Your West Valley News: Local news from Phoenix's West Valley communities - Sun City West, Sun City Grand, Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, El Mirage, Youngtown

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  • Glendale man accused of molseting relative

    GLENDALE, Ariz. - A Glendale man with a prior history of sexual conduct with a minor was booked into jail on charges stemming from a 2011 incident involving a young family member.According to police, the suspect was 47 years old and the victim was 9 at the time of the alleged incident.In June of this year the victim told someone what had happened to her in April of 2011.During the forensic interview, the girl said she was at the suspect’s house in Glendale when he called her into a room he referred to as the “man cave.”There he had the girl sit on his lap in front of a computer and started to show the girl photographs of naked women “doing stuff” on his computer. The victim was also shown a pornography video, according to police.The victim told police that the suspect asked where she was comfortable having him touch her and he placed a hand on her chest, then moved his hand down closer to her breasts.

  • Body found on South Golf Course

    A body was found on South Golf course in Sun City, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.They believe the man died of natural causes and he was believed to have been taking his morning walk.Groundskeepers for the golf course found the body around 5:00 a.m. on August 28th.

  • Jewish Social Connection schedules open house

    The Jewish Social Connection will have an open house at 2 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Sun City West Foundation, 14465 R.H. Johnson Blvd., Sun City West.The program will feature the West Wind Harmony Chorus, a Surprise Sweet Adelines International Group of real women singing real harmony in the barbershop style with a variety of different songs.There will be refreshments at 2 p.m. prior to the program.Guests are free.Members and guests should make reservations before Sept. 21.Call 623-444-5829 or 623-584-1977.

  • Benevilla kicks off creative aging series

    Benevilla kicks off its new arts program with the presentation of “Trust Your Creativity,” a class presented by local artist Shirley Cunningham.The event is scheduled at 2 p.m. Sept. 25 at Birt’s Bistro, located at Benevilla’s Hellen & John M. Jacobs Independence Plaza, 16752 N. Greasewood St. in Surprise.This arts-centered class is designed to inspire you to begin a deeper trust of your innate wisdom, intuition, and creativity. Open to the invitation to an adventure with creative expression — art, journaling, poetry, music, dream work, and meditation, each one nurturing your expression in your own unique way. No special skills are required, only a spirit of openness to your own inner voice.Cunningham is a certified counselor in private practice in Glendale. She is the author of “Chasing God,” based on 30 years of journaling and which includes images of her art.The event is free and reservations are recommended.For information, call 623-584-4999.

  • Glendale reports 6 residential burglaries; Peoria reports 14 residential burglaries

    The following is a partial list of burglaries in Glendale. There were eight burglaries reported: two vehicle and six residential.Residential:• 19500 block of North 71st Avenue, July 30• 5600 block of West Acoma Drive, Aug. 3• 5700 block of West Wethersfield Road, Aug. 11• 5200 block of West Acoma Drive, Aug. 12,

  • Surprise seeks instructors for special interest classes

    Do you have an idea for a special interest class and the skills to teach it?The City of Surprise is always looking for specialized instructors to teach special interest classes.Classes are offered to all age levels from preschool to adult and can be customized to specific age groups. Classes currently being offered include Soccer Skills, Tots in the Kitchen, Zumba, Yoga and more.If you have a class idea you believe would be popular with the public or are interested in becoming an instructor, email michelle.holm@surpriseaz.gov or call 623-222-2000.  

  • Police: Man accused of burning a Bible in Prescott

    PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — A man is in custody for allegedly burning and urinating on a Bible outside a mission in Prescott. Prescott police say 22-year-old Eric Minerault was arrested Thursday on suspicion of unlawful symbol burning. A representative of the mission called police to tell them a man was burning something on the steps of the Gospel Rescue Mission. Police say officers found Minerault dressed wearing a long black-and-red robe and a pentagram necklace. They say a Bible was found wet and burned on the ground near Minerault. Police say Minerault told officers that he was "cursing the Christians" and referred to himself as the "dark lord." Minerault remains in the Yavapai County Detention Center and it was unclear Friday if he has a lawyer yet.

