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Biggest award at Tour Championship is being there

ATLANTA — The Tour Championship is about more than just the cash, no matter how much is on the line.
It was that way from the start.
Curtis Strange was part of the inaugural 30-man field in 1987 for what then was called the Nabisco Championships of Golf. The purse was $2 million, the largest of the year, and the winner’s share of $360,000 was more than twice what any of the majors paid. There also was a $1 million bonus pool for a season-long competition.
That’s not what Strange remembers, though.
He finished 30th at Oak Hills in San Antonio, and the $32,000 check for finishing last — his sixth-largest paycheck of the year — was of little consolation.
“I dropped out of the top 10 in scoring average, and it cost me player of the year,” Strange said Tuesday. “I didn’t make a putt, got (ticked) off, all of the above. You know how it is. But I got them the next year.”
Strange won in a playoff in 1988 at Pebble Beach, won player of the year and became the first player in PGA Tour history to win more than $1 million in a year.
“The money was huge back in the day,” Strange said. “Just like it is now.”
The winner of the Tour Championship this week at East Lake gets $1,620,000.
If he happens to win the FedEx Cup, throw in an additional $10 million.
What hasn’t changed in more than three decades is the prestige of being at the Tour Championship.

It felt like an All-Star game then. It’s like that now.
Only three players at the Tour Championship this year won a major, the dream of every golfer. Short of that, the next goal is to win a PGA Tour event. And if that doesn’t work out, a mediocre year can always be salvaged by having a parking spot and a tee time at East Lake.
It’s the one regular PGA Tour event where the winner is not guaranteed a chance to defend his title. Xander Schauffele nearly found that out the hard way. He was No. 41 in the FedEx Cup standings until a tie for third in the BMW Championship moved him to No. 18 and gave him a spot at East Lake.
“Getting to the Tour Championship is a big deal,” Schauffele said Tuesday. “If you end up here, no matter how you got here — a bunch of top 10s or consistent play or a few high finishes with no wins — it’s still a successful year.”
Tiger Woods used to say it can’t be a great year without winning a major. He never would have said it could be considered a good year without winning anything. This is a new Woods, however, and his first appearance at East Lake after four injury-ravaged years feels like a big deal.
“At the end of the season, to say that I made it back to the Tour Championship after what I’ve been through is a pretty good accomplishment,” Woods said. “To make the Ryder Cup team and get back to East Lake, that was a pretty big goal at the beginning of the year.”
No need explaining that to Jordan Spieth. He’s not here for the first time, and it stung.
The Tour Championship started out by rotating among courses like Pebble Beach and Pinehurst No. 2, Olympic Club and Southern Hills. Now the permanent home is East Lake, and it has become a destination.
Just like always.
“The goal for the year was to get to the Tour Championship,” said Mark Calcavecchia, who played in the first four editions and 14 overall. “Winning is the first goal. If that doesn’t happen, you need to play good enough to make it to the last tournament. You’re one of 30 guys there. It’s a little bit of an ego thing. It’s nice to be part of a select group.”
Keegan Bradley had not been part of that group since 2013, so imagine how he felt last week at the BMW Championship.
Rain threatened to cut short the tournament to 54 holes. Bradley was in sixth place, three shots out of the lead. If the final round was a wash, Bradley would have moved to No. 30 in the FedEx Cup and returned to East Lake. He was torn.
“Truthfully, I was really fixated on making the Tour Championship, and I knew if we didn’t play, I was in it,” he said. “So it was a really weird position to be in.”
They played. He shot 64 and won in a playoff.
Even with the trophy at his side, he was asked if he would have been in favor of a washout knowing how it ended.
“To be honest with you, I might have,” Bradley said. “Just because it’s a game-changer for a player like me … to get in the Tour Championship.”


Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser wants FBI probe before she testifies in front of Senate Judiciary Committee

WASHINGTON — Christine Blasey Ford wants the FBI to investigate her allegation that she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before she testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing next week, her lawyers said in a letter sent Tuesday to the panel.
The lawyers wrote that Ford, who is now a college professor in California, wants to cooperate with the committee. But in the days since she publicly accused Kavanaugh of the assault when they were teens at a party 35 years ago, the lawyers said, she has been the target of “vicious harassment and even death threats.” Her family has relocated, they said.
An FBI investigation “should be the first step in addressing the allegations,” the lawyers wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
The development comes after President Donald Trump showered sympathy on his embattled nominee and as Senate Republicans and Democrats fought determinedly over who should testify at a high-stakes hearing on the allegation just six weeks before major congressional elections.
Trump has already rejected the idea of bringing in the FBI to reopen its background check of Kavanaugh. Should he order such a review, it would likely delay a confirmation vote until after the election. Republicans hope to have Kavanaugh confirmed by Oct. 1, the start of the next Supreme Court term.
Meanwhile, Republicans are suggesting that Ford, whose allegations have upended Kavanaugh’s nomination — the committee’s vote was already pushed from Thursday to likely next week — will have one chance to testify, and one chance only.
“Monday is her opportunity,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday, R-Ky., a line that was echoed by other Republicans throughout the day.
McConnell expressed confidence that Kavanaugh would be confirmed. “I’m not concerned about tanking the nomination,” he said.
“We should proceed as planned,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a key Republican on the panel.
The furious jockeying over Ford’s testimony underscores the political potency so close to an election that will decide control of both the House and Senate, not to mention the confirmation of a conservative justice likely to serve on the high court for decades.
Democrats complain that Ford was not consulted before the hearing was announced. They also want more witnesses besides Kavanaugh and Ford, hoping to avoid what they said would turn into a “he-said-she-said” moment.

The lawyers for Ford predicted the hearing, as now scheduled, “would include interrogation by senators who appear to have made up their minds” that she is “mistaken” and mixed up.
But Democrats also said Tuesday they were planning to attend the hearing even if Ford did not show up.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he had “a lot of questions” for Kavanaugh. “A simple denial is not the end of questioning.”
As Democrats press for more time to investigate, Republicans have been careful to say that Ford should have her chance to speak, and they have stressed that they are willing to move Monday’s hearing behind closed doors, if she prefers.
“Were planning on a hearing Monday. It can be open. It can be closed, whatever Ms. Ford wants,” said Sen. John Kennedy, a member of the Judiciary panel from Louisiana. “We’re ready to hear anything she has to say. I am, anyway, and I think most of us are.”
GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee — among a handful of Republicans who insisted on hearing from Ford before voting — said it would be a “shame” if Ford didn’t show up to testify. But he suggested Republicans will not bend from their offer of a hearing Monday.
“That would be quite something if she decided she did not want to testify,” Corker said. “I’d assume the committee would then move on as they should.”
One witness the Democrats want to hear from is Kavanaugh’s high school friend Mark Judge, who Ford said was in the room when she was assaulted. Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegation, and Judge says he doesn’t remember any such thing. “More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes,” Judge said in a letter to the panel.
The risks of a public hearing starring the all-male lineup of Republicans on the committee could be high. Republicans said late Tuesday they were considering hiring outside attorneys, presumably including women, to question the witnesses. But that may be moot if Ford declines to appear.
Kavanaugh, 53, was at the White House on Tuesday for a second straight day, but again did not meet with Trump. The president said he was “totally supporting” Kavanaugh and felt “terribly” for him and his family.
“I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this, to be honest with you, I feel so badly for him,” said Trump, who has himself faced numerous accusations of sexual harassment that he’s denied. “This is not a man that deserves this.”
The No. 2 Senate Republican leader, John Cornyn of Texas, was one of the few Republicans who openly questioned Ford’s version of events. He called the allegations a “drive-by attack” on the judge’s character.
“There are gaps in her memory,” Cornyn said. “She doesn’t know how she got there, when it was and so that would logically be something where she would get questions.”
Criticism like that fed a Democratic narrative that the GOP’s handling of Ford could jeopardize that party’s election prospects in the age of #MeToo, the response to sexual abuse that has torched the careers of prominent men.
“Now this is really what #MeToo is all about, if you think about it,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Judiciary Committee Democrat. “That’s sort of the first thing that happens, it’s the woman’s fault. And it is not the woman’s fault.”
Meanwhile, Kavanaugh has been calling Republican senators, including Kennedy, who said the nominee was committed to moving forward.
“He’s not happy, he’s upset,” Kennedy said. “He said very clearly and unequivocally, ‘This did not happen.’”
Ford went public with her story Sunday, telling The Washington Post that Kavanaugh had forced himself on her in a bedroom at a party when he was 17 and she was 15, attempting to remove her clothes and clapping his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. She says she escaped when Judge jumped on the bed.
Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Mary Clare Jalonick, Juliet Linderman and Catherine Lucey contributed from Washington.


