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Police officers, teachers recognized in proclamations

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The Town of Cedaredge Board of Trustees met May 17 at the Cedaredge Civic Center. Mayor Eugene Welch proclaimed May 13-19 as National Police Week to pay tribute to local and national law enforcement. Following the proclamation, the Cedaredge Police Department demonstrated the skills of its new K-9, Tigger, in finding drugs and capturing suspects.

Police chief Dan Sanders explained the training process for K-9 units -- the dog uses a "cone" method to isolate the scent of various illegal drugs and point to the location, expecting vocal praise or a toy as a reward.

When pursuing suspects in a criminal situation, the dog is trained to bite and hold the suspect and wait for the handler or officer to arrive. Sanders explained that Tigger's methods are not rooted in viciousness but rather in seeing the pursuit as a game; the dog is trained to restrict the suspect rather than harm him.

In addition, Welch proclaimed May 2018 as Teacher Appreciation Month and May 26 as Heritage Day to kick off the summer season of historical events in Cedaredge, starting with the opening of Pioneer Town.

Assistant director LaDonna Gunn presented an oral report for the Delta County Public Library District. The summer reading program offers students prizes for reading set numbers of hours to avoid the "summer slip," in which they lose academic progress through summer break. The theme for this year is "Libraries Rock." Students will receive a free T-shirt for completing the program.

Gunn discussed concerns about the funding for the library district and the impending risk of closing libraries throughout the county. There are currently five libraries in Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Delta and Crawford. Gunn emphasized that the libraries provide valuable resources for their communities, and she hopes taxpayers will take action to protect the district from closing individual libraries.

The board also approved a change order in the amount of $80,464 for the Highway 65, to change the scope of the project to include SE Centennial Avenue. The change order called for six-inch pipe and council asked if it would be possible to use four-inch pipe because that is the size of the existing pipe on Centennial. Public works co-director Scott Lock provided an oral report of the project's progress and the completion of new drinking fountains in the Cedaredge Town Park.

Police chief Dan Sanders presented an oral report for the Cedaredge Police Department.The county received a grant for a mental health responder, and the K-9 unit has begun working. The department also identified the individuals who vandalized the bleachers at Cedaredge High School. The students who spread toilet paper in the trees will help set up and tear down graduation. The cost of repairing the paint on the new bleachers exceeds $5,000 and the students involved have been expelled. All are from Delta High School, the school district confirmed.

The board also approved the Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center's request for a special events liquor permit from 4 to 11 p.m. at its grand opening event June 15 and 16.

The board did not choose to take any mandatory measures regarding the drought situation but hopes citizens will conserve water throughout the summer.

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