Briefcase – November 2019

BRIEFS

The University of Colorado Boulder will receive a federal grant of $1.2 million to be used by the Rocky Mountain Trade Adjustment Assistance Center to assist manufacturers adjust to instability caused by changes to international trading relationships.

Businesses operating in Boulder city limits will have to renew their sales-tax licenses every other year. The Boulder City Council will start enforcing the biennial renewal schedule in 2021.

An unidentified chemical manufacturer could expand its Weld County operations and add as many as 100 new jobs. The Colorado Economic Development Commission approved a tax-incentive package worth more than $1 million to entice that company — known as “Project Lighthouse” — to move forward with expansion. It is the commission’s practice not to identify companies that the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade is recruiting until incentives are accepted.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver seized a Windsor property as part of a worldwide gun-smuggling scheme run out of Northern Colorado. In filings Oct 17, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security seized 10413 County Road 76½, including two vehicles, several rare coins and silver bars, and $18,746 in cash at the address, along with just less than $96,000 in associated bank assets. The property belongs to Windsor resident and Fort Collins-based Toy Liquidators owner Michael Suppes, 45, who was arrested in June after allegedly agreeing to sell firearms to uncover agents.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is expanding the range of oil-well permits subject to additional scrutiny after it and state health officials released a study on the health impacts from emissions. In a press conference Oct 17, COGCC director Jeff Robbins said the agency will immediately begin applying the stricter rules for any drilling operator that wants to build a well within 2,000 feet of a home. The current range is 1,500 feet from an occupied home. The new regulations will apply to 39 permits awaiting approval, including 27 in Weld County, two in both Larimer and Boulder counties, and one in Adams County. However, the new rules do not apply to wells currently operating within range of a home.

The Colorado Department of Transportation and Front Range Community College have teamed up to develop a first-in-the-nation degree program in highway maintenance management. The partnership is expected to become a national model for use by other states. The first classes in FRCC’s new highway maintenance management program recently began. The coursework is designed to give employees of CDOT — as well as state DOTs and public-works agencies across the country — the education they need to meet the increasing complexity and demands of the nation’s transportation network.

Oil and gas development in Weld County caused the county’s assessed property valuation to spike, which could result in as much as $50 million in additional tax collections for the county. Assessed valuations increased 34.13 percent, significantly more than the typical increase seen by the county department of finance and administration.

Researchers at Colorado State University’s veterinary teaching hospital are in closing stages of recruitment for a five-year study to test if a vaccine could prevent cancer development in canines. CSU, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Arizona State University and University of California Davis are collaborating on the novel prevention tactic, which if successful could create a model for preventing cancers in humans.

Backhoe Excavation Inc., a Firestone company cited for an April 16 workplace trenching accident death, was fined $31,446 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Killed were Cristopher Ramirez, 26, of Boulder, and Jorge Baez Valadez, 41, of Denver.

Colorado State University’s spending on research activities hit a record $398.5 million for fiscal year 2019, a 6.3 percent increase over the previous year. Spending on research has grown by nearly $100 million in the last decade. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, CSU posted increases in all areas of sponsored project awards, including federal and industry funding.

About 70 percent of CSU’s research dollars come in the form of grants awarded by federal funding agencies. The remainder originate from other sources, including state and local governments, private foundations, nonprofits and industry partners.

