Van Gytenbeek shines as No. 10 Cherry Creek girls hoops tops Arapahoe

GREENWOOD VILLAGE — Behind Jana Van Gytenbeek, Cherry Creek girls basketball took down Centennial League rival Arapahoe 54-38 in Friday night action.

To cap off a banner week, Van Gytenbeek paced the Class 5A No. 10 Bruins with 19 points.

“My teammates just got me open, and I scored,” she said.

At this point of the season, every win in the Centennial will prove to be a vital one. The Bruins were able to take care of business at home, something that will always prove vital in a hunt for a league title.

“It means a lot, this win puts us into second place by ourselves in the league,” Cherry Creek coach Chris Curneen said. “Now we just have to keep fighting.”

Van Gytenbeek has also taken the reigns as the leader for the Bruins, in only her sophomore season.

“It is easy to lead a good team, with a good coach,” Van Gytenbeek said. “We always have good practices, it’s not hard to lead this team.”

And a self leading team the Bruins are with three athletes committed to play at the next level, and more to come with four mature underclassmen all playing an impact role in a balanced Cherry Creek team.

“We have the potential to go just as far (as we did last year),” forward Carly Thompson said. “I think we work together as a team and can do it again.”

At first glance the low ages of Bruin players may raise some concern but the Bruins are proving that age is just a number.

“We work really well together, on the court we have really good communication,” Thompson continued. “We also execute our plays really well and play solid defense which gets the rest of the game going. Defense wins championships.”

Senior transfer Emma Wrede has stepped into the Cherry Creek system without missing a beat.

“It isn’t much different, other than the styles of play, Jana is out of this world, it was hard transitioning at first with a new coach, new ways of play, but I like it and it is going really well.” Wrede said.

Wrede has emerged as one of the primary shooters for the Bruins.

“I just knock down shots when I’m open, which is all thanks to my teammates. I know what my role is and what I need to do every night.” Wrede said.

Wrede has postseason experience from last year at Regis Jesuit which will help bolster the Bruins when the playoffs begin.

“I’m hungry, we are hungry for more, once you get a taste of it you want more and this year, I know we have a good chance.” Wrede finished.

Cherry Creek improved to 8-3, while the Arapahoe Warriors dropped to 7-6.

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Educational Measures and Kynectiv Partner to Bring Simulation to Live Meetings

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Jan. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ Educational Measures LLC ("EM"), the leader in live meeting analytics and engagement technology and Kynectiv LLC, a leading provider of simulation-based technology to global audiences, announced today a partnership to provide enhanced simulation in live meetings. For meeting stakeholders who understand the value of engagement technology and simulated learning, there is potential to greatly improve interaction with meeting participants and increase data collection in a live meeting environment.

"Incorporation of Kynectiv’s DecisionSim patient simulations into Educational Measures’ Array platform creates a live meeting that engages learners and allows them to transfer the knowledge of the faculty into their practice," said Bob Yayac, CEO of Kynectiv. "Real-time data from the simulations can be broadcast to the audience which allows the faculty the opportunity to focus on key decisions that relate to the data presented and share best practices."

The combined offering creates an integrated solution for meeting stakeholders coupled with expertise in deploying live meeting technology.The platform is exactly what clients desire to improve overall engagement in live meetings while collecting valuable data for future decision-making and predictive analytic models.

"We are excited to provide our clients with this combined live meeting engagement solution.Having worked with Kynectiv and deployed their technology at live meetings, we see the value simulation can bring," said Marc Crawford, CEO of Educational Measures."When we evaluate partnering with other technologies, we ensure the combined solution drives additional value to our clients, increases engagement and enhances the data collection process.Kynectiv’s DecisionSim accomplishes all these goals."

The combined offering is immediately available.

