• 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.

  • 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.

  • Five years after a humble beginning with five students and a chicken coop for a classroom, a South Jeffco teacher has helped establish a school in Kenya that 122 youngsters now attend.

    Julie Donohue Manuel, a first-grade teacher at Shaffer Elementary School, has worked at the school during her summer break for the past five years. She also has raised funds for the school and other projects benefiting the Maasai community in Kenya.

    “What we do every year is basic,” Julie told the Pathfinders in Evergreen on July 22.

  • Littleton is rolling out the welcome mat for 10 consecutive days.

    The celebration of all things Littleton features events throughout the city that give families a chance to have fun and reconnect with friends. Highlights include a barbecue and fireworks show at Sterne Park and the Western Welcome Week Grand Parade on Aug. 15.

    The Littleton tradition, in its 87th year, started as a homecoming party for the city, said Joan Facchinello, a volunteer with Western Welcome Week and a former executive director.

  • A Columbine High School graduate is making a documentary about how the shootings on April 20, 1999, have affected the adult lives of her classmates.

    Filmmaker Laura Farber was a freshman when two student gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher. Farber, who now lives in Minneapolis, hopes her film, “We are Columbine,” will change public perception of the school, as well as show how the horrific event affects the lives of former students today.

  • There’s nothing like listening to an orchestra play as the sun sets — the beauty of a violin, the dignity of the French horn, the sound of a battery of cannons firing in unison.

    At Clement Park on Saturday evening, the 4th Artillery Band, whose members dressed in Civil War-era attire, performed Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” which calls for cannons to be fired in the score.

    And boy, were they fired. Volley after volley sounded as the band played on.

  • Clement Park was filled with Irish music, food and art last weekend. And just outside the gates of the Colorado Irish Festival was a celebration of the sporting side of Irish culture.

    The Denver Gaels hosted an invitational tournament for other Irish sports clubs from across the country at the park’s sports fields. Clubs from as far away as Atlanta and Portland came to play hurling, camogie, and men’s and women’s Gaelic football.

  • Overcast skies and a few raindrops weren’t enough to dissuade thousands from celebrating the long Independence Day weekend in South Jeffco and Littleton.

    The Foothills Park and Recreation District’s Red, White & You celebration on July 3 at Clement Park and Littleton’s Fourth of July festivities at Cornerstone, Belleview and Progress parks drew massive crowds to eat, play and watch the massive fireworks displays that capped off each night.

  • A sunny Saturday morning in Morrison provided the moment 3-year-old Gus Solomon had been waiting for: time to ride the train at Tiny Town, the mountain area’s enduring mecca of miniatures.

    Gus lives in California but has visited Tiny Town a couple of times when his parents have been in town. The Solomons had arrived in Colorado a few days earlier.

  • Area resident Cindy Elliott was so excited about Bike to Work Day that she doubled the length of her morning commute on June 24.

    “This is the perfect morning for a ride,” said Elliott, who had stopped at a breakfast station on the Mary Carter Greenway near West Belleview Avenue and Prince Street on the way to her job in Highlands Ranch. “We’re riding 7 miles this morning. Usually my commute is a 3-mile trip, but we decided to go for a longer ride since it’s Bike to Work Day.”

  • The future of rock was on display at Clement Park on Saturday. And the future looks bright.

    The three bands that took the stage at Foothills Park and Recreation’s Battle of the Bands gave the audience of a couple hundred a show and proved a musician doesn’t have to have a driver’s license to know how to rock.

  • The Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield joined gardens across the nation to celebrate one of the most important players in the life of plants: the pollinators.

  • The staging area was packed with warplanes spanning the entire history of winged combat. A World War I-era biplane sat next to a sleek F-16 fighter jet, which shared a hangar with a P-51 Mustang, the classic U.S. World War II fighter plane.

    It was an impressive display of military power, even if the planes were only a foot tall.

  • A dance studio on West Quincy Avenue is walking through the steps to a rezoning in hopes of continuing to operate in its current location.

    True Dance Academy at 8950 W. Quincy Ave., across the street from the federal prison, was granted a “home occupation” exception in 2009 by the Board of Adjustment that permitted the dance lessons if the owner lived on the property. But business owner Shelly Trujillo now is seeking a zoning change, since she has not been living there.