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Crime and safety news from around the valley, June 16-22, 2016

Speed enforcement: As of June 14, the Henderson Police Department and officers throughout the Las Vegas Valley will be conducting special traffic enforcement targeting speeders over the following two weeks. The officers will be able to target several different streets at a time using saturation patrols throughout Henderson to stop speeding vehicles. Officers will target areas that are known for high speeds and the areas that have received the most complaints.

Trauma program recognized: On June 1, the Las Vegas City Council recognized the work of the Trauma Intervention Program of Southern Nevada, which works with local emergency response agencies that request volunteers to provide emotional support to those who have suffered a tragedy. Visit tipoflasvegas.org.

Cable installation: The Summerlin Parkway Cable Barrier Safety Rail Project was scheduled to begin June 5. The city of Las Vegas project addresses the Summerlin Parkway median from Buffalo Drive to the 215 Beltway. Work hours are 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through approximately Sept. 7. Additional related improvements will include construction of guard rail, removal and replacement of broken stone and gravel mulch, grading and drainage embankment work, and associated landscape and irrigation system modifications. Phase 1 work affects Buffalo Drive to Rampart Boulevard. In early July, work on Phase 2 is expected to begin in the median from Rampart Boulevard to Town Center Drive. The left lane in both directions will remain closed in the work areas from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday to Friday in July and August. During daytime hours 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., only the left shoulders will be closed, and all travel lanes will be open to traffic in both directions. The left lanes in both directions also will be closed 9 p.m. to 10 a.m. from Town Center Drive to the Clark County 215 for approximately two weeks while riprap is removed and fill material is delivered. Phase 3 work in the median from Town Center Drive to the 215 Beltway is planned for August through November. Work in this area will require closures of the left lane in both directions from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Skin Safety Coloring Contest: Youths attending Wet’n’Wild can participate in a Skin Safety Coloring Contest through June and July. Children 12 or younger can download a coloring sheet from wetnwildlasvegas.com and bring it to the water park’s gift shop. Winners of the coloring contest will be selected biweekly on Mondays with the winning coloring sheet posted on the Wet’n’Wild Facebook page. Winners will receive a family four pack of day tickets to the park during the 2016 season.

Tickets for officers: Through June 30, the Metropolitan Police Department employees who present an employee ID at the Golden Nugget box office are eligible to receive a buy-one, get-one ticket offer for any Gordie Brown performance through June. Visit goldennugget.com or call 866-946-5336.

Citizens Police Academy: The Henderson Police Department is accepting applications for the 14-week academy, which is set to meet from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays from Aug. 9 through Nov. 8. During the program, residents experience a condensed version of the actual police academy. Some of the topics are: radio and communication 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 the city of Henderson, be at least 18 years old and have no felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor convictions. The deadline for applications is July 1. Call Henderson Police Training Officer David Woolman at 702-267-4865. Applications and background check forms can be picked up at the East Police Station, 223 Lead St., or by visiting cityofhenderson.com.

ONGOING

Green pools: County commissioners are asking the public to help rid the valley of green pools by reporting backyard blight to local code enforcement agencies. Green pools are pools that have been neglected for so long that their water has turned green from algae and bacteria and can help breed mosquitos that carry disease. To report, call 702-455-4191 or file a complaint through the county website at ClarkCountyNV.gov.

Community court grant: The Las Vegas Township Justice Court was selected as one of 10 sites nationwide to win the 2016 Community Court Grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation. As a selected site, the Las Vegas Township Community Court will receive $200,000, as well as technical assistance from the Center for Court Innovation to implement a community court. Community courts respond to quality-of-life crimes — low-level, nonviolent, petty crimes that collectively undermine public safety and people’s sense of well-being in the community. The Las Vegas Community Court will focus on goals of reducing recidivism rates, protecting public safety and property, and improving the quality of life within the community. As part of their sentence, offenders are ordered by the court to pay back the communities they’ve harmed through visible community service projects such as painting over graffiti, beautifying neighborhood parks, and cleaning up litter and debris from public streets. Community courts also link offenders to services designed to help them address the underlying issues fueling their criminal behavior such as drug and alcohol treatment, mental health services, job training, and public benefits. Call Sherri Parris at 702-671-3421 or visit courtinnovation.org/topic/community-court.

