Crime rises at Palmdale schools

first_imgThe annual cost to the district is $367,000, which covers three deputies, their patrol cars, supervisory personnel, dispatch operations, equipment and other overhead costs. “They are a huge asset to us. The more kids they see and interact with, the less problems we are going to have,” Ohren said. School deputies reported crime statistics to the board at a meeting in February and stated that a deputy at each of the district’s five intermediate school would be desirable. The district has five intermediate schools and four kindergarten-through-eighth-grade schools. The district at this time can’t afford to pay for more deputies but is looking at applying for a grant to hire more officers, Ohren said. Another possibility is using a sheriff’s community service officer, who has the authority to do some types of investigations and write reports, Ohren said. The district, also in response to deputies’ requests, will provide them with upgraded phone equipment, digital cameras, and laptops that will link with the district’s computer system and give officers access to student records, Assistant Superintendent David Brown said. [email protected] (661) 267-5744 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – Crime in the Palmdale School District last year included possession of weapons – mostly knives and BB guns – although one student brought an ammunition belt loaded with rounds onto school grounds, a new report shows. Student fights ranked high, with a record 108 incidents, and there were 715 citations given out for truancy, reports show. “We had a rough time with the girls, believe it or not,” Deputy George Oriel said. “We had more girl problems. They don’t let things go. Boys fight and that’s the end of it. With girls, it’s a continuous thing. They never let anything drop.” School officials and deputies said crime was up in the district over the prior year, although figures for 2005 were not available. “It goes up and down, depending on the kids,” Oriel said. “This year it’s been very calm at Juniper Intermediate. We haven’t had the number of fights we normally have.” District officials said the upward tick in crime is a reflection of what’s going on in the surrounding community. “We are seeing the same trends that the city of Palmdale and the Antelope Valley are seeing. We are not separate from them,” said Mike Ohren, administrative liaison to student services and administrator in charge of alternative education. There were 32 incidents of weapons offenses reported for 2006. Oriel, a school deputy for 11 years, said he can recall only one occasion when a student brought a real gun to school. Palmdale has contracted with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for school deputies for about two decades. last_img read more

Raising food allergy awareness

first_imgAnaphylactic shock is a “systemwide” allergic reaction in which the rush of histamines to the whole body cause blood vessels everywhere to expand and blood pressure to drop dangerously low. It’s a frightening proposition for those with severe food allergies, who spend their lives dodging meals with any unknown ingredients. Most reactions Goldweber said he sees in the emergency room occurred when people with a known allergy ate food that used their off-limits ingredient in an unexpected way. And to make matters worse, food allergies can be incredibly inconsistent. They can arise at any time, and can cause a wide range of symptoms. “They can get worse and worse with each reaction; they can go up and down, they can get better,” said Ron Ferdman, a USC physician. “There’s no way to predict it.” There are also no known cures, only treatments for the symptoms they cause. (Antihistamines such as Benedryl can ease mild symptoms; for strong reactions an Epipen, which injects adrenaline, is needed.) Some research looks promising, though. At Duke University, a scientist has had success desensitizing children to their peanut allergies by having them take slowly increasing amounts of powdered peanuts. “It still is risky, it’s not something that’s ready for prime time,” Riedl said, but “he does have some encouraging results that over time this may work, and it may allow children to tolerate small amounts of peanuts without a big reaction.” [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PASADENA – Every week at the Huntington Hospital emergency room, doctors see patients sickened by allergies to common foods. Last year at Huntington, 125 of those visits were severe enough to need inpatient care. And every few years, said Robert Goldweber, assistant director of the hospital’s emergency room, someone has a reaction so bad they die. “It’s horrible when that happens – it’s so unfortunate because it’s something that is preventable,” Goldweber said. This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Food Allergy Awareness Week, an effort of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network to spread awareness of the dangers that even commonly used ingredients can pose for some. AAN estimates one of every 25 Americans has a food allergy, of which 90 percent are caused by eight foods: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, almonds and pistachios), shellfish, soy, fish and wheat. Around the world, the number is on the rise. Nobody is exactly sure why, said Marc Riedl, an assistant professor of medicine at UCLA, but one leading theory is that modern living has lead to children growing up in a more sterile environment, meaning that the immune system isn’t as preoccupied with protecting from bacteria and instead starts to overreact to common foods. When someone has a food allergy, the immune system has built up warrior antibodies that recognize the foods and latch on. That causes a release of histamines in the body, which can lead to traditional allergic symptoms such as itchy skin and redness. Athough food allergies are just an annoying inconvenience for most, Riedl said, for some the reaction is much stronger and can including severe nausea or anaphylactic shock. last_img read more