About Educational Measures
Educational Measures is the leading provider of live meeting analytics and engagement technology. Our next-generation Array second screen technology takes ordinary meetings and turns them into dynamic experiences. Live meeting data and analytics drive actionable insight for continual improvement. Our customers increase audience engagement by up to 20X, surprise attendees with more than 25 interactive capabilities and continually improve meeting impact with data-driven insight. Educational Measures and Array are trademarks of Educational Measures LLC.Website –<

About Kynectiv
Kynectiv is a leading provider of simulation-based technology to global audiences. Our platforms enable clients to transform their training programs, offering increased engagement, stronger retention and comprehensive data collection that leads to actionable insights.Website –

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Under The Radar REITs: Data Centers To Cannabis Farms

Investing in REITs offer investors the benefits of real estate investment along with the ease and advantages of investing in publicly traded stock. (Photo by Shutterstock)

With their tax-advantaged corporate structure, real estate investment trusts are a popular investment for those seeking above-average dividend yields. Several contributors see both growth and income potential from a diverse group of REITs focused on such under-the-radar areas as student housing, billboards, casinos and storage facilities.

Easterly Government Properties holds a portfolio that is around 97% backed by the U.S. government, which has never defaulted on a lease throughout its history.

The U.S. government is the largest employer in the world and the largest office tenant in the U.S. Easterly is the only internally managed REIT with a focus on investing in U.S. government-leased buildings.

Easterly sticks to critical missions of the federal government that don’t go out of favor: agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The REIT only deals with the federal government, and the new REIT does not have an interest to work with any other government, state or local, because it is not backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. The portfolio is 100% leased and the weighted average age is 11.5 years.

Most of its buildings are office buildings (67%) and the rest are either courthouse/office (6%), lab (9%), VA Outpatient (11%) or others (7%). Because DEA does not lease to state agencies, there are no risks related to appropriations.

Easterly’s acquisition of two VA outpatient clinics marks the company’s entry into an important new market. Meanwhile, the REIT’s latest acquisition is an FBI facility in Salt Lake City.

Easterly is on track to become a “blue chip” REIT. I expect it to generate returns going forward in the range of 12-14% annually. Also, senior management owns approximately 14% of Easterly, providing strong alignment of interest with shareholders (of which I’m one).

We’re investing in a company that owns many of the facilities used to grow legal weed. And we’ll be getting a little slice of the profits from every single grower that’s using those spaces.

The company is called Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc., and it falls under one of our bread-and-butter industries — real estate investment trusts (REITs). It’s still relatively small but is poised to grow exponentially as the legal marijuana market sweeps the country.

It was founded just last year in San Diego to take advantage of the growing medical marijuana markets in the U.S. And it’s grown (right along with all that pot) over the past year into becoming the premier landlord to some of the country’s biggest and best pot farmers.

Typically, the company buys a property that a grower has already established and then leases it back to the grower. This way, IIPR doesn’t have to worry about filling the space and the grower may use the money from selling it to IIPR to expand operations.

. That’s a triple-net lease. In case you’ve forgotten what that is, it means that the tenant is responsible for the maintenance of the facility and any necessary repairs. The tenant also pays the property taxes and insurance. All IIPR has to do is sit back and collect the rent.

The company pays a 3% quarterly dividend and has a ton of room to grow. So, let’s get into this one as soon as possible and start adding those quarterly payments to our growing pile of reefer royalties. Innovative Industrial is a Buy under $25. I have a 12-month price target of $32.50.

Sometimes the first glance at a stock can give the wrong impression. For example, consider the case of MGM Growth Properties LLC. This REIT owns casino properties, where results can be very volatile, leased to a single tenant: MGM Resorts MGM -1.16%


That level of concentration looks very risky for a REIT. In fact, the way MGM set up the REIT for the spin-off has turned this stock into an attractive, stable and growing dividend, total return investment. In fact, we consider this a unique REIT for those seeking dividend safety.

The biggest strength of the MGP to MGM relationship is that all properties leased by MGM are on a single master lease. MGM pays a single annual lease amount to MGP. This prevents the casino operator from, for example, putting one property into bankruptcy to get out of making lease payments.

The lease is triple net with annual rent escalators. MGM also pays most of the administrative expenses of the REIT. MGM Growth Properties currently owns 13 properties operated by MGM.

MGM Growth Properties is also living up to its name, providing attractive revenue and dividend growth since its IPO in early 2016. At the time of the IPO, the annual lease revenue was $550 million.

