The U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service will waive entrance and usage fees at most of their day-use recreation sites over the Veterans Day holiday weekend, Nov. 10-12. Many public lands in Colorado have some fee areas. More information on locations to visit can be found on websites for each agency. All military men and women will receive free admission at each of Colorado's 42 state parks on Monday, Nov. 12, in honor of Veterans Day a day earlier.To obtain free admission to a state park, veterans, active duty military personnel and their families must show:• A valid active, reserve or retired military identification card, • An identification card from the Veterans' Administration, Veterans of Foreign Wars or the American Legion, • Discharge papers or a DD214, • Other proof of service. The identification should be presented at the park gate. All other passengers in the vehicle will be admitted for free. This offer applies only to free entrance; other fees, rules and regulations will apply. For more information, visit www.cpw.state.co.us.
Online hiring is taking place for grocery store chain with numerous holiday seasonal job openings at stores in Pitkin, Routt, Garfield, Eagle and Summit counties.Workforce Centers in Frisco, Glenwood Springs, Rifle and Steamboat Springs will offer the event today and tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 8, and Friday, Nov. 9, at www.connectingcolorado.com. The grocery chain has openings in Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, El Jebel, Carbondale, Dillon, Breckenridge, Eagle and Avon. For more information, contact the Rifle Workforce Center, 310 W. Third St., 625-5627.
Volunteers with Operation Christmas Child - the world's largest Christmas project of its kind - are filling shoe box gifts with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas.This year-round project of the international Christian relief and evangelism organization "Samaritan's Purse," hopes to collect 300 gift-filled shoe boxes during National Collection Week (Nov. 12 - 19). Drop off a packed shoe box at Superwash of Rifle, 181 E. 26th St., on Monday- Saturday, Nov. 12-17; Monday, Nov. 19, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 18, between 8 and 9 a.m. Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology to allow participants to "follow" their box to the destination country where it will be given to a child in need. Use the "Follow Your Box" donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ. For more information, call (970) 858-9873.
Officials of a public-private partnership gathered on Oct. 31 at the site of the new I-70 West Parachute interchange to cut the ribbon in anticipation of a Nov. 12 completion date.The Colorado Department of Transportation and its contractor, SEMA Construction, began work on March 19 on the $12 million project. Money came from the Colorado Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Town of Parachute, Garfield County, Battlement Mesa Co., the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Encana Oil & Gas (USA), Inc., and WPX Energy. The project includes on- and off-ramps, two roundabouts on the north and south sides of the existing U.S. Highway 6 overpass bridge and an asphalt overlay on Highway 6. Safety improvements include new guardrail and wildlife fencing on the north side of the interchange.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife workers will be stocking a large number of 10-inch rainbow trout in lakes and reservoirs in the Rifle and Silt areas over the next several weeks, as the agency wraps up its fall stocking schedule.The lakes include Parachute Pond, Rifle Pond South, Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap Reservoirs, plus many lakes in the Grand Junction, Palisade and Mesa County areas. Most of these waters will be stocked with cacheable trout again in the spring.Fishing licenses can be purchased from your local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office, license agents, and online at cpw.state.co.us. For more information, go to http://wildlife.state.co.us/fishing.
The Changing Lifestyles department at the Grand River Hospital District will host the "Step by Step: The Road to Health" diabetes health fair on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 7 to 10 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, located on the corner of Seventh Street and Birch Avenue in Rifle.This health fair is designed for those who have been diagnosed with, or are at risk for, diabetes. Participants will receive low-cost blood screenings, such as A1C, lipid panels and urine micro-albumin. Flu shots will be available for $15.Free screenings including foot, eye, meter checks, blood pressure, blood glucose finger sticks and information on diabetes prevention, nutrition and exercise. For more information, visit grhd.org or call 625-6200.
Nightfall comes early after the annual change from daylight savings time to standard time, and that means chances increase for motorists to hit a deer on the road. Besides reduced visibility for drivers, deer are more likely to get hit because November is the peak of their mating season, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials. While some collisions may be unavoidable, motorists can reduce the likelihood of an accident by slowing down, staying alert while driving at dusk and dawn, scanning ahead and watching for movement along roadsides, obeying traffic and wildlife warning signs.Drivers should be especially cautious when traveling through forests and agricultural land, as well as Colorado Highway 13 between Rifle and Meeker, one of many "high-risk" areas in the state.If an animal is hit, wildlife officials advise drivers to immediately report the incident to law enforcement agencies and call 911 if there are any human injuries. Colorado Parks and Wildlife requires that people who wish to salvage road kill apply for a permit within 48 hours.
The Veteran's Administration's medical foster home program is looking for caregivers in the Rifle, Parachute and Battlement Mesa areas willing to take a veteran into their home and provide room and board in a home environment, appropriate supervision, and assistance with daily personal and medical care. Qualified caregivers may receive financial reimbursement of $1,500 to $3,000 a month per veteran. The program is limited to within 60 miles of the Grand Junction VA Medical Center. For more information, call (970) 263-2854.
The Rifle Workforce Center plans to increase outreach efforts to notify employers about available on-the-job training programs, before funding ends.Grant money from the U.S. Department of Labor is designed to help workers update their job skills and acquire new skills so they can return to the job market. Those grant dollars also benefit Garfield County employers who find a lack of potential employees with required skills.The money can help get dislocated workers back to work and reduce turnover and training costs for businesses. Participating employers receive free screening, assessment and referrals. The Rifle Workforce Center is at 310 W. Third St. Call 625-5627.
