One man dies, three injured in separate shootings in Aurora, Denver

A double shooting in Aurora has left one man dead and a teenager was treated at a local hospital and released, police said. A shooting in Denver on Friday night involves road rage.

The fatal shooting happened at about 10:20 p.m. Friday in the Meadow Hills neighborhood near South Fraser Street and South Fraser Court, police said. Responding officers found evidence of the shooting, but no victims. A short time later, the two victims arrived at a local hospital in private vehicles.

A man died of injuries and a 17-year-old was released from the hospital Saturday morning, police said. An investigation is ongoing.

Saturday shooting in Aurora

A man was shot in the leg Saturday morning in Aurora, police said.

The incident happened in the 3100 block of Ursula Street, police said on Twitter at 10:31 a.m.

When officers arrived the victim was found lying in the street, police said. He was taken to a local hospital. A suspect, or suspects, fled the area in a blue SUV. An investigation is ongoing.

Denver police investigate road rage incident

The Denver incident unfolded in the area of eastbound Sixth Avenue near Sheridan Boulevard, police said. It lead to the temporary closure of southbound Interstate 25 at Colorado Boulevard, police said on Twitter at 11:20 p.m. The victim was taken to a local hospital and was described Saturday morning as being in a “stable” condition.

The suspect is at large and an investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call police at 720-913-7867.

 

Kickin’ It with Kiz: Would Chauncey Billups be better coach for Nuggets than Michael Malone?

Hey, Kiz. Hope your having fun watching this Nugget mess. They will never win a thing as long as Michael Malone is coaching them. They need to fire him and hire Chauncey Billups. What do you think?

Dave, advocate for change

Kiz: While I wasn’t a big fan of Malone declaring that his under-manned Nuggets quit during their Game 2 loss at Phoenix, I am a huge fan of the work Malone has done this season, when he was forced to adjust to the departures of Jerami Grant and Torrey Craig, then refused to surrender after Jamal Murray tore his ACL. So count me as a big advocate for retaining Malone. In the past, Billups lobbied hard for a position in the Nuggets organization, but Tim Connelly and Josh Kroenke never showed more than lukewarm interest. I will be shocked if Mr. Big Shot is not a head coach in the NBA very soon, quite possibly in Boston.

In the classic 1982 film “Cannery Row,” one of the characters, Hazel, admits to being unfit for a tough job by saying: “I tried, I practiced, but I just ain’t got the poop!” That line applies perfectly to Avs coach Jared Bednar. General manager Joe Sakic should call Bednar into his office and say, “Jared, you just don’t got the poop,” and let him go.

Michael, movie buff

Kiz: After the Avs were eliminated by Vegas, let’s give Bednar credit for taking responsibility. “People want to point the finger at someone,” Bednar said, “I hope it’s me.” I do think the Avs should move on from Bednar. The three biggest individual trophies in hockey are the Hart, Vezina and Norris. Colorado has a finalist for each award, in center Nathan MacKinnon, goalie Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Cale Makar. If a coach blessed with oodles of talent can’t guide a team past the second round, how can we realistically expect a better ending in 2022? I’d be surprised if Sakic fires Bednar now. But should Colorado get off to a slow start next season, that’s a whole different story.

I thought your column after the Avs were eliminated in Game 6 against Vegas was one of the best-written opinions I’ve read in a long time. The same goes for your criticism of MacKinnon after Game 5. Kudos to a media guy who’s not afraid to rip into an under-performing professional athlete or organization. The sports media needs more people like you!

Joe, Chicago

Kiz: Success is tough to sustain without accountability. Here’s a theory I have: The Broncos have won more consistently than any other pro team in Denver, because local sports fans demand more from them than the Avs, Nuggets or Rockies.

Why am I a knucklehead?

Duane, Bozeman, Mont.

Kiz: Well, speaking only for myself … I was born a knucklehead. Aren’t most guys?

And today’s parting shot reminds me of something Pierre Lacroix — the late, great Avalanche general manager — was fond of telling me when I criticized his beloved team.

You don’t know jack about hockey, so refrain from reporting on it. Stick to something that you know about, although I don’t know what that is!

