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Area briefing


Officers will seek to enhance residents’ understanding of gangs and graffiti, including the signs and signals they use, during the Metropolitan Police Department’s 1st Tuesday program, set for 7 to 8 p.m. March 5 at the department’s valleywide area commands.

The 1st Tuesday program is a free open house-style event that takes place monthly on the first Tuesday. After speakers discuss assigned topics, residents can learn more about their neighborhoods and meet their local police officers.

For a list of area commands or other additional information, visit lvmpd.com or call 702-828-3111.

DECATUR BOULEVARD target of project for improved PEDESTRIAN Safety

Pedestrian improvements are scheduled on Decatur Boulevard between Vegas Drive and Lake Mead Boulevard.

The project is set to involve modifications to a median island, including construction of a pedestrian island, extending electrical power to new streetlights, the installation of northbound and southbound flashers and appropriate delineation and signage.

Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow and residents of Las Vegas Manor Senior Apartments gathered Feb. 7 in front of Las Vegas Manor, 1700 N. Decatur Blvd., to mark the start of the project. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of March.


The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension plans to offer free radon test kits in February during a presentation set for 5 p.m. today at the Sahara West Library, 9600 W. Sahara Ave.

Radon, a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas, is the leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers, according to the Cooperative Extension. It 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 can reach harmful levels when trapped indoors, according to the Cooperative Extension.

For more information, contact Southern Area radon program coordinator Laura Au-Yeung at 702-257-5550 or au-yeungl@unce.unr.edu or visit radonnv.com.


The city of Las Vegas recently announced that it will contribute $1 million to purchase right-of-way at Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada bus stops to help enhance pedestrian safety.

An independent safety study commissioned in 2008 by the RTC reported that moving shelters at least 5 feet from the curb greatly enhances pedestrian safety. Since then, the agency has spent $15 million on moving stops to the far side of an intersection, pushing 515 stops and shelters farther back from the sidewalks, raising curbs, installing and transitioning stops into 478 bus turnouts and creating pedestrian buffers where possible.

The public and private sectors are partnering with the RTC to continue the safety improvements.

In the last several months, city public works officials have been working with the RTC to prioritize the acquisitions based on ridership volumes at stop locations, combined with high traffic volumes and speeds.

The city estimates that right-of-way can be acquired at 150 to 200 bus stops in its jurisdiction.

Currently, the RTC operates 1,434 bus stops in the city of Las Vegas and 3,156 active stops throughout Southern Nevada.

Funds for the city’s acquisition efforts are set to be available starting July 1, and the process is expected to take from one to two years.


Parents who are confused about an upcoming change to weight requirements regarding child-safety seats can have them checked free at ongoing inspection events.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Clark County offer monthly car seat checks from 10 a.m. to noon every third Saturday at The District at Green Valley Ranch, 2240 Village Walk Drive, Henderson; and from 5 to 7 p.m. every third Wednesday at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, 3186 S. Maryland Parkway.

The new weight rule, set to go live in 2014, forbids the use of lower anchors for installing child-safety seats if the child and the seat have a combined weight of 65 pounds or more. Child seats typically weigh 15 to 33 pounds.

The rule, which officials say has caused confusion among area parents, is a precautionary measure should the lower anchors be unable to secure the seat.

Manufacturers have been federally required to install lower anchors in motor vehicles since 2001 to make child-safety seats easier to install.

Even with the anchor system, four out of five car seats are improperly installed, said registered nurse Jeanne Cosgrove Marsala, director of Safe Kids Clark County.

The new rule means parents will have to take the weight of their car seat and their child into consideration with every selection and installation of a car seat, Cosgrove Marsala said.

For more information, including additional safety seat inspection dates and locations, visit safekidsclarkcounty.org/events.php or call 702-731-8666.


In honor of Valentine’s Day, Flamingo headliner George Wallace is offering first responders free entry into “The New Mr. Vegas” through 2013. Participants must have a valid badge or department I.D.

The Flamingo is at 3555 Las Vegas Blvd. South. For more information, visit flamingolasvegas.com or call 702-733-3111.


State Insurance Commissioner Scott J. Kipper has issued a warning about an insurance-related telephone scam circulating in Nevada.

