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Pat Sunderland
DCI News Editor
Pat Sunderland

Recent Articles

Students join Hotchkiss trustees at monthly meeting

Students join Hotchkiss trustees at monthly meeting

Student leaders from Hotchkiss High School joined the members of the Hotchkiss Town Council for the trustees' monthly meeting -- a tradition that is repeated in the spring, when the trustees meet at the high school and award two scholarships to graduating seniors.

Student body president Nolan Egging opened the meeting with a quote from John F. Kennedy, while Mayor Wendell Koontz selected a quote from Ronald Reagan appropriate to Veterans Day.

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Golf course encounters hazards

The winter months are normally quiet at Cedaredge Golf Course, but not this year, with the resignation of golf pro Larry Murphy and the replacement of the course superintendent.

Murphy, who just completed his 10th year of employment at the golf club, had initially planned to enter into the town's retirement transition plan.

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Neighbors locate missing Cedaredge woman

Neighbors who joined the search for a missing 78-year-old woman say it's "truly a miracle" she was found in an extremely wooded area nearly a mile from her house.

Carol Gamble was reported overdue from a walk at about 2 p.m. last Saturday.

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City commits $50,000 to DCED

The City of Delta is matching its $50,000 commitment to Delta County Economic Development in 2018, but refused a request from DCED to increase funding to $70,000.

DCED made the request to support salary and benefits for its new executive director.

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Humor provides release for debilitating disease

Humor provides release for debilitating disease

From a young age, we're taught not to laugh or point fingers at people who look or act differently from us. So when Stanley Arnett cracks a joke about the tremors in his arms and hands, not everyone sees the humor. But Arnett says the comedy routine is what keeps him sane.

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Cost of services outpaces sales tax growth in Delta

The City of Delta is finalizing a budget for 2018 that maintains current services without any rate increases for water, trash, sewer or electrical service. But to keep the budget balanced, the city will have to dip into reserves.

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Law enforcement agencies recognized

Earlier this fall, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Uniform Crime Reporting program announced that seven Colorado law enforcement agencies across the entire state had no reporting errors for the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Three of those agencies are in Delta County -- Delta Police Department, Delta County Sheriff's Office and Hotchkiss Marshal's Office.

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Community soup kitchen envisioned

Randy and Cynthia Hays are on a mission -- a mission to reach into the community to meet the needs of those who are impoverished, homeless or struggling with food insecurity.

The two, with daughter Summer Lomax, are moving forward with plans to open a soup kitchen -- not to compete with the senior meal program or the Abraham Connection homeless shelter, but to complement what both organizations are doing to meet the community's basic needs.

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Ambulance district breathes a sigh of relief

A year ago, electors narrowly rejected a mill levy increase for Delta County Ambulance District (DCAD). The 2016 general election, which included a long slate of candidates for local, state and national offices, drew nearly 12,000 voters.

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Hotchkiss chamber honors community champions

The stability that is a hallmark of the Hotchkiss Community Chamber of Commerce was sustained during the chamber's annual meeting Nov. 7.

Tracy Ihnot, Nathan Sponseller, Sue Whittlesey and Bill Long were re-elected to two-year terms on the board.

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Guild wraps local veterans in quilts

Guild wraps local veterans in quilts

A Veterans Day tradition continued Saturday, with a breakfast hosted by S&B Quilters Guild at Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss. Twenty-five veterans and their families attended the event, the fourth held in Hotchkiss.

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Veterans honored at DMS assembly

Delta Middle School hosted its annual Veterans Day assembly on Friday, Nov. 10. This event honors those who have served our country in the armed forces, while highlighting for the students the many freedoms we enjoy because of their sacrifice.

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A heart for Hotchkiss

A heart for Hotchkiss

Retirement is a major lifestyle change for anyone, but for a restaurant owner who's dedicated nearly every waking hour to his business for 28 years, retirement was a shock to the system.

After Larry Jakubiak sold the North Fork Valley Restaurant to one of his employees three years ago, he decided to take it easy.

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A patchwork through time

A patchwork through time

Among the gently rolling 'dobie hills in North Delta, Devil's Thumb stands tall -- apparently impervious to the forces of erosion that have worn down the surrounding soft clay hills.

Late this summer, Dr. Dave Noe led an excursion to Devil's Thumb, following a trail that at first climbed gently through an arroyo, then grew steeper as it ascended Petrie Mesa to the landmark that gave Delta's golf course its name.

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Predator on the prowl

Predator on the prowl

A fossil uncovered near Cedaredge four decades ago is now on display in a museum on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

While the full mosasaur skeleton is new to the BYU Museum of Paleontology, a cast of the skull has been showcased at the Welcome Center in Cedaredge for years.

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Closed for renovation

Closed for renovation

For public safety, and to prevent further damage, two homestead cabins in Escalante Canyon have been closed until June 2018.

The Walker Homestead and Captain Smith's Cabin, along with a historic water wheel, are listed on Colorado's Most Endangered Places List (2013) by Colorado Preservation Inc. Efforts are underway to secure funding for restoration and interpretation of the structures, which represent the pioneer spirit of Escalante Canyon.

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Gathering strays

Gathering strays

Like the parable Jesus told about searching for a lost sheep, Cowboy at the Church is gathering up strays and sharing the word of God. With sawdust covering the floor and dust settling on the chairs, the church "sanctuary" may seem a bit rustic, but families coming off the farm feel right at home.

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Artistry in glass

Artistry in glass

After traveling to the Western Slope regularly to fish at Crawford Reservoir, Dee Brown and her husband Joe decided Delta County would be a great place to retire.

