Cheat Sheet: October 22, 2012

Taking on Rachel’s Challenge in HR Schools

Princess Anne Elementary school is one of most recent schools in Hampton Roads to take on Rachel’s Challenge–a program that uses workshops and assemblies to encourage the students to engage in acts of kindness and respect. Having just started the brand new school year, the challenge is already catching on: kids are starting to wear T-shirts with the program’s positive messages such as “compassion over bullying and hate” and “dream big.” Annie Johnson, a guidance counselor at PAES says of their enthusiasm: “They are so excited!” The purpose of the challenge is to start early with children to enhance their learning and understanding of the challenge so that when they move up to middle school and to high school, it will make a big dent in bullying, intimidation and lack of respect. (Source)

Possible tropical storm forming near Jamaica

On Monday a tropical depression formed south of Jamaica. Forecasters predict that it will likely strengthen into Tropical Storm Sandy later on in the day. According to the National Hurricane center in Miami, the depression was about 320 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica and had winds of 30 mph. They expect it to drift westward before heading toward Jamaica on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. By the time it reaches Jamaica, the system could be near hurricane strength of 74 mph. If this happens, it will be the third year in a row that the Atlantic basin has had at least 18 named storms, higher than the average year by about 11. Hurricane specialist Robbie Berg notes that it is unclear why there has been an above average number of storms. The Atlantic storm season began June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. (Source)

VA Traffic-Related Deaths down, although trend stalls

In 2007, the number of people who died on Virginia roads surpassed 1,000 for the first time in almost two decades. However, since then traffic fatalities in the state have exceeded 800 only once. Changes that may have explained the drop: stricter licensing for young drivers, anti-DUI laws, educational and law enforcement campaigns, increased seat belt use, safer roads and better vehicles. In 2006 state officials created Virginia’s Strategic Highway Safety plan and, after reviewing traffic data from intervening years, has just recently been updated. The new focus is to get accident scenes cleared faster to reduce the chance of secondary crashes. Virginia’s traffic death rate is lower than the national rate, which has also been dropping. As of Friday, the DMV had recorded 608 traffic-related deaths in Virginia this year. 242 of these victims were not wearing a seat belt. (Source)

After eight years, two Portsmouth police K-9s retire

On Wednesday, a retirement ceremony for police dogs Joe and Tim will be held in Safety Town. After eight years on the job, the two canines will retire to the homes of police officers after being honored for their service to the community. Eli and Gunner, two dogs that have recently graduated from Basic Patrol K-9 Academy, will step up to take their place. (Source)

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