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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.

Trial Set to Begin for Indicted Former UMC Chief

LAS VEGAS -- A jury has been selected in the trial of a former director of southern Nevada's public hospital.

Dismissed former University Medical Center director Lacy Thomas could face decades in prison if he is convicted of felony theft and misconduct of a public officer. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors contend the 53-year-old Thomas steered no-bid and no-work contracts to friends and associates in Chicago. That's where Thomas used to be chief of John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital.

He was hired in 2004 to turn around the financially troubled UMC in Las Vegas. He was fired in January 2007 after auditors found UMC lost more than $34 million the previous year, and after police revealed they were investigating the contracts.

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

Fire Kills Hundreds of Birds at Gilcrease Nature Sanctuary

LAS VEGAS -- Hundreds of rare and exotic birds were killed in an early morning fire at the Gilcrease Nature Sanctuary near Durango and Racel.

The two alarm fire broke out just after 5 a.m. Friday. Dozens of people have come to help clean up and lend their supports.

The sanctuary is a landmark for animal lovers. It's been around since the 1970's.

Firefighters couldn't do anything to save two buildings at the sanctuary housing nearly 300 birds. The fire just spread too quick.

"Oscar Gilcrease was actually here and he heard the fire and the popping noise and he ran out and he tried to contain the fire. They called the fire department, but the wind picked it up and moved from one building to another," said Director Sandra Salinas.

Clark County Fire Investigators are still looking for the cause, but witnesses believe the wind played a role.

Volunteers came from all around the community to help anyway they can.

CCSD Wants Community Input on School Budget Cuts

LAS VEGAS -- Parents, students, teachers, and other community members are now weighing in on the tough issue of school budget cuts. An online survey will gauge where everyone feels the cuts should or should not be made.

The 16 question survey only takes a few minutes to fill out.  The questions deal with critical issues such as campus security, school transportation, teacher layoffs, and even closing schools.

Strong opinions are pouring in. Some of the questions come as little surprise and garner a mixed reaction. For example,  should sports and extra-curricular activities be eliminated to save a combined $11 million dollars?

"Let the kids be kids; let them have their sports," said one parent.

"Out of everything, maybe it is sports I would cut," said another person.

Robberies Terrorize Students Near 2 Las Vegas High Schools

LAS VEGAS - A string of robberies near two valley high schools has students fearing for their safety. Victims say a group of teens robbed them near Canyon Springs and Shadow Ridge High Schools.

Jordan Haar is one of the victims. He still sports the black eye the robbers gave him. He says he was terrified when the group approached him and told him to empty out his pockets. "I emptied out my left pocket. My i-Pod (was in it), and they took it," Haar said. "Then, they took my shoes. I've never been in a fight or ever been jumped in my life."

Haar is not the only victim. Another student who doesn't want to be identified says he and his friend were robbed last week before a school basketball game. "They said to give them everything out of our pockets. If we didn't, they would shoot us," he said. "It was scary. I've been having panic attacks about it. If I hear a car pull up behind me, I kind of freak out."

Police: Driver was in a Hurry to Get Home

LAS VEGAS -- The 20-year-old driver accused of causing a deadly double fatal accident told police he had not been drinking alcohol or taking any medications prior to the accident that killed 45-year-old Maria Lewis and her son, 17-year-old Daniel Santos.

The accident happened Friday night at the intersection of Lamb Blvd. and Las Vegas Blvd. Police say Nathan Hardy ran a red light and slammed into the Lewis' car killing her and her teen son.

According to the arrest report, Witnesses told police that Hardy was speeding, running red lights and driving recklessly leading up to the accident.

Hardy told police he was returning from St. George, Utah and was in a hurry to get home. He told police he didn't see the red light.

Grief counselors showed up at Canyon Springs High School Monday to help students.

Dangerous Police Pursuit Ends at Casino Garage

LAS VEGAS -- A high-speed chase involving a stolen vehicle ended at the Suncoast Hotel and Casino with two people in custody Tuesday morning.

The high-speed chase started around 6 a.m. Police say 32-year-old Jason Dillinger and 27-year-old Ashley Shaheen drove through the northwest section of the valley as well as North Las Vegas and along U.S. 95 north.

"We back off so the suspect vehicle can't even see us, then the air unit takes over because they usually don't see the air unit overhead, and that way they won't drive quite so crazy," said Officer Barbara Morgan, Metro.

The suspects drove into the parking garage just before 7 a.m. followed by dozens of police who surrounded the area. Las Vegas police say Dillinger suspect ran into the casino and pulled a gun on a security guard.

They say Dillinger then ran back into the garage where he was taken into custody. Shaheen was also arrested.