Johnstown police officer was man who apparently drown in Horsetooth Reservoir

A man who apparently drowned in Horsetooth Reservoir on Monday was a Johnstown police officer.
Johnstown Police Department via FacebookYuri Thomas
Yuri Thomas, 32, was swimming at the reservoir west of Fort Collins on Monday afternoon when he went under the waterline and didn’t resurface. Thomas was with his wife at the time. She was on site and called 911 for help.
“It is with a heavy heart that we make the announcement that the Johnstown Police Department lost one of our officers in a tragic accident,” the department said Tuesday in a Facebook post. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Yuri Thomas and ask that anyone that wishes to show support please visit the Go Fund Me page that is set up to help his family in this difficult time.”
The small department currently includes a police chief, a commander, four patrol sergeants, 11 officers, two detectives, a school resource officer and one code enforcement officer.
Thomas grew up on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, where at a young age he was influence by a school resource officer there, said Sgt. Michael Timme, Johnstown police.
“It was always his dream to come to the U.S. and work as a police officer,” Timme said.
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Thomas received his police certification from Pikes Peak Community College. He was an officer with Northglenn police before joining Johnstown in February.
The GoFundMe page describes Thomas as: “One of the happiest, enthusiastic, and most dedicated Officers to serve the citizens of Johnstown.”
The page aims to raise $15,000. At about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, it had raised $5,260 from just more than 70 donors over nine hours. The fundraiser will benefit Thomas’ family and offset expenses related to his death.
His funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Resurrection Fellowship, 6520 E. Crossroads Blvd., Loveland. Thomas was a member of the fellowship. The service is open to the public.


Low-income housing scores victory in Aurora with city OK of controversial 50-unit facility

AURORA — The metro area’s affordable housing crisis was laid bare once again this week, with a battle over a low-income housing project in Aurora bringing dozens of people out to city hall until the early hours of Tuesday morning.
In the end, the vote couldn’t have been closer, with Aurora City Council voting 6-5 early Tuesday morning to approve the proposed 50-unit Providence at the Heights after hearing nearly five hours of testimony from residents on both sides of the issue.
Many neighbors who live near the site where Providence would be built — behind Elevation Christian Church at the southwest corner of Alameda Parkway and Joplin Street  — said the 1.4-acre plot was too small for the three-story structure. They also expressed worries about the safety of their children and neighbors given that Providence would house people experiencing homelessness, including those have served time behind bars.
They said the Second Chance Center, a group that helps those released from prison reintegrate with society, hadn’t provided neighbors with sufficient details about the project before going to the city for approval. Second Chance, which will oversee Providence at the Heights, teamed up with a developer to buy the land from Elevation Christian Church for $475,000.
“My property is blatantly ignored and disrespected,” said Ray Wendt, who lives behind the church property on East Custer Place. “I am that neighbor, this is my home.”
Many of Wendt’s neighbors pointed to a decision in July by the Aurora Planning and Zoning Commission to unanimously deny the project a site plan, citing a lack of parking capacity as a major concern. They appealed to the city council to honor the ruling of the planning commissioners.
“It’s a great project at the wrong location,” said James Taylor, who lives just blocks from where Providence would be built.

