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COVID-19 - page 18

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) risks affect Raton businesses

by Brandon Waller

 

RATON — As the global Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, risks of the virus have affected local businesses throughout Raton— some are closed until further notice, some are taking great precautions, all are concerned.

Businesses such as 111 Park, the local coffee shop, have enacted prevention efforts such as disallowing the public from walking in for orders. They are now requesting instead that customers call in their order for pickup or delivery. The State of New Mexico Governor’s Office has issued guidelines stating that there are to be 6 feet in distance from dining table to dining table, with no more than 6 seats per table; there is to be no seating for customers at a bar; and standing customers are forbidden, which causes havoc for places such as the 111 Park Espresso Bar, the Colfax Ale Cellar, and many other restaurants in the Raton area, in addition to all bars and restaurants throughout Colfax County, such as Cold Beer, NM and the historic St. James in Cimarron.

Other local businesses, such as the Kastler Law Offices and the Raton Natural Gas Company have shut their doors until further notice to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The State of New Mexico has also closed all schools including school functions, and other public meetings have been cancelled as well, such as the upcoming Miners Colfax Medical Center Board of Trustees meeting. To help students affected by the school closure, The Art of Snacks restaurant, located at 1117 S. Second Street in Raton, is handing out free lunches to those who rely on school lunch. They are also accepting donations to help feed the children. For more information, please contact Art of Snacks at (575) 707-8020.

Facilities such as the Arthur Johnson Memorial Library and the Miner’s Colfax Medical Center have also posted signs requesting that individuals that are symptomatic of COVID-19 do not enter, at recommendation from the New Mexico Department of Health.

These symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other factors include signs of a respiratory infection, if you’ve travelled to a high risk country recently, if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or even if you’ve recently travelled to a state that has been experiencing widespread community transmission of the virus.

Super Save Grocery Store in Raton has also been affected by the global COVID-19 outbreak, with the store having to place limits of two per customer on items such as toilet paper and cases of bottled water. Due to consumers’ panic buying of these items, store staff are unable to keep the items on the shelves, causing a shortage for the community. Other items such as meat, potatoes, milk, and canned goods have been flying off the shelves at an unprecedented rate, also due to panic buying/stocking up of supplies.

If you are unsure if a business that you wish to visit has been closed, or has restrictions in place, please give a call ahead to check and see what precautions that business has put into place to prevent viral spread. As always, be diligent in washing your hands (20 seconds is recommended) and be sure to bleach or sanitize all contacted surfaces, such as door handles, toilet flush handles, and faucet knobs/handles. If you believe you may be symptomatic, please contact your doctor or health care professional by telephone immediately.

COVID-19 means changes for Luna Community College

by Jesse Gallegos

 

LAS VEGAS/ SPRINGER — Luna Community College announced March 16 it will extend spring break for students through Friday, March 20, and that all classes that can be transferred to distance education will do so beginning on Monday, March 23. Students currently taking online classes can continue to do so. At that time Luna expected to go back to its normal day-to-day operations on Monday, April 6.

However, the next day, the college anounced it was moving to distance education classes, and closing campuses to students and the public as it addresses the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Luna will close its campuses until at least Monday, April 6; however, the date could change depending on the crisis. The Luna Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting at the college Tuesday morning addressing the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and the safety of Luna students, staff and faculty. Aside from its main campus in Las Vegas, Luna has satellite campuses in Santa Rosa and Springer and a site in Mora.

Luna instructors are in the process of contacting all students to provide more detailed information. Students are also encouraged to contact their instructors via phone or e-mail. The college’s main phone number is 1-800-588-7232, and a full campus directory is available at luna.edu/directory.

Any student who does not have the capability to resume their course(s) via distance education may have the option to receive an incomplete. Students who receive an incomplete will have the opportunity to finish the coursework at a later date per the institutional policy in the college catalog (pg. 46-47). Students may also select to withdraw from the course(s) by contacting the Office of the Registrar via your LCC student email at registrar@luna.edu. Students considering either option shall first consult with their instructor(s). Please keep in mind that a withdrawal from courses/semester may affect a student’s financial aid eligibility.

Part of the college’s emergency plan is also to have some employees work from home to reduce the foot traffic on its campuses. All offices will remain open with a minimal staff and will be available via phone or e-mail.

In addition, the college announced closings of the Early Childhood Daycare and the Gerald Ortega Wellness Center. All college-sponsored or college-hosted events scheduled in the near future have also been postponed or cancelled. The college received news Monday from the National Junior College Athletic Association that it has cancelled the remainder of spring competition. Luna competes in both softball and baseball.

Students, employees and the public are encouraged to visit the college’s website at luna.edu or view its Facebook page for updated information. Luna students and employees are also encouraged to sign up for the college’s RAVE alerts that provide emergency information via text messaging. To sign up for RAVE, go to the college’s website and access the “Students” drop-down menu; click “sign up for RAVE alerts,” then follow instructions.

The main campus will close daily at 6 p.m. through April 6. In addition, only Luna’s north entrance will allow access to the campus.

