Briefs: County gets cash for spray park |

Briefs: County gets cash for spray park

Daily Staff ReportVail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY Plans to build a spray park at Freedom Park in Edwards have received at $100,000 boost. A spray park is a series of fountains and water jets for children to run through and play. The spray park will be approximately 800 square feet in size with a rough finish that will be durable and slip-resistant.Im pleased that were finally moving forward on what I believe will be the most popular amenity at Freedom Park, County Commissioner Tom Stone said.The money came from the Great Outdoors Colorado program and will be used by Eagle County, the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District and the Edwards Metropolitan District. The total cost of the park is expected to be $200,000.The park will have a shut-off time so water isnt wasted. Drains located throughout the park should prevent stagnant water. The spray park will be a great addition, and something children and families will be able to enjoy for years to come, County Commissioner Peter Runyon said.

BEAVER CREEK – The Vail Valley Foundation’s pre-kindergarten program Thursday will receive its inaugural “Magic Bus” from the Beaver Creek Resort Company.The first bus is an 18-passenger shuttle formerly used at Beaver Creek. The seats will be removed and the interior turned into a mobile classroom, complete with plasma screens for video and computer monitoring, work and reading space and storage for books and equipment.The Magic Bus program will eventually have a fleet of vans that will travel to students throughout Eagle County, “Research into school success shows a direct link to the preparation that young children receive from the time they are born until they enter kindergarten,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation.The Magic Bus program received its initial funding of $150,000 in March at the annual Mountains of Hope benefit dinner and auction, held in conjunction with the Countrywide American Ski Classic. The foundation estimates that it will need to raise a total of $275,000 to launch the full program, although the first Magic Bus should be on the road in the spring of 2007.The new bus will replace the existing widely popular Magic Book Bus, a mobile library that visits preschool centers throughout the valley. For more information on the Magic Bus program, call the Vail Valley Foundation at 949-1999 or visit

AVON – Eagle River Presbyterian Church, at 455 Nottingham Ranch Road in Avon, will hold its annual Blue Christmas Service Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The short service is meant for people dealing with grief, depression or other problems, such as divorce or the loss of a job, during the holidays. For more information, contact Pastor Rob Wilson at Eagle River Presbyterian Church at 748-0040.

EAGLE COUNTY – Colorado law requires drivers to slow down and merge to the farthest lane away from stopped emergency vehicles with lights flashing.”Unfortunately, lives are taken by those who disregard emergency lights on the roadside,” Eagle County Sheriff’s Deputy Bradley K. Rosenbauer said. Det. Tamra Blackard shares her story from four years ago was hit by a car while stopped along the road a few years ago. “I stopped to assist a citizen, whose car slid off the road during a winter storm. At that moment, my life changed forever. I was struck by a passing motorist who did not yield to my emergency lights,” Blackard said. “Somehow, I was lucky,” she added. “I woke up to my family and friends in the emergency room, unlike so many others who have paid the ultimate price.” The Sheriff’s Office, the Colorado State Patrol and town police officers will step up enforcement of the law throughout Eagle County, Rosenbauer said. “It usually takes one motorist to take note of flashing lights and merge before others follow suit,” Rosenbauer said. “If that motorist is you, know that you may be saving a life. One person will make the difference.”

RIFLE – Training for high-paying local jobs in the energy industry will be just one of the benefits of a partnership between Colorado Mountain College and Shell Exploration & Production Co.An announcement of the partnership was made late Tuesday afternoon and will include a donation of $600,000 over the next four years by Shell to the regional community college’s process technology program at the new West Garfield Campus, scheduled to open for classes in fall 2007.Officials from the Shell Mahogany Research Project, which is currently doing oil shale exploration in the Rifle area, and the college have negotiated over the past year.”As the energy industry continues to grow, we’re going to need (employees) in the future – and we need them now,” said Tracy Boyd, sustainable development manager for the Shell Mahogany Project. “Oil shale is already a huge issue. We’re recognizing that we have this challenge and this is an opportunity here. We’re really looking at creating something that would be a significant benefit.” industry, it will also enable students to obtain jobs in other fields, such as waste and water treatment, pharmaceuticals and power and electric plants.”A high school student can go through the two-year process technology program and be nabbed up by the industry into a very well-paying job,” Boyd said.- Heidi Rice

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