Now after the last acquisition, revenue will be $757 million, up 38% since the IPO. The dividend rate has grown by 10% compared to the initially planned dividend. I expect another 10% increase in 2018 as the revenues from MGM National Harbor in Maryland kick in.

With a current 5.4% yield and prospects for high single digit dividend growth make MGP a compelling value when compared to other net-lease REITs. Investors have not yet discovered the quality of this REIT, and when they do, I expect the price to rise and yield to drop below 5%.

American Campus Communities, the largest real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in rental housing for U.S. college students, has underperformed this year, giving up almost 12% of its value.

The stock sold off hard after management lowered its full-year guidance for funds from operation by $0.07 per share. Hurricane-related charges and expenses related to American Campus Communities’ $591 million purchase of seven high-end properties from Core Spaces accounted for some of this downward adjustment.

Excluding these three trouble spots, the REIT’s 57 other markets posted a 98% occupancy rate. In other words, these market-specific challenges don’t appear to extend to the rest of the portfolio.

Despite American Campus Communities’ recent hiccups, we continue to like the higher occupancy rates and lower-risk nature of student housing, as well as the REIT’s focus on pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly properties within 0.2 miles of major universities. These rental units tend to book up much faster than those in outlying areas and support higher price increases.

More important, American Campus Communities has proved itself a savvy portfolio manager over the years. Recently, the management team has highlighted the strong demand for student housing among international investors.

The REIT has a multi-year plan to skew the portfolio toward schools with marquee sports programs in so-called power conferences and top research universities — colleges with strong enrollment trends and, therefore, housing demand.

With a 4.1% yield and an appealing business model, American Campus Communities rates a Buy up to $45 for patient investors.

is a data center REIT offering everything from move-in-ready spaces with configurable power systems to state-of-the-art customized data centers. This is an enormous opportunity. Businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies are all drowning in a sea of data.

Why do so many businesses and non-profit organizations turn to Digital Realty? Its data centers are designed, built and operated by professionals with decades of experience. Its 170-plus properties in 11 cities on four continents are centered where customers need them.

And the company has the financial strength to be a stable and reliable long-term partner. The numbers here are already excellent. Digital Realty took in $2.26 billion over the last 12 months. In the most recent quarter, earnings soared 56% on an 11% increase in revenue. Its operating margin tops 25%.

Digital Realty is organized as a real estate investment trust (REIT). This allows the company to avoid the corporate income tax and pass net income straight through to shareholders. So, you’ll collect a 3.2% dividend yield here. However, I see plenty of capital appreciation potential here, too.

Digital Realty has set the global standard for technical real estate, offering a unique ability to acquire, manage and scale-up data center campuses. With the data universe growing exponentially, its centers are fast becoming the corporate world’s go-to storage solution.

Formed in 2013 and based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, National Storage Affiliates is a self-administered, self-managed REIT focused on the acquisition, ownership and operation of self-storage facilities.

Since its formation in 2013, the REIT has expanded its property base more than five-fold to 512 self-storage properties located in 29 states with combined rentable space of approximately 32 million square feet.

The REIT boosted its $0.26 quarterly dividend from the previous period by 7.7% to the current $0.28 dividend payout. This current quarterly dividend converts to a $1.12 annualized dividend amount and yields 4.2%.

Over the 11 quarters since the REIT’s initial public offering in 2015, the trust hiked its dividend distribution amount six times, which is an average of more than twice per year.

The combination of a rising dividend that pays above-average yield and a substantial asset appreciation over the last 12 months has rewarded shareholders with a 33.9% total return. If the REIT pays the same current dividend amount next quarter, the three-year total return will be 123%.

Founded in 1902 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Lamar Advertising Company is a REIT that sells advertising space on billboards, buses, shelters, benches and logo plates. With more than 330,000 displays, it is one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the world.

In addition to its traditional methods of outdoor advertising methods, Lamar Advertising installed its first digital billboard in 2001 and currently offers its customers the largest network of digital billboards in the United States with over 2,700 displays.

