• Several hundred people packed the public hearing room at the Jeffco government headquarters on Saturday to celebrate the adoption of 26 children by 17 families on National Adoption Day.

    While the day kicked off a new life for the families, it also marked the end of countless hours of work by caseworkers from Jeffco’s Human Services Department and adoption agencies across the metro area.

  • The Colorado Center for the Blind and Arapahoe Community College again partnered to give sight-challenged students from the Front Range a chance to get hands-on science experience — by dissecting sharks.

    The center hosted about 40 students Friday for the class, taught by ACC biology professor Terry Harrison since 2005. Students who are visually impaired or blind participate in a part of science class they’d otherwise miss: dissection.

  • The men gathered around a flatbed truck, handing out seven old but well-maintained M-1 rifles and clips of blank ammunition.

    The 11 men from the Pat Hannon Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4666 in Littleton, some in their 80s, then walked to a shelter at Fort Logan National Cemetery on Nov. 6. They positioned themselves as they had a thousand times before and waited for the funeral party to arrive.

  • After months of fund-raising and work by volunteers from across the country, the Veterans Monument at Ken-Caryl Ranch was officially presented to the community on Saturday, just in time for Veterans Day.

  • On Friday, the Foothills Park and Recreation District will give residents a chance to try several classes that focus on the connection between mind and body.

    Foothills will open up its yoga, tai chi, Pilates reformer and barre revolution classes for 20-minutes sessions. The free day lets residents sample different ways to exercise, said Tami Adams-Schlieman, fitness supervisor for Foothills.

  • Most pumpkin patches don’t come with an obstacle course.

    Thousands descended on the Botanical Gardens at Chatfield on Saturday for the annual Great Pumpkin Haul, a 2-mile obstacle course in which each competitor carries a pumpkin — or two pumpkins, for the more extreme athletes.

    And if carrying a pumpkin or two while climbing over a wall or through a tunnel isn’t hard enough, many participants were decked out in Halloween costumes as well.

  • I’m a legitimate Star Wars geek.

    That isn’t an exaggeration. I grew up immersed in the universe George Lucas created in “Star Wars,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” I memorized every line from repeated viewings of all three movies. And I still watch them on a regular basis today.

    I’m a grown man who displays a light saber on his wall next to a poster from the original film. I’ve acted in a Star Wars fan film. I am a legitimate Star Wars geek.

  • Members of the Columbine chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution are paying tribute to their ancestors’ military service by welcoming home the soldiers who serve today.

    The local members, along with 22 DAR chapters in Colorado, have been collecting everything from new sheets and pillows to toilet paper and food from the community, said Jewel Wellborn, a Ken-Caryl resident and the Columbine chapter’s regent.

  • Littleton’s Bemis Library is marking a half-century of service to the public this month, and staff and patrons took a couple of hours to mark the occasion.

    The staff hosted a 50th birthday bash for the library on Saturday. The party included food, games and the band Ricky and the Radios playing popular music from 1965, when Bemis opened.

  • Foothills Animal Shelter welcomed aboard a new chief of veterinary services along with a new executive director last week.

    The shelter has named Jennifer Strickland executive director, while Dr. Emily Hays is Foothills’ new chief veterinarian. Strickland, who has worked at Foothills for eight years, was most recently the shelter’s media coordinator. Hays has more than 15 years of experience in animal welfare.

    Strickland replaces Heather Cameron, who recently left to become executive director at the Anchor Center for Blind Children in Denver.

  • Columbine High School and Platte Canyon High School are separated by 40 miles and a county line. But on Sunday, the two schools were once again connected by thousands of motorcycles traversing U.S. 285 in a show of solidarity and love.

    More than 4,000 bikers rode from Columbine High to Platte Canyon High as part of Emily’s Parade, an annual event that honors the late Emily Keyes and the six other students held hostage at Platte Canyon High on Sept. 27, 2006, as well as all victims of school violence.

  • Potential recruits for West Metro Fire deployed hose, climbed over and under obstacles and dragged dummies to safety on Saturday at Station 10.

    Now they just have to wait 10 to 15 years before applying for jobs as firefighters.

    West Metro’s Fire Muster attracted hundreds to the station at South Kipling Parkway and West Hampden Avenue, site of the district’s training facility. Firefighters put on live-fire demonstrations, displayed ambulances and fire engines, and helped the kids run an expansive obstacle course.

  • Sunny weather and even brighter smiles were in evidence over the weekend at the Summerset Festival in Clement Park, where food, fun and a variety of vendor booths drew thousands.

    For three days, Denver area residents enjoyed music, games, shopping, fireworks and camaraderie during South Jeffco’s traditional send-off to summer.

  • Some serious star power was in view on Arapahoe Community College’s Littleton campus on Friday night.

    About 40 astronomy aficionados attended the year’s first star-watching party at ACC — an event that gives attendees a closer look at the stars and planets without investing in a telescope.

    Jennifer Jones, an astrophysicist and professor of astronomy at ACC, had the college’s 11-inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope outside, and as the sun set, she turned the lens toward some spectacular astral bodies.

  • Area residents were given an extra day off last weekend in observance of Labor Day, the national holiday that celebrates the contributions of the American worker.

    The Columbine Courier has profiled four people who work and live in South Jeffco. Each touches the lives of residents every day, whether by providing emergency aid in a time of need, a loving touch to local trees, or a permanent display of art and personality.

    Dean Severson — West Metro Fire Rescue, Station 10

  • Morrison is more than 5,000 miles from the German Alps, but over the weekend it proved to be a fine substitute for those seeking the Bavarian tradition of Oktoberfest.

    The T.E.V. Edelweiss Club drew hundreds to Morrison for the German autumn celebration with brats, dancing, beer and plenty of German culture.

    The club, founded in 1958, has hosted cultural events like the traditional Oktoberfest since its inception to keep alive and celebrate German culture, said Amy Dodd, a life-long member of the club.

  • Jeffco residents flocked to the county fairgrounds on Saturday to attend the Jefferson County district attorney’s Safety Fair.

    The fair, in its seventh year, combined family-friendly activities with a plethora of resources and information on how to stay safe online and at home. Topics ranged from how to avoid being a victim of fraud to the do’s and don’ts of bicycle safety. Attendees also were able to shred personal documents and dispose of prescription medications.

  • Jeffco’s summer reading celebrities were treated to a stylish send-off over the weekend.

    The Jeffco Public Library hosted a celebrity-themed wrap party for its summer reading program at the county fairgrounds in Golden on Sunday. Kids and adults who spent part of their summer turning pages were treated to music, magic, a red-carpet walk, and a few famous faces, such as Wonder Woman, Batman and several Star Wars characters.

  • Even man’s best friend deserves a refreshing dip in the pool during the dog days of summer.

    Foothills Park and Recreation’s Deer Creek Pool near South Garrison Street and West Chatfield Avenue closed its season Sunday by letting the canines take over for the last two hours of the day. Dozens of dogs and their human companions took to the water for some fetching fun.

  • On a bright Sunday morning, the amphitheater at Red Rocks Park is filled with people working out and jogging in the seating area before an afternoon concert. As visitors walked toward the museum at the Denver Mountain Parks property, they passed a statue of a Civilian Conservation Corps worker representing the effort required to build the popular venue flanked by iconic sandstone formations.