As Colorado’s Coal Industry Fades, Small Towns Grasp for Hope

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Colorado Public Radio:The unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation and the population along the Front Range is booming. It’s easy to see the impact of a strong economy in Denver. Construction cranes are up all over the city and it’s harder than ever to find affordable housing.But it’s a different story in many parts of western Colorado.Many rural communities on Colorado’s Western Slope are struggling to survive. The loss of coal jobs is forcing many there to make tough choices.The shrinking started in the mid-1980s, when most of the uranium jobs went away. More recently, the New Horizon coal mine closed earlier this year, and the Tri-State Power Plant is set to shut down by 2022 at the latest. When that happens, Epright expects to lose another 100 students. It could also mean the loss of 70 percent of the area’s tax base.“It’s definitely one of those important things of trying to find something to stabilize our community,” he said.Case is also looking for stability. She works as a substitute teacher and her husband is a mechanic. But they expect his job to end next year and substitute teaching doesn’t pay well.“They can keep me busy, but you to raise a family, you can’t raise a family as a substitute teacher,” she said. “Everybody’s depressed. They know what’s going to happen but we don’t know exactly when, and I try not to think about it because I’ll  just sit down and cry.”While Case has some time to figure things out, many other don’t. Changing industries in coal counties like Montrose and Delta have left a ticking timer behind.Some are looking at tourism and agriculture as possible ways to attract and keep people in the Western Slope. But will that be enough?  More: Losing Jobs In Colorado’s Coal Country, What’s Next? As Colorado’s Coal Industry Fades, Small Towns Grasp for Hopelast_img read more

Duke Energy Indiana winter assistance funds increase to $750,000

first_imgStatewide—Duke Energy has increased its winter assistance funding for qualifying Indiana customers who may struggle to pay their winter energy bills.The company is contributing $650,000 for low-income customer energy assistance through its Helping Hand program this year. In addition, Duke Energy Indiana customers and employees have contributed more than $96,000 through November, and more is expected in December, raising this year’s total energy assistance to approximately $750,000. A portion of the company’s funding is the result of an agreement with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor.“We know the winter months can be a hardship for some, and each year our shareholders and customers contribute to help families and individuals who may be struggling to pay their winter energy bills,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar. “This year, to reach more customers in need, we are increasing our shareholder contribution by $150,000. Last year, we were able to help more than 3,700 Hoosiers who needed assistance in paying their electricity bills.”Duke Energy works with the Indiana Community Action Association and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s Energy Assistance Program, which determines eligibility and distributes the company’s assistance funds.“Our clients are most vulnerable during the winter, and no one should be left in the cold,” said Elaine Zeider, manager of Family Services for the Area Five Agency on Aging and Community Services. “For years we’ve used Duke Energy’s Helping Hand funds to keep Hoosiers warm and relieve some of the stress of winter bills.”For more information on the Helping Hand program, including eligibility for funds, participating agencies and how to make a donation, visit duke-energy.com/community/customer-assistance-programs/helping-hand.Winter Energy Saving TipsReduce your thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting when home, and bump the thermostat down a degree or two when leaving home.One of the easiest things customers can do to support heating efficiency is to change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, whichuses more energy.Leave drapes or blinds open during sunny winter days to allow the sun’s rays to warm the house, but close them at night to help insulate your home.For more information on how to cut costs and stay warm this winter, visit duke-energy.com/home/savings/winter-heating-energy-savings. Duke Energy also offers energy efficiency products, services and information to help customers save energy and money. For more information, visit duke-energy.com.last_img read more

NFL Hall of Fame Game 2019: Three takeaways from Broncos’ win over Falcons

first_img Broncos’ Vic Fangio will coach Hall of Fame Game after treatment for kidney stone Football is back — kind of.The Hall of Fame game kicked off the NFL season Thursday and it was what you would expect. There were a lot of penalties and some poorly thrown balls and blown coverages. That concentration though‼️We 👀 you, @OnlyOne_JW! 👊#PFHOF19 | #DENvsATL pic.twitter.com/24wxnYzNT5— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) August 2, 2019That was the difference in Denver’s 14-10 win.Three takeaways from the NFL Hall of Fame GameNoah Fant has up-and-down gameNoah Fant looked like a rookie in his debut with the Broncos on Thursday and that’s by no means an insult.He flashed his quick feet and blocking skills, but he also dropped a pass and was called for holding..@Broncos first-round pick Noah Fant with his first catch of the preseason! @nrfant📺: @ProFootballHOF Game on NBCWatch on mobile: https://t.co/gjdN954aVr pic.twitter.com/lpMpIKjWzN— NFL (@NFL) August 2, 2019The Broncos knew they were going to have to take the good with the bad when they selected Fant in the first round this year and they got a lot of both in his limited time Thursday.But, he showed he can do just what they got him to do and also helped lead the way on a rushing touchdown in the first half. Moments like that are a cherry on top at this moment for Denver. He has a chance to be a very good player.Drew Lock played; Kurt Benkert impressedProbably the most fun thing about NFL preseason games is getting to see rookies try their hand at the next level. Thursday, there was a good amount of anticipation to see the debut of Drew Lock, who was supposed to be a first-round pick but fell to the Broncos in the second.But, while many were looking forward to seeing Lock, it would be hard not to be excited by another quarterback — Falcons second-year man Kurt Benkert. Lock was fine in the game. He finished 7-of-11 passing for 34 yards, but Benkert showed off a wide assortment of skills and ran the offense like a player who has been running it for a couple of years — which he has, as he spent last season on Atlanta’s practice squad.Benkert was crisp with his passes and even broke off a 17-yard run in the first half. He was impressive no matter how you look at it, finishing 19-of-34 passing for 185 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he had to leave the game in the fourth quarter with a toe injury, putting a damper on a good game.Easy money.QB @KurtBenkert ➡️ RB @Heezy2Liv5 pic.twitter.com/gPPW6zbtWo— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 2, 2019As for Lock, he looked like a rookie playing in a Hall of Fame Game. There’s nothing wrong with that. He just didn’t look comfortable, yet, but he has time to get there. But there were some good and intriguing things, as well.There was even a late touchdown catch of the spectacular variety by Broncos rookie Juwann Winfree. Related News New pass interference review works as it shouldLike last year, when NFL fans were waiting to see how the “lowering the helmet rule” would play out in a game, this season everyone wanted to know how the pass interference review would go. The league is allowing such plays to be reviewed this season on a one-year trial basis.The answer — pretty well. Broncos coach Vic Fangio challenged a pass interference call in the first half Thursday and the play was upheld as it should have been. It’s an easy adjustment to make and it sure worked well in this game.The first challenge of a pass interference call.Hear the explanation behind the call. pic.twitter.com/CPKoUDLE1u— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) August 2, 2019last_img read more