FOX31 Problem Solvers and Colorado’s Own Channel 2 hosting phone bank to help Hurricane Harvey victims

The FOX31 Problem Solvers and Colorado’s Own Channel 2 are teaming up with The Salvation Army to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Representatives from The Salvation Army will be hosting a live phone bank in studio starting Monday at 4 p.m. for anyone who wants to call and offer help to victims.

Our phone bank will run through Channel 2 News at 11 p.m. on Monday and continue from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning during Good Day Colorado and Daybreak on Channel 2.

If you want to help right now, you can donate to The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) or donate online.

Hurricane Harvey has caused has ripped apart homes, knocked out power, and left unprecedented flooding across southeast Texas. The catastrophic flooding from Harvey is expected to last into this week.

The Salvation Army has already deployed 42 mobile kitchens and two field kitchens to Texas. In addition to units already based in Texas, mobile kitchens from Arkansas and Oklahoma were also sent to the region over the weekend.

The mobile kitchens can serve an average of 1,500 meals per day.

The Salvation Army has also staged emergency supplies such as cleanup kits, water, and food at its disaster center in Arlington, Texas, and at points nearer to the coast.

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who kneeled for the "Star Spangled Banner" before eight games last season, said he has not decided if he would kneel for the national anthem this season.

Marshall has stood during the anthem for the Broncos’ two preseason games, but both were on the road and Marshall did not play in last weekend’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Broncos’ final two preseason games — Saturday night and Aug. 31 — are both in Denver, as is the regular-season opener Sept. 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

"I’m still thinking about that, honestly," Marshall said after practice Thursday. " …Before I took a knee last year, I decided I just don’t want to take one, I want to put some actions behind it," Marshall said. "In my opinion as long as everybody that’s doing it is out there actively doing something about it, like [Colin Kaepernick], like me, like Malcolm [Jenkins], Michael Bennett, Marshawn Lynch does a lot in his community, as long as people are actively doing something while they’re protesting, I think it’s beautiful. And it could actually have a huge impact."

Marshall, who was Kaepernick’s teammate in college at Nevada, lost two major endorsements last season as he became a flashpoint among those who agreed with his right to protest and those who believed he should stand for the anthem.

As part of his decision to kneel, Marshall also met with Denver’s police chief and Denver’s police union, the Denver Protective Association, to "try to make real change." Marshall also donated money to Denver charities for every tackle he made last season.

Marshall said he decided to stand once again for the anthem last season because, "I felt like some real change had taken place and that were a part of that."

Marshall has continued to draw highly emotional reactions on both sides of the issue on social media and in letters he receives at the team’s complex. He says more group action like the 12 Cleveland Browns’ players taking a knee in prayer before Monday night’s preseason game is a sign more players feel compelled to be involved.

"I think what I like about it is more people aren’t scared," Marshall said. "Some people were scared of it last year, they didn’t know how the team was going to look at it, the thing with Kaepernick, all of the backlash he was getting, people aren’t scared of that anymore. People aren’t scared of what the team might say or what the fans might say and I think that’s how it should be."

Marshall was also asked Thursday why, if some people in the stands at games leave their hats on during the anthem or are walking to their seats, have NFL players been the target of so much anger from the public.

"I guess because we’re in the public spotlight, you can actively see us, I guess we’re supposed to be held to a higher standard, but we all should be held to the same standard," Marshall said. "Some people don’t even stand up in the stands. But [it’s] probably because they can reach us on Twitter and know it might create — there’s a story behind it. I don’t know, because there’s a lot of people who don’t do what they’re supposed to do during the anthem."

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DENVER – Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced Monday that "faithless elector" Micheal Baca won’t be prosecuted for voting against Hillary Clinton back in December.

Baca, one of Colorado’s nine original members of Colorado’s Electoral College, wrote in Ohio Governor John Kasich when electors met to vote at the state capitol. Protesters booed and yelled as Baca was replaced with a new elector for the vote on Dec. 19.

The vote was part of Baca’s failed attempt to rally enough electors around the country to deny Donald Trump the presidency. Voting against the popular vote in Colorado is against the law.

