Week in Review: Top News

Just six weeks after Dean Heller announced he would run for the U.S. Senate, he was handed the job on Wednesday, when Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed him to finish Sen. John Ensign's term.

Heller's Senate service will start after Ensign's last day Tuesday, giving the three-term Republican congressman an immediate leg up in his campaign for a full term in the seat.

Heller is expected to face seven-term congresswoman and likely Democratic nominee Shelley Berkley in 2012.

On Friday, Sandoval called for a special election on Sept. 13 to fill Heller's House seat. It will be first election of its kind in state history.

Secretary of State Ross Miller is expected to announce Monday whether to allow a free-for-all or let political parties nominate one candidate each. The GOP prefers a party choice to avoid a crowded field that could cost them the seat. Democrats want an open contest.

Court challenges are planned, and the Nevada Supreme Court might decide.


Report: river at risk

Federal officials released a new report that confirms what officials at the Southern Nevada Water Authority have known for years: Climate change will have a detrimental effect on millions of water users along the Colorado River for decades to come.

According to the report compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Southern Nevadans can expect decreases of 8 percent to 14 percent a year on the stretch of the Colorado that they depend on for about 90 percent of their water supply.


Courting the kid vote

The school year could be shortened by as many as 10 days under a bill passed 42-0 in the Assembly without any floor debates.

Under Assembly Bill 117, public school districts suffering from "economic hardships" could petition the state to cut their school year, now 180 days, by 10 days to avoid laying off teachers and other education personnel.


Feds target Desai

A federal grand jury indicted Dr. Dipak Desai, the physician declared incompetent to stand trial on criminal charges stemming from the hepatitis C outbreak.

Desai and his former chief operating officer, Tonya Rushing, will face federal conspiracy and health care fraud charges, some of which mirror state charges filed against the endoscopy doctor last year.

The indictment comes as medical officials try to determine whether Desai can ever face the state charges. He is under evaluation at the state's mental hospital in Sparks.


Maps of the battlefield

Republicans and Democrats unveiled maps that reflect each party's view of how the state's political boundaries should be redrawn based on the results of the 2010 census.

The GOP plan included proposed maps for four congressional districts, increased from three districts because of Nevada's population growth from 2001 through 2010.

Democrats released state Senate and Assembly maps but won't have congressional boundaries until next week.


marching on the Strip

More than 300 high school students from across Clark County rallied on the Strip for better education funding.

Some students were accompanied by parents who were supportive of them "making a point" about public schools, which the students say face cutbacks that will harm the quality of their education.