Proponents of the project, who far outnumbered opponents at the council hearing, said if Aurora ever hopes to close its deficit of nearly 12,000 affordable rental units for those at the lowest end of the income scale, it needs to be open to projects like Providence.
“We have an opportunity to stop this cycle,” said Amy Petré Hill, director of mental health and inclusion ministries at Mountain View United Church in Aurora. “We can’t zone (homelessness) away.”
Hassan Latif, executive director of Second Chance Center, said the land is zoned for multifamily housing, and his organization worked hard to amass millions of dollars in federal and state tax credits to pay for the purchase of the land and construction of the building. And even though the number of homeless people in Aurora counted in the annual Point-in-Time Survey showed a drop from 459 in 2017 to 357 this year, Latif said the problem is still significant.
“No one can deny the need for affordable housing in Aurora,” he said in an interview. “Providence is for families experiencing homelessness.”
The battle in Aurora in many ways echoes other recent disputes that have centered on proposals for homeless shelter construction and expansion in the metro area, as increasingly valuable real estate — the average price of a single-family home in the metro area eclipsed the half-million-dollar mark for the first time earlier this year — makes housing those without homes a tougher proposition financially and socially.
Late last month, neighbors in Denver’s River North neighborhood grappled with whether a plan to expand the Salvation Army’s Crossroads homeless shelter to eight stories was compatible with a neighborhood boasting an explosion in top-dollar apartment rentals.
In Longmont, neighbors this summer objected to a church providing homeless services near their homes, which they said had attracted transient homeless people to live in a nearby city park.
And in Lakewood, a drawn-out fight over a proposed 500- to 600-unit homeless housing project on a piece of vacant federal land near the Federal Center has raised the hackles of neighbors and businesses near the site. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is pushing for the project, even as it remains tied up in the courts.
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The organization’s president, John Parvensky, praised the Aurora City Council on Tuesday for stepping forward and approving “this critical housing for 50 homeless individuals.”
“As a housing developer, we know too well the barriers that zoning and land-use approvals create to thwart development of quality housing for low-income families and individuals,” he said. “In the current hot housing market in metro Denver, it is important for city officials to support developments that serve low income and vulnerable families and individuals to balance the market forces that are pricing housing out of reach for thousands of people in Aurora and metro Denver.”
Elevation Christian Church lead pastor Scott Bloyer said he understands the fear a facility like Providence at the Heights instills in people. But he said the project is not a halfway house or homeless shelter. And it won’t permit sexual offenders to take up residence there, he said.
“It’s low-income housing for homeless people with disabilities,” Bloyer said. “Homeless is not the picture of some crazy person in the street — it could be someone in your family.”


Adams County serial squatter sentenced to six years prison for felony identity theft

Adams CountyHeather Schwab
A woman has been sentenced to six years in prison for felony identity theft in connection to serial squatting, in which she fraudulently leased residences and failed to pay rents prior to evictions.
Heather Schwab, 43, was sentenced Monday in Adams County after entering a guilty plea last month, according to the district attorney’s office.
Schwab was ordered to pay restitution in two cases in which she was charged, and she’s also been ordered to pay restitution in several cases which are pending, according to a news release. A dollar amount has not yet been determined.
On Feb. 15, Schwab signed an 18-month lease with 78-year-old James Warner, writing two checks for $4,400 — rent and deposit — for a Thornton residence at 2756 E. 139th Place. Both checks bounced. She was also charged in connection to an Adams County rental property, 12188 Locust St., where she posed as a relative in April, prosecutors said.
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Schwab was facing probation revocation in another theft case when the identity theft crimes were committed, the release stated. Prosecutors said she’s committed several similar offenses dating back to 1996 in Colorado and Texas.
Adams County Judge Byron Howell imposed the maximum sentence under terms of a plea bargain agreement.
She is being held without bond pending extradition to Texas involving a similar case. Her husband, William Eric Schwab, 48, also pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft in connection to the scheme. His sentencing is scheduled Nov. 13 in Adams County District Court.


