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Denver mayor blames Republicans and Trump for $5M cuts to pay for migrant crisis

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Denver is cutting $5 million from public services used by its residents in order to pay for its spiraling illegal immigration costs, with the city’s mayor pinning the blame on Republicans and former President Donald Trump.

Mayor Mike Johnston, a Democrat, announced on Friday that hours will be cut at recreation centers, and in-person vehicle registration renewals at the DMV will end, while the planting of spring flower beds will also be stopped to save the much-needed cash.

The cuts follow the mayor’s decision last month to divert $25 million from the city budget to the migrant crisis. That plan included pulling $10 million from a contingency fund and $15 million from a building remodel. Those actions followed the city’s decision to hold many positions vacant and review new or expanded contracts and programs.

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston and former President Donald Trump. Johnston, a Democrat, is blaming Republicans and Donald Trump for his decision to shave $5 million from public services to pay for its migrant crisis.  ( Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post, left Mario Tama/Getty Images, right)

800 MIGRANT FAMILIES BEING BOOTED FROM DENVER SHELTERS AS CITY NEARS BREAKING POINT

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Johnston says the crisis will cost the city around $180 million in 2024.

“The choice by Republicans in Congress to purposefully kill a historic, bipartisan border deal this week will have a devastating impact in Denver,” Johnston said after the Republicans blocked a bipartisan border deal, which included a foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel, from advancing Wednesday.

“I’m incredibly proud of how city team members have stepped up over the past year, but it is clear that the federal government is not going to support our city,” he said, fighting back tears at a Friday press conference.

Along with these department budget cuts, the city will decrease the number of migrants it serves and will continue to monitor spending, Johnston said. Earlier this week, the city began ejecting around 800 migrant families from shelters as it scales back on aid for illegal immigrants. 

About 40,000 migrants, mostly from Venezuela, have arrived in Denver over the past year, and more than 3,500 are living in city-funded hotel rooms, according to the Colorado Sun.

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A migrant lie on the sleeping pad at a makeshift shelter in Denver, Colorado

Migrants at a makeshift shelter in Denver, Colorado on January 13, 2023. (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

DENVER MAYOR WARNS CITY IS ‘VERY CLOSE’ TO A ‘BREAKING POINT’ WITH MIGRANT SURGE

“I want it to be clear to Denverites. Who is not responsible for this crisis that we’re in [is] folks who have walked 3,000 miles to get to this city,” he said. 

“Despite broad bipartisan support, I think [former President] Trump and Republican leaders saw this as a chance that if this bill actually passed, it would have successfully solved the problem facing cities and the border, and they would have rather seen it fail, so they could exacerbate these problems, extend the suffering of American people and of newcomers for their own electoral changes this November,” he said, according to The Hill. 

“That was far beyond what I expected from even the most cynical of political operators.”

“Denverites have done their part, the city will do our part. The federal government failed to do their part. Addressing this crisis will require shared sacrifice, but we will continue to work together to meet this moment.”  

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Johnston has previously said that Denver has received more migrants per capita than any other city in the nation.

As part of the new cost-cutting measures, recreation centers will close one day each week, while DMV satellite offices will alternate closing one week at a time beginning March 4. The city will not recruit a class of nine new DMV employees.

Furthermore, Denver Parks and Recreation will cut spring programs by 25%, and regional centers will go from seven days of weekly operation to six days. Local and neighborhood centers will continue to be open six days a week but with a reduction in hours of operation. 

Venezuelan migrants wait in line for food from a food truck at a migrant-processing center on May 9, 2023, in Denver, Colorado.  ((Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images))

Johnston said that full-time city officials will not lose their jobs, but seasonal employees may have their hours cut or positions left open.

The sanctuary city has been struggling to stretch its limited resources to support the growing number of migrants there. Texas has transported thousands of migrants to sanctuary cities like Denver, to showcase the problems that border states face when migrants flood their cities. Johnston told Fox News last week that the city was “very close” to a breaking point due to the crisis.

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The influx of migrants has also put the city’s health system at a breaking point.

About 8,000 illegal immigrants recorded about 20,000 visits to Denver Health last year, receiving services such as emergency room treatment, primary care, dental care and childbirth. The health system has also called for a federal bailout.

