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Read the stories from the latest issue:

Building character on the mat, times two

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Connor and Mason Enquist undoubtedly have a lot of things in common. They are brothers; they live in the Estates at Buffalo Ridge; they go to the same school and only one year separates them in age. But the thing that could bring them the closest is their love and talent for wrestling. Connor is…

Generations of firefighters

By CPC | December 28, 2023

It is not unusual to hear about children following in their parent’s footsteps, or even following the same career path as someone in their immediate family. But for the Petau family, not one, not two, but several generations have chosen the same path. They are a family of firefighters. “The first person in my family…

Cutest Pet in the Pines Contest Winners

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Congratulations Elmer! He and his pinecone won the hearts of our judges, and he has been selected as the Cutest Pet in the Pines for 2023. Elmer will receive a $100 gift certificate to The Pet Stuff Place, a basket of goodies and bragging rights for the year. Bo and Annie will both receive $50…

A K-9 with a keen scent

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Folly is a 3-year-old English Labrador Retriever who is basically a federal agent. Although she loves a good game of tug of war, fetching her tennis ball, and sipping on a Puppuchinos from Starbucks, Folly’s calm demeanor and strong olfactory system make her an excellent Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) K-9 detection…

Three Sobey generations in Wildcat Mountain’s shadows

By CPC | December 28, 2023

      Born in Lostivefel, England in 1844 during the reign of King Edward VII, Frank Sobey was raised in Dubuque, Iowa, where his parents had immigrated. Against their wishes and merely 15 years of age, Frank joined the Union Army. His family immediately disowned him. Despite his youth, he vindicated himself with great…

Drones aid public safety

By CPC | December 28, 2023

South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) Emergency communications manager Chris Carnahan flies drones and gets paid to do it. Chris has been part of SMFR’s drone team for nearly five years. Drones are flown by SMFR dispatchers who are part of the agency’s Drone Team. They respond from 911 call centers to support large incidents. Originally…

Douglas County likes to move

By CPC | December 28, 2023
panoramic of scenery

Douglas County was recently named number one as the most physically active county in the nation in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) annual PLACES report. The report was released in 2023, used data from 2021, and was examined by Northwell Health, the largest health care system in the state of New York.…

Bark for books

By CPC | December 28, 2023
lady, boy and dog in room and boy is reading a book

Bark for Books (BFB) is a literacy program that helps budding and struggling readers build confidence and self-esteem by reading out loud to trained therapy dogs. As one piece of a child’s literacy journey, BFB is interactive and comforting without the stress of being judged by others; their furry audiences just listen, approve and give…

January Crossword

By CPC | December 28, 2023

  Across 1. Fancy tie 6. Mama’s partner 10. FBI operative 14. Future fungus 15. Petri dish filler 16. Puerto ___ 17. A very large atmospheric disturbance 19. “Green Gables” girl 20. “___ we there yet?” 21. Biblical verb ending 22. Disney’s Lady, for one 24. Undisturbed 26. Thomas Jefferson, religiously 27. Narcissus’ nemesis 30.…

A county-wide scavenger hunt

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources (Open Space) has a fun program, a scavenger hunt, encouraging residents to get outside and explore. The game, Decode Douglas County Outdoors, is an activity suitable for all ages using decode booklets provided by the county to track progress. The program begins January 1 and booklets…

Freedom of assembly in the Village

By CPC | December 28, 2023

The 80108 ZIP code is a marvelous place to live and socialize.  On any given day, one has only to visit MiYO Café to appreciate the palpable community spirit and cohesion on display at virtually every table. Not long ago, I careened into what might best be called a meeting of “Ken’s Posse.” This group,…

New Year – new beginnings

By CPC | December 28, 2023

The exercise of setting New Year’s resolutions is ancient. The Babylonians are often credited with starting the practice 4,000 years ago, followed by the Romans, and later Christians. Today, the religious undertones are mostly gone, but looking back and then forward in self-reflection and determination (no matter how brief) is still very much part of…