Community education classes: Nevada Legal Services is offering free community education classes on legal topics from 1 to 3 p.m. every first Wednesday at the VA Center, 916 W. Owens Ave. Upcoming topics are Bankruptcy, July 6; and Veterans, Aug. 3.

RTC and Waze partnership: The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada is partnering with Waze’s Connected Citizens Program to enable the app’s users to access real-time, government-reported data on road construction, traffic accidents and road closures. Visit SouthernNevadaStrong.org.

Southern Nevada emergency smartphone app: Clark County and the cities of Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas have partnered to create a smartphone app to help the Southern Nevada community prepare for and respond to emergencies. Available for free download to iPhone and Android phones, the Southern Nevada Community Preparedness app offers personalized emergency preparedness plans; access to news, real-time weather alerts, evacuation routes and emergency shelter information; the ability to receive emergency alerts; suggestions on what to do before, during and after an emergency; the ability to share safety a status; and the option to connect to social media sites. Visit equickseries.com/eoc32003/core/v1/getApp.

Wetlands Park safety: Clark County, the Metropolitan Police Department and many other agencies and community groups announced an interagency effort today to crack down on crime at Clark County Wetlands Park. Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, whose District E in the central Las Vegas Valley includes the park, has worked closely with Metro and other community partners to fight vandalism, graffiti, illegal shooting, underage drinking and other issues in the park. At 2,900 acres, it is the valley’s largest and most undeveloped park. The Las Vegas Wash flows through the area, creating a vast haven for wildlife and desert foliage and posing a challenge for law enforcement. Much of the problem activity occurs after dark on weekend nights or on spring and summer nights when school is out of session. Local officials are hoping to reach area teens, young adults and their parents about issues in the park and efforts to make it safe. Efforts include more policing with K9 and air patrol units, and a greater presence of Clark County Park Police and other agencies. Concerned residents are encouraged to call 311 to report suspicious activity.

Firearm safety classes: The free classes are planned at 6 p.m. the last Tuesday of the month at Bass Pro Shops, 8200 Dean Martin Drive. People of all skill levels can attend. Kevin McNair, NRA Certified Firearms instructor, Range Safety Officer, Multi-State CCW instructor, Nevada Department of Wildlife Hunter Education Instructor, Facilitator of NSSF’s Project Childsafe and First Shots Programs, owner of Tactical West of Las Vegas and member of the Bass Pro Shops Hunting Pro Staff, is set to be on hand. Visit tacticalwest.com, email tacticalwest@yahoo.com or call 702-866-0078.

Community safety forum: The Mob Museum, 300 Stewart Ave., plans to continue its 2016 Community Safety Forums from 2 to 3 p.m. the third Sunday of the month. They are sponsored by NV Energy and are free and open to the public. Attendance at a forum presentation includes free general admission to the museum following the presentation as well as live streaming of the event. Visit themobmuseum.org.

Rape Crisis Center seeks volunteers: The Rape Crisis Center is increasing the number of volunteer training sessions in 2016 to better meet the needs of sexual assault victims and their families. This year, the center will offer three 50-hour five-week training sessions in late winter, summer and fall. Those who are interested in participating must complete an application and set up an interview prior to the beginning of training. Interviews are being scheduled. Volunteer training is a total of 50 hours and includes learning about the services of the center, community resources for sexual assault victims, how to respond to individuals in crisis, how the investigation and criminal justice process works for sexual assault cases, and numerous other topics. New volunteers must be at least 21 and be able to successfully pass a background check, drug screening and commit to a minimum of six months of volunteer service of at least six hours per week. Volunteers of varying age, gender identity, racial and ethnic background, sexual orientation, and language abilities are encouraged to apply. Call 702-385-2153.