Kal, hockey enforcer

Denver weather: Sunny, hot and dry weather brings air quality alert

Extremely hot weather is in the Front Range forecast with temperatures in Denver soaring toward the 100-degree mark on Monday.

The hot, sunny and dry weather will raise air quality concerns, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder and state health officials.

In Denver, skies will be sunny Saturday with a high temperature near 93 degrees, the weather service said.

Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, western Arapahoe, western Adams, Broomfield, Boulder, Larimer, and Weld counties are under an ozone action day alert until 4 p.m. Saturday, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Ozone concentrations are expected to reach the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category on Saturday. People are advised to curtail driving gasoline and diesel powered vehicles to help combat the unhealthy air quality. Sensitive people, those with lung disease or asthma, should reduce prolonged activity outdoors.

Sunday in Denver will be sunny and hot, with a 10% chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms, the weather service said. The high temperature will climb to about 96 degrees.

On Monday the heat ramps up, with Denver’s high temperature reaching near 99 degrees. A 100-degree mark is expected in the city Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the weather service.

 

Inspired by Novotna, Krejcikova wins 1st Grand Slam title at French Open

PARIS — Thinking of her late coach the whole time, Barbora Krejcikova went from unseeded to Grand Slam champion at the French Open.

Putting aside a shaky set, Krejcikova won just her fifth major tournament as a singles player by beating 31st-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the final at Roland Garros on Saturday.

When it ended with Pavlyuchenkova’s backhand landing long on the fourth match point for Krejcikova, a 25-year-old from the Czech Republic, they met at the net for a hug.

Then Krejcikova blew kisses to the sky, her eyes squeezed shut, in a tribute to her former coach, Jana Novotna, the 1998 Wimbledon champion who died of cancer in 2017.

“Pretty much her last words were just enjoy and just try to win a Grand Slam. I know somewhere she’s looking over me,” Krejcikova told the crowd at Court Philippe Chatrier, limited to 5,000 people because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“She was such an inspiration for me. I just really miss her,” Krejcikova said. “I hope she’s happy right now.”

She is the third unseeded women’s champion in the last five years at Roland Garros.

Krejcikova now will try to become the first woman since Mary Pierce in 2000 to win the French Open singles and doubles titles in the same year. Krejcikova and partner Katerina Siniakova already own two Grand Slam doubles titles and are scheduled to play in the final of that event Sunday.

The 31st-seeded Pavlyuchenkova was playing in her first Grand Slam final in the 52nd major tournament of her career.

She was treated for a left leg injury late in the second set Saturday.

This was only the second WTA singles title for Krejcikova, but they have come in her past two tournaments. She won the trophy on clay at Strasbourg, France, last month and is now on a 12-match winning streak.

She is the sixth consecutive first-time Grand Slam champion to collect the trophy at Roland Garros, where the red clay can diminish the effectiveness of speedy serves and the sometimes odd bounces on a surface that can frustrate players and demands particular footwork.

Saturday’s matchup between two first-time Grand Slam finalists was perhaps a fitting conclusion to a two weeks filled with surprises.

Naomi Osaka, a four-time major champion seeded No. 2, withdrew after one match — and a conflict with Grand Slam officials over a rule that mandates speaking to the media — to take a mental health break. No. 1-ranked Ash Barty, the 2019 champion, retired from her second-round match with a left hip injury. No. 3 Simona Halep, the 2018 champion, never showed up because of a hurt calf. Serena Williams was beaten in the fourth round. Defending champion Iga Swiatek lost in the quarterfinals.

Krejcikova spoke frankly earlier in the tournament about her feelings of stress and panic before heading out to face 2017 U.S. Open champion and 2018 French Open runner-up Sloane Stephens in the fourth round.

Krejcikova said she worried she wouldn’t win a game and was in tears, not wanting to even play the match, before her sports psychologist talked her through it.

Good thing, too, because Krejcikova beat Stephens 6-2, 6-0. That went alongside wins over No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina and No. 24 Coco Gauff, a 17-year-old American, before Krejcikova saved a match point in the semifinals and edged No. 17 Maria Sakkari 9-7 in the third set.

There were some jitters apparent in the opening game Saturday: Krejcikova double-faulted twice and got broken.

But she snapped out of it right away.

