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A vision for better   habitat becomes a reality
A vision for better habitat becomes a reality

A dozen members of the Black Canyon Audubon Society toured a 42-acre conservation easement owned by Kevin and Jackie Parks last weekend. In the early morning hours the birders, biologists and conservationists passed through pristine wetlands teeming with wildlife, observed nesting great blue herons, and identified some 30 individual bird species, among them the belted kingfisher, black-crowned night heron, purple martin and western wood-pewee.

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All the buzz  about honey bees
All the buzz about honey bees

"Isn't it funny, how bears likes honey?" Winnie the Pooh once sang.

People like honey, too. According to "The History of the Honeybee & Beekeeping in Colorado," by Niwot-area beekeeper Tom Theobald, humans have been domesticating bees and harvesting honey for thousands of years.

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Sudsing up with Dirty Water
Sudsing up with Dirty Water

It's funny how some things seem like chance but then end up being the thing that sets your life in a new direction. Twenty years ago, Crystal Decker belonged to a book-of-the-month club, where she received a new book each month in the mail.

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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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A passion for youth ministry
A passion for youth ministry

At the heart of Todd Laws' story is a handful of teachers who took the time to love, support and believe in a kid, and how far-reaching a teacher's dedication can be. In Todd's case, some of his teachers inspired a 30-year ministry with kids through Young Life.

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A class act
A class act

Music audiences in this area have a new entertainment option to enjoy, a real "Class Act." The group offers a wide range of classic songs to enjoy; a performance style that is at once both engaging and relaxing; and a catalog of numbers presented with a true love of the music they play.

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Jerry Lehl turns a hobby into a lifestyle
Jerry Lehl turns a hobby into a lifestyle

Jerry Lehl's home is a museum for horseshoe art.

The driveway is marked by horseshoe stands that look like flowers. Wind chimes with horseshoe ends clink and clang in the breeze. Signs with letters made out of horseshoes greet visitors.

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Artistry from a  blacksmith's forge
Artistry from a blacksmith's forge

Just in time for the fifth annual Conservation Days last Thursday and Friday, Ira Houseweart completed work on a new handicap accessible ramp at the Paonia River Park.

"Ira finished it last week," Julia Bowman, Paonia River Park Coordinator for the Western Slope Conservation Center, said. "We're convinced it's the nicest ramp in Colorado."

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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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Meaningful ties to Kenya
Meaningful ties to Kenya

Carol Phelps of Delta flew to Nairobi, Kenya, last December to visit Fairmile School and its director, Fern Eshuchi, a family friend for many years.

When Carol told her son, Allen Lindblad, she was going, Allen said, "We'll go too."

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Ukrainian Easter egg hunt
Ukrainian Easter egg hunt

The Wheeler Room in Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss came alive last Wednesday as youngsters from the area put their own spin on a tradition that is over 4,000 years old.

About 15 youngsters took part in a workshop that taught them how to dye Ukrainian Easter eggs.

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A saga of  survival  & faith
A saga of survival & faith

Cedaredge native Keith Loucks has published a novel about adventure and survival ­-- a book that entertains as it educates, and one that examines deeper questions of living Christian faith in a dangerously fallen world.

In the 405-page novel titled "I Wish I Had An Orange," the normal, everyday American life is reduced in a moment to the level of Third World deprivation when a nuclear device is exploded in the upper stratosphere 30 miles above.

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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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96 years of service and fulfillment
96 years of service and fulfillment

Among the many things that bring fulfillment to Dorothy Loyer's life is playing the organ.

Dorothy was 17 when the church organist died and the pastor turned to Dorothy to take her place.

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Wrestling's big show
Wrestling's big show

A familiar phrase perfectly describes the scene at last weekend's Colorado High School Wrestling State Championships in Denver.

Organized chaos.

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A  life turn  to art
A life turn to art

When Sue Jochum decided it was time to leave the corporate world of high technology and pursue her life-long passion for art, she chose the Surface Creek Valley as home to be near other family who live here.

Now, with her computer programming days behind her, she is finding the time to enjoy plein air painting sessions with friends, to participate with her work in shows and exhibitions, and to develop an enterprise in portrait painting, a discipline that she has discovered a natural talent for.

