VDOT Traffic Alerts in Clarke County – August 20-24, 2012

The following is a list of highway work that might affect traffic in Clarke County in the coming week. Work scheduled is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. Also, when traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.
Primary Roads
* Route 7 Business (West Main Street) – Mosby Boulevard Project. Construction of Route 636/Mosby Boulevard extension and round about. Flagger traffic control. Estimated completion is May 2013.
* (NEW) Various roads – Mowing.
* Various roads – Bridge deck cleaning and washing. Single-lane traffic controlled by arrow board, Monday night to Friday night, 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Secondary Roads
* Route 644 (Featherbed Road) – Bride replacement at the intersection of Route 658 (White Post Road). Road closed beginning Aug. 6. Estimated completion is late August. Detour posted.
* Various roads – Bridge deck cleaning and washing. Single-lane traffic controlled by arrow board, Monday night to Friday night, 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.
* Various roads – Utility tree trimming. Flagger traffic control during daylight hours, Monday to Friday.
* Various roads – Paving operations. Flagger traffic control, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5p.m. Estimated completion is Oct. 1.

Traffic Alert: VDOT Work in Clarke 8/6/2012 – 8/13/2012

Primary Roads

  • (NEW) Mile marker 7, eastbound – Inspection of bridges over Shenandoah River from mile marker 15 to 16. Single lane closure, Wednesday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Route 7 Business (West Main Street) – Mosby Boulevard Project. Construction of Route 636/Mosby Boulevard extension and round about. Flagger traffic control. Estimated completion is May 2013.
  • Various roads – Bridge deck cleaning and washing. Single-lane traffic controlled by arrow board, Monday night to Friday night, 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Secondary Roads

  • (NEW) Route 644 (Featherbed Road) – Bride replacement at the intersection of Route 658 (White Post Road). Road closed beginning Aug. 6. Estimated completion is late August. Detour posted.
  • Various roads – Bridge deck cleaning and washing. Single-lane traffic controlled by arrow board, Monday night to Friday night, 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Various roads – Utility tree trimming. Flagger traffic control during daylight hours, Monday to Friday.
  • Various roads – Paving operations. Flagger traffic control, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5p.m. Estimated completion is October 1, 2012.

 

 

Sheriff Rolls out New CodeRed Approach

Clarke County residents will soon be getting a phone call from Sheriff Tony Roper’s department. While a call from the sheriff’s department isn’t a standard event in most people’s lives, this call is important to accept because the information Roper is offering just may save your life.

Sometime around mid-April the Clarke County Sheriff’s department will roll out its new emergency notification system, CodeRed a sophisticated automated communications product from Emergency Communications Network, Inc.

Clarke County Sheriff's Department Communications Director Pam Hess expects to launch the new CodeRed emergency communications program later this month - Photo Edward Leonard

“The primary advantage of CodeRed is that it allows us to keep our citizens informed about situations where their safety or the safety of another could be dependent on us getting information out to them as quickly as possible,” said CCSD Communications Director Pam Hess. “My staff will be trained on the system on April 11th and we will be able to utilize the system after that training is complete.  At some point after the training we will be putting out an ‘All Call’ message letting everyone know the system has been placed in service.”

Hess, who has 25-years of service with the sheriff’s department, says that web-based can be activated using many different methods so that information can be delivered as narrowly or as widely as needed.

“We can activate CodeRed by using any number of call lists,” Hess said. “For example, a list based call could be from the town notifying residence that the water service will shut down for maintenance.  CodeRed can also be activated using ‘All Call’ which will place calls to all residences within the entire database.”

Hess said that an “All Call” example might include notifying residents to take shelter due to pending severe weather.  Hess said that CodeRed can be also be activated to call residents by geographic location.

“We can go on to the mapping portion of the system and draw a polygon around a certain area and notify everyone within that area,” Hess explained. “A possible use for the geographic calling feature could be a chemical release or area where a known suspect was last seen. We could also notify residents about a missing person’s last known location out to a three-mile radius.”

Hess said that notifications can be provided by zip code and town as well.

Sheriff Tony Roper says that as budgets continue to tighten technology is one tool that can help his department do more with less in meeting the County’s public safety needs.

