News Roundup -- Student OK after collision/Two pertussis cases at school/Shainin named BPA director/Downtown group moves

Student OK after collision

A 9-year-old Bainbridge boy complained only of a sore neck after he was struck by a vehicle while walking his bicycle through a crosswalk near Ordway Elementary School early Thursday.

The youth was transported to Harrison Hospital as a precaution, school officials said.

The youth was pushing his bike past the entrance to the school district offices and aquatic center, when a motorist pulling out from the driveway struck his bicycle, police said. The youth was on the other side of the bike and was knocked to the ground.

The driver, a 40-year-old Bainbridge woman behind the wheel of a Toyota van, told police she did not see the youth in the crosswalk, police said.

The accident was reported at 7:48 a.m., and a police spokesperson said contributing factors included darkness, rain and the youth’s own dark clothing.

The driver was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian.

In a news release to parents, school officials urged them to “discuss with your children safety rules including walking bikes across crosswalks, wearing highly visible clothing and for everyone to look carefully before crossing at an intersection.

“It is also important to remember to have bicycles equipped with lights and reflectors and for the rider to wear a helmet.”

Officials also said riding the school bus remains the safest way to get students to and from school, and to relieve traffic congestion in school zones as students are coming and going.

– Douglas Crist

Two pertussis cases at school

Two students at Woodward Middle School have lab-confirmed cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, according to the Kitsap County Health District.

“It’s good this happened during winter break,” said Becky Deeter, the nurse who works with Woodward, Sakai Intermediate School and the Commodore programs. “They’ve been treated prior to returning to school.”

Parents are urged to monitor children who have cold symptoms that last longer than usual.

People with symptoms consistent with pertussis should see a health practitioner for a culture that will verify whether pertussis is present, according to the health department. The highly contagious bacterial respiratory disease is spread when infected people cough or sneeze. It can be very serious in infants.

While waiting for the results, students should stay at home. If the culture confirms pertussis, students should not return to school until they have completed five days of prescribed medication, according to Dr. Scott Lindquist, director of the health district.

The amount of time between exposure to pertussis and the beginning of symptoms ranges from five to 21 days. Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, cough and low-grade fever, but within a few days the cough becomes persistent and comes in bursts, often followed by a “whooping” sound as the child breathes in. Classic pertussis lasts six to 10 weeks.

“This is a dry hacking cough that may interrupt sleep,” Deeter said. “That’s a little bit different than a cold. It has to do with longevity.”

Bainbridge High School had one confirmed and three suspected cases of pertussis last November.

People who are “in really close contact” with someone who has pertussis are at risk, Deeter said.

“Doctors don’t want to culture or treat people with symptoms right away. It does make a difference to say, ‘It’s my best friend who got diagnosed’ or ‘I spend a lot of time with this person.’”

Deeter reminded teachers and families that “good old hand washing dispels germs.” Although she prefers the use of running water and soap, a hand sanitizer such as Purel will get the job done.

For more information about pertussis, call the Kitsap County Health Department at (360) 337-5235.

– Rhona Schwartz

Shainin named BPA director

Christopher Shainin has been named the new managing director of Bainbridge Performing Arts, the organization announced Friday.

Shainin comes to BPA with extensive training in arts management, 10 years of experience in the field, and artistic interests as a composer who has collaborated with filmmakers, theater directors, and choreographers, the organization said.

Downtown group moves

The Bainbridge Island Downtown Association office is going to where the action is.

Come the weekend of Jan. 15, the association will call 120 Madrone Lane home.

BIDA Executive Director Cris Beattie is moving her office from the Marge Williams Center on Winslow Way to the more centrally located – and larger – atrium above Churchmouse Yarns and Teas.

“We’re celebrating our 20th year in ’06. It’s exciting that we’re moving now,” said Beattie, who has been at the helm of BIDA since May 2002. “We’re going from just a little fun-loving group of downtowners to a raging memb ership now.”

Before its official opening, BIDA’s new two-room space will get fresh paint at the hands of volunteer board members and a paid helper, and carpeting, which has yet to be found.

Beattie has long outgrown her current 10-by-10-foot office, crammed with boxes, brochures and the other tools of downtown promotional trade.

Despite the cramped quarters, she has been able to fulfill the association’s goal, which is to “increase our sense of downtown community…by collaborating with the city, businesses, community members and nonprofit organizations to build and sustain our vibrant downtown through design improvements, promotional events, publications and economic actions.”

“We’ve made some giant strides,” Beattie said. “The Marge has been wonderful for all the nonprofits.”

– Rhona Schwartz

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