Cyrus Malek-Madani was ranked fifth in discus heading into last weekend's Class 2A state track and field meet. But in his third and final qualifying throw the senior surprised everyone with a career-best throw of 148 feet.
In a repeat of her 2017 performance, Hotchkiss junior Kaiya Firor brought home two gold medals, winning the 400-meter dash and 300-meter hurdles events at the Class 2A state track meet in Lakewood.
Firor finished the 400m a full second ahead of second place finisher Gracie Bradfield of Meeker.
Ask his friends what they remember about Casey Gillenwater and they'll say that he was humble, mature beyond his years, fun-loving, bubbly, friendly and caring, and fiercely competitive. They will say he made positive impact on many, many lives.
There will be Memorial Day observances in Hotchkiss, Paonia and Crawford this weekend.
The Paonia girls medaled in 10 events and scored 41 points to place sixth at the Colorado High School Activities Association State Track and Field Meet.
After placing 16th as a freshman, third as a sophomore, and second as a junior, Mckenna Palmer won the triple jump.
The Hotchkiss boys had their best showing in recent years at the state track meet, placing in the top five in three events and scoring 43 points to place fifth overall in Class 2A.
The last time the boys did this good was in 2013 when both teams placed third, said head coach Kelly Cowan.
At Monday night's commencement exercises, 41 eaglets officially left the nest that is Paonia High School. During their four years, the class of 2018 collectively had higher than average SAT scores, participated in all-state choir and band, broke sports records, won numerous titles, built and installed a solar energy system, and won the hearts of their community.
Donald Carter won't be attending his graduation. In a staged scene, the Paonia High School senior, had a dangerous mix of alcohol and marijuana in his system on prom night when he made the decision to get behind the wheel of a car carrying four other prom-goers.
The North Fork Valley Creative Coalition was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from Colorado Creative Industries' Creative District Technical Assistance program to develop a "Signage and Wayfinding" master plan for the creative district and the Town of Paonia.
Many towns around the state are suffering economically simply because they are not getting noticed well enough to bring visitors in, said creative coalition representative Elaine Brett.
In what administration is calling an effort to improve customer service and allow the town clerk and finance officer to get their work done, the Paonia board of trustees will consider at the May 22 meeting the hiring of a part-time clerk and closing of Town Hall on Fridays.
The two changes were suggested at the May 8 board meeting by the Finance and Personnel committee.
At the May 11 Cedaredge Bruin Invitational, Hotchkiss junior Kaiya Firor re-set the meet record in the 300-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 45.5 seconds.
The defending state 2A champion in the 300 hurdles, Firor's performance took more than a second off of the 2013 record of 46.17 seconds held by Abi Grace McGee of Montrose.
In the final state qualifying track meet of the season the Paonia girls scored 141 points to win the 11-team Cedaredge Bruin Invitational.
Brooke Hillman won the 800m in a season-best time of 2:27.83.
After defeating rival Paonia by a single run in conference play, Hotchkiss (17-3) was seeded first heading into Saturday's district baseball tournament at Hubbard Field in Olathe; Paonia (19-2) was seeded second. Both teams won their respective semifinal game in five innings.
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.