Yellow Dot program: The 2015 Nevada Legislature passed AB 176, bringing the Yellow Dot program to Nevada. AAA Nevada recently announced it is the primary sponsor of the program. The voluntary program has participants provide important medical information about themselves and their passengers in the glovebox of their vehicles. First responders are alerted that this information is in the vehicle by a yellow dot decal placed in the lower left corner of the rear window. Residents can pick up a free Yellow Dot kit at one of more than 40 participating locations across the valley. For a list, visit rtcsnv.com/yellowdot, or to request the kit, call 702-676-1754 or email YD@rtcsnv.com.

Report illegal discharge activity: The Nevada Department of Transportation urges residents to protect water quality through prevention by reporting illicit drainage and discharge onto state roads and transportation facilities. Illicit discharge is anything entering a roadway drainage system that is not natural stormwater. Pesticides, construction dirt or materials, as well as materials from neighboring properties and roadway runoff containing fertilizers, vehicle oil and chemicals are examples. New legislation grants NDOT rights to issue permits for certain water discharges onto state roadways, as well as assess fines if needed. Illicit discharge onto state transportation facilities can be reported by calling 775-888-7013 with the location and type of drainage or discharge. For more information, visit nevadadot.com/stormwater. In addition, a pollutant spill affecting a Nevada waterway must be reported to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection’s spill reporting hotline at 888-331-6337.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATES

Seeing Orange: As Southern Nevada rebounds from the economic recession, it is experiencing growth in population and development. In response, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada launched Seeing Orange, a campaign to provide the public with information about construction projects. Members of the community can call 702-928-2663 or visit seeingorangenv.com to submit questions and get project information.

Main Street work: The city of Las Vegas started work on the storm drain, street, sidewalk, traffic signal, street lighting and landscaping improvements along Main Street and Commerce Street between Las Vegas Boulevard and Bonneville Avenue May 9. The $36 million project is expected to take approximately 28 months to complete, through the fall of 2018. Motorists can expect traffic delays in the area while the work is being done. The project will primarily restrict traffic along Main Street between Bonneville and Gass avenues from May 2016 to August 2016, along Commerce Street between Garces Avenue and Oakey Boulevard from May 2016 to May 2017 and then along Main Street between Gass and Las Vegas Boulevard from May 2017 to fall 2018. Main Street and Commerce Street will primarily remain open at all times during construction, as will access to all adjacent properties. Visit rtcsnv.com/fri.

Elementary schools upgrades: The city of Las Vegas is set to begin work on a pedestrian safety project that includes construction of curb extensions, which extend the sidewalks into the street, and/or median islands at 12 elementary school locations. For a list, visit LasVegasNevada.gov and click latest news.

Interstate 15 bridge work: The Nevada Department of Transportation is making $20 million in structural seismic retrofits to several Interstate 15 bridge structures in North Las Vegas, including the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, Owens Avenue, Carey Avenue and Craig Road. Work requires a 24-hour one-lane closure north and southbound along I-15 between Owens Avenue and Craig Road through June 30. Motorists should use caution while traveling through the work zone, heed construction signage and take alternate routes if possible. Visit nvroads.com.

Interstate lighting work: The Nevada Department of Transportation will be making nightly high mast lighting improvements along the center median of Interstate 15 between Russell Road and Sahara Avenue from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily through June 5. There will be one northbound lane closure each night along the 4-mile stretch. Motorists should use caution while traveling through the work zone, heed construction signage and take alternate routes if possible. Visit nvroads.com.

