Archive for  October 2018

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It seemed that 6-year-old Spencer Hill was battling symptoms of a common cold until suddenly he started struggling to walk and move his arms.

Then he couldn’t write and his legs began giving out.

“You see your child, who likes to run and play,” Serena Hill, the Tennessee boy’s mother, told WRCB. “All of a sudden, ‘Mommy I can’t zip my pants. I can’t write.’ Then you see him fall and his legs give out. It is absolutely terrifying.”

Spencer is among the 62 confirmed cases across 22 states of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigating 65 additional more. According to his mother, he’s been in a children’s hospital in Atlanta since last month and has spent the last three weeks working on his fine motor skills while receiving intense steroid infusions to stop the spread of paralysis.


About 90 percent of the confirmed cases involve children who have suffered muscle weakness or paralysis, including in the face, neck, back or limbs. The symptoms tend to appear about a week after exhibiting a fever or respiratory illness.

On Tuesday, CDC officials said they haven’t found a cause in the recent spike of cases, which is similar to patterns reported in 2014 and 2016. On its website, the agency lists viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders as possible causes of AFM. It also lists West Nile virus, adenoviruses, poliovirus, and non-polio enteroviruses as potential suspects, but while some have been detected in recent paralysis cases, it hasn’t been found in others.

“This is a mystery so far,” the CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier said.

Many children eventually recover from the illness, with treatments varying depending on their symptoms and severity of illness, but others may not.

Carter Roberts, who according to his family was a fully vaccinated and healthy child, was struck by the virus at age 3 in 2016. Carter’s family said that following his diagnosis he spent nearly 200 days in the hospital, including over 100 days in intensive physical therapy, but he remained fully dependent on a ventilator unable to move on his own, with his prognosis unlikely to change.


On Sept. 22, nearly 2.5 years after his diagnosis, and on the same day that he received a toe-controlled motorized wheelchair that would help him navigate kindergarten, Carter died.

Carter Roberts died on Sept. 22, about 2.5 years after being diagnosed with AFM.

Carter Roberts died on Sept. 22, about 2.5 years after being diagnosed with AFM.

“We are so sad to announce that Carter passed away last night around 8 p.m.,” a post on the “Carter’s Coalition” Facebook page said. “Although we miss him more than words can express, he is free of his machines and tubes. He is free to run, climb and play like he did before AFM. He is surrounded by love and peace in heaven. Our family is forever changed by the almost 6 years we had with him on this year. His voice, spirit and joy will be terribly missed but never forgotten.”

The CDC did not disclose which of the 22 states have confirmed cases but said that most of the cases began in August and September. Messonnier said that, in general, parents can help protect their children from disease by practicing hand washing and applying insect repellent to protect against mosquito bites.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Even at age 88, actor Ed Asner still hangs out at the comic-book store with his kid.

Early last week, the Asners could be spotted at Hollywood’s legendary Golden Apple Comics. But they weren’t shopping.

Instead, the two were promoting an internet comic-art auction to raise funds for The Ed Asner Family Center. The auction goes live Wednesday.

Founded earlier this year by the actor’s son, Matthew, and daughter-in-law, Navah, the center offers programs and education for both special-needs children and their families.

The star of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” ”Lou Grant” and the lead voice in the Pixar animated favorite “Up,” Ed Asner has a son and three grandchildren with autism.

“They’re (all) beautiful people,” the actor noted. “And, at the same time, they need all the help they can get maneuvering through life. The Family Center is designed to help them do that.”

Father and son have had a comic-book connection for decades, when the two would buy a couple of new comic books before the elder Asner would take his son to work on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

Matthew became a serious comic-art fan, so the idea of an auction to raise funds for a permanent home for the center came about organically. The pair caught a break when Matthew’s tweet asking for donations got a response and assist by the revered, award-winning comic artist Kevin Nowlan.

“His tenacity helped us to get to some of the greatest artists in the business: Alex Ross, Sam Keith, Bill Sienkiewicz,” said Matthew. Among auction highlights are rare original cover art from “Captain America,” ”Astro City” books, as well as three donations from Nowlan himself.

Dad also enjoys comics: “My favorite cartoon or comic strip of all was ‘Plastic Man,’” Asner recalled. “I adored his sense of humor. He had a great sense of humor. Perhaps that affected me in later years when I tried to develop one.”