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) plans to cut thousands of jobs around the world in its fiscal year 2020 as part of a cost-cutting measure, but it’s not clear how many of the job cuts will come at the expense of the estimated 900 to 1,100 employees working at HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) at 3404 E. Harmony Road in Fort Collins. The Palo Alto, California-based computing giant said in filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it hopes to reduce its workforce by 7,000 to 9,000 in the coming months via “employee exits” and early retirements. The company expects to pay up to $1 billion through fiscal year 2022 during the larger restructuring effort, but save that same amount annually by the end of 2022.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed a partial stop to trials for AveXis Inc.’s flagship gene therapy and its possible expanded use, causing another blow to the world’s most-expensive drug that will soon be made in Longmont. AveXis’ parent company, Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS), said in a statement that the FDA held up a trial for Zolgensma meant for children older than 2 after pre-clinical animal tests showed the drug caused nervous-system inflammation when injected directly into the spine. AveXis is retrofitting the former AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) plant in Longmont to make Zolgensma in Longmont alongside its current plant in Raleigh, North Carolina. AveXis also is setting up a company-wide data integrity system in its plants after a data manipulation scandal rocked it and its parent company. AveXis and Novartis will implement “compliance action plan” measures at the Longmont plant by bringing its quality control plans to those held at Novartis’ corporate-level standards.

The Northwest Chamber Alliance, which includes chambers of commerce in Boulder and Broomfield counties, expanded to include the Louisville and Lafayette chambers. The expanded alliance — made up of the two new additions, the Boulder Chamber, the Superior Chamber of Commerce, the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce and the Latino Chamber — now represents about 3,600 businesses and 137,000 employees.

The Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors has voted to support Bond Issue 4C on the ballot in November for the Greeley-Evans School District 6. The vote was unanimous. “With the Greeley-Evans School District 6 currently 5,000 students over capacity, capital improvements needed and deferred maintenance topping $1 billion, the [chamber] board wanted to do all it could to ensure students and staff are safe and provided an environment conducive to learning,” Jaime Henning, president and CEO of the chamber, said in a statement.

Repayment of the bonds, if approved at the November election, will be through an increase in residential and commercial property taxes.

A group of researchers at the University of Colorado are set to begin work on a $100 million project to improve water security across the nation. The researchers are part of the Energy-Water Destination Hub, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to devise new ways to treat and filter water. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden is also a member of the multi-institute group.

Boulder County finalized a deal to purchase the Loukonen-Dairy Farm, a 606-acre farm and wildlife habitat on Foothills Parkway north of Boulder, for $16.7 million. In addition to the property, which will be protected from future development, the county received 560 shares of Left Hand Ditch Company water rights and 3.5 shares of Lake Ditch rights.

Erie trustees voted 4-2 to adopt a new policy statement saying the town will prioritize resident health and safety when considering new drilling applications. The statement carries no legislative weight but is meant to establish the town’s attitude toward development moving forward. The city is one of the few in traditionally oil-friendly Weld County to use SB 181 powers to enact a moratorium on new drilling applications. That ban runs through next January.

CLOSING

National Bank Holdings Corp. (NYSE: NBHC), a Greenwood Village-based institution that operates locally as Community Banks of Colorado, as Bank Midwest in Kansas and Missouri, and Hillcrest Bank in Texas, New Mexico and Utah, is planning to close four branches.

One of the locations set to close is the bank’s Fort Collins branch at 1044 W. Drake Road, according to documents filed with the Colorado Division of Banking. Colorado Banking Division documents show that NBH Bank plans to relocate its Platteville branch and open a new location in Bountiful, Utah.

A Utah-based bank that operates Vectra Bank Colorado announced plans to close some branches and lay off 500 employees. Zions Bancorporation (Nasdaq: ZION) announced the moves to employees Oct. 21, and elaborated in an earnings conference call, Oct. 22. Zions employs about 10,000 people in 11 states, putting the workforce reduction at 5 percent. It’s unclear how many of the job cuts or branch closings might occur in Colorado.

Boulder-based mobile device game developer Backflip Studios Inc. is closing and will lay off all 86 employees. The firm, which was founded in 2009 by Julian Farrior, Dale Thoms and Tom Blind, was acquired by toy company Hasbro Inc. (Nasdaq: HAS) in 2013 for $112 million.

