Craig briefs: Gov. Ritter orders flags to be lowered today

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Gov. Bill Ritter has directed that U.S. and Colorado flags at federal and state facilities be lowered to half-staff until noon this Memorial Day, which is today.

"On behalf of the people of Colorado, it is my privilege to honor the brave military men and women of Colorado who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending America's freedoms," Ritter said. "Their service and our memories of them have become woven into the fabric that makes Colorado and this nation so great, and they will not be forgotten.

"While we can never repay the debt they are owed, we must make every effort to do so. We can make sure their families are cared for while they are away, and we can provide jobs for them when they come home.

"I'm calling on all of Colorado to pause this Memorial Day to reflect on the service and sacrifices of our military personnel. Memorial Day is a time to honor the men and women who put themselves in harm's way to defend our country and our way of life.

"God bless them, God bless Colorado and God bless all of America.

Farmers Unions will hold oil shale forum

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Northwest Colorado Farmers Union, the Douglas Creek Conservation District and White River Conservation District will host a conference Tuesday in Meeker about how oil shale will impact the Western Slope's water supply, agriculture and local communities.

The conference will feature a presentation about oil shale's suspected impacts to western Colorado, including reports by the Colorado River Water Conservation District, Yampa/White/Green River Basin Roundtable, Western Resource Advocates and Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado.

After the presentation, a panel featuring a local agriculture producer, a Rio Blanco County commissioner and a representative from the Colorado River District to discuss the issues.

A representative from Shell Oil Company also will be on hand to provide an industry perspective and share some of its plans for western Colorado.

Audience members will be allowed to ask questions of the presenters after the panel discussion.

The conference is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Old Public Library at the Fairfield center, 200 Main St. in Meeker. Sandwiches and drinks will be provided.

VNA offers vaccines for school immunizations

Parents, now is the time to take a look at school immunization requirements and recommendations, according to the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

Some colleges require the meningococcal vaccine for entering freshmen. Other recommended vaccines include Hepatitis A and HPV (females only).

Other school requirements for fall 2009 are as follows: Tdap for students entering sixth and 10th grades and for students who did not previously receive a Tdap in seventh, eighth, 11th or 12th grade. DTaP, Polio, MMR and Varicella (chicken pox) are required for students entering kindergarten (additional immunizations may be required if your child is not up to date).

VNA provides immunizations for children from no charge to $14; the VNA will never refuse a vaccination to a child because of an inability to pay. For more information call 824-8233.

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