U.S. 95 construction/closures: The Nevada Department of Transportation is making bridge and deck repairs along a one-third-mile stretch of northbound U.S. Highway 95, also known as Interstate 515, between the Spaghetti Bowl interchange and Eastern Avenue in downtown Las Vegas through June 29. Repairs call for a polymer concrete patch and overlay to nearly 50-year-old supporting freeway bridge structures, resulting in a 24/7 northbound U.S. 95 reduction downtown to two lanes between Eastern Avenue and the Spaghetti Bowl interchange through June 29. (The highway is scheduled to reopen for Memorial Day weekend). Visit nvroads.com.

Repaving to cause lane closures: Road repaving projects along sections of Russell and Pecos roads will cause periodic lane closures during the next few months. Russell between Mountain Vista Street and Galleria Drive will frequently be reduced to one lane in each direction. The initial lane closures are expected to last about a week, with additional lane closures occurring periodically during the next four weeks. The specific lane closures will change during the project, although the intention is to maintain as many lanes as possible in each direction. This section of Russell typically has two lanes in each direction. Pecos between Sunset and Flamingo roads will frequently be reduced to two lanes or a single lane in each direction. The specific lane closures will change frequently during this work on Pecos, which is expected to last about three months. Pecos typically has three lanes in direction. Drivers should expect additional traffic congestion and significant delays in these areas and are encouraged to find alternate routes to avoid these areas during the construction.

Beltway lane closures: The westbound 215 Beltway between the Warm Springs bridge and the Airport Connector is reduced to three travel lanes until mid-July. The breakdown lane along the center median of eastbound 215 in the area will also be blocked until mid-July. These changes are needed to facilitate construction of a new bridge that will be part of the Phase 2 Airport Connector Project, which includes widening the off-ramp from eastbound 215 to Warm Springs Road and construction of a new bridge for that off-ramp, and the widening of a bridge carrying westbound 215 traffic over the Airport Connector. The entire project is expected to be finished in fall 2017. Visit ClarkCountyNV.gov/PubWorks, call 702-455-6000 or email at InTheWorks@ClarkCountyNV.gov.

State Route 160 interchange upgrade: The Nevada Department of Transportation is conducting a $2.37 million project involving traffic signal, pedestrian crossing, paving and sidewalk upgrades along state Route 160 (Blue Diamond Road) at El Capitan Way and Fort Apache Road. Daily traffic along the impacted stretch of roadway averages up to 42,000 vehicles. Construction was set to begin in June, with anticipated completion in early October. Motorists should use caution while travelling through the work zone, heed construction signage and take alternate routes, if possible. Visit nvroads.com.

State Route 160 changes: The Nevada Department of Transportation awarded a $16.5 million contract to Aggregate Industries SWR Inc. for a 5-mile widening of state Route 160 (Blue Diamond Road) in southwest Clark County. The project will widen the highway from two lanes to four travel lanes between Mile Marker 10.89 (just past state Route 159 or the Red Rock Canyon Road junction) and Mile Marker 16.63. The improvements will flatten side slope shoulders for safer vehicle turnouts while installing new drainage pipe and tortoise fencing. Other work consists of placing barrier and guardrails as well as hydro-seeding 38 acres. Construction will entail moving enough dirt to fill 1,800 average sized swimming pools, and enough placing asphalt to pave 8,000 driveways. The project is scheduled for completion in early 2017. Although the speed limit will be lowered to 55 mph during construction, one lane will remain open at all times. Visit nvroads.com.

Tropicana Avenue project: Drivers are advised to use caution on Tropicana Avenue from Lindell Road to Decatur Boulevard as periodic lane closures take place through June due to a project to add a new traffic signal and repave the road. The signal will be added at Tropicana and Lindell, and the paving will include parts of the intersections at Tropicana and Lindell and Tropicana and Decatur Boulevard.

