News briefs for Jan. 5

The Colorado State Department of Human Services is under an order of District Court Judge John W. Coughlin to assure timely case processing for clients with emergency needs.
If any client who has submitted an application and all required verification for food assistance, Medicaid, Colorado Works, old age pension, aid to needy disabled or long-term care is not approved or denied within 45 days of application and is in an emergency situation defined below, the Colorado Department of Human Services will force a payment within five working days despite the computer system's inability to generate a payment if all eligible criteria have been met.
Emergency situations include:
n Immediate hunger
n Client is without medication or medical treatment when such absence endangers the applicant' or recipients' health or life
n Client is without shelter or is facing imminent risk of eviction or foreclosure.
n Client is without utilities or is at imminent risk of utility shut off
n Client is facing any other circumstance that puts the applicant or recipient in imminent peril pf physical injury, harm or extreme hardship.
The Moffat County Department of Social Services closely monitors all applications that are past the 45 day limit.
As of Thursday, 52 applications are overdue.
If anyone applied 45 days ago or more and eligibility has not been determined or is a recipient whose benefits have been reduced, terminated or suspended in error and is in one of the emergency situations listed above, they may call 1-800-536-5298 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. They also may call the local department at 824-8282.

Red Cross gets donations for tsunami victims
The Centennial Chapter of the American Red Cross has received more than $25,000 in spontaneous donations since tsunamis devastated coastline populations in South Asia.
"The outpouring of support has been very gratifying," said chapter CEO Ken Williams. The centennial chapter serves northern Colorado. "We've had people walking in with checks, merchants requesting donation canisters, children offering to sell their toys.
"It's amazing."
Donors who wish to make gifts before the end of the tax year have several alternatives:
n Call 1-800-HELP-NOW
n Make a secure online gift at www.redcross.org http://www.redcross.org with a credit card.
Tax receipts will be provided for all gifts, regardless of the method of transmission.
Drop-in flu vaccine
clinic set for today
The Visiting Nurse Association, 745 Russell St., in Craig will hold a drop-in flu clinic on from 1 to 3 p.m. today.
At-risk groups are targeted: Adults ages 50 and older, infants ages 6 to 23 months, household members of infants younger than 6 months, pregnant women, and people ages 2 to 49 with chronic medical conditions.
Adult shots are $18, and children's shots range between free and $15. Medicare/Medicaid participants should bring their cards. Call the VNA at 824-8233 with any questions.

Get free trees from
Arbor Day Foundation
Ten free flowering trees will be given to each person who joins The National Arbor Day Foundation during January 2005.
The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting between Feb.1 and May 31 with planting instructions.
The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.
To become a member of the foundation and to receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to Ten Free Flowering Trees, National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410, by Jan. 31, or go online to arborday.org.

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