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Features

  • Environmental concerns — including high lead levels in tap water at Jeffco schools, a dangerous chemical found buried at the Lockheed-Martin plant in South Jeffco, and the effects of planned development in the Rooney Valley — dominated the headlines in Jefferson County news last year.

    Toxic waste found buried at Lockheed Martin facility

  • Turmoil at a local charter school, a state representative sent to jail, and community cleanup efforts were among the top stories in the mountain area in 2016. 

    Rocky Mountain Academy finds a path forward

    Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen is moving forward after many months of discord that culminated in a protest by parents and students in October.

  • In many respects, 2016 was a year characterized by loss in the 285 Corridor — none perhaps felt as much as the loss of Park County sheriff’s Cpl. Nate Carrigan, who died Feb. 24 during a shoot-out after officers attempted to serve a “high-risk” eviction notice to Bailey resident Martin Wirth.

    Wirth reportedly opened fire on the officers with a legally obtained .45-caliber rifle, killing Carrigan and wounding Deputy Kolby Martin and Capt. Mark Hancock. Wirth died at the scene.

  • Under a stream of glaring light, a rush of water gushed from a long hose. The spray splashed onto a colorless sheet of ice, which aided its molecular brethren in the freezing process. Two men clad in heavy gear and spiky shoes nimbly ran across the lake, moving snow out of the way and pulling the hose in the desired direction.

    One rink took a mere 10 minutes to spray down, but there were several more to go.

  • A city set on a hilltop cannot be hidden. And neither can a house decorated with thousands of Christmas lights.

    From Kittredge to Conifer, mountain area residents, organizations and businesses have put up strands of bright-colored bulbs, inflatable snowmen, moving reindeer, Nativity scenes, and many more decorations as a way to celebrate the winter holidays.

  • The Mountain Rendezvous Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and American Legion Post 2001 commemorated the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday.

    The ceremony included a reflection on those who died in the Pearl Harbor attack and the trials of World War II that followed. The chapter’s chaplain, Kathleen Schrader, led the group in benediction, calling to mind all those who gave their lives to defend the United States. And, American Legion member Vern Stelzer read President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous post-attack speech.

  • Cowboy, sawyer, carpenter, barn-raiser, trail-builder, conservationist, preservationist, historian, author, community leader, friend, husband, father.

    The way his friends tell it, Hank Alderfer should be considered for the title of “ Most Interesting Man in the World.”

    Alderfer family members, friends and the Evergreen community gathered Nov. 30 at the Lake House to celebrate Alderfer’s accomplishments and contributions, as well as help launch a book of his Canyon Courier columns, titled “Yesteryear.”

  • By Kevin M. Smith, for the Courier

    Mountain area residents got into the holiday spirit on Saturday with the fifth annual Festival of Trees and Wine & Dine event at The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park.

    “It’s my favorite event,” said Sharon Trilk, who helps coordinate the gala with the Conifer Area Chamber of Commerce.

  • The heat was on Nov. 12 for the recruits in the Evergreen Fire/Rescue firefighter academy: They fought actual fires.

    The blazes were controlled in the department’s burn training building, but the flames and smoke were real — and the 18 recruits were both excited and apprehensive about practicing what they had learned for the past three months.

  • “Service before self.”

    That message was shared by several members of the military and the community with West Jefferson Middle School during a Veterans Day ceremony Friday morning.

    “We went when we were called, to be part of something bigger than ourselves,” Sgt. 1st Class Peter Benning told the students during an assembly in the gymnasium.

  • West Jefferson Elementary students were given a special holiday treat on Friday: They attended the performance of a new Christmas play in ballet form.

    Peak Academy of Dance, which is a five-minute walk from the school, performed “A Christmas Eve Ghost Story” for the students.

    The story is written by Danielle Heller, owner of the dance studio, and is being published this year. In a strange twist, she wrote the book to fulfill her need for a new show that dancers at the studio could perform for the holidays.

  • Colton Heidenfelder of Evergreen is building a mobile “tiny house” as a way of living a simple, affordable and yet still comfortable life.

    Heidenfelder, 22, and his uncle Scott Tuchscher of Arizona were finishing the exterior of the tiny house last month, before Tuchscher had to return home. Heidenfelder said his goal is to have the house completed by the spring, and to drive the trailer it’s built on to Conifer.

  • What is the scientific name for a leopard’s spots? How many children does Queen Elizabeth II have? Which actor gives the voiceover at the end of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”? Name all the eight shows that have won the prime-time Emmy for outstanding drama series since 2000.

    Lariat Lodge patrons put their gray matter to the test, stretching the limits of their random knowledge, as the Evergreen Library hosted its first-ever “Q’s and Brews” event recently at Lariat Lodge.

  • Those who served in the military during the Vietnam War not only faced live fire, they also found themselves in the political crosshairs as well. Many who enlisted or were drafted had not-so-friendly send-offs and even colder welcomes when they returned. As such, a whole generation of servicemen and women went unrecognized and unappreciated at the time.

    And now, as new generations of Americans grow older, they want to understand the circumstances that their parents and grandparents experienced firsthand.

  • The word “missionary” conjures a variety of historical, cultural and religious connotations. But few likely would associate the word with college campuses in Austria — even though a local organization has sent eight young adults overseas for two years to minister to Austrian college students.

  • Lake Powell is magnificent: The blue-green reservoir is more than 100,000 square miles in size, boasts inflows from the Colorado, Escalante and San Juan rivers, straddles the border between Arizona and Utah, and offers a serene spot to all who visit its shores.

    For Conifer resident Sarah Thomas, whose goal was to swim the length of the lake, it represented an exciting challenge but one that turned out to be unexpectedly daunting.

  • In a final nod to National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, local residents came out in droves Saturday to raise funds for the Mountain Peace Shelter via the organization’s first Fill the Bag event — a nod to the Fill the Boot campaign when firefighters raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

  • Soccer is a kick. But who’s to say soccer can’t also be spooky, when the season suits?

    Evergreen’s Bergen Valley Elementary hosted the fourth annual Rocky Mountain Spook-out 3-versus-3 soccer tournament Sunday.

  • Imagine that you don’t know how to use a smart phone. Or are unsure how to “Google” something on the Internet. Or you can’t open Microsoft Word to type this sentence.

    Some people reading this don’t have to imagine.

    A fair portion of seniors, both in Evergreen and nationwide, never learned those computer skills, and are now at a disadvantage in the workforce because of it.

    However, Evergreen Christian Outreach is working to change that.

  • Once upon a time, people found a mystical forest near their town. No matter what they threw into the forest — beer cans, televisions, couches, animal carcasses — it all magically disappeared. The forest seemed to swallow everything the townspeople dumped there.

    To their chagrin, local residents have found the magical portal where all this trash has spewed out — at various turnouts along Squaw Pass Road. And, on Oct. 26, they gathered to clean up these illegal dumping sites.