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Local News

  • Commissioners OK rules for distressed properties

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    The Jeffco commissioners on Sept. 20 approved a long-awaited ordinance holding vacant-property owners accountable for securing the homes and addressing safety hazards.

    The “distressed real property ordinance” was necessary, the Sheriff’s Office has said, because foreclosed homes have increasingly become flophouses at which young people hold wild parties and bonfires. Further, police have had no one to contact when such homes incur serious damage ranging from ruptured pipes to roofs teetering on collapse.

  • A hero in the classroom

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    Most students in D’Evelyn teacher Briant McKellips’ physics classes could recite with little hesitation the educator’s daily mantra, “Good morning. Are you ready for another day in which to excel?”

  • Late-entry school board candidate Powers concerned with closings, need for options

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    Lakewood architect Jim Powers opted to run against District 4 school board candidate Lesley Dahlkemper at virtually the last possible minute, filing an affidavit with the state on Aug. 29, the day such documents were due.

    Though Powers wasn’t sure months ago about his desire to run, he said he began paying attention to school issues this year, and that led to some serious concerns.

  • Late-entry school board candidate Branaugh critical of transparency, spending policies

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    Jeffco Board of Education candidate Preston Branaugh slipped into the previously uncontested race in District 3 just hours before filing deadlines, registering with the secretary of state on the last possible day.

    But for Branaugh, a father of two daughters who attend Jeffco schools, the decision to run against candidate Jill Fellman came after months of deliberation, he said.

  • School board candidate forums

    • Sept. 29, 7 p.m., Wheat Ridge: City Council Chambers, Wheat Ridge United Neighborhoods

    • Oct. 2, 12:30 p.m., Golden: Jefferson Unitarian Church (JUC), 14350 W. 32nd Ave., JUC Social Responsibility Council

    • Oct. 3, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Lakewood: Shepherd of the Hills Church, 11500 W.20th Ave., Jeffco League of Women Voters

    • Oct. 5, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Littleton: Columbine Library, 7706 W. Bowles Ave., League of Women Voters

  • Sheriff's Calls

    He wasn’t genuflecting on purpose

  • Local shop amped about new electric motorcycle models

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    A local motorcycle dealership is first in the state to carry a new line of electric hogs — street-legal bikes that don’t sip a drop of gasoline.

    Beginning last week, Littleton’s Grand Prix Motorsports began selling a small stock of Zero Motorcycles, plug-in two-wheelers that can reach speeds of 70 mph and travel up to 35 miles on a single charge.

  • Citizens Budget Academy trains volunteers to help balance school district budget

    Jeffco Public Schools’ Citizens Budget Academy teaches volunteers the ABC’s of running the largest school district in Colorado.

    The academy is a series of six classes that started in early September, taught by district leadership. About 75 citizens learn about every aspect of the district in the hope that they can come up with viable solutions to budget problems. Their feedback will help structure Jeffco Public Schools’ 2012-13 and 2013-14 budgets.

  • Elite hockey academy proposed for Foothills land

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    An elite hockey academy for high school athletes could open in South Jeffco as early as 2013, and programs for soccer and lacrosse could follow.

  • Schools’ new pay structure will be tied to student performance

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    A Jeffco Public Schools panel is working to draft a new compensation plan for teachers, and the Board of Education instructed it on Sept. 15 to initially dream big and spare no expense.

    A new pay-for-performance compensation structure will eventually need to be implemented to make the district compliant with Senate Bill 191, legislation passed last year that ties teacher evaluations to student performance.