New column coming – Dear Mrs. A

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Dear Readers, I have enjoyed showering you with my advice and opinions on manners over these last four years. But the start of a new year brings changes. Going forward, my column will become an advice column much like “Dear Abby.”  But in my case, “Dear Mrs. A.” Please send your questions to by…

Wreath making in Forest Park

By CPC | December 28, 2023
group of ladies holding wreaths

Longtime resident and business partner of The Connection, Linda Clure, hosted a holiday wreath-making party at the Forest Park clubhouse last month. “I come from a large family of very creative individuals; unfortunately, I did not inherit this gene,” laughed Linda.  “My Mom used to teach craft classes when I was growing up, and I…

Toy drive brings meaning to the season

By CPC | December 28, 2023
woman holds gifts that were donated

Resident and local realtor Sarah Phillips held her ninth annual toy drive at her home on Yorkshire Drive in December. Sarah shared that it was her largest turnout to date with more than 200 toys collected. The toys benefit Santa’s Sharing Program at the Help & Hope Center in Castle Rock. By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo…

Light up the night to kick off the holidays

By CPC | December 28, 2023

The annual Christmas tree lighting at The Ridge at Castle Pines took place on Friday, December 1. It was the first event of Winter Wonderland, a series of December happenings co-hosted by the City of Castle Pines and the Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce. The event included food trucks, live performances, a visit with Santa…

In praise of the big bowl of vegetables

By CPC | December 28, 2023
bowl of various vegetables

It is January. The Monday of the year. Time to get back in the saddle. Sigh. The house is clean and the holidays are behind me, and while I look forward to the quiet of a new year, I always feel a little empty. The idea that I need to eat like a responsible adult…

Connection staff dines together

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Bone broth offers big flavor and health benefits

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Bone broth provides a large amount of nutrients in each savory sip. The National Library of Medicine reported that by cooking bones for a long time, such as 24 hours, it is possible to obtain a large number of amino acids, minerals and proteins such as collagen. The long cooking time is what makes bone…

Community chorales unite voices

By CPC | December 28, 2023
three adults face camera

A chorus of voices transcends from the south suburban suburbs, creating a unique and uplifting experience for those aged “50 and better.” The 5280+ Senior Chorales (Chorales) invite participants to join in the joy of singing, fostering camaraderie and shared passion for music. Chorales mission is to “provide significant and measurable health and wellness benefits…

Alternatives to New Year’s resolutions

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Wanting to lose weight in 2024? Write that book? Organize the pantry? It is well-reported that a whopping 80% of New Year’s resolutions are unsuccessful by mid-February. According to a study by researchers at the University of Scranton, most people abandon resolutions by the middle of January. In short, resolutions do not always work. Most…

Jingle for a cure for arthritis

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Team Stutler, comprised of 45 friends and family members, plus many furry friends, came together in Washington Park on Sunday, December 10, to participate in the Jingle Bell Run/Walk to raise funds toward arthritis treatments and a cure, plus life-changing arthritis resources and local programs. By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Michelle Stutler

Commitment to RCHS student-athletes

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Taylor Quenzer, licensed athletic trainer, certified athletic trainer and head athletic trainer at Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) brings passion and expertise to sports and student-athlete care. At RCHS, Taylor follows a simple yet powerful strategy: building strong friendships with athletes, enjoying the journey of understanding them, working together, and witnessing their growth in sports.…

Mid-year school supply boost

By CPC | December 28, 2023
two teachers looking through donations

The Foundation for Douglas County Schools will once again host a mid-year supply drive for teachers. The Lend A Hand School Supply Drive will take place during the month of January. This annual event is a great way to support area teachers by helping replenish classroom supplies for the second half of the year. More…

American Academy campuses debut A Christmas Carol

By CPC | December 28, 2023
group of students pose for camera in costumes

For the first time, American Academy (AA) Performing Arts presented and performed a holiday classic, A Christmas Carol (The Musical) that filled the hearts of many with the true spirit of the season. The show, which ran from December 1 to 10, sold out all eleven performances at The Schoolhouse at Mainstreet in Parker. There…