PREVIOUS: Colorado electors sue to vote against popular vote to keep Trump out of office

A statement from Coffman’s office said that rather than prosecute Baca, her office will instead attempt to work with the Secretary of State’s office to improve the law. The statement said these possible solutions include "providing for the automatic disqualification of an elector and the immediate substitution of an alternate elector by operation of law, and voting for alternate electors at the same time as electors."

However, the statement did not say how this is different than current practices. Raw video of the vote from December shows the SOS office disqualify Baca, select a new elector, swear in a new elector and take a new vote within minutes.

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Baca and other faithless electors brought their fight to court leading up to the electors’ meeting. Federal and state courts refused to allowed electors to go against the popular vote.

"I am disappointed by the decision not to prosecute the faithless elector who flagrantly violated his oath immediately after taking it," Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said.

"While it is true that we worked successfully with the political parties and the courts to stop his attempt to steal the votes of 2.9 million Coloradans, the decision not to prosecute leaves Coloradans without an assurance that future electors won’t hijack the will of millions of Colorado voters. I look forward to working with the attorney general to ensure enforcement in the future."

© 2017 KUSA-TV

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Denver is the capital of the American state Colorado. And there are a variety of wonderful facts about this city that you may not have known about. In this article, we will share with you 10 fun facts about Denver, Colorado.

1. The first person to trademark the cheeseburger, one Louis Ballast, lived in Denver.

2. Denver, Colorado is responsible for the brewing of more beer than any other location in the nation. In fact, over 200 varieties of beer are brewed on a daily basis.

3. The state capitol located in Denver is plated with actual 24K gold. The inside contains Colorado Rose Onyx, and the entire world’s supply went into the construction of the building.

4. Denver houses more baby boomers than any other city located in the United States.

5. Denver sits at the elevation of exactly one mile (5280 feet), earning the city the nickname of the Mile High City.

6. The famous Blue Mustang sculpture (which is slightly eerie in appearance anyway) is rumored to be cursed. The sculptor died in a freak accident after a piece of the sculpture itself fell on his leg and severed an artery. This fact has earned the sculpture nicknames such as, “Blucifer” and “Devil Horse.” Creepy, to say the least!

7. There are more marijuana dispensaries located in Denver than there are Starbucks stores in the city (marijuana is legal in Colorado).

8. The very first Chipotle Mexican Grill was established in the city of Denver, Colorado.

9. Denver enjoys, on average, 300 sunshine-filled days per year, making it one of the sunniest cities within the United States.

10. In the city of Denver, it is against the law to lend your neighbor your vacuum cleaner. Strange!

In conclusion, Denver is a wonderful and unique city full of fun facts. Use this list to impress your friends with what you know about the capital of Colorado.

Fans of the Denver Broncos set records with their attendance at training camp this year. It was an impressive show of support for the team, and not an uncommon theme. Broncos country is one of the best fanbases in the NFL. However, Broncos Country is a little uneasy right now.

There is a dark cloud over the franchise. Every report, tweet, or crow about the Broncos is met with fear, anger, arguments, and consternation. The reason for this uneasiness? The obvious football cliche that all franchises hope to avoid. If you have two quarterbacks, you actually have none.

There is an interesting phenomenon in football that Denver fans have been dealing with over the summer. With no true QB, every little issue seems like the end of the world. As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio podcast, not having a solid starter at the QB position makes everything else murky.

Just think back to August 12th. Derek Wolfe goes down with an injury, and Twitter blows up with the end of the season. Losing Wolfe would have been detrimental to the season, but the cloud of darkness crept in pretty quickly. Then Chris Harris Jr. seemed to tweek something. Nothing major, but the reaction on Twitter was deep fear and panic.

Derek Wolfe is not putting any weight on his right leg. Now being carted back to the main building. Awful news.

— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2017

The observation here is actually a simple one. There is a calming affect a starting QB has on a franchise. Imagine the reaction of Broncos Country during the Peyton Manning era. Yes, fans would have been unhappy. Yes, a small amount of panic may have set in. But no, it would not have been the apocalyptic scene of today’s fans.

