Back to school bash…

A back-to-school bash was put on July 16 by Rangely Christian Church and the New Creation Church. It was the second annual event, and the kids received free haircuts and won school supplies by playing carnival games. They were also fed hot dogs, popcorn and other goodies so no one left hungry. The event was held at Elks Park amid great weather.

Why did the turkeys cross the road…

Taking advantage of the early morning lull, little traffic and even using the newly painted crosswalk at 6th and Park streets in downtown Meeker, these three turkeys decided Saturday morning was a good time  to cross the road on their way to somewhere safe to spend the day.

21 Meeker youths take part in triathlon at Meeker Rec Center

Several area youth participated in the ERBM Recreation & Park District’s Road Rash ‘n’ Splash Kids’ Triathlon on Saturday. Back row, left to right, are: Kate Lockwood, Hailey Knowles, Emma Luce, Colby Clatterbaugh, Abel Ketchen, Brendan Clatterbaugh and Brink Casey; middle row from left to right: Addison Knowles, Reese Clatterbaugh, Rayna VonRoenn, Raegan Clatterbaugh, Jacey Follman, Tyler Sanders, Connor Rose and Chakwah Brink; and front row, from the left: Trent Sanders, Jonan VonRoenn, Tucker Chinn, Sam Conrado, Ellie Hossack and Dexter Chinn.

MEEKER I Twenty-one youth from Meeker and the surrounding areas competed in the ERBM Recreation & Park District’s Road Rash ‘n’ Splash Kids Triathlon on Saturday at the Meeker Recreation Center. Each of the individuals and teams competed in swimming, biking, and running.

Marquez, Bullen, Sansteds win Rangely scramble golf tournament

There were 44 golfers playing in a 27-hole four-person team scramble Saturday on Cedar Ridges Golf Course in Rangely, seen above. Marty Marquez, Bubba Bullen and Luke and Mark Sanstead recorded the winning score with an 86. The Rangely course will be busy playing host to tournaments for the next three weeks, beginning with the Rangely Open this weekend, then a 27-hole two-man tournament on July 30 and the Couples Classic on Aug. 6-7.

RANGELY I Forty-four golfers played in the annual 27-hole scramble at Cedar Ridges Golf Course last Saturday. The four-person team from Grand Junction took top honors.

Treasure hunt project piques students’ interest in discovery

Parkview Elementary School students practiced using metal detectors at Spencer and Sarah Wagners’ downriver property in May as part of a class unit on micromagnetism and a hands-on approach to history and science. More than $6,500 and equipment was donated by the community when fourth-grade teacher Dana Forbes sought out funds for a learning unit that emphasized exploration and discovery. A Treasure Hunting Club has been active through the summer, and more teaching with the equipment will continue into the fall.

RANGELY I Dana Forbes always learned by doing. These days, he would have been dubbed a kinesthetic or tactile learner. But as a child in the 1970s, Forbes understood the best way to learn something was simply to explore his way through it.

Blair Fire not growing; fire crews downsizing

The Blair Fire, located about 20 miles west of Meeker and about three-quarters of a mile north of Highway 64, was reported to be at 70 percent containment, having consumed 1,140 acres with no increase Sunday or Monday. Some of the firefighters left the area on Tuesday while others remained to monitor the fire.

RBC I The firefighting efforts on the 1,140-acre Blair Fire, located 20 miles west of Meeker, are scaling down as fire activity wanes. However, a small unmanned aircraft (or drone) being flown by private individuals was spotted near the incident command post.

Softball for the ages…

Jim Overton is arguably the oldest player in Meeker’s adult coed softball league, sponsored by the ERBM Recreation and Parks District, but the “old veteran” still has some pitches in his bag as he was able to strike out the batter (Trina Zagar-Brown) in the photo. League games are played Mondays and Wednesdays at Paintbrush Park, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Meeker’s volleyball girls hit courts in Parachute, see good competition

Meeker High School volleyball players have been gathering for open gym since the beginning of July and they recently played 12 matches in Grand Valley. Janae Stanworth, who will start her third year as head coach, said her players “have grown, are more experienced and playing with more confidence,” and she can’t wait for the season to start.

MEEKER I After a few open gym practices, several Meeker High School volleyball players formed two teams and traveled to Parachute to play several matches in preparation of the upcoming season, which head coach Janae Stanworth looks forward to.