The Tom + Chee restaurant that opened in November 2018 in Loveland didn’t quite make a year. Its owners, Percheron Partners LLC, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Oct. 15 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver. Tom + Chee, a franchise restaurant that specialized in tomato soup and grilled-cheese sandwiches, was located at 1431 N. Denver Ave. in Loveland. It is owned by Percheron Partners LLC, which is jointly owned by Louise Munoz of Timnath, Ryan Neff of Fort Collins and Tyler Neff of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Lazy Dog Bar & Grill, a mainstay on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall, closed Oct. 6. Pearl Partners LLC, the bar’s ownership group led by Steve Ross, sold the building in September to local real estate development and property management firm W.W. Reynolds Cos for more than $6.4 million. Lazy Dog has other locations in Erie and Johnstown.

CONTRACTS

A consortium of American defense agencies is giving ColdQuanta Inc. $2.8 million in grants and contracts to develop its cold-atom sensor systems. The company received the funds from grants with NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. It also signed two contracts worth $1.4 million with a U.S. military branch. ColdQuanta uses lasers to drop atoms to near-absolute zero temperatures. Those frozen atoms are useful for measuring physical forces such as gravity or the movement of time, and are the basis for quantum computing research. The grants come weeks after ColdQuanta was awarded $1 million by NASA for developing smaller versions of their atomic sensors for research use. This grant puts the company above $30 million in research and development funding over its lifetime.

Maxar Technologies Inc. (NYSE: MAXR) signed a joint statement of strategic intent and cooperation with the Australian Space Agency to investigate collaboration in areas of mutual strategic interest related to Earth intelligence and space infrastructure capabilities, and space-related Australian education and training initiatives.

Wana Brands, a Boulder-based maker of edible cannabis products, struck a deal to expand its line of cannabis-infused offerings. Wana Brands, a trade name for Mountain High Products LLC, partnered with Azuca, a brand of New York-based SRE Wellness Inc., a developer of all-natural, fast-acting cannabis edibles.

SomaLogic Inc. extended its research agreement with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS).  The Boulder-based protein analysis company said it inked a new 10-year deal with Novartis, including analyzing at least 250,000 samples from Novartis’ drug development subsidiaries. The two companies first began working with each other in 2011. In return, SomaLogic expects to use the samples to build its database of proteins and their specific features for use in future testing products. The companies did not specify the financial value of the deal or specific development milestones.

Two months after terminating the general contractor for renovation of the Great Hall at Denver International Airport, the facility elected a new general contractor and design firm to take the project’s first phase to fruition. DIA selected Stantec as new lead designer and Hensel Phelps Construction Co., based in Greeley, as general contractor. Stantec has offices in Boulder, Broomfield and Fort Collins. If approved by the Denver City Council, the team will take over for Great Hall Partners, which was terminated after construction delays and cost overruns.

Maxar Technologies Inc. (NYSE: MAXR) secured a $14.2 million contract from the U.S. Air Force. The Westminster-based aerospace company won a contract to build an automated geospatial intelligence analysis system dubbed “Red Wing” for the Air Force Research Laboratory near Dayton, Ohio. The system is supposed to automate analyzing some portions of raw data without requiring direct effort from an intelligence analyst.

Colorado State University signed an agreement with Zoetis, an animal-health company, to establish a research lab at CSU for exploring livestock immune systems. The university also recently announced a partnership with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for developing a vaccine candidate against Rift Valley Fever. The coalition will provide up to $9.5 million for manufacturing and preclinical studies, in collaboration with CSU faculty.

Ion Clean Energy Inc. will receive a cut of a $5.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to join a team designing an expanded carbon-capture system for Nebraska’s largest coal-fired power plant. The Boulder-based clean-energy company is joining four other companies to complete a feasibility study to double the 300-megawatt carbon capture island at the Gerald Gentleman Station, a 1,365-megawatt coal plant in west-central Nebraska. The grant is coming from the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh.

Boulder-based Blue Canyon Technologies Inc. was tapped by NASA to provide aerospace technology that will future missions to the moon and Mars. The company was awarded a $4.9 million contract for an autonomous navigation software solution that allows small satellites to “traverse space without ‘talking’ to Earth,” according to a NASA news release. NASA announced contracts with 14 firms for a total of $43.2 million.

