Craig briefs: Census operations begin today

The U.S. Census Bureau launches a massive operation beginning today to verify and update more than 145 million addresses as it prepares to conduct the 2010 census. Although the count is still a year away, workers will be going door to door, verifying addresses to ensure the accuracy of next year's census delivery lists.

Six census workers will be in Craig starting today. The number of workers in town may grow as needs are assessed, a Census Bureau spokeswoman said. The survey, which will use computers to verify addresses, will continue through mid-June.

For the first time, field staff will be using GPS-enabled handheld computers to make census delivery lists as accurate as possible. Steps have been taken to make sure that these workers with handhelds are easy to recognize.

Every temporary census employee will have an official identification badge with the employee's signature and an expiration date. They also will carry a tote bag with the words "Census 2010" and will have an identification card for the inside of their car. Whenever possible, workers have been hired directly from local communities where they are familiar with the neighborhoods and with the people who live in them.

"A complete and accurate address list is the cornerstone of a successful census," said Cathy Illian, director of the Denver Regional Census Center. "Work done by our field staff in early operations updates the address list for the delivery of next year's questionnaires. This ensures more people receive their forms and more people return them."

The GPS-enabled handheld computers will help ensure geographic accuracy. The ability to capture GPS coordinates for most of the nation's housing units will greatly reduce the number of coding questions caused by paper maps in previous counts. This further increases the accuracy of delivery lists.

Through the lifecycle of the 2010 Decennial Census, it will employ workers for thousands of temporary, full- and part-time positions working in neighborhoods throughout the ten-state Denver Region.

All Census information collected, including addresses, are confidential and protected by law. The Census Bureau, and all workers, are bound by law to protect the confidential information collected.

For more information about the census, visit www.2010Census.gov.

Relay for Life meeting set for Tuesday

The Craig Relay For Life will be having a meeting Tuesday at Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane. Committee members will meet at 5:30, and team captains will meet afterwards at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.craigrelayforlife.com or e-mail djkenny40@yahoo.com.

Volunteer group offers college scholarship

Friends of Northwest Colorado, a volunteer group active in stewardship of the environment, is accepting applications from Moffat County High School seniors for its 2009 scholarship.

Applications are available from the Moffat County High School career counselor and may be used for books, tuition and living expenses.

This is the fourth year that Friends has offered a scholarship to a deserving senior. Friends raises money from stewardship projects, concessions at Colorado Environmental Coalition events, T-shirt sales at the Craig Farmers Market and member donations. The next event is at Colorado Environmental Coalition Movie Night on April 30. Everyone is invited to attend.

For more information about Friends of Northwest Colorado, call Sasha at 824-5241.

Street team visits Craig students Tuesday

The Own Your C (Own Your Choices) street team is hitting the road in the C-Ride to visit area middle and high schools to encourage students to make healthy, smart choices.

On Tuesday, the C-Ride will visit Moffat County High School from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and the Boys & Girls Club at 4 p.m.

Developed by the State Tobacco Education & Prevention Partnership in partnership with Cactus Marketing Communications, Own Your C is a campaign that aims to empower youth to make educated choices and encourage them to recognize the consequences of their choices.

"The Own Your C street team is visiting our community to simply tell teens that their choices are powerful and to remind them to choose wisely," says Barb Parnell, community health educator at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

A branded ice cream truck, the C-Ride travels the state to build buzz and generate excitement at schools and youth-oriented events about Own Your C. Equipped with a street team, the C-Ride promotes the Own Your C campaign to urban, rural and mountain communities.

"We don't want to force anti-tobacco messaging on students," said Lindsay Smith, Own Your C street team leader. "We encourage them to make wise decisions about life in general, not just about tobacco. Because we're approachable, teens feel comfortable talking to us about life's difficult choices, such as choosing to use tobacco."

The Own Your C street team distributes tobacco cessation (quitting) materials and educates students about the opportunity to enroll in FixNixer, a quitting program that uses online and text messaging technology to help young people quit tobacco anonymously and on their own terms. The street team also distributes Own Your C promotional items such as T-shirts, winter hats, stickers and magnets.

For more information about Own Your C and the C-Ride, visit www.ownyourC.com.

Church hosts Holy Week services

St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Craig invites the public to join the congregation for Eastern Orthodox Holy Week services Friday to April 19.

For service times or more information, call the church at 824-6664.

Free cardiovascular assessments offered

Free cardiovascular assessments are offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 30 at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association's Craig office, 745 Russell St.

Tests include a full cholesterol panel, glucose level and body mass index.

Call 846-9855 or 875-1880 to make an appointment.

Quit Line helps with smoking cessation

Those who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day spend more than $2,000 a year on the habit, according to the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

For information on how the VNA and Colorado Quit Line can help with smoking cessation, call Liz at the VNA at 875-1882. Free counseling, patches and gum are available through the Colorado Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or www.coquitline.org.

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