Eventually, he did. Asner may end up best remembered for playing hilariously crusty TV-news director Lou Grant on the sitcom classic “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

“Lou Grant was a total birth of Ed Asner as a comedic personality,” Asner commented. “With ‘Mary Tyler Moore,’ I learned to do comedy, which I had always feared and run from, ignoring the fact that people found me innately funny – just to look at.”

When counting wins for work on both “Mary” and “Lou,” the role earned Asner a total seven Emmy awards. But Asner acknowledged success came at too big a price. “During my career, I stiffed the family. I let them come in second all too often.”

Asner said he deeply regretted not being around for his children, crediting ex-wife Nancy Sykes for Matthew’s successes.

Matthew disagreed: “He likes to tell people he had nothing to do with making me who I am, but he had everything to do with making me who I am. He instilled a sense of fairness and a sense of fight for the underdog and a sense of really what’s important in life.”




Follow AP Entertainment writer Mike Cidoni Lennox online at Twitter: @CidoniLennox

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX.O), one of the largest U.S. prescription benefits managers, will cover new migraine drugs from Eli Lilly (LLY.N) and Amgen Inc (AMGN.O), but is excluding a rival medication made by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA) after price negotiations with all three manufacturers. The decision represents a setback for Teva, which is in the midst of a corporate restructuring and had hoped to capture a sizable stake of the multibillion-dollar migraine market. Express Scripts is also taking steps to limit use to the patients it says are most likely to benefit from the new Amgen and Lilly migraine drugs.

FILE PHOTO: The logo and ticker for Eli Lilly and Co. are displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Pharmacy benefits managers like Express Scripts are taking more aggressive action to lower the cost of prescription drugs for their clients, large employers who pay for health benefits for their workers. The new migraine drugs were approved for the U.S. market within a few months of each other this year. That gave Express Scripts more leverage in demanding a discount in exchange for putting a therapy on its “formulary,” or list of covered drugs. “These products are fairly interchangeable,” Harold Carter, clinical solutions director at Express Scripts, told Reuters. “It comes down to manufacturers providing the best value to be on the formulary.” He acknowledged that price rebates played a role in determining coverage status, but declined to comment on the level of rebating.

In May, Amgen and marketing partner Novartis AG (NOVN.S) won U.S. regulatory approval for Aimovig, an injected drug designed to interfere with a process that helps kick off migraine headaches. Teva’s Ajovy and Lilly’s Emgality were approved last month. The three drugs work in a similar manner and represent an improvement over existing treatments: in clinical trials they significantly reduced migraine frequency in about half of patients.

Wei-Li Shao, vice president of neuroscience at Eli Lilly, told Reuters last month that discounts and rebates for the migraine drug would be negotiated with insurers and other payers. Brendan O’Grady, head of Teva’s North America commercial operations, declined to comment on talks with payers, while executives at Amgen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

All three drugs have a list price of $575 a month, or $6,900 a year. Geoffrey Porges, biotech analyst at Wall Street investment bank Leerink Partners, told Reuters he expects the drugmakers will need to offer rebates of at least 30 percent for the new migraine class to be covered by insurance. Express Scripts already lists Amgen’s Aimovig as a preferred treatment on its largest formulary, but requires that patients first try two older preventive therapies and a triptan, a family of generic drugs used to treat acute migraine. Lilly’s Emgality will be covered under the same terms. Amgen and Lilly will also begin next April to refund part of the drug cost if a migraine patient stops treatment within 90 days, indicating that the medication does not work for them or causes too many side effects. That refund, between 25 and 30 percent of the drugs’ list price, would be returned to clients of Express Scripts, and comes in addition to the rebates the pharmacy benefit manager has already negotiated.

