Portrait 2010

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Off-road driving instructor takes care 
of clients, environment with program

By Greg Ruland

Managing a “butt-scratcher” without “boiling the balonies” might come naturally to some novice four-wheelers, but most are just spinning their wheels without a little coaching from an expert, high-country driver. Recognizing trail obstacles and finding a path around them is a skill that normally develops after hours of trial and error, but it can be taught. Preserving your life and flaunting your skills are two perfectly good reasons to learn how to properly ...


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Work with victims is DA staffer’s ‘dream job’

By Paul Shockley

For three decades, Mary Sommerfeld has put out her best for those at their worst in Mesa County. “This was always my dream job,” explains Sommerfeld, who has served as the victim assistance coordinator for the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office since 1985. “I liked the idea they were trying to marry a job working with victims in the legal system, which is very complex. There needs to be someone here explaining things to them.” Over 29 years, Sommerfeld ...


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Small-town feel, stunning surroundings draw Nathalie Ames to Grand Mesa hamlet

By Melinda Mawdsley

Born and raised in Chicago, Nathalie Ames had never heard of Mesa until she went to, of all places, the Grand Canyon. It was 2000. She was rafting the Colorado River and a few guides on the trip happened to be from this tiny, unincorporated community in western Colorado. Ames was intrigued. A single mother of a 6-year-old at the time, Ames thought back to her childhood and how much she loved visiting her father in the Snowmass area. It’d be great to give her daughter Laura a ...


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Skiing school: Elite skier Clint Roberts glad to share wealth

By Rachel Sauer

Barly on a summer morning when he was 11, Clint Roberts ran up a mountain. It didn’t begin as a race to the top, and he couldn’t have known that stepping onto the summit would open the door to so much of what his life would become. It started off as a Boy Scout activity; his father was assistant Scout master. Roberts and the rest of the troop were hiking Byers Peak, a 12,804-foot mountain that presides over the Fraser Valley. It began as a hike, but boys being boys, the pace ...


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Teaching at-risk students brings balance, fulfillment to R-5 luminary Al Kreinberg

By Amy Hamilton

For a couple hours on a recent afternoon, Al Kreinberg’s classroom had all the pent-up tensions of a courtroom drama. Students unaccustomed to dressing up often stood more erect and sat a little taller in their chairs in dress shirts and ties, with one student playing the part of a defense attorney wearing a suit coat over a T-shirt and yoga pants. Off to one side, Kreinberg acted like the maestro, queuing up students for their roles in an upcoming mock trial competition. This ...


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Engineering his future: Jose Morales will be first from family to graduate college

By Gary Harmon

Jose Morales is looking to build a professional life around unconventional energy — a fitting pursuit as the 22-year-old Colorado Mesa University senior has already built his life around defying convention. To say nothing of the odds. Morales, who arrived in Grand Junction at age 15 from Mexico seven years ago, is poised to become the first member of his family to graduate from college. In a letter to an anonymous donor who provided scholarship money for Morales, who is majoring in ...


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A bloody good time: Drew Hanlon’s alter ego is a facilitator of euphoria

By Erin McIntyre

Step right up and be mesmerized by the waggling eyebrows, the devilish grin and the smooth-talking hyperbolic speech. Belly up to the bar and let Col. Clifton DeBeQue rattle off his cure for the common ailment — a bloody mary “guaranteed to relieve the pains of desperation and mediocrity.” Shoppers frequenting local farmers’ markets and festivals have become accustomed to the sight — and sound — of this traveling salesman hawking his wares. In fact, ...


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Hayden at the helm: Former Palisade player aims to turn Central into powerhouse again

By Matt Meyer

When Ryan Hayden was an all-state basketball player at Palisade High School under then-coach Mike Krueger, he was such a competitive player that he earned a nickname not fit for print. As an assistant for former Palisade coach Keenon Clement, that competitive fire didn’t die. During a drill, the two were battling so hard that Keenon’s wayward elbow split Hayden’s lip. Now, as the Central boys basketball coach, the 31-year-old Hayden is still as driven and competitive ...


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Entertainer’s old-timey show proves a hit in tourist town

By Dennis Webb

When John Goss debuted a vaudeville show in Glenwood Springs some five years ago, he just wanted to be up on a stage entertaining people for a living, rather than continuing to pay the bills by painting houses. Turns out, he ended up creating an institution that has taken its place in this tourist town among such attractions as the Glenwood Hot Springs and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, putting smiles on the faces of visitors and locals alike. And now the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue ...


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Stampede leader: Hinkle enjoying role at Colorado Mesa University

By Gary Harmon

Feel free to tap your toe as you read along ... you’ll see why soon enough. Inside a rehearsal hall lit up by sunlight bouncing off snow piled up outside, Jonathan Hinkle leads 32 Colorado Mesa University musicians through a ragtime classic, “Old Town.” Which means nothing, of course, until you append the lead-in, “There’ll be a hot time in the ...” Now the toe starts to twitch and the familiar tune buzzes between the ears. Just not outside them ...


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Dan Linsacum building a better breed of Mavs

By Nick Walter

In the constantly changing field of strength and conditioning, Daniel Linsacum brought even more change to Colorado Mesa University, staying ahead of the trends like a kayaker out-paddling a current. In the fall of 2009, Linsacum became Mesa’s first full-time strength and conditioning coach, bringing techniques he discovered on the Front Range, and even in Mexico, to the Western Slope. He was born in Montrose, graduated from Moffat County High School in Craig and Mesa State ...


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People person: Bob Sammons enjoys a life involving others

By Melinda Mawdsley

Looking for Bob Sammons? Try Fiesta Guadalajara, where he typically lunches multiple times a week at the same table in the southwest corner overlooking North Avenue. Not there? Try Mesa Behavioral Medicine Clinic, 1400 N. Seventh St. Sammons normally works 60 hours a week as one of the only, if not the only, psychiatrists in private practice locally. Still looking? Try his Grand Junction home, where he lives with his wife of 32 years, Louise. Knock loudly — otherwise they may ...


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Sending a message: Rev. Mike Burr blends religious, social sentiments

By Rachel Sauer

S o many things began making sense that day on campus, but to put them in perspective, head farther back, to the Sunday School room of a conservative Baptist church in Jerome, Idaho. Mike Burr’s mom had dropped him and his two older brothers off. It was 1952, and this was the sort of congregation that thought Billy Graham was a communist. There was a lot of fire and even more brimstone, and “according to the preaching, it seemed like there were only going to be about 35 ...


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Rock star treatment: Tim Ray makes you feel at home as GM of Grand Junction Rockies

By Patti Arnold

Tim Ray doesn’t know a stranger. “Hey, there, young man!” is the greeting a fan will likely receive from the general manager of the Grand Junction Rockies when he comes into the offices at Suplizio Field looking to buy tickets. Ray sometimes doesn’t see much of the games, instead bouncing from section to section, greeting first-time fans, visiting with those who are at every game and making sure the concession stands are staying clean and running smoothly. After ...


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Serious seller: Real estate is serious, just ask Dave Kimbrough

By Charles Ashby

Selling real estate isn’t a sideline job, a retirement gig or just some part-time thing. To Dave Kimbrough, it’s serious business. The 42-year-old returned to the Grand Valley in the late 1990s — he lived here when he was a kid until the 1980s oil shale bust — to find a booming real estate market. Giving up a job as a successful pharmaceuticals salesman, Kimbrough naturally wanted to stay in sales. “I got into the business 10 years ago and I quickly ...


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