Area briefing


September is National Preparedness Month, and the American Red Cross’ Southern Nevada Chapter is calling on everyone to take steps to be prepared for a disaster.

Have a ready-to-go emergency kit.

Make a plan of what you will do in case of an emergency whether at home, work or school. Know how you will get in touch with family members and have reunification locations near both your house and outside your neighborhood in case of an evacuation. Be Red Cross Ready is an online presentation on how to prepare for emergencies.

For more information, visit Free presentations for large groups can be scheduled by contacting Caren Bedsworth at 806-1320.


An AARP driver safety class is scheduled from 11:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the h2u MountainView Office, 3150 N. Tenaya Way, Suite 114. Another class is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 5 at H2U at Sunrise Hospital, 3061 S. Maryland Parkway, Suite 102.

The cost is $12 for AARP members and $14 for nonmembers. Attendees can receive a discount on automobile insurance. Class size is limited.

For more information, call 233-5474.


Motorists who notice incidents along state roads can dial 647 to notify the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Incidents can include drunken drivers, traffic crashes, stranded motorists or suspicious activity. An average of 300 deaths occur annually on Nevada roads, department officials said. For additional driving tips, visit or call 385-6500.


A free Safe Kids Buckle Up Car Seat Checkup event is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, 3186 S. Maryland Parkway.

Child passenger safety experts will teach families how to correctly transport their children.

Another checkup is set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Desert Perinatal Spa, 5761 S. Fort Apache Road.

For more information, call 731-8666 or visit


A traffic signal recently went into full operation at the intersection of Clark Avenue and Third Street.

The signal was operating under red-flash mode for the past few months while the contractor for the Bonneville/Clark Improvement Project completed various phases of construction near the intersection, the city of Las Vegas said.

The signal was funded by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

For more information, visit


Ongoing work on the new Las Vegas City Hall on Main Street and Lewis Avenue has closed the right-hand lane of Main Street starting at Bonneville Avenue, city officials said.

The closure is scheduled to last through Friday so trenching work can be completed for utilities.

One northbound lane on Main Street will remain open, but motorists should expect delays, the city said.

Alternate routes for northbound travel include Casino Center Boulevard and Martin L. King Boulevard.

For more information, visit


Clark County motorists can check for road closures and incidents online when planning their commutes by visiting the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s road hazards page at

The Web page lists the location of the incident or closure and the time and date of the status update.


Nevada Child Seekers plans to educate kids on how to resist aggression defensively during radKids classes set from early September through mid-December at the Silver Springs Recreation Center, 1951 Silver Springs Parkway, Henderson.

The radKids program aims to provide children with basic safety skills dealing with issues such as fire, their home and the Internet and avoid potential bullying and abduction.

The organization, which tries to prevent children from being exploited or going missing, is offering the free program in 90-minute sessions planned every Saturday.

The schedule through Oct. 22 is:

9 to 10:30 a.m. for 4- to 8-year-olds, code 194055-12.

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for 9- to 12-year-olds, code 194055-14.

The schedule for Oct. 29 through Dec. 17 is:

9 to 10:30 a.m. for 4- to 8-year-olds, code 194055-13.

n 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for 9- to 12-year-olds, code 194055-15.

A $61 fee is payable to the Silver Springs Recreation Center. The city of Henderson has scholarships available for families that qualify. Nevada Child Seekers also will offer scholarships.

For the Henderson scholarship, pick up the paperwork at any recreation center in Henderson or at Henderson City Hall, 240 S. Water St. For the Nevada Child Seekers scholarship, call 458-7009.

Residents can register at the recreation center or at

Parents will need to attend the first class so consent forms can be signed.

For more information, call 458-7009, email or visit


Crews have switched from an overnight schedule to daytime hours as they resurface portions of Ann Road, the city of Las Vegas announced Sept. 7.

Lane restrictions are in effect between Durango Drive and Centennial Center Boulevard during the project, expected to be completed by the end of the month. Ann Road traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction.

City of Las Vegas Department of Operations and Maintenance personnel are managing the project, and Las Vegas Paving is the contractor. Funding is being provided by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and the city of Las Vegas.


Join the Friends of the UNLV Mounted for a 5K run or 1.5-mile walking tour fundraiser for the UNLV Mounted Patrol Unit, planned for 8 a.m. Oct. 23 on the UNLV campus, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway.

Festivities are set to kick off from the north field inner campus.

The fundraiser is slated to include a health and wellness expo and safety information.

It is a pet- and family-friendly event. A Rebel Pride costume contest is planned for all participants, including pooches.

The fee is $35 for the 5-K run and $30 for the walking tour. Family rates are available.

All UNLV students, staff and faculty all eligible for a discount. "Like" the Friends of the UNLV Mounted on Facebook and receive an additional discount by finding the code in the information section.

The registration deadline is Oct. 21 for the 5-K and 1.5 mile walk.

The run is set to start at 8 a.m., and the walk and is planned for 9 a.m.

For more information, email


Twenty-three-year Secret Service veteran Douglas Coombs was recently selected as court security administrator for the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave.

Coombs’ experience includes a post as a special agent in charge and six years in private protection.

