2012 highlights - Fire, funds and construction

Against a backdrop of fire, a helicopter makes a bucket drop of water above homes in the Elks Springs Ranch subdivision south of U.S. 160 Saturday afternoon in the continuing efforts to contain the Weber fire that started Friday south of Mancos. Enlargephoto

Shaun Stanley/Durango Herald

Against a backdrop of fire, a helicopter makes a bucket drop of water above homes in the Elks Springs Ranch subdivision south of U.S. 160 Saturday afternoon in the continuing efforts to contain the Weber fire that started Friday south of Mancos.

It's been quite a year in Mancos. The main story, of course, was the big fire in Weber Canyon. It had town and area residents scared, apprehensive and curious; appreciative and grateful for the work that all the firefighters and emergency personnel did; and thankful that no structures were damaged during the fire. It seemed to bring everyone together in a mutual situation, as evidenced by the subsequent town activities that went on as usual.

The pedestrian bridge and preschool construction were both begun partway during the year. It was interesting to see their pregress.

And the mill levy override for $276,000 was passed in November to help the school with state budget cuts.

An old building gets some TLC - Chris Wilbur, of Wilbur Engineering in Durango, has begun the process of renovating the small building behind Fahrenheit Coffee Roasters.

Kaleidoscope Wellness has a unique float tank that an impressive experience.

The Mancos Valley Health Clinic in Mancos changes from Valley-Wide Health Systems to Southwest Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Christina Lawrence is the new audiologist and speech pathologist in Mancos. Her office is right next door to Valley Video.

Brad Goodell, Mancos, finishes a mural in Cortez and hopes to do one in Mancos.

Rally in Boyle Park showcases "Move to Amend" faction. Crowd comes to hear various speakers.

February

Zuma Natural Foods moves into the old Forest Service building on the corner of Main and Railroad Ave.

Will Furse and Tim Hunter have a meet and greet at the Bauer House to talk to residents about their respective campaigns.

Bryan Jones resigns as Mancos marshal after board meeting draws large crowd.

Millwood Follies enjoys its 29th year with a "Mission Impossible" theme to benefit the library.

New Mancos signs are put up along the highway and throughout town.

Music group, Prodigal, forms at Methodist Church to provide music at the new 11 a.m. service.

Feb. 29 - Leap Day occurs this year!

The La Plata Paw dog sled race is canceled due to a lack of snow.

March

Eight marshal candidates are interviewed by a panel consisting of law enforcement officers from around the county.

The prayer shawl ministry at the Mancos United Methodist Church brings blessings to many.

Easton LaChappelle goes to the science fair in Durango with his robotic arm. His talents take him even farther, with interviews and stories about him in national magazines.

Town board and mayoral candidates have several public forums before the election. Rachael Simbeck and Perry D. Lewis are running for mayor. Chip Tuthill, Regina Roberts, Todd Kearns, Queenie Barz and Reneata Collins are running for town board.

Mancos Melt brought out dogs and people, art and fun.

The new marshal was hired and will start in April. He comes from Fisher, Indiana.

April

The election on April 3 changes mayor to Rachael Simbeck, and board members to Todd Kearns, Reneata Collins, Chip Tuthill and Queenie Barz.

A committee is formed to promote the school mill levy override.

Thirteen students go to Costa Rica for a great field trip with science teacher Cat Fox. They bring back lots of pictures for everyone to see.

Easton LaChappelle goes the international science fair with his robotic arm.

May

The new Mancos marshal, Bill Knauer, is sworn in at a town board meeting.

Red Wagon Energy builds huge solar array to help Four Corners area.

La Plata Millworks keeps their business in Mancos.

Reneata Collins loves to help people de-stress with her facials and massages.

Lew Matis keeps his garden growing.

The Mancos school gets a visit from National Guard helicopter.

Zuma is the new home of Veryl Goodnight's "A New Beginning" sculpture.

The valedictorian and salutatorian of the 2012 Mancos high school class are both women - Amy Koppenhafer and Erica Blackburn.

Fire mitigation is an ongoing task.

Tami Graham is asked to make welcoming speech for President Obama in Denver.

June

New wastewater treatment facility is up and running, but will take a few months to be completely operable.

New restaurant, Olio's, serves local food.

Carlos Nakai concert at the Opera House benefits the library.

Mancos Farmers Market begins on June 21.

Huge 10,000 acre fire begins June 22 in Weber Canyon. It spreads northeast, no structures are damaged, but many families are evacuated. Firefighters and other emergency personnel work hard to contain the fire. Briefings move from Boyle Park to the Performance Center at the Mancos School. The command center is at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds.

Republican primary results show Keenan Ertel, Dewayne Findley and Will Furse as winners.

July

Mancos volunteer firefighters are recognized for their extreme efforts at the Weber Fire.

Public fireworks are cancelled because of dry conditions.