“I recognize that certain technology can absolutely make us more effective, but I also know that it is very easy to get caught up in the ‘must have the latest’ thinking,” Roper said. “I guard against that, and justify every technology purchase by assuring, to the extent possible, that the purchase supports our mission.”

Roper said that CodeRed will also have public benefit beyond its use as an emergency management tool. Roper sees the new software improving communications between Clarke County government and its citizens.

“In addition to the ‘emergency ‘ aspect of this system, we hope to be better able to communicate with folks regarding non-emergency issues,” Roper said. “For example, being able to notify large numbers of selected people about a meeting, or concerning a planned event, that sort of thing. Once we have the lists created, I think the possibilities are almost endless.”

The new CodeRed software will replace the County’s emergency notification system. Hess says that CodeRed was selected because of its ease of use and that it met the Sheriff’s Department’s requirements.

The existing emergency notification system, which has been utilized approximately four times, came under some criticism when it was activated last year to help locate an elderly citizen that had wandered away from her residence. When the automated emergency call was placed, some citizens ignored the call because the caller identification number transmitted with the call did not identify the call as coming from the Sheriff’s Department.

CodeRed's geographic information system includes a map of all Clarke County roads - Photo Edward Leonard

Several residents said in the days following the elderly residents safe recover that they had assumed the call was from a telemarketing firm and didn’t answer it.

Hess said that when grant funding for the existing emergency notification system ran out the decision was made to purchase a new system that better met the needs of the community. But unlike the old system, the CodeRed software is being funded with Clarke County taxpayer dollars. The total price for three years will run the County $38K which includes a database of Clarke County streets and the $9K Weather Warning Service option.

Clarke County purchasing officer Mike Legge said that the County utilized General Services Administration (GSA) contract for the purchase.

Hess said that while the CodeRed has many features that can benefit Clarke County residents, people who rely on non-traditional communication technologies like cellphones and voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) will need to “opt-in” by notifying the system on their preference information.

“It is very important for everyone to sign up just to make sure they are in the database,” Hess said. “While ECN uses public record to get phone information and we have submitted our 911 database that we get through Verizon, many people have opted to not have a hardline/Verizon home phone any longer. If residents use VOIP, cell phones or any phone service provider they will likely not get any emergency notifications. Also there will be a way to opt out of getting any phone calls at all.  As soon as we have that mechanism in place we will put that information out.”

Hess said that citizens who “opt-in” beyond standard landline service will have several additional options, including automatic notifications from the National Weather Service in the event of impending weather events.

“In order to receive the weather alerts you have to sign up using the link on the County web page,” Hess said. “CodeRed will let you get alerts on three types of weather situations – tornados, floods or severe thunder storms. You will get these alerts only if the physical address you have entered is in the path of the impending weather. The information is transmitted just after the National Weather Service issues the warnings.”

Hess said that many jurisdictions across the country use the CodeRed system including Madison County, Virginia.

But despite CodeRed’s many technological bells and whistles, Sheriff Roper said that citizens who haven’t moved down the digital highway quite as quickly as others won’t be left alone in the event of a pending problem.

“The CodeRed system allows a great deal of flexibility in a time where people get information in many different ways from many sources,” said Sheriff Roper. “We recognize, however, that a certain population will still want to get only a telephone call at a home number, and that is perfectly acceptable.”

Letter to the Editor: American Red Cross

Dear editor,

Every two seconds, someone in our country needs a blood transfusion.

Like the Emergency Room of a hospital, the American Red Cross needs to be prepared to respond to patient emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Right here in the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region, the Red Cross must collect approximately 5,000 blood and platelet donations each week to meet the everyday needs of patients at area hospitals.

Who receives the blood products so generously donated by Red Cross blood donors?

About 18 percent of blood products are transfused to patients undergoing care for cancer, including leukemia and lymphoma. Patients experiencing gastrointestinal blood loss unrelated to cancer receive approximately 15 percent of blood products. Those undergoing orthopedic or urological surgery receive about 14 percent of blood products. Two groups – those undergoing other surgeries and those with anemia other than cancer-related – each receive 13 percent of transfusions. Trauma patients receive approximately 12 percent of blood products, and cardiac care patients, 11 percent.