For New Mexico status updates regarding coronavirus, visit https://cv.nmhealth.org

For national status updates: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Trinidad School District to close March 23-31

by Bill Knowles

 

TRINIDAD — During a special meeting Tuesday evening, the Trinidad School District #1 school board voted 5-0 to close the district schools from March 23-31. Students are currently on spring break. The closure comes on the heels of recommendations made by the Las Animas/Huerfano Counties Public Health Department hoping to ensure the safety of all students and staff.

Children ages 0-18 have the option to pick up free grab and go meals at the curbs of Fishers Peak Elementary or Trinidad Middle School, on Park Street, March 23-26 and March 30-31 from 11:00-1:00.

The district has taken precautions since the beginning of the flu season by holding student handwashing clinics. Students and staff were screened for flu symptoms and the schools were regularly disinfected and fogged.

At the onset of COVID-19, additional measures were taken. These included SchoolMessengar calls to parents directing them to the district website for updates and resources, increased fogging and disinfecting the schools and fogging the buses. Athletics has been postponed and the schools will remain closed until the end of March.

If and when school resumes, concerts, banquets, dances and graduation will be considered. And it is to be noted that state assessments are on hold.

Administrators and teachers are in the planning stages of three different models for remote learning: paper packets and worksheets for families without internet access, lessons that can be accessed via smartphones, and learning that can be done with full internet access and computers.

The onset of COVID-19 has also thrown a wrench into construction plans for the middle school and there is a possibility that the virus will stall out the project where material deliveries might be late as companies could see a loss of employees due to the virus.

Due to the uncertainty of the arc of COVID-19 infections and how they will affect the population, the district, in a press release dated March 17, said they will continue to seek the guidance of the Las Animas and Huerfano County Public Health Department along with the Colorado Department of Education on any changes in the opening and/or closing of schools. These future changes to schedules will be updated on the district website and parent notifications will be sent via SchoolMessenger.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.  The CDC and CDPHE recommend individuals and families follow:

Voluntary Home Isolation: Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At the present time, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to COVID-19-related virus.

Respiratory Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.

Hand Hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.

Environmental Health Action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

The CDC is NOT recommending masks for the general public.

Life on corona quarantine: Everything is changing, even the way we do government in the era of COVID-19

by Bill Knowles

 

LAS ANIMAS — Following President Trump’s March 13 declaration of a national emergency in the face of the growing numbers of people in the country being diagnosed as having COVID-19, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment ordered all bars and restaurants in the state to close down in an effort to protect the public health. The order also targets gyms, theaters, and casinos across the state to close on March 16.

The World Journal was curious how this is working out for Trinidad and Las Animas County.

Public safety is the primary concern of governments, the reason the order was issued in the first place. When someone calls 9-1-1, they will hear the dispatcher ask questions of not only the nature of the emergency but about the health of individuals in the area of the emergency; questions about fevers, headaches, shortness of breath.

If someone in the area of the emergency has those symptoms, the emergency responders are immediately notified so they can put on masks and gloves to protect themselves. This helps protect the responders to the possibility of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Whether the responders are sheriff, police, fire, or ambulance they will be wearing masks and gloves if there is a positive response to the questions on fevers, headaches, shortness of breath.

Schools throughout the county went on spring break early with classes slated to resume by the end of the month. Trinidad School kids and their parents or caregivers can go to a designated place to pick up a meal if they’re on the lunch program and to pick up assignment packets.

The World Journal was unable to contact the other schools in the county because phone service is in high demand and some calls just couldn’t get through.

Businesses in the city that aren’t under the close or restriction order are grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries.

Room service in hotels and motels, healthcare facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenal care facilities don’t fall under the Health Department’s order.

Trinidad City Hall is closed to the public. If permits are needed customers can apply online at the city’s website. Other city operations such as the library, both the Community and Senior Centers are closed along with the Welcome Center and Municipal Court.

At the county, the driver’s license office was closed by the state for 30-days, but everything else is open.

Another problem encountered is with the phone systems as noted above. People are staying home and doing their work on computers and their cell phones. This is causing a heavier than normal load on the infrastructure. Phone calls can’t get through because all circuits are busy or they’re being dropped as the load grows during the course of the day.

COVID, football and food insecurity at RE-2

by Conor Orr

 

LA VETA — On Monday, March 16, the RE-2 Board of Education met to discuss closing the school in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing food insecurity in the community while the school is closed, and they made a decision about what to put in the center of the football field.

In accordance with the Colorado Health Department’s recommendation, the board voted to close the school until April 6th. Since this is being treated as an extension of their spring break, teachers have not assigned any homework for the time being. School officials anticipate though there may be a need to move to online schooling after the 6th, so they are working now to make sure that all of their students will have access to internet and learning materials for as long as the need for social distancing lasts.

Each student has been assigned to a teacher who will be checking in over the break starting March 30, and if online schooling becomes necessary, the school will employ several different methods to keep the students engaged. Since not every student has access to reliable internet at home, the IT department is working to set up wifi access across campus so that parents and students can drive into the parking lot and download whatever materials are necessary from their cars.

