Construction workers at the concession area and pavilion.
By ROSELYNN WAHTOMY
FORT HALL – Although the new Fort Hall Rodeo Grounds Concessions and Restrooms building will not be 100 percent complete, the main focus is to have it functional enough for use during the Shoshone-Bannock Indian Festival events.
The sidewalks and concrete work on the outside of the building will be completed afterwards, as well as the framework to the pavilion area. Benches may also be added.
Construction on the project started in late spring, around April.
The new facility contains a pavilion area, concession area, mechanical room, two handicap restrooms, a women’s restroom complete with two showers and a men’s restroom complete with two showers.
The building does contain some natural light windows to make the building energy efficient.
So far the project has run about $881,000, in addition to Phase 1 of the Rodeo Bleacher Project, which they are still looking to install the railings and a handicap ramp. Funding comes from the Excise Fuels Tax Settlement received in 2005. In total they’ve appropriated $1.5 million to make the upgrades to the Rodeo Grounds.
Harris Inc. of Pocatello’s George Benson is head of construction on the project. He said they were trying to get the building operational by August 8.
He explained operational meant the toilets and everything working in the concession and the kitchen, but as far as the little things, the aesthetics, they may need more time.
Wendy Farmer, Tax Revenue Director, estimates they may need an additional three weeks after the Festival to complete the project.
Farmer said she hopes the people appreciate some of the upgrades that are occurring on the reservation.
“I think it’s really going to benefit the overall outlook,” she said. “I’m hoping we’re going to be able to promote more events here at the area.”
She said more activities would mean people will patronize the local businesses and it will come full circle and benefit the tribe.
Contractors on the project are:
Harris Inc., Pocatello, Idaho
BAHM Electric, Fort Hall, Idaho
Mathews Plumbing & Heating, Shelley, Idaho
Lewis Corporation, Pocatello, Idaho
England Masonry, Pocatello, Idaho
Aneka poses with a basketball. (Submitted photo)
By LORI EDMO-SUPPAH
FORT HALL — Aneka Dixey plays with SEI Hoops Academy team and they won the West Coast National Championship at the AAU Nationals tourney in Las Vegas July 13 to 16 with a record of 5 wins and 1 loss.
She’s been playing with the team since March and Courtnie Smith is the coach. The team played in Gem Prep tournaments around Idaho and in AAU tourneys in Utah and Nevada. Her dad Sonny Dixey said the AAU tourneys were the toughest as they played against teams from California, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Utah and Nevada. They were undefeated in Idaho tournaments and lost to a California team in Reno for championship. The team also won the Big Mountain Jam in Salt Lake City where 400 teams played in the event.
Sonny said Aneka went straight from playing basketball at Mountain View Middle School in Blackfoot to playing Gem Prep. The MVMS team won their conference this past year and she will again be playing for the team as an eighth grader.
He said Aneka is getting better with every game and plays center/forward position. She started when she was four years old at Timbee Hall. “She’s really good at free throws and ten foot jump shots.”
Sonny said he practices with her when he can and Aneka practices two times a week in Blackfoot.
He added the Reno tournament was the biggest in the nation where there were 11,000 participants in different divisions. The games were played in two different facilities, it was hectic and loud. Sonny said she loves to play basketball and earlier this year he bought her a basketball that she had Jude and Shoni Schimmel autograph when they played in NIAA Nationals in Fort Hall.
Aneka’s coach Courtnie Smith said she a special young lady and athlete. “She improved a ton throughout the season and became a very consistent scorer.” “I am looking forward to continue to work wit Aneka,” she continued. “She has a bright future at Blackfoot High School and the girl’s program.
Wiley Petersen waves to the crowd. (Submitted photos)
By LORI EDMO-SUPPAH
FORT HALL — Bull Riding Mayhem is Friday, August 11 at 8 p.m. at the Fort Hall Rodeo Grounds featuring 20 riders against 40 bulls.
Former Professional Bull Rider Wiley Petersen will be in attendance and he said the riders would get two shots to win some of the prize money. A total of $5,000 is added in addition to the $100 entry fee each rider pays.
Stock contractors include New West Rodeo – Roy Whitford, Vance and Rhonda Avery from Rigby and Jeff Rupert from Jerome.
Last year the bulls won over the riders but there were a few guys that came close Wiley said. “I don’t think the bulls were above their level, it was just one of those days it didn’t work.”
Last year there were 35 riders but this year there is a different format where each rider will get two bulls to ride. Some of the bull riders include: Sonny Murphy who qualified for the National Finals Rodeo, Tristan Hutchings, a young kid from Blackfoot, Casey Sedricks from Montana, Bo Vocu and Jackson Clair from Wyoming. Wiley said there was two more spots open.
The main sponsor is Fort Hall Casino and the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel & Events Center. Valleyview Cooperative is another sponsor, along with numerous others.
“There will be some good bull riding,” Wiley said.
Tickets can be bought online at myIdahotix.com where VIP tickets are $33 and general admission $12 in advance or $15 at the gate. Children two and under are free.
Tickets can also be purchased at Jet Stop near the Pocatello Airport.