Year in Review – Pt.1

From making music in an old tank in Rangely to determining the future for the old elementary school in Meeker to the 50th anniversary of Colorado Northwestern Community College and three Meeker teams making it to the DestinationImagination (DI) nationals, the first six months of 2013 were busy in Rio Blanco County.

From making music in an old tank in Rangely to determining the future for the old elementary school in Meeker to the 50th anniversary of Colorado Northwestern Community College and three Meeker teams making it to the DestinationImagination (DI) nationals, the first six months of 2013 were busy in Rio Blanco County.

RBC I A Dec. 20, 2012, notice from Kent Walter, field manager of the Bureau of Land Management’s White River Field Office in Meeker, sent to all BLM grazing permittees (more than 85), drew a large crowd to the Rio Blanco County exhibition hall on New Year’s Day. According to grazing advisory board member Mike Lopez, stock growers would like justification for why the letter was sent to all permittees and they want Walter to withdraw the proposed decision and meet with permittees individually before implementing “temporary changes” in grazing uses to include “a minimum 50 percent reduction in grazing use from June 1, 2013 through Feb. 28, 2014,” as part of the Notice of Proposed Decision reads. T. Wright Dickinson, president of the Colorado Cattleman’s Association,and Wyoming attorney Dan Frank suggested all stock growers protest and request a meeting before the Jan. 7, 2013 deadline “to avoid any bad final decisions.”

• When it comes to purchasing fresh produce for around one-third the grocery store cost, count Rangely and Meeker residents in.
That’s what the Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op brings to Rio Blanco County participants every other Saturday.

• A controversial proclamation made by the City and County of Denver regarding the potential connection between protecting the supply of water pulled from the Colorado River Basin for the Front Range and the future of oil shale research, development and production sparked a speedy response from Rio Blanco County’s commissioners.
As one of their final official actions in 2012, the Rio Blanco County commissioners unanimously approved a proclamation in response to the City and County of Denver.

• Nine dancers from Meeker traveled to Florida during Christmas break to perform with 300 dancers and 500 high school band members during the halftime show of the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla.

• A reception for outgoing Rio Blanco County commissioners Ken Parson and Kai Turner was held Monday, the day before commissioners-elect Jon Hill and Jeff Eskelson were sworn in by RBC Clerk Nancy Amick.

• Rangely District Hospital staff began providing some services at its new facility Saturday afternoon after the building passed a final inspection and received its certificate of occupancy Friday.
Hospital staff transferred long-term care patients and inpatients to their rooms around noon on Saturday, while the emergency room and most ancillary services opened around 2:30 p.m., RDH Chief Executive Officer Nick Goshe said.

• A Rangely business owner lost her inventory and employment but was left with the remaining loan when a fire burned the building housing The Patch Supplies, an oilfield supply business, on New Year’s Day.

• Jock Waylon Thacker, 21, who was charged with robbery and theft of Mountain Valley Bank in Meeker last spring, appeared in court Jan. 4 only to have his case continued until June 2013.

• After an investigation by the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, a judge has ordered the Town of Rangely to conform its election process and procedures in future elections to comply with all constraints and requirements of the Colorado Municipal Election Code for the next eight years.

• A component of a fire suppression system relief valve at the Western Rio Blanco Recreation Center failed Thursday night, causing flooding in the building’s weight room, racquetball courts and a storage closet.

• The Rocky Mountain Area of Chevron’s Mid-Continent Business Unit gave $20,000 to the RE-4 school district at its board meeting Jan. 15. Chevron operations supervisor Luke Allred and plant operations supervisor Kelly Brown presented the check, which will help fund an upper-level math and science faculty position, to Rangely Junior-Senior High School principal Berry Swenson Tuesday night.

• The Pioneers Medical Center board of directors is excited to announce they have selected a location to build the new medical facility. The Meeker Terrace property adjacent to the Meeker airport has been chosen as the future home to Pioneers Medical Center, Meeker Family Health Center and the Walbridge Memorial Wing.

• After a year of work on engineering and design aspects to modify its water treatment plant, the Town of Rangely began demolition and construction for the first phase of that renovation Monday, Jan. 14.

• The Northwest Colorado Broadband Local Technology planning team met Jan. 15 in Craig. The team is chaired by retired Moffat County Commissioner Audrey Danner. Representatives of a number of broadband fiber optic cable private sector service providers were present along with local government representatives, telecommunications consultants, information technology directors and community-based broadband coalition representatives.

• Rio Blanco County commissioners unanimously approved a Special Use Permit (SUP) for Mercury Towers to construct a 105-foot wireless telecommunication tower on private property owned by Joe and Kelly Conrado.

• When Rangely animal shelter manager Vicky Pfennig learned that Cesar Millan, made famous by the National Geographic Channel’s show “Dog Whisperer,” would be in Salt Lake City last Friday, she wasted no time gathering people to attend the show with her. Irene Kilbaine from the Meeker Cat Coalition, Susan Turgeon, Fern Arnn, and Pfennig watched Millan work with two dogs, one with food aggression and the other with toy aggression, who changed their behavior when Millan approached them without emotion and communicated what he wanted.

• Cushioned black chairs flank the walls of a waiting room at the Early Education Center. A dark wood desk stands in the corner, phone and computer placed neatly on its surface in anticipation of future calls and emails.
Across the hall from the waiting room is the “baby boutique.” Soon, shelving will give order to stacked diapers, polka-dotted sleepers and fleece blankets.
It’s all coming together in the three-room suite housing Rangely’s New Eden Pregnancy Care Services, scheduled to open in March.

• Gerald and Twila Morris were named the Citizens of the Year for 2012 by the Meeker Chamber of Commerce at the organization’s annual business meeting and awards ceremony held at the Fairfield Center Feb. 1. Alicia and J.C. Watt accepted the award for the Large Business of the Year, while Dean Hubble and Peggy Shults accepted the award for Rio Blanco County Abstract Company after they were named the Small Business of the Year.

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