Silver Dollars & Wooden Nickels: Saving a life deserves more than silver |

Silver Dollars & Wooden Nickels: Saving a life deserves more than silver

The Nevada Appeal Editorial Board

The Nevada Appeal’s “Silver Dollar” and “Wooden Nickel” feature recognizes positive achievements from the capital region and, when warranted, points out others that missed the mark.

Silver Dollar: Veteran Carson City dispatcher Cindy Merrell used her training and cool head to give CPR instructions over the phone to help a distraught mother revive her baby Wednesday. The infant was not breathing when the call came in.

“I got to just sit there and listen to this dispatcher and she took control of the situation and actually saved the baby’s life,” said John Mason, a system technician with AT&T, who was in the dispatch center during the call. “I’ve seen a lot of stuff that didn’t affect me. This actually touched me. When that baby coughed we were (cheering).”

Wooden Nickel: After two months of decline, Nevada’s unemployment rate bounced back up in December. The seasonally adjusted rate hit 13 percent, an increase of seven-tenths of a percent statewide.

The December numbers left Nevada with an overall unemployment rate of 11.7 percent for calendar 2009. In Carson City, the increase was 1.5 percent over the month to 12.7 percent. There are about 3,700 Carson residents looking for work out of 29,400 in the workforce.

Silver Dollar: Two Carson School District representatives received statewide honors last week.

Former Carson High girls basketball coach Alana Williams will be one of 10 inductees into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame. She will be formally honored Feb. 25 at the University of Nevada. Williams coached the Senators to six 3A state basketball championships between 1983 and 1990.

Lisa Schuette, a health teacher at Carson Middle School for the past nine years, was awarded the HIV Educator of the Year from the Natalie Silva Wallin Family Foundation. Schuette was chosen in part because of her effort to promote sex education in middle schools. She was instrumental in coordinating sex ed to 91.2 percent of middle school students, the second highest percentage in Nevada’s rural districts.

Wooden Nickel: With more than one in 10 homes in Nevada receiving a foreclosure notice in 2009, the Silver State had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the third consecutive year.

• Editor’s note: Do you have a suggestion for a Silver Dollar or Wooden Nickel award? Send your idea to