• 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.

  • The Clear Creek/Gilpin Animal Shelter saw a record year for dog adoptions in 2014, and it’s planning new programs and new construction in 2015.

    The shelter, also known as Charlie’s Place, adopted out 183 dogs last year, a 15 percent increase over the previous year.

    This year, the shelter will implement additional obedience training for the dogs and will find ways to keep them stimulated, including a dog park so the animals can get more exercise. Lastly, to keep dogs more comfortable in inclement weather, roofs are being installed on outdoor kennels.

  • The 154-year-old Civil War memorial cannon was placed on its new carriage and wheels Monday at its home in front of the Idaho Springs Library.

    Over time, the wooden wheels and carriage for the 1,200-pound cannon had deteriorated so they could no longer stand on their own. For the past year, the artillery piece was fenced off from the public.

    The city paid $2,000 to replace the wheels, and $12,000 was raised by private donors to replace the carriage, of which $10,000 came from Idaho Springs residents.

  • From marijuana to Interstate 70 to shooting on public lands, there was no shortage of news in Clear Creek County in 2014. Here’s a recap of some of those stories.


    The number of retail marijuana sales outlets grew by at least two and a wholesale growing operation was approved in 2014 in Clear Creek County.

  • When 2nd Congressional District Congressman Jared Polis visits Idaho Springs during the holiday season, he wants to shop.

    Polis was in town Dec. 16 not only to buy gifts for his mother and sister, but to meet with local business owners to discuss economic struggles they're experiencing related to the Highway 103 bridge being removed for Interstate 70 construction.

  • With giant bags stuffed with gifts slung over their shoulders, parents left the Santa Shop looking a whole lot like Santa himself.

    The Clear Creek County Holiday Project put on the event Friday and Saturday, providing gifts to parents who couldn’t afford to buy them for their children.

    The Holiday Project, under the umbrella of the Clear Creek County Community Resource Center, provides donated toys, clothing and gift certificates to county residents facing difficult times.

  • In an era of light-up Rudolph neckties, seven-dollar triple-shot peppermint lattes and Black Friday, it’s easy to forget there once was a better way to celebrate Christmas.

  • Casey Day is determined to raise ski making to an art — at every step of the process.

    From concept and design to engineering, prototype development and graphics, the Silver Plume resident does it all. The 34-year-old got into the ski-making business 11 years ago and this year started selling his own brand, Powder Factory, out of his house, where he meticulously handcrafts each ski.

  • Tiffany Morrell, a Georgetown resident and an Iraq veteran, plans to use her military experience as a Clear Creek County paramedic in the future.

  • Trucker the pit bull is back with his owner, Graham Holiman, in Arkansas, thanks to a microchip scan done at Charlie’s Place — the Clear Creek County animal shelter.

     The moral of the story? Have a microchip implanted in your pet and make sure you keep the information up to date if you move, Charlie’s Place director Sue LeBarron told Clear Creek’s county commissioners at a recent meeting. Charlie’s Place in Dumont does the microchip procedure for $15, she said.

  • The fourth Clear Creek County Community Emergency Response Team class graduated on Saturday, adding another group of residents prepared to act in an emergency.
    The Community Emergency Response Team is a national effort to educate people in basic disaster response, such as fire suppression, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
    The local branch of the program has graduated four classes in six years.

  • On Oct. 24, more than 100 Georgetown Community School students did the slide, shoulder shuffle, hand-clap, dance-step combination of Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” dance.