"We are a freshman-sophomore loaded team this season with eight freshmen and sophomores on the varsity," Huskies coach Gary Hartman said during a break in the Dec. 3 tournament's action. "We are young but we are tough."
He said there are only two returning veterans on the roster but kids are stepping up to fill the holes in the starting lineup.
Hartman said his wrestlers in the upper weights were strong and all four Huskies who placed in the top four in their weight classes were in the upper weights.
Micah Smith (220 pounds) and James Seela (295 pounds) scored the best finishes for Douglas County as they both finished second in their weight classes, both losing in the title matches to Lakewood wrestlers.
Smith took runner-up honors at 220 pounds when he lost the championship match to Michael Inouye of Lakewood while Seela was second at 295 pounds as he lost in the championship match to Hayden Still of Lakewood.
The other two Huskies' placers were Andrew Larson, who finished third at 295 pounds, and Austin Kelchen, who was fourth at 170 pounds.
Coronado won the team title with 191 points and the Huskies were 11th with 78 points.
Legend, the other Douglas County team at the tournament, finished third with 115 points.
Four Legend wrestlers placed in the top four in their weight classes. The two Legend wrestlers who won weight division titles were Isaiah Atencion at 106 pounds and teammate Dustin Mervin at 126 pounds. Gage Valdez Sauer finishes second at 120 pounds while Zane Valdez Sauer took third at 138 pounds.]]>
If I am in a rush, I actually like the new feature on most of the news apps such as "The Top 5 Things You Missed This Week," or the "Top Things You Need to Know Today," They are quick and summarize the news into a concise format allowing me to click on the "More" link if I want to go deeper into a story. And when pressed for time, with a quick review of the front page of any newspaper I can get the news fix that I was looking for that day.
So what are the Five Things You Need to Know Today?
1. You are loved more than you know.
2. You are forgiven for all mistakes; so stop being so hard on yourself.
3. You are appreciated even when others can't find the right words or ways to say thank you.
4. You are beautiful and brilliant, and you are gifted and gorgeous.
5. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for, and you can use that strength to endure any season of life or to encourage others to persevere through any battle they may be facing.
How's that for a short summarizing list of the Five Things You Need to Know Today? And by the way, the Five Things You Need to Know Today and Remember Every Day.
Why are these so important? Because if I fall back on my addiction to the news and shared with you some of the very real and horrific things that I read or see in the news, and if I didn't have the foundation above I could easily become depressed, stressed and angry. And none of those attitudes or perspectives I just listed would do anything to improve the situations, make my day any brighter, or place me in a better position to help others.
However, if I can love and be loved; if I can forgive and be granted forgiveness; if I can show appreciation and gratitude for all of my blessings and bless others; if I can believe that someone can see the beauty of my heart and I can see the giftedness of theirs; and if I can be strong in the face of adversity and patiently strong while coming alongside someone else in their time of need, I do believe that I can make a difference. And I believe that you can too. We can all be difference makers of we choose to do so.
So how about you? Do you get caught up in the mayhem, fear, uncertainty, and doubt? And if you are already depressed, stressed, and angry, then I further encourage you to maybe save this column, even if you just take the Top Five list. Place it somewhere you can see it and use it as a helpful reminder that in a time of a divided culture and country, we can look internally and know that we are loved, forgiven, appreciated, beautiful, and strong.
I would love to hear all about your thoughts on the Top Five at email@example.com, and when we can find the peace that comes from our Top Five list, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.
"Atlanta woman has world's smallest face!"
"Tom Cruise spends weekend on Mars!"
"Hillary headed to jail and looking forward to it!"
These things don't write themselves, any more than this column writes itself.
In my case, it took years and years of home-alone introspection as a wellspring, and now it takes strong, black, mud-thick coffee to go along with it.
I know exactly how I wound up here, in front of you, but how does someone become a writer for something like the National Enquirer?
Was it a consolation prize? The Times won't take you, so you try for something a bit lower, then a bit lower than that?
Or is there some unrequited mischief in your marrow?
Maybe you're just a schlub who doesn't care and simply needs a job.
But now and then, you must have to disclose what you do for a living at social gatherings. And at the breakfast table.
"Dad," your 5-year-old asks, "what do you do for a living?"
"Son, I'm a writer."
"Noble profession, Dad. For whom?"
"Let me get this straight. You write a story, knowing it's untrue, and might hurt, offend and infuriate someone, like John Travolta, and it comes straight from the unplugged intestines of deceit and misinformation."
