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There’s no news too small for the Downvalley column. Contact Pam Boyd via e-mail at; or call (970) 328-6656 x4.

History book features Eagle County pioneers

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Eagle County wouldn’t be what it is today without the adventurous group of pioneers who ventured west to the Eagle Valley in the 1880s, liked what they found and decided to stay.

Local historian Kathy Heicher captures the stories of 10 of those early day settlers in her new book, “Eagle County Characters: Historic Tales of a Colorado Mountain Valley.” The book release date is June 10.

The pioneers that are profiled in the book range from John Root, the mountain man who settled on the Colorado River, to Ellis “Bearcat” Bearden, the Squaw Creek cattle rancher who expanded the family ranch with his 1930s boxing ring wins. Descendants of some of the county’s early settlers continue to live in the valley today.

“Describing the early pioneers as ‘colorful’ is a vast understatement. The men and women who ventured into this rough, raw mountain country and made it into a community were brave, smart and incredibly resourceful,” Heicher said.

The cost of the book, published by the History Press, is $19.99. The Bookworm of Edwards will host a book-signing and program at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 20. The Eagle County Historical Society will host a book-signing at the History Museum in Eagle on Friday, June 21.

To order books in advance from the Eagle County Historical Society, contact Sandy Van Campen at 328-6645 or e-mail

Free Medicare 101 Session

There are lots of questions about Medicare — How do I enroll? When can I sign up? What if I am still working? What does Medicare cost? Do I need additional coverage? What is a Medicare Savings Program and do I qualify? When can I sign up for Medicare D (prescription drug coverage)? What is the 2013 Standard Drug Benefit? What is the 2013 Gap Benefit? How do I get Extra Help (LIS)?

For answers to these questions, a free Medicare group session is planned at the Gathering Center at the Orchard, 110 Snowmass Drive in Carbondale on Thursday, May 30, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The information will be presented by High Country RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) Volunteer Medicare Counselors and will not be represented by any insurance brokers. There is no need to register but you may call 970-384-8744 for more information.

Screaming Eagle Golf Tournament

The Eagle Chamber of Commerce has filled most of the player slots but is still on the hunt for hole sponsors and gift-bag swag for the 2013 Screaming Eagle Golf Tournament.

The event is planned Friday, May 31, at the Eagle Ranch Golf Club. Play will begin with a shotgun start at 11 a.m. For those who want to support the event’s cause — the Eagle Chamber of Commerce scholarship program — but who don’t play golf, an apres-tournament party is planned.

For more information or to find out if you can slip in to play, contact Taylor Slaugh at 970-306-2262 or visit

Dive into Summer

As local school kids and their teachers are well aware, the 2012-13 term is quickly drawing to a close.

For members of the Eagle Valley High School Class of 2013, classes ended last week and graduation ceremonies were Saturday, May 25, at Hot Stuff Stadium.

For all other students, Thursday, May 30, is the final day of school.

What better way to start off the summer than with a party at the pool? Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District will host its Dive Into Summer pool party Friday, May 31. Admission to the Eagle Pool is free between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Additionally, WECMRD’s Rec Kids camp counselors will be on site and games, competitions and prizes are planned. For more info, visit or call 970-328-5277.

Play ball

Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District will hosts its Baseball Opening Day celebration Saturday, June 1, at the Eagle County Fairgrounds complex.

The annual festival kicks off the local youth baseball program for the summer and will include a first-pitch ceremony at 9 a.m. followed by a full slate of games throughout the day. Concessions, booths and the Colorado Rockies Skills challenge is planned. For the challenge, boys ad girls between the ages of 6 and 13 compete in 10 fundamental skills of batting, base running and throwing. Winners from the local competition move on to a regional contest and qualifiers there compete at the state level. Participation in the Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge is free.

For information about youth baseball opening day, visit

Skeet and Eat

The Western Eagle County Rotary Club’s annual Skeet and Eat fund-raiser is planned Saturday, June 15, at the Gypsum Shooting Sports Park.

The event includes a trap-shooting competition followed by a cash bar and a barbecue dinner served by Moe’s Original Bar B Que in Eagle.

Tickets are $50 and include both the competition and the meal. Tickets for the dinner areonly $15.

Sponsors for the event include Alpine Bank, First Bank, American Gypsum and Servpro.

All proceeds from the silent auction go to the local Rotarian’s community service projects. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chuck Zaruba at 970-328-5052 or Tickets are also available at the door on the day of the event.

Around Town

Cooper Jay Adams of Eagle was one of 224 undergraduates to collect his diploma at Hasting College’s graduation on May 18. He earned his degree in biopsychology. Congratulations!

School is out! Today, May 30, marks the last day of classes for Eagle County Schools students. Here’s hoping everyone has a great summer. High school and middle schools students will report back to classrooms on Aug. 20 and elementary school students have until Aug. 22 to enjoy their summer vacation.


The fish are starting to bite at waters all around the state. To give everyone an opportunity to get out and get some hits, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is inviting anglers of all ages to participate in its annual Free Fishing Weekend, June 1-2.

Each year, the agency designates the first weekend in June as the only two-day period that anglers all around the state are not required to have a fishing license. For the rest of the year a fishing license is required for anyone 16 years and older.

“The free fishing weekend is a great way to get outside with family and friends and take advantage of Colorado’s extensive opportunities to fish for a myriad of cold and warm water fish species without having to worry about possessing a license,” said Greg Gerlich, aquatic section manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “This is the perfect opportunity for anglers to introduce a friend, family member and, especially, children to one of America’s favorite activities. If people are wondering where to go to fish, there are an abundance of publicly accessible waters across the state. But many people need look no further than our Colorado state parks.”

A recent survey of resident and non-resident anglers revealed a high level of satisfaction with fishing experiences in Colorado. Anglers said they especially like to pursue the numerous trout species available in state waters. The majority of fish caught in Colorado are stocked by the agency, and each year more than 3 million catchable-sized trout and 14 million trout fingerlings are stocked into the more than 2,000 lakes, ponds and reservoirs around the state.

While fishing licenses are not required during free fishing weekend, all other regulations remain in effect. Anglers should consult the 2013 Colorado Fishing brochure for specific regulations and restrictions for the waters where they’ll be fishing.

Fishing licenses can be purchased at any Colorado Parks and Wildlife office or from one of the more than 600 license agents across the state. Licenses can also be purchased online. Anglers may also purchase a fishing license over the phone and receive a temporary authorization number allowing them to fish immediately by calling 800-244-5613.

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