This Custom Chevy Colorado Pre-Runner Is an Exercise in Off-Road Excess

An off-road racer’s pre-runner truck is a tool for making sure that the course to be tackled is first thoroughly investigated. You want your co-driver to know where the bumps, ruts, and other pitfalls are. This way when you’re blasting across the desert at 100 mph in the dark of night, you have an idea of what’s in front of you. It makes sense, then, that sometimes people can go a little overboard when building their pre-runners.

Say hello to one such build. This is no longer a stock Chevrolet Colorado, though it started life that way. Instead, it’s been transformed by Roadster Shop of Illinois into the “ColoRADo.” It lives up to its name based on a quick glance alone, but backs up all of that style when you dive into the spec sheet and watch all the fabrication that was done in the video above.

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The customized body plays host to a wealth of parts that should help this truck power through pretty much anything. And power through it shall thanks to the 730-horsepower LS7 V-8 sitting toward the rear of the engine compartment. A set of Fox racing shocks work with custom suspension components crafted by the tuning shop to give this ColoRADo a massive 22 inches of travel in the front and 27 inches in the rear. That’s all made possible by a completely new frame that the shop also fabricated.

From the aluminum bodywork to the massive engine and on to the incredible suspension, we’re both in awe and terrified. We’re in awe of the capability this truck has on tap. We terrified of the tab for the final build cost.

And no, your new Colorado ZR2 can’t do what this truck can.

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Event Planning

Colorado event planning done right. There are several different companies who offer this type of service but we all know that they are not all created the same. Some will do a very good job in some will not. That is just the truth in business in the truth for industries of all kinds. You typically have companies who aren’t really good, those who are pretty average and those who are really good. It is often the case, that people are looking for companies who are really good and they want us companies at a good value.

Determining a good value for a Colorado event planning company can be very subjective. Some people foolishly only pay attention to price and price alone. Sometimes on price alone is the only metric that they look at the end that with the cheap company, the bad reputation and who cannot pull off their event properly. So the end up with something that actually do not want. But if they take the time to find a quality company, they will get exactly what they’re looking for. Good value as in a quality company at a very good price. One who does have a very good reputation in the industry and who is recommended by other people who have put on similar events. So ultimately finding a valuable company at a good price should be the objective.

Someone looking for this type company, don’t be just concerned with price but be concerned with performance and experience as well. Because it is making the combination of all of these things that you forget what you truly want. When price is the only metric you just get a cheap price and not necessarily a good service. So finding this type of company should be your priority.

Crash on WB C470 at US285

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Emergency crews responded to a fatal motorcycle crash on westbound C470 near US 285 late Saturday afternoon.

The Colorado State Patrol said C470 westbound was closed at Quincy during the investigation.

Investigators said the motorcycle hit the guardrail and crashed. The female rider was killed.

There were lengthy delays in that area and drivers needed to find alternate routes in the southwest part of the metro area.

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Goose Bumps! Here

Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) Colorado Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds (12) and Colorado Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) laugh in the dugout before their game against the Cleveland Indians on June 7, 2017 in Denver at Coors Field.

Is this how it happens? And did anyone see it coming? In the 25th season of the Rockies’ existence, at 3:44 on a warm, spring afternoon, a Colorado native walked from the mound at Coors Field toward the dugout, and Denver became a real baseball town.

“I got chills from that standing ovation,” Kyle Freeland said Wednesday.

Me, too. As Freeland received a standing ovation from the crowd of 36,909, I looked at my arms.

Total goose bumps.

I’ve been waiting for a quarter century, longer than Freeland has been alive, for Denver to take its baseball seriously, to live and die with the Rockies on an afternoon game in the middle of the week, the same way Broncomaniacs give their heart to the local NFL team 24/7.

Real baseball passion does not become part of the civic fabric overnight. But what happened when Freeland departed the mound after a fine outing that propelled Colorado to a 8-1 victory against Cleveland was organic and genuine and strong. It was a crashing tsunami of sound.