Denver passed laws to become a sanctuary city, but it doesn’t include a right-to-shelter provision, which means there is no official policy that compels the local government to provide shelter indefinitely. 

Fox News’ Alba Cuebas-Fantauzzi contributed to this report.

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San Francisco, CA

Gonzaga vs. San Francisco odds, score prediction: 2024 college basketball picks, Feb. 29 bets by top model

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Gonzaga vs. San Francisco odds, score prediction: 2024 college basketball picks, Feb. 29 bets by top model


We’ve got another exciting West Coast Conference matchup on Thursday’s college basketball schedule as the San Francisco Dons will host the Gonzaga Bulldogs. San Francisco is 22-7 overall and 14-1 at home, while Gonzaga is 22-6 overall and 6-2 on the road. The Zags have won 28 straight meetings with the Dons, including a 77-72 victory on Jan. 25. The Dons are 17-11 against the spread in the 2023-24 college basketball season, while Gonzaga is 12-15 versus the number.

Tip-off is at 11 p.m. ET at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Zags are favored by 3.5 points in the latest San Francisco vs. Gonzaga odds, per SportsLine consensus, and the over/under is 153 points. Before entering any Gonzaga vs. San Francisco picks, you’ll want to see the NCAA Basketball predictions from the model at SportsLine.

The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters Week 17 of the 2023-24 season on a 139-94 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning nearly $2,300 for $100 players. It is also off to a sizzling 25-14 start on top-rated spread picks this season. Anyone following has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on Gonzaga vs. San Francisco. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and betting lines for Gonzaga vs. USF:

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  • San Fran. vs. Gonzaga spread: San Fran. +3.5
  • San Fran. vs. Gonzaga over/under: 153 points
  • San Fran. vs. Gonzaga money line: San Fran.: +140, Gonzaga: -168
  • San Fran. vs. Gonzaga picks: See picks at SportsLine

What you need to know about San Francisco

San Francisco put the finishing touches on its ninth blowout victory of the season on Saturday. It blew past the Pepperdine Waves 92-68. San Francisco got its victory on the backs of several key players, but it was Ndewedo Newbury out in front who scored 19 points to go along with five rebounds. The team also got some help courtesy of Mike Sharavjamts, who scored 12 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists.

San Fran is one of the best defensive teams in the nation, ranking 12th in the country in defensive rating. It is also extremely efficient on the other end of the court, ranking fifth in the nation with 49.7% on its field goal attempts. However, the Dons aren’t proficient at getting to the charity stripe as their 14.6 free throw attempts per game rank 356th out of 362 Division I teams. See which team to pick here.

What you need to know about Gonzaga

Meanwhile, Gonzaga entered its tilt with the Santa Clara Broncos with five consecutive wins, but it’ll enter its next game with six. The Bulldogs walked away with a 94-81 victory over the Broncos on Saturday. Multiple players turned in solid performances to lead Gonzaga to victory, but perhaps none more so than Graham Ike, who scored 26 points to go along with seven rebounds. Another player making a difference was Nolan Hickman, who scored 20 points to go along with five assists.

With a 22-6 record, the Zags are already tied for their most losses in a season since 2016-17. They were ranked as high as No. 7 in the Top 25 poll but uncharacteristically find themselves unranked heading into March. The offense is still elite, ranking fifth in the country in points per game and third in offensive rating, but the team just hasn’t been able to keep its momentum after outright victories. Gonzaga is just 7-13 ATS after a win, and even though it has won six consecutive games straight-up, the Zags enter tonight’s matchup with three straight ATS losses. See which team to pick here.

How to make San Francisco vs. Gonzaga picks

The model has simulated Gonzaga vs. San Francisco 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Over, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that hits in over 60% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Gonzaga vs. San Francisco, and which side of the spread hits over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see the best bets from a model that’s 25-14 on top-rated college basketball picks this season, and find out.

