NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR TUESDAY, AUGUST 21ST

LISTEN TO LOCAL NEWS

HAY DIRECTORY LIST IS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC

The Colorado Department of Agriculture publishes the Colorado Hay Directory annually to help connect hay producers with buyers. The 2012 edition of the directory is available to the public at no cost.  The 26th edition of the Colorado Hay Directory features producers and brokers of hay as well as companies that provide hay-related products and services. Categorized by region, each listing includes the type and amount of hay available, bale type and size, whether or not laboratory analysis is available, certified weed free status and identifies organic hay.  The directory and other hay resources are available online, by clicking here.

 

AAA PREDICTS TYPICAL TRAVEL PLANS FOR AMERICANS OVER LABOR DAY

AAA Colorado projects 553,000 Colorado residents will travel during the Labor Day holiday weekend, a 3.2 percent increase over last year. This is the third consecutive increase in Colorado holiday travel this year with a forecasted 1.4 percent year over year increase for Memorial Day and 4.8 percent year over year increase for Independence Day holiday travel. Nationwide, the 33 million Americans traveling over the Labor Day holiday is a 2.9 percent increase over 2011 and a new post-recession high.  The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, August 30 to Monday, September 3.  As the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches, increases in gas prices could cause some travelers to alter their plans.

 

FEMA WARNS OF DRYER FIRES

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration has issued a special report this month, examining the characteristics of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.  The report is based on data gathered over the last two years.  According to the report 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported to fire departments throughout the nation each year.  Those fires cause 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million dollars in property loss.  The trend is higher in winter months, and failure to clean out the lint trap was the leading contributing factor.  More information about clothes dryer fires, including prevention tips, can be found by clicking here.

 

COLORADO SEEING AN EPIDEMIC OF WHOOPING COUGH

State Health Officials say Colorado is seeing an epidemic of whooping cough this year.  They’re urging people to make sure their immunizations are up to date, especially those who come in contact with babies.  The disease is extremely dangerous for babies.  From January 1st to August 11th, the state had 715 cases compared to an average of 158 cases for the same time period for 2007 to 2011.  The highest rate of cases has been among infants younger than 6 months old.  Cases have been discovered all across the state but most are on the Front Range.  Larimer County has had 38 cases since January 1st.

 

HICKENLOOPER TO SPEAK AT DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will get another chance to speak to delegates at the Democratic National Convention.  Hickenlooper is scheduled to address the convention in Charlotte next month.  The convention is scheduled for September 3rd through the 6th, but details of Hickenlooper’s speech have not been released.  Hickenlooper spoke to delegates at the convention in Denver four years ago when he was mayor of Denver.

 

COLORADO JOINS COLLEGE READINESS PARTNERSHIP

Colorado officially joined as a governing member the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) which is a 23-state consortium working together to create next generation tests in English language arts and mathematics. While Colorado has been working with PARCC over the past year, the decision to become a full governing member will ensure Colorado has a strong voice in creating the new tests which are slated to launch in Colorado in 2015.  To prepare for the national launch of the new, innovative assessments, PARCC just released its first set of item and task prototypes. These are designed to give educators and the public a preview of what some of the assessments items may look like. To view the item and task prototypes, click here.  Additional sample test items will be released over the next two years.

 

TEACHERS WORRIED ABOUT LIMITED INTERNET ACCESS

Colorado educators are worried that limited access to the Internet will hurt some school children as the state takes testing online.  Many rural communities lack high-speed access and in some cases, classes are forced to log off so other classes can get the information they need.  Classes ranging from Advanced Placement to world languages may not even be available.  The Colorado Department of Education says cost is a big factor in determining which schools get high-speed Internet.