Holiday traditions from around the world

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Before the winter break, DCS Montessori (DCSM) lower elementary students learned about international holiday traditions. Some of the parents helped in the fun by adding their experiences from their home countries, respectively: South Korea, Brazil, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Italy and Ukraine. The students embraced the Swedish culture, celebrating St. Lucia on December 13. The festival…

Fieldtrip to celebrate Colorado history

By CPC | December 28, 2023
wall with photos attached and sign that says john fielder photography

Buffalo Ridge Elementary School (BRE) fourth grade students recently took their first field trip to the History Colorado Center in Denver. Fourth-grade curriculum includes a unit on Colorado history and the students also did in-school research projects for the school’s Colorado Day. For the past few years and because these students were kindergarteners when the…

Raising the bar at All State Choir

By CPC | December 28, 2023

Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) Principal Chris Cooke was super excited to share the news that the school has 22 students (the highest of all DCSD schools) who qualified for All State Choir. “Mr. [Zachariah] Smith, the choir teacher, is incredible and the impact he continues to have on our choir program and the kids…

Timber Trail students lean in to help

By CPC | December 28, 2023
four kids stand outside holding paper

Third-grade students at Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) made the holidays very special for three adopted families at the Crisis Center in Castle Rock. The economics and civics project “Lean on Me” was a project-based learning experience that asked students the driving question: how they could help those in the community in need. Through TTE family…

What are your 2023 New Year’s Eve plans?

By CPC | December 27, 2023

Make a drone show part of your evening! Whether you’re a new Douglas County resident or a longtime community member, New Year’s Eve is always a special time to gather with neighbors to celebrate. On December 31, a 12-minute light-up drone show will take place at 7 p.m. at EchoPark Stadium (11901 Newlin Gulch Blvd.…

The wonder of the season through the Forest of Stories

By CPC | November 27, 2023
variety of trees decorated different themes

  To wonder and wander into the spirit of the season and to see some incredible Christmas trees transformed into literary masterpieces, head to Douglas County Libraries (DCL). Seven of the DCL locations – Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Roxborough, Parker, Louviers, Highlands Ranch and Lone Tree – are hosting a Forest of Stories. DCL will…

Apples to apples: A look at grocery store prices

By CPC | November 27, 2023

Some in the community believe grocery prices are higher in Castle Pines due to having a single grocery store and, therefore, less competition for lower prices.  A review of grocery prices at nearby competitors revealed that is not necessarily the case, and that misconceptions about values may exist.  A random snapshot of staple food prices…

Vacant Safeway faces uncertain future

By CPC | November 27, 2023

  In June 2015, Safeway closed its doors in Castle Pines.  What will become of the more than 50,000-square-foot space has been a source of constant speculation in the community.  Landlords, city officials, neighboring businesses and potential investors all have a stake in the answers, with the community waiting eagerly for signs of movement. Recently,…

Castle Rock library has a new name

By CPC | November 27, 2023
dcl library

  The new Douglas County Library (DCL) in Castle Rock that opened in August has a new name: The Philip and Jerry Miller Library. According to a DCL resolution to change the name, the Millers helped establish the original library services in Douglas County and Castle Rock through their joint “leadership, foresight and financial support.”…

Ask the City of Castle Pines…

By CPC | November 27, 2023

The current City of Castle Pines wildfire mitigation efforts are being conducted by Deer Creek Forestry LLC.  As a part of mitigation efforts, the City has worked with wildfire mitigation experts at both South Metro Fire Rescue and Douglas County to identify open space areas that are at high risk from potential wildfires. The mitigation…

Annual Philip S. Miller grants

By CPC | November 27, 2023

  In partnership with Douglas County, the Douglas County Community Foundation (DCCF) awarded 27 Philip S. Miller grants to local nonprofit organizations, totaling $185,000. DCCF partners with Douglas County government to manage its annual Philip S. Miller grant endowment. Twenty-four organizations received Competitive Community grants, while three received Senior Services grants. DCCF works diligently to…

