A group of young people in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program has been spending the week with Lethbridge Police Service.
Kids ’n Kops is an annual week-long program for children who are waiting to be matched up with a mentor through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.
The program aims to provide children with strong adult roles models while they learn more about police work and get to know the people behind the badges.
Over the course of the week, the children learned about the explosives disposal unit with a chance to see the LPS bomb robot and try on protective clothing; the tactical team; the identification unit; traffic, where the children used lasers to catch speeders; and the K9 unit.
Const. Jamie Williamson, an LPS school resource officer, said the event has been a big success.
“It’s been awesome,” she said. “We have a really good group of kids, we’ve done all kinds of activities, we’ve had all kinds of demonstrations from the police service.”
Williamson said goals for the week included teaching the children the importance of teamwork, and for them to see police as a force for good in the community.
Whooping cough clinics offered
With southern Alberta children at risk of whooping cough, health officials have announced special immunization clinics until month’s end.
An outbreak of the disease — also known as pertussis — is taking its toll, they warn. More than half of the province’s 615 reported cases come from the Lethbridge-Medicine Hat area, Alberta Health Services confirms.
A booster dose is being offered free for all children aged 10 to 12, born between Sept. 1 in 2004 and Aug. 31, 2007, regardless of their immunization history. The by-appointment clinic sessions began Thursday in Fort Macleod, moving Friday to Cardston and Taber.
Lethbridge clinics are planned Aug. 28-31 at Casa, while a one-day clinic will be held Aug. 30 in Coaldale. Location and appointment information is available online at http://www.ahs.ca/pertussis.
Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable illness, and immunization protecting against it is provided free through the province’s routine childhood immunization program. The illness begins with a runny nose, sneezing, fever and a mild cough.
But after a week, the coughing becomes more frequent and more severe. Children may make a “whooping” sound after they cough, and they may also vomit. Untreated, the disease may lead to convulsions, pneumonia, brain injury and sometimes death.
Boxing program battles Parkinson’s
Lethbridge citizens can soon “punch out Parkinson’s” with a new boxing class designed to combat effects of the long-term neurodegenerative disease.
The Parkinson Association of Alberta is teaming up with the Lethbridge Boxing Club to run a six-week “dopamine boxing” program.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for sending signals to the brain that control movement. Parkinson’s causes the brain to slowly stop producing dopamine. Over time, with less and less dopamine, a person has less ability to regulate their body movements and emotions. While each person’s symptoms are unique, many experience tremours, rigidity and impaired balance. There is no known cause or cure, and over 100,000 Canadians are afflicted.
Christopher Campbell, assistant coach of Lethbridge Boxing Club and head coach of Lethbridge Dopamine Boxing, said the program is based on “tried and tested” curriculum, developed alongside the Red Deer Boxing Club.
Participants will learn how to wrap their hands to prepare for a match, work on their hand-to-eye co-ordination and throw punches at the heavy bag.
Dog park opens
Lethbridge residents might think the city’s parks system is “going to the dogs.”
The RiverStone Dog Park, the city’s latest, opened on Thursday. An official opening, with a ribbon cutting and a party in the park— a free barbecue, face painting, photo booth and a pet fair — will be held Sept. 16. But the park is now open to the public, and nearly complete.
It’s 2.77 acres, officials say, with about two acres fenced for off-leash play. Amenities include canine play equipment, water fountains for people and dogs, accessible seating, pathways and a small dedicated parking lot. The park is located at University Drive and RiverGlen Link West, the southern entrance to the RiverStone neighbourhood.
Cigarette butts a problem
Lethbridge smokers need to butt out of the river valley when it comes to tossing their cigarette butts on the ground.
This year to date, cleanup efforts in the river valley have resulted in 1,370 cigarette butts being recovered and documented by the Helen Schuler Nature Centre Shoreline Cleanup program.
Since 2014, volunteers have pulled 4,776 cigarette butts from the same area.