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• Snowmobilers gathered at the Lost Creek trailhead for the first annual “I Ride With James” benefit poker run. Funds raised by the 113 riders and 133 poker hands played go toward the James Sizemore Memorial Scholarship fund. Monies are used for a local scholarship and to assist RBC Search and Rescue with the purchase of additional equipment.
• The Deserado Mine reached a safety milestone Dec. 31, 2011, completing a full calendar year without a lost-time accident. This extends the mine’s safety streak by 80 days from its Oct. 12, 2011, accomplishment of 365 days without a lost time accident. The new record is unprecedented in Deserado’s history which began its operations in 1982. The record is a rare accomplishment in underground mining.
• Several veterans from local VFW Post 5843 presented a proposal to place a bronze statue of a modern-day soldier on the south sidewalk of the courthouse lawn and Rio Blanco County commissioners had no objections to the project.
“We’re a patriotic county,” Tom Kilduff, post commander, told Rio Blanco County commissioners Shawn Bolton, Ken Parsons and Kai Turner.
• Thanks to generous support from EnCana, a delegation of 4-H judging kids represented Rio Blanco County in Nashville, Tenn., at the NCBA convention. Maclaine and Madison Shults and Sam Baylie from Meeker, and Layne, Landon and Kaylee Mecham from Rangely, along with Bill Ekstrom, Bonnie Long and Shane and Kathy Mecham made the long trip starting Jan. 30.
• A special meeting was called Monday, Jan. 30 for superintendent Susan Goettel to inform the board that the addendum had been negotiated and a draft budget prepared by Jim West of Vanir (the Meeker School District’s owner’s representative), including the additional cost to the district. With the contract addendum signed and the inventory and protection of carpet and fixtures still in the Meeker Elementary School completed Wednesday, The Neenan Company began repairs Feb. 1.
• Twenty-one people participated in the fourth annual Meeker Benefit Cribbage tournament held last Sunday in Mountain Valley Bank’s community room. After everyone played five games, the top eight point-earners including Clint Shults and B.I. Johnson, Cliff Chapin and Kelly Sheridan, Anna Todd and Steve Harman and Donna Bloedel and Craig Thiessen, advanced to the championship round. Harman beat Shults for the title and Donna Bloedel beat Cliff Chapin in the consolation championship game. The tournament raised more than $350 for the James Sizemore Memorial fund, which benefits the Rio Blanco County Search and Rescue.
• “The questions range from ‘what is a sheepdog trial’ to ‘what is a range call’ to ‘at what altitude do deer change to elk’?” Meeker Chamber of Commerce president Cassie McGuire told the assembled crowd at the chamber’s annual dinner held Feb. 3. After an entertaining performance by the Meeker High School show choir, McGuire addressed the group assembled at the Fairfield Center, pointing out the business — and busyness — that takes place every day at the chamber’s Market Street office.
• The Panthers wrestling team qualified four wrestlers for the Colorado State Wrestling Championships held in the Pepsi Center last weekend and returned with one placer, senior heavyweight Patrick Brown. “I was very proud of Patrick and all our kids,” head coach Derek Stolworthy said of one his senior co-captains. “Patrick wrestled well, his matches were close and he was in every match.”
• “I was proud of Justin. It takes a lot of character to come back and win the consolation bracket when your goal is to win it all,” Meeker wrestling coach J.C. Watt said of the feat accomplished by Cowboy senior Justin Hardy. Hardy ended his high school wrestling career as the 2A consolation champion at 170 last weekend in the Colorado State Wrestling Championships.
• The town of Meeker’s board of trustees named Scott Meszaros as their choice for the new town administrator, effective April 2. Meszaros replaced longtime administrator Sharon Day, who celebrated 30 years working for the town in 2011. “The board of trustees deliberated heavily on the candidates before making their final choice — taking into consideration education, experience in municipal government, community involvement, leadership experience and being a ‘good fit’ for Meeker,” said Mayor Mandi Etheridge.
• A new logo started appearing on all Colorado Northwestern Community College publications, ads, documents and signage. A celebration planning committee was formed at the beginning of the year and approved the logo design. The 50th anniversary logo will appear in addition to the college’s original logo.