Area briefing

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:

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

POLICE TO BEGIN TICKETING DRIVERS USING HANDHELD CELLPHONES WHILE DRIVING

Twelve 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.

Dec. 31 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.

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.

FIFTH-GRADERS’ ANTI-GRAFFITI ARTWORK TO BE DISPLAYED ON TRANSIT BUS

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada honored two local fifth-graders as the grand prize winners of the commission’s annual Anti-Graffiti Art Contest.

The students, honored Dec. 1 during a special D.A.R.E. event hosted by the commission, were Carlos Gonzalez of Thomas Elementary School, 1560 E. Cherokee Lane, and Ashtyn Fink of The Meadows School, 8601 Scholar Lane.

The students’ winning artwork was unveiled on a 40-foot Regional Transportation Commission vehicle before an audience of friends and family.

The winning artwork will travel the valley’s streets on the Regional Transportation Commission bus for one year to promote the anti-graffiti message. The artwork of the other finalists will be displayed on transit shelters and inside various commission transit vehicles, courtesy of Vector Media Las Vegas.

All of the contest artwork was created by local fifth-graders. More than 20 local elementary schools participated in this year’s contest, submitting more than 475 entries, which were narrowed to 10. The winners were selected by an online community poll.

The contest seeks to teach students that the difference between art and graffiti is permission. The theme for the students’ artwork was, "You spray, you pay." The goal is to pledge against graffiti and educate the public that graffiti is a crime.

The commission again partnered with the Southern Nevada Graffiti Coalition, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Crime Stoppers of Nevada, Outdoor Promotions and Vector Media Las Vegas to sponsor the art contest and the awards event.

The Southern Nevada Graffiti Coalition was formed in 1997 to reduce graffiti vandalism. The public-private partnership consists of staff members from Clark County, the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, the Clark County School District and interested residents. The coalition meets regularly to discuss methods of reducing graffiti through education, enforcement and eradication.

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

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.org.

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. Dec. 27 through 30 for 4- to 8-year-olds and 1 to 3 p.m. the same day 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.

HOLIDAY LIGHTING TIPS AIM TO HELP RESIDENTS SAVE MONEY, ENHANCE SAFETY

Valley consumers can take certain steps to improve safety and frugality when decorating this holiday season, according to NV Energy.

The company offers the following holiday lighting conservation and safety tips:

Switch to safe, long-lasting, energy-efficient LED (light emitting diode) holiday lights whenever possible.

Use a timer to reliably turn off lights during daylight and other specified times.

Don’t overload your electric circuits. Check fuses or circuit breaker panels to see what your home can handle, and stay well within the limits.

Adhere to manufacturer’s designations and locations of use (indoor vs. outdoor).

Outdoor lighting should have insulated electrical cords and be plugged into a ground fault interrupter-protected receptacle only.

Don’t run extension cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways.

Keep all plugs and connectors off the ground, away from puddles and sprinklers.

Avoid stringing more than three sets of lights together and plugging into a single outlet.

Make sure there’s a bulb in each socket of a light string, even if it is burned out.

Keep your natural tree well-watered to prevent bulbs from igniting dry branches. Never use electrical decorations on metal trees.

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