AARP smart driver safety class

A defensive driving class sponsored by AARP Driver Safety Program is scheduled Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Montezuma County Senior Services, 107 N. Chestnut St., Cortez, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This is a new curriculum. The class is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. It includes the workbook. The class is accredited by the Department of Motor Vehicles and compensates for changes that come with age. Learn strategies to help keep you and others safe while earning a discount to your current insurance program if you’re 55 or older.

Information: Call Lois O’Dell to register or for information, at 970-259-5589.

Workshop: Introduction to Quickbooks

The Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center, the Dolores Chamber of Commerce, and the Dolores State Bank are sponsoring a full-day workshop, Introduction to Quickbooks on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the Dolores Public Library, 1002 Railroad Ave, Dolores.

The workshop from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. will have a half-hour lunch break at noon. Participants are asked to bring a brown bag lunch.

This workshop, taught by Certified Quickbooks Pro-Advisor, Bethany McManus, will help small-business owners understand how much money they are bringing in and how they are spending it.

Quickbooks, the most popular small business accounting software on the market, is an invaluable tool for financial organization. This high-energy presentation filled with practical, useful information is only $30 or $25 for Chamber members. McManus has 18 years of experience helping small businesses in SW Colorado.

Email Asano_L@ or call 970-247-7009 for more information.

The Great American Spit Out

The week beginning Feb. 16 marks Chew Week. Chewing tobacco, and snuff are not safe alternatives to smoking, and can lead to a variety of health issues including cancer.

For anyone trying to quit, is a great place to start. There you can connect with specific information about quitting through the Colorado Quitline. Those trying to quit can see the options available to help in their efforts, such as using a quit coach, and then join others in making Feb. 23 The Great American Spit Out, the day they quit chew.

Calling all students

The Four Corners Builders Association is accepting applications for the 2014 continuing education scholarships that are awarded annually. Please contact your student councilors, call the FCBA office at 565-1771, or email for more information. You will be asked to submit your information in the form of a job application including a cover letter, your transcript, and your plans for the future. Your information needs to be received by April 25, 2014, to be considered to the 2014 scholarship. Two scholarships will be given out in May.

Email your application to , mail it to PO Box TL Cortez, CO 81321, or drop if off at the FCBA office on 303 ½ W. Montezuma Ave. in Cortez.

Empire Electric issues scam alert

In the past two weeks, Cortez businesses and residents served by Empire Electric Association have received threatening calls that their power will be cut off unless they quickly settle a supposedly overdue bill. Other electric cooperatives across the state have also reported that their members received scamming calls from a person identifying himself as a co-op employee. The callers used a Magic Jack phone number and stated the members’ service would be disconnected if a payment was not made immediately.

This is a scam. Empire Electric doesn’t call and threaten to disconnect a service at night or on weekends if a payment isn’t made immediately. Empire does not use a Money Pak payment account or a Magic Jack phone.

Report suspicious collection calls to 970-565-4444 or 800-709-3726.

Piñon Project to offer free budgeting class

The Piñon Project Family Resource Center is pleased to announce an offering of a free 6-week, 12-hour workshop called “Making Money Work For You.”

In today’s challenging economy, it is necessary for individuals, and households, to more effectively manage their finances. This basic budgeting program is designed for people who are concerned about their money and covers goal setting, credit & debt, various types of insurance, stretching personal resources, spending choices and creating a spending and savings plan. This workshop is open to individuals and families, including TANF eligible families who live in Montezuma and Dolores Counties. This workshop will meet at The Piñon Project, 300 N. Elm in Cortez on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. Classes are scheduled beginning Thursday Feb, 20. A meal is provided starting at 5:30 p.m.

There is no cost for this course, and licensed childcare will be provided free. For information and to register, call Lara at The Piñon Project at 564-1195.

Raffle to benefit scholarship fund

Friends of Recreation for a Healthy Community (FOR) has been giving scholarships to the Cortez Recreation Center since the center opened in 2004. Scholarships have been given to income-qualified people, disabled, and elderly who cannot afford Rec Center entry fees or Silver Sneakers fees.

Each year, FOR conducts a raffle to raise additional funds for future scholarships. The raffle tickets are three for $10 or one ticket for $4. The prizes for the raffle include a first place prize of an annual pass to the Cortez Recreation Center for a family of four, the second place prize is a 20-use pass for the Cortez Recreation Center, and the third place prize is one month of DNR Fitness’ No Whining Boot Camp.

Raffle tickets are available from Friends of Recreation board members or contact raffle chairman, Marty McKean at 565-7990. The drawing is Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. at the Rec Center. You do not have to be present at the time of the drawing. Winners will be notified by telephone.

Knights Memorial Scholarship

Directions and applications for the 2014 Knights Memorial Scholarship are now available at the Montelores Catholic Community Office, 28 E. Montezuma, Cortez.

Download them from the MCC website,

Call Bill Hagen at 882-2370 or 560-2426 for emailed forms.

The scholarship is open to any member of the Montelores Catholic Community who has graduated, or will graduate this year, from a local area high school and who plans to enroll, or is enrolled in an accredited post secondary educational institutions.

Info: Call Bill Hagen @ 882-2370 or 560-2426.

The deadline for submitting an application is April 18.

Free Obamacare help is available

Free help is available to navigate through the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act and Connect for Health CO website. Colorado’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) in southwest and central Colorado have partnered with Connect for Health CO to provide free services to businesses with 2-50 employees for health care assistance.

Sue McWilliams, contact person for SBDC, can work directly with small businesses to provide information, facts and website navigation for small businesses. There is no fee for these services. Appointments can be made by contacting the Durango Small Business Development (970)-247-7009 or contact Sue directly at (970) 749-5663.

M-CHS presents school safety program

On Sept. 27, 2006, a gunman entered Platte Canyon High School, held seven girls hostage and ultimately shot and killed Emily Keyes.

During the time she was held hostage, Emily sent her parents text messages... “I love you guys” and “I love you guys. k?”

Emily’s kindness, spirit, fierce joy, and dignity and grace that followed this tragic event define the core of the “I Love You Guys” Foundation.

Emily’s father, John Michael Keyes, will present a rare, personal and transparent insight to school safety.

This foundation was created to educate schools, communities, organizations and government entities about the importance of school safety. The presentation will be held at the Cortez Middle School from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 19, and is free.