Winter is on its way, and there's no better time to get your home ready for the coming cold. One of the best ways to improve home comfort is through energy efficiency upgrades. Recently, Garfield Clean Energy received a U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Neighborhood grant for rebates. Those funds are now available to the public for energy assessments and energy efficiency upgrades in homes via the Garfield Clean Energy Challenge. The funds can be used for insulation and air sealing and energy-efficient equipment, which will save you money and make your home more comfortable this winter.Sign up for the Garfield Clean Energy Challenge by calling CLEER at (970) 704-9200.
The Junior Ranger program at the Rifle Gap State Park complex had record participation this past summer. The program offered a self-directed booklet for park visitors to pick up at the Rifle Gap visitor's center or the Rifle Falls campground entrance station. The booklet was available for youngsters from 6 to 12 years of age who want to discover the park's wildlife, geology, ecosystems, history and environment through the eyes of a ranger. The youths complete their activity booklet and return it to the visitor's center or campground entrance station. One component of the program is for the youth to share something they have learned by doing the activities in the booklet. Participants earn a Junior Ranger badge by helping lead hikes, staff the interpretive table, and assist with the "Wild About Bats" interpretive program.
The Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for making the 33rd annual Chili Cook-Off and Jalapeno Eating Contest another success.The event was held on Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Garfield County Fairgrounds Indoor Arena, where more than 350 guests tasted chili, salsa, and jerky at 26 booths. Special event sponsors included Bill Barrett Corp., ANB Bank, and Mac5 Mortgage. The winners included: Red chili: 1st place, Centennial Suites; 2nd place, WingNutz Bar & Grill; 3rd place, Mountain Pest Control; Green chili: 1st place, Rib City Grill; 2nd place, Micro Plastics; 3rd place, IOOF Bookcliff #45; Salsa: 1st place, Mountain Air Mechanical; 2nd place, Basecamp Caf; 3rd place, ANB Bank; Jerky: 1st place, WingNutz Bar & Grill; 2nd place, Mountain Air Mechanical; 3rd place, Cowboy Joe's Catering; People's Choice Awards: Red chili, Basecamp Caf; Green chili, Mountain Air Mechanical; Salsa, Mountain Air Mechanical; Jerky, Cowboy Joe's Catering; Showmanship Award: Mountain Air Mechanical Super Heroes; Jalapeno Eating Contest: Ted Richards.Thanks to our Cornerstone Members: Encana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc., Alpine Bank, KMTS, Western Slope Communications, Grand River Hospital District, Walmart, Mountain Air Mechanical, Rain for Rent, Williams Midstream, Kuersten Construction, Bayou Well Services, Citizen Telegram, Bill Barrett Corp., WPX Energy, KREX TV Channel 5 Grand Junction, and Wells Fargo Bank. Other contributors: Garfield County Corrections, WingNutz Bar & Grill, Summit Sun Shirts, City Market, and ANB Bank. Committee members and volunteers: Nita Smith with NLS Business Solutions, Blair Bracken with Rifle Parks & Recreation, Susan Nichols-Alvis with White River Trail Runners ATV Club, Nathan Lindquist with the City of Rifle, Shannon Smith with It Works Global, Joy Wentzel with Alpine Bank, Carol Mozingo with the Hampton Inn & Suites, Kathi Clark, Vern Smith with It Works Global, Dylan & Lindsey Lewis with Lewis Marketing, Deb Street with A Stitch In Time, and Tony Morehouse and Brittany Neuroth with RHS. Judges: Gary Miller, Millers Dry Goods; Cheryl Minter, Western Slope Communications; Jesse Merry, Bess Wynn and Kortnie Valencia, Bill Barrett Corp.; Lori Cartright, Well Master; Cheryl Chandler, Cheryl and Co. Real Estate; Nathan Lindquist, City of Rifle; Sher Long, Sher Long Communications; Theresa Hamilton, Garfield School District Re-2;, Jim Voorheis, RREDC; Tami Sours: Community Banks of Colorado. Sample runners: Makenna and Dalton Pruett, Kyle and Rachel Fero, Chelsey Smith and Zoe Reece. The chamber board of directors thank the community for attending: Board chair, Nita Smith with NLS Business Solutions; vice-chair, Kasey Nispel with Jim Lord Agency/ American Family Insurance; treasurer, Karrie Fletcher with Alpine Bank; Jay Barner with Jean's Printing; Chris Manera with Colorado River Engineering; Dylan Lewis with Lewis Marketing; Susan Nichols-Alvis with White River Trail Runners ATV Club; Heidi Schaefer with Centennial Suites and Lori Cartright with Well Master. Frank LaddKacey BeresGina Reece-LongChamber staff
White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams has extended the public comment period for the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for oil and gas leasing from 60 days to 90 days. The DEIS identifies lands available for oil and gas leasing across the entire forest, which includes stipulations to protect surface resources.The document updates the existing 1993 oil and gas leasing decision, and responds to changing conditions, such as technological advances in oil and gas exploration and development.This DEIS should not be confused with recent news about drilling and unitization proposals in the Thompson Divide area. This DEIS should also not be confused with the release of the BLM's White River Field Office Oil and Gas Development Resource Management Plan Amendment in Northwest Colorado.Public comments must be received by Nov. 30, and can be addressed to Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor, White River National Forest, P.O. Box 1919, Sacramento, CA 95812; e-mail comments to WRNFoilangascomments@fscomments.org; or fax comments to (916) 456-6742. The DEIS and other material is available on the White River National Forest web site, www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.