“It just built. … As I started walking to the dugout, it got louder and louder and louder,” said Feeland, letting the noise of the standing ovation wash over him. “It was almost to the point to where you couldn’t really think. And that’s when I got the chills.”

In the visitors’ clubhouse before the game, Cleveland manager Terry Francona was asked his impression of baseball in the rarefied air of 5,280 feet above sea level. Mind you, he has been here before, winning a championship as the skipper for Boston in 2007, when there was an unfriendly takeover of LoDo by those wicked passionate fans of the Red Sox.

But contemplating the challenge of playing every day at Coors, Francona dropped his head in his hand, and simply said this: “Yikes!”

Colorado pummeled the defending American League champions, with the Rockies beating Cleveland by the aggregate score of 19-4 to win their 14th series of the young season. After the second loss, Francona was asked to evaluate our gritty little ballclub, and his response was as grumpy as a bear awaken from a long nap by a bee sting.

Yes, our cuddly little ballclub is all grown up, and is a real pain in the rear. Playing the Rockies can put anybody in a foul mood, whether the foe happens to be the Indians or the Dodgers or the Cubs.

“What are they going to do, just pass on the series? They’ve got to play here,” outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. “When you lose two games by a lot of runs, they’re going to be frustrated.

At 20th and Blake, baseball has always been more about the Dippin’ Dots and the sunshine, rather than the beauty found in the sweet subtleties of a double switch. Since those giddy old days of Rocktober, when the whole town was jumping on the bandwagon, the loudest noise made by local fans has often been an attempt to drown out the embarrassment of refugees from Midwest winters chanting: “Let’s go, Cubs!”

It bugged me. Heck, it has irked Colorado players. “You’ve seen how it is when we play the Cubs here. You get that feeling like, ‘What the hell?’ It’s messed up,” Gonzalez told me.

But could the Rockies of 2017 be good enough to capture the imagination and the attention of a Broncos town from now until October? If there’s a real baseball vibe in a ballpark, a real appreciation for the six hits Freeland scattered against the Indians, it makes a difference.

“It definitely gives you that little boost, especially when you get to that grind of July and August,” said Colorado first baseman Mark Reynolds, who has played in Baltimore and Chicago, where baseball has really mattered for generations.

As a legitimate World Series contender, are the Rockies for real? You tell me.

But this is what Gonzalez said: “They better start taking us seriously.”

There’s no arguing with Colorado’s 38-23 record, the first time the team has been 15 games over .500 since September 2010. Third baseman Nolan Arenado does something nearly every day that makes you, me and Todd Helton wonder if we’re all witnesses to the first Hall of Famer to wear purple pinstripes. But can the rookie quartet of Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman, German Marquez and Freeland possibly be as good as their aggregate 22 victories and 3.61 earned-run average suggest? Or is it just a dream? Nobody knows for certain.

But this much I do know. As Freeland walked off the mound, as the crowd stood as one and the noise of a spontaneous standing ovation swept through across Coors Field, it all seemed as real as the goose bumps on the back of a young pitcher’s neck.

After 25 years, Denver finally feels like a town where baseball really matters.

Yikes.

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“I See What You Mean,” by Denver artist Lawrence Argent stands outside the Colorado Convention Center.

Denver city planners and promoters have developed a first-rate design to expand the Colorado Convention Center, but it comes with some big problems. Chief among them is that its plan to pay for the upgrades is too clever by half.

City Council members and residents should be concerned. While expanding the facility makes sense to fulfill a reasonable need — and the designs are really cool — the novel scheme the city developed to pay for the upgrades strikes us as a bad precedent. We hope council members send this plan back to the drawing board.

The scheme intends to deal with the eye-popping new cost estimate for the expansion. When the city went to voters in 2015 to ask for the right to raise tourism taxes to fund the National Western redevelopment and the convention center expansion, voters were under the impression that the $104 million to be raised for the Big Blue Bear’s den would cover it. Now the city estimates it will take $233 million — an increase of 124 percent.