COURTS

The Dough Bar LLC, a Fort Collins-based snack-delivery service and bakery that does business as The Doughnut Club, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The firm, which sells protein-rich, baked — not fried — doughnuts via its website and operates out of a Riverside Avenue storefront, was launched in 2015 in California by Marquez and Ondrea Fernandez. The Dough Bar has nearly $600,000 in assets and nearly $775,000 in liabilities, according to court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver. According to that filing, the firm generated more than $830,000 in revenues in 2019 and more than $2.1 million last year.

nSpire Health Inc. will vacate office space in Longmont as part of its ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. In filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Colorado, the respiratory device maker said it had reached an agreement with its landlord, an American subsidiary of Vancouver, British Columbia, private equity firm Balfour Pacific LP, to break its lease for 1830 Lefthand Circle and vacate within five days of the court’s approval. The lease covered 22,264 square feet. nSpire first declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April, saying it had less than $4.5 million in assets and just more than $2.12 million in liabilities.

Boulder Dentistry P.C. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, likely due to a contested judgment against a bank. In filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Colorado, the dental office said it had less than $50,000 in assets and between $500,000 and $1 million in liabilities. The largest claim against it is from First Citizens Bank & Trust Co., which claims $488,287.79 in a judgment that is listed as disputed. Boulder Dentistry’s income statement for this calendar year showed it had $53,641 in net income and its debt ratio is 0.473. Companies are generally considered highly leveraged if their debt ratio is above 0.5.

The trustee of a Weld County pet food maker that filed for bankruptcy two years ago filed a slew of lawsuits to recover what he believes was paid out too early. The 22 suits, all filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy District of Colorado, are mostly similar in claiming various entities in multiple states were paid out a total of more than $3.15 million in the 90-day period before Wild Calling filed for bankruptcy. Wild Calling filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2017, citing less than $1 million in assets and just more than $4.53 million in debts. The case was converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation in March 2018 at the request of the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, which said former CEO Tim Peterson lied about distributing a minimal amount of funds while the company was under bankruptcy protection, but later admitting transferred more than $1 million to his family and business partners and $447,200 to himself. California-based pet food maker Barkstrong LLC later acquired Wild Calling’s assets two months later. The suits argue those payments should be returned to Wild Calling because they were made during that 90-day period before the business become insolvent, giving those defendants more money than they should have received from the bankruptcy process.

A Florida pharmaceutical company is suing Boulder-based Brickell Biotech Inc. (Nasdaq: BBI) over a series of alleged bad-faith practices, a suit that Brickell said could hamper milestone payments from a separate funding partner. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida, claims Brickell and Miami-based Bodor Laboratories Inc. signed an agreement in December 2012 to license Bodor’s patents and treatments for excessive sweating. That agreement had several development milestones that Brickell was supposed to reach over seven years, but allegedly failed to do so. Bodor also claims that a sublicensing agreement between Brickell and Japanese firm Kaken Pharmaceutical Co. in 2015 included some of Bodor’s intellectual property, but Brickell and Kaken secretly amended the agreement without Bodor’s consent. The suit claims Brickell pocketed more than $20 million from Kaken’s milestone payment schedule without giving a cut to Bodor as required.

A doctor in Alabama is seeking to establish a class-action lawsuit against Boulder-based Biodesix Inc. over unsolicited ads for the company’s lung-cancer test.  In a suit filed with the U.S. District Court of Colorado, Huntsville, Alabama-based Dr. John Lary claims the Boulder company sent him an ad on his fax machine in August. The ad, introduced as evidence, tells the reader that Biodesix recently announced an expansion of variations it can test for with its lung-testing system. It asks the reader to call Biodesix’s customer-support team and is signed with CEO David Brunel’s name at the bottom. Lary claims the ad was unsolicited and didn’t have any information for opting out, which violated federal laws against spam advertisements.

