Friday, December 15, 2017

This Week in Pics

Executive Director of Mesa County Public Health Jeff Kuhr, right, was presented the Rocky Mountain Health Plans Annual Bruce Wilson, M.D. Memorial Award by Steve ErkenBrack, left, on Friday. Bruce Wilson, M.D. Memorial Award recognizes those who have made meaningful differences in the lives of our members and others in the Colorado communities we serve through partnership with Rocky Mountain Health Plans. In remembrance of Dr. Wilson’s unfailing spirit and commitment to service, Rocky Mountain Health Plans recognizes Jeff Kuhr for his exemplary accomplishments through collaboration with our community partners.

Mesa County Commissioners held a Land Use hearing on Tuesday to vote on four items needing individual consideration and a resolution. To see what they voted on, visit

After public testimony and in-depth review of the appeal of the administrative decision to approve the Open Range III subdivision concept plan for property located at 1592 Cattle Drive in Loma, the Board of County Commissioners gets ready for deliberation.

Mesa County Workforce Center Director Curtis Englehart teaches the Mesa County Leadership Class 2017-2018 the critical role the Workforce Center plays in economic development and the services available for job seekers and businesses. Learn more about the Mesa County Workforce Center at

A 2017 John Deere 850K bulldozer with a waste handler package was delivered to the Mesa County Solid Waste Campus last week. The new piece of equipment replaces a bulldozer from the 1990s used by the Solid Waste Management Division.

New and improved scales are being installed near the entrance of the Mesa County Landfill, to replace deteriorated scales used to weigh vehicles when entering and exiting the campus. 

A crane gets ready to remove the old 40-foot-long scale on the outbound (exit) lane of the Mesa County Landfill. A longer-lasting scale with about 30-feet of additional coverage will replace the old scale.

The project at the landfill is expected to be completed mid-January, the schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions.
Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, center, and Rio Blanco Commissioner Shawn Bolton, right, welcome Andy Mueller aboard, left. Mueller is the new general manager for the Colorado River District.

Mesa County Fairgrounds Administrative Assistant Stacy Pinnt, left and Fairgrounds Administrative Coordinator Linda Robinson, right, pose for a picture in front of the Christmas tree in the fairgrounds' lobby.

'Tis the season to be merry! Mesa County Animal Services decked their halls with holiday decor.

Mesa County Animal Services has a couple of kittens available for adoption. Aren't they cute? Only safe, loving, permanent homes are sought for pet adoption. If you are considering a new pet for life, please consider the homeless animals at Animal Services. 

Learn how you can adopt a pet at Animal Services, visit

Mesa County Animal Services Officer Ron Markley stands alongside the presents pets will be receiving this holiday season.
Folks from Ariel Clinical Services came bearing glad tidings, cookies and carols for the Department of Human Services staff on Tuesday.

'Tis the season for giving! The Moose Lodge donated toys for children in foster care in Mesa County. DHS Case Managers Courtney Thompson, left, Kylie Mayfield, right, accept the donations from Barbara Case with the Moose Lodge, center. 

Mesa County Sheriff's Office deputies are honored to participate in Grand Junction Police Department's 25th Shop with a Cop event. This year, was the first year in the history of the program that the GJPD was able to invite a fifth-grader from every elementary school in Mesa County Valley School District 51.

MCSO Sergeant Marco Montez shops with a fifth-grader at Mesa Mall. 

MCSO deputies help spread holiday cheer by shopping with kids in the Grand Valley who are in need. 

Mesa County Sheriff's Office, the Fruita Police Department, and the Colorado State Patrol join the GJPD's annual Shop with a Cop event to help kids in need this holiday season. Teamwork at its best!

Once again, Mesa County Sheriff's Office put on aprons to serve and raise money for Special Olympics Colorado at a Tip-A-Cop event hosted at the Texas Roadhouse in Grand Junction. 
Within a few hours, deputies raised over $3,700 at the Tip-A-Cop event at Texas Roadhouse. A big thank you to everyone who donated their time and money for this wonderful cause!

Mesa County Sheriff's Office deputies alongside Grand Junction Police Department officers raise funds to provide sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Teresa Nees with Noxious Weed & Pest Management and Kacey Conway, a member of the Weed Advisory Board, attended the Colorado Weed Management Association annual conference last week in Colorado Springs to learn about new research and earn continuing education credits.

