Category Archives: Uncategorized

Saguache News – October 18

Entrepreneurship Camp for Saguache Students

Earlier this month, students from Mountain Valley School participated in a three-day Entrepreneurship Camp. And on October 6 the final results were revealed as the young entrepreneurs presented their businesses to the community. From a Pet Daycare operation created by Kaelyn Taylor to Cyrus’ Costom Cupcakes, it was clear that these 8th -12th grade students had learned a lot, and were ready to close the deal and make the sale!

“I am selling my art that I drew by hand,” explained Keladra Brooks, who had a wide array of finished illustrations and drawings for sale under her business KRB’s Art.

As part of HEART of Saguache/KV Student to Career Pathway Initiative (CPI), 8th -12th grade students participated in the program at Mountain Valley School. There are three events tied to the initiative. The first was the Entrepreneurship Camp, next up will be a Job Fair to match up students with perspective employers. The program will conclude with the Career Cab event.

“The students get on a school bus,” explains Youth Engagement Expert, Craig Schroeder, “to go to the work locations of their career interest, to see what the work environment is like, what they actually do on that job, how much money they can make.”

After the Entrepreneurship Camp presentation, the students were rewarded by CPI Coordinator Miracle Gomez with a certificate and a $10 award by Saguache County Commissioner Tim Lovato.

“I had a good time being with these kids,” said Gomez to a room of proud parents and future customers for these budding entrepreneurs. “I really truly believe in what we’re doing and that it is going to make a difference in our community.”
Looks like the future is Open for Business in Saguache Today.

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HEART of Saguache/KV staff and Entrepreneurship Camp students are pictured: (front left to right): Kaelyn Taylor, Jacob Denison, James Brooks; (rear left to right)Mirace Gomez, Keladra Brooks, Principal Kathy Hill, Laurie Vigil, Craig Schroeder, Stacey Holden and Cyrus Van Egmond. Good job! Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

About the expert . . . .
Craig Schroeder grew up on his family’s farm near Holbrook in southwest Nebraska, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1986. In 1989, after an early career in international agriculture trade, Schroeder and his new bride, Dawn, a Los Angeles native, moved back to his hometown of 223 people and experienced firsthand what it is like for a farm boy to come home and a city girl to move to the country.

This decision resulted in an 11-year experiment in young adult recruitment and rural revitalization emerging from the eighties agricultural crisis. Schroeder’s work during this period included the conversion of his former high school into a regional business incubator that has also served as home base for GROW Nebraska for the past two decades.

Schroeder has committed his career to helping rural communities create more prosperous futures; working as a local economic developer, rural telecommunications policy leader, Executive Director of the Nebraska Rural Development Commission, Senior Fellow with the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, and President of the Heartland Center for Leadership Development. He has also served on several prominent state and national rural development boards and commissions during his career.

Schroeder’s work extends across 47 states involving well over 40,000 youth, and in Canada, Australia and Russia, helping community leaders, educators and economic development professionals implement effective youth engagement, workforce development and entrepreneurship strategies. And this week, he will be in Saguache working with students from Mountain Valley Schools! The results will be exciting – see you on Saturday!

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Student Kaelyn Taylor presents her Pet Daycare business at the Entrepreneurship Camp at Mountain Valley School. She is Open for Business if you’re needing some care for your pets. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

 

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Saguache News – October 17

Public Health Confirms Hantavirus Death

Yesterday, October 16 the San Luis Valley (SLV) Public Health Partnership released the following information to the media:

According to SLV Regional Epidemiologist Ginger Stringer, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment laboratory has confirmed that a recently deceased individual in the San Luis Valley was exposed to hantavirus. To protect confidentiality, public health officials are unable to disclose the identity of the deceased or the specific location.

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San Luis Valley Health in Alamosa

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a rare but serious disease caused by exposure to hantavirus. Colorado has had more confirmed cases of HPS than any other state except New Mexico. The disease is fatal for more than one-third of those people who become infected.

Hantavirus cannot spread from person to person. People are infected by breathing in the virus when stirring up dust from mouse nests or mouse droppings in areas with poor ventilation, or when handling mice, because hantavirus can be found in the urine, saliva, and droppings of infected mice.  People are at risk when going into closed spaces with rodent droppings, such as crawl spaces, attics, barns, outbuildings, and sheds, or when clearing wood piles where mouse droppings might be present.

