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– Twenty-three percent increase in Spring Break fatalities heightens importance of critical message
AUSTIN — As Spring Break gets underway, the Texas Department of Transportation has launched its month-long DWI Hangovers Don’t Go Away campaign at a press conference on South Padre Island. Aimed at curbing drunk driving and fatalities among young adults and college students, the event was held at the Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark and Resort. A campaign street team then rode Segways up and down South Padre Island to hand out educational materials and interact with spring breakers.
“Spring Break is a fun time for our college-age young adults in Texas,” said John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director. “Unfortunately, the fun can turn into tragedy when drunk driving is involved. Our campaign highlights the dangers of drinking and driving, and stresses the importance of safe practices like designating a sober driver, which saves lives in the process.”
In 2013, there were 25,158 DUI-alcohol crashes in Texas that resulted in 8,702 serious injuries and 1,022 deaths. Of those crashes, more than 57 percent involved drivers between the ages of 17-34. During Spring Break 2013, Texas saw more than a 23-percent increase from 2012 in DUI-alcohol deaths.
The DWI Hangovers Don’t Go Away campaign runs through March 30 and will incorporate TV, radio, social media and other outreach components, including bus ads, ice box wraps, educational push-cards and airport signage.
The Segway campaign team will continue to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving at the following community events:
· Austin: South by Southwest, March 12
· Dallas: St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Greenville Ave., March 15
Texas Department of Transportation
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 11,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at www.txdot.gov. “Like” us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/txdot; and follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/txdot.
Are you the 1 in 3 at risk for kidney disease? Find out at the free Kidney Health Check being offered Saturday March 22nd from 8:30am-noon at the East Paris Baptist Church, located at 725 N. Collegiate Drive.
At the Kidney Health Check, participants will complete a risk survey, body mass index (BMI) measurement, blood pressure check and have the opportunity to speak with a healthcare professional. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes and high blood pressure.
Although drop-ins are welcome, appointments are preferred. To set up an appointment call 877-543-6397 or email@example.com.
The event is sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation, and Fresenius Medical Care.
In anticipation of daylight saving time (DST) beginning in the early morning hours of March 9th, the Paris Fire Marshal’s Office is urging the public to “Change Your Clock & Change Your Batteries” in smoke detectors in their homes. Daylight Savings Time is a great opportunity for families to change the batteries and insure that all smoke detectors are in working order. “Please take the little time required to help ensure the safety of your family and friends by maintaining these early warning life saving devices.”
Residential properties are required to have a working smoke detector in every bedroom, hallway leading to bedrooms and on each floor of your home.
Families should also verify the age of their smoke detectors; most smoke detectors have a 10-year life span and may need to be replaced with a newer model. Newer detectors can be interconnected so that if one detector activates they all activate allowing all members of the house hold to be alerted if a fire was to occur.
Along with working smoke alarms, CO detectors and Home Escape Plans are another way the public can avoid injury or death in their homes. By identifying at least two different escape routes, families can practice the plan together – before an emergency strikes. Practicing the plan helps educate younger children to the danger of hazardous situations and the importance of recognizing the sound of a smoke alarm of a potential hazard in the home. “Changing the battery in your smoke alarms, along with developing and practicing a home escape plan, are two of the best ways to protect your loved ones and yourself from fire. Smoke detectors should be tested once a month.
Two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes without a working smoking alarm, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Please remember to not only change your clock for Daylight Savings Time but the batteries in your smoke alarms, too.
More than 2,300 people die each year in home fires. Having a working smoke detector 24 hours a day greatly increases your chance of survival if your home catches on fire.
Texas Oncology-Paris physicist Dana Rosencranz, Ph.D, DABR, recently received the Medical Dosimetry & Physics Award, a prestigious award for outstanding achievement in radiation oncology and diagnostic imaging from Texas Oncology/McKesson Specialty Health. The award recognizes Rosencranz for her contributions toward advancing the science of radiation for patients.
Texas Oncology is an affiliate of the US Oncology Network, one of the largest community-based networks focused on cancer treatment and research in the country. As such, it is united with over 10,000 cancer professionals nationwide. According to the Texas Oncology website, it is also a primary participant in US Oncology Research, a nationwide effort consisting of 170 research locations with an experienced and dedicated staff of more than 300. Consisting of more than 150 sites of service, Texas Oncology has given treatment to more patients across the state than any other cancer care provider.
The award is presented on a national level, which means that (in consideration of the aforementioned information), Rosencranz was chosen from a pool of nominees (in her field) from hundreds of cancer centers across the country. Practice Director Ewell Byrd addressed what a significant achievement such recognition is for Rosencranz.
