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Today's Features

  • With illumination from the evening stars and the flicker of candles, dozens gathered Dec. 28 at Clement Park to mourn the death of Nathaniel Griego.

    The 14-year-old Dakota Ridge High School freshman died several days after being shot on Dec. 23 by a 15-year-old friend at his South Jeffco home, according to authorities.

    Friends, acquaintances and peers from Dakota Ridge, Columbine and Chatfield high schools gathered to share a prayer, a hug or a kind memory of Griego.

  • Curtis Fulster is on a mission to write a book suitable for children in military families.

    The South Jeffco author, who writes under the name “C. Fulsty,” had a father, uncle and grandfather who served in the military, and he hopes to gear his latest book toward children with parents who served.

    But before he begins the writing process, Fulster is seeking feedback from local veterans and nonprofit organizations that work with them.

  • When you think of Santa Claus, you might think of the color red. It is one of the traditional colors of Christmas, and it’s the color of his cozy suit.

    And last Thursday, Santa gave away his first gift of Christmas. It, too, was red.

    The jolly elf, best known for delivering presents and eating cookies, donated blood at Bonfils Blood Center Southwest.

  • Laurie Lawless sat clutching a ponytail of her recently cut hair in her hand, her shock palpable to the 1,500 or so onlookers who filled the Dakota Ridge High School gymnasium.

    The Dakota Ridge mathematics teacher had not had a haircut in nine years — since the school held its very first Shave for the Cure event.

  • On a scenic parcel nestled at the base of the foothills at the edge of Chatfield State Park, healing is happening.

    Happy Dog Ranch began as a sanctuary for unwanted horses. And that is still very much part of the mission. With 53 grassy acres to roam, Happy Dog is a place where horses thrive.

    In addition to the 40-horse herd, alpacas, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks and a steer all call Happy Dog Ranch home, and the animals provide a unique learning tool for those who enter the gates.

  • Last Thursday was a happy day for Aron and Bret, a South Jeffco couple.

    As the first snow of the season fell outside the Jeffco courthouse, the pair finalized the adoption of their 5-month-old daughter, Kalyn.

    They were among 16 families who participated in Adoption Options’ celebration of Adoption Day. The Denver-based adoption agency has placed more than 1,800 children in permanent homes since its inception in 1981.

  • Hoisting sandbags over their shoulders, competitors kicked off last weekend’s inaugural two-day Monsters and Midgets fund-raising event by completing a weighted, mile-long run around CrossFit Watchtower.

    Though Monsters and Midgets is a traditional CrossFit event, this particular event was different in its charitable nature.

  • From across the gym at CrossFit Watchtower in Englewood, the shadow of a wheelchair is visible.

    David Ortiz of South Jeffco rolls out of the shadows and into the harsh light of the gym, weaving in and out of kettlebells and barbells to grab weights of his own.

    Pull-ups, push-ups, kettlebell swings, free weights — Ortiz does it all.

    The 34-year-old U.S. Army veteran became a T-10 paraplegic after a helicopter crash in June 2012 while overseas in Afghanistan.

  • After 33 years of service, volunteer firefighter Mark Bigler is bidding farewell to the Inter-Canyon Fire Department.

    Bigler, who joined the department in 1983, first saw firefighting as a way to give back to the foothills community. But ultimately the gig helped him feel at home in an area where it can be tough to meet new people.

  • “How many of you know ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes?’ ” librarian Nora Stewart asked a dozen kids who attended a special Day of the Dead celebration at the Columbine Library on Oct. 26.

    Smiles and icing covered the eager faces as they nodded their heads and waved their arms in confirmation.

    Stewart then proceeded to teach the children the familiar song in Spanish. All stood, touching their heads and repeating the words after Stewart.