2010: The Year in Review

Hickenlooper was greeted by Sandra Besseghini, who introduced him to the group of Rio Blanco County Democrats, which included several residents from Rangely. “Do I like his chances?” Besseghini said. “I think they’re pretty good. I think he will have broad appeal.”

Hickenlooper was greeted by Sandra Besseghini, who introduced him to the group of Rio Blanco County Democrats, which included several residents from Rangely. “Do I like his chances?” Besseghini said. “I think they’re pretty good. I think he will have broad appeal.”
July ~ September
• Mike Ehredt’s run across the country — he’s covering one mile in honor of every U.S. Soldier who has died in Iraq — took him through Meeker last weekend.
• Doug Pfau and the Meeker School District have officially parted ways. Monday night, the Meeker School Board approved a settlement agreement that will pay Pfau, who was the superintendent for one year, a severance of $77,000, plus unused vacation and sick days. Pfau had signed a three-year contract when he was hired.
• World War II veteran Charles Devereaux of Meeker was honored during Memorial Day services. “That was something,” he said.
• For a Tea Party rally in Rangely, Gordon Byers drove his 1927 Ford Model T truck, which he’s owned since 1967.
• Madi Shults will be princess and Natalie Carroll will be first attendant for the 2011 Range Call Royalty. The queen will be Kaysyn Chintala. The court will be recognized at the Range Call rodeo and formally crowned in August.
• Meeker couple Dave and Enid Steffen received a 9Who Care Award in recognition of their community service, presented by 9News anchors Mark Koebrich and Adele Arakawa, who emceed the awards banquet.
• The Rangely swim relay team of Marie Morton, Kelsey Prosser, Torie Slagle and Tessa Slagle. Morton and Torie Slagle have been swimming together for 10 years.
• Lori McInnis (formerly Smith), wife of Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis, returned to her hometown of Meeker for Sunday’s Range Call parade.
• Sisters Mary Cunningham and Ellen Nieslanik will work together during a transition period as Ellen steps down as director of the Meeker Classic and Mary, “Mayme,” takes over.
• Mountain Valley Bank’s Bruce Clatterbaugh, president of the Meeker branch, is retiring and will be replaced by Tawny Halandras.
• Meeker’s Bob Klenda won an international award for his saddle-making.
• Colorado cavers have been notified that all Colorado, South Dakota and most Wyoming public caves with the U.S. Forest Service will be closed, starting July 19, to protect bats from White-Nose Syndrome.
• Nathan Bradfield has entered basic cadet training at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in preparation to enter the first academic year at the academy.
• Ran Cochran, who currently holds the job of Rio Blanco County coroner, has submitted his resignation and is planning a move to Wasilla, Alaska.
• While the future of the old Meeker Elementary School is unclear, one thing is certain. Rio Blanco County isn’t interested in the building.
• Along with construction of a new facility, Rangely District Hospital will be adding a new doctor. Dr. Barry Bialek will soon join the medical staff at RDH.
• “There are a lot of things we’re working on so we can start (construction) this year,” Nick Goshe, hospital CEO, said July 21. “We’re not quite ready yet (to break ground).”
• The Rangely swim team finished ninth in the Western Slope Championship and advanced five swimmers to the Colorado State Championships this weekend in Grand Junction. The next weekend the team will compete at the Seasonal Club Championships, which pits the best summer club swimmers in the state against each other. Rangely is the two-time defending state champion for small teams at this meet. Competing at state, from left, will be Brennan Noyes, Marie Morton, Geli Brown, Andrew Morton and Patrick Scoggins.
• Cody Pfau recently became a high school All-American after placing third in the Junior National Tournament in Fargo, N.D. Pfau, who qualified for the Colorado State Wrestling Championships and was the second girl to ever win a match in the state tournament as a freshman for Meeker last season, won four of five matches in Fargo.
• Trey Morris, who will be a junior at Meeker High School, participates in a summer high school golf tour with the Ace Foundation. Morris has accomplished a feat no other Ace high school golfer has achieved: two tournaments won in one season. Morris came out on top at the Craig tournament in June and at the Montrose tournament in July. He placed third at the championship qualifier July 26, earning a spot in the championship tournament Aug. 2 in Grand Junction.
• Jeff Rector was seriously injured in an accident June 24 at the rock crawling park in Rangely. After being taken to Rangely District Hospital, he was air-lifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction with numerous injuries. A 10-year-old boy, who was a passenger in the rock-crawling buggy, was unharmed. The boy was wearing a seat belt. Jeff was not.
• John Hickenlooper,Denver mayor and Democratic candidate for governor, made a stop in Meeker on Monday during a campaign swing through northwest Colorado and addressed a crowd of 40 some people at the Meeker Hotel.
