Thursday, April 30, 2015

Remember When? Week 19

April 29, 1965, 50 years ago.
Over 150 guests were present Sunday afternoon at IOOF Hall to observe the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the local branch of Limon Odd Fellow Lodge.
Miss LaWanda Morrow, senior of Limon High school, is representing Eastern Colorado in the Colorado Posture Pageant at the Brown Palace Hotel.
Kevin, Carson and Maurita Kravig, from Karval 4-H Club, have been chosen to represent Lincoln County at the annual 4-H conference in Fort Collins.
Mr. and Mrs.Francis B. Mease of Limon announce the engagement of their daughter, Sharon Kay, to Louis Widhalm, son of Mr. and Mrs Don Widhalm of Limon.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Managing the Lincoln Lanes

By Will Bublitz

Managing the Lincoln Lanes bowling alley is a dream come true for Cole and Kim Britton of Limon.
Cole and Kim took over the management of the local bowling alley on March 1. Lincoln Lanes is currently owned by Vicki Paulson.

“Vicki and her kids asked us to manage Lincoln Lanes," Kim said. "Right now, we're managing Lincoln Lanes on weekday evenings and on the weekends because we both have day jobs. Cole has been working for the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office as a corporal in the jail for the past 10 years. I'm a pre-kindergarten teacher who has worked for Limon's Head Start for 17 years."

However, Cole and Kim's ambition is to do much more than just manage Lincoln Lanes.

"We're now the current managers of Lincoln Lanes but we're going to be its future owners," Cole said.

Kim agreed. "Jim and Vicki Paulson came to us and asked us to take it over four years ago, because they were looking to sell their farm and bowling alley so that they could move to Colorado Springs.

 We weren’t in a position at that time to be able to make that happen and we thought we had missed our opportunity.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


The Limon Musical performance of Peter Pan shined thanks to the performances of Shawn Steinhart as Hook, Emma Gaede as Pan and Sayla Kimble as Wendy!
Supporting cast and crew were exceptional, and the performance should be enough to fill the stands for next year's performance... whatever it may be.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rebirth and Light

By Will Bublitz

The message of the recent Easter holiday is about the rebirth of light and life after the darkness of death.

That same kind of message is behind the name change taking place at a Limon church.

“We are changing our church’s name from Life in Christ Church to the Lighthouse Worship Center,” Pastor Melanie Taylor said. “This is our way of declaring to the community that we have risen from the ashes and are shining as a beacon of hope and light to those who may be suffering in their lives.”
Melanie said the new name helps to symbolize the goals of her church.

“It communicates our identity better,” she said. “It also represents a meaningful shift in our outlook and mission to ourselves and to others around the community. This new name minimizes exclusion and confusion. It is also a symbol of welcome and encouragement to all people no matter their race, church affiliation or background.”

The name change is also a sign the local church has finally overcome a major tragedy when its former pastor Rick Taylor and his daughter Bethany were killed in a car accident on March 27, 2009.
Their deaths were not only a tragedy for the congregation, but also a personal one for Melanie, who was Rick’s wife and Bethany’s mother, as well as their immediate family that includes daughters Amanda and Heather and son Lucas.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Warren Mitchell

By Bert Borgmann, Colorado High School Activities Association

He’s been called a coaching icon. He’s been called a coaching legend.

Whatever words are used to describe Warren Mitchell, the operative one is “coach.” For 58 1/2 years, he coached Colorado high school athletes in five sports. And, he did it with love, a sense of community and accomplishment.

Mitchell, or “Mitch” as he’s called by a myriad of his colleagues, athletes and community members, passed away November 14, 2014, shortly after learning he would be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. He told friends that his greatest worry was what to say in his acceptance speech tonight.

Now, he will simply have to let his legacy speak for him.

A graduate of Denver West High School, Mitchell attended Colorado State College of Education (now UNC), graduating in December 1951 after running track for four years and playing a season of football.

He landed at Eads High School in January of 1952 to teach and coach boys’ basketball which he did for a year and a half.  He compiled a 25-7 record before moving on to Limon High School in the fall of 1953, and it was in Limon where he settled in for the next 57 years.

He started out as the school’s basketball and baseball coach, but moved into coaching track in 1955 and stayed until 2010.  He also had a stint as the school’s football head coach for nine seasons and came out of retirement to serve as Limon’s athletic director for 2 years (1999-2001).  Mitch’s last 2 years in Limon, he also was the co-head cross country coach.  What transpired from his coaching created the descriptions of “icon” and “legend.”