“If you look at the size of US Oncology, they treat anywhere from about 15-20% of all newly diagnosed cancer cases in the United States per year, so about one in every five patients to be diagnosed is going to be treated at a US Oncology site,” he said. “So when you look as far as this award nationwide, for Dana to receive this is outstanding.”
In addition, Byrd praised Rosencranz for not only her professional leadership skills, but also the interpersonal relationships between herself and her team.
“Dana is a natural leader. She’s infectious, as far as working on projects and new technology, she gets her team on board with it and they just go with it,” he said. “From your physicians to everyone, she motivates them.”
Rosencranz was the picture of genuine modesty and gratitude, contributing her team in the radiation department (including radiation oncologist James Petrikas) as key players in all accomplishments.
“I need the support of my team, so to me this award is 100% a team effort,” she said. “Although my name is on it, I, deeply in my heart, don’t consider it an individual award.”
She also spoke highly of her team’s motivation and enthusiasm for their work.
“I mean, literally, everybody takes such an ownership for the smallest little thing that they do, and they say ‘Okay, let’s just do it’,” she said. “I love that that, I just love working with people like that.”
Rosencranz was involved in the medical physics field long before she settled down in Paris. She received a bachelor’s in physics in her home country of Romania before relocating to the United States in 1996. Soon after, she worked for and received further education in Medical Isotopes from the University of North Texas in Denton. Before her work with Texas Oncology, she worked for a medical isotope company, but longed for involvement at a different level.
“It’s more industrial physics than medical physics and you know, I started working for two years for a medical isotope company and I always wanted to be more involved in a clinical application to see…how the radiation impacts, directly impacts a patient,” she said. “Then I found Texas Oncology. They opened the door for me and I just went straight in.”
Rosencranz has been involved with Texas Oncology since 2003, and in addition to Paris, has rotated through Fort Worth, Greenville and Mt. Pleasant.
“I oversee Greenville Cancer Center as well as Mount Pleasant, and Greenville was actually the biggest reward for me as a medical physicist in my career, because I think it’s such an immense internal reward to set up your own cancer center,” she said. “Greenville was just opening up, so I had a privilege to be part of setting up the radiation therapy department. I really enjoyed that.”
Rosencranz located to Greenville in 2008, and in September 2011, took her position in Paris while remaining at Greenville and Mt. Pleasant.
“I love to come and, you know, be part of organizing the radiation therapy department,” she said. “I really like that, to be part of the flow and be sure that the communication is working.”
The award is no doubt a great honor to anyone involved in medical physics, but what exactly does it celebrate? What does being a medical physicist entail? To begin with, it is not like your standard high school-level physics course; rather, it is very active and dynamic, requiring extensive knowledge of physics to all aspects of the Radiation Therapy Department. According to Rosencranz, typical responsibilities include:
The process of radiation treatment is delicate and dependent on a variety of factors, and thus must be treated with great care. If handled improperly, strong doses of radiation can be fatal, and it is Rosencranz and her team’s job to oversee every detail.
“It’s just a very complex process [and] somebody has to oversee that and make sure that whatever the doctor ordered is going to be followed,” she said.
Rosencranz is part of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and is certified by the American Board of Radiology (ABR). For more information about Texas Oncology or medical physics, visit www.texasoncology.com/ or www.aapm.org/.
Congratulations to Dana Rosencranz and team on this achievement!
By Courtney McNeal, eParisExtra
Shawntel Golden defeated Susan Flanary-Turner for district clerk in Lamar County’s Republican Primary on Tuesday, and incumbent Keith Mitchell defeated longtime Lamar County Sheriff to retain his seat as county commissioner for Precinct 4.
Three other races won’t be decided until a May 27 runoff because none of the three candidates in those races garnered a clearn majority.
And with 61 of 90 voting boxes in, State Rep. George Lavendar was trailing Gary Van Deaver, who was riding a wave of teachers’ support in the four-county district of Bowie, Franklin, Red River and Lamar counties. All the votes were in from Lamar, Red River and Franklin, and that’s Lavendar’s home turf. He is from Texarkana.
Van Deaver outpolled Lavendar 2,977 to 1, 966 in Lamar County, 1,240 to 367 in Red River County and 742 to 619 in Franklin County. Lavendar was carrying his Bowie County 2,542 to 2,114. As of 12:45 a.m. today, Van Deaver had 7,073 votes to 5,494 for Lavendar.