  • Area burned by eastern Arizona fire closed

    SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. (AP) — Forest officials say a closure in an area affected by a wildfire in eastern Arizona's White Mountains should not get in the way of campers' plans. The U.S. Forest Service says the closure of a small area south of Vernon began Friday in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The closure prohibits campers from an area damaged by fire last June. Officials say most parts of the forests remain open for recreation activities. The San Juan Fire burned more than 8 square miles two months ago. Anyone caught violating the closures could face a fine of up to $5,000 and six months in prison. Only people with a Forest Service permit or authorized by the agency to do business in the area will be permitted in the closed off area.

  • Reports: Inmate says he heard voices before attack

    PHOENIX (AP) — An inmate accused of fatally beating and stabbing his cellmate in a Phoenix-area jail told investigators that he heard voices just before the attack telling him "it's either him or me," according to police reports. The reports quote Andrew Ward, who was in jail on charges of killing his 12-year-old half brother. According to the reports, Ward said cellmate Douglas Walker had challenged him to a fight and he heard a voice saying, "It's a death warrant; it's either him or me." Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against the 27-year-old in the April 2 death of Walker and the March 12 fatal stabbing of his half brother, Austin Tapio. Ward is accused of stabbing Walker's eyes with pencils, trying to cut his throat with a hard plastic card and blocking his breathing passages by jamming a plastic bag containing a peanut butter sandwich down his throat. Investigators said Ward confessed to the killing. Ward has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the deaths of Walker and his young relative. He is undergoing mental health examinations to determine whether he is fit to stand trial. Ward's attorney, Marci Kratter, declined to comment on the reports, which were released this week in response to a public records request. Investigators say Ward explained his motive in his half brother's death by saying, "Honestly, I just felt like killing." A review by The Associated Press of more than 700 pages of police reports shows that a few inmates believed Ward had some sort of mental health issue and Walker had been trying to move to another cell. The inmates also believed jailers were putting patients with psychological issues together with patients who didn't have mental health problems. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that health privacy laws prevent it from publicly discussing Ward's mental health but the office has a policy of putting in isolation inmates who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others. The agency said Ward gave no such indications of immediate danger. "If he was not actively making statements or physically showing signs of being a danger to himself or others, he would not be placed in isolation as there is no reason to justify it," the agency said in statement. A day after Walker's death, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said that despite Ward's alleged indifference in the killing of his half brother, psychiatric experts had evaluated him when he was brought to jail and cleared him. "We have about 400 alleged murderers in our jails," the sheriff had said. "Do you think I have room to give every alleged murderer a private room? No." Joel Robbins, an attorney representing Walker's family, said the sheriff's office had no business giving Ward a cellmate, considering his recent history of violence. "That's a guy who gets his own cell," Robbins said. "You could grouse about him getting special treatment, but that is a guy who needs special treatment." Walker, 33, had been in custody since November and was awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty to armed robbery. In mid-January, an inmate at the same jail was fatally beaten and stabbed with a small pencil.

  • Calif. motorcyclist dies in crash near Flagstaff

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A California man is dead after a motorcycle accident in northern Arizona. Coconino County Sheriff's officials say 60-year-old Glenn Gelman, of Yorba Linda, was declared dead at the scene of Friday morning's crash east of the Flagstaff city limits. Investigators say Gelman was riding with a large group of other motorcycle enthusiasts participating in a cross-country tour from Mexico to Canada. Witnesses say Gelman was going about 50 mph and lost control of his motorcycle, which flipped end-over-end at least once. Authorities are considering the possibility that Gelman suffered a medical emergency. Prior to the accident, the tour group stopped in Payson and Gelman reportedly told another participant that he wasn't feeling well and felt tired and fatigued. The Sheriff's Office and county Medical Examiner's Office are investigating the death.