39 MILLION MIGRAINE SUFFERERS “Everyone in the chain is taking some accountability for the cost of the drug,” Carter said, adding that the refund means the manufacturers are sharing financial risk if the drugs do not work as well as claimed. Around 39 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. Worldwide migraine drug sales could reach $8.7 billion by 2026, according to analytics firm GlobalData. But Carter estimated that only about 128,000 of the 83 million people who get their prescription drug benefits through Express Scripts will be good candidates for the migraine-prevention drugs. Under the Migraine Care Value program that will launch next April, Express Scripts will have its specially trained pharmacists, nurses and other staff assess appropriate care and access to therapies for patients. The pharmacy benefit manager, which is being acquired by Cigna Corp (CI.N), created a similar program in 2015 that sharply limited the use of two novel, and expensive, cholesterol drugs – from Amgen and partners Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN.O) and Sanofi SA (SASY.PA). For the new migraine drugs “the challenges will likely be right out of the gate, seeing if patients are responding to the therapy,” Carter said. The drugmakers have already tried to pre-empt efforts to limit access to the new migraine treatments. Amgen and Lilly are providing two months’ supply of the drug for free directly to patients. All three companies have plans to pay nearly all of an individual’s out of pocket costs under a commercial insurance plan. In addition, Amgen and Lilly have temporary programs to supply the treatments to patients who are covered by commercial insurance, but are still having trouble getting reimbursed. Some large health insurers, such as Anthem Inc (ANTM.N), have similar coverage terms for Aimovig, requiring patients to document how they suffer from a defined number of headaches each month, and show that they have tried older migraine drugs first. Others, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans in states like Pennsylvania and Kansas, only cover prescriptions for the new drugs from – or in consultation with – a neurologist or headache specialist, and not a primary care doctor. Some plans have not yet determined coverage terms, meaning each prescription has to go through a lengthy review process.

Reporting By Deena Beasley; Editing by Michele Gershberg and Diane Craft

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If you’re currently in the middle of an attempt to avoid alcohol throughout the month of October, then all power to you. Taking a month off the booze is a great way to reassess your relationship with alcohol, and also to show off the benefits of cutting back to both your health and your wallet.

However, let’s not pretend that it’s going to be an easy ride. By the middle of the month your motivation to stay dry is probably starting to wane.

“The first week is often the easiest,” says Jo Hemmings, a behavioural psychologist and supporter of Macmillan’s Go Sober for October. “And the last is OK because you’re in the home straight. Weeks two and three are usually the most difficult, when your willpower is at its lowest.”

If you are finding it harder and harder to stay on the wagon as October progresses, then heed this advice from Hemmings on how to maintain your motivation.

Look In The Mirror

The benefits of going booze-free become apparent very quickly.

“After just a week, your skin will look better, you’ll have better-quality sleep and you will probably have lost a few pounds,” says Hemmings. “Embrace those positives.”

A dry October provides a well-timed health boost as well, because Christmas is around the corner. When you consider all the partying to come, a sober October will start to feel like a blessing.

“Christmas is coming up. It’s a time of excess – whether food, spending or alcohol,” says Hemmings. “With your one month sober, you’ll be in tip-top physical and psychological health.”

Treat Yo’ Self

If you’re someone who frequently hits the pub after work, the amount of cash you’ll have saved after just a couple of weeks will be considerable. Put that money towards something more lasting than a couple of quick drinks.

“Think of the money you’re saving and maybe treat yourself to something,” says Hemmings.

Occupy Your Mind

The hardest times to avoid alcohol will be the times you’d normally be drinking so it’s helpful to come up with alternatives.

“Don’t clock-watch,” says Hemmings. “If you’re someone who likes a drink on a weeknight, for example, do something else to take your mind off the booze.”

One thing you could try is exercise. That might sound like a joyless double whammy – no booze and you have to work out – but exercise will make you feel excellent, we promise. And given that you’ve been off alcohol for a couple of weeks, you’ll be feeling healthier and readier to work out.

“While you’re feeling fitter, do some regular exercise. It releases feelgood endorphins, the body’s natural narcotic,” says Hemmings.

Get Creative With A Mocktail

When the going gets really tough, try a mocktail to take the edge off the urge to drink without actually indulging.

“They taste great and give you the satisfaction of a booze-free cocktail,” says Hemmings. “You can find some great examples on the Go Sober For October website.”

Get Some Social Support

As long as you avoid certain areas of the internet, you’ll find it a very supportive place. Lots of people will be trying to stay dry this October, and lots of them could be struggling just like you, so get online and start backing each other up. Check out the hashtag #GoSober on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to find other people signed up for Macmillan’s Go Sober For October campaign.

Remember One Drink Isn’t The End Of The World

Stay sober if you can, obviously – but if you do have a drink, don’t let it spiral out of control and give up on the month entirely.

“If you do find yourself tempted into a drink, don’t be hard on yourself,” says Hemmings. “It happens. Don’t give up, just start back again tomorrow. Don’t let one bad day spoil your efforts.”

