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See the stars

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/22/2015

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052215OACOVER

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/22/2015

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Quick Picks: Shrine Circus; JUCO; ghost towns

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/22/2015

Friday and Saturday, May 22–23 Join the circus Acrobats, aerialists and animals help make the 70th annual Western Colorado Shrine Club Shrine Circus a fun event for the whole family with shows at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. both days at the Mesa County Fairgrounds, 2785 U.S. Highway 50. Advanced tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3–12 and can be purchased at City Market locations and from Western Colorado Shrine members. Tickets at the gate cost $15 for adults and ...


Food Truck Fridays back by popular demand

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/22/2015

After a popular response last year, Food Truck Fridays return in 2015 with a much longer season and an additional night of food and fun in Fruita. Instead of operating on just eight nights as in 2014 in Grand Junction and Palisade, Food Truck Fridays will run from 5–9 p.m. on three Fridays a month from May to October across the Grand Valley. The food trucks will be ready to serve dinner, drinks and snacks on the first Friday of each month in downtown Grand Junction at the corner of ...


Vacationland: Moab

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/20/2015

With its red rock towers and unique arches, along with its location near two national parks and the Colorado River, the area in and around Moab offers countless things to do. Located about two hours west of Grand Junction, Moab is home to unique scenery just waiting to be explored on foot, raft, mountain bike or skydiving from 10,000 feet. Arches National Park, about five miles north of Moab, has the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches, according to ...


Vacationland: Telluride

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/20/2015

Telluride may be most famous for its world-class ski resort, but the small western Colorado town has made a summer name for itself thanks to internationally- known festivals and recreational opportunities amid rugged peaks visitors must see to believe. Set in the San Juan Mountains, Telluride attracts foodies to its restaurants, film aficionados and Hollywood A-listers to its film festivals and thousands of music fans to popular events such as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. But ...


Check out these options for watching films under the stars

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/20/2015

At dusk on Friday, July 17, at approximately 7,000 feet and beneath a canopy of stars, the Disney mega-hit “Frozen” will be shown for free on the back side of the Glade Park Volunteer Fire Department. Typically, the Friday of Country Jam weekend in June is the most popular night of the Glade Park Movies Under the Stars’ season, organizer Deb Trotter said, but it may be different this year. The July showing of “Frozen,” “It’s going to be our ...


De Beque graduates revel in close-knit bond

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/19/2015

Growing up takes forever, at least that’s how Lane Hutchison felt. “Now, looking back, it went fast,” he said. On Tuesday, Hutchinson and classmates Austin Low and Brady Coates graduated from De Beque High School. Outsiders may think it a disadvantage to have just three students in a class, but Low said that wasn’t the case. “It’s kind of nice because you get more help from the teachers, and you get to know your classmates better,” he said. The ...


FRUIT OF THE VINE

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/18/2015

No matter how you get there — limousine, bicycle, horsedrawn carriage or personal vehicle — visiting any of the nearly 40 wineries in western Colorado is a great way to soak in the scenery and get to know the region’s wine. Although this region doesn’t have the name recognition of Napa Valley or Tuscany, it does have the optimal soil, desert climate — hot days, cool nights — and ability to control water through irrigation that creates ideal conditions ...


Grand Junction

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/18/2015

With abundant sunshine, vibrant downtown area and beautiful scenery, Grand Junction is the ideal place to start or end your vacation in western Colorado. Named in the late 1800s because of its location at the junction of the Gunnison and Colorado rivers, Grand Junction is western Colorado’s largest city and is situated near some of the country’s most amazing vistas and recreational opportunities, giving it a different feel than the rest of Colorado. “It is the epicenter ...


Tomato tale: Follow these tomatoes from seed to dinner plate

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/16/2015

Tomato grower Blaine Diffendaffer tastes his fruit to ensure quality, but he doesn’t really like tomatoes. When he was younger and had to weed the family garden, he avoided the tomato plants if possible because of their off-putting smell, he said. Funny thing then that a man disinterested in the taste and smell of tomatoes most of his life, owns Blaine’s Tomatoes & Farm on 33 3/4 Road, and grows nearly 20 varieties of tomatoes that end up on dinner plates across the ...


