Paonia High School will be a blur of activity this week as students celebrate Homecoming Week.
The week includes numerous longstanding traditions.
Paonia High School will be a blur of activity this week as students celebrate Homecoming Week.
With the departure of Sarah and Bill Bishop after 14 years of service and dedication to the Mountain Harvest Festival, local musician Mike Gwinn has stepped in to help guide the annual event. Now in its 17th year, the annual festival will officially kick off this Thursday evening with the "Harvest of Voices" reading at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts.
Beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 26, the regularly scheduled bi-monthly meetings of the Town of Paonia Board of Trustees will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.
Also changing, unfinished and new business will now be conducted at the end of the meeting, rather than at the beginning.
With 13 items of new business on its Sept. 12 agenda, the Paonia board of trustees tabled two items, at the urging mayor pro tempore David Bradford.
A public hearing on proposed changes to the town municipal code was tabled to the Oct. 10 meeting.
Sponsored by Orchard Valley Farms and Black Bridge Winery, 10th annual Mountain Harvest Festival Grape Stomp has grown to be one of the most popular events of the festival. The stomp benefits three local nonprofits: the Solar Energy International K-12 Solar in Schools program, the Western Slope Conservation Center, and the Paonia Public Library Foundation.
A coordinated flyover of planes by local pilots will take place over Paonia Town Park at 4:15 Friday.
Called "Festival in Flight," the event is being coordinated by Paonia pilots Larry Garrett and Ethel Leslie Garrett.
A mainstay of the Mountain Harvest Festival, the 17th annual Chili Cook-off runs from 5-7 p.m. Friday. For the past nine years the event has been run by the Blue Sage Center for the Arts.
The Lambert Grange will once again sponsor the annual "I Love Pie Contest" this Friday in conjunction with the 17th annual Chili Cook-off at Paonia Town Park. Bakers are invited to enter their best harvest, best cream, best double crust fruit, best gluten and dairy free, and best decorative pie categories.
The Bulldogs were without a Homecoming opponent after Center canceled its season due to a lack of players. They found a worthy opponent in the Montrose junior varsity squad.
Despite fumbling the ball away on their first two possessions, the Paonia Eagles posted a 43-6 win Friday over Ridge View Academy.
"It was a good win, but it wasn't a great win," said head coach Blaine Escher.
The Hotchkiss Bulldogs played hard but came up short Saturday in their league loss to visiting West Grand. It was their first league loss of the season.
Head coach Peter Nethington wasn't unhappy with the outcome after hearing how the Mustangs, a state qualifying team in 2016, beat up on the team last year. "They're a good team," he said.
The Paonia Eagles are on a five-game winning streak after winning three matches last week. All three games were played on the road, and all three were won in straight sets.
More than 220 racers from 20 schools competed in the men's division at the Eagle Valley Cross Country invitational. Harley Ewert and Caden Meilner led the Paonia Eagles to finish in 18 minutes, 15.30 seconds and 18:15.8, earning 26 and 27 points, respectively. One of three Class 2A teams at the meet, Paonia entered 12 runners and placed eighth overall with 222 points, with Logan Green, Ethan Bartlett, Ben O'Rourke and Elijah Evans rounding out scoring.
At the high-altitude Mountaineer Cowboy Invitational, Sam Rodriguez led Hotchkiss' boys to place 11th out of 87 runners with a time of 18 minutes, 2 seconds. Will Ela and Tevin Keller finished in 20:46 and 20:47, respectively, and freshman Kenny Drbohlav was close behind with a time of 20:52.
An eye-catching sign depicting Paonia and its bountiful harvest and beautiful views is finding new life, thanks to a few volunteers, a tractor, and a little bit of community service.
This summer, Crawford resident and Rotary Club of the North Fork member Jeff Skeels decided to check out a hand-painted sign hanging sloppily near the road along Highway 133 near Paonia.
The Festival Market, offering a vast variety of locally-harvested produce, locally-produced foods and other products, opens at 4 p.m. Friday and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, local growers and producers welcome visitors as part of the self-guided farm tours.
Since coming to Paonia High School four years ago, Scott Burns has documented school life in sketches. He has dozens of them.
The Town of Paonia's water system improvement project is on schedule and within budget, according to Paonia Public Works Director, Travis Loberg. The three-phase project involves replacement of about 5,600 lineal feet of water main line and associated repairs and upgrades.
About two thirds of the way through Saturday's Hotchkiss Cross Country Invitational, Paonia senior Caden Meilner trailed Hotchkiss senior Sam Rodriguez as they cruised across the high ridgeline of the adobe desert course. "He's just such a phenomenal runner and I kept him in my sights throughout the race," said Meilner.
After three years of placing in the top four, Montrose senior Evan Graff pulled off a convincing win Saturday at the Hotchkiss Cross Country Invitational. As part of his training, Graff delayed his start by 30 seconds and finished the course in 18 minutes, 11.35 seconds.
The Paonia Eagles are now 1-1 after a non-conference routing of Rye Friday night at Salida. The 44-3 win is the first for the Eagles under new head coach Blaine Escher.
Hotchkiss head coach Peter Nethington said he was very happy to see his Bulldogs come back from a three-game losing streak to win two conference matches last weekend.
At the Sept. 1-2 tournament at Rangely the Bulldogs lost three games, including a 2-1 loss to Hayden (25-20, 8-25, 15-10).
The Hotchkiss Bulldogs are 1-1 heading into week three of the prep football season following a 14-26 non-conference loss to Class 2A's Coal Ridge Friday at New Castle.
Chase Hiatt connected on eight of 11 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown.
Despite missing two top runners, the Paonia girls' cross country team placed four runners in the top 20 and finished third with 37 points Saturday at the Hotchkiss Invitational.
Katya Schwieterman finished fourth with a time of 23 minutes, 35.9 seconds.
The Eagles are off to a good start under new head volleyball coach Karla Head. Following last week's two conference wins and a non-conference loss to 3A Coal Ridge, they are 4-1 overall and undefeated in the 2A/1A Western Slope League.
Last April, Paonia resident David Lorig traveled to Syria with a group of journalists, activists and observers. Lorig gave a presentation on his experience on July 27 for the Paonia Public Library Armchair Travel lecture series.
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.
"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.
In his more than a quarter century of operating Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel near Crawford, dog trainer Ted Hoff has handled thousands of dogs. He's worked with purebreds and mixed breeds from throughout western Colorado and the world, including Canada, South Africa, Venezuela and New Zealand.
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.
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.