Rangely Elks Club seeks help with plan to renovate trap, skeet ranges

A $47,000 Colorado Parks and Wildlife grant will help fund a renovation of Rangely Elks Club’s trap and skeet range this fall. The Elks Club is seeking local in-kind contributions to meet grant requirements and will outline current needs during an open house at the trap range at 6 p.m. on Friday.

RANGELY I With the help of a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) grant, the Elks Club Trap Range will undergo a major facelift scheduled for completion late this fall.

RBCHS honors heritage of Meeker Fire Department

The Rio Blanco County Historical Society honored the Meeker Fire Department with a historical presentation on Sunday afternoon. Seven firemen, past and present, attended the lunch and presentation, and they included, from left, Glen Wiggington, Dale Frisby, Brian Conrado, current Assistant Fire Chief Vaughn Moody, Patti Merriam (EMT), Joe Fennessy and Gary Merriam.

MEEKER I Rio Blanco County Historical Society’s regular quarter meeting on Sunday was anything but regular as members and guests enjoyed a picnic potluck at the beautiful Downtown Plaza before moving to the Old West Heritage Culture Center for a brief business meeting and a historic presentation on the Meeker volunteer fire department.

Shults repeats as state champ in 4-H livestock judging test

Madi Shults of Meeker pulled off a rare repeat as High Individual Overall at the 2016 Colorado 4-H Livestock Judging State Contest at Colorado State University in late June in Fort Collins. Shults placed in all six of her judging categories.

MEEKER I Recent Meeker High School graduate Madi Shults pulled off a rare repeat as High Individual Overall at the 2016 Colorado 4-H Livestock Judging State Contest, concluding her Colorado 4-H Livestock Judging career.

House fire in Rangely…

A fire destroyed the Hennerman residence at 757 W. Main in Rangely on July 5, but no one was home at the time and no one was injured, according to the Rangely Police Department on Tuesday. The speculation was that the blaze was started by a snapped power line although that was not confirmed by the police department.

For four days, Meeker to play host to annual OHV rendezvous

Meeker will be a mecca for operators of off-highway vehicles beginning today with the 2016 Wagon Wheel OHV Rendezvous sponsored by the Meeker Chamber of Commerce and Rio Blanco County. This will be the fifth annual rendezvous, and is expected to have the highest participation.

RBC I Meeker will be buzzing with off-highway-vehicle activity this week as Meeker hosts the 2016 Wagon Wheel OHV Rendezvous sponsored by the Meeker Chamber of Commerce and Rio Blanco County. Riders from across the United States will be attending the Fifth Annual Wagon Wheel OHV Rendezvous in Meeker from today through Sunday with base […]

Rangely Rib Cook-Off…

Inflatables and a rib cook-off took up most off the day with a Surf and Turf dinner to follow while the Greg Simpson Band from Utah entertained. The rib cook-off was well worth the entry as first prize was $300, second was worth $200 and third place was worth $100. From left to right are: third-place winner Brad Casto, first-place winner Andy Key and second-place winner Charlie Lohse.

Blunt, Turner, Webster, Chintala win Range Call Ranch Rodeo buckles

Aaron Webster, Hallie Blunt, her brother Coley Turner, and J.C. Chintala won the prestigious Ranch Rodeo belt buckles in Colorado’s longest-running annual rodeo, the 131st celebration of Range Call. This year’s champions, who finished second the past three years, were the only team to win two events this year and secure the buckles.

MEEKER I A rodeo was the reason cowboys gathered in Meeker to celebrate Independence Day in 1885 on the town’s square. Now, 131 years later, rodeos are still a big draw, including the Meeker Ranch Rodeo, where local cowboys compete in five events for bragging rights as well as the prestigious Range Call Ranch Rodeo […]

Plein Air art show: Success from thin air; local woman wins People’s Choice award

Meeker artist Pat Sheeran-Daggett sits in Meeker Public Library’s new courtyard with her “People’s Choice” award-winning plein air art. Her piece, titled “View of the Valley,” was painted from Meeker’s Ute Park and depicts the David Smith Ranch looking across the White River and up Flag Creek. The award came with $300 sponsored by the Elk Mountain Inn. Her award was one of the six monetary awards given at the Meeker Chamber of Commerce’s Plein Air Meeker 2016 competition, which involved 15 artists, 50 works and 12 art buyers.

