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Public Service Announcements of December 14, 2017

LiveWell Huerfano County wins the Community Choice Award

WALSENBURG — Cindy Campbell, director of LiveWell Huerfano County announced that Huerfano County won the Kaiser Permanente Community Choice Award for 2017. The award includes a $2000 communications donation. The prize was won by getting more “likes” on their Washington Underground video posted on Facebook.

Campbell said, “Many thanks to everyone who supported our efforts. We could not have done it without the HUGE efforts of Susan Botelho and Carolyn Minnich; so give them a high five the next time you see them. We had a whopping 10,000 more views than the next highest vote getter. AMAZING!”

LEAP now accepting applications

DENVER — Colorado’s Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) began accepting applications for its 2017/2018 season on November 1. LEAP provides cash assistance to help Coloradans pay a portion of their home heating costs during the winter months. The program pays the highest benefits to those with the highest heating bills and the lowest incomes by family size.

LEAP is 100 percent federally funded and administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) To qualify for LEAP, an applicant’s income cannot exceed 165 percent of the federal poverty level ($3,383 per month for a family of four), and they must be responsible for paying heating costs directly to an energy provider, fuel dealer or as part of their rent. They also must be permanent legal residents of the United States and Colorado, or have household members who are U.S. citizens.

LEAP-eligible households may also qualify for programs that inspect a home’s primary heating source, such as a furnace or wood‐burning stove, and weatherization upgrades that improve a home’s energy efficiency.

The State of Colorado also offers a rebate of property tax, rent and heat expenses to low-income seniors and disabled persons. Visit the Colorado Department of Revenue’s website at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/tax/property-tax-rent-heat-credit-ptc-rebate-file for more information and the rebate application booklet.

To find out if you qualify for LEAP, call toll-free at 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) or visit www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap to view the most current program application requirements and download an application. Applications will be accepted until April 30, 2018.

Tests show Cimarron River fish are safe to eat

EAGLE NEST — Recent tests of trout in the Cimarron River show that the fish are now safe to eat because no traces of pollution were found from a 2016 fuel spill.

A 1.5-mile stretch of the river off N.M. 64 within the Colin Neblett Wildlife Area and Cimarron Canyon State Park was closed in December 2016 after a tanker truck overturned and spilled approximately 1,100 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel into the river.

The area between mile marker 291 to the Perryville Fishing Access Area was reopened to angling in May 2017 after successful restoration efforts, but anglers were advised to eat no more than three meals of fish per month from the spill area. That recommendation has been lifted because recent tests of fish from the area showed no signs of contaminants in the fish tissue.

For more information about fishing New Mexico, including the Environment Department’s fish consumption advisories for certain waters, please visit the department’s website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

Trinidad History Museum welcomes new education coordinator

TRINIDAD ━ Trinidad History Museum is excited to announce the hiring of a new Education Coordinator, Abigail Melton.

Melton comes to Trinidad History Museum from the University of West Florida Historic Trust in Pensacola, Florida. She earned a master’s degree in public history from UWF in 2016. In her previous position, Melton was the lead docent and living history interpreter for 19th-century Florida history and she served the museum as an assistant archivist. In her new role, she will lead educational programming, including the highly successful Hands-On History programs.

“We are so thrilled to add Abigail’s experience and enthusiasm to the team at the museum. The programs she will lead will enhance the educational experience for students in Trinidad and the region,” said Trinidad History Museum Director Kirby Stokes. “We are fortunate to have Abigail join our team.”

Trinidad History Museum is located at 312 E. Main Street in downtown Trinidad. Its campus and collection includes the historic Baca House, Bloom Mansion, Barglow Building, Baca-Bloom Heritage Gardens, and Santa Fe Trail Museum. The museum is open 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, contact Kirby Stokes at 719-846-7217.

Federal Mineral Lease District makes local grant awards

HUERFANO COUNTY — The directors of the Huerfano County Federal Mineral Lease District met on Friday, December 8 to distribute grants for 2017. Mineral Lease Districts are meant to specifically address social and economic impacts from mineral development within the District boundaries by supporting local government agencies. Grants are for either planning, construction and maintenance, or services.

Winners this year will find under the Christmas tree: fire truck tires, hazardous gas detectors, first responder radios and pagers, solar electric and heat pump engineering plans and drawings, geotechnical data at five water reservoir sites, a water leak detector system, and new library entrance doors.

The district was able to grant awards to all six applicants this year with: $5,000 to the Huerfano County Water Conservancy District for water reservoir planning matched with $40,280 in their own and other funds, $5,000 to Spanish Peaks Library for entry doors, $5,000 to the La Veta Fire Protection District for radios and pagers matched with $11,810 in their own and other funds, $5,000 to Huerfano County for Fox Theater solar electric and geothermal engineering plans matched with $10,000 in their own and other funds, $1,760 To Western Navajo Water District for a water leak detector matched with $1,760 in their own funds although they had requested $1,020 with a $2,500 match but were granted 50/50, and $5,000 to Huerfano County Fire Protection District for fire truck tires and hazardous gas detectors.

District board members Gerald Cisneros, Joe Edes, and Keith Varner congratulate the winners. Thanks also to grant application writers Elizabeth Bennhoff, Carol Dunn, Mollie Fuller, John Galusha, Tom Northup, Sue Pezze, and Dave Wise.

Pinnacol Foundation Scholarship applications due February 15

DENVER – The Pinnacol Foundation is accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year. The Foundation provides scholarships to children whose parents have been injured or killed in work-related accidents, regardless of insurance carrier. The application deadline is February 15, 2018.

Since its inception in 2000, the Pinnacol Foundation has awarded $4.5 million to nearly 500 students for college or vocational training. The average scholarship is $3,500 and the funds can be used at any institution accredited by the United States Dept of Education or other accrediting agency. This includes community colleges, universities, and vocational training programs.

The Pinnacol Foundation awarded 112 scholarships in 2017, and not all of them were given to children of injured workers who were covered by Pinnacol. In fact, around one third of this year’s scholarships resulted from a claim with a carrier other than Pinnacol.

Current scholarship recipient Morgan Crouse, of Loma, found hope in the Pinnacol Foundation. When Morgan was six years old, her father was killed in a workplace injury. “The loss of my dad left me with a very hard shell to crack,” Morgan said. “I don’t talk about it much, but I am happy to talk with someone else who understands. Even that is rare.”

Morgan has found solace in music, often expressing it with the trusty guitar she totes wherever she goes. And with a Pinnacol Foundation scholarship in hand, she’s now pursuing a degree in Business Management at Colorado Mesa University. After graduation, she plans to put that degree into action and launch a career in music.

To qualify for a Foundation scholarship, a student must be the natural, adopted, step-child, or full dependent of a worker who was injured or killed in a compensable work-related accident during the course and scope of employment with a Colorado-based employer. The Foundation evaluates the severity of injury sustained by each student’s parent or guardian, as well as the student’s academic achievement, financial need, civic involvement and strength of essay. Students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and be between the ages of 16 and 25 at the time of application.

Visit pinnacolfoundation.org to complete the online application or call 303-361-4775 for more information.

The Pinnacol Foundation was established in 2000 as a charitable nonprofit entity by Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance. Since that time, the Foundation has awarded scholarships totaling $4.5 million to nearly 500 children of injured workers. Scholarship funds are raised through corporate and private donations, and annual fundraising events.

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