Denver wants to fill the gap in large part with the creation of a new-to-Colorado special taxing district, the establishment of which avoids going to residents to approve. We appreciate that in any other city — not located in Colorado, home of the stifling Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights — elected officials would be able to adjust the lodging tax to compensate for the increased costs. However, this work-around gives precious taxing authority to a tiny group of elites to raise a good chunk of the money by upping the lodging tax another 1 percent to 15.75 percent.

Should the City Council green-light the scheme, come Election Day, while Denver voters weigh in on whether to approve a massive bond issue, the new special district — called a tourism improvement district — would be voted on by the 116 hotels in Denver with more than 50 rooms. Each hotel gets one vote. Approval requires a simple majority. Forty-three of those hotels are located downtown, and, given that large companies tend to own multiple hotels, the actual number of independent voters in the district is much smaller than the whole.

In the likelihood that the hotels approve the plan, then, lodging taxes for the larger hotels would increase across the city, and contribute to the arms race of expanded tourism taxes across the country.

Yes, the convention center is a huge economic force. And the city wants to win the prestige of attracting the lucrative Outdoor Retailer trade show. But Colorado’s largest city doesn’t need to pave the way for another special taxing district. We already have plenty, and it’s debatable whether all of them are in the broader best interest. There are business improvement districts, metropolitan districts, general improvement districts or urban renewal districts — all of which have been granted taxing authority once created. When does it stop?

Meanwhile, people already are flocking to Denver as one of the nation’s go-to places. Everywhere costs are through the roof and challenges with them. Many of the city’s urban jewels, like the 16th Street Mall, are being degraded by the opioid epidemic and related vagrancy issues the city still doesn’t have under control. And what about the areas of the city that aren’t downtown? Affordable housing? Every new tax increase detracts from possible future city investments.

No doubt, the new convention center plans are a good investment of public dollars, so why not let the voters decide?

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit online or check out our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.

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A Google self-driving car is displayed at the Google headquarters on Sept. 25, 2012 in Mountain View, California. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed State Senate Bill 1298 that allows driverless cars to operate on public roads for testing purposes. The bill also calls for the Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations that govern licensing, bonding, testing and operation of the driverless vehicles before Jan. 2015.

If you’re thinking about developing an autonomous vehicle in Colorado, go ahead. It’s now legal, as long as you obey all of the existing rules of the road, according to legislation signed into law Thursday by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“It’s hard to get the right balance between regulation and avoiding the red tape that sometimes stifles innovation,” said Hickenlooper, standing in front of a Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicle that was trucked in from Michigan and is on its way for road tests in Arizona. “This is the right balance that allows Colorado to be a hotbed of innovation.”

Senate Bill 17-213, which was introduced in March, is the first Colorado law touching on driverless cars. It wasn’t meant to delve into the nitty-gritty of how autonomous vehicles should operate on the state’s roads. But rather, said sponsor state Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, the new law focused on creating a process that allows for autonomous vehicles to be tested safely.

People in the cars, for example, must still fasten their seatbelts, Hill said.

“We were very clear in writing the law that we’re not changing any of those other laws. Obviously, seatbelts is one of them. Turning indicators, moving aside for emergency vehicles — all of those laws still have to be followed,” Hill said. “If you get into a car and don’t fasten your seatbelt, you’re the one liable. It’s not your car’s job to make sure you as the owner are doing your job.”

The law does require companies who plan to test driverless cars in Colorado to first check in with the Colorado Department of Transportation and State Patrol.

Driverless cars — which use sensors, cameras, GPS and lasers to drive on their own — are being tested on the roads in California, Arizona and Michigan. While most states have pending legislation or have considered rules, Colorado becomes the 16th to pass legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Governors in three other states have issued executive orders related to autonomous vehicles.

During Thursday’s bill-signing ceremony, which was held at Marjorie Park’s Museum of Outdoor Arts in Greenwood Village, Hickenlooper left the podium to sign the bill on the hood of the EV Bolt, a test vehicle with LIDAR equipment on its roof and sensors taped to the side of the car.