Great American Insurance Co. is suing Greeley-based construction firm Energes Services LLC for allegedly failing to cover surety bonds on several projects in Northern Colorado. According to the suit filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, GAIC issued six construction and payment performance bonds worth more than $6.9 million combined across the region. Contractors usually take out these bonds at the request of clients to make sure they fully pay for materials and labor when building a project. Those bonds include $754,223 for landscape improvements in Centerra Metropolitan District #1, $134,168 for the second phase of the Loveland Sports Park, $848,896 for a bridge near Erie, $2.7 million for public improvements at Big Dry Creek in Westminster and two other projects in Adams County.

PanTheryx Inc., a Boulder company that produces health products from colostrum, is suing one of its largest competitors over alleged unfair advertising practices. In the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, PanTheryx’s subsidiaries APS BioGroup Inc. and La Belle Associates Inc. accuse Brookings, South Dakota-based Sterling Technology of spreading false rumors about the two companies’ production scale and how much dairy powder is blended into certain products.

Hotels For Everyone, an online hotel reservation service run by a Broomfield man, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection several months after the site shut down. Matt Garton and Associates LLC, which did business as Hotels For Everyone and a series of other trade names, was managed by Broomfield resident Matt Garton, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver. The company appears to have ceased operation in May.

The owners of the Lake Loveland Dermatology PC clinic building are asking a federal court to let them evict the clinic as part of an ongoing bitter legal dispute and bankruptcy proceeding. In filings submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Colorado last week, the property owners for 776 W. Eisenhower Blvd. argued that the clinic missed the deadline to revert its current rent payments to what it was in 2016. The landlord company, led by former Lake Loveland Dermatology owner Dr. Patrick Lillis and his wife, Tracy Amick, is asking the court to order the practice to vacate within seven days and to prevent it from claiming a protective stay.

An employee with Loveland-based Aleph Objects Inc., whose job was recently cut as part of a mass layoff, alleges that the company violated laws that require a 60-day notification prior to termination. Aleph, a 3D printer manufacturer, announced it had eliminated 80 percent of its 113-person workforce — about 90 positions — as a result of an ongoing cash-flow crunch. Zachary Hergenreder, an Aleph employee laid off during the purge, alleges that the firm failed to meet certain requirements established by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, according to a class-action suit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver. 

The city of Greeley is attempting to join a class of states and local governments looking to finish a $10 billion to $12 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma LP over its role in the national opioid crisis. Greeley lists more than 40 defendants in its 186-page lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, ranging from opioid producers Purdue Pharma LP’s Sackler family and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) to distributors such as Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Walgreens (Nasdaq: WBA).

A Westminster holding company of outdoor tool brands is suing a consortium of Chinese companies and investors, claiming it was defrauded after years of partnership. According to an adversary suit filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Colorado, Westminster-based Frictionless World LLC accused Changzhou Inter Universal Machine and Equipment Co. Ltd. (CIU), Zhong Lian Investment Co. Ltd (ZL) and their associated executives of intentionally failing to fulfill production orders to cause Frictionless to fail, and to take its intellectual property to start a competing service. Frictionless World filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Colorado, Frictionless reported having $14.6 million in assets, including $4.5 million in cash on hand and $6.43 million in inventory, and $17.36 million in liabilities. The company reported making $17.7 million this year, $26.2 million in calendar year 2018 and $17.56 million in 2017.

Rocky Mountain Drilling LLC is liquidating after the sudden death of its owner earlier this year. The Fort Lupton-based underground construction company, which also operated under the trade name “Pro Bore”, has $357,400 in assets and $528,145 in liabilities, according to its filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Colorado.  Rocky Mountain’s registered agent was Donald Sheridan Jr., who died suddenly in April.

Rocky Mountain Cyclery Inc., a Loveland bike shop that closed in December, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company, previously located at 504 N. Garfield Ave. in Loveland, said in its filing that it has assets of less than $50,000 and unsecured debts of $481,514. The company had gross revenue of $214,197 in 2017 and $127,888 in 2018.

