Rector glad to be home for the holidays

It takes a lot to keep Peggy Rector down.
But a serious infection put Rector in the hospital in Denver for three weeks.
The good news is Rector, a former Rio Blanco County commissioner and Rangely mayor, is on the mend.
“I’m feeling a lot better, thank goodness,” said Rector, who had artificial knee surgery the first of December. She came home Dec. 6.
Actually, Rector has had two surgeries in the past three months.
“On Sept. 22 they took the old artificial knee out, and I had to be on antibiotics for 40 days to get rid of the infection,” Rector said.
She was pretty much confined to bed for about two and half months.
“It was tough,” Rector said. “I had never been down like that in my life. I was supposed to be there (in the hospital) for five days, and I ended up being there 22 days. When they opened that knee up, the infection spread throughout my body. They had to do what they call an antibiotic infusion.
“Where the infection came from, I don’t know,” said Rector, who was in a lot of pain. “Nobody knows, even the doctors.”
Rector is getting around better these days. She uses a walker and she is doing physical therapy at Rangely District Hospital.
“I’m just so pleased I can do the physical therapy here,” said Rector, who also plans to start swimming at the Meeker Recreation Center, since the Rangely Rec Center is being remodeled.
Rector said she has received a lot of support.
“Everybody, I tell you, has been so good,” she said. “People have brought food in, and my husband (Carl) has been great. He’s been the chief cook and bottle washer and laundryman. It’s all turning out good, but it has been quite a process.”
Eventually, Rector will have to have her other old artificial knee replaced.
“I will have to have the other one replaced,” Rector said. “Carl wants me to do it pretty soon, but, to be honest, after this deal, I’ve got to have some time.”
Peggy, here’s wishing you a speedy recovery. Knowing you, you’ll be back on your feet in no time, I’m sure.
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Kay Nickson, Rangely Animal Shelter manager, said she has been receiving calls since last week’s announcement of a $1,000 donation by the Rangely Chamber of Commerce.
“I’ve had seven calls … and the paper has only been out for one day,” Nickson said. “Besides those that have stopped me on the street.”
For information about adopting an animal, you can call Nickson at 629-1314.
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I received a follow-up call about the report of possible seismic activity in the area.
“After doing some checking,” the caller said. “I found out that it was probably an afternoon blast at Colowyo. It was about the right time, and they had a particularly big blast that day.”
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Despite initial reports to the contrary, the Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy District will continue to be partner in the water testing of the White River.
“Yes, Yellow Jacket will continue to fund the water flow (quantity) gauging stations that they have historically funded,” said attorney Trina Zagar Brown. “Yellow Jacket dropped three sites down river that were actually in the Rangely Water District last year, as a way to try to cut some costs. The bill from USGS has gone up exponentially in the last few years.”
For years, Yellow Jacket had funded both quality and quantity gauges.
“Then, in 2008, it had to drop water-quality testing,” Brown said.
In the past, the Yellow Jacket District solicited contributions from oil and gas companies to help subsidize the cost of water testing.
“These contributions were essential … however, last year, no oil and gas companies made contributions,” Brown said. “The Yellow Jacket Board feels strongly that the testing gauges and this data are critical information. However, it simply can’t pay for testing that exceeds its total annual revenue.”
Brown said other entities have made up the shortfall.
“Other water districts have picked up on the quality testing gauges to keep the program whole and to keep the data coming in,” she said.
Meeker Town Administrator Sharon Day agreed.
“This information is absolutely key to making sure that we keep water quality in the White River,” she said.
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Luke Schafer of Craig, the northwest campaign coordinator for the Colorado Environmental Coalition, presented a copy of letter to the Meeker Board of Trustees at its Dec. 10 meeting.
The letter, addressed to Carol Browner, head of President-elect Obama’s energy and environment team, urged the incoming administration “to take action to reverse the current policy to facilitate fast track industrial development of oil shale resources on federal lands in Colorado.”
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Bud Striegel, president of W.C. Striegel Inc. of Rangely, was featured on the cover of the fall/winter issue of a trade publication called Groundbreaker.
“W.C. Striegel ranks as a premier pipe-laying company in the West,” the article said. “Striegel crews are experts at working in rock and timberlands, and even straight up the sides of mountains.”
Bud and his brother, Randy, vice president, represent the second generation of the family business, started by their father, W.C., in 1945. Their mother, Nelma, served as secretary-treasurer for many years and was “the brains behind this business,” Randy said in the article.
Bud’s daughter, Teri Wilczek, is office administrator for the company.
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One person, after reading my column about trying to quit smoking, offered to hypnotize me as a way to cure my cravings.
“The subconscious mind is so awesome,” she said. “It can make smoking taste like lemons or whatever. Instead of needing a cigarette, you’ll want water and fresh fruit. With hypnosis, and true intent, there is an 89 percent success rate.”
True intent, now that may be the tricky part.
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Mitch Bettis, Herald Times owner/publisher, and his family were back for a few days during the holidays. I hadn’t seen Meg, Mitch’s wife, since their wedding, which I was in. Our paths took us in different directions, though Mitch and I always stayed in touch. And I had never met their son, Jackson, 6, or daughter, Addison, 14 months, who was born after the Bettises moved to Arkansas to be closer to family. Jackson was well known around town, regularly tagging along with mom or dad to the bank or the post office. His celebrity status is intact, as evidenced by the number of people who came up to him to say hi and give him a hug during the family’s visit to Meeker.
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So many thoughtful people have been bringing in goodies for Christmas. I even had one of my neighbors leave something at my front door. For a single guy who doesn’t know how to cook, this has been like hitting the jackpot. You gotta love the holidays.
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I was privileged recently to spend a morning with Santa Claus. Or at least one of his helpers. Thanks, Gerald, for giving so many of us a reason to believe in the spirit of Christmas.
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Happy holidays, everyone.

Jeff Burkhead is editor of the Herald Times. You may e-mail him at jeff@theheraldtimes.com.