Craig briefs for Dec. 26

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Youth basketball coaches needed

AAU basketball is looking for coaches for the 2009 season for boys and girls in grades six to eight.

Practices will begin in January.

If interested, call Andrea Camp at 824-6214 or Shane Camilletti at 824-8185.

Post office: Please clear mailboxes of snow, ice

With the arrival of snow, ice and difficult weather conditions, the Craig post office is asking postal customers to always clear a safe, accessible path to mailboxes.

Post office requests include:

• Make sure the mailbox is visible and free of snow and ice.

• Make sure mailboxes are safely accessible for letter carriers.

• Clear the mailbox area of snow, sleet, slush, ice and debris.

If mailboxes are blocked off and conditions are too difficult, letter carriers must consider safety and accessibility first and are instructed not to deliver to mailboxes and locations considered too difficult or unsafe to access.

For more information, call the Craig post office at 824-8506.

Dinosaur National Monument road closes

Dinosaur National Monument's Harper's Corner Road, which begins two miles east of Dinosaur on U.S. Highway 40 and runs 31 miles into the monument, will close to the public Thursday, Superintendent Mary Risser announced in a news release.

The first five miles of the road up to Plug Hat Butte will remain open and plowed throughout the winter to allow public access to the Plug Hat parking area for snowmobile and cross-country ski enthusiasts.

The road closure entails locking two gates on the Harpers Corner Road above and below Moffat County Road 16 and the gate at Plug Hat Butte Picnic Area.

Cross-country skiing and snowmobile use are allowed on the closed portion of the road beyond Plug Hat Butte. Snowmobiles are not allowed off the road surface and may not go past the Echo Park Road turnoff 21 miles north of U.S. 40.

The Split Mountain campground on the Utah side of the Monument will remain open for the winter.

The campgrounds at Rainbow Park, Deerlodge and Echo Park remain open, but snowfall may prevent access to those campgrounds as the winter progresses. Campgrounds have vault toilets, but no running water.

No fees are charged at these campgrounds during the winter season.

State lessens requisites for heating bill rebates

The Colorado Department of Revenue will offer broader eligibility requirements for the Property Tax/Rent/Heat Rebate program in the coming year.

As of Thursday, the state will increase required income levels to participate in the program by $1,000, up to $12,000 a year for a single person and $15,700 for a married couple.

Eligible applicants can receive rebates of as much as $600 on property taxes paid in 2008, and $192 of heating bills paid.

Applicants also must be age 65 or older by Dec. 31, be a surviving spouse age 58 or older or have been disabled the entire year. Disabled persons do not need to meet age requirements.

Other eligibility requirements are:

• The person resided in Colorado for all of 2008.

• The person is a legal U.S. citizen.

• The person is not claimed as a dependent on any other person's federal tax return.

• The person paid property taxes, rent or heating expenses in 2008.

Rebate forms can be found at www.taxcolorado.com by following the "Property Tax/Rent/Heat (PTC) Rebate" link.

Call 303-238-7378 for more information.

Craig exhibit added to museum on Yampa

The Museum of Northwest Colorado, 590 Yampa Ave., opened a new exhibit highlighting two men from Moffat County's past.

The exhibit features William Bayard Craig - who museum Director Dan Davidson said is Craig's namesake - and Alexander Phimister Proctor, a nationally recognized nature sculptor who spent some of his formative years hunting in Northwest Colorado.

Residents may be familiar with some of Proctor's work, as some of his sculptures now decorate Civic Center Park in downtown Denver.

The local exhibit includes a mountain lion piece made from one of Proctor's original casts.

At the same time, Craig's Centennial is nearing its conclusion, and museum officials plan to take down the current Centennial exhibit in the near future.

Davidson encouraged all residents to see it at least once, as it includes a lot of information about how Craig has changed during the past century.

The museum also is having a holiday sale for all of the merchandise in its gift shop, with discounts ranging from 25 to 50 percent.

Call the museum at 824-6360 for more information.

Grand Futures offering TIPS training Jan. 22

Grand Futures will offer a TIPS training class on Jan. 22. Registration is limited to 15 people, and the deadline to register is Jan. 8.

To register or for more information, call Matt Beckett at the Grand Futures office at 824-5752 or 629-3020.

Avalanche Training class is offered Jan. 3

A free Avalanche Training class is Saturday, Jan. 3, at Freeman.

For more information, call Ralph Stewart at 824-5353 or 824-4198.

VA Medical Center ER open for patients today

The Grand Junction Veterans Affairs Emergency Room will be open today for registered patients. All other clinics will be closed.

Walk-in patients to the VA Medical Center's ER should use the building's front entrance.

During the holiday weekend, Veterans Affairs patients who need non-emergency medical advice can call the medical center's front desk at 970-263-2800 or toll free at 1-866-206-6415. The operator will direct the call as needed. This line is for no-emergency use only.

For medical emergencies - any threat to life, limb or eyesight - dial 911.

Holiday visiting hours at the VA Medical Center are:

• ICU fifth floor: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Inpatient fifth floor: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Inpatient third floor: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Community Living Center (formerly TCU): Case-by-case basis as appropriate.

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