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Working as a firefighter may seem more hazardous than ever this summer, but Brandon Evans couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

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It began with the calla lily. Local artist Evelyn Gottschall Baker created her first kiln formed glass creation of the lily, after taking a fused glass class in 2011 and developing a passion for this glass art technique.

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She is fascinated by abandoned places. Perhaps an old shipwreck and the lure of hidden treasures, a deserted farmhouse begging for a photograph or an ancient castle with secrets whispering through the walls.

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Residents are often encouraged to buy local products and support farmers and the fresh food they provide. Monika Courtney of the Thunderbird Spirit Ranch understands this all too well.

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Jan Quick loves having the opportunity to honor fellow veterans, aid the youth and feel like a family with the community from serving as chaplain of American Legion Post 55.

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Joey Lemley was one of many kids who grew up with the superhero dream of being able to help others through their career. For Lemley, that was becoming a police officer.

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Dr. Nathan Varley, wildlife biologist and eco-adventure guide, will present the Collegiate Peaks Forum Series Lecture “Tracking Wolves in Yellowstone: Lessons for Ecotourism and Conservation” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, at the Salida SteamPlant, 220 West Sackett Ave.

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Growing up, Cara Reano had an early hand in home health care while looking after her father who had a rare leukemia. This would influence her decision to turn to medicine later down the road.

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Paula Barnett took over for Janell Sciacca as Buena Vista’s town clerk in September and this year will be using her decades of experience in Colorado elections for our own municipal elections in April.

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Marjorie Erickson has a passion for all of humanity and lives life through the words of one of her favorite people, Desmond Tutu: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good together that overwhelm the world.”

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Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center named John Daugherty, APRN-CNP, of Poncha Springs its fourth-quarter TRAC STAR at a hospital ceremony on Jan. 29.

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After 28 years Colorado Parks and Wildlife Senior Ranger Stew Pappenfort will hang up his ranger’s badge at the end of January.

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Serving coffee and breakfast burritos to people slugging their way to work, Tonya Wyles hopes to help the community with more than just the Slug & Chug food truck this year.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to an editing error, Jean Buster was incorrectly identified in the photo caption as "Trouble to her friends." Editor made mistake. The Times regrets the error and any confusion it may have caused.

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The holidays are known for bringing people together, making it an even greater time to work at Grace Church for Episcopal pastor Catherine Tran.

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The holidays are known for bringing people together, making it an even greater time to work at Grace Church for Episcopal pastor Catherine Tran.

Giving Trees to benefit shelter dogs and cats are up at Salida and Buena Vista locations of Gone to the Dogs. The holiday trees are decorated with photo ornaments of the current resident dogs and cats at Ark-Valley Humane Society. Each ornament has a photo of the dog or cat on the front and …

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Managing a business may seem straightforward at first, but more often than not managers find themselves wearing many hats for just one job. Jenny Nall of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore is one such manager.

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Brian Welch could have chosen to help people as a police officer or a doctor, or by another profession, but only one career felt right – firefighter.

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While most of her career was spent in administrative duties for a wide variety of different companies, she says she particularly enjoyed the time working in the mining industry.

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“We actually came through BV,” he says. “I remember we stopped, we got fishing tackle, my dad got a fishing license at Hi-Rocky. We camped in the mountains west of here. We came back almost every year for Colorado vacations and camping in the mountains while I was a kid. When I was grown and got married, we continued to come out here and camp.”

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Boyd’s parents met in Buena Vista. His grandmother, Florence Tising, had started Tising’s Café with her husband during the mid-1900s. That café is now Jan’s Restaurant.

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Andrews had been living the dream of a professional freestyle skier in Aspen for a decade through his young adult life. He competed on tours that offered cash prizes and equipment sponsors supplied most of his gear.

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Co-coordinator Susan Wood has been a key driving force that brought the idea to fruition this weekend. “What started off as a round table discussion has turned into the inaugural shoulder season event known as the 14erFest.”

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Originally from Wisconsin, Pingitore had visited Buena Vista many times previously. After his good friends Bill and Cheryl Mehaffey came out and started Bongo Billy’s off the highway, he decided to follow along.

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“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly…”

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“After several years, I thought this isn’t really what I want to do. I figured I would go back and get a PhD in chemistry or biochemistry or something. When I saw what it was really about, I thought ‘Hmm, maybe that medicine thing isn’t so bad.’ So that’s the point at which I applied for medical school and went back.”

