http://www.columbinecourier.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en Chatfield grads cherish their memories, look to the future http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/chatfield-grads-cherish-their-memories-look-future <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-chatfieldgraduation27-cb-052516.jpg" alt="Jenna Alvarez center, smiles with her classmates during the Chatfield High School graduation ceremony at Red Rocks Amphitheater on Friday." title="Jenna Alvarez center, smiles with her classmates during the Chatfield High School graduation ceremony at Red Rocks Amphitheater on Friday." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> <span style="line-height: 20.4px;">Kygo&rsquo;s &ldquo;Stole the Show&rdquo; 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.</span></p> Local WWII veteran participates in Honor Flight http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/local-wwii-veteran-participates-honor-flight <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_3021.jpg" alt="Marge Alexander, 93, holds a portrait that was taken of her when she was a woman marine during World War II. Alexander participated in an Honor Flight to Washington in late May." title="Marge Alexander, 93, holds a portrait that was taken of her when she was a woman marine during World War II. Alexander participated in an Honor Flight to Washington in late May." align="left" hspace="6" width="57" height="85" /><p> There were WACs, WAVES and WASPs. And then, there were the women Marines.</p> <p> During World War II, women served in and alongside the armed forces, including the Women&rsquo;s Army Corps (WAC), the Navy&rsquo;s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs).</p> JCEA awards Excellence Fund scholarship http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/jcea-awards-excellence-fund-scholarship <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-jceascholarshipaward-052516.jpg" alt="Lakewood High School senior Ebbie Pell with John Ford, JeffCo Social Studies teacher and President of JCEA. Photo Provided" title="Lakewood High School senior Ebbie Pell with John Ford, JeffCo Social Studies teacher and President of JCEA. Photo Provided" align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> After almost a decade, the Jeffco Education Association has reinstated its Christa McAuliffe Excellence Fund scholarship.</p> <p> Established in 1984 as the JCEA Excellence Scholarships, the program awards $4,000 across four years to graduating Jeffco seniors who plan to pursue careers in education. The scholarship was renamed in McAuliffe&rsquo;s honor after the New Hampshire teacher was killed in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986.</p> School district, teachers union reach contract agreement http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/school-district-teachers-union-reach-contract-agreement <p> Jeffco Public Schools and its teachers union have reached a tentative contract agreement after months of negotiations.</p> <p> The five-year agreement includes $14.1 million in annual raises, $10.4 million for a one-time pay increase and a transparent pay schedule. It retains a slightly modified version of the controversial pay-for-performance system instituted by the previous school board.</p> West Metro Fire hosts 11-day technical rescue course http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/west-metro-fire-hosts-11-day-technical-rescue-course <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-technicalrescue04-cb-052516.jpg" alt="Firefighters train in a static trench during the 11-day technical rescue course at West Metro Fire&#039;s Rescue Training Center." title="Firefighters train in a static trench during the 11-day technical rescue course at West Metro Fire&#039;s Rescue Training Center." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> A construction worker is trapped in a trench, with a 20-inch pipe pinning his torso and legs. He&rsquo;s stuck in a confined and unstable space, being crushed under a large structure. He should be terrified, but he isn&rsquo;t.</p> <p> This scenario was an exercise &mdash; the final test, actually &mdash; for firefighters enrolled in West Metro Fire&rsquo;s technical rescue course.</p> SHERIFF'S CALLS http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/sheriffs-calls-152 <p class="p1"> <b>Watch and learn</b></p> Mercury Rising http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/mercury-rising <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-mercury01-cb-051816.jpg" alt="Mike Dempsey, with Lookout Mountain Nature Center, adjusts the telescope looking at Mercury at Mount Falcon on May 9. " title="Mike Dempsey, with Lookout Mountain Nature Center, adjusts the telescope looking at Mercury at Mount Falcon on May 9. " align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> Astronomy enthusiasts and passers-by alike caught a rare glimpse of Mercury&rsquo;s transit across the sun on May 9, the first time the phenomenon had occurred since 2006.</p> <p> &ldquo;If you look about nine o&rsquo;clock, there should be a clean black dot. The ones in the center are fuzzy sunspots,&rdquo; 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.</p> Superintendent: Options exist for addressing facilities needs http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/superintendent-options-exist-addressing-facilities-needs <p> If Jeffco Public Schools&rsquo; proposed facilities master plan isn&rsquo;t approved next month, the district will have to consider other solutions to the issue of its aging buildings and the capital needs associated with repairing and replacing those facilities.</p> <p> According to Superintendent Dan McMinimee, year-round school, a split-shift schedule and a bond issue focused on deferred maintenance all are possibilities.</p>