There is also the potential to send laptops home with those students who would not otherwise have access to a computer at home. Instruction will resume on April 6, whether in-person or home-based. In the meantime, the school board encourages all students to read, spend plenty of time outside, and to spend some significant time each day away from their devices, since the news cycle at the moment can be particularly damaging to mental health. Some fresh air and sunlight will not stop you from getting the virus, but it will help to prevent the equally deadly and oft-unspoken disease of depression.

The regular check-ins from teachers and paraprofessionals are intended to help address mental health concerns as well as to make sure that students are engaged in the learning process.

There is a tremendous effort going on right now to address food insecurity while the schools are closed. For some students, the free or reduced lunch program is a critical source of nutrition and with schools closed for the foreseeable future, school boards everywhere are scrambling to make sure that they can keep feeding students in need. Luckily, the La Veta district is the beneficiary of an anonymous donor who has been supporting the program and will continue to provide funds for food to the school in these trying times. There will be food boxes available for drive-through pick up from 3-5pm on Thursday, March 19, and will be available weekly beginning April 1.

There are concerns about how the school’s hourly waged employees will be compensated during this time, but the board expects that they will continue to be paid, though much is still in the air. As of right now, the school board’s main ambition is to continue providing support and education for students and they endeavor to be fair and upfront with the community as the situation develops.

This meeting was another opportunity for the public to weigh in on the matter of the school’s branding, though significantly fewer people showed up to this meeting than the last. Only one citizen spoke on the issue of the mascot and was in favor of changing it, based on the broad literature surrounding the effects of racist mascots, which he implores the school board and community to seek out.

The board will not vote on the mascot anytime soon, but has considered public opinion on the matter to inform their decision about what to put in the center of the new football field. After some discussion, Director Neldner and a member of the audience brought up the fact that there doesn’t even need to be a logo in the center of the field at all. The current field doesn’t have one, and the turf can always be painted for Homecoming games. In fact, as the board quickly realized, not installing a logo into the field would increase its flexibility, since La Veta is currently only able to field a 6-man football team but intends to play 8-man and even 11-man football in the future. If the logo was permanent, then it would end up being off-center as the field’s uses change. Subsequently, the board did vote 4-1 to move forward with the building of the new field without a logo stitched into the center. Other elements of branding were discussed, standardized colors for example, as were several acronym-heavy policy matters.

Social distancing takes center stage in La Veta Town board proceedings

by Mark Craddock

 

LA VETA — Social distancing was clearly on the minds of La Veta Town Board members when they met Tuesday, March 17, at the town community center.

The larger room allowed board members to sit a safe distance from citizens, whose chairs were likewise positioned a safe distance from one another. The board routinely meets in the much more intimate confines of its Main Street meeting hall.

The first order of business was passage of an emergency ordinance that will allow the board to convene “virtual meetings” during times of emergencies, such as Gov. Jared Polis’ disaster declaration in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. The ordinance will become effective upon publication, which will allow the board to meet electronically during the present public health emergency.

Likewise, the board agreed to close Town Hall to most business for the duration of the crisis. They plan to keep the outer door unlocked, but plan to lock the inner vestibule door.

Board members urged citizens to pay their water bills via the door’s mail slot and to conduct other town matters digitally or over the phone.

 

In other business

The board agreed to draft a letter of support for La Veta Trails in its quest to receive a grant from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance for maintenance of hiking trails in the Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area.

The board unanimously denied a request by Kyle DeNardo to place a cellular tower at La Veta Oil. Mayor Doug Brgoch said the plan calls for a 50-foot tower to be constructed on 300 square feet in the town’s historic district. Current zoning requirements call for a minimum of 7,000 square feet of land and a structure no taller than 35 feet.

Board members unanimously approved a request by Two Peaks Fitness to use part of Town Park during its Oktoberfest 2020 5K and half-marathon runs. The board accepted “as substantially complete” a liquor license request by La Veta Country Store. A public hearing was scheduled for May 5, 2020, 6:45 pm.

The board accepted “as substantially complete” a change-of-location for Mission Deli Mesa’s liquor license to its new location on Oak Street. A public hearing was scheduled for May 5, 2020, 6:30 pm.

The board also accepted “as substantially complete” a special-use permit application for Ralph Jones for his non-conforming mobile home park on Oak Street. A public hearing was scheduled for April 7, 2020, 6:45 pm.

Trustee Tim Tady was appointed as a director to the Huerano County Economic Development Board.

The board approved vacation requests by Laurie Erwin, Mark Erwin and Harold Wilburn.

Likewise, trustees OKed a request by Municipal Judge Cathy Mullens to attend an April conference in Vail.

The board unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with Two Peaks Fitness to use the town baseball field for little-league games this summer.

Jay Davis and Mary Ann Wallace were appointed to the Francisco Fort Museum Board.

Trustees agreed to hire Colorado Crushing at $60,000 to crush 20,000 tons of gravel for upcoming road repairs.