There would be no National Enquirer, however, if there were no one reading it, buying it, and subscribing to it.
I have been around these parts and other parts of parts for a long time, and I have never met anyone who openly admitted to reading publications like the National Enquirer.
The headlines are always outrageous, and impossible to believe, like something out of a college humor magazine.
I know. I worked on one. But don't bother, I had them all confiscated.
"Bigfoot kept lumberjack as love slave!"
"Adam and Eve were astronauts!"
"Chris Christie thinks he's a manatee!"
I'm guessing that anyone who reads them does it for recreational purposes only. Perhaps to counteract the realities of existence. And for laughs.
But then what about the stories that have some truth mixed in? Like the "tanning mom" and the "balloon boy"?
What happens to us when fact and fiction become a meatloaf? (I like meatloaf.)
Falcon Heene, the actual balloon boy, is now 13, and is in a heavy metal band with his two brothers.
Falcon has hair down to his umbilicus, by the way.
I am in favor of creative thinking, but I am not in favor of slander, libel, or setting out to hurt feelings.
Feelings get hurt anyhow. These are times of thin skins and hypersensitivities. I'm sure that offenses are taken by some of the things I write about.
For example, I am in favor of a lengthy prison sentence for anyone who talks with their hands.
But then we would have to have prisons the size of Montana.
I can see how it might go in the wrong direction. I am tempted to make stuff up all the time.
A long line of humorists preceded me and did the very same thing. That's my excuse.
Did you know that Taylor Swift is secretly married to an Eddie Fisher impersonator?
Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those are fighting words. If this was 15th-century Europe, an insult like that might result in war. But thankfully, our world has risen above the petty, internecine power struggles of the historical European continent, guided from those stormy waters largely by the ascendance of America and its great ideas: freedom, justice and democracy.
Mr. Juncker must think his continent a paragon of Western virtue, a place too sophisticated for America's new sophomoric president-elect. Mr. Juncker wants to teach Donald Trump how Europe works.
The irony of Mr. Juncker's statement is that Europe doesn't work, and Europe doesn't know what it is. When Mr. Juncker takes time to meet the incoming leader of the free world, it will be Mr. Trump revealing to him how Europe actually works.
Europe doesn't work well right now because freedom has slipped from its lexicon. The European Union slaps regulations across its many, diverse states, believing that what works in Brussels works just as well in Scandinavia, the Balkans or the Iberian Peninsula.
In America, President Obama's administration pursued the same philosophy. With enough red tape, they thought, all of America can look and act just like Washington, D.C.! President-elect Trump's election was a repudiation of this excessive regulatory state.
Europe also claims to be a land of justice, citing as evidence its refugee policies. To be sure, justice is indeed helping the world's most vulnerable and innocent. But justice is also offering your citizenry the chance to live safe, fearless lives.
As President-elect Trump and the nation rethink our approach to refugee resettlement, that might mean leaving some refugees in safe, no-fly zones in the Middle East, where aid can be delivered more cheaply. When the conflicts in their home nations subside, these refugees can return to their homeland and rebuild their countries.
Finally, some Europeans may claim that America, in electing Mr. Trump, has taken a wrecking ball to the edifice of democracy. In reality, the election of Mr. Trump is a validation of the American democratic experiment. Our countrymen and women chose for President someone who will stand up to the special interests and lobbyists who own Washington, D.C. On Jan. 20, power in this nation will peacefully transfer to a new administration, and democracy will hold all elected officials accountable for their actions.
Europeans should know something about democracy. It's required of member states wishing to enter the union. And democracy matters just as much when a sovereign member state chooses, by popular vote, to disengage from the EU.
Some members of the EU democracy have already signaled against Mr. Juncker's haughtiness. England and France decided to forgo an emergency EU meeting to address the election of Donald Trump. Probably better for Europe to hold an emergency meeting to address the economic and security concerns besetting its own continent.
After all, Europe has known freedom, justice and democracy in the past and will know these values again. America might even be able to help, despite Mr. Juncker's contention that "in general the Americans take no interest in Europe." Again, the EU Commission president is wrong.
In 1941, when fascism threatened the continent, Americans were very interested. American blood helped restore its freedom. Hopefully, when the hysteria around President Trump subsides, the continent will take a look across the pond to see a people free of government heavy-handedness, a society pursuing justice, and a government ruled by the people, for the people.
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Windsor, represents Colorado's 4th Congressional District, which includes Castle Rock, Parker, Lone Tree, Elbert County and much of the state's eastern plains.
