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Panorama: Mile-High Headlines for Wednesday, August 6

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Obama’s 47th Birthday Wish: Colorado, a Couple Other States Barack Obama celebrated his birthday with an 850-person bash on Monday night in a Boston office building that gives a dramatic view of the harbor below. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who ran for president four years ago, at one point asked the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee what he wanted for his birthday. The answer included three things, Kerry later reported to the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog: Colorado, Virginia, and Indiana. “That’s it,” Kerry added. There is all sorts of speculation that Obama’s vice presidential pick might come from one of the three states, the most talked about being Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, who, as The Hill puts it in a headline, shares “strengths, flaws” with Obama. Preparing for a Battle? As of its deadline, the Rocky Mountain News was still trying to find out who would be left holding the bill for a proposed series of contracts that will amp up security at the upcoming Democratic National Convention. Denver City Council was told that Adamson Police Products has been contracted to provide more than $580,000 in protective headgear. Another request seeks more than $566,000 for unspecified protective equipment. Argus Event Staffing would provide “pre-convention security” at the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field at Mile High for some $377,000, including “asset management and credential verification.” The City Council is also being asked to approve $802,000 for the Denver Health Medical Center in anticipation of increased use during the convention. To tally: That’s more than $2.3 million. And the News reports that it’s “unclear” whether the contracts are covered by a $50 million federal grant that Denver received to cover convention security costs.

Bob Schaffer’s Son in Hot Water Over Facebook Slurs Justin Schaffer, 19, whose ultra-conservative father, Bob Schaffer, is running for Senate, could be reprimanded or expelled before his classes start at the University of Dayton later this month because of the stunning images and slogans that appeared on his Facebook page. A mirror of Justin’s networking site was put up at www.schafferfamilyvalues.com by a mysterious party and show material portraying Barack Obama as a snobby, gay, Muslim elitist who looks like the cereal-box cartoon character “Count Chocula.” Another image shows Jesus in front of a Confederate flag holding an assault rifle. It reads, “What Would Republican Jesus Do?” State Representative Rosemary Marshall, a Denver Democrat who is black, was particularly offended by a picture stating that “Slavery Gets Shit Done.” She called on Bob Schaffer to “take responsibility and immediately condemn the racist images,” according to The Denver Post. Schaffer hasn’t done that, but he did speak to 9NEWS in a phone interview, saying, “My wife and I have initiated a process of firm and severe discipline with our son.” And Justin, or “Cap’n Bootyplunder,” as one of his friends called him on Facebook, has apologized in a statement. Authorities at Justin’s preeminent Catholic school will investigate whether the Facebook page violates a code of conduct, according to Ohio’s Dayton Daily News. A Tale of Two Mountain Lions The mountain lion that pussyfooted through the open French doors of Mack and Jacquie Anderson’s Idledale home in the wee hours of Monday morning–making off with a 70-pound yellow Labrador–made a fatal mistake. The lion returned to the scene of the kill, near the home just west of Morrison, where wildlife managers were waiting to trap and kill the beast, according to various news sources, including News2, which has a picture of the dog-victim, Scout. Meanwhile, another big cat was slinking around north Boulder over the weekend, as Paul Shippey discovered when he investigated a rustling noise in the bushes, only to discover a lion gnawing on a deer. “I kind of back-pedaled slowly,” he tells Boulder’s Daily Camera. He alerted authorities, who set a trap and captured the lion with plans to relocate it. Lesson for lions: Stick to deer. Heat Record Adds One More Day Yesterday’s beautifully cool and rainy day surprisingly didn’t break the heat streak. Denver’s tiresome record-shattering string of sweltering 90-plus-degree days continued for a 24th consecutive day yesterday, with the mercury rising to 91 shortly before 3 p.m., the Rocky Mountain News reports–although it didn’t feel like it. Today could be the official spell-breaker. More rain could come, and the National Weather Service is forecasting temperatures in the high 80s today and low- to mid-80s tomorrow. Broncos Receiver Suspended for Three Games It’s official: The receiver who led the Broncos last year in catches and yards, Brandon Marshall, has been suspended for the first three games of the season by the National Football League, according to The Denver Post. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is concerned by several recent police-related incidents involving Marshall, including his arrest earlier this year in a domestic violence case involving a former girlfriend in Atlanta. Marshall’s attorney plans to appeal the ruling, which would prevent Marshall from practicing with the team for weeks. Cyclists Arrive in China with Facemasks Although a high-ranking International Olympic Committee said there was no need for Americans to wear respiratory masks to protect their lungs from Beijing’s pollution, Colorado’s own Mike Friedman and a handful of other U.S. cyclists arrived at an airport in China Tuesday wearing black masks with activated carbon-filtration devices, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, which has a reporter on the ground in Beijing. Audiodose: Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper says this month’s Democratic National Convention will showcase Denver. He spoke to business leaders on Tuesday, as KUNC radio reports. Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.71, Shell, 15291 E. Hampden Ave. (via www.gasbuddy.com). Weather Today: Storms and 87 high/60 low Weather Tomorrow: Possible storms 83 high/60 low Enjoy what you’re reading? Starting August 18, Panorama will be available as an e-newsletter. Sign up now, and receive our Mile-High headlines each weekday morning via email. Send headline tips to [email protected].

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