• Dan Maes, Republican candidate for governor made a surprise visit to Meeker on Monday night, showing up at a Tea Party cookout at City Park.
• Phil Dawson of Jerome, Idaho, had a layover in Meeker last week on his horseback ride across the country to raise money and awareness for children, like the one in the photograph he is holding, with long-term illnesses who need or have gone through an organ transplant.
• Rio Blanco County’s American Legion baseball team finished fourth at last weekend’s state tournament in Craig, winning one game and losing two.
• “It was timely and good for the team,” Meeker golf pro Jim Cook said of his most recent hole-in-one during a pro-junior tournament in Rifle. “We took a junior team down there and finished second out of 14 teams.” Cook, who teamed up with local junior golfers Austin Edinger, Hunter Fellows and Trey Morris, aced the 132-yard, par-3 15th hole. “It went right over the flag about six feet and rolled back,” Cook said of his fourth lifetime ace.
• Shawn Bolton was the lowest vote-getter back during the Republican County Assembly in April and had to petition his way on to the ballot, with his name appearing last among the three Republican candidates for county commissioner. But he came out on top during Tuesday’s primary election.
• Dr. Albert Krueger, chief of staff at Pioneers Medical Center, was the winner
in a three-way contest for the county coroner’s position.
• Dr. Shane Tong is the newest doctor to join the medical staff at Pioneers Medical Center and Meeker Family Health Center. He joined the staff July 20.
• Roni Bibb of Meeker, Mrs. Colorado International 2010, participated in nationals July 17 in Chicago. Asked how she did, she said, “We call it the 11th Club, if you don’t make the top 10. I was a member of the club. But I still got to make my platform national — the effects of domestic abuse on children. … They are the silent victims.”
• Devon Rose, a 2010 graduate of Rangely High School, contracted a confirmed case of hantavirus, but was expected to make a full recovery.
• Gabe Smither is the new vice president of lending at Mountain Valley Bank, filling a position vacated by Tawny Halandras when she moved up to president Aug. 1 to replace Bruce Clatterbaugh, who is retiring.
• Jason Hightower, principal at Meeker Elementary School, spent the past two years involved in the effort to, first, pass a bond election to fund construction of a new school, and then oversaw the transition from the old school to the new one.
• Six men arrested last week as part of a coordinated drug bust made their first appearance in district court.
• Allan Jones of Meeker, a rancher and retired veterinarian, was appointed in March by Gov. Ritter to the 11-member Colorado Wildlife Commission.
• The Rangely Women’s Golf Club retained the Rangely Cup after a 12-12 tie last weekend in a tournament with the men’s club at Cedar Ridges Golf Course. Teresa Broderick, June Dotson, Cori Elam, Trilby Elam, Linda Gordon, Lavella Justus, Leilanie Morgan, Janet Mackay and Rhonda Cash played.
• WREA celebrated the company’s 65th anniversary.
• More than 600 people attended the first Rangely Rock ’n’ Bull last Sunday night at Columbine Park. The event was a fundraiser for scholarships for student athletes at Colorado Northwestern Community College. “I couldn’t have asked for more,” said Jed Moore, coach of the new CNCC rodeo team, who organized the event.
• Carl Rector was the grand marshal for the Septemberfest parade in Rangely. Carl
was honored for his years of community involvement.
N Dakota Rowlett, who was graduated from Meeker High School in May, was involved in an automobile accident early Monday morning in Texas, where he attends Stephen F. Austin State University at Nacogdoches. He was driving from Center to Nacogdoches when the accident occurred.
• Sgt. Roy Kinney, investigator for the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office, found this skull in the evidence room “As near as we could tell, previous evidence custodians had tried to backtrack and find out how it got there. We believe it may have been plowed up in a field and a rancher brought it in the ’70s.” Archeologists from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management examined the skull and determined it was a Caucasian adult male between the ages of 18 and 25. The cause of death was not known.
• Big-game outfitter Dennis Rodebaugh, 69, of Meeker, and hunting guide Brian Douglas Kunz, 54, of Augusta, Wis., were indicted by a federal grand jury Aug. 24 on charges of conspiracy and violating the Lacey Act, the Department of Justice, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Colorado Division of Wildlife announced.
• Suzy Applegate of Plymouth, Calif., and her dog Buzz won the top prize at the 24th annual Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials last weekend at Ute Park.
• Ken Harman has been appointed PMC’s new CEO by the hospital’s board of trustees. He will assume his new duties Oct. 4.
• The BedRock Depot in Dinosaur provided lunch Sept. 14 to Peak to Peak Rallye, a group of sports car enthusiasts who get together once a year for a scenic drive through Colorado’s mountains.
• Coley and Kellie Turner were the winners in the toy assembly challenge at the Fall Festival this year. Contestants had to assemble a children’s bicycle in the fastest time and test ride it. First prize was an iPad.