Teresa Nees presented Kacey Conway, a member of the Mesa County Weed Advisory Board, with the CWMA Lifetime Achievement award for 2017.  Kacey has spent 20 plus years in various organizations helping grow their noxious weed management programs.

Kacey Conway was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at the Colorado Weed Management Association conference.  Her work includes helping found the Tamarisk Coalition in the late 1990s, helping start the project of managing purple loosestrife in wetlands and the Colorado River in the early 2000s, working as a weed manager for the BLM, serving on the Mesa County Weed Advisory Board and more. 

Christmas lights welcomed weed managers from across the state to Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs for the annual Colorado Weed Management Association conference.  
Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, left, and Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden, right, attend Colorado Mesa Universities Fall Commencement Ceremony. One of this fall's graduates is Mesa County employee Dannon Bolton, center. Congratulations, Dannon! Watch the ceremony here.
During the Clerk and Recorder’s year-end meeting/party Mesa County Motor Vehicle Customer Service Specialist Matthew Vigil models the women’s robe he just scored.

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Administrative Assistant Janika HarrisJanika Harris sports some cool shades during the Clerk and Recorder’s year-end meeting/party!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Solid waste campus will close early Dec. 13

The Mesa County solid waste campus, 3071 US Highway 50, will close at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 13, for construction.

New and improved scales are being installed near the entrance of the Mesa County Landfill, to replace deteriorated scales used to weigh vehicles when entering and exiting the campus. Traffic delays should be expected. The project is expected to be completed mid-January, the schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions.

Friday, December 8, 2017

This Week in Pics

The Board of County Commissioners declares Dec. 5 as Grand Valley Gives Day in Mesa County. The Grand Valley Gives Collaboration was formed in 2012 on the Western Slope to increase awareness of giving back to the local community as part of the statewide movement of Colorado Gives Day. This year, 33 non-profit agencies are working together to raise funds to ensure local nonprofits can continue to provide valuable services to residents.

Mesa County Commissioners unanimously approved a $165,623,590 county budget in public hearing Monday. For more information on the 2018 budget, visit Also, the public-safety sales tax will start Jan. 1, 2018, learn more at
The Board of County Commissioners convened on Tuesday to vote on land-use items. To see what they voted on, visit

After residents testify before the Board of County Commissioners at a Land Use hearing Tuesday morning, Mesa County Planning staff Linda Dannenberger and Jeff Hoffman give the board recommendations on how to move forward.
The Mesa County Employees' Association (MCEA) hosted a holiday social for all employees Wednesday afternoon at the Mesa County Central Services Building, 200 S. Spruce St.

Perhaps grown-ups are too old for toys, but they deserve holiday ducks, too. The MCEA for years has kept up with the tradition of providing collectible rubber ducky favors.

MCEA members from left to right: Criminal Justice Services Accountant Doni O'Rourke, Public Works OWTS Specialist Jennifer Caldwell, Traffic Technician Tina Dugger, Administrative Assistant Rene Romero and Fairgrounds Manager Donna Redd serve employees at the holiday luncheon. Thank you, ladies, for taking care of a few hundred employees that attended the holiday luncheon!
Prime rib, green beans, salad, mashed potatoes, gravy and a dinner roll! A vegetarian entree option was available, too. 
Oh, my! Apple pie! What’s the best thing to put into an apple pie? Your teeth, of course.

MCEA President Lori Seely makes sure everyone turns in their ticket to participate in the raffle.

Mesa County Public Works staff members took a break from their busy schedule to sit down and enjoy a warm meal. 

Great turn out at the this year's MCEA Holiday Social! MCEA members spread holiday cheer and serve employees their meal.

Mesa County Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Welfare Supervisor Crystal Stewart picks out dessert.

Mesa County employees enjoy lunch by the virtual fireplace.
Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden and Mesa County GIS Administrator Chris Kadel catch up at the MCEA Holiday Social. Tech talk.

Mesa County Facilities crew members Dan Adams, Tim Morfin, Federico Vargas, Christopher Trujillo and Steve Medina socializing at the holiday luncheon.