U.S. Post Office holiday mailing deadlines

By CPC | November 27, 2023

The mailing deadlines for United States Postal Service (USPS) parcels to arrive in the continental U.S. by Monday, December 25 are the following: Saturday, December 16 for USPS Ground Advantage Monday, December 18 for Priority Mail Wednesday, December 20 for Priority Mail Express The last scheduled date for delivery is Saturday, December 23.  Monday, December…

Welcome new City Councilmember

By CPC | November 27, 2023

Royal Hills resident Ron Cole won election to the City Council of Castle Pines and is the only new member of the council following the November 7 election.  When asked what he is looking forward to working on as his term begins, Cole said, “Responsible growth, water conservation, and business growth.” Cole and his wife…

STROLL magazine turns 10

By CPC | November 27, 2023

This month marks the 10-year anniversary of STROLL The Village at Castle Pines.  In 2013, publisher Anna Morin launched her edition of the magazine, which was originally called Village Life. Morin and her husband, Scott, moved to Colorado from Indiana in 2010.  At the time, they both worked in the building material business and Scott…

Escape room opening in Castle Pines

By CPC | November 27, 2023

  Chris and Joanna Walters are taking their passion for escape rooms to a whole new game level.  The couple is getting ready to open their own business, Clue Clock Escape, in the former Ascent Eyes location on Village Square Drive in Castle Pines. Chris said they never dreamed of opening an escape room business. …

Ink to paper

By CPC | November 27, 2023

The invention of the printing press is attributed to Johannes Gutenberg, a German goldsmith and inventor, in the 1400s.  His invention revolutionized mass book production and the dissemination of information.  Many books and newspapers have moved to the digital format, but ink to paper is not a lost form – just ask longtime Colorado residents…

Thank you to our 2023 business partners!

By CPC | November 27, 2023

Advanced Integrative Medicine AdventHealth Castle Rock American Security Gates Angela Coleman – LIV Sotheby’s Angie’s Family Restaurant AriClean Aspen Tide Design & Staging Bath Tune-up Beau Thai II Bellco Credit Union Berg Haus Big Life Integrative Health Black + Haus Tavern Blue Island Oyster Bar and Seafood Brandon Linn Orthodontics Bubbles Liquor World Bucket List…

Travel-inspired health and wellness coach new to The Village

By CPC | November 27, 2023
woman sitting on chair on patio

Kim Gensler is an adventurous world traveler.  After graduating from Colorado State University, she went to South Africa to guide safaris.  She stayed 14 years before moving back to Colorado to embark on her new journey as a functional medicine certified health coach and national board-certified health and wellness coach. “The only reason we are…

She is all heart and more

By CPC | November 27, 2023
teen holding green bin top

Evelyn Razem is a teen who is all heart.  A sophomore at Rock Canyon High School, she has a learner’s permit and a passion for giving back and helping others. Each week, she volunteers at her old stomping grounds, DCS Montessori School (DCSM), to teach youngsters how to crochet during the after-school specials program.  She…

Soccer kicks for diplomacy in Saudi Arabia

By CPC | November 27, 2023

  Maren Hendershot McCrary has soccer in her blood.  Growing up in Colorado Springs, she routinely traveled to Denver to play with a more competitive club; then in college for Brigham Young University, and then professionally before retiring after an injury. But retirement did not mean McCrary stepped away from soccer.  She stayed involved in…

Giving is the real gift

By CPC | November 27, 2023
family holding large check

  There is a social media trend among adults.  When celebrating a birthday, in lieu of gifts, some take an opportunity to raise money for something close to their hearts: a charity they love or a cause they want to lift up. But it is not every day when you hear of someone young, someone…

Annual Cutest Pet in the Pines Contest is back!

