About five years ago, David and Arlyn Alderdice purchased a Zimbabwean-style marimba, a large, flat, table-like instrument with big keys that, when struck with a mallet, resonates with beautiful sound. Musicians and teachers, they wanted an instrument they could play at belly-level for their unborn baby boy.
It's been a long, grueling process, replete with problems and high costs and overseen by two town managers and a town administrator. But Paonia's one-million-gallon Clock Water Treatment Plant is expected to go on line shortly after the new year.
Paonia placed seven wrestlers and scored 135 points to finish third at Delta.
The Eagles sent three wrestlers into the championship match.
Hotchkiss scored 104 points to finish eighth out of 13 teams at the Panther Invitational.
At 170, junior Jace Peebles was runner-up.
Hotchkiss extended its early-season dual record to 4-2 Friday on a 42-35 win over Moffat County.
The Bulldogs won three matches by pin, including Landen Mayberry (113-pounder) over Hunter Fredrickson in 3:58; Presley Pene (132-pounder) over Isiaih Herod in 4:56, and Teagan Sommers (195) over Daniel Cruz in 2:39.
Cedaredge High School's basketball team had one game scheduled for the past week. That game was played in Nucla on Saturday, Dec. 8. Cedaredge won the girls contest, 58-14, with help from a 30-0 second quarter, which initiated a running clock for the remainder of the game.
For the third consecutive year, the Cedaredge Bruins won the team title at the annual Delta Panther Invitational wrestling tournament.
The Bruins won four championships. At 126, sophomore Trey Geyer (8-1) had three pins for the day, winning the title match by fall (3:31) over Delta's Ben Koch (6-2).
Delta scored 121.5 points to place fifth at its own Panther Invitational Wrestling Tournament.
Delta sent three into the championship match.
The Paonia girls basketball team remains undefeated after it opened conference play last Thursday with a 62-16 win over visiting Caprock Academy (Grand Junction).
With a game-high 10 points that included two three-point goals, Carly Horn was named "Player of the Game."
After finishing second in Class 2A last February, Paonia returns six state qualifiers to the wrestling mat. The Eagles are third in preseason Class 2A rankings, as determined by On the Mat.
The Hotchkiss girls basketball team is off to a good start, handily winning its first three games of the season.
The Bulldogs opened the season at home Thursday with a 53-15 win over Nucla, and on Friday held the Ridgway Demons scoreless in the first period and to single digits in three periods for a 44-23 win at the annual Norwood Shootout.
Hotchkiss head wrestling coach Richard Flores expects between 15-18 wrestlers to be certified for the season.
Five state qualifiers return to the mat this season: seniors Presley Pene, 132, and Sergio Campos, 138; junior Jace Peebles, 170; and sophomores Traycer Hall, 145, and Robert Cochran, 126.
One varsity senior. If a high school coach sticks around long enough, it's bound to happen at some point. After 26 years of coaching basketball, it's Scott Rienks' turn.
Three Hotchkiss Bulldogs earned Class 1A Western Slope All-Conference football honors for 2018, and two were named to the All-Conference first team.
In nine games, junior running back Jace Peebles rushed for 1,081 yards and seven touchdowns in 136 carries, 278 yards on kick returns, and 81 yards on punt returns for a total 1,440 all-purpose yards.
A little more than two weeks after District Court Judge Steven Schultz ruled that the Town of Paonia mishandled an open records request made by a former trustee, the town board met in executive session on Nov. 27 to discuss the outcome. The stated purpose of the closed meeting was to receive legal advice from town attorney Bo Nerlin specific to the case, which the town filed in 2017 against former trustee Bill Brunner on behalf of the Custodian of Record.
Twenty one North Fork area non-profits recently became the first to receive grants from the West Elk Community Fund.
At a Nov. 28 celebration at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts, WECF founding members awarded a total of $21,200 in grants, ranging from $500-$1,500, to North Fork area non-profits representing the arts and culture, community, education, the environment, health, and human services.