Many Mesa County employees took a break to enjoy conversation and delicious food at the 2017 MCEA Holiday Social.

Janika Harris talks on the phone during her time at the holiday social, probably checking in on her new grandbaby! 

Mesa County Planning Director Linda Danneberger and Commissioner Scott McInnis enjoy lunch and conversation at the holiday social. 
DHS Operations Supervisor Albin Escamilla and DHS Clerical Supervisor Ingir Beman sit down to eat.

Mesa County Information Technology Technical (and "Emotional") Support Specialist Paul Mitts rocks his Hawaiian Christmas shirt at the holiday luncheon. 

Duck, Duck, Santa?

Mesa County Maintenance Supervisor Federico Vargas has two new friends. 

Sometimes you have to make room for people to walk by.

Mesa County Public Works Office Administrator Pam Hawkins, Mesa County Surveyor Patrick Green and Paul Mitts with IT's help desk wear their holiday wardrobe and help spread holiday cheer.  

DHS Services Operations Supervisor Albin Escamilla, right, tells everyone at the table that Paul, center right, is his friend. But, let's be real, Paul is EVERYONE's friend when having technical difficulties.

Mesa County DHS Child Support Specialist Lorri Chavez, Roxanne Delay, and Betty Thomason enjoy good conversation and better company at the MCEA Holiday Social.

Mesa County Attorney Patrick Coleman catches up with Commissioner Justman at the MCEA Holiday Social.

Nobody likes getting their picture taken while they eat, including Commissioner Justman.

To participate in the MCEA Holiday Social employees pay admission by donating to the Bear Necessities Closet and Roice-Hurst Humane Society. 

Mesa County employees donate hundreds of items to the Bear Necessities Closet, a support program for Mesa County Foster children.
Elf on the shelf on a whole other level. The little elf is sitting on the top of Mesa County Public Works-Engineering Department Regulatory Programs Manager Carrie Gudorf's nine-foot straw. The giant straw is used as a prop for stormwater education.

Close up of the elf on the nine-foot straw.
Elves from the Foster and Kinship teams prepare and stuff stockings for foster children in Mesa County. Sarah St. Martin inventories the Bare Necessities Closet for the Holidays

DHS staff members Kate Beltran, Kylie Mayfield, and Lori Rienstra making a list and checking it twice.
DHS staff members Courtney Thompson, Carrie Hoffman, and Jeff Sheley do the stocking stuffing.
Stockings ready for Santa's sleigh.

Mesa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) Captain Todd Rowell, left, Captain Don Hendricks and Sheriff Matt Lewis talk before the Mesa County Sheriff's Office 2017 Awards Ceremony. 

MCSO Captain Don Hendricks, left, Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis and Administrative Assistant Wendy Likes make sure everything is ready moments before for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony got underway. 

MCSO Deputies present colors during the Mesa County Sheriff's Office Awards Ceremony.

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman at the Sheriff's Office Awards Ceremony. 

Captain Todd Rowell presents an award.  

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese and Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden attend the Sheriff's Office Awards Ceremony Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. 

Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis expresses his gratitude to employees during the Sheriff's Office Awards Ceremony for a job well done. 

Deputy Cannizzaro, left, was patrolling the Wild Rose parking lot and noticed two horses with blood on them, then saw nine-year-old (at the time) Andrew Horner, center left, running after them. Horner reported to Deputy Cannizzaro that his grandmother, Terri Wise, center, had fallen off her horse and was badly injured. Horner saved his grandmother's life by notifying Deputy Cannizzaro, who called for medical attention. Wise was flown to St. Mary's after suffering serious injuries. Sergeant Marco Montez, right, was also on scene. Horner was awarded the "Distinguished Service" award during the ceremony at Mesa County Sheriff's Office Thursday, Dec. 7.
County Commissioners from across the Western Slope met with the Colorado River District Wednesday, Dec. 6. 

Mesa County Public Health Regional Health Connector Sarah Johnson spoke at the Colorado Health Institute's (CHI) Hot Issues in Health Conference this week. She and Sara Schmitt of CHI presented "Local Data for Difficult Debates: How Graying and Guns Differ Across Colorado" - a session that looked at two case studies to show how local numbers and partnerships are essential to finding informed solutions to firearm deaths in Colorado.