The company’s current $0.83 quarterly dividend distribution is 9.2% above the $0.76 payout from the same period last year. The most recent dividend amount is equivalent to a $3.32 annualized dividend payout and a 4.5% dividend yield.

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The Denver Nuggets are the NBA’s last great mystery team

BOSTON — The Denver Nuggets limped into town just before daylight. They had been on the road for a week and a half, hopscotching the country from Dallas to the Northeast via the Midwest on a brutal six-game road trip. By the time they arrived at the Garden, they were already without their two best players — Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic — and the injury list was about to claim another key performer in Will Barton.

Still, the Nuggets were feeling good about themselves after beating the Pistons just hours earlier. The victory gave them a chance to break even on the trip, and that had coach Michael Malone both concerned and hopeful.

“You’re coming into the last game of a road trip and sometimes you exhale,” Malone said. “When you exhale, you get your ass kicked. Understand that we have a chance to go 3-3 on the road trip, and I don’t think anybody gave us a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening with the injuries we’ve had.”

Let the record show that while the Nuggets didn’t beat the Celtics, they didn’t get their asses kicked. Led by Gary Harris, who scored a career-high 36 points, they managed to hang around for four quarters before Boston was finally able to put them away down the stretch.

Afterward, Malone noted his team’s resilience, not only on Wednesday night, but throughout the road trip. Still, the Nuggets are trying to break out of the moral victory business. It’s been five years since they made the playoffs and with Millsap signing as a free agent to pair with Jokic, the time to compete is now.

In the absence of his two stars, Malone has worked the roster up and down, giving minutes and chances to players on an incredibly deep team that is split almost evenly between young pups and salty vets. With Jokic set to return soon, decisions will have to be made about playing time.

“Some guys are taking advantage of that opportunity, and just as revealing, some guys are not taking advantage of that opportunity,” Malone said. “Minutes are not going to be given just because you think you deserve them. Minutes have to be earned. If you’re not playing well, those minutes are not going to be there anymore.”

In other words, it’s time to figure out who the Nuggets are and what they’re trying to become.

There are few mysteries left in the NBA. Why do the Wolves melt down in the fourth quarter so much? Answer: Their starters play too many consecutive minutes. How did the Spurs prosper without Kawhi Leonard? Answer: They tailored their offense through LaMarcus Aldridge and received phenomenal production.

Basketball may be a mystical experience on some level, but the secrets of the NBA are generally revealed to anyone who takes the time to look. There is one perplexing issue that remains, however: Are the Denver Nuggets any good?

“The team can be extremely good,” veteran sage Richard Jefferson, who comes off the bench for the Nuggets, said. “It’s less to do with other people and more with what we do as individuals. We have plenty of talent.”

At times, they have been excellent. Denver is almost unbeatable at home, and the Nuggets ran through a 7-2 stretch earlier in the season right before Millsap tore a ligament in his wrist that will keep him out for several months. Their offense, which excelled in the second half of last season, has remained potent even with the injuries.

At other times, they have not been good at all. Their road struggles have been so pronounced that winning two out of six on this trip constituted a positive step forward. The defense has been mediocre at best and downright awful on occasion.

Perhaps the right word for this team is inconsistent. Ten of their wins have been by double digits and so have eight of their losses. Those are not the qualities one associates with a playoff team, but the Nuggets are right in the thick of a Western Conference race that has yet to settle.

A third of the way through the season, we know who the top three teams will be at the end: Golden State, Houston, and San Antonio. Four-through-nine is anyone’s guess. After years of incremental progress, the Nuggets are not just happy to be included among the postseason contenders.

“Going into the year, we were excited about the potential this team had,” Malone said. “We felt that adding Paul Millsap would help us defensively and offensively he would be a seamless fit. How we play is how he played in Atlanta when they had the best team in the East. If we’re healthy, I think we’re a very competitive team in the Western Conference.”

Losing Millsap in mid-November was a cruel blow. His free-agent signing was heralded as a major event for a team that felt like it was ready to turn the corner. The timing was also unfortunate. After an initial adjustment period, he and Jokic appeared to find the right groove.