"The first time, it was kind of weird," he admits. "And then, the more places we went to, we ate different kinds of bugs."
For many people, that experience may just become a story to tell their kids. For Dave and his twin brother, Lars, it was an idea for a business.
"It kind of started the conversation, the gears turning, with Lars and I," Dave said.
"Why don't people in America do this?" the 2006 Arapahoe High School graduates wondered.
Lars, who had embarked on a corporate sales career after graduating from the University of Arizona, told Dave --; who had commissioned as a public affairs officer in the Marines after graduating from the University of Colorado --; that he had heard of an American startup creating protein bars from crickets.
Last fall, after Dave left the Marines and Lars left his career, they started their own company, Lithic Nutrition, with hopes that cricket-based bars and powders will soon be seen as a direct replacement for whey and soy products.
They developed recipes with the help of a local food science consultant, Erin Price, and settled on three flavors of cricket-based protein bars: banana bread, blueberry vanilla and dark chocolate brownie.
They soft-launched in July and then started a crowd-funding campaign, raising more than $12,000 on Kickstarter to bring the bars and a protein powder to market. For now, the brothers make the bars themselves in a 120-square-foot "clean room" in a small commercial space in Aurora, but they hope to contract out the process as the business scales up.
In order to do that, the Centennial residents must convince Americans that not only is it OK to eat bugs, but desirable.
But why eat insects?
"The premise behind the name `Lithic' is people have been eating bugs since the Paleolithic era," Dave said. "Our bodies know how to process them. About 80 percent of the world still eats insects regularly."
While that may be true, Western society may still shy away from eating them. The Baughs say that their target audience is the "nutrionally conscious athlete" --; including climbers, triathletes and Crossfit enthusiasts.
"That audience is typically more concerned about the quality of fuel that they're taking in," Dave said.
They tout not only a high level of protein, but other nutrients like amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, vitamin B-12 and fiber.
And raising crickets is easier on the environment than larger animals, which they hope resonates with green, outdoorsy Coloradans.
"It has the highest conversion ratio of input to output," Lars said.
"You can feed them byproducts, like barley hops and cornstalks," Dave added. "They'll almost eat anything."
They Baughs source their crickets from a farm in Thailand. They say that it takes less than a gallon of water to raise a pound of protein from crickets, compared to 2,800 gallons for a pound of beef. Crickets also have an advantage when it comes to land use.
"You can condense them into buckets, raise them vertically, compared to several acres for a pound of beef," Dave said.
They also say crickets have an advantage over plant proteins, which do not contain essential amino acids that animal proteins do.
In Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, crickets are often deep-fried and eaten as a snack. But without knowing a Lithic bar contains about 60 of the tiny critters, you would never think you were eating insects by biting into one.
"It's not like a barbecued scorpion on a stick or something like you might see in Thailand," Dave said. "We integrate everything as a powder, so you never see the insect to begin with."
There are also no pictures of crickets on any of Lithic's branding.
They have set up their tent and handed out samples at events around the area over the last few months, like the Denver Veterans Day 5K and 10K, and are encouraged by the response they've received.
"Almost 100 percent of people are at least willing to try it," Lars said. "There hasn't been as large of a barrier as we perceived there would be."
"There are a couple other (types of insects) that I thought of, based on what I was eating all over Asia," Dave said.
He said crickets are more ready-to-farm, with fewer variations than other
"There's starting to be some more bugs popping up here and there," Lars said. "Mealworms are probably going to be the next innovation."
They think that their choice of cricket is better than their competitors. They chose Acheta domesticus, or the house cricket, which they say has superior taste to Gryllodes sigillatus, or the banded cricket, in use by the small number of other U.S. companies in the same market.
"You only get one chance to prove to people cricket can taste good," Dave said.]]>
"Today in remembrance of the caring it takes to keep a family," Ryan Laber said to a crowd of about 50 people at O'Brien Park in Parker, "of the simple joys found everywhere in life, we ask that you take a piece of treasure with you. May it remind you to listen, to love and to live every day."
In days following the tragedy, the community mourned the loss and celebrated the life of Jennifer Laber and her two sons, who were found dead in her van in the parking lot of a vacant store in Lone Tree on Nov. 30. Jennifer Laber, of Highlands Ranch, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and the two boys also were shot to death. Authorities have not deemed it a murder-suicide, but there are no suspects at large.
St. Philip Lutheran Church in south Jefferson County hosted an intimate vigil Dec. 2, where about 20 people shed tears and prayed. Guests were asked to light a candle. Some candles were placed in a sandbox.