Although the move became a reality 10 years ago, Dee has yet to kick back and relax.

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Curmudgeon and the Crone

Curmudgeon and the Crone

A curmudgeon is defined as a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man. Although retired, Rick Smith is not elderly, nor does he seem to be ill-tempered.

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Teachers, principals get high marks

Performance reports for Colorado teachers and principals released to the public for the first time show the majority of educators in Delta County received evaluation ratings of "effective" or higher.

A total of 88 percent of Colorado teachers and 98 percent in Delta County -- received an overall rating of "effective" or "highly effective" according to the metrics released by the Colorado Department of Education.

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Procrastinators weigh their options at college, job fair

Procrastinators weigh their options at college, job fair

Graduation is just three months away, but some Delta High School seniors are still undecided about post-graduation plans. To provide direction, DHS hosted a "Procrastinator's Fair" that featured six four-year and vocational colleges, as well as the opportunity to explore careers in the military, mechanics, health, emergency services, engineering, construction trades and more.

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Inspired by natural materials

Inspired by natural materials

Sylvia Karner has been cutting, coloring and styling hair in Delta since the mid 1970s -- nearly as long as she's been making jewelry. While beadwork has become increasingly popular in recent years, it's a hobby that has fascinated Sylvia for some time.

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Performing pooches

Performing pooches

Teaching a dog to obey simple commands like "Sit," "Heel" and "Come!" takes dedication and commitment.

But once your dog has the basics down, you might be tempted to teach him a few tricks, like rolling over or playing dead.

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Ringing in the New Year

Ringing in the New Year

In the closing days of 1999, fears of Y2K mounted. Doomsayers warned that when the date turned from Dec. 31, 1999, to Jan. 1, 2000, a programming bug would shut down computers across the globe.

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Actions speak louder than words

Actions speak louder than words

Middle school can have a profound impact on young lives. As a teacher at Delta Middle School, Bret Hamilton has not only seen how adolescent lives are shaped by their experiences in and out of the classroom, he also recognizes the impact middle school had on his own life.

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Crazy for Corvettes

Crazy for Corvettes

Not long after the first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the production line in 1953, one of the original models was totaled in a single-car accident near Ron Austin's childhood home in Redding, Calif. The accident drew a crowd of curious neighbors, none of whom knew what a Corvette was at the time.

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A touch of elegance

A touch of elegance

Nancy Giordano is one of those crafty individuals who never runs out of ideas for beautiful, unique items, whether she's turning a pair of old blue jeans into an apron or stitching a colorful piece of fabric into an "on the go" purse.

She paints rocks, embellishes clothing with beads and creates magnets, but finds the most joy in jewelry making.

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Forged in steel

Forged in steel

A lover of history, John York volunteers at Fort Uncompahgre once a week. As a docent, he shares the history of the original fort, which was built by Antoine Robidoux in 1828. The Indians and trappers brought furs to trade for sugar, coffee, beads and other goods brought in from the United States and Mexico.

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In a class by herself

In a class by herself

Sheryl Williams has taught hundreds of students the art of painting with alcohol ink, but only one has actually stepped foot in her Delta studio. The remainder are online students who follow Sheryl's instructional videos via the internet.

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Quilts as art

Quilts as art

Every quilt is one-of-a-kind, snippets of colors and pattern layered together to create stunning table runners, wall hangings and bed covers. The process often begins with a pattern or even a kit, with precut fabric swatches in complementary colors.

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Don Benjamin: Author, cartoonist, teacher

Don Benjamin: Author, cartoonist, teacher

Cartooning may not be a good way to make a living, but it can certainly keep you entertained. Pencil in hand, you surround yourself with superheroes, whimsical animals and humorous characters who pepper your drawings with witty comments.

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Pine needle artistry

Pine needle artistry

A craft show on HGTV inspired Ruth Ann Hake to try her hand at pine needle basketry.

"I was just fascinated," Ruth Ann said, "so I bought a couple of books and that's really been my only instruction."

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Cake Wars Winner!

Cake Wars Winner!

V ictory is sweet for Melissa Zunich, the winner of Food Network Channel's Cake Wars.

Zunich, the owner of Sweet Cheeks Cakery in Delta, teamed up with a cousin to design an entry that won the judges over with its impressive details and "wonderful" hand painting.

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A wonder to behold

A wonder to behold

An entire room is dedicated to Lois Helgeland's incredible Victorian village, but that's just the beginning ... there are delightful discoveries to be found throughout her house at Christmastime.

To say Christmas is Lois' favorite holiday is clearly an understatement.

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Reaching new heights with the Civil Air Patrol

Reaching new heights with the Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, performs about 85 percent of inland search and rescue missions in the U.S. The squadrons search for lost hikers or hunters, locate downed aircraft and transport emergency personnel or medical materials.

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Providing inspiration through liturgical art

Providing inspiration through liturgical art

Like the Shakers, Tim and Lyn Hinz express their faith through their craftsmanship. The Shakers believed that the excellence of their work was a form of worship; their furniture and crafts came to be known as "religion in wood."

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The Binky Patrol: Hugs from the heart

The Binky Patrol:    Hugs from the heart

Hugs for kids. That's how Connie Harris and Terri Brubaker describe the blankets they make through the Binky Patrol, a nationwide effort to reach out to needy kids with a comforting handmade blanket, or "binky."

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Artistic expressions

Artistic expressions

Sandra Williamson is a talented artist who expresses her creativity in a variety of ways, but none is more unique than her vinegar painted furniture and accessories.

The technique dates to the Industrial Revolution, she explains.

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