Pedestrian bridges upgrades: The Nevada Department of Transportation is performing a $30 million upgrade to the 22-year-old pedestrian bridges at Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. Construction will begin with utility work at the intersection. Work on the south bridge will begin in June and proceed counterclockwise. Lane closures will take place from 2 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Two lanes of traffic will remain open in each direction at all times; traffic cones will be removed when work isn’t occurring. Construction is being phased and scheduled around large events, shows and conventions in cooperation with MGM Resorts International, Penn National Gaming and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which is providing a portion of the project funding. The project will replace 16 escalators (four at each corner) with new state-of-the-art equipment, while installing new low-energy glass and air-conditioning units to the elevators. Aesthetic improvements call for placing new tempered glass wind screens and polished aluminum composite material panel cladding as well as new lighted hand railings. Bridge enhancements are scheduled for completion by mid-2018.

Airport Connector Project construction: Ongoing construction of the Airport Connector Project will reduce the number of travel lanes on a half-mile section of the eastbound 215 Beltway between Exit 10 (Sunset Road, McCarran Airport) and Exit 9 (Warm Springs Road) for the next year-plus. This section of the beltway typically has four traffic lanes but will be reduced to three lanes until spring 2017. The lane reduction is necessary while crews install new storm-drain facilities, build a new retaining wall, and reconstruct a ramp linking to the Warm Springs Road exit. This construction will not impact traffic on the westbound beltway at this time. Previously enacted lane restrictions and closures will remain in place, including the closure of the ramp that brings traffic from Sunset Road to the southbound Airport Connector, and lane reductions on southbound Airport Connector as vehicles exit the tunnel. Also, access to the northbound Airport Connector from George Crockett Road remains closed. These closures are all part of the Phase 2 Airport Connector Project, which includes construction of a new flyover ramp and bridge connecting southbound Airport Connector to the eastbound beltway, widening the off-ramp from the eastbound beltway to Warm Springs Road and construction of a new bridge for that off-ramp, and the widening of a bridge carrying westbound beltway traffic over the Airport Connector. The entire project is expected to be finished in fall 2017. Additional lane closures and lane shifts are expected during the project, and notice of those traffic impacts will be provided on electronic message boards in the area and through Clark County social media sites. The Public Works Department has set up a page at ClarkCountyNV.gov/PubWorks to provide details on the scope of the project. The public can also contact the department at 702-455-6000 or via email at InTheWorks@ClarkCountyNV.gov. 

Flood control project: A flood control and road widening project that started Feb. 15 will cause lane shifts and lane closures on Rainbow Boulevard between Sunset and Russell roads for about 15 months. That section of Rainbow will be reduced to one lane in each direction from 9 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday and for those same hours overnight Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Moving forward, this same lane reduction will be in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday nights through Friday mornings daily. Also, lane shifts will be in place from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, with two travel lanes open to traffic in each direction during those hours. The project is expected to be complete in April 2017. The project includes the installation of a new flood control tunnel under approximately 1.3 miles of Rainbow between Sunset and Russell roads. There will also be some work on storm drain infrastructure facilities and underground utilities near adjacent to Rainbow on Sunset, Russell, Post Road, Sobb Avenue, Patrick Lane and Oquendo Road. When complete, the flood control improvements will remove the flood zone designation from the rural neighborhoods that are east of Rainbow, south of Hacienda, north of Sunset and west of Jones Boulevard. Also, as part of this project, Rainbow will be widened to provide three continuous lanes of travel in each direction from Sunset to Russell. The widening, which entails filling gaps in the pavement and paving the road shoulder, will be done first to accommodate the lane shifts for the flood control work. Visit rtcsnv.com/fri.

Boulder Highway improvements: The Nevada Department of Transportation is planning to make several pedestrian safety improvements to Boulder Highway (state Route 582) in 2016 and 2017, including an overhead rapid flashing beacon and Danish-offset median island at Boulder Highway and Sun Valley Drive, near the Eastside Cannery. NDOT will also be lowering the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph along a 2-mile stretch of Boulder Highway from Galleria Drive north.

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