Craig briefs: Coffee and a Newspaper to talk retail pot Wednesday

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The Craig Daily Press will host its monthly Coffee and a Newspaper event from 7 to 7:45 a.m. today at The Memorial Hospital’s Mountain Café. General Manager Renee Campbell and Managing Editor Noelle Leavitt Riley will hold a discussion about retail marijuana. The Craig Daily Press recently reported on a Maybell woman who wants to overturn the ban on retail pot cultivation and sales in Moffat County so she can reap the financial benefits from cannabis. The newspaper invites anyone from the public who would like to weigh in on the topic. For more information, call 970-875-1788.

Fire Board elections to take place in May

The Craig Fire/Rescue Board elections are coming up in May and will determine which candidates will run the board.

Four people are running for three four-year terms, and one candidate, Rodney Kowach, is running uncontested for a two-year term.

John Forgay, Tony Maneotis and Chris Nichols are current board members fighting to keep their seats. The only outside contester is Bruce Trimberg.

Candidates will be selected by majority vote. The person who gets the least amount of votes will not make it onto the board.

The May 6 election will go from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and take place at the Craig Fire Department. If residents want more information, they can contact designated election official Ashley Ellis at 970-824-5914.

Retail gas prices drop in Colorado this week

Average retail gasoline prices in Colorado have fallen 2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.56 per gallon Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 2,158 gas outlets in Colorado. That compares with the national average that has increased 1.8 cents per gallon in the past week to $3.53 per gallon, according to gasoline price website www.gasbuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Colorado during the past week, prices yesterday were unchanged compared to the same day one year ago and are 4.5 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 9.2 cents per gallon during the past month and stands 8.3 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

Seat belt enforcement begins in rural Colorado

In an effort to increase seat belt use and save lives on rural Colorado roadways, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and 28 rural law enforcement agencies throughout the state are mobilizing for a Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement period, which started Monday and runs through April 7. The increased enforcement is combined with a seat belt education campaign targeting rural drivers, as they tend to have the lowest seat belt-use rate in the state.

In 2013, there were 178 unbuckled fatalities in Colorado, with 59 percent occurring on rural roadways. Of the 105 unbuckled fatalities in rural Colorado, 72 percent were male drivers and nearly 30 percent of them were driving a pickup. Of the total unbuckled fatalities on rural roadways, 70 percent of drivers either were fully or partially ejected from their vehicle. During the 2013 rural Click It or Ticket enforcement period, 1,538 seatbelt violations were cited, 88 percent going to adults older than age 21.

Late payment scam alert for all YVEA members

We have received several calls from members alerting us that they have received calls from people fictitiously representing Yampa Valley Electric Association. The people are telling members that they have not received payment for their November bill and power will be disconnected if a payment is not received. This is a scam. The number from caller ID is 866-373-4410 and when called is answered as “Disconnection Department.” This is a not a legal or recognized representative of YVEA. If you receive a call of this nature, call your local police department or YVEA at 970-879-1160 and report it. Remember to never give personal or bank information to unknown parties.

Wise electricity usage saves money in winter

Atmos Energy is encouraging its customers to save money on their winter heating bills by reducing their energy usage.

“A little planning goes a long way when it comes to reducing winter heating bills,” Colorado/Kansas Division President Gary Gregory said.

Energy-saving tips:

■ Change or clean furnace filters once each month during the heating season.

■ Set your water heater’s temperature at 120 degrees.

■ Set your thermostat to 70 degrees during the day and 58 degrees when away from home for more than a few hours.

■ Close vents and doors in unused rooms and close cabinet and closet doors on outside walls.

If you are having trouble paying your utility bill, visit www.atmosenergy.com to learn more about energy assistance programs. Low-income customers are eligible for federal energy assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps pay energy bills and weatherize homes.

CPW warns to keep dogs away from wildlife

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is issuing a warning to people whose dogs chase wildlife: Keep them under control and away from deer, elk and other wild animals, or face the possibility of steep fines and the loss of a beloved pet.

Dogs that chase wild animals can cause them extreme stress and injuries from bites, wildlife officials said.

By late winter, many big game animals susceptible to dog harassment are pregnant females. As they run to escape, deer and elk expend crucial energy that can lead to an increase in the mortality rate of the animals or their unborn calves and fawns.

To report any instance of dogs chasing wildlife, the public can call the local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office or Colorado State Patrol. In Colorado, the fine for knowingly or negligently allowing a dog to harass wildlife is $274, including surcharges.

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