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Features

  • Rand Kannenberg knows what it takes to beat addiction.

    The 49-year-old has spent more than half his life working full time in addiction counseling. He's authored two books on the subject and has lectured in every state in the country. His work has taken him beyond the U.S. borders, with lectures in Puerto Rico, Italy and South Africa.

    Now, as Kannenberg plans to open the low-cost Jeffco Addiction Assessment Clinic on June 1, he says his experience overcoming alcoholism is one of his strongest tools in helping people overcome their addiction demons.

  • Shortly after Lars Skoric was born, he was rushed to Children’s Hospital with persistent pulmonary hypertension, and the doctors there saved his life. Seven years later, Lars is an ambassador for the hospital, and he and his family were on hand at the 24 Hours of Hockey event at The Edge Ice Arena to help raise money for Children’s.

    “God doesn’t make your kids sick, but he brings angels to save them,” said Ivan Skoric, Lars’ father.

  • Residents near the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield might have noticed some new growth at the site in recent weeks.

    And that hasn’t been limited to spring’s usual bounty of fresh green leaves. The additions also include two new greenhouses that soon will house thousands of wild plants from all over the world.

  • May marks my one-year anniversary with Foothills Park & Recreation District. As I reflect on the past year, I wanted to provide a report of where we are as an organization and how I think we have grown and positively changed. I am reminded every day what great, dedicated employees we have. The quality employees I met during the interview process are what convinced me to take this position, and they are still what motivate me every day.

  • Although the thermometer dipped to chilly environs the morning of May 2, the warmth among people gathered under pavilion No. 6 at Clement Park was palpable.

    They were about to embark on the 16th annual Courage Walk, in which crime victims and their families joined with victim advocates in a fund-raiser what brought in $3,268. The proceeds from the event, which coincided with National Crime Victims Rights Week, will help maintain the Courage Garden at the Jeffco Courts and Administration Building.

  • Though he toils in the confines of the laundry room at the Jeffco jail, the handiwork of inmate Ivan Garcia is often found in unexpected places like hospitals and food banks.

    And as his co-workers dig into the daily drudgery of folding towels and blankets, Garcia sits down at a work station that typically isn’t included among the clichés that often populate jailhouse portrayals: a sewing machine.

  • Garrett Keaney, a fifth-grader from Normandy Elementary, will play violin. Brandon Ware, a senior at Chatfield Senior High School, is on percussion. Brenda Anderson, a mom, will be the conductor.

  • A seed planted with Littleton resident Shirl Smith in 2005 is about to bear fruit.

    Smith’s dream is to create a community fruit orchard to provide food for those less fortunate and to teach people how to live off the land. She wants to spread the idea across the country but hopes to lay the groundwork close to home.

  • In an earlier life, Jenny Schmidt of Bailey was a high-profile television reporter who covered the O.J. Simpson trial and the Rodney King verdict. But when she traded that life for motherhood, things changed.

  • Columbine Hills Elementary students, staff, faculty and parents celebrated “A Patriotic Celebration of Song” on Nov. 18 in CHE’s auditorium. The celebration was led by the Columbine Hills Elementary choir under the direction of CHE’s vocal music director, Emily Mahanna.

  • A basketball game unfolded Dec. 19 at the Dakota Ridge High School gym, but thoughts of winning or losing were eclipsed by concern for a graduate facing a devastating disease.

    Some players wore black. Some wore white. But they all were part of the same team: Team Tessa.

  • Mark Foster didn't realize how good he had it.

    "Growing up here, maybe I didn't appreciate how great a place this is," Foster said, sitting in the living room of his Ken-Caryl Ranch home.

    Foster has lived all over the world since graduating from Chatfield High School in 1992, but he returned home two months ago to start a family medical practice in South Jeffco. Foster and Dr. Lisa Walker, who had been practicing in Aurora, will open the practice Jan. 7. It is affiliated with Littleton Adventist Hospital.

  • Two brothers who grew up in Jefferson County and a former resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., have opened an auto-repair shop and car wash that is striving to be friendly — to customers, employees and the environment.

    Chris and Mark Shamis and Mike Torres are the owners of Dakota Ridge Complete Automotive. The auto-repair business, at West Bowles Avenue and C-470, opened Oct. 27, and the car wash opened Nov. 23.

    Torres, an animated man who moved to Colorado when he was 18, is co-owner and operations manager. He described the shop as “high end.”

  • As the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy takes hold, dog owners want to be sure they aren’t barking up the wrong tree when it comes to picking a present for their pets.

    Meanwhile, finding the right gift for a persnickety feline can be equally challenging.

    But pet owners and animal experts alike say safety and practicality should be at the top of the list when it comes to shopping for four-legged friends.

    Diana McQuarrie decided to treat Rigo, her 6-year-old black Lab, to a shampoo at Laund-Ur-Mutt Ken Caryl.

  • Two brothers who grew up in Jefferson County and a former resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., have opened an auto-repair shop and car wash that is striving to be friendly — to customers, employees and the environment.

    Chris and Mark Shamis and Mike Torres are the owners of Dakota Ridge Complete Automotive. The auto-repair business, at West Bowles Avenue and C-470, opened Oct. 27, and the car wash opened Nov. 23.

    Torres, an animated man who moved to Colorado when he was 18, is co-owner and operations manager. He described the shop as “high end.”

  • A whistle sounds, and Anne Shank, the chosen jammer, breaks away from the pack. The Slaughterhouse Derby Girls from Greeley take off after Anne at a frenetic pace. But not before Pinky 500, who towers at 6 feet tall on her skates, throws a hip and pushes the SDG jammer off the track. Shank continues her run, and the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls take home a stunning 142-38 victory.

  • Ten-year-old Dylan Finnegan is a big Broncos fan. Really big.

    So big, in fact, that his parents, Crystal and Kevin Finnegan, recently let him paint his bedroom with a Broncos theme: one wall blue, one wall orange, and orange and blue stripes running across the middle of the ceiling.

  • Hattie O’Brien and her husband, Brendan, wanted their kids' birthday parties to be a bit different.

    "We wanted our kids to learn to serve others," Hattie said at her home Nov. 6. So for the last few birthdays, the couple have asked their children to pick a theme, and then the parents found a way to make giving a central part of the theme.

    Last year, when Hattie's twin daughters, Evie and Lena, turned 11, they baked muffins and cookies and made cards to take to a local nursing home.

    Now it’s their son James’ turn.

  • Ames Rau called us last Sunday to say that he had been down at Bear Creek Lake Park, where he had witnessed a red-tailed hawk refurbishing its nest. It may seem odd that any birds are preparing to nest when we are experiencing well below freezing temperatures and several inches of snow cover the ground, but it is a common practice for the large resident hawks and owls to do so.

  • January arrived like a lion, with cold, blustery weather. The TV weathermen are promising five days of

    warmer weather, which will be most welcome. I am ready for some warmer weather, and I presume the wild creatures are, too.