Craig briefs for April 5

Village Inn not closing doors

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The recent bankruptcy case for Village Inn restaurants will not affect local Village Inns, said Michael Scott, director of operations for Family Restaurants, which owns both Craig and Steamboat Springs Village Inns.

Although VICORP Restaurants, the parent company of the Village Inn Restaurant brand, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Family Restaurants will not be closing its local stores, he said.

Family Restaurants is a Village Inn franchisee made up of some of the founding members of Village Inn, but there is no common ownership between the two companies, Scott said.

Built-up debt led to VICORP's recent problems, said Dave Lidvall, Family Restaurants chief executive officer.

"VICORP has struggled in recent years, a result of the multiple ownership groups with those acquisitions occurring on a leveraged basis with significant amounts of debt," Lidvall said.

"Coupled with some VICORP management missteps relative to growth and the enormity of required debt repayments, VICORP has found it difficult to maintain and enhance the brand on an ongoing basis. Add to this picture a tough economic environment for restaurants, with rising labor, transportation and food costs, and they have ended up in a precarious position."

Family Restaurants and Village Inn expect to be in the Yampa Valley for the foreseeable future, Scott said.

"We have operated the Village Inn in Craig since it opened in 1979 and have every intention of operating it for another 30 years," he said.

Agriculture office temporarily relocating

Beginning Friday, the United States Department of Agriculture and Rural Development office in Craig will be temporarily relocated to the Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave.

The office will be at this location until April 30, 2008.

Customers can call 800-424-2915, ext. 2915.

Class of 1978

The Class of 1978 has an organizational meeting for its 25th reunion at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Craig Firehouse. Call Dennis Jones at 824-3532.

April is poetry month

April is National Poetry Month, established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 as a month-long national celebration designed to increase public awareness of the art of poetry.

To help celebrate National Poetry Month, Downtown Books is sponsoring a Cowboy Poetry Contest. Send in your best cowboy (or western themed) poems to Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave., Craig, 81625, by April 21.

Only two entries per person. Poems must be original work, and should not exceed 50 lines. Open to all residents of the Yampa River Valley and the Little Snake River area. Prizes will be awarded: $20 for first place, $10 for second and store gift certificates for three runners-up. Winners will be invited to read their work on April 26 at 3:30 p.m. at Downtown Books.

Call 824-5343 for more information.

Teacher of the Year nominations sought

Teachers are some of the hardest-working, yet sometimes underappreciated, professionals in today's work force.

The Craig Daily Press recognizes area teachers by honoring one each spring with the Teacher of the Year award. Last year's recipient was Rosemary Crosthwaite, who was St. Mark's preschool director for a quarter century.

Area residents are invited to nominate their favorite teacher by writing an essay of no more than 100 words about why he or she deserves the award. You must include your name for the nomination to be counted.

Nominations may be dropped off at the Daily Press office, 466 Yampa Ave., e-mailed to jraehal@craigdailypress.com or mailed to Craig Daily Press, Attn: Jerry Raehal, P.O. Box 5, Craig, CO 81626.

Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. May 2.

The winner will be decided by the Daily Press editorial board, which includes employees and community members, based on the entries.

The winner will be notified the following week, and the Craig Daily Press will publish a feature story about the 2008 recipient.

Fire hydrant flushing

The city of Craig has begun flushing fire hydrants and will continue through early May, weather permitting, as part of the annual water distribution system maintenance.

Customers may observe temporary discoloration of the water, but if you allow your water to run for a short time, it will clear up.

The Water Department is scheduled to begin on First Street and work north to Ranney and Green Street.

Write to Lead deadline approaching

The Democratic National Convention Committee, Post-News Educational Services and Qwest are issuing a last call for students across Colorado to enter the Write to Lead essay contest - a unique opportunity for Colorado youth to voice their thoughts on leadership and the future of our country and to engage in the 2008 Democratic National Convention experience.

Finalists will have the opportunity to serve as ambassadors to state delegations from across the country, and two presidential winners will attend the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Throughout history, political party conventions have played a key role in determining our nation's leaders. Essay contest organizers know young people in Colorado have big ideas about what makes a good leader and where our country is headed - and with the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver fast approaching, there's no better time to give voice to those big ideas.

The Write to Lead contest invites Colorado students in sixth to 11th grade to submit an original essay answering one of two questions:

Grades 6 to 8: What qualities make a great leader? How could one exhibit those traits in everyday life?

Grades 9 to 11: Looking to the future, what do you see for our country? What qualities does a leader need to take our country forward?

All entries, parental consent forms and waivers must be submitted and postmarked by April 18, 2008.

Do you want to Write to Lead? Go to www.demconvention.com or call 720-362-2147 for details.

Learn to fly fish

Craig Parks and Recreation is offering a beginning fly fishing course from 6 to 9 p.m. May 6 and from 6 to 8 p.m. May 7. Deadline to register is April 23. Cost is $15, which includes manual and flies.

Call 826-2029 or go by City Hall to sign up.

Swim lessons offered

Craig Parks and Recreation is offering swimming lessons for children ages 3 to 15. Classes are Monday through Thursday and last for two weeks.

The first session begins June 9. Class size is limited to six participants. Cost is $30.

Call 826-2029 or go by City Hall to sign up.

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