Each day approximately 44,000 units of blood must be donated to meet such needs experienced by patients in the United States.

For additional information about blood donation or to make a donor appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.

Sincerely,

John B. Nobiletti, MD, PhD
Medical Director
American Red Cross Blood Services

Special Feature: Is Your Home Wireless Network Cybercrime Safe?

This is the first in a series of articles designed to provide Clarke Daily News readers with a better understanding of cybercrime and how to avoid falling prey to this growing and malicious threat.

By Rob Spitler, Clarke County Sheriff’s Office

Computer crime and cyber terrorism are growing threats not only in this country, but in your neighborhood as well.   Securing the wireless network in your home is important for the safety of you, your family, community, and county.

Ever noticed when you turn on a wireless device that there are, at times, more than one wireless access point available to connect to?  Were they begging you to join?  What happens if you do join someone else’s network, or even still what happens when someone else joins yours?

Let’s first take a look at you connecting to their network; often referred to as “piggybacking.”  Depending on the state or jurisdiction and what occurs while you are on the network it may also be known as Theft of Computer Services.  This occurs when someone obtains computer services without authority, in other words using someone’s internet without paying or having permission. The Virginia Computer Crimes Act (VA Code 18.2-152.1 – 18.2-152.15) defines criminal acts specific to computers and networks.

Now let’s look at safety.  Whose network are you connected to?  By connecting to that network, what privileges have you just given them for your own device? Can that person monitor what you are doing, steal data from, or even take control of your device?

Often hackers will map out towns and neighborhoods to find every open wireless network. This is referred to as war driving.  It may be done with the simple intent of finding where to get free internet, or may be for some nefarious reason, such as identity theft.

A criminal can easily take advantage of an open network to distribute child pornography, gain access to your personal information, or create attacks on other computers or networks.  Terrorists can use open networks as access points to inflict damages through cyber-terrorism.

For many people with a new home wireless network, getting onto the Internet as fast as possible is the main goal.  By accepting default settings and leaving the network open, he or she are not only inviting others to use the network at will, but also opens the door fraud, abuse, and even cyber-terrorism.

By taking steps, like those listed below, to secure your home wireless network you are taking steps to protect not only yourself, but your friends, neighbors, country, and way of life.  Each of the steps will provide a measure of security or anonymity to protect your wireless network.  Beware when following “rules” to secure your network from websites.  Often these can be misleading and give a false sense of security. The more layers of security you use, the less chance of you being affected by cybercrime.

Wireless routers offer a number of security features. It's important to read and under the operating manual before connecting your device before activation.

