http://www.columbinecourier.com/todaysnews/rss.xml/todaysnews/rss.xml en A chocolate-flavored musical at Mortensen Elementary http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/chocolate-flavored-musical-mortensen-elementary <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-schoolplay2-sb-042716.jpg" alt="From left, Taylor Blake, Baylyn Burgett, Joseph Serna, DaMarri Russell, Chase Sparrow and Carolyn Kim rehearse for &quot;Willy Wonka Jr.&quot; at Mortensen Elementary. " title="From left, Taylor Blake, Baylyn Burgett, Joseph Serna, DaMarri Russell, Chase Sparrow and Carolyn Kim rehearse for &quot;Willy Wonka Jr.&quot; at Mortensen Elementary. " align="left" hspace="6" width="100" height="85" /><p> Students at Mortensen Elementary School were hard at theatrical work as they rehearsed a nutty scene in the musical &ldquo;Willy Wonka Jr.&rdquo; last Thursday afternoon.</p> <p> Using large paper versions of nuts, the young actors portraying squirrels tested them for quality on a &ldquo;nut-o-meter&rdquo; while other characters sang and danced on the school stage.</p> <p> In the lead role of candy wizard Willy Wonka, student Riley Niblo-Miller commanded the stage in a tall black hat as he ran lines with other actors.</p> Board mulls grade shuffling, elementary school mergers http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/board-mulls-grade-shuffling-elementary-school-mergers <p> A facilities master plan unveiled at last Thursday&rsquo;s meeting of the Jeffco school board would require a bond issue to address capital needs among the district&rsquo;s aging schools.&nbsp;</p> <p> In a presentation of the plan, Superintendent Dan McMinimee and facilities staff recommended reconfiguring grades at a number of elementary and middle schools, adjusting matriculation boundaries, and making significant renovations at schools across the district &mdash; all in a bid to address aging facilities within current budget limitations.</p> Proposed development in Rooney Valley opposed http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/proposed-development-rooney-valley-opposed <p> Plans for an auto dealership and mini-storage facility at C-470 and West Alameda Parkway near Dinosaur Ridge are meeting with significant opposition.</p> <p> More than 10,000 people have signed an online petition objecting to a proposal to rezone properties northwest and southeast of the intersection. And an informal community group has been formed to challenge the proposed development in the scenic Rooney Valley.</p> <p> Three Dinos LLC has filed preliminary documents requesting the rezoning.</p> Son of Holocaust survivor continues shoe project to help needy, raise awareness http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/son-holocaust-survivor-continues-shoe-project-help-needy-raise-awareness <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-holocaustshoes01-cb-042015.jpg" alt="Teacher Alan Morawiec poses with more than 500 shoes collected for the Holocaust Shoe Project at Deer Creek Middle School." title="Teacher Alan Morawiec poses with more than 500 shoes collected for the Holocaust Shoe Project at Deer Creek Middle School." align="left" hspace="6" width="122" height="85" /><p> A large pile of shoes sits in the hallway of Deer Creek Middle School. They represent a sad reminder of the Holocaust &mdash; and teacher Alan Morawiec&rsquo;s project to help people while raising awareness of the genocide that occurred in Germany and other European countries in the World War II era.</p> Development at Kipling, Quincy to have 54 homes http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/development-kipling-quincy-have-54-homes <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-homes-sb-042716_0.jpg" alt="Fifty-four homes are being built at Quincy Lake Pointe on West Quincy Avenue." title="Fifty-four homes are being built at Quincy Lake Pointe on West Quincy Avenue." align="left" hspace="6" width="120" height="85" /><p> Construction workers are busy framing homes and grading lots at Quincy Lake Pointe, a residential development at South Kipling Street and West Quincy Avenue.</p> <p> As of last week, 33 of 54 lots on the 11-acre site had been sold to homebuyers, said Christy Ross, spokesperson for Richmond American Homes, developer of the project.</p> <p> Buyers can choose from five available plans for homes up to approximately 3,000 square feet in size. A one-level ranch plan and four two-story plans are among selections. Lot sizes average 5,500 square feet.</p> Merger of two fire districts proceeding smoothly, West Metro chief says http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/merger-two-fire-districts-proceeding-smoothly-west-metro-chief-says <p> The merger of the West Metro and Wheat Ridge fire protection districts that took place April 15 has been moving forward with few problems, said West Metro Fire Chief Don Lombardi.</p> <p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been going really well,&rdquo; Lombardi said, speaking at the April 19 meeting of the West Metro board.</p> Launch of trail maps leads to a festive occasion http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/launch-trail-maps-leads-festive-occasion <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-maps2-sb-042716.jpg" alt="These maps of regional trails were created through a grant from the Jeffco Outdoors Foundation." title="These maps of regional trails were created through a grant from the Jeffco Outdoors Foundation." align="left" hspace="6" width="108" height="85" /><p> Last Thursday&rsquo;s official launch of comprehensive trail maps for the county pointed the way to a feeling of a job well done.</p> <p> Jeffco Open Space staff and a host of supporters and sponsors of the regional maps project gathered at Lookout Mountain Nature Center to celebrate its successful completion.</p> <p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a pretty amazing collaborative effort,&rdquo; said Katie Matthews, spokeswoman for Jeffco Open Space.</p> Deputy struck, injured by stolen vehicle http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/deputy-struck-injured-stolen-vehicle <p> <span style="line-height: 20.4px;">The driver of a stolen vehicle struck a Jeffco sheriff&rsquo;s deputy Saturday night as he and another deputy were struggling with a second suspect on West Remington Avenue in South Jeffco.</span></p> <p> Authorities said one suspect was in custody and another remained at large in the incident, which spanned three jurisdictions and left two police cars damaged. The deputy was treated for minor injuries.</p>