Millsap is not expected back until February at the earliest. The Nuggets have admirably held it together, splitting the dozen games that he’s missed. That was not a surprise to the four-time All-Star.

“Knowing the level of competitors that we have and the amount of talent that we have, I’ve been a little impressed, but not too impressed,” Millsap said. “These guys can play given an opportunity.”

Then Jokic went down with a sprained ankle, and that looked like an impending disaster. Enter Will Barton, aka Thrill Will, a 27-year-old jack of all trades. With a versatile game and a willingness to accept any role, Barton is the quintessential Nugget. He’s a proven scorer both inside and out, a tough rebounder, and has proved to be a willing playmaker in Jokic’s absence.

“He means everything,” Malone said. “That guy is a complete basketball player.”

Barton’s stellar play has helped the Nuggets survive, but survival is not what they ultimately have in mind. Their evolution begins and ends with Jokic. A wonderfully talented passer — think a young Bill Walton mixed with a dash of Jason Williams’ funk — Jokic is the alpha and the omega of this team.

Jokic needs to be seen to be truly appreciated, but his impact stretches far and wide. He’s the fulcrum around whom all the other pieces need to mesh. The question is who will step forward to claim those roles.

The roster as assembled by general manager Tim Connelly is full of wings, power forwards, and tweeners of all shapes and sizes. There is not a traditional point guard, or even a standard three-man, but the sheer amount of talent is obvious.

Take Jamal Murray, a 20-year-old in his second season from Kentucky. Murray can play, but where? He’s a combo guard in the classic sense, and he’s been tasked with handling point guard responsibilities next to Harris, who is an off-guard from central casting. Individually, they’re intriguing talents. Together, they’re a plus-10 per 100 possessions in various lineup configurations. It shouldn’t work, but it does.

It works in part because Millsap and Jokic are not only their two best players, but also their best passers. Around them are a collection of proven vets in Wilson Chandler, Mason Plumlee, and Kenneth Faried, along with recent first-rounders such as Trey Lyles and Juan Hernangomez.

The latter pair have yet to carve out substantial roles, although Lyles has shown flashes of potential. The logjam is so pronounced that this year’s first-rounder, Tyler Lydon, has played all of two minutes, and veteran Darrell Arthur has appeared in only four games. How this shakes out during the course of the season will go a long way toward defining what kind of team the Nuggets will actually be once everyone gets healthy.

The good news is that Jokic should be back soon. He warmed up before Wednesday’s game, but Malone elected to hold him out after a pregame conversation with his young star.

“I didn’t think he was ready,” Malone said. “They (the training staff) might say he’s ready. But talking to him, it’s not just, ‘Is his ankle ready?’ Is his head ready? I didn’t think he was ready to play tonight so I wanted to protect him. I made that decision.”

Now there’s a metaphor worthy of this enigma of a team. Are the Nuggets ready? We’re about to find out.

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A Quick Look At Dentistry

Many people think that dentistry is just about the study of teeth and treating tooth decay. Also known as dental medicine, dentistry is a branch of medicine which focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of different disorders and conditions affecting the oral cavity and all nearby structures (that is the jaw, tongue, salivary glands, neck, face, and head.)

Dental treatments and checkups are performed by professionals commonly known as dentists. Dentists are professionals who’ve received the required medical training and have passed all the necessary exams that authorize them to practice as experts on dental issues. These professionals are generally assisted by dental teams that are composed of dental assistants, dental therapists, dental hygienists, and dental technicians.

For anyone aspiring to become a dentist, he or she must, first of all, complete a bachelor’s degree before he/she can join dental school. The line of dentistry one pursues will normally determine the number of years the person will have to spend in dental school for them to complete their residency education.

With that being said, it is important to note that there are 9 areas of specialization when it comes to dentistry. And they are:

1. Dental Public Health – A branch of dentistry that provides expertise and leadership in oral health surveillance, community-based health promotion and disease prevention, the maintenance of the dental safety net, and population-based dentistry.

2. Endodontics – A branch of dentistry focused on dental tissues and pulp surrounding the roots of teeth. Endodontists treat the soft pulp tissue found inside a tooth.

3. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology – A branch of dentistry focused on diseases that start in the jaw, mouth or other related structures such as facial muscles, salivary glands, etc.

4. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology – The branch of dentistry concerned with the interpretation and performance of diagnostic imaging used to examine dental, craniofacial and adjacent structures.

5. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – A branch of dentistry focused on diagnosis, surgical and related treatments of injuries, defects, and diseases affecting the jaws, neck, face, head, and the soft and hard tissues of the mouth.

6. Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics – A branch of dentistry that focuses on the alignment/realignment of the dental arches and teeth.

7. Pediatric Dentistry – A branch of dentistry dedicated to children’s oral health from their infancy to their teen years.

8. Periodontics – A branch of dentistry dedicated to the study of the teeth’s supporting structures as well as the conditions and diseases that affect them.

9. Prosthodontics – A branch of dentistry dedicated to the replacement and restoration of damaged or lost teeth.


Diesel truck crash is the latest in the I-25 ‘Bermuda Triangle’

GREENWOOD VILLAGE – All lanes re-opened Monday afternoon on Interstate 25 near Orchard Road after two semi trucks collided, spilling nearly 100 gallons of diesel fuel onto the roads.

The crash happened around noon.

South Metro Fire Rescue says one of the semi truck’s fuel tanks ruptured, causing the spill.

HAZMAT crews cleaned up 90 gallons of diesel fuel.

I-25 Update – Highway cleanup nearing completion. Accident involved 2 semi trucks, thankfully no injuries.

— SouthMetroFireRescue (@SouthMetroPIO) November 13, 2017

This is the latest in a string of crashes in this area on I-25. South Metro Fire told Next last week, after a separate wreck, that this stretch could almost be referred to as the ‘Bermuda Triangle.’ Several big incidents seem to happen between Belleview Avenue and Arapahoe Road, without any apparent reason.

© 2017 KUSA-TV

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EPA, Colorado reach $21 million-plus settlement with Denver-based oil and gas company for smog-causing pollution

RJ Sangosti, Denver Post file A brown cloud surrounds the Denver skyline.

A Denver-based oil and gas company has reached a $21 million-plus settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency and state regulators for leaking smog-causing pollutants into the air from its operations sites around the city dating back roughly four years.

As part of the agreement, PDC Energy Inc. — one of the largest oil and gas drillers along the Front Range — has agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty that will be split between the federal government and Colorado.

It will also spend $18 million on system upgrades and improved maintenance practices, monitoring and inspections to reduce emissions, as well as $1.7 million to implement environmental mitigation projects.

“This agreement will result in cleaner air in the Denver area,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a written statement.

The settlement stems from regulators’ findings that PDC’s roughly 650 oil and gas tank batteries in the Denver area were leeching volatile organic compounds into the air. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said it found violations dating back to 2013.

Volatile organic compounds contribute to the formation of smog or ground-level ozone — already a problem for the metro area — and can lead to respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

PDC, as part of its agreement with the government, has agreed to evaluate the design and capacity of its vapor control systems and to modify them as necessary to ensure they are not emitting the harmful VOCs. As part of that analysis, the company will have to make periodic infrared camera inspections to identify any emissions.

The environmental mitigation projects PDC has agreed to undertake are slated to reduce emissions of ozone precursors from the company’s well pads.

In all, according to the EPA, the fixes should reduce volatile organic compound emissions by more than 1,600 tons per year. PDC already has begun work as part of the agreement, officials say, which must be completed on a phased schedule with a deadline of June 30, 2019.

“This agreement is the result of months of cooperative conversations with state and EPA regulators and builds upon our years of proactive work, which includes internal assessment and an ongoing remediation program,” PDC President and Chief Executive Officer Bart Brookman said in a written statement. “We have put a plan in place that will continue to reduce PDCs’ air emissions in Colorado’s (Denver-Julesburg) Basin and reflects our strong commitment to protecting Colorado’s environment.”

The EPA announced the settlement, and a separate one involving Exxon Mobile in Texas and Louisiana, in a media call Tuesday, pointing to the actions as proof the Trump administration is taking clean air seriously.

