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TRACK SANTA AT KRAI.COM CHRISTMAS EVE
PARKS AND WILDLIFE REMINDS LATE YOUTH HUNTERS OF NEW RULES
Late season youth hunts are underway and Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds young elk hunters and their parents or mentors heading out over the holidays to be sure they have the latest information regarding who is eligible to hunt, and where. New youth hunt rules this year include limits according to color-coded Game Management Units, as displayed in the 2012 Colorado Big Game Brochure; however, one rule remains unchanged – a youth hunter with an unfilled bull elk tag does not qualify for a late season hunt. Questions about the latest rules and regulations can be answered with a phone call to a local District Wildlife Manager or the nearest Colorado Parks and Wildlife office. A list of late season youth hunts can be found on the big game hunting page at the Parks and Wildlife website, or picked up at a local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office. Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages young hunters by providing additional late-season opportunities that improve their chance at success. Agency officials believe a successful hunting experience can spur a lifelong passion and respect for wildlife, and outdoor activities.
COLORADO HEALTH EXCHANGE GETS INITIAL APPROVAL
Colorado received conditional approval earlier this month from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to operate a health insurance exchange. Health insurance exchanges, which are competitive marketplaces for individuals and small businesses to compare and purchase health insurance, are one of the key features of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act . While HHS gave Colorado the go-ahead to build the exchange, a number of conditions must be met before the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange can start accepting enrollees. Specifically, The Exchange must be able to demonstrate that the exchange can perform all required functions and comply with all future regulations and guidance from HHS. Assuming these conditions are met, the Exchange will begin accepting applications for enrollment in health insurance in October 2013.
STATE’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS, BUT FOR THE WRONG REASONS
The most recent economic data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show a decrease in the state unemployment rate from 7.9 percent in October to 7.7 percent in November, reaching a 44-month low. However, it appears the most recent decline in the unemployment rate is for the wrong reasons. During the month of November workers exited the labor force and, by one measure, employment in Colorado decreased. The national unemployment rate also fell 0.2 percentage points from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent. However, the change in the national rate was largely due to an increase in employment, not the decrease in the size of the labor force. Also, enrollment in public assistance programs was mixed during November as Medicaid and CHP+ saw increases but enrollment declined in the SNAP program. It should be noted that the labor force declined at both the national and state level, which played a part in the lower unemployment rates. In other words, the decline was not entirely due to higher employment.
HEALTH OFFICIALS WORRIED ABOUT STOMACH AILMENT OUTBREAKS
Colorado health officials are reporting nearly twice as many outbreaks of a gastrointestinal illness as normal for this time of year. Alicia Cronquist of the Department of Public Health and Environment said Friday that 54 outbreaks of norovirus have been reported since Nov. 1. The average for the previous five years was 33 outbreaks in November and December. An outbreak is defined as a group of people in the same school, nursing home or other facility who contract an illness. The state doesn’t track individual cases of norovirus. Norovirus symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping. People can contract the virus by direct contact with an ill person, eating food prepared by an ill person or touching a contaminated surface and then placing their hands in their mouths.
VA SERVICES ANNOUNCE HOLIDAY HOURS
In keeping with Friday’s presidential proclamation, the Grand Junction VA Medical Center will allow as many employees as possible to take advantage of the Federal day off authorized for Christmas Eve. The Emergency Room and inpatient wards will be open. Most other services will be on limited operations. The Medical Center’s four satellite clinics in Craig, Montrose, Glenwood Springs and Moab, Utah will be closed today and tomorrow.
93.7 102.3 KRAI TO PRESENT CHRISTMAS ACROSS THE LANDS
The annual “Christmas Across The Lands” can now be heard on 93.7 102.3 KRAI. The incredibly popular 12 hour program sets the mood for last minute Christmas shoppers and all others who enjoy touching stories of Christmas, Christmas trivia, and new and classic Christmas songs. Following Christmas Across The Lands, at 6pm, KRAI will present continuous Christmas music until noon tomorrow. You can also to listen to “Christmas Across the Lands”, and the Christmas music on 93.7 102.3 KRAI which will follow it, here at KRAI.COM by following this link.
POLL SHOWS MOST DID NOT INCREASE SPENDING FOR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
According to a KRAI poll, most Northwest Colorado Residents kept their eyes on their wallets when doing their Christmas shopping this year. 92% of respondents said they would either spend the same as last year, a little less, or a lot less. Only 8% said they would spend a little more, while no one planned to spend a lot more. A new poll asks residents to look to the near future. The question asks “Do you feel that 2013 will be a better year for you and your family?”. You can give your answer to the the poll, just look for the yellow box to the upper right.
In high school sports:
Over the weekend:
Steamboat’s boys and girls topped Summit. (boys = 56-47; girls = 53-16)
The Meeker girls defeated Hayden (66-15).
The Moffat County boys and girls beat Olathe (boys = 59-32; girls = 43-33) and Gunnison (boys = 61-51; girls = 54-26)
Steamboat tied Chatfield (3-3), then lost to Resurrection Christian (4-2).