Rifle Community News Briefs – July 18, 2013 | PostIndependent.com

Rifle Community News Briefs – July 18, 2013

Mike McKibbin/Citizen Telegram
Staff Photo |

Universal Class at the library

The Garfield County libraries now offer Universal Class, a free online learning resource for all library members. Universal Class offers hundreds of online classes taught by dedicated instructors, sharing their knowledge on almost any imaginable topic. From technology to business to do-it-yourself, Universal Class has something for everyone. Access this digital resource from gcpld.org.

New look visitor’s center

The Rifle visitor’s center and offices for the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce have a new look. For the first time in many years, the center features new carpeting, freshly painted walls and a decor that includes a wildlife display of beavers and otters in an aquarium.

Chamber President and CEO Frank Ladd said Colorado Parks and Wildlife provided the stuffed animals, which replaced live fish in the aquarium.

“We already had birds and eagles, so it made sense to add some more animals,” he added.

The remodeling was done over a weekend by a local contractor, Ladd said.

“We’ve had a lot of compliments from visitors, including repeat visitors who definitely noticed the change,” he noted.

Overall this year, the visitor’s center is down slightly from last year’s 33,000 visits, Ladd said, but the last few months have been up over last year.

“We had our biggest day ever a few weeks ago when 400 people stopped in,” he said. “We average about 200 year-round, and summer is the busy time.”

It’s not unusual to greet up to 4,500 people a month during the summer, Ladd stated.

Energy upgrade rebate funds available until Aug. 31

Garfield Clean Energy and CLEER have additional money available for energy upgrades in homes or businesses, but time is limited. Home and business owners in Garfield County who get energy upgrades this summer have until Aug. 31 to apply for the rebates.

Homeowners who complete two or more projects can get up to $1,000 in rebates. Business owners can get up to $2,500 on qualifying projects that increase their energy efficiency.

Upgrades such as insulation and air sealing, installation of energy-efficient furnaces, boilers and water heaters, equipment tune-ups, and heat-tape timers are eligible for rebates. To be eligible, rebate applications must be submitted after the upgrade is complete and no later than Aug. 31.

For more information, call CLEER at 704-9200.

School principals set for Re-2

Garfield School District Re-2 has filled all its open school principal positions for the coming school year with the hiring of Rich Hills at Highland Elementary School in Rifle. Hills takes over for Alan Dillon, who left at the end of the 2012-13 school year to become superintendent of the De Beque School District.

Hills has been an elementary educator for 17 years, including eight years in the district at the former Roy Moore Elementary and Cactus Valley Elementary Schools in Silt.

Other new principals this fall are Rick Elertson at Coal Ridge High School, replacing David Morgan, who retired at the end of the 2012-13 school year; and Kathryn Senor at Wamsley Elementary School, replacing Desha Bierbaum, who resigned.

Volunteer to help older citizens

High Country RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) has been serving the Colorado and Roaring Fork valleys for 40 years. RSVP volunteers, age 55 and older, use their skills, abilities and life experiences to serve nonprofit agencies in Garfield and Pitkin counties such as LIFT-UP, Literary Outreach, Mountain Valley Developmental Services and Garfield County Senior Programs.

Some of the benefits of becoming an RSVP volunteer include the opportunity to work with a professional coordinator who will explore various volunteer opportunities and provide follow up and support as needed, free excess liability insurance while volunteering, and the opportunity to share and interact with other older Americans as they seek to give back to their communities.

Call High Country RSVP at 947-8462 or 947-8461 for more information.

Local families needed for exchange students

ASSSE International Student Exchange Programs is seeking host families for international high school boys and girls.

Students are 15-18 years of age, and will be in the U.S. for the upcoming high school year or semester. Students are conversant in English, bright, curious and anxious to learn about this country through living with a family, attending high school and sharing their own culture and language with their host family.

Each student is fully insured, brings his or her own personal spending money and expects to contribute to his or her share of household responsibilities, as well as being included in normal family activities and lifestyles. Families can choose their students from a wide variety of backgrounds, nationalities and personal interests.

For more information, call 1-800-733-2773.

Rifle Rotary seeks host homes

The Rifle Rotary Club is lining up host homes for the 2013-2014 school year. Hosting a Rotary exchange student is a great way for families to learn about the world firsthand. Families host students for three months of their year-long exchange.

Go to rotary.org for an overview of Rotary International and Rotary Youth Exchange. Contact Kaaren Peck at (970) 355-4859 for more information on hosting a student.

YouthZone offers free 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.

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 https://www.coloradosbdc.org or email NorthWestCO@ColoradoSBDC.org.

Host an exchange student

The World Heritage Student Exchange Program is seeking American families to host high school students from Eurasia for an academic year in the U.S. All students have received scholarships through the U.S. State Department-sponsored Future Leaders Exchange program, which seeks to foster democracy and values inherent in a free market economy.

Students are from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. After returning home, students will share what they learned in America.

For more information, contact Courtney Wade at (866) 939-4111, or 1-800-888-9040, via email at Courtney@World-Heritage.org or visit whhosts.com.

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