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Nevada College Aid Fund Nearly Broke

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A fund intended to pay for the college education of Nevada children whose parents died while serving as police officers or firefighters is nearly broke. The Trust Fund for the Education of Dependent Children has less than $4,000 in it. State officials say it will probably drop to $3,000 by the end of the semester.

The fund has paid for the college education of 18 students since its inception in 1995. Six students are currently using it at universities and community colleges across the state. Education leaders say they plan to vote next month on whether to ask a legislative committee for an influx of cash to keep the fund going until the full Legislature can replenish it next year.






(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

CCSD School Board Rejects Converting all Year-Round Schools

LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County School Board has rejected a money saving proposal to switch all of its year-round elementary schools to a nine-month calendar. Instead, they will only convert 21 of the 76 year-round schools to the nine-month schedule. 

Even though converting all of the schools would have saved millions and it was a well-supported idea among respondent who took a district survey, many school employees objected.  

The district's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Weiler said converting all of the year-round schools would save the district $18 million and mean fewer layoffs as the district attempts to meet a $125 million budget shortfall.

The board ended up agreeing with unions representing bus drivers and food service workers.

School Board Votes To Reject Money Saving Proposal

The Clark County School board votes to reject money saving proposal to accelerate plan to turn year round schools to 9 month schools. They will stick to only converting 21 of 76 schools to 9 month campuses.

CCSD CFO Jeff Wyler says accelerating that plan would save $8 million.

But teacher and support staff unions objected, saying it would leave their members effectively unpaid for 3 months out of the year.

Mother Arrested for Leaving Child in Car

LAS VEGAS -- A mother who told police she got her car stuck in the desert and then left her child alone for 12 hours in the car has been arrested.

Police arrested 20-year-old Diana Ruiz for Felony Child Neglect. Ruiz told police that she was taking a short cut through the desert to Sandy Valley when her car became stuck and she accidentally locked the keys in the car with her 1-year-old daughter.

Police say Ruiz walked around for several hours seeking help. When she did find help, she could not locate the car. It was several hours later that she contacted police. Search and Rescue did locate the vehicle about five miles out in the desert. The child was treated for minor bruises and dehydration and has been placed in protective custody.


Nevada's Unemployment Rate Rises to 13.2 Percent

CARSON CITY, Nev. --  Nevada's statewide unemployment rate rose to 13.2 percent in February, while the jobless rate in the Las Vegas area climbed another notch toward 14 percent.

The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said Friday the unemployment rate in Clark County increased from 13.8 to 13.9 percent.

There was no change in the 13.4 percent jobless rate in the Reno-Sparks area. In Carson City, the rate fell slightly from 13.8 percent to 13.7 percent.

The report says 189,000 workers were out of work in Nevada. But a top state economist says employers added 10,400 jobs in February, representing the first increase since October. Nevada's statewide unemployment rate in January was 13 percent, the second highest in the nation.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Police Rescue Abandoned Baby

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas Police have rescued a 1-year-old child left abandoned in a car overnight in the desert.

Police say a 20-year-old woman was driving her car in the desert yesterday when it became stuck in a ditch. The woman though she was taking a shortcut from Mountain's Edge to Sandy Valley before getting stuck. She then inadvertently locked her keys in the car along with the child. So she walked back to town to get help.

After trying unsuccessfully to find the car with a friend, the woman reported the incident to police Thursday morning.

Metro launched two search and rescue helicopters to find the car. At about 3:30 p.m. they discovered the vehicle in a very remote area of the desert west of Las Vegas. They landed nearby and officers found the child.

The child was unharmed but taken to UMC as a precaution.

DesertXpress May Begin Construction in Months

LAS VEGAS -- The DesertXpress high speed train could just be months away from starting construction.

Chief Operating Officer Andrew Mack said they are awaiting their final environmental impact report, which is the last hurdle in the process. They expect that report to be completed by the end of the summer, which means construction could start early next year, putting some 50,000 people back to work.

The DesertXpress would connect Las Vegas to Victorville, and eventually connect with Palmdale. Palmdale will be part of California's massive rail project that will reach from San Diego to San Francisco.