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Local News

  • Jeffco closes just one school

      The Jeffco school board voted Jan. 14 to close only one school as part of its long-awaited plan to address a massive budget shortfall through building closures.

    Arvada’s Russell Elementary will be shuttered after the end of the current school year. Students living within its boundaries will soon attend Arvada Middle School, which will become a K-8 facility. The board also voted in favor of closing and destroying all temporary classroom buildings at schools operating at less than 92 percent of capacity.

  • Power lunch: Ritter visits cutting-edge battery manufacturer in South Jeffco

    Gov. Bill Ritter paid a visit last week to a South Jeffco company that manufactures cutting-edge batteries that are about the size of a postage stamp and nearly as thin.

    “It is great to celebrate a local company,” Ritter said before a small audience of Infinite Power Solutions employees. “It’s also great to celebrate a company that has and will have in the future a significant global impact. … It is absolutely exciting.”

  • Moore may file lawsuit over firing by county

      Former county administrator Jim Moore is pursuing litigation against the commissioners and the county attorney through a potential wrongful-termination suit.

    Lawyer Dennis Polk said the board gave a misleading rationale for Moore’s Dec. 9 firing.

  • Open to a new challenge

      Ralph Schell says he never set out to become Jeffco’s county administrator.

    The outdoorsy Colorado native has spent the majority of his working life cultivating a career in open space and parks. He graduated from CSU with a degree in outdoor recreation planning and worked for Colorado State Parks for 20 years before joining Jeffco government, where until recently he had served as Open Space director.

  • Student who protested Michelle Obama speech gets $4,000

    A Dakota Ridge High School student who was detained by deputies during a November 2008 speech by Michelle Obama at the school has settled his lawsuit against the sheriff’s office and Jeffco Public Schools.

    Blake Benson, now a senior at the school, is set to receive $2,000 from each of the two agencies. Benson, who was represented by the ACLU, said his First Amendment rights were violated.

  • Man pleads guilty to sex assault

    A man charged with breaking into a South Jeffco home in June and sexually assaulting a woman in her 50s pleaded guilty Dec. 4 to charges related to the attack.

    Ryan R. Iliff, 22, pleaded guilty to kidnapping, a class 2 felony; sexual assault, a class 5 felony; and first-degree criminal trespass, also a class 5 felony.

  • Ken Caryl Middle School teacher profile: Geol Weber

      Teacher Geol Weber is right at home in the trailer park.

    “I absolutely love it,” said Weber, as a loud whine emitted from the furnace in his temp classroom at Ken Caryl Middle School. “I call them the trailer park … If you look underneath, there’s a spot to put wheels.”

    The structures are a separate physical entity from the main school building, which gives them an entirely different feel, he said.

    “Given the choice, I would teach in a temp any day of the week. It seems like a home out here.

  • Ken Caryl Middle School teacher profile: Veronica Maes

      The most important part of Veronica Maes’ job might just be taking a few minutes to converse with students. The assistant principal at Ken Caryl Middle School drops into the cafeteria every day with principal Pat Sandos to catch up with kids and see how life is treating them.

    “It’s the highlight of my day,” said Maes, now well into her second year at the school. “The students are used to seeing Pat and I out at lunch every day. We interact with them. We try and make it fun.”

  • Ken Caryl Middle School teacher profile: Kiley Mack

      The process of learning how to be an effective teacher is fresh in the minds of many of the predominantly young faculty at Ken Caryl Middle School.

    With a modest five years of experience, science teacher Kiley Mack is no exception.

  • Marijuana dispensary open in South Jeffco - for now

    Medical marijuana has made its way to South Jeffco.

    Despite a lack of zoning regulations that would allow their legal existence, pot dispensaries have recently sprouted intermittently in unincorporated Jefferson County.

    A few such businesses have ceased their marijuana-distribution operations after being cited for zoning violations, but at least one dispensary has remained open for more than two months.