The Denver Post - - NEWS - Den­ver Post wire ser­vices

WASH­ING­TON» The De­part­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, the main tar­get of con­gres­sional ef­forts to fire fed­eral em­ploy­ees faster, dis­missed more than 500 of them this year — even be­fore a new ac­count­abil­ity law took ef­fect.

Since the 2014 scan­dal over the coverup of long pa­tient wait times, Capi­tol Hill politi­cians have de­manded that the agency ac­cel­er­ate fir­ings. De­part­ment lead­ers joined the call.

Its first pub­lic post­ing, re­leased Fri­day, of ad­verse ac­tions against em­ploy­ees, ter­mi­na­tions, sus­pen­sions and de­mo­tions showed the de­part­ment fired 525 staffers from Jan. 20, when Pres­i­dent Trump took of­fice, through July 3.

Goal of nation’s first opi­oid court: Keep users alive.

BUF­FALO, N .Y. » Af­ter three de­fen­dants fa­tally over­dosed in a sin­gle week last year, it be­came clear that Buf­falo’s or­di­nary drug treat­ment court was no match for the heroin and painkiller cri­sis.

Now the city is ex­per­i­ment­ing with the nation’s first opi­oid cri­sis in­ter­ven­tion court, which can get users into treat­ment within hours of their ar­rest in­stead of days, re­quires them to check in with a judge ev­ery day for a month in­stead of once a week, and puts them on strict cur­fews. Ad­min­is­ter­ing jus­tice takes a back seat to the over­ar­ch­ing goal of sim­ply keep­ing de­fen­dants alive.

Funded with a three­year $300,000 U.S. Jus­tice De­part­ment grant, the pro­gram be­gan May 1 with the in­tent of treat­ing 200 peo­ple in a year and pro­vid­ing a model that other heroin-wracked cities can repli­cate.

Man on boat fires shots at po­lice and to­ward Seat­tle-area shore­line. BAINBRIDGE

IS­LAND, WASH.» Of­fi­cers fa­tally shot a gun­man who, while on a boat, fired at po­lice and to­ward the shore of Bainbridge Is­land, about 10 miles west of Seat­tle across El­liott Bay.

The man’s death ended an hours-long stand­off that tem­po­rar­ily forced the sus­pen­sion of ferry ser­vices along the Wash­ing­ton coast.

Author­i­ties said the man, who has not been iden­ti­fied, be­gan fir­ing shots about 8:30 p.m. Satur­day. As­sis­tant Fire Chief Luke Car­pen­ter told The Seat­tle Times that the man “was just fir­ing ran­domly” from the boat, docked near Ea­gle Har­bor on the is­land’s south­east cor­ner. He later be­gan shoot­ing at po­lice of­fi­cers af­ter they ar­rived.

“Spi­der-Man” slings $117 mil­lion de­but.

HOL­LY­WOOD» “Spi­derMan: Home­com­ing” swung past ex­pec­ta­tions, open­ing with an es­ti­mated $117 mil­lion in North Amer­ica.

“Home­com­ing” was one of the big­gest tests yet for the no­tion that do­mes­tic movie­go­ers are grow­ing weary of se­quels and re­boots and suf­fer­ing so-called “fran­chise fa­tigue.” ‘’Home­com­ing” kicks off the third “Spi­derMan” it­er­a­tion in the past 15 years, and the sec­ond re­boot.

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