At this point, the Broncos need a starting quarterback to simply act as a Xanax for the fans. Whether Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch is named the starter, the sooner it happens the better. It seems as if this will all be over soon. The second preseason game will be Lynch’s chance to impress the coaching staff. Siemian looks like he has done enough to retain the starting job for now. Of course, even after a starter is named everything could change.

Not only is the season far from over, it is far from started. If the last few weeks have been hard on your ticker, you may want to get some heart medication. Until the Broncos have the QB situation figured out, even the smallest blip will cause the sky to tumble. It might be time to buy an umbrella.

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The Denver City Council has approved a $1.8 billion public-private partnership project to redesign the Jeppesen Terminal of Denver International Airport. P3s, which are more commonly used in Europe, Australia and Canada, are typically made up of a private consortium of companies to design, build and finance a project while ownership remains with the public entity. The project is expected to create 400 to 450 construction jobs, more than 800 permanent jobs and "generate an additional $3.5 million in annual taxes and general fund revenue for the City of Denver," the airport said in a statement.

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A cottonwood tree that provided shade for the Ute tribes of western Colorado before the arrival of white settlers has grown rotten and unstable and must be trimmed into a memorial that recognizes its once-imposing stature.

The Ute Council Tree in the western Colorado town of Delta is believed to be about 215 years old. But the cottonwood can no longer be considered safe, The (Grand Junction) Daily Sentinel reported .

The Delta County Historical Society reports that the last surviving limb fell on a windless morning Aug. 1.

The Ute tribes whose forebears lived in western Colorado before 1881, when the region was opened up for settlement, will be consulted about what steps to take next, Jim Wetzel, director of the Delta County Historical Society Museum, said Friday.

“Culturally, it’s important to the Utes,” Wetzel said.

Related: This Fort Collins man wants a ban on big, brittle trees

There are some who say the tree was a meeting place for Utes and the settlers, but he has found no evidence to support that claim,, Wetzel said.

It could be, however, that Utes met there to discuss such things as treaties with the United States, but no documents were signed under its shade, he said. Most of those events took place in Washington, D.C., he said.

The tree, which once was part of a cottonwood gallery along the Gunnison River on the east side of Delta, has withered over the last 25 years, having lost all but its crown.

The lower trunk was filled with concrete in 1961, but it’s become clear that the tree core has been hollowed out with rot, the society said.

David Bailey, curator of history for the Museums of Western Colorado, said he hoped a cutting from the council tree could be planted nearby as a living tribute to the Utes and their history.

About 10 feet of the trunk will remain as a memorial, Wetzel said.

Outdoors: What’s in the worst shape at Rocky? The stuff you can’t see

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DENVER — The Denver Sheriff’s Department paid out $14 million in overtime in 2016, and despite efforts to lower costs, is on pace to match that number this year.

The Department hired nearly 200 new deputies in the past year and vowed to change employment practices to help solve the problem. But a union leader tells the FOX 31 Problem Solvers that deputies are concerned.

“We had 80 slots just today alone to fill,” said FOP Lodge #27 Vice President Mike Britton. “And that’s on a regular basis.”

Britton says he has already worked 438 hours of overtime in the first six months of 2017.

“Today I worked 14 hours,” he said. “Tomorrow I’ll work 14 more. Right now we don’t have a safe jail. When you start having officers work this amount of overtime.”

Britton tells the Problem Solvers that each officer can work a maximum of 32 hours of overtime each week, in addition to their regular hours.

“You’re talking well over 100 hours in a given two-week period,” he said. “You cannot sustain that without people breaking down and without mistakes being made.”

After paying out $14 million in overtime in 2016, in the first six months of 2017 the Department has paid out nearly $7 million, according to the Department of Public Safety.

One deputy cashed in more than $111,000 in overtime in 2016, while three others made at least $90,000 in overtime alone.

Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman was unavailable for an interview request from the Problem Solvers, but said in a statement:

“While overtime use remains a focal point, the Department recognizes that recruiting and employee retention are the larger, underlying issue and work is underway to employ strategies that will increase staffing level.”

