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As Colorado Department of Transportation collects millions from express lane violations, drivers say dispute hearings getting delayed

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As Colorado Department of Transportation collects millions from express lane violations, drivers say dispute hearings getting delayed


A safety enforcement program under Colorado’s Department of Transportation is bringing in millions of dollars from drivers entering and exiting the express lanes outside designated areas. CBS Colorado first reported on the numbers in January and found:

  • Along the mountain corridor drivers paid around $1.1 million in penalties. 
  • Along I -25, that number is over $3.5 million.
  • Those using C-470 top the list with more than $3.7 million collected in fees.

Those with violations say disputing those tickets isn’t always easy.

“From the west side of town to the east side of town,” Jeffery Farrar said.

Farrar recently started driving senior citizens to medical appointments. He paid to use the C-470 express lane from Wadsworth Boulevard to Broadway — like the sign above the express lanes advertised. He found there’s no designated lane exit at Broadway and rather than continue down the express lane and incur more costs, he crossed the double white line to exit.

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CBS


Scott Wylie uses a different portion of C-470, an area that is now under heavy construction and has semi-trucks coming on at high speeds.

“The bigger safety issue is not moving out of that center lane over into the toll lane to get out of the way of those trucks,” he said about why he crossed the double white line.

Both have express lane passes but were hit with safety violations for crossing over that double white line. And both disputed those tickets online.

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Farrar lost his dispute and chose not to request a hearing. It cost him.

“Now I’m left paying double. I paid $150,” he said after the fine doubled for not being paid in the allotted 20 days.

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CBS


 Wylie is still fighting a violation from November. His dispute was denied even after the department dismissed two other tickets for the same safety concerns. He opted to have the hearing and he believes he can win.

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“I’ve been practicing law for 43 years and I’ve represented toll authorities — not this toll authority, not CDOT — but I have represented other toll authorities in Florida, Texas, Colorado, Illinois,” he said.

But the online calendar to schedule that hearing has no open dates and hasn’t for months.

“I had to go to the 800 customer service number on the notice, call them and the rep just laughed when I told her I was unable to schedule a hearing online. She just laughed and said, ‘Well that’s because we have had so many disputes in so many hearing requests that all of the hearing dates in times have been taken,’” he recalls her saying.

Wylie can no longer access the online calendar and weeks of calling to find an opening were unsuccessful. Two months later, he still has no hearing.

He believes others wouldn’t be so persistent.

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“That’s why they’re collecting $3.7 million plus dollars, is because everyone doesn’t have the tools and resources to do what I’ve done. Most people are going to give up and say they’re just going to pay it,” Wylie said.

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CBS


 Tim Hoover with CDOT says revenue from safety enforcement is not a priority. In an interview in January, he pointed instead to the changes in behavior that they’ve seen and said “Violations are down 60%. We would like to drive them down even more — as low as they’ll go. … It would be wonderful if we didn’t collect a single dollar in revenue.

A request for records found:

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– In the first few months of enforcement CDOT issued 242,695 violations.

– There were around 7,300 disputes and roughly 450 people have asked for hearings. Add in another 34,000 default hearings for those who never responded to their violations and the schedule is no doubt busy.

Hoover declined to do a second interview but says like several other courts there is a wait but that they are trying to hire more administrative hearing officers. He says they are legally required to provide a hearing within 75 days and to date haven’t failed to meet that obligation.

Wiley, who was among the first to be cited when enforcement started in November, is still waiting.

“I would have thought that by now I would have been contacted,” Wylie said.

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For those who do get a hearing and disagree with the decision, they can appeal in county court. According to CDOT, only one case has made it that far.

Hoover added that the system is brand new and has never been used before anywhere and they will continue to adjust and improve it as needed, whether that’s making it easier for people to navigate the system when they’ve gotten fines or whether it’s a more streamlined system to appeal fines.



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Colorado

Kane, Larkin supply heroics as Wings defeat Colorado 2-1 in OT

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Kane, Larkin supply heroics as Wings defeat Colorado 2-1 in OT


Detroit – All things considered the Red Wings earned an impressive two points Thursday night.

Coming back from a West Coast trip and playing a Stanley Cup contending opponent, the Wings rallied for a 2-1 overtime victory on Patrick Kane’s 10th goal.

Dylan Larkin found a trailing Kane in the slot, and Kane beat goaltender Justus Annunen at 3 minutes 42 seconds to complete the comeback.

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Larkin’s power play goal, his 25th, tied the game 1-1 in the third period, while Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon scored his 34th goal in the second period, as the Wings ended a 10-game losing streak to the Avalanche dating to 2017.

Larkin took a pass from David Perron in the slot and batted a puck past Annunen at 12:02 of the third period, tying the game.

Coach Derek Lalonde and Wings players talked about how this would be a good litmus test for the Wings, playing a potential Stanley Cup finalist. The Wings fared well in the challenge.