  • Five things to watch in Arizona's November elections

    PHOENIX (AP) — Electing a successor to Gov. Jan Brewer tops the list of items to watch in Arizona's November general election. Voters also will choose a new secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer and top schools official. BREWER'S SUCCESSOR The incumbent Republican governor is termed out, and voters will choose between GOP state Treasurer Doug Ducey and former Board of Regents chairman Fred Duval in the election, with Libertarian Barry Hess and another minor party candidate also running. Ducey will try to cast himself as the front-runner with broad backing while DuVal tries to convince independents and moderate Republicans to vote Democratic because of his moderate political views. ATTORNEY GENERAL Expect aggressive campaigns from Democrat Felecia Rotellini and Republican Mark Brnovich in the two months before the election. Rotellini has amassed a war chest of more than $800,000 for the general election after running unopposed in the primary. Brnovich knocked off incumbent Republican Tom Horne in the primary while running with little cash — less than $100,000. Expect him to do better raising money for the general, but Rotellini has general election experience, losing by a narrow margin to Horne in 2010. SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION Republican incumbent John Huppenthal was handily whipped by challenger Diane Douglas of Sun City West in the primary. Douglas is a former school board member from Peoria who wants the state to drop its new Common Core student standards. She'll face Democrat David Garcia, an ASU professor and former superintendent's office administrator. Garcia could win backing from moderate Republicans and the business community, both of which generally support the new standards. 1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT As of Friday, the Republican primary in the 1st Congressional District remained too close to call, with fewer than 500 votes separating Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin and businessman Gary Kiehne. The winner will take on incumbent Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. The sprawling district runs from Tucson's northern suburbs east to the New Mexico line and Flagstaff, taking in large tribal areas. Kirkpatrick has strong support from the tribal communities, but CD1 is a classic swing district that could go to either party. That's especially true of a Libertarian write-in candidate fails to qualify. Libertarians drew 6 and 7 percent of the vote in the last two general elections in the district. Republicans believe they'll get most of those votes in a race that lacks a Libertarian. 2ND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT Democrat Ron Barber will take on Republican Martha McSally in a rematch of the 2012 election. Barber was coming off a special election win to replace wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords when he beat McSally. Republicans believe they have a shot of taking out this seat as well. If both Barber and Kirkpatrick lose, the party split between Arizona's 9 representatives flips from the current 5 Democrats and 4 Republicans to 6-3 in favor of the GOP.

  • UN says Syria refugees top 3 million mark

    GENEVA (AP) — The civil war in Syria has forced 3 million people out of the country, including more than a million people who fled in the past year, creating a crisis that the U.N. refugee agency said requires the biggest operation in its 64-year history. The tragic milestone means that about one of every eight Syrians has fled across the borders, and 6.5 million others have been displaced within Syria since the conflict began in March 2011, the Geneva-based agency said. More than half of all those uprooted are children, it said. Syria had a prewar population of 23 million. "The Syria crisis has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them," said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. The agency had described the 3 million as a record, but later qualified that the Syrian crisis was record-breaking in terms of the unprecedented size and scope of the $3.74 billion operation needed to care for the refugees. The recent surge in fighting appears to be worsening the already desperate situation for Syrian refugees, the agency said, as the extremist Islamic State group expands its control of broad areas straddling the Syria-Iraq border and terrorizes rivals and civilians in both countries. According to the agency, many of the new arrivals in Jordan come from Syria's northern province of Aleppo and the northeastern region of Raqqa, a stronghold of the group. An independent U.N. commission says the group is systematically carrying out widespread bombings, beheadings and mass killings that amount to crimes against humanity in both areas. "Three million refugees is not just another statistic. It is a searing indictment of our collective failure to end the war in Syria," Angelina Jolie, the U.N.'s refugee agency special envoy, said in a statement following the release of the report. The commission investigating potential war crimes in Syria said on Wednesday that the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad likely used chlorine gas to attack civilians, who are bearing the brunt of a civil war that has killed more than 190,000 people and destabilized the region. The massive numbers of Syrians fleeing the civil war has stretched the resources of neighboring countries and raised fears of violence spreading in the region. But some fear the world's attention is getting diverted. "With so many crises erupting simultaneously around us, with so much suffering, there is a risk that the victims of the Syrian crisis and their needs will slip from the public eye," said Kristalina Georgieva, aid chief for the European Union, regarding the 3 million Syrian refugees. The U.N. estimates there are nearly 35,000 people awaiting registration as refugees, and hundreds of thousands who are not registered. The refugee agency and other aid groups say an increasing number of families are arriving in other countries in shockingly poor condition, exhausted and scared and with almost no financial savings left after having been on the run for a year or more. In eastern Jordan, for example, the agency says refugees crossing the desert are forced to pay smugglers $100 per person or more to be taken to safety. As of Friday, Lebanon had 1,176,971 Syrian refugees, the single highest number. Turkey had 832,508; Jordan 613,252; Iraq 215,369; Egypt 139,090; and North Africa 23,367.

