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County Fire Want to Raise Fees on Businesses Over 600-Percent

LAS VEGAS -- New businesses looking to open shop could face hefty fees when it comes to installing fire alarm systems. Right now it's a process that costs roughly $75. But it could soon cost more than $600.

The Clark County Fire Department is suggesting the changes in an effort to ensure those using the services are supporting the cost of the inspections and monitoring they require.

For new business owners, the changes leave them reeling. At Leticia's Mexican Cocina in Northwest Las Vegas, they don't understand why they fee would increase.

"We've done everything by the book and we want to keep it that way. But it puts a crutch on us to fail in a short span of time," said Leticia Gardea.

Her new restaurant is equipped with a fire alarm system, but her concern is now for other potential businesses looking to open up in a shopping center that's slowly starting to pick up.

Hundreds of Teachers Face Uncertain Job Future

LAS VEGAS -- Unless the Clark County School District can find other ways to cut about $125 million from its budget, more than 500 local teachers could get pink slips in May.

The Clark County Education Association which represents teachers says it's in negotiations with the school district to try to save as many teaching jobs as possible.

While schools brace for the worst-case scenario, the union is telling its members not to panic and not to believe every thing they hear.

"I've always said that a teacher's working conditions are a student's learning conditions so when you have teachers who, on top of everything else they have to deal with, testing, mandates, lesson plans, are now worried about whether they're gonna have a job or not, it's just another added pressure," said Ruben Murillo, Clark County Education Association.

Las Vegas Helping Homeless Student Population

LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County School District is seeing more homeless students than ever before.

More than 5,000 Clark County students do not have a permanent place to call home. They live in homeless shelters, bounce between weekly motels, and some even sleep in their cars.

But even as their numbers continue to rise, so does the commitment of community groups determined not to let them fall between the cracks caused by cutbacks.

"About 40-percent of the homeless population is families. So it's not just those guys pushing the carts around anymore," said Myra Berkovitz with CCSD Homeless Services.

During the 07-08 school year, there were just under 4,000 homeless students enrolled in Clark County schools. That number jumped to nearly 5,000 in one year. It continues to rise this year.

Now nearly all of the valley's 300 plus schools have some portion of their population who is homeless.

Hundreds Line Up For Free Tax Assistance

LAS VEGAS -- The Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC event Saturday, which took place at the Heinrich YMCA on Meadows Lane right across from the Meadows Mall, had lines wrapping around the building as people waited for free help in filing their taxes.

By mid afternoon there were already 200 families who were served. The focus of the event, which was co-hosted by Channel 8, was making sure taxpayers were aware of the changes made to the earned income tax credit.

What is it comes down to is if you earned $49,000 or less in 2009, you can receive free tax preparation and may be eligible for an EITC refund of up to $5,657. The EITC works to help low-income, working taxpayers get more money back when they file their federal income tax forms but most people are unaware of this tax credit.

Fashion Show Helps Raises Money and Awareness for Local Shelter

Leaving in the middle of the night from an abusive relationship, many women and children don't take many belongings looking for somewhere to turn.

The Shade Tree is that place and now Southern Nevada's largest battered women's shelter says it is witnessing a new level of violence. So Saturday night charities teamed up to give these women one thing many of us takes for granted.

Models worked the runway Saturday night at The Orleans Hotel, showing off their creative shoes.

They're raising money for Shade Tree. On any one night, 300 women and children seek shelter there. Many of them are victims of violent physical abuse.

Las Vegas Car Dealership Holds Job Fair

LAS VEGAS -- More than 50 jobs will be up for grabs Wednesday night at Towbin Dodge. The opening of this new northwest auto dealership comes at a time when the auto industry is suffering and other local dealerships have been forced to close. The new dealership will open in April.  

With fewer car buyers in the market, auto dealers must stand out from the rest. At Towbin, it may be The Chopper, flashy commercials and a giant gong that draw attention but some customers say it's as simple as getting what they want.

"Cheap prices was pretty much it and American cars. I'm big on American cars," said Emmanuel Beacham, car buyer.

"The service we have always got from him even when he was down at Sahara. We always come back to him," said Frank Perone, car buyer.

State Warns of Census Scams

LAS VEGAS -- State officials are warning Nevadans to be on the look out for scams involving the 2010 Census.

Secretary of State Ross Miller and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto issued a consumer advisory Wednesday morning.

They say the scams include official looking requests for personal financial information and they may come in the form of a direct mail, email or even someone visiting your home.

"Nevadans must know that the U.S. Census Bureau is seeking only demographic information and would not ask for personal information like social security, bank account of credit card numbers," Masto said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the census forms will be mailed out to people starting in early March. Workers will begin knocking on the doors of single family households around May 1, 2010 if they didn't get the form mailed back to them.