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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

'World's Largest Swimming Lesson' comes to Albuquerque pools

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Thursday, June 20, 2024   

It is the first day of summer and time for a global event called the "World's Largest Swimming Lesson."

Albuquerque's West Mesa Aquatic Center will offer 400 free lessons to build awareness about drowning prevention.

Julia Romero, swim lesson coordinator for the city, said nearly 60% of Americans have said they either cannot swim or don't have basic swimming skills. She noted participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children younger than 4 by up to 88%.

"What's really cool about this event is free swim lessons are happening across the whole world -- not just America, but different parts of the world too," Romero emphasized. "We're getting to play our part in it, too."

Romero noted New Mexico has the 11th highest drowning rate among states per 100,000 people, despite having only 292 square miles of water, compared with 40,000 in Michigan, which ranks 39th in the country. Since the World's Largest Swimming Lesson began, the organization said more than 380,000 children and adults in 53 countries on six continents have participated.

What it lacks in open bodies of water, New Mexico makes up in swimming pools. Accounting for population, Romero said the state has the third-highest number, behind Arizona and Florida.

"It's just not very frequent that you see an open body of water," Romero observed. "I don't think parents and other individuals -- grandparents, families -- know how accessible swim lessons actually are to them."

Romero frequently hears from older adults about a parent or grandparent who once threw them into a body of water as a kind of test, but swimming lessons were not a priority.

"They never actually learned how to properly save their own lives if they were ever in the water," Romero pointed out. "There's huge need on just education on water safety."

City swimming instructors will offer free 30-minute lessons from 9 a.m. until noon at the Aquatic Center on a first-come, first-served basis. Romero said swimming lessons will be offered by the city through July, with signups available in both English and Spanish at play.cabq.go.

References:  
Swimming data CDC 2024

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