Krejcikova excelled with her crisp two-handed backhand, net skills honed in doubles and particularly good use of defensive lobs. One curled over Pavlyuchenkova and landed right in a corner for a winner that helped Krejcikova break to 1-1 and begin a six-game run that gave her the first set. Another was dumped into the net on an overhead attempt by a backpedaling Pavlyuchenkova.

But Pavlyuchenkova regrouped and went up 5-1 in the second set. But that’s when she stretched for a backhand, winced and leaned on her racket while reaching for her upper left leg.

At the ensuing changeover, she took a medical timeout. A trainer treated and taped the leg while Pavlyuchenkova was laying face-down on a towel, a bag of candy within reach.

Right away, Pavlyuchenkova claimed that set. While Krejcikova took a lengthy trip to the locker room before the third, Pavlyuchenkova stood on the sideline pantomiming a serving motion to practice landing on her left leg.

In the third, it was Krejcikova who kept nosing ahead. She broke to lead 2-1 when Pavlyuchenkova double-faulted. After Pavlyuchenkova broke right back, capping it with a big forehand winner she celebrated with a shout, Krejcikova again gained the upper hand by breaking at love with a forehand winner that made it 4-3.

Pavlyuchenkova saved two match points while serving at 5-3, and Krejcikova wasted another by double-faulting in the next game.

But she won it on the following chance and soon enough was kissing the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen and gently rocking the trophy during the Czech national anthem.

AP Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich in Washington contributed to this report.

U.S. ski areas rebound despite COVID-19 restrictions, study finds

DENVER — Ski areas across the United States experienced a strong rebound this winter despite public health restrictions put in place amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Skier visits to U.S. resorts totaled 59 million for the season, the fifth best on record, according to the Colorado-based National Ski Areas Association.

“What a year it has been,” said Kelly Pawlak, association president and CEO. “From utter uncertainty to a top-10 season in terms of participation, it shows the wide spectrum that our industry bridged this year.”

Resorts across the country were forced to close in spring 2020, and many mountain communities were disproportionately affected by COVID-19 early in the pandemic.

The U.S. ski industry lost at least $2 billion that winter, and skier visits fell 14% compared with the 2018-2019 season. U.S. ski areas tallied about 51.1 million visits in the shortened season. A visit is considered the use of a lift ticket for any part of the day.

But about seven months later, chairlifts started turning again, and guests embraced a new normal while skiing and snowboarding.

They wore masks, rode lifts only with their groups, and stood 6 feet (1.8 meters) apart in lines, or about the length of a typical ski. There was no dine-in service and no large gatherings for apres-ski drinks.

Vail Resorts, which owns 34 resorts in the United States and Canada, went a step further by requiring reservations.

But even with the restrictions, skiers and snowboarders weren’t deterred, and 78% of ski area operators said this season exceeded their expectations, according to an National Ski Areas Association survey.

“Americans yearned for safe outdoor recreation, and ski areas across the country delivered,” Pawlak said.

The average U.S. ski area was open for 112 days this past season, up from 99 days in the shortened 2019-20 season, according to the association. Most ski areas remained open as long as they had initially planned.

Meanwhile, small and medium-sized ski areas, which are defined by lift capacity, performed well because more guests chose to stay close to home for ski trips. Capacity restrictions, remote work opportunities and school flexibility also meant more skiers and riders hit the slopes on weekdays, easing some of the congestion typical of weekends and holidays.

“People had to change their habits during the pandemic, and ski areas were no different,” Pawlak said. “We tried new things and quickly learned that not only did they function as planned, but many of these ‘work-arounds’ improved the experience for our guests and staff members.”

The National Ski Areas Association is a trade group for ski area owners and operators and represents more than 300 alpine resorts that account for more than 90% of skier and snowboarder visits nationwide. The organization has been surveying ski area visitation since 1978.

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Aspen Skiing Co. down in pandemic plagued winter

While the U.S. ski industry logged its fifth-best season ever in 2020-21, Aspen Skiing Co. experienced a tough winter during the pandemic.

Denver-based National Ski Areas Association announced Tuesday that the country’s resort recorded about 59 million skier and snowboard rider visits this winter. Many resorts were able to capitalize on the high desire of people to get outside during the COVID-19 pandemic. One big trend was that people stuck close to home and skied at their hometown hills or ski resorts closest to them, according to NSAA.

