UCSJ Introduces New Pastor
by Watch Staff
Nov 10, 2011 | 844 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<b>NEW TO TOWN</b> – United Church of the San Juans will introduce Rev. Harry Lee Strong and his wife, Anna, on Monday. (Courtesy photo)
NEW TO TOWN – United Church of the San Juans will introduce Rev. Harry Lee Strong and his wife, Anna, on Monday. (Courtesy photo)
RIDGWAY – The United Church of the San Juans will introduce Rev. Harry Lee Strong as its new pastor of our church on Monday, November 21.

Rev. Strong received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill., and his Master of Divinity degree, with Honors, from McCormick Theological Seminary, in Chicago. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Strong has served ten churches in his 37-year career, in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

In 1981, Rev. Strong began creating a series of 18 first-person sermon-dramas, “Faces of Advent,” “Faces of Lent,” and “Old Testament Faces,” which have been shared widely.

Rev. Strong and his wife, Anna, comes to Ridgway from Divide, Colo., with his wife, Anna, and their Golden-doodle, Wrigley; in Divide, he served on the United Church of Christ’s council, instructed weekly adult church school classes and stood preached when its pastor was away. Rev. Strong sings in the Choir, plays the guitar and piano, and, when requested, takes his aforementioned Biblical characters on road trips.

The Strongs have four children and 12 grandchildren. The United Church of the San Juans, on the corner of Lena and Charles streets, is a multi-denomination church affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, and the United Church of Christ. Sunday worship begins at 10 a.m.

DMEA Extends National Guard Outreach


MONTROSE – The Delta-Montrose Electric Association, through its Touchstone Energy community budget, has donated $928 to the Family Support Group of the 928th Area Support Medical Company of the Colorado National Guard, a unit based in Montrose. The funds will be used to purchase and ship phone cards to those serving in Afghanistan so that they can be in touch with their family members over the holidays.

The mission of the 928th is to provide emergency medical treatment, sick call and ground ambulance evacuation of troops. Its approximately 80 members include medical professionals, educators, police officers, construction workers and college students.

“Touchstone Energy cooperatives across the country are committed both to their communities at home and to our friends and family members who are making sacrifices for us overseas,” said Dan McClendon, DMEA’s general manager. “DMEA is pleased to help some of the families who are part of our own co-op be in better touch with their loved ones now serving in Afghanistan.”

Other persons or businesses interested in donating to the Family Support Group of the 928th Area Support Medical Company of the Colorado National Guard can call Norine at 970/252-7769 or Sharon at 970/249-9228.  Checks can be made payable to the 928th Family Readiness Group.  Donations by check or phone cards can also be mailed to:  National Guard Family Program Office, 928th FRG, 482 28 Road, Grand Junction, CO, 81501.

DMEA’s Montrose office, located at 11925 6300 Road, is also one of several drop-off locations accepting Christmas toys for kids of those serving in uniform. Santa, along with the Colorado Army National Guard's Family Readiness Programs Office, is gathering toys for military families. By donating a new, unwrapped toy you'll be helping provide wonderful toys to give to military families that are struggling during this time of year. A collection box is located in the Montrose office lobby; toys will be accepted through Dec. 12. 

Rockfall Mitigation Underway on Colo. State Hwy 145 South of Telluride


SAN MIGUEL COUNTY – American Civil Constructors, Inc., contractor for the Colorado Department of Transportation, has begun rock mitigation work on SH 145 south of Telluride on Lizard Head Pass, near Trout Lake. Work is scheduled for completion in late November. 

The project, which is between mile post 60.5 and 62, involves reinforcement of the slope adjacent to SH 145 with rock excavation, installation of structural embankment and drainage improvements. ACC was awarded the project contract for just under $600,000.

Specifically, ACC will excavate rock to increase site distance along SH 145 and build a reinforcement structure on the downhill side of the roadway, where there is an area prone to rock slide. Drainage improvements will draw run-off along the side of the road and through two culverts under the highway in order to prevent future erosion. The final work items include re-grading the area, seeding and minor asphalt patching. Completion by late November may be delayed depending upon weather.

TRAVEL IMPACTS:  Traffic impacts will be minimal with flagger-manned single lane closures with holds shorter than 10 minutes during work hours. Crews will be on-site Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

Montrose Interagency Fire Plans Winter Burns 

MONTROSE – With the arrival of snow on the Western Slope, the Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit will conduct pile burns to treat slash from previous mechanical treatments designed to reduce wildfire risk and improve wildlife habitat.

Pile burning is a type of maintenance burn whereby wildland fuels are cut, piled, allowed to dry, and then burned during the winter.

The pile burn sites, associated with treatments conducted during the past few years, are located two miles northwest of Paonia on Bureau of Land Management lands; two miles north of Ouray on BLM-managed lands; 18 miles southwest of Montrose on National Forest System lands; on the North Rim of Black Canyon National Park; and in the Ponderosa Campground, located in the Soap Creek area (Curecanti National Recreation Area). 

As with all prescribed burns, each of the proposed pile burns have gone through an environmental analysis and have detailed burn plans. Each burn plan contains specific criteria regarding weather conditions and air quality that must be met, to help ensure control of the burn as well as to minimize the potential smoke impacts to local communities.  A Smoke Permit, identifying atmospheric conditions under which the burn can be implemented, has been obtained from the Colorado State Air Pollution Control Division for each burn project. Smoke may be visible to nearby residents for all projects. 


Free Homemaking Services to Seniors

DELTA, MONTROSE AND OURAY COUNTIES – Region 10 Area Agency on Aging has teamed up with Touch of Care, a family-owned business in operation since 2001, to help eligible adults, age 60 and over, with housekeeping, laundry, linen changes, meal preparation, and to assist with shopping and errands as well as trash removal.

Eligibility for homemaker services is determined during the completion of a comprehensive but brief assessment. There is no charge for eligible older adults receiving homemaker services, but suggested donations are gratefully accepted.

“This program really fills a gap,” said April Martinez, Montrose Agency Manager and Assistant Administrator for Touch of Care. “Medicare doesn’t pay for these services. There are lots of people who need help who don’t qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford to pay for the services of a private homemaker.

“Our homemaking services help keep people safe, and often times, out of a nursing home.”

By assisting with routine chores, Touch of Care ensures that older adults do not have to undertake chores that pose a physical risk, such as bending down to clean hard-to-reach areas of their bathroom or kitchen, lifting a heavy vacuum cleaner or stretching too far to change their bed linens.

“If someone is not feeling good their house still needs to be cleaned, their laundry washed, their bed changed and often they push through these tasks themselves even if it means potentially injuring themselves in the process. With this program, people can get the assistance they need to help keep them living independently at home,” Martinez said.

Touch of Care has ample professional staffing to service Delta, Montrose and Ouray County older adults’ homemaking needs. “Everyone who works in our office has also provided direct care and knows what it is like to work in clients’ homes. We understand client needs AND how to help our employees meet those needs.”

Visit Touch of Care online at or contact them at 970-249-6080 in Montrose, 970-874-6115 in Delta or toll free at 866-874-6115.

The Homemaking Program receives significant funding through the Region 10 Area Agency on Aging, which is dedicated to developing a network of services for adults age 60 and over to assist them in maintaining their independence within their communities, and can be reached at 970/249-2436.

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