  • Chelsea Clinton quits as NBC News reporter

    NEW YORK (AP) — Chelsea Clinton said Friday she is quitting her job as a reporter at NBC News, citing increased work at the Clinton Foundation and the imminent birth of her first child. Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton's daughter had been working at the network since 2011, sporadically doing feature stories on people or organizations doing public-spirited work. Politico magazine reported earlier this year that NBC was paying her $600,000 a year. "I loved watching the 'Making a Difference' stories about remarkable people and organizations making a profound difference in our country and our world," Clinton said in a statement posted on her Facebook page. "I am grateful NBC gave me the opportunity to continue this important legacy." She was initially hired to do stories for Brian Williams' "Rock Center" newsmagazine, but that program was canceled. Her work occasionally appeared on NBC's "Nightly News." Two Clinton stories that aired in January were on education programs targeting the underprivileged. She's done stories on a school program for jailed teenagers named after Maya Angelou, an Arkansas tutoring program and a restaurant chain that donates leftover food to the needy. Her story on actor Jeff Bridges' work on childhood hunger aired Aug. 1, and another story about a school lunch program for poor children in New Mexico is scheduled to air this Sunday. "Chelsea's storytelling inspired people across the country and showcased the real power we have as individuals to make a difference in our communities," said Alex Wallace, senior vice president at NBC News. Her exit removes some potential awkwardness for the network if her mother runs for president in 2016. NBC made certain to keep Clinton off the air around the time her mother was making media appearances to promote a book, to avoid any appearance of conflict. NBC also received some criticism when stories about her salary appeared; the network didn't comment on the reports. Both Wallace and Clinton left open the possibility that Clinton could someday return to NBC. "While my role with NBC News may be coming to an end, I look forward to working with the NBC family well into the future," Clinton said on Facebook. Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, announced this spring that she is pregnant with her first child.

  • New fall TV shows worthy of a first-night look

    New York • It’s a time-honored rite harking back to an era of black-and-white TVs and the trio of networks whose programs they delivered: the grand unveiling of new fall fare.As part of the ritual, this latest fall crop is an occasion for handicapping the good and the misfires. Granted, it’s a risky business to rate a new series’ prospects on the basis of its pilot episode, which is typically the only thing critics have to go on. But even if it doesn’t guarantee a great series will follow, a pilot must at least trigger interest at a level to get viewers to return the second week.Here are 10 new series that might catch your fancy:• “Red Band Society” (Fox; premieres Sept. 17). A group of teenagers meet as patients in the pediatric ward of a Los Angeles hospital. Sure, a show that gathers kids to frolic, flirt and even face death sounds like “Glee” without the jazz hands. But what could have been an overglossed rendering of life’s gravest moments instead comes with heart and a dose of authenticity that ground the good times.• “Gotham” (Fox; Sept. 22). In an industry where nothing is a sure thing, fall’s most-awaited show by the most-desirable demo would seem to be a sure thing. “Gotham” turns out to be not only an “origin series” about Batman but also a humdinger of a noir crime thriller. Rolling back the clock to when Bruce Wayne was a youngster and his alter ego was years from being conceived, the series lays the groundwork for the Batman myth while introducing not-yet-Commissioner James Gordon (played by Ben McKenzie) as a rookie cop.• “The Mysteries of Laura” (NBC; Sept. 24). Debra Messing stars as a brilliant, rules-breaking NYPD homicide detective and harried single mother whose estranged detective-husband becomes her boss (awkward!). Messing (“Will & Grace”) has an indisputable gift for comedy. Here she’s arresting as a brassy, disheveled cop in a series that clearly wants to match the light-comedy tone of the long-ago “Columbo.”

  • Theater Works highlights ‘Tales From The Arabian Nights’

    Theater Works at Peoria Center for the Performing Arts has announced the opening of its first YouthWorks production of the season.  “The Tales From The Arabian Nights” opens on Sept. 12 and runs through Sept. 28 (select dates and times).“The Tales From The Arabian Nights” is a humorous production that retells a selection of action-packed tales from “The Thousand and One Nights.”  More than a millennium ago, a sultan, bewitched by a magic sword, decrees that he will marry a new bride every evening and chop off her head the next morning. To save her neck, the clever Scheherazade begins telling her husband a tale each night that is never quite completed by the morning – thus postponing her execution. Scheherazade keeps up the stories for 1,001 nights, finally freeing her husband from the evil spell.“The Tales From The Arabian Nights” is directed by Chris Hamby, with musical direction by Jennifer Whiting and choreography by Paul Pedersen.Peoria Center for the Performing Arts is at 8355 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria. For information, call 623-815-7930 or visit www.theaterworks.org.

