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Art Center director moves on to new canvas

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/30/2015

Children were in the courtyard preparing for another day of art camp. Volunteers were installing the new exhibit that opens Friday, and in her office, on her final day as executive director of The Art Center, Camille Silverman smiled. Well, first she cussed because when she got to her office Tuesday morning she found dozens of balloons on the floor making it difficult to work. But mostly her last day was about positive reflection. Since taking over as executive director in 2012, ...


Get a unique view of the west (and conquer fear) while on horseback

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/28/2015

I have equinophobia, and I blame Mexico. Well, not all of Mexico, just a tiny stretch of beach on the west coast near Mazatlan because I’m pretty sure that’s where I developed my fear of horses. Of all the things I did while on college spring breaks — foam parties, scaling inflatable ocean toys, dancing on moving boats — riding horses on the beach seemed the most relaxing and safest. Um, no. It wasn’t long after I got on a horse in that supposed idyllic ...


Quick Picks: Mesa Repertory Theatre final performances; P-Town Stomp; ‘Operation Wild’

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/26/2015

Friday and Sunday, June 26–28 Last call Don’t miss the final weekend of Colorado Mesa University’s Mesa Repertory Theatre season with performances at the Mesa Experimental Theatre in Moss Performing Arts Center, 1231 N. 12th St. “Stonecutter,” rated G, is intended for young audiences with shows at 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. “Time Flies and other short plays,” rated R, is a comedic collection of six short plays from award-winning playwright ...


Loudwire Music Festival seeks to cater to wide variety of fans

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/26/2015

It’s time to rock! After the cancellation of Rock Jam last year, music fans were left wondering what, if anything, might replace the multi-day rock show. Townsquare Media, the new owners of Country Jam, stepped in to create Loudwire Music Festival, a three-day rock event to be held at Country Jam Ranch from Friday through Sunday, June 26–28. The lineup was put together to cater to fans of all genres of rock: hard, metal, classic, alternative and indie. The headliners will be ...


Show Goes On: Meet the local stagehands at Country Jam

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/26/2015

Brad Swenson has never given birth, but if he did, he guesses it would look and feel like Country Jam. For the past 21 years, give or take a few, Swenson, a retired teacher from West Middle School, has been a stagehand at Country Jam, building the stage and sets and running around backstage, thinking to himself the long hours and hard work were too much to handle. But by the time each festival was over, Swenson looked back on the memories and music, forgot about the fatigue and looked ...


Fun for the fans: Grand Junction Rockies ready to play, entertain

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/26/2015

The Grand Junction Rockies will break baseball tradition Wednesday, Aug. 12. Before the game, instead of throwing a baseball during the ceremonial first pitch the team plans to toss a peach for Palisade Peach Night. Fans will notice the presence of peaches everywhere that night. “We’ll have a little farmers market with vendors under the stadium offering different things for sale,” said Tim Ray, Rockies general manager. “That evening, we’ll have peach relish ...


Quick Picks: Father’s Day Car Show; tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, Bike to Work Day

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/17/2015

Saturday, June 20 Cars and planes Celebrate Father’s Day early with the Father’s Day Car Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at A Taste of Heaven Catering, 2817 North Ave. There will be unique and unusual vehicles and motorcycles, plus live music, food booths and more. Cost to enter a vehicle in the show is $20 and space is limited so advanced registration is required by calling 720-934-3588 or email karen.atasteofheavencatering@yahoo.com. Before or after visiting the car show, make ...


Jessica Lynn ready to put on a show in Mack

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/17/2015

A native New Yorker, Jessica Lynn admits her route to the country music scene is out of the ordinary. After performing at last year’s Country Jam during the pre-festival campground party and on a side stage, Lynn, 25, returns with a main stage slot at 1 p.m. Friday, June 19. She also performs at 6:10 p.m. the same night on the Jack’s Place side stage. In advance of her appearance at Country Jam and before she and her nine-piece band travel from New York to western Colorado, ...


A lot to ink about: Tattoo artist lands gig on reality show

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/16/2015

Erik Campbell wanted to be a dirt bike racer, not a reality TV contestant. But, as so often happens, life had a different plan when an accident years ago dashed the Grand Junction man’s dreams of racing and set him on a course toward becoming a respected tattoo artist who will appear on Spike TV’s “Ink Master.” Campbell, 35, is one of 18 people from around the country selected for Season 6 of the show that pits artists against each other in a reality TV competition ...


