http://www.columbinecourier.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en Spirits, raptors soar at Father’s Day event http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/spirits-raptors-soar-father%E2%80%99s-day-event <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-fathersdayfalconfest02-mg-062216.jpg" alt="Timothy Morris poses with a bald eagle courtesy of HawkQuest at the Father&#039;s Day Falcon Festival at Chatfield State Park." title="Timothy Morris poses with a bald eagle courtesy of HawkQuest at the Father&#039;s Day Falcon Festival at Chatfield State Park." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> <span style="line-height: 20.4px;">A Harris&rsquo;s hawk flew above a packed house from one handler to another Sunday at the second annual Father&rsquo;s Day Falcon Fest at the Audubon Nature Center at Chatfield State Park. Dads, moms and their kids watched in awe as five birds of prey were presented by the founder of HawkQuest, Kin Quitugua.</span></p> School district to pursue bond issue of up to $535 million http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/school-district-pursue-bond-issue-535-million <p> <span style="line-height: 20.4px;">In an effort to fund its facilities master plan and other initiatives, the Jeffco school board decided last Thursday to put a bond issue of up to $535 million on the November ballot, as well as pursue a property-tax increase of between 3.69 and 4.31 mills.&nbsp;</span></p> Two gun store burglaries reported in two days http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/two-local-gun-stores-robbed-two-days <p> About 30 handguns were stolen early Tuesday from a gun shop in a strip mall on West Bowles Avenue, and another gun store to the east in Littleton was burglarized the next day.&nbsp;</p> <p> Sheriff&#39;s spokesman Mark Techmeyer confirmed burglars tripped a silent alarm at Colorado Gun Broker, 8966 W. Bowles Ave., at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday. Deputies reportedly arrived within five minutes, but the perpetrators were gone.</p> <p> Techmeyer said the gun store&#39;s surveillance cameras weren&#39;t operating during the break-in, but other cameras in the strip mall were being checked.</p> District weighing options after medical-marijuana bill becomes law http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/district-weighing-options-after-medical-marijuana-bill-becomes-law <p> Jeffco Public Schools may be drafting a policy on medical marijuana after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation that requires the state&rsquo;s districts to allow use of the remedy on school grounds.</p> <p> &ldquo;Jack&rsquo;s Law&rdquo; law requires school districts to &ldquo;adopt a policy permitting the use of medical marijuana by students authorized&rdquo; to use it. The legislation was named for Jack Splitt, a Wheat Ridge middle school student with cerebral palsy whose medical marijuana was confiscated last year by school officials.</p> Results on MAP tests a mixed bag http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/results-map-tests-mixed-bag <p> Jeffco students are largely outperforming national averages when it comes to reading and math, but semester-to-semester growth is lacking.</p> <p> According to the Jeffco school district&rsquo;s presentation of its year-long Measures of Academic Progress, student scores in math and reading improved over the last year, with about 60 percent of all students in grades three through 10 scoring in the high-average or above-average range for math and reading.</p> Student artwork lands in high-profile exhibit http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/student-artwork-lands-high-profile-exhibit <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-msugroupartwork-062216.jpg" alt="The Normandy Elementary students and their artwork, which now adorns the walls of the office at the School of Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver. " title="The Normandy Elementary students and their artwork, which now adorns the walls of the office at the School of Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver. " align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> <span style="line-height: 20.4px;">The walls of the student services office at the School of Education at Metropolitan State University are now the permanent home to 15 pieces of artwork by students at Normandy Elementary.</span></p> Kindergarten paraprofessional wins statewide award http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/kindergarten-paraprofessional-wins-statewide-award <img src="http://www.columbinecourier.com/sites/www.columbinecourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-annebitsie01-cb-062216.jpg" alt="Anne Bitsie has been a paraprofessional at Rooney Ranch Elementary School for 10 years. Bitsie won the 2016 Colorado Educational Support Professional of the Year.Photo by Chancey Bush/ Photo Editor/ Evergreen Newspapers Photo by Chancey Bush/ Photo Editor/ Evergreen Newspapers" title="Anne Bitsie has been a paraprofessional at Rooney Ranch Elementary School for 10 years. Bitsie won the 2016 Colorado Educational Support Professional of the Year.Photo by Chancey Bush/ Photo Editor/ Evergreen Newspapers Photo by Chancey Bush/ Photo Editor/ Evergreen Newspapers" align="left" hspace="6" width="118" height="85" /><p> Anne Bitsie has hundreds of children.</p> <p> While only three of them are her own, the rest are 10 years&rsquo; worth of former kindergarten students, the oldest of whom are now in high school.</p> <p> &ldquo;My students will always be a part of my heart,&rdquo; Bitsie said. &ldquo;Oftentimes, I see them out at the store, or around town, and they&rsquo;ll stop and say hello. Even if it&rsquo;s been years (since they were in kindergarten), it&rsquo;s so touching to see that they remember me and to hear that I made a positive impact on their lives.&rdquo;</p> CASA volunteers provide a voice, support for kids dealing with courts http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/casa-volunteers-provide-voice-support-kids-dealing-courts <p> A girl named Sally lives in Jeffco with one of her parents, who has a substance abuse problem, and there have been allegations of neglect and/or abuse. The case is going to court, and Sally is scared and confused.</p> <p> In cases like this hypothetical one, the child may be assigned one of Jeffco&rsquo;s court-appointed special advocate volunteers, who will be a constant in her life. The volunteer would meet Sally on a weekly basis to make sure all her needs are met.</p>