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WHAT HAPPENED THE NIGHT AN OFFICER DIED »denver & the west, 1B

Fracking confronts its bad reputation »business, 1K

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The kidnapping of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos puts players and MLB on edge. »sports, 1CC

Julia Blackbird’s $30 of New Mexican Cuisine & Margaritas for only $15

50% off Please register at www.DenverDailyDeals.com to get deals emailed to you every morning. See Page 2 for additional offer details

Voice of the Rocky Mountain Empire

CLOUDS E 45˚F 25˚»11B B november 20, 2011 B denverpost.com B © the denver post B $1.50

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Online» In Colorado, farmers are the new pinups. Learn more. »blogs.denverpost.com/diggingin

Meeker Elementary School sits closed after housing students for only one year. Structural problems started showing up within months of its fall 2010 opening. Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post

School unsafe, unsound

Meeker Elementary, designed to standard used for sheds, shut down after its first year Bracing issues

By Eric Gorski and David Olinger The Denver Post

One of the problems at Meeker Elementary School was a lack of adequate braces that support a building against lateral forces such as wind. A bracing system helps resist horizontal loads from the floor or roof and transfers that weight to the next lower level.

meeker» The new grade school sits empty up Sulphur Creek Road. The doors are locked. A sign taped to the window tells delivery drivers to take their packages elsewhere. Children attended classes in the $18.9 million building for an entire school year before it was deemed unsafe to occupy — the result of mistakes by the company that designed and built it, a state agency that missed a glaring error and local school officials who kept the building open despite repeated warnings, The Denver Post has found. The first sign that something was wrong came in October 2010, when News tips dirt piled outside the gym caused a This story was a result wall to lean a few inches. of a tip to The Denver When Meeker School District RE-1 fiPost’s investigative nally brought in an outside firm to reteam. If you have a tip view the structural integrity of the about other problems school nine months later, much deeper with school construction problems became apparent: The school and inspections, or somehad been designed with a building-code thing else for The Post to standard used for storage sheds and was investigate, reach us at at risk of collapse in severe weather. 303-893-TIPS (8477) or The Neenan Co., the Fort Collins detoll-free at 866-748-TIPS, sign-and-build firm the district hired, or e-mail us at has acknowledged making mistakes TIPS@denverpost.com.

A rundown of movies worthy of your holiday to-do lists, including two from director Steven Spielberg, right, “The Adventures of Tintin” and “War Horse.” »A&E, 3E

INS I D E

Source: Luke Studer, Studer Engineering

The Denver Post

More offices have silver lining Aging workforce means new dynamics for workers of all ages By Greg Griffin The Denver Post

Bob Mager retired two years ago after a four-decade career in the oil industry and then as a business owner. But that didn’t last long. After a few months, he grew restless, and having taken a few hits from the economy, he needed income. So Mager returned to work full time. The 68-year-old hosts fraud-awareness seminars for AARP ElderWatch, where he had been a volunteer. “I’ve got no desire to leave at this point. I’ll stay as long as they’ll have me and I’m capable of do-

Battles may grow fierce in Congress if panel fails By Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman The Washington Post

SCHOOL » 20A

WHAT TO WATCH

F ED ER A L D EF IC IT TA L KS

ing it,” he said. “Sixty-eight to me is not old. Things have changed. More and more people are not ready to throw in the towel and sit in a rocking chair.” Whether because they want to or they have to, more people who have reached traditional retirement age are continuing to work, either part or full time. That, combined with a steadily aging labor force that’s ushering millions of baby boomers toward retirement age, is changing the workplace in ways subtle and profound. Employers face the dual challenge

62 percent The increase from 1998 to 2008 in the number of workers 65 or older in the U.S. labor force

1.3 million

DEBT » 8A

The number of workers in 2008 who were 75 or older, the fastest-growing segment of the workforce

Perspective» The options for the debt supercommittee vary widely, from doing nothing, to using gimmicks, to reaching a big deal. »1D

WORKERS » 19A

Books » 10-11E | Crosswords » 16E | Lottery » 2B | Movies » 5E | Obituaries » 8-9B | Travel » 12-14E | Your Money » 11K

washington» The congressional committee tasked with reducing the federal deficit is poised to admit defeat as soon as Monday, and its unfinished business will set up a year-end battle over emergency jobless benefits and an expiring payroll-tax holiday. Those provisions are among a host of measures set to lapse at the end of next month. During nearly three months of negotiations, the “supercommittee” had been weighing whether to extend at least some of those measures as part of a broader plan to shave a minimum of $1.2 trillion over the next decade. Democrats and many economists consider particularly urgent the need to extend jobless benefits and the one-year payroll-tax cut. With national unemployment stuck at 9 percent and the ranks of the long-term unemployed at record levels, the government is providing up to 99 weeks of support to about 3.5 million people.

MediaNews Group

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