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Since the first edition of the DynaFlyte launched in 2016 the aim of the shoe has been simple: to deliver the ideal balance of speed and cushioning to make it suitable for all kinds of running. In the years since the shoe has been refined and improved to make it lighter and more responsive, while still retaining enough cushioning and support to make it suitable for long runs. I tried a variety of runs in the DynaFlyte 3 and although it undoubtedly has strengths and weaknesses, it does work as an impressive all-rounder shoe that most neutral runners will find fits the bill for training of all types as well as racing.

Key to that is the FlyteFoam Lyte midsole, which provides enough cushioning to protect you from the impact of logging big distances while still being light enough not to be much of hindrance on fast, short efforts. I say not much of a hindrance, because the DynaFlyte 3 is not an out-and-out racer. Its 257g weight (men’s size 8) is lightweight for a daily trainer, but it’s not as explosively responsive or lightweight as a shoe like the Adidas Boston 7 or Nike Zoom Fly. I tried a track session and a tempo run in the DynaFlyte 3 and while it’s no slouch, these aren’t the shoe’s strongest area. There’s little pop off the toe and the hefty stack of cushioning at the back of the shoe is noticeable and a little cumbersome when sprinting.

However, the track isn’t really where the DynaFlyte 3 is designed to spend its time, and when you take it out for longer efforts on the road it shines. The ride has a firm feel that’s quite different to the raft of bouncy shoes that have followed the trail blazed by Adidas’s Boost foam, and while I do love running in a bouncy shoe, that difference is no bad thing. The FlyeFoam Lyte cushions the impact of running without you losing the feel for the ground. The heel-to-toe transition is smooth and when you get into a rhythm at a good pace over long runs, the DynaFlyte quickly disappears on the foot.

It’s a shoe that would work well for marathon and half marathons in particular, but it’s also comfortable to wear when you’re taking it easy over long distances.

The upper on the DynaFlyte 3 also impresses. The flexible Adapt Mesh 2.0 fabric stretches to accommodate the foot nicely without sacrificing too much support. Opt for the LiteShow version of the trainer and the fabric has reflective details woven throughout to make you more visible at night.

Advances in foam technology have resulted in a lot of brands making lightweight shoes that still carry a comfortable stack of cushioning to support you over long distances, and the DynaFlyte 3 is one of the best available on that front. If you’re looking for a running shoe to carry you through a lot of of training that’s also fast enough to help you impress over 22.1km or 42.2km come race day, it’s certainly a shoe to consider.

Buy from Asics | £135

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Anyone who’s looked into contraceptive choices knows there’s a whole gamut of options available.

The truth is, it can be overwhelming to wade through them all to find the one that’s right for you.

But, if you’re looking for a long-term option, then the Mirena – which is a type of IUD (intrauterine device) – might tick some important boxes. That’s because the Mirena not only offers protection from pregnancy for up to five years, it can also be used to treat heavy periods. Plus, once it’s in place, it doesn’t require any ongoing responsibility.

However, like all contraceptive options, it does come with a risk of side effects. These include:

1. Changes in your bleeding patterns

“By far, the most common side effect of Mirena is bleeding irregularities,” says obstetrician, gynaecologist and fertility specialist, Dr Alex Polyakov.

For the first one to three months after getting a Mirena inserted, he says your bleeding from down below is “unpredictable” and can range from none at all, to heavy, daily bleeding.

That bleeding can be so heavy or bothersome that around 10-15 percent of women request having their Mirena removed as a result, says Dr Polyakov.

That said, more than half of women experience less bleeding than normal while using Mirena, Dr Polyakov assures. And, 15-20 percent of women with a Mirena will have no bleeding from down below whatsoever.

By the time you’ve had a Mirena in for three months, the type of bleeding you’re experiencing is likely to represent your long-term pattern, says Dr Polyakov.

So, if you haven’t bled much in those first three months, you can breathe a sigh of relief, as that’s probably indicative of how much you’ll bleed in the future.

2. Hormonal effects

Because the Mirena affects your hormones, it can lead to hormone-related side effects. This means having a Mirena can worsen or cause depressive symptoms, warns Dr Polyakov.

If you start feeling depressed, talk to your doctor. If you feel you want to hurt yourself or someone else, seek urgent medical help. You may also experience other hormonal side effects such as bloating, breast tenderness, weight gain, acne, reduced interest in sex, nausea and headaches (or migraines).

