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Area Briefing, Dec. 24-30


The holiday season prompts more parties and social gatherings than usual, increasing the chances for sexual assault due to the use of drugs or alcohol, according to the Rape Crisis Center.

The nonprofit reminds revelers to take precautions:

— Always have a plan of action, such as by downloading the Circle of 6 app at partysmartinlv.com to alert friends of any dangerous or uncomfortable situations.

— If a would-be partner cannot provide informed and legitimate consent to sex, then do not follow through with the act. Having sex with someone who is drunk or passed out is considered sexual assault.

— If you start feeling sick or too intoxicated, get to a safe place and call or text for help.

— Know your location, and always be aware of your surroundings.

In 2012, 55 percent of drug-facilitated sexual assaults to which the Rape Crisis Center responded were made by the victims’ acquaintances, the organization said. In 2013, that number grew to 61 percent.

The Rape Crisis Center offers more tips and information about partying safe at partysmartinlv.com.


The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada plans two ceremonies to honor students whose artwork won the agency’s annual Anti-Graffiti Art Contest.

Tina Quigley, general manager of the RTC, is slated to recognize the first winner from 10 to 11 a.m. Dec. 17 at Cashman Middle School, 4622 W. Desert Inn Road, and the second winner from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 19 at Martin Middle School, 200 N. 28th St.

Students at both events are set to attend the unveiling of a transit vehicle adorned with the winning artwork.

Elementary and middle school students from across the valley submitted artwork that they created to promote the theme Keep Southern Nevada Graffiti Free. The students were encouraged to design their artwork to promote respecting each other’s property and not devaluing or defacing it with graffiti.

The top two winners’ artwork was selected by a public online vote and is set to be featured on two RTC transit vehicles for up to one year.


Free radon test kits are scheduled to be available through Feb. 28 at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices and partner sites statewide.

Radon, a radioactive, colorless, odorless gas that comes from the ground, accumulates in homes and can cause lung cancer.

The Cooperative Extension, 8050 Paradise Road, Suite 105, has been working to raise awareness of the dangers of radon in the home since 2007 and has distributed radon test kits since 2008. Since that time, more than 16,000 homes have been tested in Nevada, and results indicate that one in four found potentially hazardous radon levels.

January is also National Radon Action Month, and the Nevada Radon Education Program plans a presentation at 6 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, where free test kits are scheduled to be available.

For more information, visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website at radonnv.com, call the radon hotline at 888-723-6610 or contact Nevada Radon Education Program director Susan Howe at robertss@unce.unr.edu or 775-336-0248.


The Metropolitan Police Department hosted its annual Santa Cops event Dec. 7 at Target, 278 S. Decatur Blvd.

Disadvantaged children were matched up with police officers to receive gift certificates to shop for Christmas presents.

Children who participated in the event were identified as disadvantaged by police officers working in their neighborhoods, the department said.

The goal of Santa Cops is to serve disadvantaged children and foster good community relations between the department and area residents.


Pet overpopulation has declined due to a spay and neuter ordinance the Las Vegas City Council adopted in November 2009, city officials said.

An annual report on the ordinance was recently presented to the City Council and included the following data:

— The number of spayed or neutered animals picked up by Animal Control increased 17 percent to 45.5 percent.

— The number of animals brought to the The Animal Foundation by the general public for spaying or neutering increased 24 percent to 45.5 percent.

The report also measured the ordinance’s effects since it was adopted. Data included:

— A 13 percent reduction in the number of trips made by Animal Control officers to The Animal Foundation to drop off animals.

— A 38 percent reduction in the number of animals being dropped off at The Animal Foundation by Animal Control officers.

— A 45 percent reduction in the number of animals being turned in to The Animal Foundation by the public.

— A 4 percent reduction in the number of animal bites.

The reductions are significant because fewer animals are being euthanized, and the city is spending less money to house impounded animals at the shelter, officials said. In addition, Animal Control officers can spend more time in the community tending to the public’s needs.

The ordinance requires dogs and cats older than 4 months in the city of Las Vegas to be spayed or neutered, except under specified circumstances. Dogs and cats must also be microchipped before they can be recovered from impound or adopted from The Animal Foundation.


The Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety recently awarded the North Las Vegas Police Department $73,860 in federal grant funds for a pedestrian safety campaign called Lookout for Pedestrians Safety and Education.

The money is scheduled to help the department continue its pedestrian safety events throughout the city of North Las Vegas. Events are planned through Sept. 30.

The grant also funds the North Las Vegas Police Department’s Stop, Look and Listen educational assemblies at local elementary schools, where officers teach children how to cross the street safely.

The goal of the campaign is to educate drivers, pedestrians and children to be more aware of their surroundings on the roadway.


The holiday season can be a busy time of year for house fires when candles, space heaters and extension cords are in high use, according to the Clark County Fire Department and NV Energy.

The department’s safety tips include:

— Keep Christmas trees away from fireplaces, heaters and other heat sources.

— Select a fresh tree. Needles should be green, and the trunk should be sticky.

— Water Christmas trees daily to keep them from drying.

— Do not leave a fresh tree up for more than two weeks.

— Make sure artificial trees are flame-retardant.

— Inspect holiday lights for frayed wires, gaps in the insulation, broken sockets or loose bulbs.

— Use lights bearing an independent testing laboratory’s label. Some lights are designated for either indoor or outdoor use.

— Extension cords should not serve as permanent power sources.

— Never run extension cords under rugs or furniture.

— Do not overload electrical outlets. Follow the manufacturers’ directions for safe use of products.

— Choose flame-resistant decorations.