Quick Picks: ‘Celltheamo’; Graffiti Competition; home and church tour; David Letterman

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/15/2015

Friday, May 15 Cello theatrics It’s a mash-up of cello, theater and movement called “Celltheamo,” and it’s happening at 7:30 p.m. at Love Recital Hall in Colorado Mesa University’s Moss Performing Arts Center, 1231 N. 12th St. CMU’s cello faculty member Kristen Yeon-Ji presents the first concert of this collaborative ensemble highlighting music, movement and theater to give the audience a unique experience. The event is free. Saturday, May 16 Paint ...


First-ever LOCALjAM will kick off this Saturday

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/15/2015

A few years in the making, LOCALjAM is finally coming together thanks to the efforts of organizers Bill Monroe and Cathy Craig. The couple doesn’t know what to expect from the first year of the festival, but they are excited to be able to offer a multi-day event of local music, food, arts and fun for the whole family at an affordable price. “We thought of it a few years ago and never really pulled it together until this year,” Monroe said. LOCALjAM will go from 10 a.m. ...


Fruita grad’s indy film garners acclaim

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/15/2015

After putting so much time and effort into her recently released feature film, former Fruita resident Maggie Baird is pleased with the reception it has received from both the public and critics. Baird, who graduated from Fruita Monument High School in 1977 and is the daughter of the late Edie and Bill Baird, hasn’t lived in western Colorado for years, but she maintains friendships in the area and wants those in her hometown to know she’s doing well in Los Angeles. Her film, ...


Stage left: Retirement calls Palisade teacher 
after long career in music, theater

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/14/2015

Children need theater. They need music, too. Those are beliefs Bev Kamas has held most of her life, guiding her career in education that began nearly 40 years ago. Although her philosophies about the importance of arts in a well-rounded education won’t change, her day-to-day routine will shift when Kamas, a longtime music and theater teacher at Palisade High School, retires this month. “I can hardly wait to garden in the fall,” Kamas said recently, while sitting at her ...


Moms to watch: TV mothers who make you smile, cringe

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/08/2015

From the sugar sweet disposition of June Cleaver in the ABC sitcom “Leave It to Beaver” to the icy cold demeanor of Betty Draper on AMC’s “Mad Men,” television mothers have exhibited all sorts of characteristics through the years. Some are the classic types you’d love to call your own. Others are, to put it mildly, horrible. We’re looking at you, Cersei Lannister from HBO mega-hit “Game of Thrones.” Sure, the point of each TV character ...


Quick Picks: Art on the Corner installation; Big Water; and ‘Hatching the Past’ exhibit opens

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/05/2015

Saturday, May 9 On the corner Twenty-one new sculptures will be installed from 7–11:30 a.m. in downtown Grand Junction as the 2015 Art on the Corner selections. One of the most popular attractions in the city, Art on the Corner is a free, outdoor art exhibit, and this year’s exhibit is one of the largest in years. Among the new sculptures: “Kryptonite,” a large steel seahorse; “The Deluxe Spray-It Fire Rocketship,” a working water gun made with ...


Project puts focus on GJ officers

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/04/2015

Given all the negative press police officers are receiving nationwide, one might wonder just how strong the distrust is between law enforcement and the public they’re sworn to protect. In Grand Junction, freelance photographer Nathan Lopez started the GJPD 2015 Portrait Project last month as a way to not only interject himself into the community — he moved here from Oregon seven months ago — but as a way to humanize the local men and women who wear the GJPD ...


Bringing in business

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/03/2015

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A man’s best friend

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/03/2015

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Wendy Graham, Fifth Reel at La Puerta Studio

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/01/2015

National caller Wendy Graham will visit La Puerta Dance Studio, 523 1/2 Main St., for an afternoon of English Country Dance with live music from local band Fifth Reel and an English tea after the dance. The Sunday, May 3, dance highlights the community dance genre that dates back several centuries. Graham, 37, recently spoke in a phone interview about her role as a caller, English Country Dance style and its popularity past and present. Melinda Mawdsley: What is your role as a ...