Aspen Skiing Co. faced a tough time because international travel was almost non-existent and fewer “long haulers” within the U.S. ventured out for trips, according to Jeff Hanle, Skico vice president of communications.

The year started slow for Skico because Australians couldn’t travel here in droves as they usually do in January. Group business was wiped out because of capacity limits and physical distancing requirements.

Numerous domestic travelers canceled trips as the pandemic worsened and Pitkin County required arrivals to sign an affidavit acknowledging they hadn’t had COVID symptoms for 10 days and have either been vaccinated or have received a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of arriving in Pitkin County. Visitors also were required to quarantine for 10 days if they were not tested before arrival.

In addition, the snow was crummy in January. All those factors added up a rough start of ski season.

Read the full story from our partner at aspentimes.com.

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Keeler: Only Jamal Murray could save Nuggets now. Nikola Jokic tried. A Denver season running on fumes is just about cooked.

Can we say the quiet part out loud now? The Nuggets have hit The Jamal Murray Wall, finally. At about 150 miles per hour.

The brakes went out somewhere between Flagstaff and Grand Junction. Cripes, it’s a mess.

“We’re not going to wake up (Saturday) and it’s all going to be perfect and we got all the guys back,” Denver guard Monte Morris said after the Nuggets dropped their third straight to the Suns, 116-102, to put them a loss away from saying arrivederci to the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

“We can’t make excuses. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. This is who we have. We’ve been successful with guys out of the lineup, with guys in the lineup. So just because we lost, there’s no need to say, ‘Oh, we don’t have this guy and this guy and this guy.’”

Yeah. Yeah, there is.

Not your fault, Monte. It was a good run. Heck of a ride. It’s a credit to Morris, to Nikola Jokic, to coach Michael Malone, to this roster and to this coaching staff that they were able to hold off a wreck for this long.

The Suns’ starting backcourt is a Lamborghini. The Nuggets’ starting backcourt is a Yugo.  Facu Campazzo and Austin Rivers, bless them, have only so much horsepower to give. The fairy tale’s been running on fumes for a week.

The Avs choked. The Nuggets? The Nuggs ran into the inevitable. A short series? Against a really good team? With no Murray? They were always living on borrowed time.

And after Friday night, down 3-0, that time is almost up.

“We have had a tremendous season, tremendous,” Malone said of his Nuggets, who’ll try to stave off elimination Sunday at Ball Arena.

“I said going into this year, you can’t judge a season by the end result. We got to the Western Conference Finals last year … certain things can happen where we could have a better season this year and not get as far.”

Murray’s ACL tear happened back on April 12, and that was that. It’s been one of the great coaching jobs in the league to get the cart this far before it started teetering toward the ineludible ditch.

A great coaching job and a seminal big man in Jokic, an MVP trying to drag the sled, single-handedly some nights, for as long as he could.

“Just try to leave everything out there and in the fourth game,” said Jokic, who rolled his ankle in the first half of Game 3 and still left 32 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists for Phoenix to chew on.

“In the fourth game, you lose, we’re out, we (go) home. So we just need to go out there and fight and (give) everything we’ve got for Game 4. That’s the mindset.”

Jokic?

Warrior.

Morris, who responded to a challenging text from Malone earlier in the day with 21 points off the bench?

Warrior.

Will Barton, who pushed that bum hamstring over 28 minutes for 14 points and seven boards?

Warrior.

Aaron Gordon, the trade deadline prize who’s scored 10 points, combined, in the last two tilts?

Scared.

Soft.

And it’s a pity, because no matter how ESPN’s telecast made it sound, Nuggets fans showed up. Ask Josh Kroenke, the team president who got jeered by the Ball Arena crowd before the game with the sort of spite normally reserved for clueless commissioners such as Gary Bettman and Rob Manfred.

The Nuggs handed Jokic his MVP award. Then the Suns handed them their collective backsides.

Denver got a 3-2 cushion on the 2 seed thanks to a Rivers trey. That was the last home lead of the night, 90 seconds in. Phoenix responded with a 14-3 run that would’ve had most fans streaming for the exits, if they hadn’t only just arrived.

