Today's Features

  • With dark, early-morning shadows still clinging to the buildings in Idaho Springs, a handful of people crowd into the small kitchen, roll up their sleeves and get to work.

    Today’s menu consists of barbecued country-style pork ribs, succotash, cornbread and peach cobbler.

    Employees and volunteers cook, clean, organize and prepare for the Volunteers of America Meals on Wheels program in the Project Support Senior Center on Miner Street.

  • It wasn't just a Jeep. It was a Jeep with teeth, and as it came around the corner of the racetrack on Georgetown Lake, its spiked tires went into a sideways slide, sending a spectacular 10-foot wave of ice into the chilly air.

    Nearly 30 other drivers, in vehicles of all shapes and sizes, eagerly awaited a similar turn on the ice track during the Our Gang ice-racing club's fun day on Friday. The event was open to the public, and gave die-hard ice-racing enthusiasts and beginners a chance to test their mettle on the slick surface.

  • Several hundred balloons waited in a net high above 30 pint-size New Year’s Eve revelers at the Idaho Springs rec center on Dec. 31.

    The balloons were ready to be released at the age-appropriate strike of noon. With minutes to go on the clock, the students hula-hooped, danced and took “tourist” photos in front of a poster of New York City’s Times Square.

    The festivities took place under the direction of the rec center’s after-school program director, Nicole McGrath.

  • The Courant takes a look back at the local stories that made headlines in the past year.

    Highway 103 bridge over I-70 quietly reopens

    An expanded Highway 103 bridge in Idaho Springs reopened late in February 2015 without fanfare.

    The bridge at Exit 240 — a major access point into Idaho Springs from Interstate 70 — closed Oct. 19, 2014, and was closed for about 120 days through the holiday season, angering local business owners and officials.

  • Last month, nearly a dozen sturdy men of the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office put down their razors and picked up the country-wide No-Shave November gauntlet to benefit Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice.

  • Clear Creek seventh-grader Isis Wales will have a chance to show off her musical ability in a big way with the Colorado middle school all-state choir.

    Isis tried out for and was the only Clear Creek Middle School student accepted into the prestigious choir performance, which showcases the talents of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. The choir concert will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, in the Bellco Theatre at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

    Six Carlson Elementary sixth-graders are in their second year of performing in the all-state choir.

  • Once a month, Scott Courson takes a break from corporate America by helping out at Carlson Elementary School.

    Last Friday, he helped a kindergartner read in Kathy Lewis’ classroom.

    Courson is among 25 local dads who volunteer at the school as part of the recently started Watch D.O.G.S. program, or Dads of Great Students. The program is a national effort to bring more fathers into schools.

    Carlson social worker Lauren Courtney said the program has become a surprise hit among fathers, students and teachers.

  • Clear Creek exchange student Madelyn Fahnline woke the morning of Nov. 14 and saw dozens of messages on her phone from friends and family asking if she was OK.

    The high school junior is staying with a host family in Lorraine in northeastern France about 90 minutes from Paris. The previous night, extremists had killed 129 people in a series of coordinated attacks across Paris.

  • With a cloud of dust billowing behind her, Deb Zack drove her black Jeep along the narrow dirt roads high above Idaho Springs. She navigated the sketchy dirt lanes on the north side of Virginia Canyon with familiarity.

    Zack is a project manager and reclamation specialist with the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety’s inactive mine program.

    And she’s been quite busy.

    It’s estimated that Clear Creek County has some 3,000 inactive mines, with 22,000 abandoned mines in the state.

  • Looking to escape the small town where she grew up and see the world, Tina Barber-Matthew joined the Air Force in 1989.

    What she described as a fairly normal office job in the military changed forever on Sept. 11, 2001. In the subsequent years leading up to her retirement in 2011, Barber-Matthew, 48, deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Sometimes under fire, the mother of two young children worked with translators and taught American-style journalism to Afghani reporters.