No one got a clear majority in the races for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 2; Constable of Precinct 5; or County Commissioner, Precinct 2, so voters will go back to the polls in 12 weeks to decide between the two top vote-getters in each of those races.
No Democratic candidates in Lamar County had challengers.
Winners outright were Shawntel Golden over Susan Flanary-Turner for district clerk and Keith Mitchell, who won re-election over the challenge of longtime former Lamar County Sheriff B.J. McCoy.
Golden jumped to an early lead over Flanary-Turner and stayed there. She earned 78.06 percent of the 5,693 votes cast. Incumbent Marvin Ann Patterson did not seek reelection; she threw her support to Golden, a 17-year employee of hers who has been her chief assistant the past seven years. Patterson’s husband, Lynn Patterson, was Golden’s campaign treasurer.
In the race for Lamar County Precinct 2 commissioner, David Niblett was the leading vote-getter in a three-way race, but failed to get over half the votes, so he will face off against Larry W. Davis in two months for the Republican nomination. Niblett received 48.84 percent of the 649 votes cast, to 25.89 percent for Davis and 25.27 percent for James Dunn.
Davi, an activist in the Tea Party movement, announced during a Republican candidate forum several weeks ago that he was dropping his candidacy and throwing his support to Niblett, but his decision came too late to get his name off the ballot.
Lonnie Layton, the incumbent, ran in the Democratic Primary and will face the Niblett-Davis winner in November.
Mitchell got 52.6 percent of the 1,865 votes against McCoy.
Gene Hobbs and Curtis Garrett will meet in a May runoff for Justice of the Peace of Precinct 5, Place 2, had a wide lead over Garrett and Jesse James Freelen, but didn’t get the clear majority required to win without a runoff.
Hobbs, the incumbent after being named by county commissioners in September 2012 to succeed Ernie Sparks following his retirement, got 41.69 percent of the vote to 29.44 percent for Garrett and 28.86 percent for Freelen out of 2,775 votes cast.
In the Precinct 5 constable race, incumbent Jimmy Hodges also is facing a runoff. He got 47.81 percent of the vote to 30.38 percent Gerry Don Hines and 21.81 percent for Jimmy Don Clark. So it’s a runoff between Hodges and Hines.
A total of 6,522 of the 28,698 registered voters in Lamar County cast ballots, a voter turnout of 22.73 percent.
Several Republican races only had one candidate in the primary, including Mike Malone for county judge, Bill Harris for county court at law judge, Kathy Marlowe for county clerk, Melanie Clifford for treasurer, Don Denison for Precinct 1 justice of the peace, Crystal N. Duke for Precinct 2 JP, Tim Risinger for Precinct 3 JP, and Ken Ruthart for Precinct 4 JP.
None of the Democrat candidates had challengers with incumbent Shirley Fults running for treasurer, incumbent Chuck Superville for county judge and Precinct 2 Commissioner Lonnie Layton seeking to retain his seat.
The races for county judge and Precinct 2 commissioner will be decided during November’s general election.
Here are the Lamar County vote totals in the contested races in the Republican Primary:
DISTRICT CLERK — Shawntel Golden 4,444 (78.06%), Susan Flanary-Turner 1,249 (21.94%). (Golden wins election.)
COUNTY COMMISSIONER, PRECINCT 2: David Niblett 317 (48.84%), Larry W. Davis 168 (25.89%), James Dunn 164 (25.27%). (Niblett and Davis will meet in May 27 runoff)
COUNTY COMMISSIONER, PRECINCT 4: Keith Mitchell 981 (52.60%), Billy Joe (B.J.) McCoy 981 (47.40%). (Mitchell wins election.)
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PRECINCT 5, PLACE 2 — Gene C. Hobbs Jr. 1,157 (41.69%), Curtis Garrett 817 (29.44%), Jesse James Freelen 801 (28.86%). (Hobbs and Garrett will meet in May 27 runoff.)
CONSTABLE, PRECINCT 5 – Jimmy Hodges 1,177 (47.81%), Gerry Don Hines 748 (30.38%), Jimmy Don Clark 537 (21.81%). (Hodges and Hines will meet in May 27 runoff).
STATE REPRESENTATIVE – Gary Van Deaver 2,977 (60.22%), George Lavendar 1,966 (39.77%). Van Deaver also was leading in the four-county district, with 29 of 36 voting boxes in Lavendar’s home county of Bowie County still out. As of 12:45 a.m. today, Van Deaver led 7,073 (56.29%) to 5,494 (43.72%).