RE-1 schools close due to coronavirus

by Jaye Sudar

 

WALSENBURG — An emergency meeting was held by the Huerfano RE-1 school board on March 13 to discuss the Coronavirus outbreak. The board room was packed with concerned parents, staff, and community members.

Superintendent Mike Moore started by outlining the concerns, responsibilities, and plans that the district had been working on since the Coronavirus had first appeared in the U.S. At the in-service held Friday morning, he polled the staff on their thoughts and preparations for this situation. While there were no verified cases in the district at the moment, it was mentioned that it was only a matter of time until the first case appeared. He announced that 70 percent of those in attendance at the in-service were in favor of closing the schools.

Various members of the board and audience spoke of their concerns. Administrators stated their staffs were prepared to do either online classwork, or to hand out packets. The IT department stated they were ready to assist as well. In fact, several online education services have promised free log-ins and services for affected school districts. Further plans would be finalized and set into motion as needed. Information would be given out on the district’s websites and Facebook page.

Moore spoke of the various closures from major league sporting events to over 50 Colorado school districts closing for at least two weeks. He explained that with our multi-generational community, the chance of spreading the virus was much higher than if school was canceled. Plus, a number of staff members are also in the compromisable category, and therefore more vulnerable to the coronavirus. Concerns were brought up that students would not abide by the ‘stay home’ or ‘social distancing’ requests, worries about students not having food security, CMAS testing, attendance waivers, and lack of internet connections. Each of these issues were addressed by Moore or other board members.

During the meeting, it was announced that BOCES has closed down, which would mean no Special Education services, and that many families had already contacted the district to say that their students would not be in school next week. John Mall teacher Ross Hallihan spoke of the Spring Fire, and made the analogy that as a district, we need to make a fireline now, rather than waiting until it was too late.

Director Joel Shults stated that the discussions had been factual, and informational, instead of panic driven. Director Ruth Orr made the motion to close schools from March 16 until March 29. The board would reconvene on March 27 to reevaluate the coronovirus outbreak. If things are favorable, schools will be back in session on March 30. If not, the district will remain closed until April 6. The board voted to close the district schools. Walsenburg Mayor Brian Lalander appreciated this caveat as his concern was that schools might reopen before the epidemic was over.

County commissioners cancel next two sessions

Huerfano Courthouse open but residents strongly urged to use drop box, emails, phone for contact

 

by E.E.Mullens

WALSENBURG — The Huerfano County Courthouse remained open for business as of early this week with various county offices working to minimize any risk of contamination to staff and the public from COVID-19. In light of the international health crisis, the board of county commissioners have cancelled their next two (March 24 – March 31) public meetings.

The board met in a sparsely attended regular session Tuesday, announcing the meeting cancellations and discussing other county response to the coronavirus, vowing to err on the side of caution.

The commissioners are strongly advising the public to use electronic or drop box facilities for all county business transactions whenever possible. The board indicated they recognize the need for some personal visits to county offices, such as the clerk and treasurer, but said even those offices are working on, or have established alternative, non face-to-face methods for conducting business.

The door to the Huerfano Treasurer and Public Trustee’s office was closed Tuesday afternoon with a note from Treasurer Debra Reynolds saying she would come into the hallway to accept payments as necessary. Down the hall at Huerfano County Clerk and Recorder Nancy Cruz’s office, a sign asks the public to wait in the hallway until they are called into the office to take care of their business. These responses will help minimize crowding in county offices.

In addition to canceling their regular meetings for the next two weeks, the commissioners are also considering a vendor/ public temperature screening checkpoint at the main entrance of the courthouse. This would entail a non-invasive temperature reading (taken off of a person’s forehead with a hand held device) and having the person seeking admission to the courthouse answer specific medical and travel questions. This policy had not been put in place as of Tuesday, March 17. The screening practice and document the county is considering adopting is along the same lines as the practice and questionniare Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center is currently using.

The board also said if any kind of emergency meeting is necessary, the appropriate legal 24-hour notification requirement will be met. Administration is currently working with the information technology department to establish an electronic meeting method that will allow for public input. Currently they are considering a video conference system from Zoom.

 

Resolution passed:

The board passed Resolution 20-15 this week, an emergency disaster declaration. The resolution was passed with the amendment that the seven-day resolution may be automatically updated each seven-day period for up to 28 days. The resolution was recommended by the county office of emergency management and the bi-county department of public health and will allow Huerfano County to apply for necessary federal emergency funds that may come to the state in the wake of Governor Jared Polis’ disaster declaration early in the week.

 

Other Huerfano County COVID-19 responses:

• Approved the purchase of a sanitizer unit for the county jail, not to exceed $4,000; suggested a preliminary notification be made to large event planners, such as Sonic Bloom, to prepare for possible suspension by state, federal or county authorities of large group gatherings. There is no way at this point to know how long safety practices necessary to combat the spread of the disease will be needed.