Quick Picks: Comic Con and Free Comic Book Day; Rockestra auditions; Shimmy for Shelter

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/01/2015

Saturday, May 2 Comic relief Fans of comics, science-fiction and superheroes — what’s bigger than comic superheroes right now? — won’t want to miss the Mesa County Libraries’ Comic Con and Free Comic Book Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Central Library, 443 N. Sixth St. There will be special appearances, a comic swap and other activities for all ages. A screening of PBS documentary “Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle” will be from 2–4 ...


MOMS TO WATCH

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/01/2015

From the sugar sweet disposition of June Cleaver in the ABC sitcom “Leave It to Beaver” to the icy cold demeanor of Betty Draper on AMC’s “Mad Men,” television mothers have exhibited all sorts of characteristics through the years. Some are the classic types you’d love to call your own. Others are, to put it mildly, horrible. We’re looking at you, Cersei Lannister from HBO mega-hit “Game of Thrones.” Sure, the point of each TV character ...


Getting in character: Fruita grad, actor talks about Hollywood, film project

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/30/2015

Tyson Turrou, a 1996 graduate of Fruita Monument High School, has lived in Hollywood for years, making a name for himself as an actor in TV shows and on stage. Now, the 37-year-old is ready to dive into movies, serving as executive producer on his first feature film, “Loners.” Billed as “‘The Breakfast Club’ meets… ‘Dr. Strangelove,’” the comedy follows a group of eccentric loners forced to go through government-mandated group therapy ...


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By Melinda Mawdsley
04/25/2015

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Tips to getting those amazing Colorado National Monument photos we all want

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/25/2015

Of all the places to visit in western Colorado, none may be more popular than Colorado National Monument. I can’t count how many times I’ve been there for work, pleasure or as a travel guide for out-of-town guests, but I’ll say this: I finally saw the monument Tuesday. As part of our Uniquely Western Colorado Series, features writer Rachel Sauer and I asked professional photographer Donna Fullerton to guide us through the monument to share some favorite spots and tips ...


Learn from a top shot

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/25/2015

LEARN FROM A TOP SHOT Grand Junction photographer, artist and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps (1982–87) Donna Fullerton, 51, is relatively new to the Grand Valley, moving here from Florida in 2010, but she’s quickly discovered a love of Western landscapes, wildlife and wildflowers in her work. Her art can be found locally at the Veteran’s Art Center, 307 S. 12th St.   How long have you been interested in photography? Since I was a small child. My cousin, Jeff, ...


Quick Picks: Fruita Fat Tire Festival; Country Elegance - Logan Mize concert; birthday recital

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/24/2015

Friday through Sunday, April 24–26 Go fat The VIP party is over and it’s time to ride as the Fruita Fat Tire Festival marks its 20th anniversary. One of the highlights this year is the return of the Clunker Crit with costumes, clunky bikes and teams. The Hot Tomato Cafe and Pizzeria, which is marks its 10th anniversary this summer, will stage the event for children and adults from 3–4:30 p.m. Saturday at Circle Park. Prizes will be awarded. Registration is free, but ...


Montrose Art Partner receives state award

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/20/2015

Julianne Johnson is convinced no one works harder than her colleague Lissette Riviere. In an effort to acknowledge Riviere’s day-in and day-out effort as an Art Partner case manager with Partners in Montrose and Ouray counties, Johnson, Art Partner case manager in Delta County, nominated Riviere for a prestigious state award dedicated to those who work in the arts. Several weeks ago, Riviere learned from Colorado Creative Industries that she was one of three in the state to receive ...


Baby bottoms diapered en masse

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/18/2015

Backseats of cars, a neighborhood park bench, airplane fold down trays. Sometimes, a baby needs a diaper change in unexpected places. What about outdoors on the corner of Sixth and Main streets in downtown Grand Junction? More than a dozen people, mostly mothers who could probably change a diaper in their sleep, braved the cool, rainy weather to take part in The Great Cloth Diaper Change on Saturday at Colorado Baby, 560 Main St., as a sign of solidarity with other cloth diaper users ...


