Craig briefs for Nov. 20

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MCHS musical begins run tonight

— Moffat County High School presents the George Gershwin musical, "Crazy For You," at the high school auditorium, 900 Finley Lane. Performances are at 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday. There also will be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets cost $5 in advance and $6 at the door. Entrance is free for students with an ID. Call 824-7036.

Coalition's work skills survey available online

The Moffat County Work and Life Skills Program Coalition is attempting to narrow the list of work force skills it will teach local students in its upcoming program.

The coalition, which includes members of the local education and business communities, has created an online survey that asks community members to weigh in on essential topics for its program to help students find success as working adults.

The program is scheduled to start in January. Funds from Colorado Works, the state welfare program, will fund the four-month extracurricular course.

There is no deadline for completing the survey.

To complete the Moffat County Work and Life Skills Program online survey, visit http://freeonlinesurveys.com/rendersurvey.asp?sid=1ejbma8j9pap9hw418807.

Other links to the survey, which focuses on 21st-century skills and work force readiness, also can be found at the Moffat County School District's Web site, www.moffatsd.org, and the Craig Chamber of Commerce's Web site, www.craigchamber.com, and the Daily Press Web site, craigdailypress.com.

'Scenic Byways' authors to visit Craig on Friday

Jim Steinberg, a local photographer and co-creator of "Colorado Scenic Byways: Taking the Other Road," will visit Craig on Friday.

He will talk about his book from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.

Steinberg and writer Susan J. Tweit traveled across Colorado and traveled the old roads and byways through some of the most beautiful landscape in the country.

Colorado identified its first scenic byway in 1989, and there are now 25 official scenic and historic byways, each chosen for their outstanding archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities.

"Colorado Scenic Byways" is a two-volume travel guide that provides readers with a variety of scenic photographs coupled with travel plans across Colorado.

Those routes and roads are further illuminated through the book by Tweit's essays. Tweit writes about the connections that shape these Colorado roads.

Gov. Bill Ritter selected "Colorado Scenic Byways" to give as gifts to visiting governors during the Democratic National Convention, and it will be used for the Colorado Historical Society 2009 membership drive.

Jim Steinberg lives in Steamboat Springs. Everyone is invited to come visit with Steinberg.

For more information, call Downtown Books at 824-5343.

Integrated Community volunteer event today

A celebration for Integrated Community volunteers is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Real Living Professional Group, 1755 Central Park Dr., Suite 121, in Steamboat Springs. Drinks and appetizers will be provided. Volunteers and people associated with Integrated Community are invited to attend. No RSVP is necessary. For more information, call 824-6424.

Xcel Energy files for electric rate increase

Xcel Energy proposed a $174.7 million electricity rate increase for Colorado, expected to become effective next summer.

"The increase is the result of the company's efforts to meet state energy needs through power generation expansion, continued emission reductions work and system reliability improvements," Xcel reported in a news release.

The filing today with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission would increase electricity bills for typical residential customers by $5.13 a month to $66.31, or 8.4 percent, based on use of 625 kilowatt-hours. Small-business customers would see an increase of $7.84 a month to $105.83, or 8 percent, based on use of 1,025 kilowatt-hours.

"Xcel Energy has made significant investments in recent years in our generation, transmission and distribution systems, to ensure that we have adequate, reliable, cost-effective and environmentally sound resources to meet the energy needs of Colorado," Tim Taylor, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company, said in the news release.

The implementation of the new rates most likely will not occur until next summer, as Xcel Energy has noted, to allow for extensive hearings on the request.

Xcel Energy filed its last electric rate case in April 2006. Before that time, Xcel Energy had not filed an electric rate case since 2001. The 2006 electric rate case resulted in a 7.7 percent increase for typical residential and small-business customers.

Taylor noted that the company has invested or will invest nearly $1.7 billion in major new electricity infrastructure since the last rate case and through 2009. He noted that continued investment in utility infrastructure is critical, even during difficult financial times, to ensure the state will be poised for economic recovery.

"We know our customers' budgets are stretched, but we also know they count on us for the electricity they need in their homes and businesses. We would not ask for an increase unless it was truly needed," Taylor said.

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