Craig briefs: Governor extends holiday wishes |

Craig briefs: Governor extends holiday wishes

Gov. Bill Ritter extended all Coloradans warm wishes for a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family, his office announced Wednesday in a news release. 

"Thanksgiving is a special time for family to gather," Ritter said in the release. "In this joyous time, we can't forget the families and individuals that are less fortunate than we are. America represents the land of opportunity, and while we are a country of riches, we have many that need assistance right here at home.

"Our country's spirit of volunteering and giving is what makes us great. My challenge to all is to remember these folks during the year and to help make a difference not just during the holidays.

"The First Lady and I extend our warmest and sincerest holiday greeting to all of Colorado during this season. Our hope is that you will be happy and safe. God bless you all."

At 11:30 a.m. today, Gov. Ritter, the First Lady and their family will join volunteers from the Sheraton Hotel and Westin Tabor Center to serve 300 Thanksgiving dinners at the Samaritan House Homeless Shelter, located at 2301 Lawrence St. in Denver.

State offices closed today and Friday

State government offices will be closed today for Thanksgiving, and many state offices will be closed Friday, the third furlough day this year as part of ongoing efforts to keep the state budget balanced.

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State driver's license offices, the Department of Public Health and Environment's vital records office, state history museums, and administrative offices for executive branch departments will be among the facilities closed Friday, with about 15,500 employees on unpaid furlough.

State troopers will be patrolling the highways, the Department of Transportation's Traffic Operations Center will be running, and state nursing homes, hospitals and care centers will be open.

After Friday, the next closure day of the year will be Dec. 31. Additional furlough days are scheduled for Jan. 15, Feb. 12, April 2 and May 28 in 2010. The eight furlough days will save taxpayers $27.2 million.

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