As the special agent in charge of the Las Vegas field office, he supervised presidential, vice presidential and head-of-state visits to Nevada. Coombs is a Boston State College graduate and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado.

Coombs began his new post Sept. 6 and reports to the court security director, who is responsible for managing the security for the Clark County courts, including the Regional Justice Center, Family Court, Clark Place, the Phoenix building and the Flamingo campus.

Given recent incidents of violence locally and around the nation, courts and other public facilities continue to step up security, county officials said. The Regional Justice Center averages about 5,000 visitors a day who must pass through security screening.

The Regional Justice Center houses facilities for the Nevada Supreme Court, the Eighth Judicial District Court, the Las Vegas Township Justice Court and the Las Vegas Municipal Court.

For more information, visit


The International Association of Fire Chiefs recently installed North Las Vegas Fire Chief Al Gillespie as president and chairman of the board for 2011-12.

The installation took place Aug. 27 during the association’s Fire-Rescue International Conference in Atlanta.

Gillespie previously served as the 2nd and 1st vice president after being selected in an international election by his peers.

As board chairman, Gillespie will provide leadership to an 18-member board of directors. He will serve as the primary spokesperson for the association on matters of national and international interest. He will testify on behalf of the association at U.S. House and Senate hearings and serve as the representative dignitary for the association in all major political and international functions.

Gillespie has served as the treasurer and vice chairman for the Safety, Health and Survival section of the association and participated in the association’s membership task force. He has served as a board member of the National Society of Executive Fire Officers and as secretary/treasurer of that organization.

Gillespie has a strong labor/management background and has been a leader in developing team-working relationships between labor groups, including the International Association of Firefighters and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He has served as chairman of the Washington State Fire Chief’s Labor Relations Committee.

Gillespie is in his 35th year in the fire service and has served the city of North Las Vegas for more than six years.


Little League International Baseball & Softball’s 2011 Challenger Award was recently presented to retired Metropolitan Police Department corrections officer Tom Taycher.

The award is given to an individual who exemplifies the Little League ideal of providing all children the opportunity to play baseball, regardless of their ability. The ceremony was conducted on the field during the 2011 Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa. The event took place Aug. 18-28.

Taycher is the director of the Challenger Little League of Southern Nevada, which allows developmentally and physically challenged children the opportunity to play baseball.

As the parent of a son with multiple disabilities, Taycher was instrumental in creating a baseball field at Justice Myron E. Leavitt Family Park on East St. Louis and Eastern avenues. The park, formerly known as Jaycee Park, has received the approval of the American Disability Association.

Taycher served as a corrections officer at the Clark County Detention Center for 27 years and retired in 2008. He is only the 14th person to receive Little League’s Challenger Award.

For more information, visit or


The Nevada State Contractors Board highlighted its achievements for 2010-11 and set goals for 2011-12.

Goals outlined for the 2011-12 fiscal year, include:

n Ensure that all applicants and licensees are qualified to provide construction services and provide licensing services in a timely and professional manner.

n Reduce, eliminate or prevent unlicensed activity and unprofessional conduct that poses a threat to public safety and legitimate business activity.

n Enhance the visibility of the board and ensure that accurate information is available to the public and professionals through a variety of media.

n Partner with other public and private organizations to better serve customers and leverage resources.

n Organize board training and activities to focus on governance and policy issues while ensuring the execution of the strategic plan.

n Improve agency operations and technology to achieve regulatory efficiency, customer service and consumer protection.

Highlights of accomplishments from the board’s annual 2010-11 Strategic Plan Annual Report include:

n Implementation of an online license renewal program, which automates and streamlines the process for contractors to renew their license and update their contact information.

n Development of an extensive customer service survey program to better track the satisfaction and feedback from board customers.

n Enhancement of many areas of technology to improve office efficiency and advance the security of information obtained by the board.

n Increased partnering activities with stakeholders through a series of roundtable discussions to address and strategize on relevant issues facing the construction industry.

For more information, visit


As children around the valley return to school, many will be spending time home alone after classes until their parents return home from work.

The American Red Cross of Southern Nevada offered steps that parents and children can take to make after-school hours safer and less stressful.

Steps for adults

Have kids call to check in when they get home.

For an older child, set ground rules regarding visitors, cooking and leaving the household.

Post a list of emergency phone numbers in a visible location.

Identify neighbors whose homes your child can go to in case of an emergency.

Practice an emergency plan with children in case of fire, injury or other emergencies.

Make sure there is an accessible emergency first-aid kit.

Remove or safely store in locked areas dangerous/poisonous items.

Make sure medicine is kept in a locked storage place or out of the reach of children.

Activate parental controls on computers and televisions.

Steps for Children

Lock the door and make sure all the windows are closed and locked.

Know how to use the alarm system.

Never open the door for strangers — even delivery or service personnel.

Never tell someone you are or will be home alone.

Never leave the house without permission.

If you smell smoke or hear a fire or smoke alarm, go outside and ask a neighbor to call the fire department.

Many tweens and teens are responsible for watching younger siblings. The Red Cross Babysitter’s Training course provides 11- to 15-year-olds with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and responsibly provide care for children and infants.

For more information, call the American Red Cross of Southern Nevada at 791-3311 or visit

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