 

In other business:

• Due to the cancellation of their next two meetings, the board this week approved the county bills, approved the grant application for $200,000 to History Colorado-State Historical Fund for the phase I Fox Theatre rehabilitation project, and in conjunction with that, approved the $200,000 DOLA Energy Impact Assistance Fund (EIAF) grant application by county economic development and tourism that would, if granted, be used as matching funds for the State Historical Fund grant, if it is rewarded. The county acts as fiscal agent for these pass through funds.

• Approved a $60,000 DOLA/ EIAF grant application for construction of a Flight for Life helipad at the county community center in Gardner.

• Approved a Yellowstone-EWP Phase I (c) change order for $51,107.

• Approved the county emergency access easement agreement with the La Veta RE-2 School District to allow an emergency only egress easement through the county fairgrounds from the new school site.

• Passed Proclamation 20-01, which declares March 29 through April 4, 2020 as Census Response Week in Huerfano County.

• The board approved new hires, including Melba Zagar as the county’s new human resources director; an office administrator for the planning office, two new detention officers for the county jail and they accepted one detention officer and one deputy sheriff’s resignation.

The Huerfano County Clerk’s Office is asking customers to wait in the hallway to prevent crowding in their office until the health crisis ends. Photo by Eric Mullens

Upcoming Events for week of March 19, 2020

We’re here for you

Don’t be misled by “fake news.”

The World Journal is providing a special web page dedicated to accurate and thoroughly vetted, up-to-the-minute information on the COVID-19 pandemic throughout our corner of the world.

Go to www.worldjournalnewspaper.com and click on the COVID-19 link to get a complete and current listing of all closures and cancellations of events throughout our three county area, and a compilation of all COVID- 19 articles run in print editions of the newspaper.

The total up-to-date number of cases in Colorado, New Mexico, and nationwide are also listed in the COVID-19 page, as well as health tips to keep yourself and your family safe, and updates from state and Federal Health Organizations.

The full listing of events still happening, as well as closures and cancellations by venue are listed on www.worldjournalnewspaper.com under Upcoming Events in the toolbar.

Here are the events that are still scheduled as of press time, as well as pertinent press releases.

 

THROUGHOUT OUR WORLD

Covid-19 information

HUERFANO/LAS ANIMAS COUNTY — Las Animas Huerfano Counties District Health Department supplies this information to help people understand COVID-19. Call the Colorado Health Emergency Line for the Public (CO HELP) at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. Interpretation is available in many languages including Spanish, Mandarin, and more.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife

COLORADO — Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s current goal is to minimize the effects of COVID-19 on your recreation experiences in Colorado. No offices or parks, including camp- grounds, have been closed at this time. However, we are working closely with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), local health departments, and the office of Governor Polis and will follow their advice and protocols on any closures in the future.

Update 3/17/2020: Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be waiving fees for changing and/or canceling camping reservations until further notice. Guests should call our reservations call center at 800-244-5613 or the park where they had a reservation and note they are canceling due to COVID-19. The call center or park can then handle the fee waiver.

 

Summer seasonal jobs at Colorado State Parks

DENVER — Want to work outside in Colorado this summer? Then apply for any of the hundreds of seasonal positions avail- able at Colorado’s State Parks.

A variety of jobs are available, including seasonal ranger, visitor services, interpreter/education specialist and maintenance. Most jobs start in May and continue into September.

Colorado operates 41 parks in every corner of the state. In 2019 more than 15 million people visited Colorado State Parks.

Anyone interested should go on line to these sites to search for open positions: https://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/CurrentOpenings.aspx, or https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado.

Interested applicants can also go to a state park office to talk to staff about available positions. Applications, however, must be filed on-line. Applicants must be at least 16 years old. For more information about Colorado Parks and Wildlife, go to: https://cpw.state.co.us/

 

HUERFANO

Cancellations/closures due to COVID-19 protocols

Spanish Peaks Library — Closed Huerfano Rec Center — Closed

Huerfano Department of Human Services — Phone appointments only. Online at https://colorado- peak.secure.force.com/

Fox Theater — Closed.

United Church Walsenburg — Closed

Dorcas Circle — Closed until mid-April

La Veta Library — Events canceled

La Veta Mercantile — Closed

Kathy Hill watercolor classes — Canceled

Museum of Friends — Closed

San Isabel Electric — Closed for in-person payments

Huerfano County business resiliency workshop — Canceled

St. Mary Church Lenten retreat — canceled, as are all gatherings in the Diocese of Pueblo

United Church Walsenburg Community Dinner March 28 — canceled

Flood mitigation meeting March 31 at the Fox — canceled

Water Conservancy District board meeting — postponed

Sangre de Cristo Vocal Arts Ensemble cantata — Postponed until later notice. Please watch for rescheduled dates and places.

 

Cuchara Chapel service

CUCHARA — The Cuchara Chapel service this Sunday, March 14, 10:30 a.m. is “Pay it Forward”. Rev. Eileen Ramsey will preside. All are welcome; come as you are!

 

FoxTrot birdfeeder class

WALSENBURG —The FoxTrot will offer a bird feeder and bath all in one class on March 26. Bring your creative mind and use beautiful vintage dishes and depression Ware. Decorating with glass stones, gemstones, old earrings. This will make a beautiful array for your patio or backyard. All materials are included, $15 per person, limited to six people. Call 720-323-4329 to RSVP and go to the FoxTrot Emporium Face- book page to see an example. 114 E 5th St. Walsenburg.

