With 2013 wrapping up, here are some of the top stories that shaped the year in Henderson:
The city of Henderson celebrated a milestone with its 60th anniversary. The townsite was founded in ’40s to house workers from Basic Magnesium Plant and officially incorporated April 16, 1953.
The District at Green Valley Ranch, 2240 Village Walk Drive, transformed its pedestrian walkway into a street open to traffic.
The decision was months in the making, sparking debate among business owners, residents in the area and Vestar, which owns The District.
A coalition of angry residents voiced concerns at several meetings.
Community members were concerned that the decision would detract from the area and make it harder to enjoy The District.
Vestar hoped the choice would help businesses and attract new establishments to the area.
Despite protests, the Henderson Planning Commission voted 5-1, with Commissioner Sean Fellows opposed, on Jan. 17 to proceed with the transformation.
The Henderson City Council followed the Planning Commission’s decision, voting Feb. 5 in favor of the transition.
Construction began in July and finished in October.
EXPANSIONS AND OPENINGS
Green Valley Town Center, 4500 E. Sunset Road, began its turnaround.
The shopping area had sat nearly vacant for years, with Barley’s and Smith’s holding the area down as the anchors.
Green Valley Galaxy Luxury + Theatre opened March 8.
Other stores, including a boutique, a yogurt shop and a reflexology, also opened in the space.
The Galleria at Sunset mall, 1300 W. Sunset Road, began a $7 million renovation, the first since it opened in 1996.
The expansion, which began in April, included fresh paint and new stores, such as a two-story H&M.
“We’re very excited about the renovation, which will enhance the experience and comfort of our shoppers,” said Heather Valera, director of marketing for Galleria at Sunset, in a statement. “In addition to these many additions, we’re also welcoming global fashion giant H&M, which is regularly requested by shoppers.”
CLARK COUNTY MUSEUM ADDITIONS
The Clark County Museum, 1830 S. Boulder Highway, dedicated new permanent exhibits in 2013.
A historic railroad cottage, one of 64 houses built between 1909 and 1911 on four blocks between Casino Center Boulevard and Fourth Street and Garces Avenue and Clark Avenue, was moved to the museum’s Heritage Street, restored and opened in November.
The museum also dedicated a root cellar that was originally part of Bishop Ranch, which operated from 1905 to 1917.
The cellar was discovered in an archaeological dig in 2008 at Wetlands Park. It was moved to the museum that same year in a joint effort by the county, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the Las Vegas Valley Water District, the U.S. Bureau of Water Reclamation and HRA Archaeology, a Las Vegas company.
All the incumbents retained their seats in Henderson’s 2013 election cycle.
Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen defeated all six of his challengers in the April 7 primary election, taking 55 percent of the vote.
Councilman John Marz, who was appointed to office in January 2012, a defeated his challengers for the Ward 3 seat in the primary election.
A total of 17,638 people, or 12.35 percent of the people registered in Henderson, cast ballots in the primary, which was down 12.79 percent from 2009.
Henderson District Court Judge Mark Stevens took on three challengers in the primary for his seat for Henderson Municipal Court Department 1. After the primary, Stevens, who received 41.88 percent of the vote, and attorney Sandy DiGiacomo, who received 40.75 percent, emerged as the final two candidates headed for the June general election.
Stevens won with more than 60 percent of the vote.
After announcing in December 2012 that it would open by Memorial Day weekend, the proposed Cowabunga Bay water park postponed its opening by a year.
“We are looking at whenever spring break starts in April,” Shane Huish, the general manager of Cowabunga Bay, said.
The park, which is near Galleria Drive and Gibson Road, ran into construction delays that included the shipment of steel structures supporting the slides not being delivered on time.
Adrian Navarro-Canales, 16, was charged with killing his mother and brother in September.
His 40-year-old mother and 10-year-old brother were found slain in their apartment in Henderson.
Navarro-Canales, who was missing initially, was found five days later.
His first court appearance was Sept. 30. He pleaded not guilty in November.
Members of the Mitchell family filed a lawsuit against the Henderson Police Department, claiming the police broke into their home without a warrant.
The incident took place in 2011, but the family filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in July.
At the time of the incident, the police had gone to the area to investigate an alleged domestic violence situation.
The family was contacted by Henderson police to use the home for tactical advantage. Anthony Mitchell, who said he didn’t want to be involved, said his front door was broken down by police.
The lawsuit said the Mitchells’ Third Amendment right, which prohibits soldiers from quartering in a home without the homeowner’s consent, was violated among other constitutional rights.
According to the lawsuit, Mitchell’s dog was shot with a pepperball gun, which is similar to a paintball gun but with pepper spray instead.
After 14 years at the Henderson District Public Libraries, Tom Fay, its executive director, moved into a new role at the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.
Fay had cycled through various positions in Henderson, including the internet technology manager and the assistant director of operations.
His last day with the district was July 12. He started his position as deputy director with Clark County July 22.
Economic and Redevelopment manager Bob Cooper also retired from the city of Henderson after 14 years.
Cooper, who had been in the industry nearly 40 years, said his top accomplishments included helping to get educational campus such as Nevada State College, Touro University and Roseman University opened in Henderson and working with the Henderson Chamber of Commerce.
He also helped establish a relationship with South Korea, promoting a partnership that could help Henderson with economic development.
The city of Henderson also said goodbye to Zappos, which had its headquarters in Henderson until it moved to downtown Las Vegas in October.
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at email@example.com or 702-387-5201.