More: BOX SCORE: Red Wings 2, Avalanche 1 (OT)

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“Great challenge,” said Lalonde after the morning skate of facing the Avalanche. “I’ve alluded to it, we’ve put ourselves in a decent position here but it’s going to be about us,and going getting it (a playoff position). There are opportunities.”

Lalonde feels MacKinnon centering Jonathan Drouin and Mikko Rantanen could be one of the best lines in the NHL. They got the Avalanche on the scoreboard first.

Rantanen got possession of the puck in the corner and found MacKinnon driving down the slot. MacKinnon beat goaltender Alex Lyon high for his 34th goal, at 3:48 of the second period.

“It’s the most dynamic first line in hockey,” Lalonde said.

It wasn’t surprising MacKinnon got on the scoreboard considering the dominant season he’ having. The goal was his 93rd point, as MacKinnon is forging a potential Most Valuable Player-type of season.

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Lalonde calls MacKinnon an “elite difference maker”.

“His ability to make plays with pace,” said Lalonde of what stands out. “Guys can play fast, (Connor) McDavid is in that same category, but just the ability to make plays and then you put in Cale (Makar) and they are the same elite difference makers. There are difference makers in this league, but then there are elite difference makers.

“We don’t play them (the Avalanche) a ton but even last year, we played a pretty good game in Colorado and the underlying numbers say we were pretty good, but we lost 5-1. And it was MacKinnon and Makar and MacKinnon and Makar and some individual plays (up down the scoresheet).”

Then there was the fact the Wings returned late Monday night from a week-long swing through western Canada and Seattle. Rarely do teams look particularly sharp in that first game back from a long trip like that, getting their legs and energy level back up to speed.

“That’s been hockey forever,” Lalonde said. “Especially the way that West Coast trip played out, we went from Mountain Time to Pacific back to Mountain Time and back to Pacific. I felt tired this morning, and I can only imagine the guys. We’ve talked the last two days about the importance to see where our energy is and fight through it and manage the game properly early on.”

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Lalonde talked earlier in the week about the tough road the Wings still have to embark on to solidify a playoff spot.

Many projections still have the Wings missing the playoffs.

“There’s still projections out there that people send me that we’re a low 20 percent chance, and some teams chasing us are 67 percent chance of making it,” Lalonde said. “I get it with these projections and AI and all that, but that’s why you just shut things off. Live in the moment and if we are going to stay in this battle and be fortunate enough to be there in the end, it’s going to be what we do.”

Even with the Wings among the hottest teams in the NHL since January, they have barely created any breathing room for themselves.

“We had a 9-2-2 stretch before the (All-Star) break and we’re 3-2 after the break,” Lalonde said. “If you would have told us you got Vancouver twice, Edmonton, you’re at Calgary, at Seattle, any team in the league would take a 3-2 segment. And here we are, we can’t separate.

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“It’s going to be more about us going after it. I talked about 95, 97, 100 points. I still think it’s going to be around 97 points (to make the playoffs). We’ll be watching what’s going on around us, but we just have to take care of our business.”

tkulfan@detroitnews.com

@tkulfan



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Colorado Rapids announce full technical staff for 2024 MLS season  | Colorado Rapids

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Colorado Rapids announce full technical staff for 2024 MLS season  | Colorado Rapids


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids today announced their full coaching staff, including two new additions, ahead of the 2024 Major League Soccer season. Ian Sarachan will join the club as assistant coach, and Matt Gordon will step into a first team video analyst role, while Chris Little, Neil Emblen, Chris Sharpe and Jase Kim round out Chris Armas’ staff. 

Sarachan recently completed his fifth season as an assistant coach at Creighton University, contributing to a 36-26-10 record, which featured a College Cup appearance in 2022. During his tenure, the Bluejays earned 20 All-BIG EAST selections, seven of which were in 2022. Sarachan previously served as an assistant at Santa Clara University and the University of Wisconsin, guiding the latter to the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Sarachan started his coaching career in July 2012 as an assistant coach for the LA Galaxy’s U-14 and U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-16 teams. He transitioned to assistant coach of the Galaxy’s USSDA U-18 team in January 2013 where he worked with current LAFC Assistant Coach Ante Razov.

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Matt Gordon has been promoted from Rapids 2 video analyst to the first team in the same role. He joined the Rapids in October 2021 as a video analyst intern before transitioning to a full-time role with Rapids 2 in 2022. Gordon has 16 years of experience as a director of coaching at youth clubs in New Mexico, New England and the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club and served as the head coach of Albuquerque Sol FC in the USL League 2. 

“I am thrilled to announce the complete coaching staff that will support our journey in the upcoming season,” Rapids Head Coach Chris Armas said. “Each member brings unique expertise and dedication to the team, and together, we are committed to achieving success on and off the field. I look forward to working closely with this talented group as we strive for excellence and make our mark in the league.” 