 

La Veta Creative District logo contest deadline extended

LA VETA — The La Veta Creative District is looking for a visual identity in the form of a logo design. Designs for the logo may be submitted through Friday, March 27 to Kenny Schneider by email at kenetics@centurytel.net. Submissions will be judged by the LVCD staff and the winning designer’s logo will appear on printed materials, social media, and other items, such as T-shirts.

The winning logo will promote the mission of the LVCD, which is “To inspire and cultivate our diverse rural community through the development of the arts and creative industries”. Any colors may be used, however, it should also look good in black & white. For more information contact Kenny.

To keep up to date on events and activities related to the La Veta Creative District, visit the Facebook page “The La Veta Creative District.”

 

SCCY still providing food for youth – donations accepted at office

WALSENBURG — For the past 20 years we have been providing food for our community’s children. Under normal circumstances SCCY provides after school programs through a partnership with RE-1 school district via the 21st Century grant and also the PREP grant. The kids get homework help, participate in Positive Youth Development Activities and get hot meal for dinner. On Friday’s they get breakfast and lunch, and all summer long 5 days a week they get breakfast, lunch and depending on the program get dinner also.

Myra Trujillo, director made this statement “I urge you to get involved. We intend to do sack lunches that include break- fast as well. If you want to donate anything you can drop it off to me at 513 Main street. My staff and myself will be working diligently to make sure the basic needs for the youth are meet while not able to attend school.”

Pick up times are as follows starting- Wednesday, Thursday and Friday @ 10 a.m..

We are Huerfano county’s longest running youth serving non-profit.” Our mission is to positively engage the youth of Huerfano county through character-building, personal and social responsibility and life-skills development so that they may become successful adult leaders. ” I highly encourage everyone to get to know us and let’s build on what is already in place. Our staff is caring, compassionate and highly skilled in many areas and are passionate about the youth of our community.”

 

Municipal Court is open March 23

WALSENBURG — The Municipal Court with Judge Shults presiding will be in session Monday, March 23 for those who are scheduled for first appearance or sentencing who wish to appear for their cases. In other words if you have a court date for March 23 it is up to you if you want to appear then or later. Those in risk groups due to health conditions or age should stay home.

All persons who fail to appear for their scheduled March 23rd court date will be granted an automatic continuance with appearance rescheduled to the April 20th, 2020 court date.

All subpoenas for witnesses may be disregarded and will be reissued for a later date. The Municipal Court is exercising caution under current guidelines to avoid public gatherings. Although the number of persons in the courtroom at any one time during sessions of Municipal Court is typically small, in order to keep recommended distances between persons any person scheduled to appear in Municipal Court on March 23rd may be granted, without application, a continuance to the April 20th court date. Court will, however, still be in session on March 23rd, for those who are making their first appearance and wish to appear, and for those standing for sentencing that date who wish to appear. Any witnesses under subpoena are released from that order until such orders are re-issued for a new court date, therefore no trials will be conducted on the March 23rd court date.

This order applies only to the March 23rd Municipal Court session held at the Walsenburg City Hall, and is independent of any other judicial order for other courts in the county. By order of Joel F. Shults, Walsenburg Municipal Judge

 

La Veta Creative District monthly meeting

LA VETA — The La Veta Creative District will be holding their next monthly meeting at 11 am at the SPACe Gallery Wednesday, March 25. If you would like to be put on the agenda, please contact us FIVE days ahead of time. susanlavetacreative@gmail.com

 

4-H fundraiser ~ Shop at home!

WALSENBURG — Our club is participating in two catalog sales until Friday,March 27 to try and raise money for our club. Social distancing makes fundraising hard. Glad we can accept online orders! Last years fundraiser helped our club buy shirts, project manuals and pay enrollment and fair fees. Help us do even more this year!

Columbine 4-H Club of Huerfano County-SHOP FROM HOME -and support our club! www.funpastafundraising.com/shop/columbine-4-h-club

We have a variety of products to choose from. Anything from flower bulbs, candles, snacks, jewelry, kitchenware or candies can be purchased.

The FunPasta catalog also has a variety of products with themed pasta like animals, characters, sports, colleges and even political parties! Soup mixes, pasta sauce, chili mix, gift sets and Vegan or Gluten Free options are also available! *Online purchases can also be made at https://www.funpastafundraising.com/shop/columbine-4-h-club

If you would like to support our club, please let us know and we will get you in touch with one of our members! Vegan and Gluten Free options available.

 

Spaghetti dinner fundraiser

LA VETA — The Huerfano County 4-H Council would like to invite you to their annual Spaghetti Dinner and silent auction on Sunday April 5, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the 4-H barn in La Veta, CO. The cost of the dinner is $7 for adults, $5 for kids and children 5 and under are free.