  • Burger King could take bite out of Canada’s identity

    Toronto (AP) • Few things unite Canadians the way Tim Hortons does. For half a century, they have warmed themselves on chilly mornings with the chain’s coffee and Timbits — or doughnut holes to Americans.So news this week that Burger King will buy Tim Hortons served as a bittersweet reminder of how beloved the homegrown chain is in Canada, where 75 percent of the all the coffee sold at fast food restaurants comes from “Timmy’s,” as it is affectionately known. Tim Hortons is found in just about every small town and large city across Canada, and hockey-mad Canadians often head to their local Timmy’s before or after their kids’ games.Tim Hortons, in a bid to quell any concerns that its distinctly Canadian brand could be watered down, went out of its way to assure that the red and brown coffee and doughnut shop won’t change, taking out big ads in newspapers and declaring “fellow Canadians can all rest assured that Tim Hortons will still be Tim Hortons following this transaction.”The chain’s aura in Canada comes from its namesake: hockey Hall of Famer Tim Horton, the co-founder who died at 44 in a 1974 car accident after playing in a game for the Buffalo Sabres.

  • Smart investors reach end of chessboard

    “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” — Albert BartlettYou’ve probably heard the story about the guy who invented the game of chess.It goes like this: An inventor brought his chessboard to the emperor of China, who was so impressed he offered to grant the man one wish. The inventor had a simple wish: He requested one grain of rice for the first square on the board, two grains for the second square, four for the third, eight for the fourth, and so on. Sounding like a modest proposal, the emperor agreed. But filling the chess board’s last 10 squares would have required 35 quintillion grains of rice — enough to bury the entire planet.Unamused, the emperor had the inventor beheaded.While I doubt the story is true, its message is important to understanding the power of compound interest: When things grow exponentially, gains look tiny at first, modest in the middle and then — very suddenly — they shoot utterly off the charts.The key to making compound interest work is sticking around long enough to make it to the end of the chessboard. That’s where the massive gains are. It’s why, of Warren Buffett’s $63 billion net worth, $62.7 billion was added after his 50th birthday, and $60 billion came after his 60th.

  • Furniture Warehouse attracts thousands on opening day

    It was Barney Becklund’s first time inside an American Furniture Warehouse store, and the Sun City resident said it was “spectacular.”“We like what we see; the prices are good. In fact, prices on everything are fantastic.”The American Furniture Warehouse, near the Loop 101 at 99th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Glendale, opened for business Saturday, and approximately 4,500 shoppers showed up.El Mirage Councilman Roy Delgado said his wife Suzie “had a gleam in her eye, her pulse was kind of pounding and she had perspiration beads all around her forehead.” Suzie conceded: “It was kind of like that.”She ended up purchasing a leather loveseat and leather motorized recliners, living room tables and lamps.“I think the prices are good,” she said, “and, there’s no pressure from the sales people. A lot to choose from in every department, and I thought it was a very nice experience.”

Featured columns

  • Master Gardener’s Mailbox: September garden calendar

    Q: September is coming, I think that means fall is here in Arizona? I am not familiar with your seasons. In the Midwest, we are getting ready for winter. What should we be getting ready for here? This is our first winter here! — Jackie, Sun City WestA: Typically, September’s temperatures are still in the mid- to high 90s. We do not really experience autumn until late October or early November.  If you will be having a garden, now is the perfect time to solarize the garden soil. Irrigate your garden and then cover with clear plastic for six weeks. This procedure will kill or drive out many of the pathogens. When the solarization is completed, you can prepare your bed for fall planting by adding organic matter. It is time to plant: snap beans, beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collard greens, cucumbers, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce (head & leaf), leeks, mustard, green onions, peas, radishes, spinach and turnips.Resume full fertilizing of established roses as the weather cools. Toward the end of August and into September, add an iron supplement if roses show yellowing from iron deficiency. For citrus, a late summer application of nitrogen fertilizer probably helps fruit sizing. This is more significant for fall ripening (Navels and tangerines) than spring ripening (grapefruit and Valencia orange) varieties.Protect newly transplanted trees from heavy winds and dust storms by staking carefully. In addition, I feel that in late August or early September fertilization will benefit most plants struggling to have a flush of growth before slowing down for the winter. The growth put on before dormancy will store more energy during the winter that will be available to the plant when it pushes growth in the spring.If you have grass, remember to let it dry out between each watering. Do not increase opportunities for fungal disease on turf by over-watering or watering at night. It is still not a good time to prune citrus.