When the bill was first introduced in March, opponents expressed concern about safety and wished the bill included language for a back-up human driver. But proponents, including Advocacy Denver, pointed out how driverless cars could improve opportunities for people with disabilities, while a farmer representing the Colorado Farm Bureau said that his auto-pilot tractor greatly reduced accidents at night.

In Colorado, Panansonic is developing a smart city that will include autonomous electric EZ10 shuttles from France’s EasyMile, which is also moving its U.S. headquarters to Denver. The state also hosted Uber’s self-driving semi truck in October that drove Budweiser beer more than 120 miles to Colorado Springs from Fort Collins.

But as for GM expanding its self-driving tests to Colorado?

“Denver, as you’ve heard, is now open for business so it’s certainly under consideration by GM and by anybody else in the industry. There are a lot of other companies developing this technology as well,” Lightsey said. “…That’s the exciting part of it too. You don’t have to be an automaker to develop this and that’s the good thing about the Colorado law.”

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Racist Indy 500 Tweet

Takuma Sato knew how much his Indianapolis 500 victory meant to his Japanese fans. “This is going to be mega-big,” the driver said Sunday. “A lot of the Japanese fans are following the IndyCar Series and many, many flew over for the Indianapolis 500. We showed the great result today and I am very proud of it.”

But for Terry Frei, an award-winning sports writer for The Denver Post, all that celebration meant nothing. Frei hopped on Twitter to express his discomfort with seeing a Japanese man win America’s most prestigious auto race. Here’s a screen capture of the tweet, via Michael Whitney:

Frei apologized for the tweet and even provided a full explanation about the emotional stakes he’d invested into Memorial Day and this race’s symbolism. Too late.

Frei’s explanation was about what Memorial Day and, by extension, the Indianapolis 500, mean to him. His story of his father leaving for the war and losing friends along the way was something many Americans can relate to.

As he says, “72 years have passed since the end of World War II.” Sato is 40 years old. There’s a chance even his parents were born after the war ended. Every country in the world has its share of ugliness in its past, and conflating that with a single race-car driver from 2017 is ridiculous.

But Frei also lost sight of the true history of the Indianapolis 500. The race predates not only World War II, but also World War I. The first Indy 500 was in 1911, and the idea was to create a race for the world to come compete in. That 1911 field included drivers from all over Europe, as well as an Australian driver who failed to qualify. By 1913, three of the top five finishers were from Europe.

Sato is the first Asian driver to win the Indy 500. His victory should come with open arms, not closed fists.

Frei, who has written eight sports books and worked for The Sporting News, the Portland Oregonian and the defunct Rocky Mountain News as well as the Post, has not commented on Twitter since his dismissal.

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A young David Shuker dodged bullets and helped East Germans escape communism at the hottest spot of the Cold War. But all the while, Shuker still pined over what he was missing back home at Abraham Lincoln High School.

“When I left and went into the service, I was thinking ‘What have I done?” said Shuker, now 71. “I did not get to go to the senior prom. I didn’t get my letter jacket.”

“But the thing I missed the most of all was these kids I grew up with,” Shuker added. “I didn’t get to walk down the aisle with them to graduate.”

The white-haired Shuker gets to re-write some of his missing history June 1, when he strides across the commencement stage at the University of Denver-Ritchie Center, wearing a robe and mortarboard, and becomes a proud Abraham Lincoln Lancer graduate. He’ll even be escorted by Lincoln High’s Junior ROTC squad.

Shuker got his GED when he was in the Army in the early 1960s. But the actual paper diploma is a special token that Shuker wishes his mom could see.

“Above all else, she wanted me to graduate from high school,” Shuker said. “Oh man, I wish she could see me.”

At least some of his old classmates can bear witness. A front row of chairs is being set aside for his friends and family at the commencement and he is throwing a graduation party June 3.

“Everybody can come,” he said. “I can’t wait.”

The school even made a special commencement invitation for Shuker, changing the Class of 2017 to the Class of 1964.