Mitchell Family at induction banquet.
As the Limon boys’ basketball coach, he compiled a 25-year record of 374-155 (.707) and four state championships.  With his Eads mark, he was 399-162 (.711) and 17-4 in state playoffs.

In nine years as the Badgers’ head football coach, Mitch compiled a 64-35 record.  His 1979 team won the state title and in 1986 were runners-up.  Limon qualified for the playoffs seven of his nine seasons.  Before he became head coach, he was an assistant for 26 years, and the team won 11 state championships.

The family of Warren Mitchell proudly attend induction ceremony to honor Mitch.
However, it was in boys’ track where Mitch and his teams made their mark. They won 12 state team championships, finished second four times and had 73 individual (57) or relay (16) state champions, including setting 15 state records, coaching 56 seasons, including 22 after he retired from teaching in 1988.  As a head coach, his teams won 17 state team titles and were runners-up five times.

Four sports wasn’t enough for Mitch;  he even served as Limon’s co-head boys’ & girls’ cross country coach for two seasons at the age of 82.  This was the first time Mitch coached girls, and they qualified for state as a team in 2008, plus an individual in 2009.

Mitchell is a member of five halls of fame, including the CHSAA Hall of Fame, National High School Hall of Fame and National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.  In 2001, Limon built and dedicated the school’s auxiliary gym in his honor, the Warren Mitchell Events Center.

Mitch was national track coach of the year twice, 2007 & 2008, and regional COY four times.  He was Colorado’s track COY eight times and football COY once. He was the first coach to receive both the 50- and 55-year awards from the Colorado High School Coaches Association.  He held every office possible in the CHSCA and served on numerous CHSAA and school committees.

He may not get to give his acceptance speech, but his legacy speaks volumes.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

CSU Extension: Teaching the Science behind Agriculture

    “Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens.  They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.”  (Thomas Jefferson, 1785.)
    Many of you may be able to personally identify with this quote from Mr. Jefferson, due to the fact that we live in a rural, predominately agricultural area.  However, our urban counterparts may be several generations removed from any form of production agriculture and do not understand the science behind the production of their food.  Even many of our youth, who will soon be the leaders and scientists of tomorrow, are losing sight of where food comes from and how it’s produced.  Colorado State University Extension agents and specialists recognized this concerning trend and created a program called AgFest in 2010.  AgFest is an innovative, eclectic approach to help 5th and 6th grade students explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through hands-on educational workshops that supplement their school curriculum.

    In order to deliver AgFest to a large audience of 5th and 6th grade students, the program travels to communities across eastern Colorado.  In the spring of 2014, the 5th year of AgFest, 1,675 students from 40 schools attended one of eight AgFest events held at fairgrounds and community centers.  During the day-long program, students rotate through ten activity stations, typically in groups of 15-30 students.  The following stations for the 2015 AgFest event will focus on different science-based learning objectives related to these aspects of agriculture:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Adjunct Instructor

By Will Bublitz

Linda Olsen of Limon never has to wonder what to do with her spare time because she is always working or volunteering to help the local community.

Linda is an adjunct instructor with Morgan Community College. She has worked for MCC since 1995.

“I love the students I have at MCC,” she said. “Some of MCC’s students are non-traditional (mature adults) and they want to be in class to learn. The majority of the students are like magnets that grab knowledge.”

One of the courses that Linda teaches is “Ag Business Management” for MCC’s Fort Morgan campus.

“With the Ag Business students I go into their homes or businesses, so the learning environment is very conductive to easy learning on their own computers in their own surroundings,” she said. “We help them set up business plans and their accounting systems, as well as with website construction ideas.”

In addition to benefiting local local ranchers and farmers, Linda’s Ag Business Management classes have also helped other types of local businesses including: the new RV Park in Hugo; Turkey Crossing Cafe in Hugo, Worden Wines in Burlington, Dusty Rose Old Time Photos and Aunt Barb’s Homemade Goat Soaps.

Friday, April 10, 2015

CDA Announces Deadline

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – To help develop and promote the state’s specialty crops, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is seeking proposals for the Specialty Crops Block Grant Program.

Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, and nursery crops including floriculture and sod. Grant applications are due on May 1 by 5 p.m.