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Geri-actives keep up and keep going
Geri-actives keep up and keep going

The golden years are fitter than ever before. Folks are living longer and enjoying activities that they engaged in in their 40s and 50s. Geri-active is in!

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Neighbor helping neighbor
Neighbor helping neighbor

Clinton Clock is a strong believer in community service. He taught his family by example.

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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 caring healer
A caring healer

Norman Vincent knew when he was in third grade that he would become a veterinarian.

He lived on a farm with his family.

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Full of spirit
Full of spirit

The cheerleaders at Hotchkiss High School made history.

The Bulldogs capped a record-setting season by winning third place at the state spirit competition at the Denver Coliseum last month.

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Champions of Nordic skiing
Champions of Nordic skiing

The Grand Mesa Nordic Council is marking a 25th year of providing great outdoor recreation experiences for local skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts.

Over the course of those 25 years, the GMNC has also contributed significantly to developing a first-class complex of trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skijoring that is a tourism draw for the county.

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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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Helping hands!
Helping hands!

These days, it seems, each of us knows someone who needs a helping hand. Fortunately, local communities are willing to reach out and help.

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Family ties bind  Paonia's sports heritage
Family ties bind Paonia's sports heritage

Here on the Western Slope of the Rockies in Colorado, you can tell the history of a town through the history of its prep sports teams.

In 1902, the town of Paonia was founded by Samuel Wade.

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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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Driven to serve gladly
Driven to serve gladly

Becoming part of a small community means connecting with people.

There is no surer way for someone to know they're making a positive difference and connecting with the heart of a community than to find an avenue of service.

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Keeping  the peace
Keeping the peace

Throughout the history of the United States its citizens have served in the military in times of war, times of peace, to keep the peace. In recognition of Veterans Day, we talked with three veterans about their military service in keeping the peace, and we thank them and all the other veterans for their service to our country.

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Celebrating fruit growers past and present
Celebrating fruit growers past and present

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.

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Katmandu ~  a labor of love
Katmandu ~ a labor of love

There are two types of people in this world, we've all heard -- those who love dogs and those who love cats.

Count Pat Gwinn among the latter. Just don't ask her to explain why.

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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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Senior expo  showcases local resources
Senior expo showcases local resources

On Thursday, Oct. 22, seniors from around the area are invited to come together to enjoy entertainment, a tasty free lunch, fun exercises, and to learn more about several matters that affect their lives.

All these opportunities will be available during the seventh annual Senior Expo, held at Bill Heddles Recreation Center, 531 N. Palmer Street in Delta.

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Drones give the economy a lift
Drones give the economy a lift

Drones have arrived in Delta County -- but they aren't the spying, harassing kind of drones that are reported on the national newscasts.

A Cedaredge company is helping bring the high-tech surveillance craft here for economic development uses that range from marketing promotion to improving agricultural yields.

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Good vibrations!
Good vibrations!

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.

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A grand way to tour
A grand way to tour

It was like a family reunion at the Delta County Fairgrounds last Friday when the Colorado Grand Auto Tour rolled through Hotchkiss for the 27th time.

"Hey, the tour's great," community liason Eddie O'Brien said shortly after arriving on the scene in a cherry red 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra.

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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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Creativity in wood, glass, fabric & leather
Creativity in wood, glass, fabric & leather

Don and Beth French were married in 1978 and Don's first job was teaching kindergarten through third grade in the mornings and high school physical education in the afternoons in Douglas, Wyo.

He later moved to the high school in Douglas and taught physical education and coached sports for all the grades, 500 students in all.

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Wheelin'  'n dealin'
Wheelin' 'n dealin'

One event noticeably absent from Delta's annual cycle of summer activities is a big car parts swap meet.

Last Saturday, that gap in the community events calendar was filled in by a well-attended auto parts swap at Confluence Park.

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A unique  legacy in books
A unique legacy in books

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.

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Garden railroading
Garden railroading

Do you enjoy gardening? Great! What about model trains? Yes? Well do I have a hobby for you! Garden railroading is where you can combine gardening interests with large- scale trains.

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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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