A special team, a monster, is coming out of this side of the Western Conference bracket.

Just not the Nuggets. Not this year.

When the loudest cheer in the fourth quarter is for Broncos kicker Brandon McManus on the scoreboard feed, pounding multiple beers from his seat, the spring’s officially toast.

“We’ve got to be able to take it if we dish it out,” Morris vowed. “I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for us. We’ve got to figure it out.”

It’s OK, Monte. Really. Malone’s spent two months in that Yugo with his foot slammed to the floor. They ran a good race. Fumes can only carry you so far.

Nikola Jokic joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain in history books, still apologized after Game 3 loss

As the third quarter of Friday’s Game 3 ended, Nikola Jokic ambled to the Nuggets’ bench and tugged his drenched jersey over his face.

He was frustrated, his team down 14 points heading into the fourth quarter with seemingly no answers for Phoenix’s dynamic backcourt. But there was guilt, too, after he’d just gone 4-for-11 in the quarter, and his team got outscored by 10.

Whether Jokic’s culpability had any merit (it, of course, did not) was immaterial. The fact that he felt responsible, on a night he joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only three players in NBA playoffs history with at least 32 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in one game, said everything one needs to know about Jokic’s character.

All that matters to him is winning, which is why Denver’s third consecutive loss to Phoenix stung so much.

The night he was awarded the MVP trophy, Jokic played with the type of effort that leaves an imprint on a team’s culture. He competed because that’s what he’s wired to do. It’s the reason he wanted to play all 72 games during the regular season. The idea of resting when healthy didn’t compute.

“He follows up the MVP award presentation by putting on an MVP performance,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “It’s just unfortunate that that was wasted.”

In the postgame locker room, after the Nuggets fell behind 3-0 to move to the verge of elimination, Jokic apologized to his team.

“I said to the guys, ‘It was my bad, I really needed to be better,’” Jokic said. When he relayed that message to reporters, he said it with the seriousness of a heart attack.

If it wasn’t so genuine it would’ve been laughable.

“I tried my best, for real,” he said. “I just didn’t want to lose.”

Jokic lamented missing some bunnies near the rim and was frustrated after shooting 13-of-29, including 1-of-6 from 3-point range. This, despite the fact that he rolled his ankle in the second quarter, was described as mentally and physically exhausted by his head coach earlier in the week and had no idea what kind of supporting help he’d get.

It turned out, not much.

Only reserves Monte Morris (21 points) and Will Barton (14) played with commensurate urgency and confidence. Michael Porter Jr.’s 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting felt like another win for the Suns given his potency.

Down 99-83 with 6:40 left in the game, Jokic wrangled one of the most ridiculous offensive rebounds of his career over four Suns players. Jokic whipped the ball off the backboard with his right hand, got the fingertips of his left hand on the ricochet, corralled it, and tipped it to himself three more times before throwing a no-look pass to Barton for a dunk.

The game was probably over. It was a meaningless sequence in terms of the final outcome, and the odds of him securing the loose board were probably the same as Denver’s chances of winning this second-round playoff series. Yet it was emblematic of the effort he put forth with his beleaguered team dragging toward the end of its season.

Thirty seconds after he snared the offensive rebound, he drew a technical foul for barking at officials. The Nuggets were down 14 at that point, their hopes of a comeback fading quickly. But their leader hadn’t conceded.

“You can’t buy heart,” Morris said of Jokic. “You can’t teach toughness … you just gotta have it in you, and he’s definitely got that.”

It’s why, according to Morris and Malone, the Nuggets aren’t ready to roll over heading into Game 4. A comeback, while technically possible, isn’t on anyone’s mind. What matters going into Sunday is competing, and nobody does it better than Jokic.

“I know Nikola, I love Nikola, I know that come Game 4, he’s gonna be with me and we’re going to try to do everything we can to prolong this series,” Malone said.

Colorado wildlife manager investigated for meddling with wolf reintroduction

A senior Colorado Parks and Wildlife manager has been reinstated after a 12-week investigation into a whistleblower’s allegations that he tried to sabotage the voter-directed reintroduction of wolves — using tactics that included hiring an outside group to post videos on YouTube and Facebook targeting pro-wolf state commissioners.