Urgent Care Management Solutions, LLC, an Arizona-based firm that operates in Colorado as Metro Urgent Care, filed for bankruptcy. The firm operated 14 urgent care clinics in the Front Range, including locations in Broomfield, Westminster and Lafayette. All of the clinics closed this summer, leaving employees scrambling to collect unpaid wages. Colorado Department of Labor & Employment officials are investigating the sudden closures. Metro Urgent care has no assets and more than $13.8 million in liabilities, according to documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Colorado. The firm lists no revenues in 2017, 2018 or 2019.

A recently filed lawsuit from AECOM Technical Services Inc., a Los Angeles construction design subcontractor, claims a Broomfield company has refused to pay ATS for design work done as part of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s C-470 Tolled Express Lanes project. ATS has suffered more than $5 million in damages as a result of a breach of contract by Broomfield civil infrastructure construction giant Flatiron Construction Corp. and partner AECOM Energy & Construction Inc. — collectively referred to in court documents as both Flatiron AECOM and JV — according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver.

Otter Products LLC and The Jel-Sert Co. appear to have settled a lawsuit arising from a co-branding deal that went frigid. The U.S. District Court of Colorado dismissed the case after Otter ended its claims against Jel-Sert with prejudice, according to court filings. The suit ended after Otter filed a response to Jel-Sert’s motion to dismiss Sept. 25. Otter filed suit against Jel-Sert in July after the Chicago-based maker of Otter Pops frozen popsicles sent a letter saying the Otterbox brand was infringing on its frozen treats.

Two environmental protection groups warned the world’s largest meat processor that they plan to sue it for violating the Clean Air Act at its Greeley beef plant, months after one sued the beef plant for water discharge violations. In a joint letter, the Center for Biological Diversity and Food and Water Watch accuse JBS USA, an American subsidiary of Brazilian company JBS SA, of failing to certify that a saltwater evaporator installed at the Greeley plant was capturing enough pollutants since coming online and was within the emission limits set in its permits.

JBS uses saltwater brine to preserve cowhides for later sale.

SEMA Construction Inc., a Centennial-based civil construction firm, is accused of water-quality violations at project sites in Boulder, Jefferson and La Plata counties. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a notice of violation and cease and desist order for the trio of construction sites. In 2017, SEMA began a $10 million reconstruction project on culvert drainage structures at Fourmile Canyon Creek near the intersection of Wagonwheel Gap Road and Lion Point northwest of Boulder, according to CDPHE documents.

ShelfX Inc., a Boulder-based manufacturer of unattended smart refrigerator vending systems, is being sued for patent infringement by a Frisco, Texas, firm. Saros Licensing LLC has filed a dozen similar suits in Delaware, Georgia, Wisconsin and Ohio. Defendants include major consumer appliance manufacturers such as Whirlpool Corp., LG Electronics USA Inc. and Sub-Zero Inc. Of those, all but three cases have been dismissed.

EARNINGS

Casual footwear company Crocs Inc. (Nasdaq: CROX) reported record third-quarter revenue, with expectations of continued growth during the fourth quarter and through 2020. The company reported revenue of $312.8 million, up 19.8 percent from the third quarter of 2018. Net income totaled $35.7 million, up from $6.5 million a year ago. The company during the third quarter repurchased approximately one million shares of common stock for $25 million. About $522 million remains of the company’s share-repurchase authorization.

Broomfield-based oil and gas metalworking company DMC Global Inc. (Nasdaq: BOOM) posted $100.09 million in sales for its previous three months ending Sept. 30, a 10 percent decrease from Q2 but an increase of 14 percent over Q3 last year. In particular, DMC’s DynaEnergetics division saw sales climb 16.7 percent year-over-year to $77.3 million.

