TEEN VICTIM OF SCHOOL SHOOTING DIES
A suburban Denver high school student who was shot in the head by a classmate died Saturday afternoon, hospital officials and her family said. Claire Davis, 17, was in critical condition after being shot at point-blank range at Arapahoe High School on Dec. 13. The Davis family said in a statement that they are grateful for the 17 years they had with their daughter. The family said they appreciated the outpouring of support from the community and thanked the efforts of law enforcement, school officials and medical staff. Karl Pierson, 18, shot Davis, who just happened to be sitting nearby with a friend as Pierson, armed with a shotgun, ammunition strapped to his body, Molotov cocktails and a machete, entered the school and headed toward the library. Davis appeared to be a random target, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson has said. Pictured: Claire Davis
CDC URGES PEOPLE TO GET FLU SHOTS
As the holidays approach, state health officials urge Coloradans to protect themselves and their families by getting a flu vaccination. “Anyone who hasn’t yet gotten a flu vaccination should do so now to allow their body time to build immunity before holiday celebrations begin,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, medical advisor for the immunization section at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “The influenza virus can spread easily from person-to-person during holiday get-togethers.” Last year more than 1,500 people in Colorado were hospitalized with influenza. The single best way to protect yourself from the flu is by getting vaccinated. It takes about two weeks after getting the vaccination for your body to build the antibodies needed to protect you from the flu. The CDC recommends everyone over the age of six months receive a flu vaccine. People at high risk of serious complications from seasonal influenza include people 65 years and older, children younger than five years, pregnant women and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions. “Flu season typically peaks in January after holiday celebrations,” said Dr. Herlihy. “But we already have received reports about flu in our community, so it’s best to get immunized before the holiday season gets underway.” The flu vaccine is widely available at doctor’s offices, clinics, local health departments and pharmacies.
BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS OF CRAIG AND STEAMBOAT SEEKING DONATIONS
The Board of Directors along with the Boys and Girls Club Leadership Circle say they made huge strides 2013 in impacting the lives of kids in Craig and Steamboat. Now, they are challenging community members to Step Up to the Match. The funds you contribute will be matched so that your gift becomes even more valuable. The club says with your support, they can serve more youth, with more impact, more often. They’re fundraising goal is $50,000. Donations will be used to fund programming that supports academic success, character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles.
ROCK SPRINGS MAN SENTENCED TO FOUR LIFE SENTENCES FOR SEX CRIMES
A Rock Springs man was sentenced to four separate life prison terms in District Court in Green River on December 18. Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell said Byron Nelson Griggs, 28, was arrested by county detectives on June 26, 2012, for Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the First Degree. He was found guilty after a four-day trial on August 13 on all four counts of his charges. Judge Richard Lavery handed down the sentences Wednesday. “There is no possibility of parole in this case,” Haskell said. “This man will spend the rest of his life behind bars.” Prior to the Sweetwater County case, in 2004, Griggs was convicted in Laramie County, Wyoming, of Second Degree Sexual Assault. The Sheriff’s Office lead investigator in the case, Corporal Jason Mower, testified at Griggs’s trial in August, as did two minor victims. Haskell said his agency worked with the Wyoming Department of Family Services in the investigation and Deputy County Attorney Suzannah Gambell handled the prosecution. Judge Lavery remanded Griggs to the custody of the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office pending his transfer to the Wyoming Department of Corrections.
FIRING RANGE IN HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS CLOSES FOR WINTER
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding shooting enthusiast that the Byers Canyon Shooting Range in Hot Sulphur Springs will once again close Jan. 2, 2014 due to the agency’s continuing efforts to protect wintering elk and deer herds. Because the animals have moved onto their winter range in and around the shooting facility during especially cold conditions this year, wildlife officials remind the public to give them plenty of space to help prevent additional stress that can lead to mortality, including the deaths of displaced animals due to road and railroad collisions. “We’ve experienced very cold temperatures in this area recently,” said Property Technician Doug Gillham from Hot Sulphur Springs. “We ask everyone to respect the closure and remember that it exists to protect wildlife by keeping noise and human activity at a minimum over the winter months.” Gillham says that the closure benefits area residents as well, reducing the number of wintering elk and deer that are forced onto private land in search of safety and food. “Big game herds that are pressured by human activity often move onto private land,” added Gillham. “That can lead to conflicts and damage, so it preferable that the animals stay on their traditional winter range.” The shooting range will remain closed until the animals move toward higher ground in the spring, which typically occurs in early April. The Byers Canyon Shooting Range, which is owned and operated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, is very popular with sportsmen from across the western slope, including the Front Range due to its proximity to the Denver metro area. For more information about Colorado Parks and Wildlife shooting ranges and alternative places to shoot, click here.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE GOING DOWN IN COLORADO
Nonfarm payroll jobs increased 4,200 over the month from October to November to 2,378,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 2,900 and government increased 1,300. According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased three tenths of a percentage point in November to 6.5 percent. This is the lowest unemployment rate since reaching 6.1 percent in December 2008. The last time the unemployment rate changed three tenths of a percentage point in one month was when it increased from 8.1 percent in April 2009 to 8.4 percent in May 2009. The number of people participating in the labor force decreased 5,800 over the month and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 2,700. The decline in the labor force and increase in total employment caused the number of unemployed to decrease 8,500 and the unemployment rate to decrease to 6.5 percent. The national unemployment rate decreased to 7.0 percent. Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 34.8 to 34.6 hours and average hourly earnings decreased from $27.77 to $26.07. The largest over the month private sector job gains were in education and health services, manufacturing and trade, transportation and utilities. The largest over the month declines were in leisure and hospitality and financial activities. Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 46,000. Private sector payroll jobs increased 36,500 and government increased 9,500. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, education and health services, and construction. Financial activities and information declined. Over the year, the unemployment rate declined one and one tenth of one percentage point from 7.6 percent in November 2012. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force decreased 3,900, total employment increased 28,100 and the number of unemployed decreased 32,000. The national unemployment rate declined from 7.8 percent in November 2012 to 7.0 percent in November 2013.
IN HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Over the weekend:
Rangely’s girls fell to North Park (42-34).
Steamboat’s boys (56-40) and girls (57-25) lost to Glenwood.
Little Snake River Valley boys lost to Saratoga (56-39).
Moffat County boys (74-27) and girls beat Olathe (54-43). The boys (68-42) and girls (58-50) also beat Gunnison.
Steamboat fell to Columbine (2-1), and Cherry Creek (3-0).
Moffat County placed two wrestlers at the Warrior Classic in Grand Junction. At 160 lbs. S. Peroulis placed 6th. At 182 lbs. J. Demoor placed 3rd.