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Today is Thursday, December 8, 2016
A Little Help launches in North Fork valley
A Little Help launches in North Fork valley

A non-profit designed to help seniors in the North Fork area remain independent officially launched last week.

More than 60 members, volunteers and friends attended a Dec. 1 party to celebrate the official launch of A Little Help North Fork Valley at The Hive Paonia.

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Paonia properties under contract

Three parcels of land owned by the Town of Paonia and listed through Western Colorado Realty.com are under contract just weeks after going on the market. All parcels are located in unincorporated Delta County.

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Students open minds, hearts during school district forum
Students open minds, hearts during school district forum

When it comes to their education, North Fork area high school students have a lot to say.

About 30 students from Paonia and Hotchkiss high schools and Vision Charter Academy shared some of their thoughts and ideas with Delta County School District 50J administrators, school board and leadership team representatives last week at the Energy Tech Center in Paonia.

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Crawford recall election date to be set by council

Crawford town clerk Cally Gallegos verified Tuesday that a petition to recall Mayor Wanda Gofforth has been deemed sufficient to trigger a recall election. Council will set an election date, possibly in February, said Gallegos.

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Paonia grapples with illicit pig

Did anyone lose a pig?

Seems a pig, about the size of a medium-sized dog, has been reported as wandering the streets of Paonia recently.

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Paonia hosts three days of merry making
Paonia hosts three days of merry making

It will take three days to encompass all the holiday activities being planned by the Paonia Chamber of Commerce, Alpine Bank, Bross Hotel and more than a dozen participating businesses and organizations.

The festivities begin Friday, Dec. 2, and continue through the weekend with holiday open houses, sales, samples and celebrations.

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Community forums focus on more options for students

After hosting community forums in Delta, Cedaredge, Paonia and Hotchkiss, Delta County Joint School District #50 will hear from students in the district this Friday.

Participation in the community forums varied, but overall was lower than hoped for, leading superintendent Caryn Gibson to broach the idea of hosting the community forums every other year, rather than every year. She would still like to hear from students annually.

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Paonia water, sewer services will be on Dec. 13 agenda

The Town of Paonia's proposed new water and sewer ordinances, along with resolutions for water and sewer rate increases, will be on the Dec. 13 agenda. After discovering inconsistencies in language and definitions between the current and proposed ordinances at the Nov. 22 meeting, as well as confusion as to which version of the water ordinance was the most recent, trustees voted to table all four agenda items.

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NFA adds quick-response vehicles
NFA adds quick-response vehicles

When the North Fork Ambulance held a series of public meetings in 2015, the public identified response time, increased level of care and financial stability as the top three priorities for the organization.

In response, the non-profit recently added three quick response vehicles to its fleet.

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Hotchkiss zeroes in on mobile home regs

Hotchkiss council held a public discussion and a first reading of the latest draft of the Mobile Home and Travel Homes Regulations at the Nov. 10 public meeting. After almost two years of dialogue and revisions, one issue, a 25-year age limit on trailers imported into town limits, is the final objection held by mobile home and mobile home park owners and some members of council.

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Drug take back day a success

Paonia Police Department Sergeant Neil Ferguson reported to the town board of trustees that the Oct. 22 "Drug Take-Back Day" was a big success. The event allows citizens to bring in unused and unwanted prescription medications for disposal with no questions asked.

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State announces inaugural hemp 'certified seed' varieties

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is announcing that three industrial hemp seed varieties have passed the statewide THC validation and observation trial and are now eligible to be grown by the Colorado Seed Growers Association for production of "CDA Approved Certified Seed."

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Local Gunnison sage grouse working group honored
Local Gunnison sage grouse working group honored

The Public Lands Foundation presented the Crawford Area Gunnison Sage Grouse Working Group with the 2016 Landscape Stewardship Award. The PLF granted the award to multiple partners for their work on sustaining the Crawford population of the Gunnison sage grouse and in recognition of community-based stewardship.

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Holiday festivities kick off in Crawford
Holiday festivities kick off in Crawford

The Christmas season gets underway this week in Crawford with a full slate of events, including the ever popular Festival of Trees and the Parade of Lights.

The Pioneer Days committee is again organizing the events.

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Paonia Standing Rock protest draws 90
Paonia Standing Rock protest draws 90

About 50 people gathered in Paonia last week to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's ongoing protests of the Dakota Access Pipe Line in North Dakota. Marchers, many of whom are involved in efforts to keep hydraulic fracturing out of the North Fork area and away from local water sources, carried signs, burned sweet grass and shouted the "Water is life" mantra of the Standing Rock protestors.

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Students witness how government works
Students witness how government works

As it has for the past five years, the Hotchkiss Town Council welcomed the Hotchkiss High School student council to the November monthly council meeting. Involving students in the democratic process allows for better interaction between the town and the school and provides students valuable experience, said Mayor Wendell Koontz in welcoming the students to the head table.

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Crawford residents to limit Cedar Ave. parking

The Town of Crawford reminds citizens that during winter months parking is allowed only on one side of Cedar Avenue. Other than Highway 92, it's probably the busiest street in town, said public works director Bruce Bair.

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Blue Sage exhibit features staff, directors
Blue Sage exhibit features staff, directors

The staff, board and committee members at the Blue Sage help shine a light on local and regional artists through exhibits, concerts and performances. Now it's their turn to be in the spotlight.

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Cameron Van Vleet begins mission in Peru
Cameron Van Vleet begins mission in Peru

Cameron Van Vleet of Paonia has been called to serve two years in Peru as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Cameron arrived in the country on Nov. 16.

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Paonia trustees establish limits on insurance coverage

The Town of Paonia is once again eligible for additional insurance coverage for losses due to crime almost five years after an embezzlement scheme was revealed.

At the Nov. 8 town board meeting, trustees considered optional insurance coverage options offered by the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA).

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Crawford to balance budget with reserves

The Town of Crawford anticipates dipping into its reserves to balance the 2017 budget, but it's not as bleak as originally anticipated.

In looking at the early draft budget back in October, the town was considering a general fund deficit of more than $30,000.

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Escape to the Alpine Village at the Crawford Library

Warm, sunny days have been stretching far into the fall season this year and, for many Delta County residents, it is challenging to get in the holiday spirit with recent highs in the mid-60s. Despite the warm weather, the clock keeps ticking toward December, and calendars are already filling up with holiday parties, craft fairs, performances and parades.

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