“We will be enforcing environmental laws in this administration, and that’s not just my message, that’s the message straight from the top,” said Patrick Traylor, the EPA’s deputy assistant administrator in its Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “… These two settlements are good examples.”

However, reports to the contrary have shown the EPA, under President Donald Trump and Pruitt, have been less active on enforcement compared to previous administrations.

In August, a report from the Environmental Integrity Project found Trump’s EPA collected 60 percent less in civil penalties from polluters in its first six months when compared to the three previous administrations. The New York Times reported last month that Pruitt was threatening to undermine the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division — which enforces environmental laws — by cutting off a major funding source.

Officials with the Justice Department and EPA pushed back during Monday’s call on the notion the agencies are being more lenient under Trump, pointing to billions of dollars in enforcement actions it has made since January.

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Masked man attacks woman in Colorado corn maze


A 29-year-old woman says she was attacked by a masked man inside a corn maze in Colorado.

It happened at the Botanic Gardens in Denver over the weekend.

The out-of-state visitor says a man in a mask made vulgar comments and threw her to the ground.

An off-duty deputy working security escorted the man from the property.

The Botanic Gardens says it will increase security at the final three after-dark corn mazes this weekend.
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Digital Dentistry: How Technology Is Changing Tooth Care

The world of dentistry becomes more cutting edge with each passing year. The rise in diagnostic tools that bring efficiency, ease, and information to both the patient and the dentist with speed and very little pain, continue to emerge. This is a drastic change from the past when dental applications took a lot of time to accomplish. Now efficiency has become a push in the industry, with tools that put the patient in the driver’s seat in terms of their own treatment, just as much as the dentist. In fact, there are several cutting edge tools that are on the way and set to revolutionize the industry.


Diagnostic tools that allow dentists to have access to patient information almost instantaneously will be one of the cutting-edge advances in future dentistry. Canary is a tool that can assess the condition of your teeth and gums and provide dentists with in-depth accurate information. Much of this technology is based on advanced dental imagining that can be derived from a 3-second scan. Canary is a tool that looks a lot like a toothbrush and is able to detect the small cavities and cracks in the teeth. This device is sensitive enough to pick up things that an X-ray can’t, without exposing the patient to radiation.


For years, the dental industry, just like the entire medical industry, has been dependent on X-rays to glean vast amounts of information about the condition of teeth. However, advances in medical tools has made getting this same information and more, much easier. The S-Ray utilizes 3-D mapping of the teeth and gums to get accurate results regarding their condition. It has the ability to detect both cavities and disease without any exposure to radiation. It is not yet FDA approved, however. Once it is, it may be less expensive than X-rays.


The use of biomaterials as a means for treating and healing cavities is another amazing dental advance on the horizon. The University of Nottingham and Harvard have partnered to create this synthetic material that has the ability to help a tooth heal itself. This is a giant step in the direction of preventative dentistry.


Imagine a tool that has the ability to spot oral cancer at the onset of the disease. A tool like this could save lives. The VELscope has this type of capability. This technology utilizes blue lights to pick up subtle changes that aren’t visibly detectable in the gums. The VELscope could help isolate potentially problematic situations that might require a biopsy. This would be a giant step when it came to making a dent in one of the most serious forms of cancer.


Nanobots represent an even deeper look into the future of dentistry. Nanobots are futuristic microscopic little machines that could perform a variety of different tasks. These tiny robots could go to work in your mouth, performing many essential functions. Imagine these tiny nanobots straightening your teeth and infusing your mouth with antimicrobial carbon nanotubes to kill bacteria. The projected uses for these tiny robots are many. However, this advance couldn’t come into fruition without human clinical trials and more research and testing.