On Dec. 3, about 50 people gathered around the gazebo at O'Brien Park - the family's favorite park - to pray, offer educational support on mental health and share stories. Ryan Laber was candid with guests, recalling his wife's depression.
"She had a sickness," he said. "As a couple and a family, we learned to cope and learned to manage. We reached a point, years ago, where the darkness had subsided for a family to be born."
Depression, Ryan said, is a disease.
"Depression can alter reality and uproot every sensibility," he said.
He asked guests to open themselves to care and joy.
Ryan's brother, Josh Laber, thanked the community for the outpouring of support. A Laber Family Memorial Fund has been set up through BridgeWay Church in Denver to help cover expenses.
"Through this tragedy," Josh Laber said, "we found a whole lot of good in people."
He pointed to mental health resources at the gathering. Victim advocates were wearing blue shirts. Crisis clinicians from Colorado Crisis Services were standing in the back.
Josh Larson, a crisis clinician, emphasized how important it is for a person struggling with depression to reach out to someone. The illness can be very isolating, he said.
"Oftentimes with depression, they know what they need to do to make themselves feel better," he said, "but they can't motivate themselves to do it because they are so depressed."
Colorado Crisis Services - an organization that, according to its website, "works to provide greater access to mental health services" - has a 24/7 hotline and provides local resources for a caller, in addition to offering walk-in locations throughout the metro area. Peer specialists are available from 7 a.m. to midnight to talk about shared experiences on topics such as mental health and addiction.
"Talking about the little things with depression can often do the most," said Kyrzia Parker, also a crisis clinician.
But on Dec. 3 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, the Eagles' season concluded in the fashion Valor players, coaches and fans have become accustomed - with a state champhionship.
Valor defeated Pomona 30-14 for the Class 5A crown.
It was the seventh state football title in eight seasons in three different classifications for Valor and the second consecutive championship for the Eagles, who also beat Pomona in last season's state-title contest.
But this edition of the Eagles was distinct, according to Rod Sherman, who has been the Eagles' head coach for the past four seasons and was the offensive coordinator for several previous campaigns.
"One thing as a coach that you want is to be better at the end of the year than you were at the beginning of the year," Sherman said. "If I was the athletic director, I'd probably ask myself why we can't start playing better at the beginning of the year.
"I felt we have come a long way, more than anything, physically. Every single position, we are a lot better now than we were at the beginning of the season. Pomona was a very, very good team. This title was special through the perseverance and diligence (that) we had to show this year."
The Eagles did not drop another game after their Sept. 23 loss to Pomona en route to finishing with an 11-3 record and securing the third seed in the state playoffs. Pomona, the top-seeded team, finished 12-2.
"It feels amazing to win another state championship," said Valor senior Christian Elliss, who plays offense and defense.
Senior Will Rodgers, who like Elliss is part of Valor's linebacking corps, said the Eagles wanted to prove their grit after talk centered on how tough Pomona was at a press conference days before the game.
"Even though we are a Christian school, we're pretty tough, too," Rodgers said. "That was a chip on our shoulders."
Rodgers had three of the six Valor Christian sacks during the game as the Eagles held Pomona to 29 yards rushing. The Eagles' defense, which intercepted three Pomona passes, also had three tackles for losses.
On offense, Valor Christian senior quarterback Dylan McCaffrey completed 8-of-19 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. He led the team in rushing with 72 yards on 16 carries and one score.
"It wasn't a perfect game - if there is such a thing as a perfect game," McCaffrey said. "There were things I could have done better, a couple throws I missed here and there. Our offensive line kept battling for running yards and did a good job throughout the whole game, and then defensively, they were amazing. I can't describe how well our defensive line and secondary did."
The Eagles found themselves in an early deficit. Pomona grabbed a 7-0 lead, but then Valor scored twice in just over two minutes before the end of the first quarter and tallied 30 straight points to take a 30-7 lead in the final quarter.
Elliss caught a 61-yard scoring pass for the Eagles' first touchdown and McCaffrey's younger brother Luke hauled in a 5-yard scoring pass for Valor's second touchdown.
Elliss, who rushed for 10 yards, caught two passes for 75 yards and was in on five tackles, had an interception to set up the McCaffrey-to-McCaffrey touchdown.
"I'm not going to roll over, and our team is not going to roll over," Ellis said. "If someone had to give our team momentum, I would do it."