  • Read The Manual.  The first step to wireless security is to learn the features offered by the router you choose.  Most routers are similar, but each has different features in different locations.
  • Change Default Administrator Passwords.  Every wireless router comes with a default username and password.  These can all be found on various websites across the Internet.  Hackers like the easy route first, so they will often try the defaults first when attempting to break into your network.
  • Turn On Encryption.  All wireless routers come with built in data encryption.  Most routers are compatible with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 encryption.  Although WEP is better than nothing, it is weak and easily broken. Try to use WPA2 or better to secure your network.
  • Change Default SSID.  The SSID is your network name. Most routers will come with a default name such as Linksys.  If a criminal see’s Linksys he or she will know what make your router is, and can then look for default usernames and passwords for Linksys routers to gain access to your network.  He or she may also already have steps to break past security on a specific router.
  • Use Non-Obvious Network Name.  Avoid using your name, address, or combinations to name your network.  When you use Smith Network or 1225 Main Street you are identifying to criminals who a network belongs to or where it is located.
  • Turn On Mac Address Filtering.  Every network device (wireless card, network card, router, etc) has a Mac address.  This is a number similar to 08:R4:J9:23:6M:B7 which identifies your network device.  Mac filtering will allow only the Mac addresses logged in the router to access the network.  This will help to thwart attackers.
  • Turn Off Broadcasting SSID.  A wireless router sends out a radio signal to tell everyone it is there using the wireless network name.  If the network name is not being broadcasted it is more difficult for a criminal to identify and attack your network.  In essence this will make you relatively invisible to most outsiders.
  • Assign And Filter IP Addresses For Devices.  Network attached devices are assigned an IP address by Internet Service Providers or personal routers.  This is a number, similar to 192.168.0.1, that points directly to you the same way your home address does. Your cable modem will be assigned an external IP address by the ISP.  Your router will then assign internal IP addresses for each device that connects with it. Usually it does this automatically (DHCP) and the device may change the IP addresses each time it connects.  By setting static (non-changing) IP addresses for each device, it will allow the router to further filter “who” is allowed access to use the network.  Filtering of IP addresses is not a feature on all routers.
  • Upgrade Firmware.  Keep your router’s firmware upgraded as often as possible.  Firmware upgrades will fix bugs, close vulnerabilities, and often give new features and security.
  • Update Operating System. Whether using Windows, Mac, or Linux keep the operating system up-to-date. This patches holes in security that allows people to exploit your computer.
  • Disable Remote Administration.  Many routers allow access remotely via the Internet.  By disabling this feature, it will only allow a computer from within the network to access the router and make changes.
  • Use Firewalls.  Enable firewalls on any computers attached to your network and on your router if it has any.  Firewalls will help keep outsiders from intruding into your systems even if they are able to access your network.
  • Use Anti-Virus. Ensure that your computer has an anti-virus program installed and running, that you keep it updated, and regularly scan your hard drives.
  • Position Routers in a Safe Location. By placing your router near the center of your residence you will get better coverage for your home and less signal spilling outside of your residence.
  • Reduce the Signal Range.  Some routers allow you to set the signal strength of the routers wireless signal. If so, try to limit the router to only extend coverage to within your residence or as close to as possible.  This will keep someone from sitting in a car on the street using your Internet.
  • Turn Routers Off.  If you are going to be away from home for extended periods of time, turn your router off. This will ensure no outside access while you are gone.  If you have a cable modem that also has your home phone included, check the user manual; you may be able to turn off everything except the phone.
  • Sharing. Be careful with sharing settings on the router or individual computers.  It is best to share only what you must, and only with specific people.  When setting sharing, try to do so by sharing only with computers within your network.  Sharing outside of the network opens you to letting vulnerabilities in

Though no single step will guarantee 100% protection, by using as many of these suggestions as possible, you will build a solid layer of protection for you, your family, and your community.

Here is one last item of advice when away from home. Turn the WiFi off on your mobile devices, or at least turn off the Auto Connect to Open Networks settings. If your phone is set to always connect to open WiFi you could inadvertently connect to a malicious computer system and you can become a victim.

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office hopes this information will help you to understand some of the risks associated with unsecured home wireless networks and give you layered security methods to ensure a safe and enjoyable Web connected experience. Making you aware of dangers that are associated with the cyber world, and teaching you to take precautions also helps to protect you, your family, community, and county from the dangers of cybercrime.

Clarke County Sheriff’s Department Reserve Deputy Rob Spitler has been in law enforcement since 1990 and beforehand served in the US Air Force. He has also served the James City County Police Department and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office. Rob has worked patrol, narcotics investigation, major crimes, and computer crimes and has served as a supervisor, field trainer, and instructor. When not protecting the citizens of Clarke County Rob is a forensics team lead at the Defense Cyber Crime Center in Maryland.

Senseny Road Will Drop to One Lane for Construction

The familiar path into Winchester from Clarke County will soon be constricted to one lane of traffic and could be subject to significant back-ups through August of this year.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will begin construction repairs to the Cork Street/Senseny Road Bridge over Interstate 81 within 30 days. In the coming weeks VDOT will place traffic signs along Pleasant Valley Road, Cork Street and Senseny Road notifying traffic of the upcoming construction project. VDOT anticipates that the project will be completed by August 10, 2012.

Traffic flow across the bridge will be limited to one lane and will be controlled by temporary stop lights. This will likely cause a backup of vehicles throughout the day.

The project will also affect traffic in and around Jim Barnett Park. During construction, the Bridgeforth Drive entrance into Jim Barnett Park will be temporarily closed to thru traffic to ensure driver and pedestrian safety. Access to and from Bridgeforth, Rotary, T-ball, and Eagles Fields will be routed to the Cork Street/Maple Drive, Pleasant Valley Road and Millwood Avenue entrances of the park. The City of Winchester will install temporary signage along Bridgeforth Drive near the intersection of War Memorial and Bridgeforth Drives informing drivers that the Cork Street interchange is closed to traffic.