Construction begins on the early learning center on Walnut Street. They're scheduled to be done by Dec. 21.

Mancos Days goes on despite the nearby fire. The Mancos Days Pioneer Queen is Wanda Goode. The theme is "Don't Fence Me In" and the Mancos firefighters are given a standing ovation at the Mancos Days parade.

August

Firewise Council of Montezuma County conducts a meeting for recovery after the fire.

The U.S.A. Pro Challenge Bicycle Race begins in Durango and zooms through Mancos. Many people are at the intersection of Highway 160 and Highway 184 to see them come through town.

Two new deputies are hired for the Mancos marshal's office - John Cox, who came from Fisher, Indiana and Sean Kiley, who came from Katy, Texas.

Sugar Pine Ranch Rally comes to the Humiston Ranch.

September

Movie nights are free at Fahrenheit Coffee.

Balloon festival brings several balloons to the area. The night glow is a crowd-pleaser. The proceeds benefit Medicine Horse Equine Therapy Center.

Construction begins on the new pedestrian bridge behind Geeks on Grand.

The old jail is moved from Pioneer Park to Boyle Park.

New running club begins in Mancos and meets every Saturday morning at Zuma.

October

Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now" comes to speak at the Opera House in Mancos.

A tour of East Canyon, east of Mancos, is scheduled for the public to see what mitigation efforts can do when a wildfire comes through the area. The Firewise Council talks about what others can do.

Mancos school has homecoming activities. The parade theme is "Light 'em Up".

The Homecoming king and queen are Aaron Hall and Kiley Samora.

The Mancos Water Conservancy District said the reservoir levels are getting low.

Mancos cross country runners are going to the state championship.

Easton LaChappelle is on a Nickelodeon television show.

November

School mill levy passes!

November local election results show Larry Don Suckla, Scott Tipton and Don Coram as the winners; Amendment 64 passes, and the mill levies and bond issues pass in Dolores and Cortez.

Juvenile is charged in Weber Fire, but is not named.

Giving Tree applications are available.

December

Holiday activities include Santa's arrival, movie at the Community Center, snacks and drinks at the Columbine, Geeks on Grand, VFW and the art galleries.

The Christmas community dinner is a success with over 200 people coming to eat and mingle.

New bridge is put in place across the Mancos River from Mesa Street to the library.

The new preschool is completed and ready for classes in January.

The homecoming football game was an exciting game, despite the Bluejays’ loss. Connor Jankowski runs the ball for Mancos. Enlargephoto

The homecoming football game was an exciting game, despite the Bluejays’ loss. Connor Jankowski runs the ball for Mancos.

Amy Goodman, of “Democracy Now”, spoke to a capacity crowd at the Mancos Opera House. Enlargephoto

Amy Goodman, of “Democracy Now”, spoke to a capacity crowd at the Mancos Opera House.

The Mancos Days kids parade drew many entries. The theme for 2012 was “Don’t Fence Me In.” Enlargephoto

The Mancos Days kids parade drew many entries. The theme for 2012 was “Don’t Fence Me In.”

New signs were put up around Mancos, on Highway 160, Grand Ave. and Main Street. Enlargephoto

New signs were put up around Mancos, on Highway 160, Grand Ave. and Main Street.

The 10,000-acre fire in Weber Canyon started in June and affected many area residents. Enlargephoto

The 10,000-acre fire in Weber Canyon started in June and affected many area residents.

Easton LaChappelle, a student at Mancos high school, has spent many hours on his robotic arm and hand. His accomplishments include several science fairs and magazine articles. Enlargephoto

Easton LaChappelle, a student at Mancos high school, has spent many hours on his robotic arm and hand. His accomplishments include several science fairs and magazine articles.

The “Rally at the Valley”, an annual event that coincides with the Sugar Pine Ranch Rally, is something that the residents of the Valley Inn look forward to each year. Enlargephoto

The “Rally at the Valley”, an annual event that coincides with the Sugar Pine Ranch Rally, is something that the residents of the Valley Inn look forward to each year.

Balloons fly over Mancos during the 2012 Mancos/Mesa Verde Country Balloon Festival. Enlargephoto

Balloons fly over Mancos during the 2012 Mancos/Mesa Verde Country Balloon Festival.

Bicyclers zoom through Mancos from Durango on the first leg of the the 2012 U.S.A. Pro Challenge Bicycle Race. Enlargephoto

Bicyclers zoom through Mancos from Durango on the first leg of the the 2012 U.S.A. Pro Challenge Bicycle Race.

Dr. Celeste Aurorean shows the float tank at Kaleidoscope Wellness. It is the only one like it in the Southwest Colorado area, she said. It can provide a relaxing, stress-free break. Enlargephoto

Dr. Celeste Aurorean shows the float tank at Kaleidoscope Wellness. It is the only one like it in the Southwest Colorado area, she said. It can provide a relaxing, stress-free break.