Jack Walley intercepted a pass by Pomona's Ryan Marquez, leading to the Eagles' initial touchdown. Hayden Courier's interception late in the game short circuted any Panther comeback hopes.
Valor Christian gained 312 yards on offense, while holding Pomona to just 209.
"I though we showed really good grit and resolve," Sherman said. "Again, I cannot be more proud of my team for something like that. It was tough to come back, but we showed heart and then, frankly, we controlled the game from the second quarter on."
He had a booming voice, a strong presence and exuded joy.
He was an entertainer, intentionally or not.
That's what the loved ones of Colorado State Patrol Trooper Cody Donahue said when they gathered for his memorial service Dec. 2. The 34-year-old husband and father of two was struck and killed by a passing vehicle while investigating a property damage accident on Interstate 25 south of Castle Rock on Nov. 25.
Donahue's funeral at the Denver First Church of the Nazarene drew a crowd of hundreds, with an overwhelming show of support from area emergency responders. Uniforms from the state patrol, Castle Rock police and many other departments blanketed the sanctuary.
"Cody, we love you, we're going to miss you," said Capt. Jeff Goodwin, who works at the state patrol's Castle Rock station, where Donahue was based.
At the front of the room rested Donahue's casket, draped in an American flag and attended by two guards at all times - their heads bowed, their arms crossed and standing motionless next to their fallen comrade.
Before the service, men and women in uniform stood in stoic salute both inside and outside of the church, near the intersection of Hampden Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.
Donahue's sister, Erin Donahue-Paynter, opened the service. It was an honor to be his sister, she said, and she knew he wouldn't like such sadness.
"I want Velma and Leila and Maya to feel all the love in this place today," she said of Donahue's wife and two daughters.
At her request, the crowd stood to its feet with applause, whistles and cheers for a minute straight.
"You gave him the family he always wanted. You were his purpose in life," she said to Donahue's wife, Velma. "He loved every part of being a dad."
Colorado State Patrol Chief Scott Hernandez described Donahue, who lived in Parker, as a tenacious team member whose service saved lives.
"I am so proud to have known Cody, and I am so proud to have worn this uniform with Cody," he said.
Goodwin said Donahue was a fixture in the Castle Rock office. His voice could be heard throughout the building. He spent time talking to his colleagues on any topic. His stories were special simply because of the way he told them.
"He was our entertainer," Goodwin said.
And, they knew he loved his family immensely. When Donahue talked about weekend plans he didn't speak using "I," Goodwin said. He used "we," whether that meant taking the family to the mountains, to the movies or tool shopping, he joked.
Goodwin noted the tough past 18 months experienced by CSP.
Authorities say Donahue was struck by truck driver Noe Gamez-Ruiz, 41, of Denver, at about 1:50 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving. Gamez-Ruiz faces charges of careless driving resulting in death, a misdemeanor, and failure to yield right of way to an emergency vehicle, a traffic infraction.
Donahue was the third state patrol trooper killed in the past year and a half. Trooper Jamie Jursevics was struck and killed by a drunken driver on I-25 Nov. 15, 2015, and Trooper Taylor Thyfault was struck and killed on Colorado 66 by a fleeing suspect's vehicle May 23, 2015.
Longtime friend of Donahue's, state patrol Trooper Jeff Gowin, recalled some of his favorite memories with Donahue before breaking down into tears.
Recently, Gowin was hit by a Taser in their ongoing "torture agreement" in which the two agreed to play practical jokes on each other.
"Because (Donahue) leaned over and said, 'I'm not going to do this alone am I?' "
It got the crowd laughing.
In another instance, Donahue the entertainer had a video of him slipping, sliding down a hill and catching himself on a guardrail while on a call, and he showed it to anyone who would watch.
Donahue was the first to criticize and laugh at himself, Gowin said.
"He did have his faults," Gowin said. "He was clumsy. He was stubborn."
Again, to the crowd's laughter, Gowin went on to describe his friend's loyalty and giving spirit. Mostly in the past week, he heard Donahue described as genuine.
"He really liked to share his light," Gowin said in an emotional end to his speech. "I'm going to miss you brother."
Nearly 100 people attended the meeting and 30 residents spoke during the public comment period. Ten were in favor of the project and 20 opposed it. One local businessman who is against the project brought up what he called possible conflicts of interest involving members of town council.
Supporters expressed hopes the hotel will bring more revenue and tourism to downtown from travelers visiting family members or touring companies performing at the PACE Center. Some expressed hope that decreased parking on Mainstreet would require visitors to walk through the downtown area instead of parking in front of a business, then leaving, creating what one called a "city atmosphere."