The future of dentistry looks bright, especially with the help of these futuristic tools. However, more change looms on the horizon. Many strides will be made in the development of diagnostic tools. These tools will have the ability to determine the actual condition of our overall Birmingham AL dental care the ability to gather precise information may allow a dentist to decide on a specific form of treatment based on a mixture of different pieces of information. The future shows signs of more development of dental tools that will continue to be useful in preventing, treating, and diagnosing dental problems.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

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Winner sues Colorado lottery for millions over fixed jackpot

Rodney White/The Des Moines Register via AP File In this June 29, 2017 file photo, Tommy Tipton, left, and his brother Eddie Tipton, appear at the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa. The brothers have recently been sentenced for conspiring to use Eddie Tipton’s job at the Multi-State Lottery Association to fix lottery drawings in several states between 2005 and 2011. A Colorado man who split a $4.8 million lottery jackpot in 2005 has filed a lawsuit alleging that his prize should be bigger because the other two winners have been linked to the brothers’ conspiracy..

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A decade after Colorado engineer Amir Massihzadeh hit the lottery, two state agents visited him with stunning news: He was likely the only legitimate winner of a $4.8 million jackpot he’d had to split three ways.

They told the Boulder resident that the other two people who had won the 2005 drawing were linked to a conspiracy in which a lottery insider and several cohorts had rigged drawings in several states. Now Massihzadeh, 62, is suing for the rest of the winnings that he feels should have been his.

Massihzadeh filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Colorado State Lottery, arguing he should be declared the sole winner and that the $800,000 cash prize he opted to receive should have been tripled. Accounting for 12 years of interest, he is seeking about $4 million from the lottery for what he calls a breach of contract.

It’s the latest headache for state lotteries caused by former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director Eddie Tipton, who admitted to manipulating the software they used so that he could predict winning numbers on certain days of the year. Tipton, his brother, and a friend were recently sentenced for conspiring to use this insider knowledge to buy winning tickets and collect prizes between 2005 and 2011.

They fixed jackpots that paid $2.61 million to them and their associates in four states, and their scheme unraveled after Eddie Tipton was caught buying the winning ticket for a $14 million Iowa jackpot that was never paid.

Massihzadeh, who received $568,900 after taxes, argues that he’s entitled to the other two-thirds of the prize because the other tickets were purchased through Tipton’s conspiracy and should be invalid.

“Even though the Tiptons have agreed to repay the money they received from the Lottery, the Lottery has refused to honor its obligation to Mr. Massihzadeh,” his lawsuit says.

Colorado lottery spokeswoman Kelly Tabor declined to comment on the lawsuit, which is the third to claim players were cheated by Tipton’s scheme.

Hundreds of thousands of people who bought tickets on dates in which Tipton could predict winning numbers are pursuing a class-action lawsuit seeking refunds, arguing those drawings weren’t truly random. A man who won a 2011 jackpot is also suing the Iowa Lottery, saying his prize should be larger because the $14 million jackpot should have rolled over.

Tipton, who is serving a 25-year prison term, built computers used by Colorado and other states to generate random numbers for drawings. Starting in 2005, he secretly installed code that directed them to use a predictable formula to select numbers on May 27, Nov. 23, and Dec. 29 for drawings that fell on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Nov. 23, 2005, Colorado drawing is the first that was fixed.

Massihzadeh had played the lottery for years, often buying a few tickets. Like most, he purchased “quick pick” tickets that computers generated for him rather than selecting numbers manually. He was “shocked and thrilled” to learn that his was one of three tickets that matched all six numbers for the Colorado Lotto, the lawsuit says.

Massihzadeh had no idea that the other two winners were part of what prosecutors have called the “ultimate 21st century inside job.”

Eddie Tipton had simulated the drawing and recorded likely winning combinations by hand. He gave a notebook with those numbers to his brother, Tommy, then a magistrate in Flatonia, Texas, who traveled to Colorado to play them. One was the winner. To hide his identity, Tommy Tipton recruited a friend to claim the prize.

The third ticket was redeemed by Cuestion de Suerte LLC, which has been linked to two Texas lawyers who are associates of Tommy Tipton.

The Tiptons have claimed that the lawyers stole the winning numbers from Tommy Tipton and played them without his knowledge. The lawyers haven’t been charged. But the Tiptons’ plea agreements state that anyone found “to have profited from the payment of lottery prizes” in Colorado may still face restitution demands.

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