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Newsmakers, March 12-18, 2015

Lauren Ruuska of Las Vegas made the fall 2014 dean’s list at the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources. She is the daughter of Ron Ruuska and is a graduate of Centennial High School.

Dustin Leavitt, Zachary Jensen, Joshua Jensen, Forrest Jones and Steven Rasmussen received their Eagle Scout badges Feb. 15. Rasmussen completed work on the playground and courtyard areas at Thompson Elementary School. Jones built four planter boxes for Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs’ new community garden. Zachary Jensen built the two bat habitats at the Gilcrease Orchards. Joshua Jensen improved a pond site at the Springs Preserve.

The National Society of High School Scholars announced Feb. 10 that P.A. Owens Christian Academy student Jeriel Johnson, 17, has been selected to become a member. He is the son of Alonzo and Sonya Johnson of Las Vegas.

The Rutgers University Club of Las Vegas planned to honor veteran Southern Nevada journalists-turned-authors Jerry Izenberg, Carrie Ann Lahain and View columnist Herb Jaffe March 8 at a luncheon at Maggiano’s Little Italy in the Fashion Show mall. The club, founded by Las Vegas business executive Bruce Kesselman in 2006, is made up of alumni of the state university of New Jersey. The three will be recognized as distinguished alumni of Rutgers. Izenberg, a 1952 graduate of Rutgers-Newark, is a nationally recognized sports columnist. Lahain is a 1993 alumnus of the Rutgers Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in New Brunswick, N.J. Jaffe, a 1954 graduate of Rutgers-Newark, spent 39 years with the Star-Ledger. He wrote about sports for 12 years before becoming an investigative journalist, op-ed columnist and legal affairs editor. He retired to Las Vegas in 1995 and has served as a columnist for the Summerlin Area View for eight years. He has had four novels published, the most recent being “Double Play” in 2013.

Clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist Dr. Danielle T. Bello joined Cure 4 The Kids Foundation Feb. 1. Bello is the foundation’s first full-time, in-house licensed psychologist and neuropsychologist providing services to patients of The Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada and The Hemophilia Treatment Center of Nevada.

Christian Szczepanski of Henderson made the fall 2014 dean’s list at Tulane University in New Orleans. He is the son of Matthew and Heather Szczepanski and a 2014 graduate of Valley High School.

Aaron Lockhart, a student at West Career and Technical Academy, was selected for the 2015 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, presented by WorldStrides. He performed on the viola at Carnegie Hall in February with the Honors Orchestra.

Students at Bryan Elementary School, 8050 Cielo Vista Ave., participated in the Jump Rope For Heart event Jan. 30 to raise funds for the American Heart Association and spread awareness about heart disease. Bryan physical education teacher Pius Lynch has been participating in the event every year since the program started 36 years ago and participated in a pilot program before that. For this achievement, Pius received special recognition from the association during a schoolwide assembly.

Joseph Aquino, John Costello and Fernando Rocha, all of Las Vegas, made the fall 2014 dean’s list at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Valley residents who made the fall 2014 dean’s list at The Citadel South Carolina Corps of Cadets in Charleston, S.C., include: Edward Frasier, Angelica McNerny and Marvin Leo Pagayonan, all of Las Vegas; Nickolas Maddalena of North Las Vegas; and Cory Yslas of Henderson.

Army Pvt. Hector Medina graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. Medina is the son of Erica Aldrete of Las Vegas and is a 2011 graduate of Northwest Career and Technical Academy.

Jeremy Grothues of North Las Vegas made the fall 2014 dean’s list at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

Army Pvt. Tessa L. Russell-Morgan graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. Russell-Morgan is a 2011 graduate of Silverado High School.

Tyler Auricchio of Henderson made the fall 2014 dean’s list at Becker College in Worcester, Mass.

Army Pvt. Jaeyelle Gray graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. Gray is the ward of Yolanda Standifer of Las Vegas and is a 2014 graduate of East Career and Technical Academy.

Air Force Airman 1st Class Calen J. Kollars graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio. Kollars is the son of Phil and Gina Kollars of Arlington, Neb., and brother of Luke Kollars of Las Vegas.

Nicole Simpson of Las Vegas made the fall 2014 honor roll at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.

Army Pvt. Amber N. King graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. King is the daughter of Edward and Narvell King of Las Vegas.

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