The property sits on the eastern side of downtown, at the intersection of Victorian Drive and Mainstreet.
"It's a beautiful plan, it's a beautiful building, but I feel the location is wrong," said Lisa Monette, a 14-year resident of the townhomes on the eastern edge of the property.
Another townhome resident, Sherika Hagan, said it took 30 minutes to get out of her parking lot for last week's tree-lighting ceremony. She fears traffic will get much worse with a 51-room hotel next door.
Opponents to the plan disagreed with the plan's recommendation by planning department staff and said the building's architecture is inconsistent with the historic center zoning. Others voiced concerns about increased traffic, decreased parking and potential conflicts of interest between members of town council and the developer, Mike May, a member of the applicant, Mainstreet Pier, LLC, and Mars Hospitality, LLC.
Joe Oltmann, owner of Villa Parker and FuNuGyz pub, pointed out that Councilmember Amy Holland works for Mars Hospitality, and said May's wife and companies contributed to the election and re-election campaigns of Councilmember Debbie Lewis. Another opponent to the plan said after the meeting that Councilmember John Diak does financial consulting for Mars.
On Dec. 2, Diak told the Parker Chronicle that since Oct. 7, 2014 he has been the investment adviser for the Mars Hospitality 401(k) plan. Since inception, Diak said he has received $269.80 in advisory fees paid from the plan. He also stated he is not directly employed by any of May's companies nor does he have a financial interest in the hotel project.
Wendy Aiello, a spokeswoman for Mars Hospitality, confirmed via email that Holland was hired by the company in the summer, and said that Holland has recused herself from all discussions and decisions concerning the project.
The email also stated that Mars Hospitality "proudly supported Debbie Lewis' campaign. A donation of $500 dollars was made in support of her continued good work for Parker." That was for her re-election campaign this year.
Total contributions from Mars Development, Mars Hospitality and May's wife Traci totaled $1,500 in 2012, according to a report of contributions filed with the town.
Neither Holland nor Lewis were immediately available for comment.
After public comment ended at the Dec. 1 meeting, Chief Planner Patrick Mulready and Town Attorney Jim Maloney reminded the planning commissioners they were prohibited from considering issues like parking or traffic, and had to vote based strictly on whether or not the plan met criteria in the town's master plan.
Planning Commissioner John Howe said the plan met the criteria, and voted in favor. Many in the crowd began leaving as the other commissioners explained why they were approving the plan, some of whom shouted their frustrations on the way.
"It's a site plan meeting sure," one resident said, "but what about the people?"
Town council will hear the first reading of an agreement between the Town of Parker and Parker Authority Reinvestment to authorize the hotel on Dec. 5. The following week, council and the PAR will hear the second reading and make its final decision to approve or deny the plan.
Preliminary evidence shows Jennifer Laber died from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound and her two sons, Adam, 3, and Ethan, 5, died from a single gunshot wound each, according to Sgt. Tim Beals, of the Lone Tree Police Department.
A timeline of events released from the police department shows that Laber purchased a Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun at about 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 29. She then picked her sons up from school between 1:30 and 2 p.m.
Officials aren't calling the case a murder-suicide, though Beals said police are not looking for any suspects.
"We just aren't ready to put that label on it yet," Beals said at a Thursday news conference.
The handgun purchased by Laber was found inside the vehicle, officials said. The manner of death for Adam and Ethan is still pending investigation by the Douglas County Coroner's Office.
"In these situations, it is so critical that we have every piece of evidence we can find," said Douglas County Coroner Jill Romann.
Laber was last seen picking up her two children from Bear Canyon Elementary School in Highlands Ranch at around 2 p.m. She had not returned home to the area of North Hampton Court and Hibiscus Drive.
Laber and her sons were reported missing at approximately 8 p.m. on Nov. 29, according to a news release from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
At the time law enforcement was notified, there were no red flags, said Chief Deputy Steve Johnson, of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
"We certainly did not see this horrific ending that this case has come to today," Johnson said Nov. 30.
Laber's husband, Ryan, is not a suspect and is cooperating in the investigation, officials said.
A passerby found the vehicle in the parking lot of the vacant Sports Authority on County Line Road and called police at about 7:50 a.m. on Wednesday. The van was found near a loading dock-type area, officials said.
Beals said officials won't speculate on a motive.
"Anything that possibly led up to this are things we are certainly looking into," he said.