Up and down el Rio Blanco: Chambers continue annual traditions

For years, the Meeker and Rangely chambers of commerce have hosted annual events to gather, recognize, socialize, network, feed and entertain their members and the tradition continues in Meeker tonight and in Rangely Saturday.
Meeker will build on last year’s meeting. This year, guests will be treated as celebrities, walking the red carpet into the event themed a “A Night at the Premier.” Instead of a sit down dinner, chamber members and their guests will feast on the “Taste of Meeker,” featuring food stations catered by local restaurants: The Bistro on Park Avenue, Fiesta Guadalajara, Ma Famiglia, Meeker Cafe and Stage Stop. The Meeker Lions Club will operate a cash bar and guests will judge the desserts.
Tonight’s entertainment, Meeker’s Got Talent II, will feature 10 local acts competing for cash prizes.
McKenna Kummer, The Brow Crew, Alema Atoufa, Bob Eggebraten, Elissa Quiteras, Kalene Weinholdt, Anna Todd, Scott Bird, Kaylen Edwards and Amanda Kendall and Tiffany Rosendahl will sing, dance, play guitar, saxophone and piano. The celebrity guests will vote for their favorite performer to win $500.
The Rangely Chamber of Commerce’s annual Crab Crack is the hottest ticket in town. The annual all-you-can-eat crab dinner is sold out. This year, it only took one day to sell more than 250 tickets. James Stinson of Sodexo will cater the event, where beer and wine will be sold. Joe Sears will provide the entertainment for the evening.
Both chambers will recognize outstanding businesses and Meeker will present a volunteer of the year award.
My wife and I plan to attend both events and we hope to see you there.

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The Rio Blanco County Stockgrowers met last week, first hosting a meeting to hear updates from representatives of the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, county commissioners, and newly-appointed state representative Jean White, among others. The meeting was followed by the annual dinner and dance at the Fairfield Center.

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It’s nice to see some of our taxing district boards meeting and committing to better communication and building stronger relationships. I attended a meeting between the Meeker School District and Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Parks Districts Tuesday. Both entities laid issues on the table and agreed they want to build a stronger relationship and open lines of communication. The two taxing districts know they are stewards of public funds and share common goals.
The WRBM Recreation and Parks District and the Rangely School District have been communicating and are also working on what is best for local taxpayers.
It’s a great start and hopefully many good things will come from the memorandums of understanding and intergovernmental agreements the districts work out with each other.

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The high school winter sports seasons are winding down. Rio Blanco County wrestling teams will compete this weekend in Palisade at the state-qualifying regional tournament. Meeker’s and Rangely’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will play their final league games in the next two weeks, vying for the best seeds in the upcoming district tournament. The county’s middle school girls’ basketball teams will compete in the annual season-ending league tournament this Saturday in Meeker.

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The Jerry Snider Jr. murder trial had been in the jury’s hands since getting the case late Feb. 2. The 12 jurors started their sixth week Tuesday but were deadlock and a mistrial was declared. Local attorney Joe Fennessy said Rio Blanco County jurors take their duties very seriously and are very thorough. “It’s part of their make up,” Fennessy said of Rio Blanco County jurors.

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Thanks to everyone who offered kind words of support and positive feedback regarding my column last week. I look forward to seeing everyone up and down el Rio Blanco.