NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS AND SPORTS FOR SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22ND

12-CAR PILE-UP IN GLENWOOD CANYON

A 12-car pileup closed I-70 for approximately two hours Friday afternoon in Glenwood Canyon. Nobody was seriously injured.  The westbound lanes of the interstate were shut down just after noon when multiple vehicles lost control and collided on the icy road. There were 11 passenger cars involved and one semi-truck. Two occupants from one vehicle were transported to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs for minor injuries.  A white pickup, believed to be the first vehicle involved, left the scene. If you have any information on this vehicle, please contact the Colorado State Patrol at 970-945-6198.  With the unpredictable winter in full force, the Colorado State Patrol would like to remind drivers to please take your time and drive carefully, and help ensure the Colorado roadways are safe for everyone this holiday season.

 

COLORADO UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS…FOR 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.

 

V.A. CLINIC WILL OBSERVE HOLIDAY HOURS

In keeping with yesterday’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.
Christmas Eve, the VA Medical Center’s local nurse line will be open from 8 a.m. 2:30 p.m. Urgent Calls Only Please: 970-263-2846. The Clerk Call Center will also be open: 970-263-2834.
On Christmas Day the ER and inpatient wards will be open. All other clinics and services will be closed, ER patients should use the front door.
The Medical Center’s four satellite clinics in Craig, Montrose, Glenwood Springs and Moab, Utah will be closed Dec. 24 and 25th.
In any situation that threatens life, limb or eyesight; call 911 immediately.

LATE SEASON YOUTH HUNTERS REMINDED OF RULE CHANGES

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 on page 4 of 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 cpw.state.co.us, 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 (ACA). While HHS gave Colorado the go-ahead to build the exchange, a number of conditions must be met before the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange (COHBE) can start accepting enrollees. Specifically, COHBE 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, COHBE will begin accepting applications for enrollment in health insurance in October 2013.

 

HEALTH OFFICIALS WARN OF STOMACH AILMENT

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 touching a contaminated surface and then placing their hands in their mouths.

In high school sports:
Today:

In basketball:
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)

In hockey:
Steamboat tied Chatfield (3-3).

Today:
In basketball:
Moffat County goes to Gunnison.  The girls play at 2:30 and the boys play at 4.

In hockey:
Steamboat is home against Resurrection Christian at 3.

DENVER BRONCOS
The Denver Broncos host Cleveland tomorrow.  You can catch all the action live on 55 Country with the pre-game at noon and the kick-off at 2.

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