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Features

  • Kygo’s “Stole the Show” echoed throughout Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Friday afternoon as Chatfield Senior High graduated nearly 450 seniors in its 30th commencement ceremony. As a group of seniors performed their class song one last time, the proverbial spotlight was on, as thousands of parents, family members, friends, teachers and classmates looked on from the stadium seats.

  • Astronomy enthusiasts and passers-by alike caught a rare glimpse of Mercury’s transit across the sun on May 9, the first time the phenomenon had occurred since 2006.

    “If you look about nine o’clock, there should be a clean black dot. The ones in the center are fuzzy sunspots,” said Mike Dempsey, a naturalist at Lookout Mountain Nature Center who was stationed at Mount Falcon Park with a $2,000 telescope donated by volunteers and equipped with a filter to make the viewing possible.

  • The gym at Columbine High School is shrouded in pitch-black darkness on Friday night. Groups of people with hands on the shoulders of those in front of them begin walking into this inky expanse where a Blind Café dinner is about to begin. A blind person leads the students, parents and teachers to their assigned tables.

    Soon the chatter of nearly 80 people seated at tables fills the room, along with aromas of the spaghetti and fresh salad placed before them, which they cannot begin to see.

  • The lyrics of a song performed by the Family Dog String Band at Saturday’s Alley Fest in Morrison couldn’t have been more apt: “Let it rain, let it pour … I’ve got the deep alley blues.”

    The bluegrass band from Eldora was one of several musical groups that set up under canopies and played outdoors as drizzling rain fell.

  • “Hop, cross, turn,” dance teacher Joan Saliman said to a group learning an Israeli dance at Congregation B’nai Chaim in Morrison on Sunday morning.

    With music supplying a steady beat, the dancers moved across the room with fast-paced steps and turns.

    Israeli dance was just one of many activities that people enjoyed at the congregation’s first Israeli cultural festival.

  • Call it a case of being in the right place at the right time — with the right training.

    In January, Doug Parce, a volunteer captain with Inter-Canyon Fire, was going through security at JFK International Airport in New York on a business trip to Europe when another passenger told a TSA agent that somebody wasn’t well.

    Parce saw the man, who was sitting on a bench where passengers put their shoes back on.

  • LAKEWOOD — A bevy of beautiful gowns hanging on racks and walls in the community room of the Belmar Library gave young shoppers many selections to consider during the annual Prom Swap on Friday afternoon.

    Teens and their moms gazed at a variety of styles and colors from full-length turquoise gowns with draped bodices to short purple dresses adorned with sparkly beads. Tuxedos for guys also were among the offerings.

    Friends greeted each other while checking out dresses and tuxes and trying them on for size.

  • LAKEWOOD — A bevy of beautiful gowns hanging on racks and walls in the community room of the Belmar Library gave young shoppers many selections to consider during the annual Prom Swap on Friday afternoon.

    Teens and their moms gazed at a variety of styles and colors from full-length turquoise gowns with draped bodices to short purple dresses adorned with sparkly beads. Tuxedos for guys also were among the offerings.

    Friends greeted each other while checking out dresses and tuxes and trying them on for size.

  • DENVER — The Chatfield High School winter guard placed second at the Rocky Mountain Color Guard State Championships on Saturday — in addition to being rated “most improved” by the judges.

    Thanks to new coach Travis Prudhomme, this is the first time in years that the team has had a winter season.

    “He’s done so much,” senior captain Zoe DeGrande said. “He pushes us way more than any coach I’ve ever had.”

  • Deep snow covering the ground brought the Easter sunrise service indoors at Heritage United Methodist Church on Sunday morning.

    In the warmth of the sanctuary, which was decorated with spring flowers, the Rev. Loren Boyce, senior pastor, led a spirited service filled with song, scripture, words of hope — and humor.

    In his message to the congregation, Boyce told the story of a Sunday school teacher who was explaining the story of Jesus rising from the tomb to her third-grade class.

  • Special Olympics skier Hanna Atkinson is attaining local celebrity status with recent appearances on the Channel 7 News.

    “A lot of people come up to me and say, ‘Are you the famous Hanna on TV?’ ” she said.

    For the past few weeks, Atkinson has been reporting on other Special Olympics athletes during five-minute segments aired on Saturday mornings.

    “It’s awesome,” she said, flashing a big smile. “It’s really cool to get the chance to do that.”

  • “The word has been spread that Rosa Parks was a little old tired woman. I was tired, but my feet did not come into it. … The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

    Actress Becky Stone spoke these heartfelt words in her portrayal of the civil rights icon at Arapahoe Community College on Feb. 23.

    Presenting a perspective of Parks in her later years, Stone enacted the story of the woman’s refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., in a time when black people deferred to white bus riders.

  • Gathered around a table, students listened to a passage from a book and then typed it in Braille to test their speed and accuracy during a recent academic competition at the Colorado Center for the Blind.

    “It’s fun when you get the words right,” said Lexi Mink, a second-grader at Vista Peak School in Aurora. “Braille is also cool.”

  • Lifelong friends Chuck Hause and Lou Fohn grew up in Columbine in an era when wheat grew on area farms and coal from mines near West Coal Mine Avenue heated homes.

    As a young man, Fohn learned to fly an airplane at the former Columbine Airport on West Ken Caryl Avenue.

    Hause remembers when there was only a convenience store in the area to buy gasoline and groceries without making the drive to downtown Littleton.

  • For residents of South Jeffco’s Willowbrook Place, memories are fleeting, but moments are forever.

    Residents of the memory care community on South Kipling Street recently enjoyed some moments with a group of students from Regis Jesuit High School, who shared their experiences with rugby and dancing and music.

    Activities director Cody Kohlhagen was glad the boys could help the residents share in those experiences.

  • Helping fellow players is the goal of the Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation — as a recent charitable effort underscores.

    The Littleton-based group raised a whopping $85,000 at a tournament dedicated to hockey player Dave Repsher of Silverthorne, who suffered critical injuries in the crash of a Flight for Life helicopter last July.

  • Greg Lauer describes himself as a “squeaky wheel.”

    The Columbine-area resident volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Jeffco children from troubled homes.

    It’s a tough job, one that requires compassion, patience — and persistence, Lauer said.

    The 18-year-old whom Lauer currently advocates for was recently accepted into a technical school, thanks in part to Lauer’s “squeakiness.”

  • “Let’s go! Let’s go!” a parent urged youngsters playing in the Jeffco Youth Charity Tournament at Chatfield Senior High last Thursday.

    Four 3-on-3 basketball games were under way in the high school gym, as the youngsters played half-court in 15-minute periods.

    Fifty-two teams of girls and boys in grades four through eight participated in the fifth annual tourney, which raised more than $6,000 for the Jeffco Schools Foundation.

  • The 2015 news landscape in Jefferson County saw everything from rescued donkeys and turtles to ambitious politicians to ruthless school district politics.

    Join us now as we return to the days of yesteryear (actually, this year) …

    Turtles, donkeys and mules, oh my …

  • Christmas came early this year for one small turtle with a huge personality. 

    The reptile, affectionately named Stretch by a Jeffco sheriff's officer, was discovered along with his feline cousin, Homer, when deputies responded to a call regarding a deceased person in a home. 

    Jeffco animal control officer Chana Guy also was dispatched to assist on the call, which came during the Dec. 15 snowstorm that closed most local schools.