Bus system seeks input on shifting routes

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/14/2015

In an effort to eliminate duplicate routes and modify routes now that school’s out, Grand Valley Transit is proposing numerous changes for this summer and seeks public input on the route shifts. GVT users are encouraged to attend an open house from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at GVT’s West Transfer Facility, 612 24 1/2 Road, where maps of proposed routes will be available. Staff will be there to answer questions. People can park behind the facility off F 1/8 Road. Those unable ...


Best burger 
competitors 
to square off 
at 2015 Jam

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/13/2015

Celebrity chef David Chang and Budweiser are searching for the best burger, and the nationwide competition includes a stop at Country Jam, where festival attendees will have a chance to pick a winner. The winner of the Bud & Burgers Championship held at Country Jam — April Timboe and Crystal Schlueter are the contestants — will be announced at 4:15 p.m. Sunday, June 21, and will join nine others from around the country in July in St. Louis to compete in the Bud & ...


The Appleseed Collective pumped for Palisade

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/12/2015

The men of The Appleseed Collective, all in their mid- to late 20s, are scheduled to perform at their first Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival in the 11 a.m. slot on Sunday, June 14, at Riverbend Bend Park. The men released “Live at the Ark” in December after recording the album at the nationally known acoustic and folk music venue, The Ark, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the band calls home. In advance of The Appleseed Collective’s first appearance in western ...


Quick Picks: Snowmass Mammoth Fest, Car Show and Barbecue Bash, Night Waves Teen Night and Pool Part

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/12/2015

Friday through Sunday, June 12–14 It’s mammoth More than two dozen microbreweries, more than 20 chili cooks and nearly two dozen bands make up the third annual Snowmass Mammoth Fest in Snowmass Village near Aspen. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, The Lone Bellow and Greensky Bluegrass are among the groups performing during the three-day event. Jamestown Revival, the headliners in last year’s Grand Junction Off-Road also are part of the music ...


SHOW GOES ON

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/12/2015

Brad Swenson has never given birth, but if he did, he guesses it would look and feel like Country Jam. For the past 21 years, give or take a few, Swenson, a retired teacher from West Middle School, has been a stagehand at Country Jam, building the stage and sets and running around backstage, thinking to himself the long hours and hard work were too much to handle. But by the time each festival was over, Swenson looked back on the memories and music, forgot about the fatigue and looked ...


Birds, sharks and snakes, oh my! ‘Jaws’ turns 40

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/11/2015

Is it safe to go in the water? For moviegoers in the summer of 1975 — and many summers since then — the answer was NO! Billed as “The terrifying motion picture from the terrifying No. 1 best seller,” director Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” impressed upon us that oversized, aggressive sharks were just waiting to attack. “The story revolves around one shark that seems to hold a grudge against particular individuals and goes after them ...


Collbran on alert through Monday

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/06/2015

Collbran residents that live in low-lying areas below the West Salt Creek landslide are advised to stay on alert as the National Weather Service’s Flash Flood Watch for the area remains in effect through Monday afternoon. Officials with Collbran and Mesa County warned residents Wednesday that heavy rains forecast for this weekend increased chances that a pond that formed after last year’s landslide would overflow and send an unknown amount of water down into the slide area, ...


Tomato tale: Weekly maintenance keeps plants strong and healthy

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/06/2015

The temperature was a comfortable 77 degrees, but the humidity level was a palpable 67 percent, creating a tropical-like feel inside one of the greenhouses at Blaine’s Tomatoes & Farm. The occasional bumblebee buzzed among the tomato plants’ yellow flowers to pollinate the crop. But even the bees moved in slow motion as if weighed down by the heavy air. At 3 feet tall and showing signs of fruit production, the tomato plants at the rural Clifton farm were big enough to cool ...


‘Jurassic’ web writer’s lecture in Fruita postponed by rain

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/06/2015

Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs. Science. Dinosaurs. Brian Switek. Dinosaurs. Although the creatures have been extinct for, well, a long time, the world’s fascination with them never wanes. Count freelance science writer Brian Switek among those bitten by the dinosaur bug as a small boy, piquing an interest in the animals that followed him into his career as a blogger and author and, recently, as a “resident paleontologist” for JurassicWorld.com, the website dedicated to ...


Quick Picks: Alycia Vince and New York City acoustic jazz trio; First Friday; Offroad Expo

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/05/2015

Friday, June 5 Jazz it up Join local musician Alycia Vince and New York City-based acoustic jazz trio Tri-Fi for a private concert at 7 p.m. at the studio and gallery of local artist Dave Davis, 619 33 Road. RSVP to alyciavince@gmail.com. Tickets cost $50 and include hors d’oeuvres. People are encouraged to bring their own drinks and a lawn chair. Carpooling also is suggested because of the venue’s limited parking.  Friday, June 5 Night for art It’s First ...


