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Features

  • For the first time in nearly 80 years, children and their families walked into the old Georgetown School House on the Fourth of July.

    Derelict for many years, the giant brick building was open to visitors to celebrate the new Georgetown Heritage Center, an educational and cultural arts center expected to open officially in 2015. People walked down unfinished hallways and went in and out of the schoolrooms last used in 1938.

    The Georgetown Trust for Conservation and Preservation hopes the 140-year-old building will once again become a place of learning.

  • Georgetown has brought its historical territorial charter into the 21st century.

    The document, which governs how the town board operates, has been updated to designate the powers of the mayor (police judge) and town administrator and let the board appoint replacements for selectmen who step down rather than hold an election. 

    The changes also include rolling the document’s amendments into the charter to make a more streamlined governing document. The provision that the town board must inspect food and whiskey barrels also was eliminated.

  • Thanks to all of you who came to the 28th annual  Empire Frog Rodeo!

    For those who have never attended, it’s a chance for kids to have an experience with frogs that wouldn’t normally happen in the mountains. It’s where you can race a frog with a squirt bottle and hope for the best jumper.  It’s just for fun and to give people a chance to check out the small-town charm of Empire.

  • A clear front-runner emerged from the pandemonium of flailing limbs and airborne amphibians at the annual Empire Frog Rodeo.

    With a casual disregard of gravity, 13-year-old Reno Miller’s frog effortlessly bounded away from the pack. Spending more time sailing through the air than on the ground, the frog helped Reno win the first event of the 28th annual Empire Frog Rodeo.

    “Inject him with a triple shot of espresso,” Reno gave as his secret to success.

  • The jagged cliffs around the mining train look steep and menacing — despite being only a foot high and made of painted tinfoil.

    The cliffs, train, tracks and more are part of a new museum display being constructed by the Historical Society of Idaho Springs.

    City council member Bob Bowland, who is one of the exhibit’s volunteer builders, said the train, when finished, will move back and forth on its track when visitors approach.

  • Boy Scout Troop 1876 proved that Friday the 13th was anything but bad luck for Idaho Springs.

    The Arvada troop spent two days working to refurbish and repaint the town’s dilapidated World War II monument in front of the Idaho Springs Library.

    On Friday, a handful of Scouts climbed over and around the monument, sanding and stripping off the ancient and chipped paint to make way for a new coat.

    Mayor Michael Hillman dropped by to talk with the Scouts and thank them for their efforts.

  • Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a three-part series examining the past, present and future of Clear Creek.

    Like a line from a great pickax drawn through rock and stone, Clear Creek rumbles down the center of the county, cutting through the mountains to the plains.

    Starting at Loveland Pass northwest of Grays Peak, the creek travels 66 miles before joining the South Platte River, which in turn joins the Platte River, the Missouri River, and the mighty Mississippi, finally flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Opposition is growing to investors' plans to prospect for gold and silver in the currently closed Capital Prize Mine.

    Georgetown’s Board of Selectmen has declined to write a letter of support for a proposed $117,500 economic development grant to upgrade the mine's infrastructure, said Selectman Lynette Kelsey. The board discussed the matter at a meeting on May 27.

  • Residents with fireplace ashes to throw away need to know the proper way to dispose of them.

    A seven-minute video made by first- through third-grade students at the Montessori School of Evergreen offers some tips.

    Put ashes in metal buckets — not plastic buckets or paper bags — and cover them with water, according to information in the video. Don’t dump ashes on the ground outside if there’s any chance they could smolder and start a fire, the video instructs. 

  • More than 100 people gathered Monday to remember those who died while serving their country during the annual Memorial Day ceremony on 16th Street in Idaho Springs.

    Under a clear sky, the wind gently blew flags along Miner Street as veterans, students and others addressed the largest Memorial Day crowd in recent years.

    The event included patriotic music from the Original Cow Boy Band and an honor guard of students from Rite of Passage.

  • Editor’s note: On Memorial Day we remember the men and women who died serving our country. This article recalls Idaho Springs resident Warren Frye, who died during World War II while fighting in Holland against the Nazis. 

    Warren Hill Frye’s name is found in white letters on the worn World War II memorial overlooking Miner Street in Idaho Springs.

  • Poetry and tea drinking combined Friday when Georgetown Community School second-graders, along with their moms, participated in their first poet-tea.

    The children, some dressed in special outfits, served the moms tea and cookies. Then they stood one by one in front of the group to read or recite poems. Most of the poems were funny, and the children were expressive, making the words come alive.

  • Heidi — a giant schnauzer who lives in Evergreen — takes her job as a pet therapy dog at Exempla Lutheran Hospital so seriously that she even has her own business card.

    Heidi’s card lists her favorite hobbies: riding in the car, meeting new people, going on long walks and eating snow. Typical dog fun, you might say.

  • One of our good neighbors, Mountain Mini Storage in Dumont, is celebrating 30 years of quality service to the community. This business fulfills a need in our community, providing a place to store all those items we want to keep but don’t have room for.

    Sandy and Lou Olnhausen founded Mountain Mini Storage in 1984. The Olnhausens were residents of Clear Creek County since 1964. During this time they owned and operated Clear Creek Oil Company, a gasoline distributing company that served 10 to 15 service stations in Denver, Clear Creek and Summit counties.

  • Eleven staff members at Clear Creek High School/Middle School embarked on their health resolutions in February as they participated in the schools’ version of the television show “The Biggest Loser.”

    Eighteen started the six-week program that ended before spring break, and 11 finished. Last Thursday, those who lost the most weight and those who met their goals received awards. First-place winners got part of the pot of money created when everyone put in $5 to participate. Second-place winners received a bag of goodies, including an infusion water bottle.

  • The Twin Tunnels east of Idaho Springs on Interstate 70 have officially been renamed the Veterans Memorial Tunnels.

    The Colorado House of Representatives unanimously approved the name change on March 21, after the Senate had given unanimous approval several weeks ago.

  • Homeowner Lucy Schubert opened her front door Sunday morning to Clear Creek County Deputy Jon Walker, who told her to evacuate her home because of a fast-moving wildfire nearby.

    Luckily, the “evacuation” in the Brook Hollow neighborhood was part of an all-day wildland fire training exercise and not the real thing. The Evergreen Fire Protection District and the Clear Creek Fire Authority co-hosted the exercise for about 100 firefighters in an area just south of Interstate 70 near Floyd Hill.

  • French and woodworking at Clear Creek High School have much more in common than some might think.

    Beginning French students have been spending time in the woodworking shop making musical instruments that are part of French or African cultures. They’ve also been learning French vocabulary so they can talk to other students about their projects, the tools being used, and the process of making the instruments.

    The exercise was developed by teacher Skyler Artes to make French more relevant to students.

  • Cindy Catanese counted the beats, and like clockwork, an actress spun from the arms of one boy, leapt gracefully into the arms of another, and returned to the ground with a flourish into the arms of yet another.

    Catanese, director of choreography for the Clear Creek High School spring musical, has returned to familiar territory, having taught drama at the school from 1980 to 1996.

    “The Boy Friend” will be performed April 10, 11 and 12.