Highlands Ranch Herald Douglas County, Colorado • Volume 25, Issue 49 October 25, 2012 A Colorado Community Media Publication ourhighlandsranchnews.com Former teacher’s retrial set for March Lavoie’s website speaks of ‘bitter twisted lies’ By Ryan Boldrey firstname.lastname@example.org The only thing easy about the Chatfield Corn Maze is getting lost. The popular Denver Botanic Gardens attraction will have its final day on Oct. 28. MAZE DAYS PHOTOS BY RYAN BOLDREY If it’s fall in the south metro area, it’s time for families to flock to the Chatfield Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch. There might not have been a nicer day to do so than Oct. 21, with the Broncos idle and temperatures in the 70s. Just one weekend remains to find your way through the Denver Botanic Gardens’ popular labyrinth. Admission is free for children 2 and younger; tickets for others range from $4 to $10 and can be purchased at King Soopers locations in advance or on site while the maze is open Oct. 26-28. For more information, go to www.botanicgardens.org. Navigating through the crowds can provide as much of a challenge as the labyrinth itself at the Chatfield Corn Maze. Service puppy a real class act Dog in training accompanies Highlands Ranch HS student By Jane Reuter jreuter@ourcoloradonews. com Five-month-old Flynn pads through the halls of Highlands Ranch High School with a calm that belies his age, his furry blond brow wrinkled in what appears to be studious concentration. In fact, his teenage trainer believes he’s scanning the floor for scraps of food. It’s among the most challenging aspects of bringing a guide dog puppy-in-training to a high school. But a high school — rife with sudden movements, noise, food, odors and the loving hands of students — is an ideal place to train an animal that must learn to fil- ter distraction, believes junior Melissa Petrick. Petrick, whose family has raised two other guide dogs, also likes the novelty. “I bring him to school because it’s fun,” she said. And not only for Melissa. Despite a vest that clearly identifies Flynn as a trainee, many students can’t resist the lure of a puppy. “Some kids don’t understand they’re not supposed to pet them,” Melissa Petrik said. “But most of them are pretty good about him being here.” Flynn is a candidate for future service with Guide Dogs for the Blind, a Californiabased organization that provides guide dogs to the blind or visually impaired. He is the third guide dog the Petrick family has raised, each time returning the dog to the agency after about a year of housing, training and loving it. The young dogs then are Puppy continues on Page 13 Former Mountain Vista High School English teacher and wrestling coach Frank Lavoie went back to court in Douglas County Oct. 17, as procedures began for the retrial of his sexual assault case that resulted in a hung jury last month. Lavoie, who is accused of having sex with Lavoie a 17-year-old student while employed at the school, will begin the four-day retrial on March 19. Testimony in the first trial lasted three days, and after close to two days of deliberation by an indecisive jury, Judge Paul King ruled a mistrial. In that first trial, the accuser testified for nearly two hours about her relationship with Lavoie and four different instances where she allegedly had sex with him in 2009 during her senior year of high school. LAVOIE BIOGRAPHY Lavoie admitted having sex with the “When he wasn’t outside accuser, but stated collecting bruises and he did not do so scrapes as a kid, Frank used his time to read as until she had gradmuch as possible. The uated and turned fantasy genre was espe18. This was the cially intriguing and as same story he gave he built his collection, he about two other began to imagine that former students one day he could create from Virginia who his own worlds.” flew in to testify on — Excerpt from bio on behalf of the proswww.frank-lavoie.com ecution as character witnesses. Both women from Virginia testified they had sex with Lavoie while he was their teacher in 2004 and 2006, but neither came forward at the time. A Google search in 2011 by one of the women alerted her to Lavoie’s troubles out West, and each woman reached out separately to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office not long after that. Lavoie taught in Virginia from 2003 until 2007 before being hired by the Douglas County School District. He resigned from Mountain Vista in April 2011, two months after the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office investigation began. Moving forward in life and in court Since resigning from his position at the school, LaVoie has been working on a writing career, and has completed the Lavoie continues on Page 13 Melissa Petrick checks on guide puppy Flynn during her algebra class at Highlands Ranch High School. Photo by Jane Reuter Printed on recycled newsprint. Please recycle this copy.