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Rifle, CO Colorado

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September 19, 2012
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Community Briefs - Sept. 20, 2012

Between 85 to 100 graduates from the Rifle Union High School classes of 1956, '57 and '58 recently spent a few days reminiscing and seeing how Rifle has changed.

The first welcoming vistas were of the majestic Anvil Points of the Bookcliffs they loved in school 55 years ago. What a great beginning!

Class reunions are fun times to catch up with good friends and talk about old times and memories together ... ahhh, those memories.

The classmates of this reunion enjoyed all those usual things, but this one seemed different, as it became obvious the city of Rifle itself and its progress was the star of the show. The downtown was "absolutely beautiful" with all the flowering pots gracing the streets. The tour of the old Ute Theatre building was "wonderful" and prompted classmates to join as members.

The solar field, the airport, the new Colorado Mountain College campus, plus the new hospital with its therapy center earned comments such as "super" and "wow."

The "cattle drive" in the roundabout was fun for all to get to the center of town, where reunion pictures could be taken against the colorful west wall mural at the Rifle Creek Museum.

Classmates toured the new Arts Council Center at the Morrow stone house and enjoyed Centennial Park, where they learned some of Rifle's history from the icons sandblasted on the stones. They also took pictures of the cowboy on the fish, cleverly called "Over the Rainbow."

Lastly, all great reunions have great eats, and classmates enjoyed brunch and dinner at the Columbine Restaurant at the Rifle Creek Golf Course.

What a great Rifle reunion! Thanks, city of Rifle.

Roberta Schafer

Class of '56


The Colorado Public Utilities Commission will hold a public hearing in Rifle about proposed changes to its telecommunications rules.

Comments will be taken Thursday, Sept. 20, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Rifle Branch Library, 207 East Ave.

The PUC is considering updates to its rules based on technological and competitive changes in the telecom industry.

Formal rulemaking hearings are scheduled for Oct. 1-4 at the PUC in Denver. Written comments may be submitted through the PUC website, puc/. Comments should be submitted to Docket No. 12R-862T.

Literacy Outreach needs help teaching basic literacy skills to adults, including basic reading, writing and math to native English speakers and oral English skills to non-native speakers. Volunteers do not need to speak a foreign language or have prior teaching experience, just a desire to help, the ability to read and speak English and three hours of time per week to work with an adult.

Interested volunteers are invited to attend an informational session Thursday, Sept. 20, from 6 - 7 p.m., at the Parachute Branch Library, 244 Grand Valley Way.

Literacy Outreach is a local non-profit teaching essential literacy skills to adults one word at a time. Call 945-5282 for more information or go online to

The Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Election Forum, moderated by Citizen Telegram Editor Mike McKibbin and KMTS News Director Ron Milhorn, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2 in Rifle City Hall, 202 Railroad Ave.

Among the candidates and issues invited are: U.S. Representative District 3, State Senate District 8, Colorado House of Representatives District 57, Garfield County Commissioners, 9th Judicial District District Attorney, Garfield Legacy Project sales tax and City of Rifle water treatment plant sales tax.

To date, confirmed candidates are: District attorney incumbent Martin Beeson, a Republican, and challenger Sherry Caloia, a Democrat; State Senate District 8 candidates Randy Baumgardner, a Republican, and Democrat Emily Tracy; House District 57 candidates Jo Ann Baxter, a Democrat, and Republican Bob Rankin; and County Commissioner District B candidate Aleks Breidis, a Democrat, and Republican incumbent Mike Samson.

Questions can be submitted in advance by email to, with the subject line "Election Forum Question." If you want your question answered by a particular candidate, please indicate which one. Candidates will not be informed of the questions in advance and the moderators will have full discretion to decide the questions they will pose. Time permitting, the live audience will be allowed to ask questions.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class David A. Klenda, a 1998 Rifle High School graduate assigned with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11, Det Musa Qal'ah, recently completed construction of a 3,100-square-foot medical facility at a combat outpost in the Musa Qal'ah region of southern Afghanistan.

The medical facility, which houses a trauma ward, two operating rooms, a laboratory, and a post-anesthesia recovery room, will provide medical evacuation support and trauma care for operating forces at numerous outposts and forward operating bases in the Musa Qal'ah region. Klenda joined the Navy in June 1998.

Dr. Brian Bernhardt has joined the Grand River Hospital District surgery team. An anesthesiologist, Bernhardt began seeing patients at Grand River on September 10.

Bernhardt was born and raised in Rifle, and is the son of former local Realtor Carolyn Bernhardt. He left to pursue his career in 1989, but returned often to visit family and friends. He has recently relocated to Rifle with his wife of 10 years, Eve, and his two-year-old daughter, Faline.

Bernhardt received his doctor of medicine degree in 2008 from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, where he also completed his anesthesia residency.

"It's like a dream come true to be able to practice medicine in the town where I grew up," Bernhardt said. "I have truly missed this area and have been trying to find a way to return. I feel so very fortunate."

Crime Stoppers of Garfield County would like to thank the following sponsors who helped make the Aug. 25 Crime Stoppers Gymkhana FUN-Raiser such a successful event.

Gross Benefits, LLC.; Subway of Glenwood Springs; Berthod Motors; Napa Auto Parts of Rifle; Antero Resources Piceance Corp.; Roaring Fork Valley Co-Op; Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park; Shale Country Liquors; Denver Museum of Nature and Science; Denver Zoo; Taco Bell; KMTS; Rifle, Glenwood Springs and Burning Mountains Fire Protection Districts; Rifle and Silt Police Departments; Garfield County Sheriff's Department; Garfield County All Hazards Response Team and a special thank you to all of our amazing volunteers.

Without support from businesses and organizations such as yours, we would not be able to effectively provide the level of crime fighting coordination we currently do for the county and its six municipalities.

All proceeds from the Gymkhana FUN-Raiser event will be used for operating costs, such as phone lines, tip software, advertising and correspondence supplies, as well as annual scholarships to area students.

Most importantly, donations such as yours are used to pay rewards to those who provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction of perpetrators responsible for committing crimes in Garfield County. Your gift truly makes a difference in our community.

Crime Stoppers of Garfield County Board of Directors

On behalf of the board of directors of the Don Kriz Youth Farm, I would like to thank all those who participated in the golf tourney and fund raiser sponsored by the La Farge Co. and it's employees on July 20.

It is good to know that during these particularly tough economic times, there are still those who support the needs of those less fortunate. To Bill Arrasmith and Phil Long of La Farge, I want to especially thank you for the time and effort put forth to organize this event.

Ken Kriz

Glenwood Springs

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The Post Independent Updated Sep 19, 2012 06:21PM Published Sep 19, 2012 06:12PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.