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Features

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • If smiles and chatter were any indication, trick-or-treating at Elk Run Assisted Living on Friday night was beyond successful.

    Kids in costumes — superheroes, movie characters, animals and more — moved through the building, greeting residents with familiar words: “trick or treat,” “thank you” and “happy Halloween.”

  • By Andrea Tritschler, for the Courier

    Hands reached for the brilliantly colored and intricately designed bowls in wild excitement to find the perfect one. A large number of the 600 hand-painted, ceramic bowls went home with guests at the eighth annual Mountain Bowls Project, a fund-raising event for the Mountain Resource Center.

    On Oct. 18, the fund-raiser brought community members together for lunch and dinner with something special to take home. Each guest chose one of the bowls, which had been donated by the community.

  • By Andrea Tritschler, For the Courier

    Tucked away on the side of Pleasant Park Road is a small, old cemetery, so much a part of the landscape it often goes unnoticed.

    But on Saturday, the Conifer Historical Society made Kemp Cemetery the star of its show, with a tour that highlighted why.

  • Storytellers use all sorts of devices to convey their tales — visual aids, sound effects, lighting and shadows. But few storytellers actually become the story themselves.

    For biographical actors R.D. and Barb Melfi of Pine, this is the essence of their work — not merely acting the role, but living it.

    The Melfis have portrayed William “Buffalo Bill” Cody and Annie Oakley, as well as other historical figures, across the country at schools, festivals, shows and conventions, and in movies and commercials.

  • Every fall, families across the mountain area welcome their old friend Jack — Jack O. Lantern, that is.

    Of course, to find Jack, many trek to their local pumpkin patch to pick out exactly what he will look like this year. Among rows of pumpkins and gourds, visitors young and old decide: taller or smaller; more round or more flat; yellow, orange, red or white.

    Many Evergreen residents, such as Jamie Brand and her children Gus, 9, and Anna, 7, have visited or will visit JP Total’s Pumpkin Patch as part of their annual fall tradition.

  • A bin filled with two dozen clothes hangers sat on a table outside the Conifer King Soopers on Sunday, a sign that Susannah’s Hope is making a difference.

    The empty hangers signified that two dozen coats had been given away to people who needed or wanted them.

    Susannah’s Hope is the pet project of Mary Black that has turned into a ministry at Risen Lord Lutheran Church in Conifer. Black’s goal is simple: keep people warm.

  • Neal Hurley looks less like a patient and more like a young up-and-comer in his slacks, dress shoes and button-down. The 36-year-old spends his days putting his computer engineering degree to work at Guaranty Bank and Trust in Denver, and makes time for his girlfriend, Angie. Autumn is one of his favorite times of the year — the changing foliage makes for great photographs.

  • Artists find inspiration everywhere, even their own backyard.

    Last week, Jeffco Open Space parks hosted more than 25 professional painters from Colorado and other states as part of the first ever In Plein Sight — an outdoor “plein air” event and art sale organized by PLAN Jeffco.

    Organizers said the idea came from one of the participating artists, who had done a plein air painting event in Douglas County parks, and suggested that PLAN Jeffco and Jeffco Open Space could host one as well.

  • A cornucopia of vegetables and fruits adorned two tables at the Buffalo Park Community Garden on Saturday as part of the youth farmers market.

    Cabbage, zucchini, carrots, turnips, tomatoes, green beans, apples, pears and plums were among the items for sale, and a steady stream of shoppers snapped them up. Several agreed they got quality produce at affordable prices.

    Teachers and students from Wilmot Elementary and Evergreen High School work at the farmers market at the community garden, which is in front of Wilmot.