News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

Holiday assistance LIFT-UP provides a boostIt doesn’t matter how well the economy is doing – there will always be people who need some assistance – and that’s where LIFT-UP of Garfield County steps in.People naturally give more and donate during the holiday season, but the poor need to be fed and clothed year-round.For 23 years, LIFT-UP of Garfield County has been around to give that help – through Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, a soup kitchen five days a week, food pantries and a thrift store for clothing.”We pass out a lot of food from Carbondale to Parachute,” said Mike Powell, who has been the executive director of LIFT-UP for the past three years. “We also have a soup kitchen in Glenwood Springs throughout the year, and we expect to top out at 11,000 meals served by the end of this year.”The majority of people using the soup kitchen are homeless, while most of those visiting the food pantries are working people who just need some extra help.The nonprofit agency is faith-based, but that is not a requirement for receiving assistance.Along with the holiday food baskets, the agency provides Christmas presents for the kids through its Angel Tree program, in which donors can pick a name with a specific age and gender and leave a gift for the recipient.LIFT-UP will also provide gas vouchers for those who need to get to a job interview or a doctor’s appointment. They also assist those who are stranded by providing travel vouchers to the nearest major city.With a growing population in the valley and an increased demand on services, LIFT-UP is in the process of constructing a new 7,500-square-foot building at 800 Railroad Ave. in Rifle (the site of the old John Haines car dealership), which will serve as its new administrative headquarters.For more information about LIFT-UP and its services or to make a contribution, call the Glenwood Springs office at 945-2005.Crash closes Interstate 70GEORGETOWN (AP) – Westbound Interstate 70 was closed at the Eisenhower Tunnel for several hours Sunday after a tractor-trailer rolled, spilling 50 to 100 gallons diesel fuel and seriously injuring the driver, the State Patrol said.The driver, whose name was not released, lost control and was ejected around 6:45 p.m., the State Patrol said. It was unclear why the driver lost control.Westbound traffic was detoured over Loveland Pass on U.S. 6.Troopers would not estimate when westbound I-70 would reopen.