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Local News Briefs

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and County Coroner released the name of the man who perished in a structure fire on Sunday, Aug. 29.

Sanford Vaughn Griffin, 78, died in the fire at 0378 Apple Drive in the Mountain Shadow subdivision south of New Castle. Neighbors said the man was know as “Griff” and had lived in the home for more than 30 years.

The official cause of death from Steven Pollard, deputy coroner, was listed as carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke and soot inhalation.



Approximately 20 firefighters responded to the blaze that was reported at 5:15 p.m. Fire crews from Glenwood, Rifle and the Burning Mountains Fire Protection District all responded.

Free HIV testing is available at Public Health for anyone 13 years and older. Results are available in 10 minutes. Beginning in September, testing will be offered the second Tuesday of each month in Rifle and the fourth Tuesday of the month in Glenwood Springs from 1-4 p.m. No appointment is necessary.



Garfield County Public Health is providing dental fluoride varnishes for children ages 1-12 years old. Fluoride varnish is “painted” onto teeth as a protective coating that helps prevent cavities (and helps stop cavities that have already started). The varnish takes only minutes to apply and dries almost immediately. Fluoride varnishing clinics will be held the first Tuesday of the Month in Rifle and the third Tuesday of the month in Glenwood Springs from 8:30-11 a.m. No appointment is necessary. The cost for a fluoride varnish is $5.

$10 adult vaccinations are available at Garfield County Public Health. Through a special program, Garfield County Public Health is offering a limited supply of adult vaccines for $10. (The regular cost is $45-$150.) Vaccines available include:

• HPV (human papilloma virus) for anyone 19-26 years of age

• Menactra (meningitis) for any at-risk adults under 56 years of age (recommended for all college students)

• Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine) for anyone under 65 (important for adults caring for infants)

• MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and Varicella (chicken pox) for adults who have not had the diseases or have not been vaccinated for them

• Pneumovax (pneumonia) for people 19-64 who have chronic respiratory conditions, have compromised immune systems or who smoke.

The town of New Castle has completed the improvements at Grand River Park that were funded in part by GOCO funds. A grand opening celebration with free ice cream will take place from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Phase II of the park includes adequate shelter and dining areas for visitors, seating amenities, fishing and a recreation area on the river, and important connectivity elements which tie together the various areas of the park.

Three shelters – Overlook, Wetland and Picnic – provide views up and down the Colorado River as well as views of the expanded pond features of the park. These picnic shelters provide shady access along the trails.

The River Beach component of the park provides a 56-foot sand play area with a breakwater arm that calms the river water into an area for wading and water play. The stone slab terraced steps provide seating near the water and easy access for supervision of children. The area also provides river access for fishermen and kayakers.

Additional items that were included to enhance the park with this funding include interpretive signage for the natural history of the area, a windmill aerator for the ponds, additional trees and landscaping materials, a tire swing for the playground area, soccer goals, barbecue grills, a wireless rain sensor for the irrigation system and additional benches throughout the park that would have otherwise been eliminated due to lack of funding.

The town of New Castle and the Park, Open Space, Trails and Recreation Committee is grateful to Great Outdoors Colorado.


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