Lee Marts Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3571 of Delta hosted the VFW District 11 meeting and district awards banquet Sunday, Feb. 11. VFW and Auxiliary members representing nine posts and seven auxiliaries on the Western Slope honored the district winners of three contests sponsored by the VFW and Auxiliary.
The Patriot's Pen is an essay contest open to middle school students throughout the United States. The Voice of Democracy is an essay and oral presentation contest open to high school students, and the Teacher of the Year contest honors teachers from three levels, elementary, middle school, and high school, throughout the United States. Winners of local contests are honored locally and advance to the district level. Winners are honored at district award ceremonies and the first place winner advances to the department (state) level. They are again honored at that level and compete to advance to the national level where students can receive scholarships up to $30,000.
District 11 winners of the Patriot's Pen contest were Sarah Teel, first; Katie Donohoe, second; and Megan Jenkins, third. Sarah advanced to department where she placed second in the state of Colorado.
District 11 winners of the Voice of Democracy contest were Melinda Huspen, first; Veneice Miller, second; and Carisa Rhiness, third. Melinda advanced to department, where she placed fourth in the state of Colorado.
District 11 Teacher of the Year Winners were Kris Allen, high school; Jennifer Mayrose, middle school; and Cristen Chermak, elementary school. All three have advanced to department where their placing has not yet been released.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.