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“I’ve lost my most favorite person in the whole world,” says Lindsey Lighthizer of the sudden and unexpected loss of her partner Curtis Imrie last January.

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Harold Bristol has spent his life in the great outdoors doing backbreaking work excavating land and lifting bales of alfalfa and hay. He wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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Initially, Martha Bauman was working as a nurse in a women’s health care clinic. Over time she felt a tug toward a different direction. She discovered what that direction would be after seeing an ad in the newspaper for an oncology nurse.

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Cerise says, “This period of time was when Interlaken was the Rocky Mountain resort to visit in Colorado. There was a hotel, a barn, stables and a separate building for cooking.

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Carter’s life in music began when he was 14. He would sit in and listen while his younger brother took guitar lessons. One day the guitar teacher showed up but the student was away, so Carter took the opportunity to get lessons himself.

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The new website features photography from our region, has improved functionality, clean design that allows for easy navigation, and is mobile-device friendly.

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Sarah Haughey’s golden smile invites you right in. The owner of The Jailhouse Craft Beer Bar on East Main Street since last July, she says, “I grew up visiting Buena Vista every summer. I have always loved these mountains and I’m so lucky to be able to run a business here and play here.”

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“If you believe that offenders are incapable of changing, then to me, by logical argument, you yourself are incapable of changing,” says Cordova.

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He considered attending University of Colorado Boulder to study meteorology and, as he says with a chuckle, “becoming ‘Dan-Dan-the Weatherman.’”

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Long before becoming the co-owner of CKS Main Street, Megan Kingman was working on her double major at Colorado University. She didn’t picture herself getting involved in whitewater recreation.

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Fiber artist Ruthann Schoeffield began sewing and knitting from the time she was a young child, and in her lifetime journey of handiwork spinning yarn, dying wool and knitting, her heart has stretched out into the world.

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Business manager Jacob Mueller, who co-owns the business with Mike and Francie Allen, says, “There aren’t many places serving craft coffee, also known as third wave coffee, (a term coined in 2002), once you go west of the Front Range mountains in Colorado. Nor are there many places serving made-from-scratch authentic Italian gelato, but The Midland Stop’s five-star rating is a testimony to its success since opening in 2015.”

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“I got my first taste of what mountains were really like when I climbed Mount Washington in New Hampshire and Mount Katadin in Maine. But it was my trip down the West Coast from Washington state to Baja California in 1971 that convinced me I had to move to the West.”

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“I think it’s so rare for people my age to find a job in their field in a place that they want to be,” she says. “It seemed like a perfect fit of a job in my field in a valley that I love.”

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Medicine seemed the right career path, but what specific field of medicine to pursue he wasn’t sure.

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Buena Vista’s wild west star is 85-year-old June Smith, who loves her 12-gauge Browning shotgun and spent most of her married life involved the Buena Vista Hunter Education group and the Buena Vista Sportsman Club.

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“When I first moved here, not a lot of people were doing yoga,” says Pfingston. “It’s not like a restaurant where everybody eats or everybody drinks coffee. It’s hard to sell yoga sometimes.”

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“I always wanted to be a writer, and I’m still hoping to find that missing piece for the part of my soul that can do good and be of real help to someone.”

Jones self-published his book “How to Find your Dream and Make it Come True” in 1990.

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“I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do,” she says. “It was in my family, with my grandmother. It has brought me so much joy to play and to work with people in music. I met so many wonderful people playing, whether I was working with them or not.”

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The two children of Bushnell and her husband, Robert, were born just 14 months apart from one another, each one with a genetic disability that left them requiring 24-hour care.

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“In one Columbian 26-story apartment building that we lived in, there were five neighbors who were major cocaine traffickers,” he says. “I loved being around bad guys and jails in my work. I was never the type for pinstriped suits and silk ties. I loved the adrenaline rush of being in the middle of the action.”

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When his dad started designing and building homes and commercial buildings around 2003, Rodriguez helped out. “It was good,” he says. “It’s just, for me, it didn’t fulfill everything I wanted to do. I could do it for the rest of my life, but opportunities came up.”

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As a designer and builder with Create Inc., Jacobson was no stranger to construction. He helped with not just the splash pad but also constructing the bathroom.

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After making sure they were all out of danger, Smith and the others made sure the injured man, Josh Fohner, had a pulse as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.

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The best part of this experience is not just seeing her patients as tiny infants but seeing them grow into healthy, active children. These moments, she says, are the unforgettable and cherished ones.