The Pueblo West View

Briefly: Dec. 22

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SANTA TRAIN SCHEDULED

Celebrate the season with the Pueblo Express Santa Train, sponsored by the Pueblo Railway Foundation.

Multiple train rides will be available from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Caboose rides are $6 per person, locomotive cab rides are $12 per person (children under 2 years of age ride free). Festivities include a Christmas movie, cookies, candy and hot chocolate.

The train is located next to the Pueblo Union Depot, 132 W. B St. For more information, visit PuebloRailway.org.

toys for tots

A charitable staple of the holiday season, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program is underway locally.

Freddie Gallegos Jr., coordinator of the drive for the past three years, said drop-off boxes have been placed at several locations in Pueblo and Pueblo West, awaiting donations of gifts and toys for eventual distribution to children in need throughout Pueblo County.

“Most businesses support us by allowing a donation box to collect toys,” Gallegos said. “Several bars and restaurants support by offering free lunches to the volunteers who work hundreds of hours to provide toys for the community.”

Additionally, Gallegos said several large employers, such as Vestas and the Pueblo Chemical Depot, gift the program with hundreds of dollars in cash donations.

“The 2016 Toys for Tots campaign is truly a Pueblo community event, as hundreds of people come together to support the goal of the Toys for Tots Foundation — that of a better Christmas for kids in need.”

For more information, Gallegos can be contacted at 248-3430. A website, pueblo-co.toysfortots.org, offers additional information about the program and its history.

Gas prices hiking

Gas prices are seeing their largest December increase in six years with the U.S. average price now at $2.25, up 12 percent from the same time last year, gasoline analysts at GasBuddy.com note.

The average price in Pueblo is 14 percent higher at $2.08, up from $1.78 a year ago, according to travel group AAA’s daily survey. Statewide, the average price is $2.12, up from $1.90 a year ago, the travel group said.

“There’s never a good time to see gas prices rise but ahead of the holidays just seems like the worst,” Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, said in a statement. “Oil prices spiked after OPEC’s production cut agreement was announced, pushing gasoline prices higher in 41 states. At a time of year Americans are busy opening their wallets to shop for gifts, they’ll have to dig deeper to fill their tanks too.”

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