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Area briefing

FREMONT STREET, STRIP ROAD CLOSURES
SET FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATIONS

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department announced New Year’s Eve road closures in the Paradise and downtown areas.

Fremont Street is set to close at 5 p.m., and its entertainment gates are slated to open at 6 p.m.

Freeway off-ramps near the Strip are set to close at 5:30 p.m. Walkways, elevators and escalators on the Strip are set to be turned off at 6 p.m., with Las Vegas Boulevard closed to vehicle traffic and inbound roads cleared by 6:30 p.m.

Barricades on the Strip are set to be cleared by 1 a.m., with street cleaning set to begin around 2 a.m. and the re-opening of streets at 3 a.m.

For more information, call 828-3394 or visit lvmpd.com.

FREE BUS RIDES AVAILABLE
FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada plans to offer free transit rides for New Year’s Eve from 6 p.m. Saturday until 9 a.m. Sunday.

Free rides apply to all of the commission’s transit routes throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

The commission has three park-and-ride lots across the valley where residents can park for free year-round: the Centennial Hills Transit Center and Park & Ride, 7313 Grand Montecito Parkway near U.S. Highway 95 and Durango Drive; the Westcliff Transit Center and Park & Ride at Durango Drive and Summerlin Parkway; and the South Strip Transfer Terminal at 6675 S. Gilespie St. near Sunset Road.

In addition, the commission has partnered with local businesses to offer additional park-and-ride lots where residents can park their vehicles and board express transit services.

For more information, visit rtcsnv.com or call 228-7433.

POLICE TO BEGIN TICKETING DRIVERS USING HANDHELD CELLPHONES WHILE DRIVING

Five days remain before local police move from issuing warnings to citations to drivers caught using their cellphones without the aid of a hands-free or Bluetooth device.

Saturday is the final day officers will write warnings in lieu of tickets.

After the date, motorists pulled over for holding their cellphones while driving and talking, texting or reading correspondence face a first-time fine of $50, $100 for a second offense and $250 for third and subsequent offenses. Second and third offenses can result in points on the license.

Motorists can use hands-free options while driving, which include wired headsets, Bluetooth devices and wireless systems built into newer automobiles.

POLICE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
SEEKS REACCREDITATION

An assessment team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. is set to arrive Jan. 9 at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department communications center to begin a four-day, on-site evaluation as part of the center’s application to achieve the commission’s Re-Accreditation for Public Safety Communications Agencies.

The communications center initially received accreditation in March 2009 and has now applied to receive reaccreditation.

The accreditation program requires the center to comply with state-of-the-art standards in organization; direction and supervision; human resources; recruitment, selection and promotion; training; operations; critical incidents; and special operations/homeland security.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments concerning the communication center’s ability to comply with these standards.

Comments can be made from 1-3 p.m. Jan. 10 by calling 828-3259. Telephone comments are limited to 10 minutes.

Written comments should be addressed to: the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., 135775 Heathcote Blvd. Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155.

Following the on-site assessment, the commission team will present its findings at the its accreditation conference, which is scheduled for July 2012 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

FREE RADON TEST KITS TO BE DISTRIBUTED
AT AREA AWARENESS PRESENTATIONS

Community awareness presentations regarding the radioactive gas radon are planned in January and February at valley libraries.

The free sessions are set for:

n 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road.

n 11 a.m. to noon Jan. 28 at the Windmill Library, 7060 W. Windmill Lane.

n 11 a.m. to noon Feb. 25 at the Centennial Hills Library, 6711 N. Buffalo Drive.

Attendees will receive a free radon test kit for their homes. Testing for the gas is encouraged by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the Nevada State Health Division.

Winter is the ideal time to test for radon as most homes are kept closed up for the winter, said Laura Au-Yeung, the southern area radon program coordinator for the cooperative extension. The test takes two to four days to conduct.

Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium in soil and enters homes through foundation cracks, openings and some of the porous materials used to construct foundations and floors of homes.

Radon is an odorless, colorless, invisible gas that can reach harmful levels when trapped indoors. Radon can enter any home, old or new.

The leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers is radon, experts said. Although smokers have a higher risk of radon-induced lung cancer than nonsmokers, about 21,000 people die each year in the U.S. of lung cancer caused by indoor radon exposure. The radon health risk is highly preventable, yet few people know about the radon risk or have their homes tested for it, according to valley officials.