Michael Jordan donates $2M for Hurricane Florence relief in North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michael Jordan grew up playing high school basketball in Wilmington, North Carolina. So when the former NBA star watched the destruction caused by Hurricane Florence to his hometown and surrounding area, he acted quickly to help.
The six-time NBA champion and Charlotte Hornets owner donated $2 million on Tuesday to assist residents of the Carolinas — $1 million each to the American Red Cross and the Foundation For The Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response Fund.
“It just hits home,” Jordan told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “I know all of those places: Wilmington, Fayetteville, Myrtle Beach, New Bern, and Wallace, which is where my father is from. So quite naturally it hits home, and I felt like I had to act in a sense that this is my home.”
The 55-year-old Jordan said he still has an aunt, cousins and several buddies who live in coastal North Carolina. He also has a nephew who attends UNC Wilmington, which has remains closed while recovering from the damage.
He watched television with extra concern last week when the hurricane pounded the area, causing 34 known deaths — including 26 in North Carolina — and leaving behind damaged homes, power outages and extensive flooding.
Jordan spent the days after trying to get in touch with family and friends to make sure they were safe. He was relieved upon learning they were uninjured.
“At the end of the day, it makes you think about the path that you have taken, and where your life has taken you,” Jordan said. “And I just feel like, well, maybe if I can help in some sort of way all of the people, and all of the places, that have helped me along the road.”
Jordan said it’s fulfilling to have the resources to help.
“I have been one of the lucky ones to move on and build an unbelievable career,” said Jordan, who played college basketball at North Carolina. “It just makes it a little more special when you can actually help out an area you know very, very well.”
Jordan plans to visit the area at some point when the roads are safe to travel and check up on family and friends.
In addition to the donation, more than 100 members of the Hornets organization will help pack disaster food boxes Friday at Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina in Charlotte, North Carolina. The disaster food boxes, which provide individual meals, will be shipped to Wilmington, Fayetteville and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and distributed to those directly impacted by the hurricane.
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The goal is to deliver 5,000 food boxes.
The Hornets Foundation also will make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Food Lion, the team’s Official Hunger Relief Partner, will be donating the food packed for the boxes.
Additionally, Hornets and NBA merchandising partner Fanatics has designed a special T-shirt featuring the Hornets logo in the middle of the states of North and South Carolina surrounded by the words “Carolina Strong.” The NBA, the Hornets and Fanatics will donate 100 percent of the net proceeds to the Foundation For The Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response Fund. The T-shirts are now available online at, and for $24.99.
“We reached out to try to find as many partners who are willing to sacrifice and give to this cause,” Jordan said. “The Red Cross will deal with the immediate food and shelter and the Foundation For The Carolinas will deal more with the long-term assistance. This is not a short-term thing. This is going to be a process, but it is going to take time.”


Arrow Electronics to build “Open Lab” dedicated to smart city tech in Centennial

A new facility is coming to south metro Denver where the use of data-collecting “internet of things” technology will be explored and tested as means to make urban services and infrastructure work better for residents.
Officials with Arrow Electronics took the stage at the inaugural Colorado Smart Cities Symposium in Denver on Tuesday to announce plans to open what it is calling the “Colorado Open Lab” next year. Working with the 19 Colorado municipalities and agencies that, along with a collection of private businesses, universities and research institutions, make up the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, Arrow intends to use the forthcoming lab as a place to showcase ideas such a data-driven smart street lighting, smart parking and connected, automated vehicles.
Aiden Mitchell, Arrow’s vice president of IoT Global Solutions , described the lab as “a technology innovation center” that will allow for the development, testing, evaluation and “integration of technology that is meeting some of the toughest challenges that (we) need to meet across mobility, transportation, public safety, citizen engagement and the advancement of economic development across the state.”
In the design phase now, the lab is slated to open on the ground floor of Arrow’s corporate headquarters in Centennial sometime in the spring, according to Mitchell. It is being supported in part by a $500,000 grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The announcement comes after Panasonic unveiled a mini smart city testing ground near Denver International Airport earlier this year.
“Our partners at Arrow Electronics have one of the broadest global technology networks in the world,” Jake Rishavy, vice president of innovation for the Denver South Economic Development Partnership, said in a news release. His organization co-founded the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance. “Now with the support of the advanced industries grant program, the Colorado Open Lab will bring these leading technology companies here to Denver South and Colorado to work alongside Colorado cities and other public sector leaders to co-develop the next generation of smart cities technologies.”
The data collected at the lab there won’t belong to Arrow, Mitchell emphasized, but all smart city partners.
“While this is at our facility, this is very much your lab,” he said. “This is a going to be an open environment.” 
One major company that will be part of the Open Lab ecosystem from the start is Intel. The Silicon Valley giant will use the lab as a place to study what it sees as the next phase in computing, something called “ambient science.” It doesn’t have a firm definition yet, but Jeff Fedders, a chief strategist with Intel, made it clear artificial intelligence will be a key element. 
“If you think of a piece of technology or a piece of data that is out in the industry or out in smart cities, think of that piece of technology as immersive, intelligent and self-aware,” Fedders said at Tuesday’s event. “This piece of technology can start to make its own decisions.”
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South metro officials expressed high hopes for what having a tech lab with potentially international drawing power in their own backyards will mean for their residents. Appearing as part of a symposium panel discussing connected “smart regions,” Centennial Mayor Stephanie Piko said she is hopeful the lab will help adapt and install internet-of-things infrastructure in already developed parts of cities, not just in yet-to-develop green fields that can be built with the technology in mind.
Neighboring Lone Tree is already home to one Smart Cities Alliance-endorsed pilot program. It is partnering with Uber to put one of its Lone Tree Link shuttles to work providing free rides around town at defined times of day. It is working with other south metro cities to sync their traffic signal systems so that traffic flows smoothly across municipal boundaries.
Lone Tree City Manager Seth Hoffman on Tuesday called the lab the “physical manifestation of the moment that we’re in where there is so much opportunity for cities to really improve the quality of life (of their residents) in partnership with the private sector.”