 

LAS ANIMAS

Cancellations/closures due to COVID-19 protocols

City of Champions dinner — Postponed Trinidad History Museum — Closed Carnegie Public Library — Closed

Mt. Carmel Health, Wellness, & Community Center — Cancellation of Market and Youth Fridays

City of Trinidad — Closed for in person payments other business

For utility questions, call 719-846-9843, ext 113. For all other questions call 719-846-9843, ext 0.

Somebody Cares Project meetings — Canceled for March and April

First Responders Basketball Classic — Canceled Homeless Forum at TSJC — Canceled

 

Free lunch pickup for Trinidad kids start March 23

TRINIDAD — Students age 0-18 have the option of picking up free curb and go meals at Fisher’s Peak Elementary or Trinidad Middle School ( Park Street). From 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 Monday – Thursday beginning March 23, 2020.

 

Chronic pain self management classes online

TRINIDAD — We are holding this class via conference call or online at the regularly scheduled time until further notice. Additional instructions to access the conference calls will be sent to the email you provided and posted on social media. Learn techniques for managing fatigue, frustration, poor sleep and isolation in these classes Thursdays, during March, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Learn about tools for managing pain and tracking improvements. Learn exercises for improving strength, flexibility and balance. Learn how to manage medications. Learn how to effectively communicate with healthcare providers, family and friends. PLUS! On Saturday 4/18 Learn to make healthy food choices and prepare meals for managing inflammation and optimizing nutrition. Call 719-845-4894 for more information or to sign-up!

 

Stress management online

TRINIDAD — We are holding this class via conference call or online at the regularly scheduled time until further notice. Learn to manage your stress and become more mindful with various techniques in this class Tuesdays, through March, 5:15 to 6 p.m.. The class will run every Tuesday through March. Call for more information 719-845-4894.

 

Crochet at Aguilar library

AGUILAR — “The Crochet Group” will meet every 4th Friday of the month beginning in March from 12- 2 p.m.. The first meeting will be Friday, March 27. Please come share your knowledge, patterns, new friendships, and conversation! Tools and yarn provided if you are new to the craft!

 

Free movie at the Aguilar library

AGUILAR — Come out for a free movie and popcorn Saturday, March 28, 12 to 2 p.m. at the Aguilar Library. This month will show “Peanut Butter Falcon” rated PG-13. Bring your own non-alcoholic beverage.

 

Hunter education class at Prator

TRINIDAD — There will be a Hunter Education class Saturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29 at the Prator Range. Students will need to register on line. @my.registered.com. or google Colorado hunter education Classes.

 

Las Animas County writing contest

TRINIDAD — Wanted, all K-12 students to participate in the Las Animas County Writing Contest. This contest is open to all themes and genres; fiction, poetry, and creative essays. Students will compete in 4 grade groups: K-2/3-5/6-8/9-12. There will be 8 first place winners, two from each group receive cash prizes. 2nd and 3rd place winners, from each group also receive cash prizes. All entries will be available as a book. A limited number will be for sale at the awards ceremony.

Submission must be original and may include artwork. All work must be submitted by Friday, April 3. For more information call or email Dustin Hyman: 719-846-5709; dustin.hyman@trinidadstate.edu

Visit trinidadstate.edu/creative-writing to submit your entry. The writing contest awards ceremony will be Thursday, April 30, at Trinidad State Campus, Massari Theater, 5:30 p.m..

 

Santa Fe Trail Festival call for vendors

TRINIDAD — Summer is coming! So is our annual Santa Fe Trail Festival. We would love to have you or some talented individuals you know join us as a vendor. The festival this year will be downtown on June 12 & 13. Feel free to contact us for more information. Have a great day. TLAC Chamber of Commerce, 719-846-9285.

 

COLFAX

Cancellations/closures due to COVID-19 protocols Local restaurants limited

RATON — Attention visitors and locals: Please be patient with our local restaurants in the coming weeks as the State of New Mexico Environment Department has issued a new order regarding occupancy in restaurants, bars, and breweries effective today: “Beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 16, the amended public health order directs that all restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries, and other food establishments shall operate at no greater than 50 percent of maximum occupancy and no greater than 50 percent of seating capacity. In addition, tables and booths may not seat more than six people, and all occupied tables and booths must be separated by at least six feet. Patrons may not be seated at bars, and standing patrons will not be served.” Our area restaurants, bars, and brewery are all concerned for their guest’s well-being but will try and maintain a comfortable guest experience until this order is lifted.

 

City of Raton, most services open

RATON — All City of Raton services are running at regular hours including utility payments. The library and Aquatic Center are limiting the number of patrons to 10 at a time. The visitor center is closed at this time. Please visit the City of Raton website at https://www.ratonnm.gov/150/City-Hall or visit the City of Raton Facebook page for updates.

 

Capulin Volcano visitor center/ store — closed

CAPULIN — The road to the top of the volcano will be open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. All trails will be open to the public. Restrooms at the top of the volcano will be open. www.nps.gov/covo/index.htm or call us at 575-278-2201

 

Capulin Spring Equinox dark sky event

— canceled CAPULIN — For more information visit www.nps.gov/covo/index.htm or call us at 575-278-2201.