1 teen dies, 1 badly hurt in I-70 rollover near Rifle

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/18/2015

A 15-year-old Glenwood Springs boy was killed and a 17-year-old Gypsum boy was seriously injured in a single-vehicle rollover late Friday on Interstate 70 east of Rifle. Colorado State Patrol did not release their names because the crash is still being investigated, according to a news release. About 11 p.m. Friday, the 17-year-old was reportedly driving a 2005 Chevrolet truck east on I-70 when he drove off the left side of the road into the depressed grass median near milepost 92, the ...


Dynamic Duo

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/17/2015

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Quick Picks: ‘The Wizard of Oz’; National Parks Week; Arbor Day events

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/17/2015

Saturday, April 18 See the wizard April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Western Slope Center for Children is hosting its No More, Not Alone spring fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St. There are a slew of educational opportunities focused on health, safety and abuse prevention throughout the day as well as special Youth Theatre Project Young Performer’s Edition of “The Wizard of Oz” shows. The 2 p.m. performance costs $20 for ...


Triple Play Records celebrates worldwide Record Store Day

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/17/2015

Music will fill the 500 block of Main Street during the Record Store Day. Triple Play Records, 530 Main St., will be playing music and selling limited special releases during the event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., which is part of a day established to recognize and support independent record stores worldwide. Dave Grohl, currently of the Foo Fighters and formerly of Nirvana, is the official ambassador for this year’s Record Store Day. During Triple Play Records’ celebration of ...


Art + Music, GJ Off-Road plan bigger, better festival

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/17/2015

An increased music budget used to draw national acts James McMurtry, Big Sam’s Funky Nation and Shakey Graves to Grand Junction for free shows was one reason event organizers said it made sense to combine the Grand Junction Off-Road and Art + Music Festival into one weekend. The new Grand Junction Off-Road and Art + Music Festival is set for May 29–31 with a special opening night show with McMurtry on May 28 at Edgewater Brewery, 905 Struthers Ave. “It’s going to ...


DYNAMIC COMBO

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/16/2015

An increased music budget used to draw national acts James McMurtry, Big Sam’s Funky Nation and Shakey Graves to Grand Junction for free shows was one reason event organizers said it made sense to combine the Grand Junction Off-Road and Art + Music Festival into one weekend. The new Grand Junction Off-Road and Art + Music Festival is set for May 29–31 with a special opening night show with McMurtry on May 28 at Edgewater Brewery, 905 Struthers Ave. “It’s going to ...


Taking a bow

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/10/2015

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Heather Waggoner leaving classes behind, making plans to sew, travel

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/10/2015

Heather Waggoner was afraid to quit cold turkey. Retirement can be scary for “a workaholic,” so the Colorado Mesa University theater professor opted for a transitional retirement, working part-time the past two years. That allowed CMU to find her replacement and gave Waggoner the time to come to grips with the reality of free time. “I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough to do,” said Waggoner, 67. At the end of this school year, however, she will be a full-time ...


Quick Picks: International Honeybee Festival; Karaoke High School Party Night; Super Rad High School

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/10/2015

Friday and Saturday, April 10–11 Bee there Much has been made in recent years about the importance of bees to the health and vitality of this nation’s agricultural future. Locals can celebrate bees during the Palisade International Honeybee Festival in Palisade. An opening reception featuring spring and bee-themed artwork, appetizers and honey wine from The Meadery of the Rockies will be from is 5–7:30 p.m. Friday at Blue Pig Gallery, 101 W. Third St. On Saturday, the ...


Taking a bow: David Cox gets set for retirement with his last CMU theater production

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/09/2015

Darien Harlan is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in business administration. His friend, senior Sam Yenchick, is studying mechanical engineering. On a recent Friday afternoon, both were backstage in Robinson Theatre alongside a half dozen other Colorado Mesa University students building the set for CMU’s upcoming main stage play. The reason Harlan and Yenchick were working on the set, despite having little to no interest in set design careers, is simple: ...


Quick Picks: Final Four; “Messiah”; and Duo Dolce recital

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/03/2015

Saturday, April 4 Happy Final Four Day! The remaining four teams in the NCAA Men’s Tournament play on TBS to determine who has a shot to cut down the nets on Monday, April 6. Michigan State and Duke play at 4:09 p.m., while Wisconsin tries to give Kentucky its first loss of the season at 6:49 p.m. Side note: Expect an obscene amount of crowd shots during the Kentucky/Wisconsin game as the schools compete for the best celebrity fans. Kentucky has actress Ashley Judd, while ...