Hear ye, hear ye! Renaissance, fantasy genres combine for faire

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/05/2015

Weighed down by 75 pounds of handcrafted armor, William the Sinister was ready to slay a dragon down by the Colorado River. Fine. He probably won’t slay a dragon on the account that dragons don’t live in these parts, but the point is he could because in the world of fantasy anything is possible. William the Sinister, known among common folk as Grand Junction man Bill Monroe, will demonstrate the art of armored combat dating back to the Renaissance during the Fantasy Faire ...


Family heads to Nicaragua for online TV show

By Melinda Mawdsley
06/03/2015

After the positive reception Dave and Morgan Hansow received from the first season of their online TV show, the Grand Junction couple and their two children leave Friday to film the second season, continuing their efforts to bring stories of hope and love to an international audience. Morgan Hansow estimated 70,000 people have watched “The FIND: India,” the first season of their new, original reality show on their online channel LGHtv, and she’s received an inquiry from ...


Part-time GJ resident is ‘Naked and Afraid’

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/29/2015

As a child, Darrin Reay ate worms and grasshoppers on the playground. Instead of playing video games, he wanted to be outdoors. Always. “(My parents) couldn’t contain me,” Reay said. Fast-forward 33 years and Reay, who splits time among the Front Range, Moab, Utah, and the Grand Junction area as a mountaineering guide for Front Range Climbing Co., has found an entertaining outlet for his fixation on the outdoors and his intrigue with living off the land. At 8 p.m. ...


Big Weekend Bingo: People-watching’s best game

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/29/2015

Some weekends in the valley are busier than others. This is one of those extremely busy weekends. Not only is the entertainment calendar packed with options, particularly because it is the first year the Grand Junction Off-Road and the Downtown Art + Music Festival have joined forces. The events began Thursday, May 28, and will continue through Sunday, May 31. In addition the forecast is less soggy for the first time in what feels like months, which just may entice people out of their ...


Quick Picks: Local dance concerts; Mural Jam

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/29/2015

Friday, May 29 Get out for dance Don’t miss two different dance recitals featuring local dance groups and dancers of all ages. Inspire Dance Company’s spring recital “Artistry of Movement” is at 6:30 p.m. at Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St. Advance tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. The ticket price increases $4 at the door. Dance Revolution, a concert from Revolution Dance, is at 7 p.m. at Grand Junction High School Auditorium, 1400 N. ...


Check out these options for watching films under the stars

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/29/2015

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 ...


Three-year-old boy struck, killed by bus is identified

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/25/2015

Virgil Stansberry was identified Monday as the 3-year-old Grand Junction boy hit by a Grand Valley Transit bus on May 19. The boy died of his injuries about two hours after the crash, said Grand Junction Police Department spokesman Dave Stassen. On Monday, the Mesa County Coroner’s Office said the cause of his death was multiple injuries and the manner of death was an accident. At about 12:30 p.m., May 19, the toddler and his mother were crossing North Avenue in or near the ...


Men arrested allegedly had 660 grams of meth in car

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/25/2015

Two California men were arrested Thursday on Interstate 70 on suspicion of drug and forgery charges after more than 660 grams of methamphetamine reportedly was found in their vehicle, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. Lloyd Lester Jose Cordova, 32, and passenger Shahram Malakooti, 31, were arrested near milemarker 15 on eastbound I-70 near Loma on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and several felony fraud charges when a drug ...


Sen. Scott: ‘We must remember’

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/25/2015

Calling it “a day like no other,” Colorado Sen. Ray Scott said Memorial Day is the time to remember the men and women who gave their lives to defend the ideals and beliefs that make America stand tall. “We must remember,” Scott, a Republican from Grand Junction, told the masses gathered Monday at Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado. “These headstones of freedom remind us of what we enjoy not only in Colorado but in this great nation.” Scott ...


HEAR YE, HEAR YE!

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/25/2015

Weighed down by 75 pounds of handcrafted armor, William the Sinister was ready to slay a dragon down by the Colorado River. Fine. He probably won’t slay a dragon on the account that dragons don’t live in these parts, but the point is he could because in the world of fantasy anything is possible. William the Sinister, known among common folk as Grand Junction man Bill Monroe, will demonstrate the art of armored combat dating back to the Renaissance during the Fantasy Faire ...


See the stars

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/22/2015

 ...


052215OACOVER

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/22/2015

 ...


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 ...


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

 ...


A man’s best friend

By Melinda Mawdsley
05/03/2015

 ...


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 ...


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