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Local Middle School Students Design Winning App


Whereas some adults can’t even figure out how to operate and apps on their phone or tablet, local middle school students are designing them. A group of seventh-graders at DCSD’s Cimarron Middle School, came out on top in a recent application design challenge.

This year’s 2015 Verizon Innovative App Challenge had several Colorado middle schools and high schools, focused on STEM learning, enter the competition with an original design of a useful mobile application. The acronym STEM, is used to refer to schools and programs that strongly push for curriculum that integrates the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Under the supervision of a faculty advisor, the 5-7 person team, the group of Parker students came up with an app they named ‘Destination Education.’ The group created it with the idea of helping students better retain learned math and science concepts. “This entrepreneurial group of students came together to collaborate on their app concept outside of their normal school day,” said Katie Manzanares, Cimarron Middle School
Technology Teacher.

The winning team will now go on with their high school counterpart to compete against regional designs from neighboring states. This next phase will involve a live STEM related webinar with the Verizon Foundation with 12 middle school and high school teams receiving $5,000 in cash grants.

The community wishes you good luck Cimarron Middle School!

10 Exotic Pets You’ll Love

New Caledonian Crested Gecko

Everyone has a dog, cat, hamster or a goldfish — boring! This is one of the many reasons why the exotic pet industry is booming with an estimated 20 million Americans who own one. Many exotic pet owners say they wanted something different and unusual that allows them to stick out from the crowd.

This week we headed down to Parker Exotic Pets to see what what’s in demand.

1. African Pygmy Hedgehog

hedgehog2. Ferret

Domestic Ferret 3. New Caledonian Crested Gecko

New Caledonian Crested Gecko4. Argentine Black and White Tegu

Argentine Black and White Tegu5. Moluccan Cockatoo

Mulacaan Cockatoo6. Gold Macaw

Gold Macaw7. Jackson’s Chameleon

jacksonschameleon8. Ball Python

ballpython9. Rainbow Boa

boa10. Bearded Dragon

Bearded DragonTo learn more about these amazing creatures drop into Parker Exotic Pets located at 10449 S. Parker Road Parker, CO 80134 or give them a call at 720-851-1233.

CRJ Expands News Coverage to Parker, CO

CASTLE ROCK, CO – CRJ, a Castle Rock based online media company announced the expansion of its highly popular community news and resource guide to Parker, Colorado.

The new coverage will be coined ‘Parker Community News’ and will reside at

“We’re excited for the opportunity to deliver our resident focused, community news to Parker, Colorado,” said Sean Hakes, CRJ Founder & CEO. “The timing couldn’t have been more ideal!”

In February of 2015, CRJ aligned with the Colorado News Press to further its mission to provide accurate and timely community centric news.

“CRJ has tremendous reach. Our social media site reaches 60,000 people per week, many of which are Parker Residents while our website, attracts almost 30,000 unique visitors per month, and growing. This is a unique opportunity to not only supply great local news, but also provide local businesses a cost-effective, and powerful new platform to deliver their message, and tell Douglas County residents about their products and services.”

Parker Residents will be able to access the new Parker News portal by visiting after April 1.

Parker businesses that wish to take advantage of new, introductory advertising rates please contact Maria Gibson at 720-737-9439.

Homeless Pets Need Your Help Sunday

Cat at the Buddy Center

Animal lovers from all over the state will be glued to their television sets for The Dumb Friends League’s annual ‘Pledges for Pets Telethon.’ In its 18th year, the fundraiser hopes to bring in more than $300,000 to help provide loving care and vital services for thousands of cats, dogs and other small animals, as well as formerly abused and neglected horses at the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center™.

Those who wish to donate will have the chance to do so by calling, texting and making online donations while the event airs, from noon to 5 p.m. – all while enjoying watching adorable adoptable pets, heartwarming stories about adopted animals and getting a sneak-peak of what’s new at the animal shelter. “Viewers will see the many ways the Dumb Friends League helps pets, horses and people in our community,” said Bob Rohde, president and CEO. “They’ll also see how their donations can make a life-changing difference for thousands of homeless animals that come into our care every year.”

Buddy Center in Castle Rock 4556 Castleton Court, Castle Rock, CO 80109 (303) 751-5772
Buddy Center in Castle Rock
4556 Castleton Court, Castle Rock, CO 80109
(303) 751-5772

Each year, the private, nonprofit organization, spends over $25,000 a day on companion animal services, with another $8,000 plus (daily) being spent on veterinary care and its two mobile spay/neuter trucks. And the cost is well worth it when  looking at the numbers. In 2014, the Dumb Friends League found more than 17,500 pets new homes, reunited animals with owners and/or relocated others to similar animal friendly facilities. The donations also help them provide services like humane education for owners, rehabilitation for abused animals and training for pets with behavior issues.

Tune into to Fox31 this Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m., to see how you can make a difference in an animal’s life!

(Source: Press Release, Dumb Friends League)

Douglas County Sheriff K9 Fatally Injures Dog on Sunday

This is not an actual picture of the Police Dog and is a representation of what it could look like.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DSCO) and the Thornton Police Department are investigating a tragic incident that involved a DSCO K-9 that fatally injured another dog in a park on Sunday December 21.

The Thornton Police Department is investigating the incident and there is no further comment at this time. Additionally, the DSCO Professional Standards Unit is conducting a separate internal investigation.

“Our hearts go out to the owners of the dog that was killed,” DCSO Sheriff Tony Spurlock said. “As dog-lovers ourselves, we know how hard it is when a family loses a pet.  We assure them that we are conducting a thorough internal investigation into how this happened and we are fully cooperating with the Thornton Police Department.”

This is not an actual picture of the Police Dog and is a representation of what it could look like.
This is not an actual picture of the Police Dog and is a representation of what it could look like.

According to the press release, Sheriff Spurlock has been in contact with the owners of the dog that was fatally injured. The owner and her family has asked that the media does not contact them about this manner and are supportive of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the manner in which the investigation is being conducted.

Have You Changed Your Heater’s Air Filter? It Could Save You Money

Enjoy the holidays and the winter months more this year by putting some money back in your pocket. Along with reminding ourselves to program the thermostat and turn off the computer at night, taking a moment to make sure your home is ‘winterized’ can also help you save. Julie Rodriguez at Black Hills Energy wanted to share some tips for keeping energy costs down and making your home more energy efficient during the colder months.

Crime Alert: Vehicle Trespasses

car-door-lock-1.thumbnailAccording to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Parker Police Department, since late July there has been 80 – 100 reported vehicle trespasses in the Parker area which appear to be related. In addition, the vehicle trespasses are likely to be juveniles, as the items stolen are miscellaneous items like cigarettes, change and sunglasses.

The most concerning vehicle trespass happened in November where a Glock hand gun was stolen.