 

New Mexico Federation of Democratic Women meeting — Postponed

 

Need help with pet food?

RATON — For short-term, emergency assistance, the Raton Humane Society sponsors a Pet Food Bank. Supplies include free food for cats and dogs, kitty litter, and bedding. Call the Raton Animal Shelter at 575-445-8640 or visit the shelter at 448 Hereford Avenue. If necessary, call dispatch, 445-2704, and ask to have the animal control officer meet you at the shelter. To donate supplies, follow the the procedure. Shelter hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday to 9 a.m.

 

Census 2020 is important to N.M.

COLFAX COUNTY — The census is easy. The questions are simple. Your responses are secure! Why does the 2020 Census matter to New Mexico? New Mexico receives $8,692 per res- ident in federal funding. Did you know, just a 1% undercount in New Mexico means a loss of $780M over the next ten years?

The more you know…Census Bureau staff are sworn for life to protect confidentiality and are subject to $250,000 fine and/or up to five years in federal prison for wrongful disclosure of information.

How do I participate? You can take the census online starting Thursday, March 12, by phone, or by mail. For more information, visit 2020census.gov from your personal phone, computer or public library.

Spread the word: Answer the Census—it only takes 10 minutes to help New Mexico.

 

Raton Little League coaches meeting

RATON — Anyone who is interested in coaching or helping the little league this year is encouraged to attend the coaches meeting, Friday, March 20, 6 p.m. at Raton Convention Center, 901 S 3rd. We have opening ceremonies set for April 25, 2020.

 

Benefit carwash

RATON — We are having this wonderful event, Saturday, March 21 at Raton Visitor Center, 100 Clayton Road to let people know who we are & what we do. On this day we are doing a $10 car wash. All Proceeds will go to an organization VALLE DEL SOL. Valle del Sol is a nonprofit organization with a history of caring for the community by helping men, women, children, families and the elderly each year through healthcare, human service, and leadership development programs.

 

Cimarron Civic Club pancake breakfast fundraiser

CIMARRON — The annual pancake breakfast and silent auction hosted by Cimarron Civic Club will be held Saturday, March 21, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Cimarron United Methodist Church, 31082 US Highway 6. Come on out for this great community event that raises money for scholarships and donations in Cimarron.

 

Nominations sought for NM Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts

SANTA FE — The New Mexico Arts Commission and New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, are seeking nominations for the 2020 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

The annual Governor’s Arts Awards are New Mexico’s highest and most prestigious artistic honors and are intended to celebrate extraordinary achievement in the arts. Nominations may be submitted by individual state residents or representatives of businesses or organizations in New Mexico. Self-nominations are discouraged.

Nominations for the awards may include living New Mexican artists working in any discipline who have demonstrated outstanding achievement; individuals who have consistently made significant or distinguished contributions to the arts in New Mexico; and businesses, nonprofits or foundations with sustained involvement in and support for the arts.

Nominations must be received by Friday, April 3. They may be mailed or hand-delivered to New Mexico Arts, Suite 270, 407 Galisteo St., Santa Fe, NM 87501. Nomination forms are available online at http://nmarts.org/governors-arts- awards/ or contact New Mexico Arts at 505-827-6490, 800-879- 4278 (statewide), or email michelle.laflamme-c@state.nm.us. Awards are scheduled for Sept. 2020 in Santa Fe.

 

City of Raton Neighborhood Watch Meeting

RATON — There will be a Neighborhood Watch meeting Tuesday, March 31, 6 p.m. at Raton City Hall Commission Chambers, 224 Savage Ave. The public is invited to attend the North of I-25 Neighborhood Watch meeting with guest speaker Melissa Kennelly. Ms. Kennelly is currently serving as the Division 2 District Judge by appointment from our governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. She is running to keep that petition and has agreed to attend the Neighborhood Watch meeting in order to present her views and to answer questions.

 

Out of this World

Veronika String Quartet March 22 performance in Westcliff — Postponed

 

Senior meals available, To-Go or On-Wheels

HUERFANO/LAS ANIMAS COUNTY —Due to the vulnerable population served in Las Animas and Huerfano Counties, the Area Agency on Aging will practice social distancing measures to prevent any possibility of spreading the COVID- 19 virus in our community.

Effective Monday, March 16, meal sites in Walsenburg, Trinidad, Segundo, and Aguilar will NOT be serving meals in their congregate sites. They will, however, continue to cook and serve homebound meals in Walsenburg, Trinidad, Aguilar, and La Veta. Seniors who normally eat at AAA centers and want a meal can arrange to take their meal to go from Walsenburg or Trinidad. Additional sanitation procedures are being practiced to ensure safety for all.

Direct questions or concerns to Veronica Maes 719-845- 1133 ext. 225 or vmaes@sccog.net ; Johanna 719-845-1133 ext. 208 or jspleen@sccog.net ; Margarita at the Walsenburg kitchen 719-738-1182; Sayre kitchen in Trinidad 719-846-4515.

 

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