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Denver, CO

Preview: Nuggets back at it against Heat

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Preview: Nuggets back at it against Heat


The Denver Nuggets have just two more back to backs to play this season, and one of them is tonight against the Miami Heat. Fresh off a big win over the Sacramento Kings, it’s a short turnaround for the defending champs. Working in their favor though is both last night’s game and tonight’s game are at home. Miami meanwhile is rested. They continue to be a perennial playoff team in the East and there’s no reason to think that won’t be the case again this year. Led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and bolstered by rookie Jaime Jacquez Jr. the Heat currently sit as the fifth seed in the west, embroiled in a battle with four other teams to avoid the play-in tournament and perhaps even gain homecourt advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (40-19) vs Miami Heat (33-25)

When: 6PM MST

Where: The Can. Denver, CO.

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How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy….unless it’s the romanticized 18th century type. TNT. NBA League pass for those not in the Nuggets market. Altitude Radio 92.5. Show up with a 5 gallon bucket of industrial grade hair gel and say you are Pat Riley’s personal assistant.

Rival Blog: Hot Hot Hoops

The Matchup

Position Nuggets Heat Advantage
PG Reggie Jackson Terry Rozier Heat
SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Tyler Herro Even
SF Michael Porter Jr. Jimmy Butler Heat
PF Aaron Gordon Nikola Jovic Nuggets
C Nikola Jokic Bam Adebayo Nuggets
Bench Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, Zeke Nnaji, Colin Gillespie Cody Martin, Jaime Jacquez Jr., Delon Wright, Duncan Robinson, Haywood Highsmith Heat

Injury report*: Jamal Murray – questionable (shin), Hunter Tyson – out (finger), Vlatko Cancar – out (knee); Orlando Robinson – probable (back), Tyler Herro – questionable (knee), Josh Richardson – out (shoulder), Dru Smith – out (knee), Kevin Love – out (heel), Thomas Bryant – out (embracing the Heat’s fake tough guy culture), Jamal Cain – out (G-League), Cole Swider – out (G-League).*The Denver Nuggets injury report was not submitted at time of writing.

The Three Things

The thing to watch for: Nikola Jokic vs Bam Adebayo

Jun 12, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) shoots against Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) during the fourth quarter of game five of the 2023 NBA Finals at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

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No doubt the marquee matchup tonight is at the five. Nikola Jokic is a man on a mission and notched his fourth straight triple-double last night. It’s starting to feel like he may get a triple double every night for the rest of the season. His rebounding in particular has been insane since coming out of the all star break. Tonight Jokic faces the challenge of one of the best defensive (and overall) centers in the league. Bam has proven to be a star player that the Heat can count on night in and night out. That being said, he hasn’t had a ton of success against Jokic so I expect the triple double streak to continue if Joker can muster the energy.

The thing to remember: Miami is looking for payback

This is the first meeting between these two teams since they met in the Finals last summer. The Nuggets summarily dismissed the Heat’s hopes of a championship in five games and one can only imagine that this team has been stewing on it ever since. Tonight they get their chance for some revenge. It will also be ring night for Thomas Bryant. Even though he is currently suspended, the NBA will allow him to attend a pregame ceremony before immediately telling him to get out. There is also the whole history of the Markieff Morris/Nikola Jokic incident from a few years back so expect emotions to run high tonight. Which team that works in favor of remains to be seen.

The thing to bet: Miami first to ten points (+105)

Doing something a little different with the TTB tonight. Given that Miami will be looking for some revenge and given that they are the rested team while Denver played last night, I like the chances of the Heat getting out in front early. I’m not convinced they win this game but I expect them to try to make a statement from the jump. With positive odds on them being the team to score ten points first I’m going to give it a whirl.

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Stiffs. Night. Out.

Alright you crazy Nuggets sickos, it’s time to collectively crawl out of our mother’s basements and socialize! We are throwing our very first SNO of the season this Saturday at Number Thirty Eight in RINO. We’re teaming up with the boys over at Mile High Sports to make this a really great event. We will have giveaways throughout the night, including a Nikola Jokic Jersey. We’re doing a live postgame podcast crossover episode with myself, Ryan Blackburn and Swipacam and most importantly we’re going to all gather and watch the Lakers get swept by the Nuggets once again. Great drink specials, great food and great times, you don’t want to miss it. It’s also your opportunity to tell me in person how much you hate my takes and who could say no to that, am I right? Party officially gets started at 6:30 but seating is first come first serve so get their early if you can!



