Craig briefs: State gas prices unlikely to fall | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig briefs: State gas prices unlikely to fall

Average retail gasoline prices in Colorado have risen 2.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.46 per gallon June 15, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 2,158 gas outlets in Colorado. This compares with the national average that has increased 1.8 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.65 per gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Colorado during the past week, June 15 prices were 21.4 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 1.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 2.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 3.7 cents per gallon higher than one year ago.

“The national average has stayed relatively flat for the last month, but that appears to be over, as the escalating situation in Iraq takes hold and drives crude oil and retail gasoline prices higher,” said GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan.

"It’s that perceived threat that may cause the national average this week to rise 3 to 6 cents per gallon,” DeHaan said. “The bigger picture here is that the timing of the situation in Iraq could threaten the possibility that motorists see lower prices this summer, as we had anticipated in our much earlier forecasts."

Cheerleaders hosting free clinic starting June 23

The Moffat County Thunder Cheer team will offer a free clinic for interested boys and girls from June 23 to July 3 in its new facility in Suite 119 of Centennial Mall.

Classes are Mondays and Wednesdays for ages 9 and younger and Tuesdays and Thursdays for 10 and older. All classes are from 6 to 8 p.m.

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Participants will learn the basic fundamentals of cheering including jumps, tumbling, stunts, dance and transitions.

All participants will receive an award of completion and a cheer bow. Parents must sign a liability waiver prior to participation.

For more information and to reserve a spot for your child, call Ashley Green at 435-406-1310 or Amber Snow at 970-756-0588.

Researchers fighting plague in prairie dog colonies

According to a press release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, work to protect the Gunnison’s prairie dog by Colorado Parks and Wildlife has proven successful during the last four years, and biologists are continuing with more research to improve methods to sustain populations.

“In some situations, prairie dogs can be seen as pests, but they are critical in the environment and help to promote survival of numerous other species such as burrowing owls, badgers and raptors,” said Dan Tripp, a wildlife disease researcher with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

In Colorado, there are three species of prairie dogs. The Gunnison’s prairie dog resides primarily in the southwest portion of the state. The others are the white-tailed prairie dog, which lives mainly in Northwest Colorado, and the black-tailed prairie dog, which inhabits areas along the Front Range and eastern plains.

Plague, caused by a non-native bacteria carried by fleas, has been identified as a threat to the stability of Gunnison’s prairie dog populations in Colorado. Outbreaks of plague frequently kill every prairie dog in a colony. To combat the disease, agency biologists are dusting prairie dog burrows with an insecticide powder that kills fleas. Researchers also are evaluating the efficacy of oral vaccine baits, which may prevent plague in the animals.

In Colorado, the vaccine research in Gunnison's prairie dogs is occurring on public land — state wildlife areas, BLM and National Park Service property.

“By preventing plague, we can have healthy, stable prairie dog colonies that we can manage on public lands,” Tripp said.

Plein air painting kicks off June 18 in Meeker

The Meeker Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a plein air painting competition from June 18 to July 4 with a grand prize of $1,000. Paintings have to be on stamped boards, framed and turned in by July 2. There will be a meet and greet July 3 and a Quick Draw on July 4. There is an entry fee of $15 per board, and the paintings must be of areas within 50 miles of downtown Meeker.

Call the Meeker Chamber at 970-878-5510 for more information.

A plein air painting outing is offered by Hayden artists. Artists will congregate at 8:30 am June 16 at the Granary in Hayden and travel to the Elkhead Schoolhouse north of town.

Community Fourth of July band is gearing up

Every Thursday night community members meet to practice for the Fourth of July Parade in an effort to bring festive music to the annual event. If you're interested in joining in the musical fun, practice is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays in the Moffat County High School band room through July 3. For more information, call John Bolton at 970-824-1196.