Craig briefs: Mobile food pantry to distribute food Tuesday

The Food Bank of the Rockies mobile food pantry will distribute food from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig. The club is located at 1324 E. U.S. Highway 40. Food distribution will be inside and starts at 11:30 am. Bring boxes or bags for food.

Homemaker will not have free pumpkins

Because of drought conditions and severe hailstorms, Homemaker Furnishings, of Craig, will not be able to give away free pumpkins this October. For the past six years, Homemaker furnishings has provided free pumpkins to residents of Craig, Meeker, Rangely and Baggs, Wyo. Typically, the company hands out nearly 1,800 pumpkins each year. The company is disappointed it will not be able to provide pumpkins this year but plans to continue its efforts in October 2014.

Flood work continues despite shutdown

Approximately 650 full-time Colorado National Guard military technicians have been furloughed without pay because of the government shutdown, according to a press release. However, National Guard support for flood relief will continue as scheduled. 

The Colorado National Guard relies heavily on the technician workforce to maintain readiness standards for the entire force.  

“The Colorado National Guard will continue to respond when called upon by the governor, while also being good stewards of resources and tax dollars,” said Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the adjutant general of Colorado. “However, the reduction in full-time support could influence our response readiness. Even more important would be the impact on the National Guard families who have already sacrificed so much during previous furloughs. This shutdown has the potential to be devastating to these families.”

National Guard engineering assets from Colorado and several other states will continue to work in support of the Colorado Department of Transportation creating a temporary fix to roads in order to make them passable for recovery efforts. 

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced the authorization of state funds to keep Colorado National Guard members working on flood recovery efforts.

The National Guard’s mission or timeline for this project have not changed. The only change was to the funding stream allowing work to continue.

“We can’t afford to lose one day in rebuilding areas destroyed or damaged by the floods,” Hickenlooper said. “Our National Guard troops are an invaluable part of the team working on the recovery. We need them to stay on the job.”

In addition to the engineering assets, the Colorado National Guard continues to provide approximately 50 personnel at traffic control points in Boulder County. 

Connections 4 Kids to host oral health event

Connections 4 Kids, the early childhood council serving Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, is hosting a series of children’s oral health education opportunities in Craig, Meeker and Rangely for families and care providers, according to a press release.

Ashley Moon, registered dental hygienist and Cavity-Free at Three trainer, will present the workshops. Attendees will learn that children need healthy teeth and gums for talking, eating and smiling. There are simple things parents can do to help their children take good care of their teeth and have a healthy mouth now and in the future.

The next workshop is offered for parents and care providers of children of all ages from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Weiss Conference Room at Colorado Northwestern Community College, 500 Kennedy Drive, Rangely.

The event includes a free meal, giveaways and continuing education hours for early childhood providers. Connections 4 Kids also is offering trainings to preschool teachers in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties.

Those who wish to attend the workshop must register by calling Amanda Arnold at 970-824-1036.

Take caution driving off-highway vehicles

A crash on a back road in Montezuma County serves as a reminder to drivers of off-highway vehicles to be extra careful, according to officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The man operating the OHV was driving on a dirt road in the San Juan National Forest that is open to OHV travel. He drove into the oncoming lane at a blind curve and collided with a car. The man swerved to avoid a head-on collision but was ejected from the vehicle, hit the windshield of the car and sustained two broken toes and plenty of serious scrapes and bruises. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was treated.

The man driving the OHV was ticketed and fined $75. In Colorado from 1982 through 2011, the Colorado State Patrol reported that 157 people were killed in OHV-related accidents — including 26 children younger than 16. Nationally, from 1982 to 2010, 11,000 people died in OHV accidents, 25 percent of them younger than 16.

OHVs can carry a lot of speed, but they’re also light, narrow and have a short wheelbase. As a result, they are not as stable as regular vehicles on rough roads and trails where an operator might drive over boulders, rocks and tree roots. Even dirt roads in washboard condition present hazards to OHV drivers.

Even though there are no regulations governing how many people can ride on an OHV, passengers often interfere with the driver. Drivers can be ticketed in those situations.

On trails, OHV drivers should be extra careful if they see horses approaching. Some horses spook easily if they see something they don’t recognize. It is recommended that drivers pull off the trail, then get off the vehicle to allow a horse to recognize a human form.

Reporting of OHV accidents is required by Colorado law. Any crash that cause injuries resulting in hospitalization or death or more than $1,500 in damage to a vehicle must be reported “by the quickest available means of communication” to a local law enforcement agency. The operator involved in the accident, or someone acting on his or her behalf, also must submit a written report about the accident to Parks and Wildlife within 48 hours. The report must be compiled on the form available at the Parks and Wildlife website.

To learn more about OHVs safety and regulations, visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website at www.parks.state.co.us and click on “OHVs & Snowmobiles.”

Adult animal adoption fee is lowered to $75

The Humane Society of Moffat County has lowered its animal adoption cost to $75, which includes spay or neuter, vaccinations and a feline leukemia test. The cost to adopt kittens and puppies remains $115.

Bird walk area open to public year-round

The 921-acre Carpenter Ranch, located 3 miles east of downtown Hayden, is one of two local sites that are protected by The Nature Conservancy in Colorado and are designated as Important Bird Areas by the National Audubon Society. The other site near Hayden is the 329-acre Yampa River Preserve, which is open to the public year-round for birding, fishing and hiking. The preserve includes one of the largest remaining examples of a rare riparian forest dominated by narrow leaf cottonwood, box elder and red osier dogwood, according to The Nature Conservancy.

For questions about the birding walks, call Betsy Blakeslee, Carpenter Ranch facilities manager, at 970-276-4626. More information about the Carpenter Ranch and the Yampa River Preserve can be found by searching The Nature Conservancy website at www.nature.org.

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