By CPC | November 27, 2023

The Castle Pines Connection has teamed up with The Pet Stuff Place, Fetch! and Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center to bring you the eleventh annual Cutest Pet in the Pines contest. We invite you to share your digitally-captured pet adventures with us.  Send in your favorite recent photo by December 15 for a chance to…

Traditions that hold us together

By CPC | November 27, 2023
Bibliophile Corner Books

  Traditions give our life structure and meaning.  They help keep families and cultures knit together in shared and expected experiences.  They create space and behavioral guidelines for celebration, grieving and living.  As we get into the thick of this holiday season, traditions can lift us or weigh heavily on our minds and hearts, but…

The joy of Bentley

By CPC | November 27, 2023
white dog holds his toy in mouth

  Bentley may be mini, but he celebrates big time.  When his owners Jennifer and Jeff Edgell come home, they are greeted by a fur ball of enthusiasm and spunk, a trait common in miniature schnauzers.  Once properly petted and loved, Bentley settles in with his people. Twelve-year-old Bentley is an AKC registered miniature schnauzer. …

DCCF seeking volunteers

By CPC | November 27, 2023

Douglas County Community Foundation is seeking volunteers to help further its mission to responsibly manage philanthropic contributions, maintain agile funds for emergencies, inspire generosity and provide support to local nonprofits serving the needs within our community. Become part of the team that plans and executes fundraising events or help vet nonprofits and be a part…

Opening weekend on the Colorado slopes

By CPC | November 27, 2023

  Caption and photo by Hollen Wheeler

Strength and hope are abundant!

By CPC | November 27, 2023

As 2023 comes to a close, we reflect on the strength and hope that is all around us.  For the past seven years, our Angels Among Us segment has featured nonprofits and people who are using their voices and abilities to bring incredible impacts to the community and beyond.  This year, we featured 12 stories. …

Bringing smiles and cheer to the holidays

By CPC | November 27, 2023
group of sheriffs in warehouse of gifts

Deputy Brian McKnight from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) loves his job in law enforcement so much he is on round two.  Originally hired by Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) in the late 1980s, McKnight served our neighboring communities for three decades before retiring.  But he just could not stay away from community involvement…

Be In The Know: Letterboxd

By CPC | November 27, 2023

  In a world dominated by streaming platforms and on-demand content, cinephiles – people who are fond of motion pictures – are finding new and exciting ways to connect and share their passion for film.  One such company that has gained significant traction in recent years is Letterboxd, a social media platform designed specifically for…

Homemade gift ideas

By CPC | November 27, 2023

Homemade gifts take some time and care, which is why they are more special than something store-bought.  Here are some ideas to spark creativity.  Browse the internet for tutorials and recipes. Flavored salts, such as wild mushrooms, ancho chilies, garam masala Gourmet marshmallows Granola with tangy cranberries and apricots Mini cheesecakes Herbal tea with lemon…

December Crossword

By CPC | November 27, 2023

  Across 1. Wood cutters 5. Water balloon sound 10. Double-reed woodwind 14. Wyle of “ER” 15. Pageant prize 16. Scattered (like seeds) 17. Not built again 20. Jewel 21. Bird class 22. Indian flatbreads 23. Disinterested 25. ___ terrier 27. “______ Bells” 29. Shock 30. Rainbow ___ 31. With 29 down, a type of…

December Modern Manners

By CPC | November 27, 2023
Graphic of Thoroughly Modern Manners

Dear Readers, It is gift giving and receiving time!  And I have held a lifelong belief that there are only two words that should ever be spoken when receiving a gift, “Thank you!” Sometimes people give us a gift we do not want to receive, and we do not know quite what to do.  It…

Meet your new neighbors

By CPC | November 27, 2023

The biannual New Resident Welcome Reception event was held at the Marquis Castle Pines apartments this fall.  Mayor Tracy Engerman welcomed 25 new residents to the neighborhood.  The event is hosted by the Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce, the City of Castle Pines and the Castle Pines Connection. Caption and photos by Hollen Wheeler

Bud’s Bar: A history between the tracks

By CPC | November 27, 2023
men standing behind bar

  If you’ve lived in Douglas County more than a few years and haven’t been to Bud’s Bar in Sedalia, you ain’t nobody.  Whoa!  Let me be more sensitive.  You’ve simply failed to seize a legendary opportunity: Bud’s world-renowned hamburgers, great folks, a colorful backstory and all the Wildcat Lore that flows within it. Sedalia…