“We wanted to make this special for not only Mr. Shuker but also the students at the school,” said Alex Renteria, spokeswoman for Denver Public Schools. “Here is a man who gave up a chance to get his high school diploma to serve his country. And even after all this time, his high school graduation is something he wants more than anything.”

“I think kids need to see that,” she said.

Shuker is getting his high school diploma through Operation Recognition, a national program that awards diplomas to qualified World War II, Korea and Vietnam era veterans. It is offered locally by the Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Association of School Boards.

“One day these individuals were carrying textbooks and the next they were carrying weapons in order to protect our nation and preserve our freedom,” said Renteria. “The sacrifices they made changed their lives and teenage experiences and, in turn, made ours better.”

Shuker grew up in Denver and began attending Lincoln High as a sophomore in 1961. But problems with this stepfather drove him to join the Army after his junior year. That and a family history of military service.

“Just about my whole family was in the military at one time or another,” said Shuker. “I guess I wanted to be a hero too.”

Because he was 17, Shuker’s mom had to release him to the Army. He trained to be a mechanic to repair tanks and Jeeps.

A few days after President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, he was shipped to Munich, Germany, to help patrol the Berlin Wall. “Those were tense times and scary, especially for a young kid,” Shuker said.

His Jeep patrol was shot at several times by grey-suited Russian soldiers but Shuker, who manned a M-60 machine gun, couldn’t shoot back. “They said that would start an international incident,” he said.

The East German soldiers were much friendlier and talked to the Americans a lot. One East German in particular begged to be taken over to West Germany.

“So a bunch of us just grabbed him and drug him over the wall,” Shuker said.

After four years, Shuker knew he didn’t want to make a career out of the Army. He returned to Denver, married his high school sweetheart and started working as a mechanic. He later joined the U.S Postal Service and retired in 2001.

He never considered going back to high school when he was younger. “I was just 20 when I got out of the Army, but I was a changed person by then and I had other things in mind and decided to move on with my life,” he said.

But last year Shuker heard about Operation Recognition and realized how much he coveted an actual diploma from Lincoln High. He contacted the school and arrangements were made.

“All this time I wanted this,” Shuker said. “I wanted that diploma. To get this is another world to me.”

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DENVER – Colorado’s system of community colleges is a great way for many students to explore an education closer to home and at a lower cost.

The two-year schools award more than 9,000 degrees and certificates each year in Colorado.

Bestcolleges.com recently studied our state’s community colleges, looking at parameters like graduation rates, program offerings and tuition costs, and ranked the best of the best.

Here are Colorado’s 10 best community colleges, according to Bestcolleges.com:

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The Colorado state track and field championships at Jeffco Stadium have been postponed due to inclement weather, the Colorado High School Activities Association announced Thursday.

The meet, which was supposed to begin Thursday and go through Saturday, is now a two-day event that will run Saturday and Sunday. There will be no preliminaries; running events will all be timed finals, while field athletes have four finals attempts.

“This snow came earlier than any forecast we’d seen,” CHSAA assistant commissioner Jenn Roberts-Uhlig told CHSAANow.com.

The National Weather Service said a mix of rain and snow, heavy at times, is expected along the Front Range on Thursday and Friday, with 2 to 4 inches of accumulation possible in the Denver area.

The decision was made Thursday morning after the track meet’s committee met at Jeffco Stadium and surveyed the conditions, finding snow covering the infield, according to a report on CHSAANow.com. Meet officials deemed the conditions unsafe for competition.

The state swimming meets are also on as scheduled this Friday and Saturday, as are the Class 5A and Class 4A boys lacrosse finals at Sports Authority Field on Friday night.

It’s only getting worse at state track. #copreps pic.twitter.com/wBEyMyA1FH

State baseball playoff games scheduled for Friday and Saturday have been postponed due to poor field conditions in Class 2A through Class 5A.

In 5A, the tournament were moved to Sunday and Monday, with times and locations the same.

The Class 2A will be held in Pueblo on Saturday. while 3A and 4A tournaments will be played Monday and Tuesday.

The Class 1A title game between Holly and Nucla is still on to be played on Saturday at Metro State.

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