3. Abdominal or pelvic pain

Another common side effect of Mirena is pain, either in the abdomen or pelvic area. Taking some painkillers such as paracetamol, and using a hot water bottle, can help.

But, (as the ads say), if the pain persists (or if it’s severe), see your doctor…

4. Risk of pregnancy

According to its makers, Mirena is “one of the most effective forms of birth control”. Once in place, they say it’s “over 99 percent effective” at preventing pregnancy.

When it’s in place, you need to do a self-check of the threads once a month (your doctor can explain how to do that).

They say that, if you have a Mirena in and can’t feel the threads, see your GP and use a backup form of non-hormonal birth control (like condoms) until you’ve been checked.

What about sex?

After having a Mirena inserted you may experience some discomfort or spotting. Once those symptoms have settled and you feel ready to get busy again, there’s nothing stopping you.

While Dr Polyakov says discomfort during sex when you have a Mirena “sometimes happens”, he reassures it’s “very uncommon”.

Another note on sex: Mirena doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) so you still need to use condoms as a barrier to prevent infections.

What should you do if you experience side effects?

If you experience side effects from your Mirena, chat to your doctor about your concerns.

While a small percentage of women choose to remove their Mirena due to side effects, Dr Polyakov says the majority of users are happy with their choice of contraception.

And, considering a Mirena provides reliable protection against pregnancy, without having to take pills every day, or remembering to use a diaphragm or condom, Dr Polyakov thinks it’s a choice you should definitely consider.

“Overall, I think it is a wonderful contraceptive option.”

This is a woman’s story on how her birth control brought on her depression. Plus, this is exactly what a women’s health expert wants you to know about birth control.

Know someone who would find this interesting? Share this article with them!

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Canada is now the largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace as sales began early Wednesday in Newfoundland.

And there was more good news for pot aficionados: Hours before a handful of retail outlets opened in the country’s easternmost province a federal official told The Associated Press that Canada will pardon all those with convictions for possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana, the now-legal threshold.

A formal announcement was planned for later Wednesday. The official, who was not authorized to speak public ahead of the announcement, said those who want to take advantage of the pardons will have to apply.

Canada has had legal medical marijuana since 2001 and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has spent two years working toward expanding that to include so-called recreational marijuana. The goal is to better reflect society’s changing opinion about marijuana and bring black market operators into a regulated system.

Uruguay was first was the first country to legalize marijuana.

Tom Clarke, an illegal pot dealer for three decades, was among the first to make a legal sale in Canada when his store opened at midnight local time in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. He made his first sale to his dad and a lineup of about 50 to 100 people waited outside his shop.

“This is awesome. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this. I served my dad,” Clarke said. “I am so happy to be living in Canada right now instead of south of the border.”

Clarke, whose middle name is Herb, has been called THC for years by his friends. His dad, Don, said he was thrilled he was among the first customers of legal pot.

“It’s been a long time coming. We’ve only been discussing this for 50 years. It’s better late than never,” he said.

Clarke’s store is among at least 111 legal pot shops expected to open across the nation of 37 million people on Wednesday, with many more to come, according to an Associated Press survey of the provinces.

Canadians also can order marijuana products through websites run by provinces or private retailers and have it delivered to their homes by mail.

Alberta and Quebec have set the minimum age for purchase at 18, while others have made it 19.

No stores will open in Ontario, which includes Toronto. The most populous province is working on its regulations and doesn’t expect stores until next spring.

Ryan Bose, 48, a Lyft driver in Toronto, said it’s about time.

“Alcohol took my grandfather and it took his youngest son, and weed has taken no one from me ever,” he said.

A patchwork of regulations has spread in Canada as each province takes its own approach within the framework set out by the federal government. Some are operating government-run stores, some are allowing private retailers, some both.

Canada’s national approach has allowed for unfettered industry banking, inter-province shipments of cannabis and billions of dollars in investment — a sharp contrast with national prohibition in the United States.

Nine U.S. states have legalized recreational use of pot, and more than 30 have approved medical marijuana. California, the largest legal market in the U.S., earlier this month became the first state with a law mandating expungement of criminal convictions for marijuana-related offenses that no are longer illegal.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said it’s time for the U.S. government to follow Canada’s lead.

“Now that our neighbor to the north is opening its legal cannabis market, the longer we delay, the longer we miss out on potentially significant economic opportunities for Oregon and other states across the country,” he said in a statement.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection invited Canadian media to a conference call on Tuesday so officials could reiterate that marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law and that those who are caught at the border with pot are subject to arrest and prosecution.