2023 Christmas and Chanukah celebrations

By CPC | November 27, 2023

Chabad Jewish Center of South Metro Denver 9950 Lone Tree Parkway, Lone Tree Canyons Community Church 4825 N. Crowfoot Valley Road, Castle Rock Christmas Eve: Candlelight Service, December 24, 4 p.m. Castle Oaks Covenant Church 826 Park Street, Castle Rock Christmas Eve: December 24, 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Cherry Hills Community Church…

New toys under the tree for me

By CPC | November 27, 2023
potato stacks

  Christmas makes everyone a kid, and what kid doesn’t like new toys?  In my memory of childhood Christmas presents, one of my favorites was an Easy-Bake Oven.  With just the power of a light bulb and a specially formulated mix, I could make a cake all by myself.  I remember mixing the ingredients, popping…

A century of grace and joy: Jeanne turns 100!

By CPC | November 27, 2023
close up of senior lady

                        Castle Pines is abuzz with excitement as we extend heartfelt congratulations to Jeanne Furr, a remarkable resident about to reach the incredible milestone of 100 years young!  Furr’s journey is a captivating tale of resilience, love and a century’s worth of memories. Born…

Prestigious golf tournament plans move forward for 2024

By CPC | November 27, 2023
view of golf club building

UPDATE: An exclusive holiday ticket option for the 2024 BMW Championship is available now for Castle Pines Connection readers through December 25, 2023. Visit to secure tickets for the penultimate event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs, to be held Aug. 20-25 in The Village at Castle Pines. Tickets are expected to sell quickly…

The power of peppermint

By CPC | November 27, 2023
leaves in tea cup

The minty, peppy, fresh scent and flavor of peppermint packs a punch.  While refreshing as a breath mint or tea, peppermint may also be linked to health benefits, including improving digestion, boosting focus, and relieving migraines, according to Peppermint is an aromatic herb with leaves that contain several essential oils, including menthol, menthone and…

Neighbor hosts fundraiser for breast cancer research

By CPC | November 27, 2023
lady holding wine bottle

  October was breast cancer awareness month and Kim Becker made a contribution.  She hosted a fundraiser with the ONEHOPE Foundation (ONEHOPE) to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). “My mom is a breast cancer survivor and many of my friends have had breast cancer, so I wanted to raise money to…

Congratulations to 80108 student athletes

By CPC | November 27, 2023

Congratulations to the 80108 student athletes who signed letters of intent to play their sport at the next level:   Olivia Barrett Soccer Colorado Mesa University Coach Mathew Henbest stated, “Olivia really came through for us last year as a starter.  Her aggressive play in the back and eagerness to get forward in the attack…

A golf cart-sized surprise for one SRO

By CPC | November 27, 2023
office in red golf cart

  School Resource Officer (SRO) Deputy Eric Rhymer has some new wheels to help him reach the students on the campus of American Academy (AA).  The new ride will surely catch the eye; it is atypical of what one might find a sheriff’s deputy in. This SRO can be found checking on the school kids…

Kids create book characters on craft pumpkins

By CPC | November 27, 2023
pumpkin painted and decorated

The “Pumpkin Shine” event was a fun, at-home project put on by the Timber Trial Elementary Parent Teacher Organization.  Students in kindergarten through fifth grade, along with their families, decorated a craft pumpkin to resemble their favorite character in a book they had read or listened to.  Characters ranged from classic children’s books to popular…

The power of kids helping kids

By CPC | November 27, 2023
group in green house

  DCS Montessori (DCSM) middle school students sponsored a food drive to raise essential items for Bin Blessed, a nonprofit organization providing support to There With Care, an organization which provides meaningful services to families and children during the critical phase of a medical crisis. The one-week drive was a project for the students’ service…

AA community honors veterans

By CPC | November 27, 2023

  The American Academy (AA) community welcomed 50 veterans to honor them for their service and duty during the annual Veterans Day Breakfast on November 11.  The celebration kicked off with an assembly introducing all six branches of the military, then a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the national anthem performed by…

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