Acova, sibling to The Hornet on South Broadway, aims to create a spot for everyone in the Highland neighborhood

Acova, sibling to The Hornet on South Broadway, has a vision of catering to everyone. 
And it’s name is a good place to start: “Cova” means “nest” in Italian. Clever, right?
Owners Sean and Betsy Workman have created an all-encompassing environment and globally inspired menu to welcome everyone into their “nest,” located in the legendary Patsy’s Inn location in the Highland neighborhood, according to a press release. 
Patsy’s closed in August 2016, after 95 years of serving Italian cuisine in Denver. Its owners, Ron Cito and Kim DeLancey, cited health reasons for shutting down.

The Workmans, who opened Acova in June, preserved much of the interior of the historic building but added modern touches, like steel supports and a play area adjacent to the garden-like patio.
They also have incorporated their health-conscious, gluten-free lifestyle into a fresh, sustainable menu. On the menu: Seared Ahi + Polenta Cakes with Togarashi seared tuna, parmesan, spicy carrot-jalapeño slaw, lime and rice wine vinaigrette; and Honey Stung Fried Chicken, a buttermilk-battered chicken breast with whipped potatoes, spicy greens and sausage gravy, topped with a honey-cayenne drizzle. Desserts include a cinnamon streusel Very Berry Cobbler a la mode.
A creative list of cocktails includes The Misty, a Live-a-Lot organic wine slushie, and a Kombucha Cooler with Montanya Platino Rum, simple syrup, muddled limes & basil, and kombucha on the rocks. 
Plus, the Workmans are giving back to the community: The restaurant donates $2 from each kids’ menu item ordered to a local children’s charity every month.

Acova: 3651 Navajo St., Denver; 303-736-2718;; Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m-12 a.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-12 a.m.; brunch Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; happy hour 3-6 p.m.

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Smithsonian’s free Museum Day returns Sept. 22. Here’s where to go in Colorado.

Jamie Melissa Wilms only joined the Denver Firefighters Museum, housed in the original, 136-year-old Station One building in downtown Denver, in April. But the new executive director and curator of Denver’s firefighting history already knows this year’s Museum Day will be a hit.
“It’s been pretty popular at every museum I’ve worked at, including the Molly Brown House,” Wilms said of the Smithsonian Magazine-sponsored program, which highlights and drives traffic to museums nationwide each year. “We’ve already gotten a few calls about this year’s event.”
Museum Day returns for its 14th outing on Saturday, Sept. 22, with nearly 1,500 museums. The list includes the Front Range’s History Colorado Center; Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art; Denver Firefighters Museum; Aurora History Museum and Historic Sites; Lakewood Heritage Center; Golden History Museum & Park; Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave (in Golden); Western Museum of Mining & Industry (Colorado Springs); and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.
As the official publication of Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Magazine writes about the national museum scene in addition to its Washington, D.C.-based parent. Museum day was born in 2005 as part of the publication’s 35th anniversary, with just over 200 museums participating and an estimated 2,500 people drawn to the free tickets — supported by the Smithsonian Institution — and special programming.
More than a decade later, the program reported 250,000 tickets were downloaded from in 2017. A total 871,000 people checked out a venue on last year’s Museum Day. On Sept. 22, nearly 30 museums across Colorado will open their doors as part of the program.