For more information, call Au-Yeung at 257-5550, e-mail her at au-yeungl@unce.unr.edu or visit radonnv.com. Any professional or community group that wishes to schedule a radon awareness presentation also may contact Au-Yeung.

RADKIDS CLASSES TO TEACH
KIDS LIFE-SAVING SKILLS

Nevada Child Seekers is offering free radKIDS classes at Karate for Kids, 6020 W. Flamingo Road, Suite 6.

The sessions are set for 9 to 11 a.m. today through Friday for 4- to 8-year-olds and 1 to 3 p.m. the same days for 9- to 12-year-olds.

The program is dedicated to providing life-saving skills for children by teaching them how to resist aggression defensively. Topics include fire, the home, the Internet, bullying and abduction.

The classes are taught by DARE officers who are certified radKIDS instructors.

All children who graduate will receive a T-shirt, a wristband and a graduation certificate bearing their picture. They also will receive a certificate allowing them to attend any radKIDS class in the future, up to age 13, free.

Parents will receive a family manual so they can follow their children’s progress at home or during class. Parents are encouraged to sit in on the classes as often as they can.

Residents can register at Karate for Kids or by calling Maria Pinot at 375-5617. For more information, call 458-7009, email carole@nevadachild
seekers.org or visit radkids.org.

HENDERSON POLICE CITIZENS’ ACADEMY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

The Henderson Police Department is accepting applications for its upcoming Citizens’ Academy.

The 13-week academy is set to meet from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 10 through April 10, to give residents insight into the life and training of a Henderson police officer.

The goal of the academy is to build a bridge between residents and the police department. During the program, participants experience a condensed version of the actual police academy. 

Some of the topics covered are radio and communications training, community policing, use of force, gang enforcement, crime scene investigation, detention center procedures, criminal justice overview, domestic violence and criminalistics.

Applicants must live or work in Henderson, be at least 18 years old and have no felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor convictions. The department holds two academies a year, and space is limited.

Applications can be picked up at the main station at 223 Lead St., the Green Valley Substation at 300 S. Green Valley Parkway, the North Community Police Station at 225 E. Sunset Road or the community relations unit at the Galleria at Sunset mall, 1300 W. Sunset Road. Applications also can be obtained via the police department’s website at cityofhenderson.com/police.

For more information, contact the Henderson police training unit at 267-4850.

MCCALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WINS
ANTI-BULLYING AWARD

McCall Elementary School recently was named the No Place for Hate School of the Year by the Anti-Defamation League’s Las Vegas office.

McCall, 800 Carey Ave., North Las Vegas, and 31 other schools partnered with the Anti-Defamation League this school year to promote anti-bullying. The program has reached more than 160 schools in the past seven years in Clark County School District.

McCall reported a 33 percent decrease in discipline referrals compared to last year, and parent-teacher conference attendance was at 100 percent.

The No Place for Hate program is aimed at encouraging discussions about respect in every classroom, kindness awards and a resolution of respect signed by each student.

For more information, visit noplaceforhate.com.

SKI & SNOWBOARD RESORT OFFERS
FREE WINTER SPORTS HELMETS

The Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort is partnering with the Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center to provide free ski helmets to local kids in conjunction with Lids on Kids, a national ski and snowboard safety education program.

The Lids on Kids program is set to kick off from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Jan. 7 and continue at the same time every Saturday through Jan. 28 at the resort, 6725 Lee Canyon Road on Mount Charleston.

Last year, the resort gave away about 300 helmets to local youths. The program, in its fourth year, has provided about 800 local youths with ski and snowboard helmets. This year, the resort anticipates it will donate another 300 to 350 helmets to valley children.

Specially trained Lids on Kids program volunteers will fit toddlers through pre-teens for a helmet. Then, kids and parents will participate in a short education program to learn and understand the skier/snowboarder code of safety and responsibility. Organizers stressed the importance of helmets fitting properly to provide adequate protection.

A report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission published in 1999 concluded that wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding could prevent or reduce the severity of 53 percent of head injuries in children younger than 15. The proportion of skiing and snowboarding head injuries is higher in children than in any other age group, so it becomes particularly important for kids to wear helmets, officials said.

The Lids on Kids campaign coincides with the National Ski Area Association’s Safety Week, which takes place Jan. 14-24, 2012, and aims to promote resort safety education and increase slope safety.

For more information, visit lidsonkids.org, skilasvegas.com or call the resort at 645-2754.

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