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Features

  • For 5 miles I ran through mud and a torrential downpour in my work clothes, one white-knuckled hand gripping the lead rope for a burro named Jack.

    It was a Monday evening, and I was in training for the 14th annual burro race in Idaho Springs, and it was my third burro racing class at Bill Lee's ranch southwest of town.

    Saying it was challenging was like saying the sun is hot. But as Captain Kirk once blithely informed Mr. Spock of his reason for doing something extremely difficult: "Because it's there."

  • Editors note: This is the fourth and final part in a series interviewing Clear Creek residents who want to bring aspects of farming and agriculture into their homes and backyards. Sometimes called “backyard homesteaders,” they are looking to be more self-sufficient and are raising everything from ducks to bees.

    Bugs, plants, fish and worms populate the thriving ecosystem at Adam Ledoux’s house in Empire.

  • A member of the Idaho Springs Elks Lodge has been named district Elk of the Year for the first time in recent memory.

    Cindy Teuling, an Idaho Springs native and police department employee, recently received the honor, which recognizes her commitment to both the Elks Lodge and the community.

  • Folks who love to ride the rapids in Clear Creek haven’t had this much fun in years.

    Heavy rains and snowmelt on high have led to a big boost in business at rafting companies in Clear Creek County in recent weeks. Water levels in Clear Creek are running 25 to 30 percent higher this year than last year at the same time, said Brandon Gonski, general manager at AVA Rafting.

  • "Swimmers," each wearing two wetsuits, gloves, life vests, helmets and fins, plied the waters of a raging Clear Creek at Lawson Whitewater Park on Saturday to help volunteers train for future water rescues.

    To kick off the exercises, a team of two "swimmers" jumped in the water slightly above the whitewater park. As they were swept downstream, rescuers along the shore threw ropes to them and pulled them in. 

  • Editor’s note: This is the third part in a series interviewing Clear Creek residents who want to bring aspects of farming and agriculture into their backyards. Sometimes called “backyard homesteaders,” they are looking to be more self-sufficient and are raising everything from ducks to bees.

    It’s hard to say how it first started, but chickens, geese, ducks, pheasants, turkeys, quail, horses, mules and most recently peacocks have made their way to the McNeil home.

  • My grandfather is 90 years old this week.

    He is a member of the generation that fought a world war, a forgotten war and a cold war. Those conflicts helped forge our nation into what it is today.

    Henry Dahl is a veteran. He was a helicopter test pilot and was featured on the cover of “Life” magazine during the Korean War. His careers included taxi driver, corrections officer and prison camp warden.

  • The Idaho Springs Historical Society’s newest president, Rick Wells, hopes to bring more young people and technology into the museum.

    Wells was recently chosen to replace former president Omer Humble, who stepped down to again try his hand at retirement. Humble said he was thrilled that Wells, who has been active in the Historical Society, will be his successor.

    Wells, a registered nurse with St. Anthony Hospital, moved to Idaho Springs two years ago. He began volunteering with the Historical Society because of his passion for the past.

  • When Mary Lou Rutherford was a teenager in Chicago, she watched as the troops left the city by train to fight in World War II.

    The tracks ran behind her home, and she could hear the train building up steam as it approached.

    “I ran out in back and waved to the soldiers, and they would hang out the windows — and one guy said, ‘Honey, when you’re 21, call me,’ “ Rutherford said, laughing.

  • Editor’s note: Clear Creek County is home to a budding recreational marijuana industry — an industry that has blossomed statewide since recreational sales became legal on Jan. 1, 2014. Since then, the state has received $76 million in fees and taxes from this burgeoning business. This is the second installment of a series that will trace the marijuana process over the next several months from seedling to sale, and will follow the money that flows into state coffers.

  • Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a series profiling Clear Creek residents who want to bring aspects of farming and agriculture into their backyards. Sometimes called “backyard homesteaders,” they are looking to be more self-sufficient and are raising everything from ducks to bees.

    The bantam rooster was missing. He wasn’t inside the coop or behind it.

  • Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity began building its first home in Idaho Springs on Sunday.

    “We’re just very excited to get started on this,” Blue Spruce director Kathleen O’Leary said. “It is the first house west of the (Veterans Memorial Tunnels) for us, so we’re very excited.”

    The home is the first of many that likely will be built in the county over the next several years, O’Leary said. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry that offers affordable homeownership to low-income families.

  • At age 68, Vietnam veteran Gene Eddy is the youngest member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4121 in Idaho Springs.

    Eddy is also roughly the same age as the organization he has volunteered for since 2001.

    When Eddy returned from Vietnam, some posts initially didn’t welcome his generation of soldiers. But when they did, he volunteered side by side with the founding World War II veterans.

  • Editor’s note: Clear Creek County is home to a budding recreational marijuana industry — an industry that has blossomed statewide since recreational sales became legal on Jan. 1, 2014. Since then, the state has received $76 million in fees and taxes from this burgeoning business. This is the first installment of a series that will trace the marijuana process over the next several months from seedling to sale, and will follow the money that flows into state coffers.

  • With a passion for Idaho Springs and its history as rich as the gold that led to its founding, Marjorie “Chee Chee” Bell demonstrated the priceless value of volunteering and preservation.

    The longtime Idaho Springs resident died at age 83 of natural causes on March 29. A memorial service, which drew more than 200 people, was held in the gymnasium at the former high school in Idaho Springs on April 3.

  • In this shell game, the young participants practiced a variety of approaches.

    When the fire truck’s horn sounded Saturday, several dozen children charged the 1,440 eggs scattered throughout Courtney-Ryley-Cooper Park in Idaho Springs during the Elks Club’s annual Easter egg hunt.

    Some sprinted ahead of the pack, only to double back. Others frantically grabbed as many colored orbs as they could reach.

  • Clear Creek High School math teachers Casey Davis and Dawn Kissler are getting married on a day of major significance to both of them: Pi Day.

    They passed up other potentially significant days — even Valentine’s Day — to be wed on a day that is true to their math-geek roots. On March 14, the couple will say their vows in an outdoor ceremony in Carefree, Ariz.

  • King-Murphy students have learned that jumping rope is not only a good aerobic activity, but it also can help people.

    The students last week jumped rope during their physical education classes as part of the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart. And they raised more than $4,000 to fight heart disease.

    Some of the money will be returned to the school, and physical education teacher Marc Gorenstein plans to buy more heart-rate monitors for the children to use in class.

  • Close to 130 active-duty soldiers, veterans and family members got a chance to ice fish for free Saturday at Georgetown Lake.

    The third annual Vets on Ice event was moved at the last minute from Evergreen Lake to Georgetown Lake after the death of Idledale resident Greg Henika, who fell through the ice Jan. 22 on Evergreen Lake.

    Georgetown officials waived the town's $240 fee to use the lake, given the nature of the event, said Tom Hale, town administrator.

  • With a look of determination, the two sixth-grade girls grabbed a water bottle dipped in paint and pressed it firmly onto a piece of paper.

    About 10 students watched as students Elsie Gothman and Ceci Davies, with jaws set, leaned into the effort. They lifted up the bottle and revealed something that looked like the impression of a flower on the paper.

    Demonstration done, it was time to break out the paint as, on Jan. 13, the Carlson Art Club met to work on its latest project.