Saturday is @SmithsonianMag‘s #MuseumDay! Over 1,475 museums will offer free admission to ticket holders. Where will your curiosity lead you? Visit our website to find participating museums & download your ticket!
— Museum Day (@MuseumDay) September 17, 2018
That points to not only the success of Museum Day, but the increasing need for easy-access to cultural and historical institutions, organizers said.
“We are living in a time where increased costs and policy debate have increased barriers to education,” wrote Amy Wilkins, chief revenue officer at Smithsonian Media, in an email to The Denver Post. “There is evidence that museums can play an important role in filling in some of the blanks, (such as) offering a hands-on learning opportunity that cannot occur in the classroom. We strongly agree with the American Alliance of Museums recent survey. … Museums are a piece of the puzzle and we feel that their role will only grow.”
That 2013 survey found that 37 percent of U.S. museums are free at all times or have suggested admission fees, while most of the rest offer discounts or free admission days.
Museum Day adds to that by setting aside one completely-free day every year at participating museums. Attendees can search the program’s website for participating museums in all 50 states and grab basic information about the what the museum offers.
One Museum Day pass, which grants free entry for two people at any participating museum, is allowed per email address.
“The theme of this year’s Museum Day is Women Making History, honoring women in society who are trailblazers in the arts, sciences, innovation and culture, and emboldening others to be pioneers,” Wilkins said. “To help amplify this year’s theme and celebrate Women Making History, Museum Day is hosting a social media campaign asking museumgoers to share stories of female trailblazers that they discover on Museum Day.”

Visitors can tag the museum they visit and use the hashtags #WomenMakingHistory and #MuseumDay. Locally, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum in Colorado Springs will host its “Women of Pikes Peak” program, offering free guided tours at noon and 1 p.m. on Sept. 22.
A family-friendly scavenger hunt complements a “make and take craft station, highlighting the contributions of women in Pikes Peak regional history,” according a press statement. “Guests will find additional female trailblazers if they explore The League of Wives: Vietnam’s POW/MIA Allies & Advocates exhibit.”
Participating Colorado museums:
Animas Museum, DurangoAspen Art MuseumAurora History Museum and Historic SitesBuffalo Bill Museum and Grave, GoldenColorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame, VailColorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Colorado SpringsColorado Springs Pioneers MuseumDenver Firefighters MuseumDinosaur Journey/Museums of Western Colorado, FruitaEl Pueblo History Museum, PuebloFort Garland Museum & Cultural CenterGolden History Museum & ParkHealy House Museum & Dexter Cabin, LeadvilleHistory Colorado Center, DenverHolden Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum, AspenHotel de Paris Museum, GeorgetownKauffman House Museum, Grand LakeKirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, DenverLakewood Heritage CenterLoveland MuseumMontrose County Historical MuseumMuseum of Colorado Prisons, Cañon CityMuseum of the West/Museums of Western Colorado, Grand JunctionNational Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, LeadvilleProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy, Colorado SpringsVictor Lowell Thomas Museum, VictorWestern Museum of Mining & Industry, Colorado SpringsWheeler/Stallard Museum, Aspen

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Finding a great Denver happy hour near you just got easier

Finding the happiest hours in Denver just got easier: HHAp, a free mobile app that helps users find their next happy hour destination, has recently expanded to Denver.
The app was developed by OrangeHouse, led by husband and wife team (and Colorado natives) Christian and Ashleigh L’Orange of Fort Collins. It filters available happy hours by location, types of deals, and amenities such as outdoor seating and pet friendliness in a colorful list with corresponding icons, according to a press release.
HHAp takes some of the guesswork out of navigating Denver’s expansive selection of restaurants and bars by acting as a user-friendly resource for finding the best-suited happy hour deals for you.
RELATED: 17 happy hours in Denver.
Christian L’Orange said he and his wife created a similar app for the Fort Collins area. After a visit to Denver, they saw an opening.

“As somebody who doesn’t know Denver very well, there are so many options,” L’Orange said. That’s exciting, but also overwhelming. So the idea of the Denver app came out as much from being with folks who live in Denver to those of us who haven no idea. If you pulled up Google or Yelp, you’d get 5,000 options; it’s information overload.”
L’Orange also said HHAp responds to update requests from users and vendors within 5 minutes.
Download the app on iOS and Android.

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