In the San Luis Valley, the hantavirus is carried by deer mice, which have tawny backs, white bellies, big eyes and big ears. Typically, 10-15 percent of deer mice are infected, and it is not possible to tell if a mouse has the virus just by looking at it.  Rodents and household pets do not get sick from the virus.

Symptoms of HPS:

Symptoms usually start from one week to six weeks after exposure. Initial symptoms are fatigue, fever, and muscle aches. There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems such as nausea, vomiting, and chills.  Four to ten days later, a dry cough and difficulty breathing may develop as the lungs fill with fluid. From this point, the illness can progress rapidly to respiratory failure or even death.

Because the disease can progress rapidly, it is important to seek medical care immediately if you develop fever, headache, and muscle pain within six weeks of exposure to mice or their droppings.

Reduce your risk:

Keep mice away from areas where you live and work.  Store human food, pet food, and birdseed in lidded containers or securely closing cabinets.  Use traps baited with peanut butter to remove rodents from indoor areas. Keep garbage in tightly-covered cans.

Plug all holes (dime-sized or larger) in walls and around pipes and vents, using steel wool or metal sheeting. Repair window screens and make sure weather-stripping is tight under all doors, including pet doors.  Store hay, wood and equipment above ground at least 100 feet from the house. Remove old cars, junk and brush piles from the yard.

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To clean up rodent infested areas:

Open doors and windows and allow a room to air out for 30 minutes before going inside.  Consider using a respirator mask (N-100 rating) that seals tightly to the face. DO NOT SWEEP OR DRY-VACUUM MOUSE DROPPINGS. Mix a fresh solution of one-part bleach to nine-parts water (or 1 ½ cups bleach per gallon of water). Wear rubber gloves and spray droppings, nests, and carcasses with the bleach and water solution. Let soak for 5-10 minutes before cleaning up with a mop, sponge, or wet vacuum.  After disinfecting, place mouse carcasses, nests and cleaning materials into a plastic bag. Tie the bag shut and put it in an outdoor trashcan.  Wash hands and clothing after clean up.

Hantavirus is a very real threat in the San Luis Valley. Take care when opening outbuildings, or when you find mouse droppings and mice around the house. For further information about protecting yourself and your family from hantavirus, contact your local Public Health Agency or go to www.cdc.gov/hantavirus.

 

 

Saguache News – October 16

Here Comes The Judge – Is It You!?

By Trish Gilbert, Saguache County Clerk & Recorder

Student Election Judge Program

Are you interested in shaping your community?   Voters elect our leaders and governing bodies whose decisions influence events in the state of Colorado, the United States and, as recent events have proven, the world.    Student Election Judges share firsthand in those events on election day assisting voters as they exercise their constitutional right marking their ballot choices for candidates and issues.  Contact the Saguache County Clerk’s Team today to find out how to be a part of this grass roots lesson in democracy.

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Saguache Town Election Judges (left to right) Alice Wardlow, Bill Hazard and Caroline Irwin helped residents cast their votes in the 2016 Election. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

The State Legislature enacted legislation that allows Juniors and Seniors in High School to work at polling places as Student Election Judges. State Statute makes the following provisions:

  • Student Election Judges need not be registered electors.  There are no party affiliation requirements for Student Election Judges.
  • Be at least 16 years old and a Junior or Senior “in good standing” at a public or private high school at the time of the election at which they plan to work;

Submit an application;

  • Have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian;
  • Have the approval of their school’s principal or designated administrator;
  • Be U.S. citizens by the date of the election at which they are scheduled to work;
  • Be willing to serve – knowing that Election Day runs from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. – or longer;
  • Be physically and mentally able to perform the duties of an Election Judge;
  • Attend a mandatory Election Judge class prior to each election at which they work;
  • Never have been convicted of election fraud, other election offenses or fraud; and
  • Not be related to any candidate on the ballot in the precinct where they are working.
  • All applicants must have a Social Security number, which is required on the application. Students cannot be paid without a Social Security number.
  • Even before you turn 18 you can register to vote, and can take part in the election process.

BENEFITS:

  • You will be paid.
  • Practical experience serving your community.
  • Election Judge experience looks great on a resume or college application.
  • Take part in a rewarding activity while learning about the democratic process!