Righteous Brothers’ love song ‘Unchained Melody’ victorious

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/03/2015

Oh, my love, my darling I’ve hungered for your touch A long, lonely time Time goes by so slowly And time can do so much Are you still mine? I need your love I need your love God speed your love to me. — Lyrics from “Unchained Melody” Thanks to a strong showing, particularly among the men who participated in this year’s bracket challenge, “Unchained Melody” from The Righteous Brothers was named Greatest Love Song Ever. Thanks to all who ...


Musician Alycia Vince takes on GJ jazz, bluegrass, folk scene

By Melinda Mawdsley
04/02/2015

Alycia Vince slapped her hand down on the table. “I’m finally 30,” she said. A self-motivated, single mother, Vince has made tough decisions about where to live and what to do to provide happiness and stability for herself and her young son after a divorce several years ago, so turning 30 in January wasn’t a moment she dreaded. It was an age she’d been waiting for. “Now, I feel like I have some clout,” Vince said. Since moving to Grand ...


Robinson, beloved leader of university’s theatre department, dies at 92

By Melinda Mawdsley
03/30/2015

Whether it was the amaryllis flowers inside his Grand Junction home or the theatre department at the former Mesa Junior College and Mesa State College, Bill Robinson was always growing things. Robinson died at home in his sleep over the weekend. He was 92. “I don’t even know how to describe him, because there is no one else in my life like him,” said longtime friend and former colleague Maggie Robb. “Never will be.” As chairman of the school’s theatre ...


Loma girl wins Miss Teen Colorado competition

By Melinda Mawdsley
03/30/2015

Loma’s Erin Roney needed more cow bell. Any time the Fruita Monument High School senior appeared nervous during the recent Miss Teen Colorado United States pageant, Janice Roney, Erin’s mother, rang the cow bell she bought at Fruita’s Hot Tomato to help her daughter relax, maybe even smile. It worked. Erin, 18, was named Miss Teen Colorado United States after a two-day competition March 21-22 in Loveland, beating nearly 30 other contestants from across the state to earn ...


Green chili, a celebrated dish of the Southwest

By Melinda Mawdsley
03/28/2015

Green chili was not a dish I grew up eating. As a native Iowan, my chili was red. It always had beef. Sometimes it had beans. At one point, I distinctly remember following a recipe that called for sugar and that V8 vegetable drink. I know. When I moved to Mesa County in 2007, however, I was introduced to new chili varieties. Sure, there was red chili with beef and sometimes beans, but there was white chicken chili and this amazing green concoction of pork, green chilies and spices. As ...


Behind the Lens

By Melinda Mawdsley
03/27/2015

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GJ Symphony mixes it up with Variety Show

By Melinda Mawdsley
03/27/2015

Board members, staff members and musicians with the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra will treat audience members to a show unlike any other they do all year during the second annual Variety Show at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 1, in the Love Recital Hall in the Moss Performing Arts Center on Colorado Mesa University’s campus. This is not an April Fool’s Day joke. A variety of acts, from a Victor Borge skit to the performance of original music, make up the show, with the only two ...


Enjoy best of regional food, wine at Palisade’s Edesia

By Melinda Mawdsley
03/27/2015

Edesia, billed as “A Palisade Culinary, Wine and Spirits Adventure,” returns to Wine Country Inn from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, March 29. Now in its fifth year as a benefit for Marillac Clinic, Edesia offers people the chance to sample some of the best food, wine, beer and spirits of the region, according to the event website at edesiapalisade.com. In addition, people have the chance to watch celebrity chefs demonstrate various dishes and techniques during the event. This ...


Some surprises in Elite Eight of Sentinel’s bracket contest

By Melinda Mawdsley
03/26/2015

With one week left in our Greatest Love Song Ever bracket, we are ready to unveil the final eight songs that will duke — no pun intended as top-seeded Duke University remains a legit contender for a national championship in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament — it out for our title based on your votes. Some of the songs we expected to fare well. Some of your favorites, however, left features writer Rachel Sauer and me surprised. In the top left quarter of the bracket, ...


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