— Do not leave candles burning or holiday lights on while unattended.

— Place candles in stable holders.

— Keep children and pets away from lit candles, and keep candles at least 3 feet away from table clothes, drapery or items that can burn.

— Space heaters should not be left unattended and need at least 3 feet of space from any combustible item, including bedding, curtains, furniture, paper and clothing.

NV Energy’s tips include:

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

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

— Never use electrical decorations on metal trees.


University Medical Center is set to offer an infant and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation class at 2 p.m. Jan. 23 and 9 a.m. Feb. 1 at the Family Resource Center, 1120 Shadow Lane.

The class requires a $10 deposit that is refunded during the session.

For more information or to register, call 702-383-2229.


Public safety officials plan to distribute smoke detectors, batteries and information about installing the devices during an outreach initiative that began Dec. 14.

Las Vegas Firefighters Local 1285 and the American Red Cross of Southern Nevada kicked off the effort in the surrounding neighborhood of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Station 4 at 421 S. 15th St.

Firefighters and Red Cross volunteers are set to go door-to-door to distribute the materials. Areas will be targeted based on their potential for fatal fires, organizers said. The goal of the initiative is to hand out 1,500 smoke detectors to homes in the Las Vegas area through Jan. 20, when the event is set to target the neighborhood surrounding Fire Station 1, 500 N. Casino Center Blvd.

For more information, visit redcross.org/nv/las-vegas or iafflocal1285.org.


Henderson ranks sixth in the Top 10 Safest Cities in America rankings released by Law Street Media, a website covering law and policy, city officials announced.

Law Street noted the city’s low murder rate of 0.15 per 100,000 people. The rankings are based on 2012 FBI violent crime data collected from police departments across the country.

Henderson was recognized as one of America’s Best Places to Live by Money magazine in 2006, 2008 and 2012 and was named the Second Safest City in America by Forbes.

The Law Street Media rankings are available at lawstreetmedia.com.


The Nevada State Contractors Board advises homeowners to take care of home maintenance and minor repairs during winter.

Cold, wind, snow, ice and holiday entertaining place extra burdens on heating, electrical, plumbing, roof and other home systems, the board said.

State law requires that heating, air conditioning, plumbing, refrigeration or electrical service be performed by licensed contractors. A license is also required for any project requiring a building permit and for projects totaling $1,000 or more, including labor and materials.

The board offered several tips for winter:

— Protect exposed pipes with foam sleeves or insulated tape and occasionally run water from all taps to prevent freezing.

— Ensure that heating systems are in good working order to avoid unnecessary breakdowns, increased costs and potentially life-threatening gas leaks.

— Freeze-thaw cycles can exacerbate roof leaks, and clogged gutters can lead to water pouring over the eaves, settling next to home foundations and leaching into basements. Make sure there are no missing roof shingles to best prevent major home repair or damage.

— Make sure wood-burning fireplaces are free of creosote buildup, which is a fire hazard. For gas-burning appliances, a licensed contractor can check for leaks or buildup in the ventilation system.

— Checked electrical outlets to ensure that they can withstand the added strain of Christmas lights, space heaters and kitchen appliances, which may cause tripped breakers and blown fuses.

— Cracked glass or deteriorated weather stripping allow drafts and may increase heating bills.


Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada plans to provide an additional 180 inclement weather shelter beds at 1511 Las Vegas Blvd. North for homeless men on cold nights.

The inclement weather shelter is scheduled to be open from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily and provide beds, clothing, blankets, showers and case management. The services are in addition to the existing year-round shelter of 160 beds at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, 924 S. Commerce St.

The extra beds are funded in part by a Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition grant. Visit catholiccharities.com or call 702-385-2662.


The Clark County Water Reclamation District has announced the return of its holiday cooking oil recycling program.

The Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd., plans to collect the used cooking oil from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 26 through Jan. 15 in the south ticketing parking lot.

Residents should use a funnel to pour the used oil back into the original container before bringing it to the Springs Preserve. Funnels are set to be available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Clark County Water Reclamation District, 5857 E. Flamingo Road.

Smaller amounts of used cooking oil should be put into a can and disposed of in the garbage. The website paininthedrain.com explains how to can used cooking oil.

Used cooking oil gets recycled into biofuel, used for fueling trucks, buses and other vehicles. More than 3,500 pounds of used oil were collected last year, officials said.

The program is a component of the Don’t be a Pain in the Drain outreach campaign, aimed at decreasing the amount of sewer blockages and overflows caused by fat, oil, grease and grit disposed of in drains by customers.


Residents trained in compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation can use a smartphone app called Pulse Point to alert them when someone has suffered a cardiac arrest within 200 yards of them.

Members of Las Vegas Firefighters Local 1285 and the Southern Nevada American Red Cross have been volunteering to teach hundreds of Las Vegans how to perform compression-only CPR. About 1,000 people will have received the training by the end of year, said Scott Johnson, president of Las Vegas Firefighters Local 1285.

Most cardiac arrest victims who survive are given CPR by a bystander before paramedics arrive, according to the American Red Cross. The national average for surviving cardiac arrest hovers at roughly 5 percent, fire officials said. However, nearly 30 percent of cardiac arrest victims treated by Las Vegas firefighters survive due to the public CPR training, officials said.

For more information, visit iafflocal1285.org.


The city of Las Vegas parking services office inside Las Vegas City Hall’s parking garage at 500 S. Main St. has expanded its hours to include Fridays and Saturdays.

The office, which handles parking citations, appeals and permitting, is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, visit lasvegasnevada.gov/parking or call 702-229-4700.

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