Special Sections - Portrait

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Clowning around: Corky Miller’s path to 33 years 
in teaching is an unusual one

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

“If I can’t be a rodeo clown, then I might as well be a teacher.” That’s what Corky Miller was thinking when he set out to find his own way in the world. “My original plan was to go to rodeo clown college ...


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On cue: Thomas Brown is a shark on pool table

By Tim Harty

Hunched over the back end of the table, staring intently toward the target where his pool cue is directed, Thomas Brown draws back his right hand, then brings it forward with sudden but controlled force. The white cue ball on the receiving ...


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Zach Labine overcomes battle with depression, makes impact for Central basketball team

By Matt Meyer

When his life gets tough, Zach Labine has the basketball court. Whether it’s a concrete driveway, the blacktop at a local church, or the hardwood at Central High School, there’s always been basketball. It doesn’t matter if ...


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Romanian baker Mihaela Chiriloaia brings 
European-style pastries to Grand Junction

By Greg Ruland

Mihaela’s Bakery sells no doughnuts. This disappoints practically no one. That’s because Mihaela Chiriloaia is a talented baker whose delicate European-style pastries put bear claws to shame. Chiriloaia glows with the energy of a ...


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Horse play: Brian Crandall enjoys life as farrier, horseshoe artist

By Rachel Sauer

Mr. T was not especially inclined to lift his hoof. In fact, he stood with all four of them firmly planted on the gravel, projecting a very clear attitude of “Nope.” Brian Crandall rubbed a gentle hand down Mr. T’s neck and ...


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Star warrior: StarTek site director Dennis Foos gets to know employees, 
even when there are a

By Gary Harmon

About 10 years ago, Jenny Lockwood signed up for training at StarTek in Grand Junction. Hers was but one face among 350 to 400 others, all brand new, Lockwood said. In other words, pretty much invisible. On the second day of training, ...


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Sara Donaldson loves passing on family’s tradition 
of serving Motor City pies at Junct’n Squa

By Patti Arnold

Sara Donaldson’s first job at Junct’n Square Pizza was to clean the gum off the bottom of the tables. She was 4. Now, the 36-year-old owner of the 36-year-old pizza joint just off the corner of Seventh and Main streets in ...


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Entrepreneur Dylan Hazelhurst is making waves in Grand Junction

By Greg Ruland

Dylan Hazelhurst tenderly extracts a veiled chameleon from its glass tank and speaks lovingly to its spiky, green head. “Come here, girl, I’m worried about you,” he said, stroking the point of the nameless animal’s ...


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Shades of New York: Angela Lema brings style to GJ

By Rachel Sauer

565 Fifth Avenue in New York City is a long, long way from a garage converted into a salon in Moab, Utah. But less than a decade into her career as a stylist and beauty professional, Manhattan was where Angela Lema found herself. The Redken ...


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Building Palisade: Even as their medical marijuana dispensary grows, Loughmans stay true to customer

By Amy Hamilton

Jesse and Desa Loughman have their fingerprints on just about every aspect of civic life in Palisade. It’s apparent in the freshly painted bridge entering the town’s much-loved Riverbend Park. You can see it across town at the ...


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Cooking up change: Doug Winter 
makes a mean barbecue, but it’s jail ministry that wins over i

By Paul Shockley

Praise the Lord and pass the sauce: Doug Winter is cooking up things at the Mesa County Jail. One inmate at a time. A North Carolina native, Winter started as a volunteer ministering to inmates in March 2014 before he was eventually hired ...


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Woman’s prior hardship served 
as fertilizer for garden project

By Dennis Webb

During seven years of unemployment, Kim Doyle Wille came to rely on cheap but unhealthy food and paid the price. Her weight blossomed, her teeth hurt, she was becoming depressed, she wasn’t eating fresh produce, and none was available ...


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Deputy keeps dad’s legacy alive at jail

By Paul Shockley

Janielle Westermire has joked she didn’t have a name during her childhood. She was always, “Harry Butler’s daughter.” “Growing up,” Westermire said in an interview, “my mom and dad were always taking ...


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Anna Stout shows El Salvador with Foundation for Cultural Exchange

By Matt Meyer

Somewhere along the line, parents of local children decided to trust Anna Stout when she was just 19 years old. “I can’t even imagine,” said Stout, now 30. “Being a parent of a teenager and telling a 19-year-old, ...


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Quiet teen’s charitable actions speak loudly

By Dennis Webb

Chandra Starr prefers doing things for others rather than talking about herself. Those actions speak for themselves, however, as do friends and family who voice admiration over the accomplishments of someone who is just 14 years old, and ...


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