Colorado’s specialty crops represent approximately nine percent of Colorado’s total agricultural cash receipts. In 2013, cash receipts from specialty crops totaled more than $627 million.

The grant program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) which partners with state departments of agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop producers in areas such as marketing, promotion, education, research, trade and nutrition.

Colorado’s allotment for 2015 is $712,000. Approved projects will start early in 2016. Producer groups, organizations, and associations, as well as state and local organizations, academia and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts.

Proposals submitted by individual producers must demonstrate that the potential impact of the project will accrue to a broader group of similar producers, region or industry segment.

Proposals must be received electronically by close of business (5:00 p.m.) on May 1, 2015. For more information and an application, visit or call (303) 869-9173.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


By Mark Hillman

Coloradans’ eyes understandably pass over reports about legislators working on the annual state budget.  After all, the “long bill” ­ so named because it spans nearly 500 pages ­ is a necessary but mind-numbing legislative drudgery, salted with indiscernible acronyms, and largely incomprehensible to anyone outside the State Capitol.

To most inside the State Capitol, the budget is a Very Big Deal ­ a $26 billion big deal.  That¹s nearly $5,000 for every Colorado resident.  And that¹s not table scraps!

While normal Coloradans go about living their lives, the spending lobby at the State Capitol is paying very close attention to the state budget. Incidentally, “spending lobby” need not be taken as a pejorative; it simply describes those paid to lobby lawmakers on behalf of agencies, organizations and individuals whose programs are funded with our tax dollars.

Consider some illuminating numbers that chart key developments in Colorado over the past eight years:

State population has grown by 12 percent.  Personal income is up 22 percent.

Enrollment in K-12 public schools has increased by 10 percent, and general fund money spent on those public schools is also up 10 percent. Total state budget has grown by 45 percent, and general fund (which consists primarily of state income and sales tax receipts) spending is up 55 percent.

So, why isn’t school funding generally keeping pace with overall budget growth?  Here¹s the answer:
In those same eight years, spending on Medicaid and the Department of Health Care Policy and Finance is up 148 percent and Medicaid enrollment has nearly tripled.

No wonder public education and other budget priorities are getting squeezed.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ted Lyons, neighborly as can be

By Will Bublitz

Ted Lyons has overcome the challenge of a disability to build a life that’s included years of service to the local community, success in business and the friendship of many residents of Lincoln County.

Confined to a wheelchair for most of his adult life, Ted has not let that slow him down. In January, he completed his third term as a Lincoln County Commissioner. He chose not to run for re-election last year.

“I really appreciate that our residents gave me the opportunity to be their commissioner for the past 12 years,” he said. “I also want to thank the people of Lincoln County for helping me along the way.”

Born in Hugo in 1948, Ted was raised by his parents Walter and Mary Lyons on their family farm north of Hugo. He was one of six children. His brother Bill and his wife Mimi still live southeast of Hugo, while his other brother Dick and his wife Julia are Limon residents. Three of his siblings – Madonna, Bob and Jerry – are now deceased.

As he was growing up, Ted attended the Genoa School until the sixth grade before transferring to the Hugo School. During high school, he was active in sports competing in football, basketball and wrestling. He was a member of the Pirates’ eight-man football team that won the state championship title two years in a row.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Limon Fire discusses Burn Ban

By Will Bublitz

A Level 3 burn ban for the Limon Fire Protection District was announced during the Board of Directors meeting Monday, March 30.

The ban prohibits all outdoor burning of trash and other fires within the district. The burning ban was imposed because of the current dry and windy weather, which are perfect conditions for the rapid spread of prairie fires.

“There’s been some issues with burning,” Fire Chief Jason Lacik said. “Under a Level 3 ban, all outdoor burning such as trashed is not allowed. We’ll continue to monitor conditions. Hopefully, this ban will be short-lived.”

The Level 3 burn ban was imposed after Lacik consulted with Sheriff Tom Nestor, who is also the Fire Marshal for Lincoln County. The rest of the county is still under a Level 2 burn ban which limits outside fires to burn barrels and pits.

Lacik said the Tri-County Fire Protection District  headquartered in Rush has also imposed a Level 3 ban in recent days. 

“It’s super dry and windy right now,” Lacik said. “We’ll evaluate the conditions every week. When it’s safe to do, we’ll lift the ban.”