Briefs: Local News November 18, 2008

Bills to hold steady, Xcel says

• Xcel Energy announced that natural gas bills for December would be about the same as last year. The company had projected that December bills would be slightly higher than the previous year.
The utility warns customers, however, that December bills typically jump quite a bit from November to December, as use increases on average by 37 percent. A typical residential customer bill is predicted to jump to $113.97 this December, from $78.47 in November.

Master gardener course set

• The Colorado State University Extension office is accepting applications for its 2009 Master Gardener Program. The program serves Mesa, Delta, Montrose and Ouray counties, providing and training horticulture volunteers who answer questions and provide information.
The course will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays Jan. 15 through March 26. Apprentices commit to 50 hours of volunteer work in the spring and summer season. Cost is $125 for volunteers or $425 without a commitment. For information visit or call 244-1841.

Verizon helps Hilltop program

• Verizon Wireless HopeLine gave $7,000 to Hilltop Community Resources for expansion of its domestic violence prevention program. Verizon supports domestic violence prevention and awareness programs in Mesa, Delta, Montrose, and Ouray counties as well as nationwide.


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