Highlighting achievements, Aug. 18, 2016 — PHOTOS

Church appointment: Fred Heggestad was recently appointed pastor of First Henderson United Methodist Church.

“America’s Got Talent” contestant: Las Vegas resident and Broadway in the Hood’s Moya Angela was a contestant on Season 11 of “America’s Got Talent.” Her audition received a standing ovation while singing a Celine Dion cover of “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now.” Simon Cowell said, “I’m gonna remember this for a long time to come,” and judge Mel B said she was a “true powerhouse.”

Student space experiment: A team of Vanderburg Elementary School fifth-grade students and their teacher were recently announced as one of 11 national winners of the national Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, in which schools across the nation competed for the chance to have their experiment conducted on the International Space Station. The team will work through the summer with local professionals to modify the experimental protocols in order to make preparations for the flight that is scheduled for early 2017.

Nepantla Program helm: In June, Nevada State College tapped Leilani Carreño to take the helm as director of the Nepantla Program, an initiative that aims to help underserved, first-generation college students achieve long-term academic and economic success.

Principal honored: John Haynal, principal of Roundy Elementary School, Vegas Verdes Elementary School and Elaine Wynn Elementary School, was selected in June as Nevada’s National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Captain of track: Tirrell Brooks of Las Vegas was selected to serve as captain for Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, Men’s Track during the 2015-16 school year.

Honor rolls:

— Justin Alex Chen of Henderson made the spring 2016 dean’s list at the University of Rhode Island.

— Careena Ransom of Las Vegas made the spring 2016 dean’s list at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Michael Ransom.

— Angelica McNerny and Nickolas Maddalena, both of Las Vegas, made the spring 2016 dean’s list at The Citadel South Carolina Corps of Cadets.

— Austin Lee Heerema of Las Vegas made the spring 2016 dean’s list at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.


— Brett Lawson and Jessica Reed, both of Las Vegas, graduated in May from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

— Sopheaktra Chhim and Corin Galati, both of Las Vegas, graduated in May from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.

Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
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