MEEKER I Pat Sheeran-Daggett has been a resident and professional Meeker artist for 22 years. For some time, she gently encouraged the Meeker Chamber of Commerce to sponsor one or more art events to bring more art appreciation, artists and maybe even more visitors to Meeker.

Rangely Color Run…

The New Eden Color Run was the center’s fourth annual event taking place during Rangely’s Fourth of July celebration, which was held Friday, Saturday and Monday. The 5-kilometer run to raise funds for for the pregnancy care center had 47 participants and raised $820. First place winner was Patrick Tolley with a time of 22:12; second place went to South African Juan David with a photo finish ahead of third-place Raelynn Norman. Tolley won a Smart Watch while David won a Hydro Back Pack.

Commercialization of our national parks could be a bad move

PullQuote

RBC I When I was a child, I remember passing through any number of national park entrance stations in our family station wagon. I remember the historic stone kiosks where the rangers greeted us and my excitement as we began the slow drive toward the greatest wonders of nature. Visiting a national park felt a […]

Rector grateful for support in commission race, looking to learn particulars

Jeff Rector

RANGELY I Rangely businessman Jeff Rector says he is most grateful for the support of Rio Blanco County Republicans who voted for him in last week’s GOP primary election, when he defeated incumbent Republican Jon Hill for the District 3 Rio Blanco County commissioner seat.

Meeker Fire Board takes time in search for new department chief

Doug Overton

MEEKER I The search for a new full-time Meeker fire chief continues as the Meeker Fire Board cautiously pursues the right choice to fill the vacancy left by the departure of former chief Marshall Cook.

Fireworks…

Rapidly fired rockets make for a great sight in the sky, and the rockets shot over Kenney Reservoir were even better when reflected on the lake’s vast expanse as they are fired on the far side of the reservoir. The display marked the end of the Rangely Fourth of July celebration, which had activities on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

RBC ‘Cup’ won by the golfers from Meeker Golf Course

Meeker Men’s Club President Larin Crase, surrounded by most of his teammates, raises the “Cup” over his head in victory, after they defeated Rangely golfers 34-22 in the 12th annual Rio Blanco County Cup. The “Cup” will now be displayed in Meeker’s clubhouse for the next year.

MEEKER I Only once in the 12-year history of playing the Rio Blanco County Cup, has the home golf team given the “Cup” to the visiting team, and this was not the year either.

Two Rangely teens head to FBLA national competition in Atlanta

Phalon Osborn and Savannah Neilson

RANGELY I Rangely freshman Phalon Osborn and junior Savannah Neilson will travel to Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Nationals in Atlanta, Ga., this week following their qualification at the state event in Vail in April.

A crowd at fishing day …

The hills were alive on Tuesday morning with the buzz of this plane making the rounds around Meeker and dropping fairly low when possible as pilot Lanny Coulter of Coulter Aviation applies mosquito repellant to the properties around Meeker. The spray keeps the number of mosquitos down but also may help to prevent the spread of the West Nile Virus into Rio Blanco County.

Meeker’s annual family free-fishing day was a huge success as close to 200 men, women and mostly children took part in the fishing event Friday at Meeker’s Circle Park, located across the bridge from Meeker Town Park. Colorado Parks and Wildlife stocked the pond with 300 fish for the event and assisted the boys, girls […]

The TANK…

After a few short rain storms and a great pulled pork dinner from Giovanni’s in Rangely, a large crowd of those present gathered inside The TANK to listen to singing, moaning, chanting, different instruments, a variety of voices and sounds to demonstrate the wide range of sounds that could be made within. The sounds can be described as a pure, eerie, well blended, unique variety of sounds both high and low and with tones rarely heard by one’s ears.

Killing skeeters…

Range Call brings four days of fun events to Meeker

The annual Fourth of July parade down Main Street in Meeker draws a big crowd of all ages to celebrate. This year’s theme is “Cowboy Pride.” The parade will begin Monday, July 4 at 10 a.m.

MEEKER I For 131 years, the Fourth of July has been a big deal in Meeker and Rio Blanco County. This year is no exception as the 131st annual Meeker Range Call gets underway on Friday and continues with all kinds of activities—inside and out—through the culmination with fireworks at dusk on Monday, the Fourth.

Spring Cave work done to protect bats, raise awareness; visits urged

Stephanie Bouchey is one of two summer interns at Spring Cave in eastern Rio Blanco County until mid-August. The interns, from the Geological Society of America, are providing education and outreach to cave visitors, explaining why a bat gate is being installed at the cave and ensuring that visitors are not bringing in clothing and gear from areas known to be infected with White Nose Syndrome, taking a deadly toll on bats in the United States and Canada.