  • OPINION: Frantic Dems plead for more money

    I’ve been getting a lot of email from Democratic fundraisers lately. They seem very worried about November’s elections. First came the highly publicized “Impeachment Red Alert” campaign, in which the Democratic congressional committee warned that Republicans will impeach President Obama if they win control of the House and Senate.Though much ridiculed, the “Impeachment Red Alert” effort was a big winner, pulling in $2.1 million in small donations in a single weekend.Despite that success, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s mood seemed to blacken in subsequent days as she asked for more and more money. The subject line of Pelosi’s next appeal was “Kiss all hope goodbye.” Her message was that all will be lost for the remainder of Obama’s term if Republican House Speaker John Boehner remains in power.Then came a missive with the subject line “Byron, I’m pleading,” in which Pelosi pronounced herself “disgusted” by the prospect of Republicans “dragging the president’s good name through the mud.”Later came “I’m pleading (again)” and “Bad news to share” and “Please, Byron.” More than a little desperation had crept into Pelosi’s tone. Each message noted that I hadn’t sent any money, and the minority leader’s disappointment seemed to deepen by the day.Vice President Joe Biden got in the game with a few emails, although he didn’t grovel like Pelosi. Finally, Obama himself began emailing. With everything the president of the United States has on his plate right now, you’d think he’d have more pressing things to do. Apparently not.

  • Lead paint could ruin vacation

    Dear Dr. Blonz: I am concerned about lead poisoning. What is the best way to check for lead in paint? Our vacation rental is in a dated cottage and there is a powdery deposit on the walls. The rental agency doesn’t know the answer. Our dog is with us, and we are also concerned about him. I need to find out more about what goes wrong with lead and how to find out discreetly whether there is a problem. — S.R., San DiegoDear S.R.: The most immediate step is to find out whether there is lead on the walls. There are a number of lead-check products, some of which will probably be available at a local hardware store. I have used LeadCheck swabs (leadcheck.com) by 3M, but there are a number of products that can provide the information you need. They all involve a liquid swab with an indicator substance that turns a certain color when lead ions are present. It is a simple, straightforward test that can be used on any surface, and one that will let you know instantly — and discreetly — whether the powdery deposit on the walls in your rental represents a risk. These swabs can also be used to test for lead in any other items, such as chew toys used by the dog.You are right to be concerned. Lead can enter the body in a number of ways, the most common being the consumption of substances containing lead, or the inhalation of lead in dust. If the walls have leaded paint, powder from the paint can drop to the floor; every time the floor is swept, the lead can become airborne, presenting an increased risk of inhalation. Lead poisoning in children, for example, is often related to the consumption of leaded paint chips that peel off the walls, or by putting hands or toys with lead dust on them in their mouths. In adults, common sources are leaded water pipes, leaded pottery used for cooking or eating, leaded food-storage containers, or working in industries where lead-containing compounds are used.Aside from testing kits for the suspect items, there is a blood test that can determine if excessive lead has entered the body. A physician can provide a more precise evaluation. The good news is that the body is able to rid itself of lead; the bad news is that it does so slowly. The issue is that if you are in a lead-contaminated environment, the lead comes in faster than the body can eliminate it. That means the essential first step is to stop the exposure.The symptoms of lead poisoning in adults are varied, including anemia, fatigue, depression, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart failure, abdominal pain, gout, kidney failure, wrist or foot weakness or reproductive problems. In children, lead poisoning symptoms include anemia, fatigue, decreased appetite, digestive problems, sleeplessness, learning problems and lowered I.Q. The Environmental Protection Agency has an excellent “Learn about Lead” page at tinyurl.com/ohsk2z5.In dogs, the symptoms of lead poisoning include distinct changes in their nervous and digestive systems, including seizures, uneven gait, colic and vomiting. Consult your veterinarian if you have any questions. You can find more about lead poisoning in dogs at tinyurl.com/nl3qed6 and tinyurl.com/32r4uj.

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