CPW Northwest Region Manager JT Romatzke has served in the agency for 23 years and is widely regarded as a star game warden. He was put on paid leave during the investigation and resumed work in April.

State investigators found “some” of the alleged offenses occurred, but officials this week wouldn’t specify. Following the investigation, “appropriate action was taken,” a state spokesman said, declining to give details. Romatzke wrote in an April 23 email that his “integrity and professionalism is intact” and he will “face the future with positivity and regain credibility.”

Colorado Department of Natural Resources and CPW officials declined to discuss the matter, but said in a statement “there is no question” that they are “fully committed to restoring wolves to Colorado as required by state law.”

In November 2020, voters narrowly approved Proposition 114, which requires CPW to reintroduce a self-sustaining wolf population in western Colorado before 2024. Gov. Jared Polis supports this and has emphasized there must be “paws on the ground” by the deadline.

But wolf reintroduction is unpopular in parts of rural Colorado where wolves are seen as a threat to cattle. It’s also unpopular among some Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists.

Documents and recordings reviewed by The Denver Post show CPW officials based on the Western Slope working to subvert voters’ directive to bring back wolves. Agency directors prohibited Romatzke and other regional agency officials from talking with media before the 2020 election — including The Post.

Romatzke was the subject of an official complaint filed Jan. 18 with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, with 11-year CPW employee Randy Hampton accusing him of:

  • Using state money to hire an outside group to anonymously post YouTube and Facebook videos casting negatively two pro-wolf commissioners appointed by Polis — Taishya Adams and Jay Tutchton. The complaint said Romatzke initially asked Hampton to “find a video editor,” saying “it couldn’t cost more than $5,000” and “we can find a way to pay it.” Hampton refused. In a Jan. 5 legally inadmissible taped phone call, which was shared with The Post, Romatzke told officials, “I’ve got an outside group doing just that. Don’t share that with anybody.” It’s unclear whether videos were posted.
  • Instructing the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado to obtain information that Polis had sent to CPW commissioners urging them to move faster than the deadline for wolf reintroduction. Polis urged consideration of completing work sooner because lawsuits could force the federal government to reinstate endangered species protection for wolves.
  • Guiding the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado to push anti-wolf perspectives in two northwest Colorado newspapers.
  • Sharing details of targeting the commissioners with other managers in a conference call, according to a taped version provided to The Post by the national whistleblower law group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which represents Hampton.

The HR department’s investigation concluded “some” of the alleged misdeeds occurred, but didn’t provide details in an April 18 letter that closed the case. Department of Natural Resources Spokesman Chris Arend cited privacy requirements around personnel matters and said officials were not available.

In an April conference call with the human resources director, CPW Director Dan Prenzlow and Romatzke, Hampton was given a choice of “onboarding” back to his position under Romatzke or resigning, according to a recording shared with the Post. Hampton voluntarily resigned, citing fears about safety for himself and his family in Grand Junction.

After moving to Denver, he then moved out of state.

Hampton said in an interview he was reluctant to file a complaint because Romatzke was a friend. He did so only at encouragement of Colorado Department of Natural Resources director Dan Gibbs, who Hampton said called him on a Sunday assuring him that if he filed the complaint he’d ” ‘be taken care of.’ ”

He said he resigned out of concern for the integrity of the CPW, and believes many “really great, passionate employees” are working under what he sees as ethically compromised conditions.

“I am anti forced-reintroduction, anti ballot-management of wildlife, for sure. But the voters spoke and our job is to get it done – not go out and interfere.” Hampton said.

Gibbs and Romatzke didn’t respond to requests for comment. Adams declined to comment publicly. Tutchton said he wasn’t fully informed of what happened and was glad to have “survived” what felt like a very difficult confirmation process.

“On their own time, people are free to trash me. … But the part about using state resources in that effort, that is inappropriate. People should not be doing that in their uniform or on state time,” he said in an interview.

While he has “heard the skepticism” about wolves, he believes many at CPW “are doing their best to implement the will of the voters.”

Hampton’s PEER attorneys say Colorado leaders need to better protect whistleblowers so that they don’t face retaliation.