Remaining on Armas’ staff from the club’s 2023 technical staff is Chris Little, who will take the role of First Assistant Coach along with Assistant Coach Neil Emblen, Goalkeeper Coach and Academy Goalkeeper Director Chris Sharpe, and First Team Analyst Jase Kim.

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Little, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, joined the Rapids as an assistant coach on Feb. 26, 2021, and also served as the interim head coach for the final eight matches of the 2023 season. Little’s coaching background includes roles as head coach of the Tacoma Defiance in the USL Championship and Director of Coaching for the Seattle Sounders FC Academy. Before joining Seattle in 2017, he was head coach at Elon University and served as Director of Coaching for the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association, holding a USSF ‘A’ License. 

Emblen, will continue as an assistant coach while also taking up additional responsibilities as the day to day coaching link to the recruitment department. Joining the club as an assistant coach in 2018, Emblen managed Waitakere United in New Zealand from 2009-2012, securing three-consecutive national league titles. In 2012, he managed the New Zealand national team at the London Olympics and served two games as interim head coach. A native of Bromley, England, Emblen started his playing career as a youth player for Tonbridge Angels from 1987-1990. The versatile central defender/midfielder made senior appearances for clubs including Wolverhampton Wanderers (over 230 appearances), Millwall, Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Walsall, New Zealand Knights, and Waitakere United.

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Sharpe, an Australian native, joined the Rapids in 2008 as a player and transitioned to an assistant coach role in 2014 after his playing career and as an assistant goalkeeping coach in 2013. Since 2008, he has also held the position of Rapids Academy Director of Goalkeeping, overseeing youth goalkeepers. In addition to coaching with the Rapids, Sharpe is the goalkeeper coach for Colorado’s U.S. Soccer Training Center and directs the Core Goalkeeper Academy. His playing career includes stints with Danish clubs Koge BK and Viborg FF, English club Chesterfield FC, and Australian clubs Parramatta Power and Northern Spirit. Sharpe’s youth career featured time with renowned English clubs Southampton FC and Blackburn Rovers. He has represented Australia in camps with the Under-23 national team for the 2004 Summer Olympics and played in qualifying matches for the Australian U-20’s in the 2001 FIFA Youth World Cup.

Jase Kim joined the Rapids in January 2018 as a first-team video analyst. He arrived in Colorado after serving on the technical staff of the New Zealand National Team. Joining the All Whites in 2014 as the performance analyst, Kim later became the Head of Men’s Performance Analyst in 2015. His experience also includes working during the 2015 U-20 World Cup for New Zealand.

Additionally, former Assistant Coach Wolde Harris and the club have mutually agreed to part ways. Harris joined the club as an assistant coach on Feb. 26, 2021, after spending six years as an assistant with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the USL Championship, including a brief spell as interim head coach in 2019. As a player, Harris started a 14-year professional career in 1996 with the Colorado Foxes of the APSL. He later spent four years with the Rapids, also playing for the New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City in MLS. Harris also made 28 appearances for the Jamaica National Team, scoring seven goals for the ‘Reggae Boyz.’

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Video: Are ski-slope moose encounters rising, or just going viral more often?

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Video: Are ski-slope moose encounters rising, or just going viral more often?


It can be hard enough for skiers and snowboarders in Colorado to avoid trees, other downhillers, poles, mystery bumps and mashed-potato snow — without also having to worry about running into a moose. But that’s not always possible, as several recent social media videos have shown.

Since the 2023-24 ski season began, there have been at least three major viral moose sightings at Winter Park, one at Steamboat and one at Breckenridge. But that doesn’t include other sightings, and there have been several, that didn’t make it onto Instagram, YouTube, Facebook or TikTok.

Still, representatives of these resorts say the encounters aren’t rising in number.

“I am not aware of any recent moose sightings or encounters at the resort for Breck or Keystone this season,” said Sara Lococo, a spokesperson for Keystone and Breckenridge. “Since we do share the mountains with a variety of local wildlife, including moose, it is always possible that they are around though. It is important for our communities and our visitors to remember that, be aware of their surroundings, and to respect and give space to local wildlife if/when encountered. In the event of a sighting or encounter, we encourage guests to call and report this to ski patrol.”

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Saw a moose today at breck
byu/UgoNespolo inskiing

Maren Franciosi, of Steamboat, said: “Steamboat Resort shares the land with many native species including moose. It is common to see wildlife on the resort and we do frequently see moose during operating hours. We work closely with the USFS and CPW, our ski patrol will close/detour ski trails if needed for moose activity and to limit interactions with guests. It does not seem more than usual this year. We have had some sightings in our new terrain, which was expected.”

Jen Miller, of Winter Park, said: “Feels like normal moose activity. We have several sightings every winter season … Winter Park has had several confirmed moose sightings on its slopes during the past few weeks. Moose call Winter Park home, and they occasionally wander onto open ski trails. We remind guests that moose are wild animals, and guests should keep their distance. If necessary, Winter Park ski patrol will close trails and lifts to help protect both the animals and people.”

 

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