Citizen Telegram Community News Briefs – March 27, 2014 |

Citizen Telegram Community News Briefs – March 27, 2014

All smiles at Colorado Mountain College
Charles Engelbrecht/Contributed Photo |

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IRS: Refunds waiting to be claimed from 2010

Refunds totaling almost $760 million may be waiting for an estimated 918,600 taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2010, according to the Internal Revenue Service. However, to collect the money, a return for 2010 must be filed with the IRS no later than Tuesday, April 15.

The IRS estimates that half the potential refunds for 2010 are for more than $571.

Some people may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return, even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments. In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity to claim a refund. If no return is filed to claim a refund within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.

Smoky skies possible in April

SILT – Firefighters from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Unit are planning a 381-acre prescribed fire about 10 miles south of Silt in early April.

Smoke from the fire may be seen from the Colorado River corridor as well as the Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle County.

“We will only ignite this prescribed fire if conditions are ideal for a safe, effective burn, as well as for good smoke dispersal away from area communities,” said Rusty Stark, fuels specialist for the Bureau of Land Management Colorado River Valley Field Office.

The West Divide Prescribed Fire will decrease the amount of vegetation that has accumulated in the area, which hasn’t had a fire in a number of years. This will help reduce the risk of a larger wildfire, improve forest health and wildlife habitat by stimulating new, more nutritious plant production in the burned area.

The burn is planned on BLM-managed land near the upper reaches of West Divide Creek in oak brush and mountain shrubs.

Computer instructors needed

Volunteers are needed in Silt and Glenwood Springs to work with adults with intellectual disabilities to learn basic computer skills.

Computers are provided and volunteers are asked to spend an hour or two a week to help these individuals operate a computer, IPad or Android phone. Call High Country Retired Senior Volunteer Program at 947-8462 or 947-8461.

Free income tax preparation and filing

If you are a senior, disabled or your household income is less than $49,000 per year, High Country RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) can prepare and electronically file your federal and state income taxes free of charge.

Volunteers are certified by the IRS and can prepare returns with credits, such as the earned income, child tax, child and dependent care and the elderly and disabled credits. (Persons with complex business issues and rental properties must seek a paid preparer.)

Appointments are available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through April 15. We are an AARP Tax-aide site and serve clients from Aspen to Parachute, and Craig. Call 384-8740 to schedule an appointment. RSVP is a sponsored program of Colorado Mountain College.

Libraries food for fines donations up

The Garfield County Public Libraries gathered a record amount of food this February during its Food for Fines program. More than 5,600 non-perishable food items were donated to the LIFT-UP program.

To date, there has been about a 570 percent increase in donations since the program began in 2008. Last year’s program resulted in 4,542 donations. Patrons at the six branch libraries in the district traded non-perishable food donations for LIFT-UP and received a $1 credit for each item to pay overdue fines. For more information, call 625-4270.

Reach Out and Read

Getting books from the doctor will soon be a routine part of regular pediatric checkups at Grand River Health Primary Care with the Reach Out and Read program.

The program targets children growing up in poverty and without books. Along with literacy-rich waiting areas, pediatricians educate parents about the importance of reading with their children every day. At every regular checkup between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, each child receives a new, age-appropriate book to take home and keep.

For more than a decade, studies have indicated that parents who get books and literacy counseling from their doctors and nurses are more likely to read to their young children, read to them more often, and provide more books in the home. In addition, children served by Reach Out and Read enter kindergarten with a six-month developmental edge and have larger vocabularies and stronger language skills.

LIFT-UP takes part in hunger challenge

Now through April 30, LIFT-UP will participate in the Feinstein Foundation’s 17th annual Challenge to Fight Hunger, which offers $1 million to be divided among qualified hunger relief agencies nationwide, based on the amount of food and money they collect during the two-month period. Last year, more than $211 million was raised by 1,857 hunger-fighting agencies. Over the previous 16 years, the annual campaign has generated more than $2 billion.

As an added incentive this year, the locally-managed Stone Foundation has offered an additional $10,000 in matching funds for the first $10,000 that LIFT-UP raises from this campaign through April 30, a dollar-for-dollar match.