VDOT contractors have been authorized to use a small portion of the gravel parking lot near Bridgeforth Field and the BMX track as a construction staging area. VDOT is aware of the public need for this lot and will limit their use so it does not impact access to and use of this parking lot. City officials have also requested that VDOT stop work on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Apple Blossom weekend and during other large events throughout the spring and summer months.

Target Recalls LED Flashlight Sets Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Target Corporation, of Minneapolis, Minn., today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: 6-pc. LED Flashlight Sets

Units: About 55,000

Importer: Target Corporation, of Minneapolis, Minn.

Hazard: When turned on, the flashlights can heat up, smoke or melt, posing fire and burn hazards.

Incidents/Injuries: Target has received reports of four incidents with the flashlights, including two minor burn injuries to consumer’s hands.

Description: This recall involves 6-pc. LED Flashlight Sets. They are made of silver plastic with black rubber around the handle and light base. The flashlight sets have UPC code 490021010049 printed on the back of the package. They were sold in sets of six, including two small flashlights measuring about 3 inches long, two medium flashlights about 6 inches long and two large flashlights about 7 1/2 inches long.

Sold exclusively at: Target stores nationwide from October 2010 through December 2011 for about $10 per set.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the flashlights and return them to any Target store for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Target at (800) 440-0680 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.target.com

Police Break Up Illegal Street Luge on Mt. Weather

The sport of street luge at a sanctioned event - Photo credit Wikipedia.com

The winding curves and steep grades on Blue Ridge Mountain Road (Route 601) in Clarke County instill a sense of caution in most people that travel the treacherous road, but for one group of extreme sport buffs it presented an opportunity for a thrill.

The road runs along the ridge line of Mount Weather and offers beautiful views drawing drivers and motorcyclists from all over the area who venture out for a scenic drive. However, on the weekend of November 13th, law enforcement officials responded to two serious accidents on Route 601. The Virginia State Police and Clarke County Sheriff’s office worked two separate motorcycle accidents one of which involved a fatality. While working the incidents, Clarke County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Thompson received two calls, one from an ambulance, the other from a tow truck driver, both of whom were called to the scene of the fatal accident, alerting police to a dangerous situation both drivers had witnessed.

The drivers reported seeing a group of people racing down the mountain on over-sized skate boards on Route 601 near Route 50. Deputy Thompson said he responded to the area and found a group of adults and one 17 year old, racing down the mountain engaged in a street luge. The extreme sport  involves large boards with over-sized wheels mounted on skateboard trucks. Riders typically travel feet-first and can reach speeds in excess of 60 mph. Sanctioned races are held on closed courses that are inspected and have barriers installed at dangerous turns. However, the gathering that was discovered on the mountain was an extremely dangerous and illegal version of the sport.

Deputy Thompson described the scene, “The riders would start down hill and a vehicle would track behind the rider with their emergency flashers on.” The riders steer by leaning their board and brake with their feet. “This is highly dangerous and totally unsafe,” remarked Deputy Thompson.

Thompson collected the riders at the base of the hill and discovered that it is a known location for this type of event. Several of the riders said that they “do it all the time” and have never had a problem. Deputy Thompson spoke to the group at length about the dangers of the road, the reality of which was driven home by a fatal motorcycle crash only a short time before their illegal gathering.

No citation was written and Thompson said he felt like the message to the group was received loud and clear.

But, the street luge phenomenon appeared again that day only a short time later. This time just across the Clarke County line on Route 7 in Loudoun. A 911 call came in approximately three hours later that a group of lugers were racing down the busy stretch of eastbound Route 7. Thompson said the description sounded like it was a different group than the ones he had spoken to earlier in the day. However, there was no sign of the group when law enforcement arrived on scene.

The disturbing trend has been noted by the Sheriff’s office. Thompson said he intends to keep an eye on the mountain for dangerous activity based on the events of that tragic weekend.

 

The video below is in no way connected to the incident, but does demonstrate the type of activity encountered on the mountain.

County to Implement New Emergency Notification System

Clarke County citizens will soon have a new state-of-the-art emergency notification system. Clarke County Sheriff Tony Roper gained budgetary approval from the Board of Supervisors to move forward with procuring a new system last Monday, although the authorization vote was not unanimous.

