• As the Foothills CROP Hunger Walk began Sunday, several participants at the front of the procession grabbed gallons of water to carry on their journey around Johnston Reservoir at Clement Park.

    Though the day was warm, the water was not meant to quench their thirst. Instead, it was a sign of solidarity and a symbol of the struggle that many face when trying to meet their basic survival needs.

  • Alice Rudy and Juanita Barton both play the piano and love to dance. Both value time with their families and feel strongly about their faiths.

    But their similarities do not stop here. In fact, they merely begin. After Rudy celebrates a birthday Oct. 20, the next-door neighbors at Brookdale Assisted Living in Littleton will both be 104 years old.

    Still dancing

  • A Lookout Mountain family last week organized a community drive to collect snacks, sports drinks and other goodies for the Jeffco County Sheriff’s Office.

    Britt Gaskell and her three children decided that, in the wake of recent violence toward police officers across the country, they wanted to show their appreciation and “recognize all of you (officers) for your dedication and compassion to our community.”

  • In Diane Lundy’s house, few mornings are greeted with more anticipation than Saturdays.

    For seven weeks during the fall and spring, Lundy travels with her three children to South Jeffco from Denver to spend an hour at the Foothills Park & Recreation District’s Schaefer Athletic Complex. It’s one of those rare occasions when she can kick back and watch her 9-year-old son, Caden Hoff, really be a kid.

  • Deanna Curtis loves birds.

    All birds, really. It’s tough for her to pick just one favorite.

    “The barn owl’s my favorite owl. The red-tailed hawk’s my favorite hawk. The golden eagle’s my favorite eagle,” Curtis said, laughing. “It’s too hard to narrow it down to one favorite.”

  • Flames lit up the eyes of the children who stood captivated, watching black smoke fill the air.

    But despite the fire and the smoke, this is not a story of destruction. Rather, it is the story of educational fun at the West Metro Fire Rescue Training Center, which hosted its 22nd annual Family Fire Muster on Saturday.

    The event allows attendees to learn proper fire safety techniques, dress as firefighters, participate in the junior firefighter challenge, and check out the inside of the department’s fire trucks.

  • Children and their parents enjoyed an afternoon farming fruits and vegetables, shopping, and preparing sit-down meals — all while aboard a bus.

    The Spark City Children’s Museum bus, which was outside the Ken Caryl Safeway on Saturday, offered kids an opportunity to role-play and to learn about the farm-to-table food experience.

  • Sunday’s blazing sunshine and warm temperatures provided the perfect sendoff to summer as people strolled through Clement Park during the 32nd annual Summerset Festival.

    Thousands made their way to Clement Park over the weekend to enjoy the music, games, animal- and children-oriented events, and other activities.

  • Today’s high school freshmen weren’t yet born on Sept. 11, 2001. The youngsters climbed anyway.

    Many who attended Sunday weren’t in New York, Washington or Pennsylvania on that horrific day, and don’t know anyone who was. And still they climbed.

    Some participants weren’t firefighters and didn’t have any connection to first responders. And yet they climbed as well.

  • By Kevin M. Smith, For the Courier

    Rich Haas believes he chose his life. He grew up with an alcoholic father and several siblings — all now deceased — whom he described as “crazy.”

    But it was a decision his soul was willing to endure.

    Haas, a resident of Morrison, is the author of the newly released book “Sacred Quantum Metaphysics.”

  • The Audubon Nature Center at Chatfield State Park hosted a “100 Years for Birds” event on a recent Sunday in honor of the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

    The event offered information booths and displays on various species of migratory birds; a live raptor presentation by Nature’s Educators; a rubber-duck scavenger hunt for the youngsters; and nature walks led by master birders.

  • A South Jeffco golfer was treated last month to an unexpected trip to Baltusrol Golf Club for the PGA Championship.

    But the journey to Springfield, N.J., for the season’s final major didn’t begin on a qualifying course or as an item on a personal bucket list. It started with a news story.

  • When the summer sun is scorching and the pool is open for one more day, everyone and their dog come out for a swim. Literally.

    Deer Creek Pool hosted its annual Doggy Dip on a recent Sunday evening, and more pools in the South Jeffco area were scheduled to host similar events before closing for the season.

    Pet owners of all ages brought canines of varying sizes to enjoy the water, the fun and the community.

  • Every time Karen Brown watched coverage of the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, she was moved to tears. She saw Julie Moss win the silver medal in February 1982, and dreamed of competing herself.

    “Watching them, I thought, ‘Oh, they’re professional athletes, and I only run for recreation,’ ” Brown said. “I thought I could never do it.”

  • By Ramsey Scott, For the Courier

    Last weekend’s Jeffco Fair and Festival at the fairgrounds in Golden celebrated the county’s agricultural roots, and also offered a generous helping of music, art and entertainment.

    And pie. Lots of pie.

  • Eager kids lined up to have their faces painted at the Ken-Caryl Ranch House on Aug. 3, just one of many activities at the Music a la Mode summer celebration.

    Sitting on a blue chair, 3-year-old Jude Duran squinted as paint met skin. Meanwhile, Adam Duran, Jude’s father, held his son’s head still as a clown painted Jude’s face to look like Spiderman. After the process was finished, Jude looked into a mirror with a smile of satisfaction.

  • By Ramsey Scott, For the Times

    The Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District hoped that by firing up the grills this past weekend it would be able to muster some new firefighters. 

  • The Jeffco Sheriff’s Office has had two photographs selected as finalists in the National Sheriffs’ Association’s 2016 Photo Contest.

    An image by Jeffco Sgt. Charlie Simmons of Deputy John Butler patrolling Highway 93 against a cloudy, mountainside sunset is one of the five finalists in the “patrol” category. And Specialist Stephen Willder’s photo of Deputy James Tucker at the Jeffco jail during a night shift in February was in the top five in “jail / corrections.”

  • At the intersection of Bowles and Kipling, a sign near the stoplights reads, “Ninja Training, next to Ace Hardware.” Around the corner from the hardware store, people walk through a door and find themselves at the top of a flight of stairs covered with artwork of samurai. After a short trip down, visitors might feel as if they’ve walked into a ninja movie.

  • It was 1999 when South Jeffco resident Suzanne Braden first came face to face with a giant panda.

    Braden was in China visiting the Wolong National Nature Reserve, which today encompasses nearly 500,000 acres and is home to about 150 giant pandas. The reserve also consists of four panda bases, including the China Conservation Research Center for the Giant Panda, where veterinarians and conservationists raise pandas and panda cubs in captivity.