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Today's News

  • Board balks, imperiling pact with teachers

    An apparent agreement between Jeffco Public Schools and the teachers union is now less than certain after school board members quickly requested changes in the pact.

    Bargaining teams for the school district and the Jeffco Education Association reached a tentative agreement last Thursday night on raises for teachers and other items in the contract. But the district stipulated later that non-probationary teachers rated as not effective or partially effective would not be eligible for raises.

    The original agreement reached Thursday included:

  • One finalist named in Jeffco superintendent search

    The Jeffco school board announced Saturday that Daniel McMinimee is the lone finalist for Jeffco’s superintendent position.

    McMinimee is the assistant superintendent of secondary education for Douglas County Schools. 

    The board voted 3-2 in favor of making McMinimee its only finalist, with board members Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk voting yes. Board members Lesley Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman voted no. 

  • Jeffco schools, teachers union reach tentative agreement

    The bargaining teams for Jeffco Public Schools and the Jefferson County Education Association have reached a tentative agreement on teacher compensation and other items in the teachers' contract.

    The agreement, which was reached Thursday night, includes:

    * An average 2.5 percent increase in salary for teachers rated “effective” or “highly effective” in their evaluations,

    * An increase in starting pay for new teachers,

    * No increase in employee health-care premiums for the next school year,

  • Body of woman found on Lookout Mountain identified

    The Jeffco Sheriff’s Office has identified the body of a woman found murdered on May 8 near the parking lot of the Windy Saddle Trailhead on Lookout Mountain as Sandra Mercado, 38, of Aurora.
    Mercado was stabbed to death, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Jacki Kelley.
    A visiting out-of-state hiker found the body. The hiker was questioned and is not considered a person of interest in the case, Kelley said.

  • A honey of a program

    Hudson Gardens is abuzz with several thousand new residents.

    Members of the community beekeeping program installed several new hives at the honeybee garden on Saturday. The 16 volunteer beekeepers help manage the gardens’ 17 hives.

    “Beekeeping is a blast. … In fact, my family has gotten to the point that if someone asks me about bees, my family starts saying, ‘Oh no, we’re going to be here for hours,’ ”said Marca Engman, who has a hive at Hudson Gardens for the second summer in a row.

  • Rare plant, falcon nest discovered at Staunton State Park

    During a recent study of plant and animal life at Staunton State Park, the rare budding monkey flower was found on the Black Mountain parcel, along with a peregrine falcon nest.

    Raquel Wertsbaugh, coordinator of the Colorado Natural Areas Program, talked about the discoveries during a presentation at the Jeffco Open Space Advisory Committee meeting May 1.

    Areas of exposed Precambrian granite also have been identified on Black Mountain, Wertsbaugh said. Rock climbing on the mountain could imperil the rare plants and the falcon nest, she remarked.

  • Jeffco’s marijuana task force holds first meeting

    Jeffco’s marijuana task force met for the first time April 28 to discuss whether or not the county should allow sales of recreational marijuana.

    The 14-member task force will meet every two weeks with the goal of providing the county commissioners with a recommendation. Jeffco’s Development and Transportation Department is running the task force. 

  • School board OKs new math curriculum

    The Jeffco school board unanimously approved a $4.3 million purchase of the Math Expressions curriculum for next school year at its May 1 meeting.

    Math Expressions will replace Math Investigations, the math curriculum Jeffco had used for the last nine years.

    A panel of 10 district employees gave a presentation on Math Expressions before the board took a vote. District staff said the new curriculum aligns with new Colorado academic standards and that Investigations has run its course in the district.

  • Lakewood housing project clues in commissioners to unused financing method

    A nonprofit’s proposal to build affordable, transit-oriented housing in Lakewood has put an alternative funding mechanism on the radar screen of the Jeffco commissioners.

  • Motorcyclists honor sheriff’s sergeant killed in crash

    Hundreds of motorcyclists rode through Coal Creek Canyon on Sunday to remember Jeffco sheriff’s Sgt. David Baldwin.

    Baldwin died Jan. 26 after being struck by a wrong-way driver on Colorado 93.

    “(Baldwin) will be remembered for his love of family, his duty to service and his dedication to this community,” Jeffco Sheriff Ted Mink said.