Looking back at the first six months of 2007

January
n Portions of the White River, blocked by ice jams, flooded the River Camp RV Park west of town, forcing 18 of the 20 parked trailers to evacuate.
n The first order of business for the county in 2007 was the swearing in of new officers, including Joe Collins as a re-elected Rio Blanco County commissioner and Ran Cochran as newly elected county coroner. Commissioner Ken Parsons took on the role of chairman of the board of commissioners. Kent Borchard stepped in as the county attorney.
n The Meeker School District received more than $35,000 from Encana, ConocoPhillips and Shell to install digital cameras on entrances and hallways in all four of the district’s buildings.
n In a move considered unwelcome by many county residents, RBC opted to close the Rangely landfill in order to cut costs.
n A big storm left more than 20 inches of snow in Meeker, according to unofficial reports, followed by freezing temperatures that added to the flooding problem along the White River and parking challenges downtown.
n Four elementary wrestlers from Meeker placed in a national wrestling championship in Utah. Devon Pontine, T.J. Shelton, Robbie Jensen and Chase Rule all placed in the top eight at the U.S. Folkstyle national wrestling tournament.

February

n Trenton Schindler, a sophomore at Meeker High School in 2007, established a new Guinness world record for the longest handstand on a “snowskate” during the X Games in Aspen.
n CNCC’s new president, John Boyd, announced plans for many new programs planned for the fall 2007 semester.
n Minnie Ann Nielsen, Emily Peterson, David Roberts, John Cottrill and Hyrum Byers of Rangely High School’s speech team competed at the state speech festival in Denver.
n Colorado State Senator Jack Taylor and Colorado State Representative Al White attended the Rio Blanco County Stockgrowers Association’s annual banquet. The association was established in 1884.
n Wrestler Devon Pontine, a Meeker third-grader, won the Colorado State Youth Championships in Castle Rock, Colo.
n Danny and Sandy Medina of Rangely received the “business of the year” award from the Rangely Chamber of Commerce for their improvements made to the Budget Host, Adora Inn and Subway. Alliance Energy owner Sam Tolley accepted the “industry of the year” award for contributions throughout the Rangely community.
n Axel Urie, the 15-year-old son of Steve Urie of Rangely, was found OK after spending the night on the Grand Mesa during a blizzard. He became separated from his family members while snowmobiling.
n Nearly 50 grandparents were honored by Meeker 4-H’rs at the annual senior/grandparent appreciation dinner.
n The Meeker Cowboys basketball team took first place in the Northwest League District 5 conference.
n Three Rangely Panther wrestlers qualified for the state tournament in Denver: Devon Rose, Stephan Boleng and Nick Halcomb. Rose finished fourth in the 103-pound bracket. Boleng finished fifth.
n Meeker senior Joe LeBlanc, with wrestling teammates Jared Doll, Matt Moody, Josh Prescott, Mick Mobley and Roston Steiner qualified for the “Big Show” in Denver.
n LeBlanc won his third consecutive state wrestling title at the 2007 Colorado State Wrestling Championships at the Pepsi Center. Steiner, Prescott and Moody all finished fourth. The Cowboys finished sixth as a team.
n In an effort to improve snow removal procedures, the Town of Meeker adopted a new parking ordinance requiring alternate side of the street parking on Main Street between Seventh and Fifth streets and Sixth Street between Park Avenue and Market Street.
n The Rangely Middle School eighth-grade girls basketball team capped off an undefeated season with a league tournament.

March

n The Cowboys basketball team won the District 5 championship with a come from behind overtime victory against the Grand Valley Cardinals. The Lady Cowboys lost to the Paonia Eagles in the semifinals of the district tournament.
n The Barone Middle School wrestlers won the Craig Invitational tournament. Rangely Middle School tied for third.
n A “supersized” load blocked Colorado State Hwy. 13 about 15 miles south of Meeker. The 618,000 pound piece of equipment was on its way to the Piceance Basin.
n The BLM moved into their new location at 220 E. Market St., a building they share with the U.S. Forest Service Blanco Ranger District offices.
n The Rangely Chamber of Commerce began a series of “First Friday” network meetings as a way for business owners to get together informally and share ideas for promoting their businesses.
n The Cowboys basketball team earned a trip to the state tournament with a win over Nucla at regionals, and finished fifth at the 2A Colorado State Championships in Pueblo with wins over Cripple Creek/Victor and Grand Valley. 66-51.
n Meeker High School seniors Kristin Schaefer and Kurtis Dunbar were honored as IBM’s “heroes of the week” for their volleyball and football achievements.
n The Town of Meeker took citizen complaints about downtown parking seriously, changing several blocks of parallel parking downtown to diagonal parking to accommodate more vehicles.
n Liz Turner, support services supervisor at the Blanco Ranger District, was presented the “citizen of the year award” by the Rio Blanco Masonic Lodge.