“The people of Colorado voted for wolves reintroduction and when civil servants reject the will of the voters and substitute their own they are forsaking the democratic principles our nation was founded on,” senior attorney Kevin Bell said.

“He reported his supervisor, the supervisor was placed on leave for a few months, and our client was assured by the state that either the supervisor would be removed, or he would be reassigned to another position so he would not have to work under the same person he reported afterwards,” he said. “Neither of those things happened. The state substantiated the allegations and then did nothing.”

Earlier this week, Colorado officials announced the first wolf pups were born in the wild since the 1940s. State wildlife commissioners still must decide the number of wolves needed to achieve a self-sustaining population and where they’ll be released.

5 ways to get more out of Android 11

By J.D. Biersdorfer, The New York Times Company

Last week’s Tech Tip column collected several iOS 14 tips for iPhone users, and many phones running Google’s Android 11 operating system have similar controls — like the ability to customize the Quick Settings box or change the assistant’s synthetic voice. And once you start poking around in Android 11, you’ll find plenty of other useful features.

Here are just a few of them. These tips should work on Google’s recent Pixel models, but keep in mind that other phone makers often use their own modified versions of Android, so capabilities and menus may vary.

Have Google Wait for You

If you’ve chosen the Google Assistant as your virtual helper and use the current version of Google’s Phone app for your calls, you can team them up with the Hold for Me feature to handle one of modern life’s most annoying tasks: waiting for a customer-service representative. (You also need at least a Pixel 3 or another compatible phone.)

To enable Hold for Me, open the Phone app and tap the three-dot More menu to get to the settings. Select Hold for Me and then tap the button to turn on the feature.

When you dial a toll-free number and are put on hold, tap the onscreen button to activate Hold for Me. The Google Assistant takes over listening for a human and displays a “Don’t hang up” notice. When the customer service representative picks up the call, Google Assistant changes the screen message to “Someone’s waiting to talk to you” and highlights the “Return to call” button. The phone captures the audio and a transcript of the call, and you have the option to share the data with Google to help improve the feature.

Set Up Guest Access

Lending your phone to someone has its risks — especially lending it to a young someone who wants to watch videos but may also wander into your email and contacts list. To keep the peace — and to keep your personal files secure — you can make use of Android’s longtime “Multiple Users” setting. With it, you can set up a guest account or separate user account on your phone.

Open the Settings app, select System, then Advanced and Multiple Users. Tap the On button and then Add User to create a new account or use the guest account. You can switch accounts here or by swiping down from the top of the screen with two fingers to open the Quick Settings box and tapping the User icon.

Record Your Screen

Screen recordings are useful for presentations, demonstrations and troubleshooting. After years of third-party apps doing the job, Android 11 now includes a Screen Recorder app.

To use it, swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers to open the Quick Settings box and then swipe to the second page of settings. Tap the Screen Record icon, turn on the controls for audio and screen taps (if needed) and tap Start. To stop recording, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the red notification bar. The recording is saved in the Movies library.

Use Your Power (Button)

The Quick Settings panel is handy, but Android 11 adds yet another place to stash commonly used controls: Press and hold the phone’s Power button until the Power Menu appears. Here, you have shortcuts for shutting down or restarting the phone, using Google Pay to buy stuff and managing smart home devices. Install an app like Power Menu Controls or Tasker and you can add other system controls to the screen.

Another use for the Power button? Quickly press it twice to go right to the Camera app for that quick snap.

Herd Cats

Software developers have a history of sneaking so-called Easter eggs into code, and Android has long upheld this tradition. Android 11 revives a previous prize: a hidden game that sets digital cats roaming around your phone. To play it, go to the About Phone section of the Settings and tap “Android version” a few times. When a volume dial appears, crank it all the way up three times until you see an “11” and a cat emoji appear on the screen.

Next, hold down the Power button to get to the Power Menu. Tap the three-dot More menu to select Add Controls. Select “See other apps” at the bottom of the screen, select “Cat Controls” and add the water dish, food bowl and cat toy to your Power Menu. Tap these controls and digital cats will begin to appear in your notifications or in floating bubbles, ready to be named and saved into your onscreen kitty corral. It’s not a complex game, but it’s a way to spend the time until the final version of Android 12 arrives this year.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.