EVENTS

First Bite Boulder County Restaurant Week announced its initial list of participating restaurants and the nonprofit organizations that will participate in the event’s Two for Tuesday fundraising effort. Two for Tuesday encourages diners to contribute $2 or more to Boulder County Farmers Market, Conscious Alliance, Growing Gardens, Resource Central and Sister Carmen. A portion of donations will be matched by Cured, Elton Construction and Native Edge Landscaping. First Bite offers $29 or $49 per person three-course prix-fixe menu options Nov. 8 through Nov. 16.

KUDOS

The Colorado Medical Society and Boulder County Medical Society presented the Legislative Leadership Award to state Rep. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder,  in recognition of her support of physicians’ health policy issues in the 2019 Colorado General Assembly. The groups specifically pointed out her work on the Professional Review Act Sunset bill.

Berthoud’s Business Development Department received a bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council in recognition of the town’s commercial development brochure.

Greeley-based public radio station KUNC-FM 91.5 received two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association.  KUNC won in two categories, continuing coverage and investigative journalism.

The first class of BBB Ethics Scholars interns has begun its orientation with the Better Business Bureau and the Torch Awards for Ethics program. The students will work with companies nominated for the 2020 Torch Awards for Ethics.  The 2019-2020 BBB Ethics Scholars are: Mamadou Balde from Colorado State University; Jada Harben from the University of Northern Colorado; and Kyrie Blaney, Jenna Gardner, Kenna Noble and Courtney Yarrington, all from the University of Wyoming. Winning organizations will receive their awards at the 2020 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics celebration, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 23 at the Embassy Suites Loveland. Business nominees are Davidson-Gebhardt Chevrolet/Subaru of Loveland; Elder Coustruction Inc. and EnviroPest of Windsor; Jireh 7 Enterprises of Firestone; Handel Information Technologies and Tough Guy’s Lawn Care of Laramie; and Fort Collins firms Exodus Moving & Storage, Fort Collins Nursery, Juli y Juan’s Kitchen, Neenan Co., and Zak George Landscaping. Nonprofit nominees are Loveland-based Be the Gift and Fort Collins-based Homeward Alliance and The Matthews House/Live The Victory.

Forty Colorado breweries, including 13 from Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley, earned medals at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Winners from Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley included Boulder-based BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery, Upslope Brewing Co. and Twisted Pine Brewery Co.; Lafayette-based Post Brewing Co. and Cellar West Artisan Ales; Longmont-based Bootstrap Brewing Co. and Primitive Beer; Fort Collins-based Odell Brewing Co. and Equinox Brewing Co.; Greeley-based WeldWerks Brewing Co.; Frederick-based Mirror Image Brewing Co.; and Erie-based Echo Brewing Co. In addition, New Belgium Brewing Co. of Fort Collins, and Erich Purcell won a bronze medal in the Pro-Am Competition with a beer called Chess with Checkers.

UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation honored Markley Motors Inc. and Beryl “Brownie” McGraw for their dedication to improving health in Northern Colorado at the foundation’s annual Celebration of Caring event in September. Markley Motors received the foundation’s 2019 Vitalitarian award, and McGraw received the 2019 Illuminator award.

The Everitt Real Estate Center at Colorado State University recognized two real estate professionals with major awards on Oct. 30. Jay Hardy was named entrepreneur of the year and Larry Kendall was inducted into the Real Estate Hall of Fame.

Health District of Northern Larimer County project implementation coordinator MJ Jorgensen was chosen to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Leaders program.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Toronto-based software producer Cority Software Inc. purchased Axion Health Inc. in Broomfield as part of its employee-health division. The deal’s price was not disclosed. Axion produces software for hospitals to monitor workplace injuries and manage health-code compliance.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (Nasdaq: PPC) closed its buyout of British pork producer Tulip Ltd., giving it the second-largest prepared foods maker in that country. The Greeley-based chicken producer said it paid former owners Danish Crown AmbA the British Pound equivalent of $354 million USD in an all-cash deal.