Britton says deputies have been calling for more hires, but it’s not working.

“These officers see the dysfunction of this Department and the way it is being managed and they exit as quick as they get in there,” he said. “It’s a mess here. Total mess, and it’s not getting any better.”

Despite the overtime pay, the Department came in under their total budget by $126,000 in 2016 and is on pace to come in under budget in 2017, according to Sheriff Firman.

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt visited the site of the devastating Gold King Mine spill in Colorado that spilled 3 million gallons of contaminated mine water into the Cement Creek and Animas River, saying the Obama EPA “failed” at its mission to protect the environment.

“EPA should be held to the same standard as those we regulate,” Pruitt said about the visit that took place on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the spill.

“The previous administration failed those who counted on them to protect the environment,” Pruitt said.

The press announcement of the visit noted that in January 2017, the previous EPA administration denied 79 administrative claims filed by farmers, ranchers, homeowners, businesses, employees, state and local governments, as well as other individuals seeking damages in connection with the Gold King Mine incident.

“Despite the release of 3 million gallons of contaminated water tainted with arsenic, lead and other heavy metals, which turned the Animas River mustard-yellow, and moved along the San Juan River through Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and American Indian land to Lake Powell in Utah, the EPA Administrator at the time, Gina McCarthy, nor President Obama nor Vice President Biden, ever visited the site of the spill itself,” the press release announcing the visit said.

The visit fulfilled the promise Pruitt made during his confirmation hearing to visit the site. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper joined Pruitt for a tour of the site.

Following the tour, EPA political appointees participated in a town hall in Durango, Colo. with local residents about how they were affected by the spill.

“We want to listen and learn directly from the community,” Ken Wagner, senior advisor to the administrator for regional and state affairs, said.

“The local community is ground zero in environmental disasters, and we want to hear their concerns and do our best to coordinate and provide assistance,” Wagner said.

The Denver Post reported that Pruitt pointed out the hypocrisy on this disaster compared to the Obama administration’s anti-fossil fuel agenda.

“I think it’s safe to say if this had been any other company, a BP-type of a situation, there would have been an investigation that would ensue by the agency and there would have been accountability,” Pruitt said. “That didn’t take place here.

“The federal government should not be able to hide behind sovereign immunity when the facts don’t meet the protections,” Pruitt said.

“In my estimation, the EPA walked away from those folks and left them in a position of incurring damages without taking accountability,” Pruitt said.

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrest a suspect in Los Angeles on Feb. 17. Under a proposal by two Denver City Council members, the Denver Sheriff Department no longer would send notification to ICE when an inmate wanted on an immigration detainer is about to be released from jail.

Re: “Latest ICE-dodging proposal in Denver goes too far,” July 25 editorial.

As a Denver resident, I have been appalled and scared since the election. I’m appalled at the level of hate coming from the federal administration that I now see in this city I love so much. I feel scared of the policies that threaten to tear apart thousands more families, including my own.

As a DACA recipient, I have been able to work doing what I love, contributing to our economy. I am anxiously awaiting the fate of DACA. Meanwhile, at the local level, our city’s collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement has me equally stressed.

Allowing ICE to enter schools, churches and courthouses and allowing ICE to pick up people in jail — when we know rehabilitation and a just and fair criminal justice system will always be more effective — has to end. The proposed city ordinance will do just this, and with it will come a truly safe and welcoming city for all.

Paul Yumbla, Denver

The writer is a Denver teacher and a fellow with Padres & Jóvenes Unidos.

I was frustrated to read your response to Denver City Council members Robin Kniech and Paul Lopez’s bill. To suggest that this bill is simply a knee-jerk reaction to Donald Trump is offensive and misses the bigger issue. The proposed bill is not in violation of any federal laws and repeatedly states that city officials must comply with federal law. Secondly, we’ve seen what happens when cities or states support anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona and Texas. Families are torn apart, more tax dollars are spent, anyone undocumented stops reporting crimes even when they’re the victims, and Latino people are even more the targets of racism.

Naomi W. Nishi, Denver

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