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • As a student election judge, you will serve alongside other adult election judges at the VSPC (Voter Service and Polling Center). Some of the duties student election judges assist with are:
  • Checking-in voters at the polling places
  • Assisting electors in casting their ballots.
  • Serve as mail-in, mail ballot or early voting judges.

Student Election Judges will be compensated for working Election Day.  Additionally, they may receive payment for attending the mandatory Election Judge Class.

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Local Elections Matter!

Since its inception in 2000, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Student Election Judges Program has been a great success for students and a bonus for the county election officials and educators who have participated in the program. During the 2012 Presidential Election hundreds of students around the state joined the ranks of adult Election Judges working cooperatively setting up polling locations, processing voters, ballots and tallying the votes cast.

Student Election Judges will be appointed by and will serve at the discretion of the local Election Official (County Clerk).

Ultimately, we hope it motivates these students to become active voters in their communities and election judge resources for future elections.

Our team would like to give a shout out to Jody Abeyta for recruiting two students from Mountain Valley High School, Samantha Clark and Azlyn DeHerrera, who will be working with us as election judges for the General Election.  Great job Jody and ladies!!

 

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Saguache News – October 15

Saguache News – October 15

4-H Enrollment Opens This Week

Postal Customers in Saguache Today and the San Luis Valley could see more than their mail-in election ballot in their mailbox this week as the 2018-19 4-H San Luis Valley enrollment opens. According to 4-H October newsletter, check your email or mailbox around October 16 for complete info on enrolling or re-enrolling in the San Luis Valley 4H group for the 2018-19 year!4H Click

Enrollment will once again be conducted through 4HOnline. Re-enrollment for existing 4-H members will run through January 4. New members can enroll, and existing members can add and drop projects, through March 31. Organizers of the agriculture-focused, youth group encourages folks to re-enroll early to get in their system and be eligible for camp and event registration. Do not miss the January 4 deadline for re-enrollment, or you will not be eligible to participate in 4-H or compete with 4-H projects in the SLV Fair.

If you have trouble with re-enrollment once the system reopens, give our office a call. They can walk you through common problems. If you have limited internet access, or want in-person support, drop by the office during office hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Adults Needed as 4H Volunteers

The San Luis Valley 4-H youth development program is looking for adults to share their knowledge as volunteers. These volunteers will leverage their experiences and interests to help youth build life skills in various subject areas.

“Volunteers are essential to help youth make the most of the wide variety of learning experiences they are presented with in 4-H,” said Amy Henschen, 4-H Extension Agent with Colorado State University. “We are currently looking for adults to serve as project leaders or help with workshops and school programming so we can better serve youth in the Valley.”

Volunteering with 4-H is an opportunity for people to share their personal interests by demonstrating expertise in subjects as varied as robotics, food and nutrition, public speaking, agricultural science, shooting sports and more. A person doesn’t have to have a degree in a specific field to become a volunteer in the 4-H program. Instead, they just need a passion for working with children and an interest in a certain area.

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As a 4-H volunteer you will play a key role as an adult mentor and role model for young people that live in your community. MORE INFO.

Adults can choose to serve as project leaders, helping kids enrolled in specific areas learn and complete their project requirements, or as area activity leaders, helping at specific workshops or school programs. Project leaders are needed in a variety of areas, including shooting sports, cake decorating, sewing, rabbit, cooking, outdoor adventure, and photography. The program is also seeking adults to be activity leaders at upcoming outdoor adventure, photography and horticulture workshops.

Volunteer opportunities also exist outside of these specific focus areas. The 4-H program4-H program is flexible with finding opportunities that match the skill sets and meet the needs of interested adults. Training and support will be provided by the San Luis Valley Extension office. Volunteers must pass a background check.

For more information on serving as a volunteer with the 4-H youth development program contact the San Luis Valley Extension office at 719-852-7381 or slv4H@colostate.edu. 4-H is a national program that teaches kids life skills through partnerships with caring adults. The program is a cooperative effort between Colorado State University Extension and Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache counties. Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.

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The competition was fun and fierce at the 2018 San Luis Valley 4H Robotics Table Clear contest. Photo: SLV 4H Facebook Page.

 

 

Saguache News – October 13

New School Construction Continues in Saguache Today

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The crew from FCI continues with the new construction of Mountain Valley School in Saguache. Many neighbors were a bit surprised by the four-foot rise in baseline elevation before the first brick had been laid. The center frame work represents the new building’s entrance way. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Reading: It’s Number One!