Hotchkiss opened the season at home with a 69-19 win over Nucla. With a three-point buzzer shot by Will Scarlett to end the half, the Bulldogs held a comfortable 41-11 lead.
The Paonia Eagles opened the basketball season at 2-0 and with a new head coach. Tim Esgar replaces Chase Roeber, a PHS graduate who stepped down last spring after seven seasons.
Roeber had a 125-54 win-loss record and two state appearances.
The Town of Paonia will purchase a liquid spreader for spreading a sand/magnesium chloride mix in three key areas of town. Purchase of the $3,000 spreader was approved with the 2019 town budget.
When Paonia potters Sam Brown and Tara Miller married in the mid-1980s, they imagined selling their handmade pottery and living a simple life. She was educated in literature, he had a background in zoology, natural resources and recreation, and they shared a desire to visit the world's great mountain regions.
When Emery Townsend first began making swift completion of his appointed rounds as a highway contractor for the U.S. Postal Service in Somerset, a gallon of gas cost 24 cents, cars with big tail fins were popular, and Slinkys and Hula Hoops were the top selling toys. That year the Soviet Union launched the first successful spacecraft, and the long-running television show "Perry Mason" debuted.
Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn that can change one's course forever. For Mark and Joei Malone, that unexpected turn happened two years ago on a road trip to explore the possibility of relocating from Summit County to Montrose.
It's been many years since a full-length musical production came to the Paonia High School stage. Musicals take work and talent. They take training and dedication, costumes, sets, a good stage manager and crew, and hours and hours of rehearsal.
Just how is community pride measured? In Hotchkiss, look no further than the Hotchkiss High School "H." For almost 65 years the 100-foot-tall, 60-foot-wide hillside letter has signaled that one is in Bulldog territory.
If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, then you might say that Ryan Strand's artistic journey begins with picking up a single stick.
Strand is the artist behind the many stick art sculptures found in the North Fork area, including in yards, businesses and inside The Paradise Theatre.
Paonia United Methodist Church Pastor Steve Dunkel is a third-generation coal miner, but he's not from the North Fork area. He grew up in Creede. At age 26 he was called to serve the United Methodist Church, and a year ago he was assigned to Paonia.
The story of the Lewis & Clark expedition is among the most well-known and studied voyages of all time. It has been told and retold from the human perspective. But what did the dog see?
It's hard to imagine that a 15-year-old farm girl living on the side of a mountain outside of Crawford could become a top 14 finalist on the glitzy hit show American Idol. But Jeneve Rose Mitchell believed she could, and so did her family.
Since 1992, photographer Celia Roberts has crisscrossed Colorado and the country documenting the nation's migrant and seasonal farmworkers. As a result, her life has taken on new meaning.
Eleven-year-old Haylee is busy de-stemming and slicing bright red strawberries for lemonade-strawberry slushies. As she carefully cuts with a chef's knife she explains how she helps her mom prepare dinner at home.
Clinton Clock is a strong believer in community service. He taught his family by example.
These days, it seems, each of us knows someone who needs a helping hand. Fortunately, local communities are willing to reach out and help.
Since the early part of the 20th century, seeing movies on the big screen has been an American tradition. The big screen came to Paonia in October 1928, when an enterprising citizen named Tom Poulos opened the Paonia Theatre on Grand Avenue.
Before the trains arrived, before high-paying mining jobs, and long before construction of the Paonia Project, the industrious new arrivals to the North Fork area planted fruit trees in the rich soil.
"We have such an amazing and rich history when it comes to fruit-growing in the area," said Jaylene Park, a native Paonian whose grandfather was part of that history.
When it comes to music, David Alderdice wants his students to say "yes" to opportunity.
A world-class percussionist and session drummer, Alderdice has collaborated with musicians from throughout the world.
To say that Katherine Colwell has authored many books is a misnomer.
To explain her numerous works, including her showpiece, "Red White and Blue in Utah 1988," forget that books are made of pages, bound between two covers, read left to right, front to back.