RBC I As part of the South Fork Area Improvement Project, the White River National Forest will be revamping the South Fork Campground’s parking area, constructing a trail and removing graffiti in Spring Cave. The work will be accomplished with the assistance of a Colorado Correctional Industries crew and mitigation funding from the closure of […]

Softball…

Winter Blazon, who plays for the defending coed softball champions Ace Trucking, is pictured getting a hit during a recent game at Paintbrush Park. The ERBM Recreation and Parks District sponsors the coed league, hosting games on Mondays and Wednesday in June and July. Ace Trucking remains undefeated and the team to beat.

Elk…

Standing out in the middle of short bushes on the far side of the White River from County Road 8, which runs east out of Meeker, was this lone cow elk on Sunday afternoon. She stood out among the darker green leaves about 50 yards up the hill on the far side of the river. Little game was visible on Sunday afternoon as the critters may have just been enjoying a relaxing day in the sun.

Success of area youth turkey hunt due to great partners and mentors

Three Colorado youth participants pose together during their youth turkey hunt in Northwest Colorado, organized by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. From let to right are: 12-year-old Jordan Breck of Grand Junction, 8-year-old Peter McDonald of Fort Collins and 10-year-old Judd Harvey of Meeker.

RBC I Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s long-running efforts to help youths experience the joys of hunting continued this spring as CPW District Wildlife Managers Mike Swaro of Craig and Bailey Franklin of Meeker, along with fellow officers and volunteers, all took time from busy schedules to give seven lucky young hunters memories they will not […]

Wet ride…

All kinds of Rio Blanco County terrain was encountered by the 160 drivers in the 2016 Wagon Wheel OHV Rendezvous held July 14-16. There was rock terrain, the  flats, the good trails and  the bumpy trails. However, in this case, Meeker riders Jeremy Ahrens and Kaylee Ridings found the wet terrain as they took their OHV ride through Miller Creek, located up County Road 8 east of Meeker. There were all kinds, sizes and colors of OHVs taking part in the rendezvous and riders were from mostly Colorado and surrounding states. A number of events, including a concert, dinners and a poker run were held to give the OHV riders something else to do between runs.

Young pheasant…

Not normally associated with northwestern Colorado, this young pheasant was spotted recently in a yard in Rangely. There are pheasant hunting ranches in Rio Blanco, but most of those are in the Flat Tops in the western part of the county with imported birds. The youth of this bird appears it may be one that may have hatched here.

Baby bunnies…

It is known that rabbits are prolific breeders, and these mid-summer babies were spotted recently in a yard in Rangely. After a quick nap together they were gone. Raptors in the area are also busy looking for young bunnies to feast on, but the survival of these youngsters is unknown.

Rise in fawn deaths evens out good years; all other game thriving

RBC I It is beginning to sound like a broken record—but that is a good thing for the stewards of our wildlife and for area hunters. All of the big game that can be found in Rio Blanco County—with few exceptions—had a fourth-straight winter where conditions were nearly ideal. That means plenty of precipitation, temperatures […]

Government agencies to host four special access hunts in Grand Valley

RBC I Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Western Colorado Wildlife Habitat Association is sponsoring four, limited special access archery hunts in the Grand Valley this fall.

Open house Tuesday for WREA

MEEKER I The remodeling is complete, and the offices of the White River Electric Association are now reopened at the regular corporate headquarters, located at 233 6th St. as of Monday. Regular office hours for the business are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The public is also invited to help celebrate […]

Letter to the Editor: Hill thanks voters

Dear Editor: I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted for me in the primary election. At the same time I want to thank all the voters, as you have exercised your right to determine the direction our county will follow for the next four years.

State ready for wolves to start moving in

RBC I Due to a recent increase in unconfirmed sightings and reports of wolves in Colorado, in addition to confirmed sightings over the past several years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say it is increasingly likely that the growing wolf populations and range in nearby states will eventually expand across state lines.

A Look at the West: There is a wide role for military veterans in conservation

RBC I Stacy Bare came home from Iraq in 2007 with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress, unsure of where he fit into the world, and unmoored without the military. Liquor and cocaine seemed the best means of coping, and he often thought of suicide, until a fellow Army vet took him rock climbing […]