springs is now 63% of normal, down from 72% last week.

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Honda recalls SUVs and pickups because hoods can fly open

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Honda recalls SUVs and pickups because hoods can fly open

DETROIT (AP) — Honda is recalling nearly 725,000 SUVs and pickup trucks because the hoods can open while the vehicles are moving.

The recall covers certain 2019 Passports, 2016 through 2019 Pilots and 2017 through 2020 Ridgeline pickups.

Honda says in documents posted Friday by U.S. safety regulators that the hood latch striker can become damaged and separate from the hood.

Dealers will either repair the striker or replace the hood if necessary at no cost to owners. Honda will notify owners by letter starting Jan. 17.

The worldwide total is 788,931, with just under 725,000 in the U.S.

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Trump faces flurry of investigations beyond Jan. 6 probe

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Trump faces flurry of investigations beyond Jan. 6 probe

NEW YORK — As Donald Trump’s lawyers try to block the White House from releasing records to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the former president faces a flurry of other investigations that could come to a head in the coming weeks and the new year.

That includes two major state criminal investigations — one in New York and one in Georgia — and lawsuits concerning sexual assault allegations, a fight over an inheritance and questions of whether he should be held personally liable for inciting the insurrection.

Trump has long dismissed the investigations as nothing more than a politically motivated “witch hunt” that began with the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. But while Trump has spent most of his life dodging legal consequences, he is no longer shielded by the protections against indictment enjoyed by sitting presidents. And any charges — which would be the first against a former president in the nation’s history — could affect both his businesses and his future political prospects as he mulls running for a second term.

Here’s the latest on where the cases stand:

NEW YORK

New York prosecutors are investigating the former president’s business dealings and recently convened a new grand jury to hear evidence after the previous panel’s term ran out.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is weighing whether to seek more indictments in the case, which resulted in tax fraud charges in July against Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. They are accused of cheating tax authorities through lucrative, untaxed fringe benefits.

Weisselberg is due back in court in July 2022.

Trump himself remains under investigation after District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who is leaving office at the end of the year, spent years fighting to access the former president’s tax records. Prosecutors have also been considering whether to seek charges against the company’s chief operating officer, Matthew Calamari Sr.

Investigators working for Vance and New York Attorney General Letitia James have spent more than two years looking at whether the Trump Organization misled banks or tax officials about the value of the company’s assets, inflating them to gain favorable loan terms or minimizing them to reap tax savings.

“I think it’s pretty clear that our investigation is active and ongoing,” Vance said Tuesday.

James’ office is involved in Vance’s criminal probe and is conducting its own civil investigation.

Separately, Trump is facing scrutiny over properties he owns in the New York City suburbs. Westchester County District Attorney Mimi E. Rocah subpoenaed records from the town of Ossining as it investigates whether Trump’s company misled officials to cut taxes for a golf course there, two people familiar with the probe told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

GEORGIA

In Atlanta, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened an investigation in January into possible attempts to interfere with the administration of the state’s 2020 election, which Trump narrowly lost.

In letters sent in February to top elected officials in the state — including Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — Willis instructed them to preserve all records related to the election, particularly those that may contain evidence of attempts to influence election officials.

The investigation includes a Jan. 2 phone call between Trump and Raffensperger in which Trump repeatedly and falsely asserts that the Republican secretary of state could change the certified results of the presidential election. A recording of the call was obtained the next day by multiple news organizations, including The Associated Press.

“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said. “Because we won the state.”

Willis has been relatively tight-lipped about the investigation, but her office has confirmed it is ongoing.

“All available evidence is being analyzed, whether gathered by this office, another investigative body or made public by the witnesses themselves. A decision on whether criminal charges are appropriate against any individual will be made when that process is complete,” spokesperson Jeff DiSantis said in an email.

Among the sources sure to be examined by Willis’ team is a book written by Raffensperger and published Nov. 2. It includes a transcript of the Jan. 2 call with Trump annotated with the secretary of state’s observations, including his belief that the president was threatening him at multiple points.

Willis earlier this year said she was also interested in the circumstances surrounding the sudden resignation on Jan. 4 of Bjay Pak, the U.S. attorney in Atlanta. Pak told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had originally planned to stay in the position until Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, but resigned weeks earlier because of pressure from Trump.

WASHINGTON

The attorney general for the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, said early this year that district prosecutors were investigating Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection and considering whether to charge him under a local law that criminalizes statements that motivate people to act violently.

There has been no indication, however, that that is likely. If Trump were to be charged, it would be a low-level misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of six months in jail.

LAWSUITS

In addition to the criminal probes underway, Trump also faces a number of civil suits, from scorned business investors, to his estranged niece, to Democratic lawmakers and Capitol Police officers who blame him for inciting the violence on Jan. 6.

That includes a lawsuit brought by the House Homeland Security chair, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, under a Reconstruction-era law called the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which prohibits violence or intimidation meant to prevent members of Congress or other federal officials from carrying out their constitutional duties.

In October, Trump was questioned behind closed doors under oath in a deposition for a lawsuit brought by protesters who say his security team assaulted them outside Trump Tower in the early days of his presidential campaign in 2015.

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