In his request for the $6,500 necessary for the first six months of operation, Roper told the Supervisors that the new emergency notification system has many benefits over the current system including improved reliability and flexibility.

“The new system will allow us to send notifications to members of the community by phone call, text message or email” Roper said. “We can also send messages to only people in specific geographic areas.”

Roper said that the new software provides a method for citizens to create and manage their own personal profiles that specify how they will receive notifications – text message, voice, email – or to opt out of the system entirely.

Roper said that he did not expect a large number of citizens to opt out.

“Although there have been complaints about message voice quality and the caller identification system displaying as an ‘800’ exchange with the current system, no one has opted out so far” Roper said.

Roper said that his office has activated the current emergency call system five times. Although the system operated properly on four occasions, one activation attempt failed. Roper also told the Supervisors that a recent activation of the system to locate an elderly person lost in Berryville earlier this summer was not as effective as it could have been because some citizens chose not to answer the call assuming that the unrecognized ‘800’ caller-id exchange may have been a telemarketing call.

In addition to solving the caller-id display problem, Roper said, the new system does not impose increased charges for message length or number of calls as does the emergency notification system being currently used by his department.

While the majority of the Supervisors appeared satisfied that the new software was not only an improvement, but necessary for alerting citizens to potentially hazardous situations, one Supervisor disagreed with spending the requested funds.

“This is a waste of money” said Supervisor Pete Dunning (White Post). “You can’t notify people quickly enough with any system to make a difference.” As evidence, Dunning recounted an incident that occurred in his district many years ago when a fugitive attacked several people before police were able to intervene.

Dunning said that even of the County had had an emergency notification system at the time, the speed that criminal events can occur can make notification calls untimely. Dunning asked the Sheriff if the system was necessary.

Sheriff Roper replied “If I decide that it’s important enough to go out and procure then we’ll stand by that decision.”

Supervisor Michael Hobert (Berryville) responded to Dunning’s concern saying that the emergency notification system was useful in many ways beside the type of situation describe by Mr. Dunning. Hobert cited the example of emergency systems generating warning calls based on National Weather Service notifications.

“These systems have a lot of benefit but they are not perfect” Hobert said.

“They’re not perfect during a time when we don’t have much money” Dunning responded.

“Well, the Sheriff will have $13K charged against his budget for the system’s annual cost” Hobert said. “In doing so Sheriff Roper is stating what he believes is important to the community in 2011.”

Supervisors Hobert, Staelin (Millwood), Weiss (Buckmarsh) and Byrd (Russell) approved the $6,500 budget allocation to cover the cost of the emergency notification system for six-month. Supervisor Dunning voted against the expenditure.

Big Lots Recalls Glider Recliners with Ottomans Due to Finger Crushing Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Products: Microfiber Glider Recliners with Ottomans and Leather Glider Recliners with Ottomans

Units: About 375,000

Retailer: Big Lots, of Columbus, Ohio.

Hazard: An exposed gap between the moving parts of the chair and the base framework can allow access to toddlers and infants, posing an entrapment hazard. In addition, other exposed moving parts on the chair and the ottoman can pose finger pinching and crushing hazards to older children and adults.

Incidents/Injuries: CPSC received two reports of children under age two who were found trapped at the neck between horizontal components of the frame at the back of the chair. In both incidents, adults were able to release the children who suffered no permanent injuries.

Description: The Microfiber Glider Recliner and Leather Glider Recliner are reclining glider/rocking chairs on a swivel base. Both the chair and ottoman sit on circular metal bases made from 1.25 inch metal tubing and have cushions covered in either light brown or green microfiber fabric or dark brown simulated leather fabric. A label under the seat of the chair identifies the manufacturer as Dongguan Shindin Metal & Plastic Products Ltd. There is a small label on the front metal rod under the seat that states “Maximum wt load 250 lbs.”

Sold at: Big Lots stores nationwide from January 2005 through December 2009 for about $170.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the chairs and contact Big Lots for a free repair kit that covers the base framework and the moving parts of the chair and ottoman.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Big Lots toll-free at (866) 244-5687 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.biglots.com