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San Diego, CA

Audit recommends overtime limits for San Diego police, mandatory breaks between shifts

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Audit recommends overtime limits for San Diego police, mandatory breaks between shifts


By David Garrick
The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO — San Diego should set limits on how many overtime hours police officers can work and begin requiring officers to take breaks of at least eight hours between shifts, a new city audit says.

The Police Department’s lack of overtime limits and mandatory breaks between shifts raise the risks of officer fatigue, which can cause car crashes, injuries and reduced cognition in life-or-death situations, the audit says.

The roughly $50 million per year San Diego spends on police overtime is below average relative to comparable large cities in California, the audit says.

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But the city could get more for its money by creating a centralized overtime system instead of letting each of the department’s nine geographic divisions handle its own overtime assignments.

The 41-page audit says this change would allow the department to prioritize more important overtime shifts, which vary from court appearances to SWAT incidents to backfilling vacant shifts caused by staffing shortages.

“The Police Department does not prioritize overtime shifts based on need, creating the risk that more critical assignments go unfilled while officers sign up for less critical shifts,” the audit says.

Typical officers only work about three and a half hours of overtime per week, but there are some outlier officers who work extreme amounts, the audit says.

The audit found that some officers work days of 16 hours or longer for multiple days in a row and that they typically don’t take eight hours off between shifts. A San Diego police officer’s normal work week is four 10-hour shifts.

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Setting limits, either daily or weekly, on overtime hours would curb those outliers and reduce the fatigue risk they create, the audit says.

San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco and Oakland limit how many overtime hours an officer can work in a single week, but Los Angeles and Long Beach don’t.

Locally, police departments in Carlsbad, National City and Coronado have weekly overtime limits for officers.

San Diego already recommends officers take an eight-hour break between shifts, but it’s not mandated.

“The Police Department encourages officers to take an eight-hour break between shifts, but it is an informal policy that is not enforced,” the audit says.

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The audit made some additional recommendations related to the eight-hour break proposal.

“The Police Department should clearly define what constitutes a ‘shift’ and should clarify the specific situations that would merit an officer not taking an eight-hour break between shifts, such as officers approved to extend their current shift, a necessary court appearance, a call-back that has been approved by policy, or an emergency,” the audit says.

The audit was prompted by City Council members expressing frustration that police overtime expenses continue to rise and that the city spends more than expected on police overtime nearly every year.

San Diego has spent more than was budgeted for police overtime during 10 of the last 11 fiscal years — including fiscal 2023, when the city budgeted $40.2 million but spent $50.8 million.

Police officials said this week that they expect to spend $57.1 million during the ongoing fiscal year, $7.8 million more than the $49.3 million in the city’s budget.

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The audit says San Diego’s spending is mostly in line with comparable cities in California.

In fiscal year 2022, San Diego spent 6.8 percent of its total police budget on overtime, which is less than the average of 8.6 percent spent by comparable police departments.

Los Angeles spent 10.8 percent of its police budget on overtime, while Oakland spent 10.2 percent, Anaheim spent 9.6 percent, San Jose spent 9.3 percent and San Francisco spent 8.2 percent.

Only Bakersfield, at 4.3 percent, was below San Diego among larger California cities.

But San Diego’s spending on overtime jumped to 8.6 percent in fiscal year 2023 — $50.8 million of a $594 million police budget.

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Police Chief David Nisleit agreed Tuesday to analyze and possibly implement each of the audit’s recommendations, but he noted that many of the changes would require negotiations with labor unions representing the affected workers.

But the changes aren’t likely to come quickly. Nisleit committed to having the department’s Research, Analysis and Planning Unit complete analysis of the proposed changes by December 2025.

The audit’s final recommendation was for the department to revive a plan to reduce officer overtime by hiring more civilian workers and police investigative service officers, who do lower-level work than police officers.

Last year, Nisleit said a rash of vacancies in civilian jobs was reducing parking citation revenue and swelling overtime costs by forcing higher-paid uniformed officers to perform lower-level administrative work.

Nisleit agreed Tuesday to study the issue again, but noted that he asked for 20 investigative service officers two years ago after a similar analysis and was not given money to hire them.

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But the budget for the ongoing fiscal year includes $780,000 for 10 investigative service officers. Police officials said Monday that they haven’t yet hired those workers.

This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune.

©2024 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Visit sandiegouniontribune.com.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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