By Joyce Rankin, Colorado Board of Education

Joyce Rankin

Colorado Board of Education Rep. Joyce Rankin

I pointed out in my July column that teachers have many responsibilities. For example, understanding technology, suicide, depression, mental illness, bullying, drug use and provide sex education, and safe schools.  They also monitor breakfast and lunch programs and, oh yes, did I mention math and reading? But if reading and math aren’t the highest priority, how are our Colorado students performing on assessments? According to the 2018 English, Language Arts (ELA), or reading test, we’re not doing well. The Colorado Measurement of Academic Success (CMAS) ELA scores for third graders show that only forty percent are reading at grade level. Research has shown that students who cannot read by the end of the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. And according to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 70% of all incarcerated adults cannot read at the fourth grade level. They lack reading skills necessary to hold down anything but lower paying jobs.

Reading is at the core of learning and our legislature recognized this in 2012 when they passed the READ Act. The READ Act was to ensure students in grades K-3 were getting the help they needed to read at grade level when they exit the third grade. Grants were made available to help students reach this goal and in the 2017-18 school year 40,533 students with significant reading deficiencies (SRD) were eligible for these grants. The total amount directed at these students last year totaled $33M.

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The Mountain Valley School’s new $3.7 million dollar renovation project will bring the buildings and facility up to a 21st century safe, learning environment. Photo: Saguache Today.

With the release of the 2018 Colorado test scores in English, Language Arts (ELA) we found that 40 percent (4 out of 10) of our third graders are reading at or above grade level as they exit the third grade. That means sixty percent are not reading at grade level and, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Colorado mirrors what is happening in the United States and it’s been that way since the 1990’s.

There’s still some good news this month. I’d like to shine a spotlight on two schools in the Third Congressional District receiving the Colorado Succeeds Award for Transformational Impact. Awards were based on a data-driven process conducted by an external analyst to select public schools making transformational gains in academic achievement. Only one elementary school, one middle school and one high school in the state are selected.

Carbondale Middle School in the Roaring Fork Valley was the recipient of the Middle School Award, with Jennifer Lamont, Principal. I met with Ms. Lamont last week and she discussed the reasons for their success.

Delta County School District’s Paonia Elementary School was the winner in the elementary category.  Principal Sam Cox spoke with elected officials recently about the pride he takes in his students, teaching staff and community. On the English Language Arts assessment from last spring, his sixth graders scored 81.5% proficient. That translates to 8 out of 10 students at or above grade level.

Both schools impressed me by their administrative leadership and partnership between teaching staff, parents and community. Could this be the secret to success?

Thank you for the honor to serve on the State Board of Education, 3rd CD.

Joyce Rankin, a retired teacher, is on the State Board of Education representing the Third Congressional District, which includes Saguache and Saguache County. She writes the monthly column, “Across the Street” to share with constituents in her district.  The Department of Education, where the State Board of Education meets, is located across the street from the Capitol.

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The view from the corner of 6th and Pitkin Avenue in Saguache Today slowly changes with the building of a new school. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Saguache News – October 12

Tick-Tock – Scary Fun Awaits in Saguache

“You’ll see, things are quite different here!” While movie-goers may recognize this line from the scary season’s rising-star film, “The House with a Clock in Its Walls,” it also sums up this psychological thriller’s core plot.

The good news is that this film is also rated PG, which means that some of the younger kids can still enjoy a good Halloween-ish movie. The film is based on a 1973 juvenile mystery fiction novel. While you need to “know-your-kid,” they recommend age 11 plus.  Catch this one playing at Cozy Castle Cinema this weekend, October 12 – 14.

In this weekend’s film, “The House with a Clock in Its Walls,” ten-year-old Lewis goes to live with his oddball uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious `tick tock’ noise. He soon learns that Uncle Jonathan and his feisty neighbour, Mrs Zimmerman, are powerful practitioners of the magic arts. When Lewis accidentally awakens the dead, the town’s sleepy facade suddenly springs to life, revealing a secret and dangerous world of witches, warlocks and deadly curses.

 

The Cozy Castle Cinema in downtown Saguache.

The Cozy Castle Cinema in downtown Saguache.

Showtimes are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.; and Sunday at 4 p.m.

Ticket prices are $7 with children 3 and under free. The Cozy Castle Cinema is located at 403 4th St, in downtown Saguache. 719-221-4159.