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Oct 27

Virginia Department of Health Highlights Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Posted on October 27, 2016 at 9:39 AM by Communications Department

This week is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, and the Virginia Department of Health wants you to learn about lead poisoning and how to avoid it. Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future is this year’s theme and it underscores the importance of testing your home and your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects. LeadFreeKida_sc

“Lead poisoning is one of the most preventable environmental diseases among young children,” said State Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine, MD. It can affect any child, but children under age 6 are at the greatest risk. In Virginia in 2015, 211 children under the age of 6 were confirmed to have elevated blood lead levels.

In children, too much lead in the body can cause lasting problems with brain development affecting behavior, hearing, learning and speech. It can also slow the child's growth. In adults, lead poisoning can damage the brain and nervous system, stomach and kidneys. It can also cause high blood pressure and other health problems. Major sources of lead exposure include lead-based paint, lead-contaminated dust in older buildings (pre 1978), contaminated soil, take-home exposures from a parent’s workplace, and contaminated drinking water, primarily from well water or old pipes.

Parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead in many ways. Public water supplies are routinely tested for lead, but private water supplies (wells) are the owner’s responsibility. Newport News Waterworks meets or exceeds all water quality requirements, yet water pipes in some older homes may contain lead solder where lead may leach out into the water and affect the quality of water flowing through your tap. Additionally, homeowners that rely on well water should have their water tested. Before you buy an older home, ask for a lead inspection. And even if your young children seem healthy, you can ask your doctor to test for lead. The Virginia Department of Health’s Peninsula Health District can provide helpful information about preventing childhood lead poisoning. Contact the Environmental Health Division for more information about lead or other environmental hazards.

Lead-Safe Virginia provides information about working safely with lead paint and how to have your home tested for lead. The Virginia Household Water Quality Program and the Virginia Department of Health offer information on private well management, well water and well water testing. For concerns about someone who may have been exposed to lead, contact your doctor, your local health department, or the Virginia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 or visit
Oct 27

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Posted on October 27, 2016 at 9:39 AM by Communications Department

Courthouse Green Neighborhood

The City of Newport News recently applied for a grant to address public safety and quality of life issues identified in the Courthouse Green neighborhood. While not successful in obtaining the grant, the City is proceeding with help to create a community coalition aimed at developing and implementing solutions to those issues that continue to negatively impact that neighborhood.
One of the first issues that needs to be addressed is the impact of the current built environment (i.e., lighting, street network, shrubs, trees, and building design) upon public safety and the quality of life within the neighborhood. To that end, the City has contracted with the International Association of Law Enforcement Planners to have Mr. Barry Horrobin bring his expertise in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) to Newport News. Mr. Horrobin will be in Newport News from November 2nd thought 4th. During his visit, he will:
  • canvass the neighborhood to conduct an assessment of current conditions and conduct interviews as needed; 
  • deliver a one-day “Introduction to CPTED” seminar for City staff and other community-based stakeholders; 
  • conduct an evening meeting with Courthouse Green residents to explain the CPTED concepts that might be applied in the neighborhood and obtain feedback on those ideas; and 
  • conduct a debriefing session with relevant City staff members at the end of the site visit. 

Courthouse Green residents will soon be receiving detailed information about the community meeting.
Oct 27

Newport News Fire Department Holds Trunk or Treat Benefit

Posted on October 27, 2016 at 9:38 AM by Communications Department

On Saturday, October 29, from 12:00 to 4:00 PM join the Newport News Fire Department at their Trunk or Treat event being held at the Newport News Fire Training Facility, 17300 Warwick Boulevard. Trunk or Treat is a Halloween event where people gather and park their cars in a large parking lot, open their decorated trunks, and pass out candy. The event provides a safe family environment for trick-or-treaters. There will be candy, games, and a bounce house. Prizes will be awarded to families for the best decorated trunks and kid costumes. 10_27_TRUNK-or-TREAT-2016_sc

This event benefits public service members’ spouses who are battling breast cancer, and the Fire Department will have a donation box, raffles, t-shirts and food available for a donation. The Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation will be on-site to provide information about the disease. It is a great way for the children to have a safe fun Saturday and aid a much needed benefit at the same time. According to event coordinator Lt. Amy Snead, “A Trunk or Treat is similar to trick-or-treating in your own neighborhood, but the houses are so much closer!”

Pre-registration is required for a parking space to have your trunk on display and can be done by emailing