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Features

  • Thirteen years after the tragedy, a father whose son was killed in the Columbine High School shootings on April 20, 1999, has written a book about his struggle to come to terms with grief and rise above the horrible events that shattered his family's life.

    "Walking in Daniel's Shoes," by Tom Mauser, is a factual and sometimes emotional account by a parent of what happens to a family when a child is murdered.

  • By Laura Bernero

    For the Courier

    A two-year study in Jeffco has identified 35 rare plants and 11 rare animal species that the county will try to protect in its future conservation efforts and open space plans.

    The biodiversity survey, which also identified one rare fungus, was conducted by scientists from the Colorado Natural Heritage Program over the past two growing seasons. County Open Space planners will use the data to help make environmentally conscious choices when planning open space areas, parks and trails.

  • A dizzying array of dogs leapt and splashed about Sunday during Foothills Park and Recreation’s annual Doggy Dip at Deer Creek and Weaver Hollow pools.

    At Deer Creek Pool, more than 100 area pooches eagerly pulled their masters through the gates to get their chance to jump into the drink. Some pooches played under water buckets that intermittently doused them, while others did Phelpsian laps to retrieve floating toys from the end of the lap pool.

    Children giggled as dogs of all sizes and shapes leapt into the water and shook off on the pool deck.

  • The Dinosaur Ridge Visitor Center could be moving to a larger, modern facility on 19 acres that were purchased by Jeffco Open Space in 2009. 

    Under a tentative agreement between the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge and the county, by 2018 the center would move to a new building higher on the Hogback and closer to the famous dinosaur tracks.

  • Clement Park has gone to the dogs. For one day, anyway.

    Foothills Park and Recreation hosted the Total Performance Disc Dogs club during the district’s Summer Concert Series on Friday.

    Over a chorus of barking dogs and raucous music, Matt DiAno, a member of Total Performance Disc Dogs, shared what goes into the sport. Total Performance Disc Dogs is a group of dog-loving friends who perform all over Colorado. They specialize in Frisbee performances, but also present agility and herding performances as well.

  • “Don’t run from Jefferson County deputies,” Jeffco Sheriff Ted Mink warns with a chuckle.
    That’s because the department is deploying the fastest, most technologically advanced patrol car on the road, according to Rusty Hardy, Jeffco fleet manager.
    Hardy, an 18-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, said Jeffco is the first law enforcement agency in Colorado to introduce the 2013 Ford Interceptor into its fleet.

  • As a tribute to the spirit of hard-working dogs that unselfishly serve humanity, a Golden Eagle Scout has created a worthy monument on the grounds of the Foothills Animal Shelter.

    About 100 people turned out for the unveiling of the bronze service-dog memorial sculpture on June 12 in the courtyard at the shelter near Sixth Avenue and Indiana Street.

    After various participants made their remarks, the Boy Scouts gathered around the statue and removed the silver tarp to reveal the bronze replica of a German shepherd by local artist and Rotary member Pat Madison.

  • Bob Shiflet not only has a way with bees, he has a biochemistry degree and a vast knowledge of bee lore that he’s not afraid to share.

    People who want to learn more about honeybees or who want to start cultivating bees in their own backyards should meet Shiflet, a South Jeffco resident and the head beekeeper at Hudson Gardens.

  • For Army Sgt. Eric Bishop, last week’s homecoming from South Korea — his third overseas deployment — meant seeing his 10-month-old son, Sebastian, for the first time.

     

    For his wife, Charlotte, who spent the last year wrangling a 2-year-old and changing and feeding their new baby, the event held simpler significance.

    "I am hoping to get more sleep," she said.

    Sebastian was born last June 28, and during the past 10 months he saw his father only in photos and on a computer screen. 

  • Fleeing on a moment’s notice from her home on Pleasant Park Road was taxing enough for Conifer resident Tracy McCandless. But the task of relocating five horses and a cat caused her stress level to rise exponentially.

    Fortunately for McCandless and numerous other residents, volunteer teams of animal rescuers were prepared to help evacuate animals in the midst of the deadly Lower North Fork Fire.

  • More people are dying every year in Jefferson County because of prescription-drug overdoses, a trend mirroring national statistics that the coroner’s office attributes to increased prescribing of opiate painkillers.

    By year’s end, the office predicts, 45 residents will die from unintentional drug toxicity. And though 2010 saw a slight drop in prescription-drug deaths, the anticipated number for 2011 would represent a 73 percent rise over those of 2005.

  • One of the most well-known faces at Columbine Hills Elementary School retired Nov. 11 after a decade of tenure, which in the case of Ramblin’ the Retriever was about 70 canine years.

  • South Jeffco resident Dean Hinds had a nostalgic surprise waiting for him when he sat down for breakfast on Veterans Day at MorningStar Senior Living — a wasp-waisted, dark-green Army jacket, a relic he had not seen since tucking it away in a trunk when he returned home from Germany after World War II.

    His son in law, Bob Jones, had discovered the jacket in his home just days before, and was eager to reunite the garment with its owner.

  • By Emile Hallez
    Staff Writer
    Hopping up and down, touching toes and quacking like a duck aren’t unusual pastimes for very young children — but it is a rare sight to see 64 students engaging in the activities in unison.

  • The odds were stacked against Lesley Ingram.

    The 29-year-old, addicted to crystal meth and alcohol, faced a handful of serious charges in Jefferson County’s 1st Judicial District.

    Ingram, unemployed and without prospects, was nonetheless given an unexpected second chance — a transfer to the newly established Jefferson County Recovery Court, a program designed to help struggling addicts overcome abusive habits and give back to the community.

  • By Chelsy Woods Klein

    For the Courier

    Nine Girl Scouts from Powderhorn Elementary School spent a year collecting donations to help kids entering Denver’s foster care network. And when they delivered the goods recently, the Scouts also imparted a message: “There are people out there who love you.”

    Those are the words of 11-year-old Skylar Lotus, a student at Powderhorn and a member of Troop 2035, which braved heavy rain and waterlogged streets on May 18 to deliver 250 care packages to the Denver Department of Human Services.

  • It’s a Friday afternoon at B’nai Chaim, and Rabbi Joel Schwartzman is running between the building’s two floors, trying to reconcile temperatures between the freezing ground level and the balmy basement.

    In about two hours, 200 congregants would pack the small Reform Judaism synagogue for a night of musical devotion, a treat Schwartzman and his wife, Ziva, provided a few weeks before his July 2 retirement.

  • Editor’s note: The Courier has been following Ashley Bissel in her fight against a rare form of brain cancer. This is the final installment in the series.

     

    Ashley Bissel wears a simple charm bracelet, a chain of loose silver links adorned with a single a accoutrement, a small ribbon of the same metal.

    She grasps the tiny charm between her thumb and forefinger, absorbing its smooth texture and savoring the significance.

    Every May 15, she plans to add another.

  • Prom was different this year for Chatfield High School junior Hally Burns.

    Dressed to the nines and meticulously groomed, Hally arrived at the dance looking as glamorous as a trendsetting musician attending the Grammy Awards.

    “We’re going to make her like Taylor Swift tonight,” said stylist Shauna Morris, as she ironed Hally’s hair into thick strands of loose curls. “That is who she picked out.”

  • A small gathering of local residents waited patiently on April 13 at Columbine High School, where each made a ceremonious stitch in a patch for the National 9/11 Flag.

    The partially restored banner — which was found in October 2001 hanging from wreckage at 90 West St. across from the Twin Towers — now contains pieces of flags from across the country, including threads from the historic Lincoln Flag and, now, shreds from a former Leawood Elementary School flag.