April

n Meeker High School presented “Oklahoma!” for its spring musical production.
n Rangely Boy Scout Troop 150 advanced five scouts to the rank of Eagle Scout: Israel Forbes, Evan Forbes, Michael Morton, Peter Morton and Mark Hinaman.
n The annual “Evening in the West” night of cowboy poetry and song filled the auditorium at Meeker High School once again.
n Williams Energy announced plans to build a natural gas plant in the Piceance Basin.
n The oldest living twins in Rio Blanco County, Dean and Dale Burke, turned 79 years young in April.
n EnCana Oil and Gas, Inc., contributed the largest private donation to date for the information technology electronic medical record program at Pioneers Medical Center.
n At its only home meet of the season, the Lynn Whiteman Invitational, the Meeker Cowboys tracksters earned a team win against seven other schools.
n Chevron donated $500 to Rangely High School for operational needs.
n Former Meeker police officers Rachel Luchenko and Christopher Thompson received awards of valor and merit from Chief Bob Hervey regarding a domestic violence call in July 2006.
n The Rangely Middle School track team earned 44 ribbons at the Craig track meet.
n Local artisans in Rangely established a new arts council.
n BMS seventh-grader Toby Casias broke four track records at home in Meeker.

May

n Prom royalty for both county high schools included Rangely’s king and queen Joel Dorsey and Brittany Skelton. Roston Steiner and Beth Hollowed were announced king and queen for Meeker’s 2007 prom.
n The Colorado District Court in Denver ruled in favor of energy giant Exxon-Mobil in its dispute over use taxes with Rio Blanco County.
n Rangley golfer June Dotson got her first hole-in-one at Cedar Ridges from 86 yards away on the No. 7 cup.
n Barone Middle School teacher Rory Wilson was chosen to join a team of research scientists for 56 days in the eastern Indian Ocean.
n Colorado Governor Bill Ritter attended the cultural and heritage tourism regional meeting. The Rio Blanco County Historical Society was presented with two $10,000 checks, one from the county lodging tax board and one from ExxonMobil, to make improvements at the Thornburgh battle site on RBC Road 15.
n The Panther bus took its last trip across the state with the Rangely track team heading for the state meet in Pueblo.
n Forty students were graduated from Rangely High School in May. The following week, Meeker High School graduated 39 seniors from the class of 2007.

June

n PMC emergency room staff had a surprise delivery in the form of little Chris Jimenez. The hospital does not typically deliver babies but in an emergency situation it can be done.
n The Smoking River Pow Wow, a joint project between the White River Ute Tribe, the forest service and other entities, originally planned for July 2007 was postponed until 2008.
n More than 100 attendees had their fill of fish and fun at the annual White River Community Club fish fry.
n Travelers on Colorado State Highway 13 endured yet another summer of road construction delays between Meeker and Rifle.
n For the second year in a row, Meekerite Sheridan Harvey won the Colorado State Freestyle wrestling tournament in Denver. The two-time state champion competed along with five others from Meeker.
n The Meeker School District employed Jason Hightower as the elementary school principal after Gay Cotter resigned unexpectedly.
n Rangely Post Office employees collected more than 600 pounds of food for the Rangely Food Bank.
n The Meeker Chamber of Commerce successfully installed a new “clock tower” at the corner of Sixth and Main streets on the courthouse lawn. The corner includes new benches and information kiosks about the town’s history.
n J.C. Watt and Dave Fiscus won the two-man best ball golf tournament at the Meeker Golf Course.
n Close to 1200 people attended the June 14 Moon Lake Electric Association’s annual meeting in Rangely.
n Two teenagers were killed in an explosion 68 miles northeast of Meeker near Chapman Reservoir. The victims, one from Phippsburg and one from Yampa, died when an oil storage tank at a well site exploded.
n Pioneers Medical Center reported a 40 percent increase in emergency room visits.