As Canada welcomes legalization, supply shortages could develop, as happened in some U.S. states when legalization arrived.

Trevor Fencott, chief executive of Fire and Flower, said his company has 15 Alberta stores staffed and ready to sell marijuana, but the province has supplied only enough product to open three of them Wednesday.

“We’re aware of some of the kinks or growing pains that come with creating an industry out of whole cloth in 24 months,” Fencott said.

Brenda Tobin and her son Trevor plan to open their pot shop in Labrador City in Newfoundland and Labrador at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday — 420 is slang for the consumption of cannabis. Tobin, a longtime convenience store owner, said they will be cutting a ribbon and cake.

“We are just ecstatic,” she said.

She doesn’t expect to make much money off the pot itself, noting Newfoundland’s 8 percent cap on retail pot profits. She hopes to make money from pipes, bongs and marijuana paraphernalia.

“There’s no money in the product itself,” she said. “You got to sell $250,000 worth of product in order to make $20,000. That’s not even paying someone’s salary.”


Gene Johnson reported from Seattle. Johnson is a member of AP’s marijuana beat team. Follow him at Find complete AP marijuana coverage at

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Skiers, many of whom dressed up in costumes, head toward the lift line to take advantage of the last of the snow during the last day of skiing for the 2016-2017 ski season at Loveland Ski Area on May 7, 2017, at Loveland Ski Area. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

Arapahoe Basin will win the spirited sprint to become the first Front Range ski area to open for the season, but only by a ski tip.

A-Basin will open Friday at 9 a.m., and Loveland, its friendly rival on the other side of Loveland Pass, will open Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Wolf Creek, which is 250 miles from the metro area in southwest Colorado, opened last Saturday but will operate only on weekends for the time being.

All three areas got a huge boost from a series of storms that began rolling through Colorado 10 days ago, following an unseasonably warm and dry beginning to autumn. Loveland opened on the same date last season. Arapahoe opened Oct. 13 a year ago.

“With nearly two feet of natural snow, combined with the low temperatures for snowmaking, we’ve been able to create a quality base for Friday’s opening,” said Arapahoe Basin’s chief operating officer Alan Henceroth. “We’re excited to get the ski season started.”

Arapahoe’s Black Mountain Express lift will be in operation, serving the High Noon trail, which is an intermediate run. The rental shop and Arapahoe Sports retail shop will be open and there will be two dining options, the 6th Alley Bar and Grill in the base area and the Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain. Ticket window prices will be $85 for adults, $70 for youths 15-18 and $41 for kids 6-14.

As usual on opening day, Loveland will have one run in operation but there will be one huge difference this year. The old Lift 1, a slow triple chair, has been replaced by Loveland’s first high-speed quad chair. It has been named Chet’s Dream in honor of longtime Loveland owner Chet Upham. Upham died in 2008 but his family still owns the ski area.

“This new lift will provide our guests with quicker and more reliable access to some of our most popular terrain,” chief operation officer Rob Goodell said in a news release, “while honoring ski industry pioneer and Loveland patriarch, Chester R. Upham, Jr.”

Walk-up lift tickets will cost $65 for adults, $31 for children.

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For city dwellers, it can be hard to reconcile romantic ideas of autumn (a time of plenty, harvest festival) with the reality of ever shorter, darker days. This cake puts two ingredients to work that make the season worth celebrating: apples and blackberries. Paired with warming spices, they make the perfect treat to watch the leaves fall and rain patter past your window.

Apple and blackberry cake

Feel free to substitute the fresh blackberries used here for frozen, or even for other fruits such as currants or raspberries. All you really need is something small and sweetly tangy to cut through the sweetness of the sponge.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 8

150g dried figs
2 apples (I use Pink Lady)
200g unsalted butter
175g dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
125g plain flour
75g wholemeal flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1½ tsp baking powder
150g blackberries
Cream or creme fraiche, to serve

Start by chopping up the figs and peeling and grating the apples. Set aside in a bowl. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs until smooth and glossy. Stir in the flours, spices and baking powder followed by the figs, apples and blackberries.

Pour into an 23cm cake tin lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, by which point a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean with no batter.

Leave to cool a little, then serve warm with a little cream or creme fraiche.

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