LIFT-UP’s services are offered year-round and they serve between 2,000 and 2,500 people per month from their seven area food pantries. More than 1,600 meals per month are served from LIFT-UP’s Extended Tables in Rifle and Glenwood Springs.

In 2013, LIFT-UP received $1.8 million in donated food from individuals, food drives and local grocery stores, which is distributed from its food pantries to families in need. LIFT-UP also purchases food from Food Bank of the Rockies in Grand Junction, and from local grocery stores as needed. People may request assistance up to four times in a calendar year, and receive four days of food for their family size.

March for Meals

Grand River Health is joining with the National Meals On Wheels of America Association in a month-long celebration and fundraising for the Grand River Meals on Wheels program. This celebration will include participating restaurants “Rounding Up” for the program, where a restaurant in each community the Meals on Wheels program serves asks customers to “round up” the bills for the program. The schedule: March 23–29, Shooters Grill in Rifle; March 30–April 5, Taco Bell in Rifle and Glenwood Springs.

The Grand River Gallop 5K Run and 2K Fun Run Super Hero Run is set for 9 a.m. April 5. Come run in your favorite super hero costume.

For more information, contact Volunteer Services Director Kaaren Peck at 625-6423.

Turkey hunt for youths planned

MEEKER – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering three young hunters a chance to win a mentored spring turkey hunt on private land near Meeker, April 12-13. The hunt is made possible with the help and support of local landowners.

Applicants 18 and under that posses a valid hunter safety card must send a letter of interest postmarked by March 31 to DWM Bailey Franklin, P.O. Box 1181, Meeker, CO 81641.

The letter should indicate an interest in the hunt and include the youth’s name, address, hunter education card number and a phone number for the applicant’s parent or guardian.

Each letter must also include an essay of 500 words or less about hunting and why the applicant should be selected, written by the applicant and in their own words.

The three winning participants will be notified by April 4. They must also be able to attend a pre-hunt orientation at Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Meeker office, from 3-5 p.m. Friday, April 11, accompanied by a parent, guardian or mentor.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will provide shotguns, ammunition, blinds and calls. Selected hunters must provide their own camouflage clothing, lodging and food.

Seedling trees available

The Bookcliff, Mount Sopris and South Side conservation districts are offering seedling trees at a minimal cost to landowners who own more than one acre of land.

There are more than 50 species of trees and shrubs to choose from for any growing conditions on the West Slope. These seedlings are grown through the Colorado State Forest Service. Orders are taken throughout the winter with delivery the first week of May.

For more information, or to receive an order form, call the district office at 945-5494, ext. 105, or go online to

How to become a Girl Scout

Girls from kindergarten through 12th grade can sign up for Girl Scouts and earn their way to lots of fun and adventure.

Girl Scouts in Colorado are forming new troops and need adult volunteers. Girls can also sign up as an individual member until a troop becomes available. Members can sell Girl Scout Cookies and also earn funds to pay for summer camp, community service projects and other leadership programming.

To enroll and for more information, go online to

YouthZone offers parent consultations

A parent consultation is a one-time, 50-minute meeting with a youth and family specialist at YouthZone. A family’s issues and needs will be identified. Parents leave with a plan that includes various options and resources to meet the family’s needs. Call YouthZone at 625-3141.

Community volunteers needed

Garfield County’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program, or RSVP, is looking for people 55 years and older to volunteer for local youth, health, arts, environmental, senior, and education projects or RSVP’s Tax Assistance and Helping Hands for Seniors programs. Call 947-8462 for more information.

Small business help

The Northwest Small Business Development Center, hosted by Colorado Mountain College, combines information and resources from federal, state and local governments with those of the educational system and the private sector to meet specialized and complex needs of the small business community.

Low cost or free services are available to business owners looking for information about regulatory, management, financial and marketing. Free certified consultants work in partnership to provide entrepreneurs with crucial information that can mean the difference between success and failure.

Register at or email

Free addiction help

Narconon reminds families that abuse of addictive pharmaceutical drugs is on the rise. Learn to recognize the signs of drug abuse and get your loved ones help if they are at risk. Call Narconon for a free brochure on the signs of addiction for all types of drugs. Narconon also offers free assessments and referrals. Call 1-800-431-1754 or go online to

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