The scam is an automated call that tells consumers that their ZIP code has been re-evaluated, qualifying them for lower insurance rates. Consumers are then asked to press a key for more details, triggering a transfer to a voice mail system that asks them for personal information.

The Division of Insurance advises consumers never to accept unsolicited sales calls, especially from toll-free numbers beginning with area codes 800, 877, 866 or 888. Automated calling systems are illegal, and residents are advised to hang up as soon as possible.

Residents can verify the license of an individual or company at doi.nv.gov or by calling 702-486-4009.

Consumers who wish to file a complaint should contact the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov.

Those who have a question or complaint about insurance, email cnsmsvlv@doi.nv.gov, call 702-486-4009 or file a complaint online at doi.nv.gov/scs/complaint.aspx.


The Rape Crisis Center said its volunteer advocates were able to help more victims last year than in 2011, thanks to stepping up its community connections.

Center advocates made 588 hospital visit last year, an increase of 39.6 percent over 2011, when hospital visits totaled 421. Also, volunteer advocates handled 6,084 calls last year, up 1.9 percent over 2011, when volunteers handled 5,968 calls.

The increase in services accessed by rape victims is a result of better and stronger community relationships and community outreach, not necessarily an increase in the number of sexual assaults, said Bill Thomas, chairman of the board for The Rape Crisis Center.

Thomas said that in 2012, the center had an improved relationship with University Medical Center; a more collaborative relationship with the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program, which includes nurses specially trained to collect forensic evidence in sexual assault cases; greater collaboration with law enforcement and other agencies that come in contact with sexual assault victims; and increased public relations and social media efforts.

The center has been working to improve community relationships, including with police, and raise awareness about its services, Thomas said.

Volunteer advocates with The Rape Crisis Center receive 50 hours of training and work a minimum of six-hour shifts each week on a 24/7 rotational basis to answer hot line calls from victims, provide support and information and make hospital visits when requested. The organization has nearly 30 volunteers.

The Rape Crisis Center is at 6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite W1B. For more information, visit therapecrisiscenter.org or call 702-385-2153.


The Clark County Parks and Recreation Department is seeking applicants to fill cashier, lifeguard, water-safety instructor and management positions for the 2013 pool season.

Jobs are available for those 15 or older, with hourly pay ranging from $9 to $15, based on experience and certifications.

Those who hold American Red Cross lifeguard certification or are interested in cashier positions can fill out an application at clarkcountynv.gov/parks.

Those who wish to apply for a lifeguard or other water-related position must complete the training course at the Hollywood Aquatics Center, 1550 S. Hollywood Blvd., or the Desert Breeze Aquatic Facility, 8275 Spring Mountain Road.

The training course costs a reduced rate of $70 if participants sign an employment contract with the county. Otherwise, the cost is $140. The course includes lifesaving skills, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, automated external defibrillator and emergency first aid. The five-day course is held multiple times until the last one, set to start May 2.

Prerequisite skills include the ability to complete a 300-yard continuous swim and retrieve a weighted object from 7 to 10 feet of water. Applicants with no prerequisite skills can attend a lifeguard preparation course at the Hollywood Aquatics Center for $10. The class is set for 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday and 5 to 6 p.m. March 29 and April 12.

For more information, visit clarkcountynv.gov/parks or call 702-455-8508.


The city of Las Vegas has implemented a program to construct sidewalk ramps in residential areas to help increase the safety and livability of the neighborhoods.

The program will seek to improve pedestrian routes and the aesthetic appearance of the city’s residential areas and provide for compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

In-house construction staff members will complete sidewalk ramps in selected areas. Funding for the project will be provided by the city of Las Vegas.

Roughly 150 sidewalk ramps will be constructed, along with upgrades to 25 existing ramps. Workers will also address damaged sidewalk panels.

Work has started in the first two improvement areas, which are in the residential neighborhood bounded by Decatur Boulevard, Meadows Lane and Valley View and Charleston boulevards; and the residential area bounded by Marion Street, Charleston Boulevard, Stewart Avenue and the Las Vegas Wash. Work is expected to continue for five months, and minimal traffic and pedestrian impacts are expected during construction, city officials said.

The program is one of several projects the city has undertaken in the last year to help improve older neighborhoods. The city recently constructed sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements in wards 3 and 5 to improve the walkability and quality of life for residents in the downtown Las Vegas and West Las Vegas project areas.

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