Backers lobby for campus

Just a few days after Clark County School District officials proposed a $249 million bond measure for school improvements, West Las Vegas residents said they hope some of that money will be spent in their inner-city neighborhood.

District Chief Financial Officer Jeff Weiler and other district officials have declined to say what the bond money would be used for, except that the “primary focus” will be to improve the condition of facilities and address “any educational equity issues.”

But one West Las Vegas community leader believes her neighborhood is about to get its “piece of the pie,” about $20 million for permanent classrooms at West Prep Academy.

Marzette Lewis of WAAK-UP, a community organization in West Las Vegas, is encouraging parents to come out in full force to an Aug. 5 School Board meeting to make sure it does “the right thing: ‘Build the school you promised.'”

West Las Vegas is the area generally bordered by Carey Avenue on the north, Bonanza Road on the south, Interstate 15 on the east and Rancho Drive on the west.

Residents in West Las Vegas said they have been waiting three years for new additions to West Prep Academy, which was converted from a middle school to a K-12 campus. West Prep, near the intersection of Martin Luther King and Lake Mead boulevards, has 28 portables for 56 classrooms, which are used for the elementary grades.

At many School Board meetings this summer, community activists have complained about the disparity of mostly black and Hispanic children going to school in portables while the district has committed to building schools in newer suburban neighborhoods.

But School Board President Terri Janison said the board is not reacting to political pressure. Instead, she said the new bonds are being pursued to take advantage of federal stimulus incentives. The board gave Weiler the authority to go before the Clark County Debt Management Commission in August so a federal stimulus deadline could be met.

Janison said the School Board does not make decisions based “on three to five people” making demands at a meeting.

She said the district has worked hard to approve new capital projects through a nonpolitical process. Emergencies, such as replacing a broken air conditioning system, always get priority, for example, she added.

Janison said she did not think West Prep is on the last version of the district’s “approved list” of projects waiting to be funded. “But that’s not to say that things can’t change,” she said.

Financially, the nation’s fifth-largest school district is in a limbo.

The last bonds from its 1998 program have been sold. The 1998 program generated more than $4 billion for capital expenses and built 101 new schools.

Before the district could proceed with a similar property tax-based bond program, it would need voter approval to use revenue from property taxes to help pay back the debt.

Weiler has proposed an “interim” bond program that would be financed through continuing revenues from real estate transfer taxes and room taxes, which don’t require voter approval.

The district also would be taking advantage of a federal stimulus incentive for interest-free bonds with the federal government giving tax credits in lieu of the interest. It would save millions of dollars as a result, Weiler said.

The interim bonds would still need approval from the 11-member Clark County Debt Management Commission, which is composed of city and county-elected officials, including Janison.

Janison could vote on the school bond proposal without it being considered a conflict because she would be acting in her “official capacity” and not in her personal interest, said Mark Wood, the attorney for the commission.

After a go-ahead from the commission, the bonds would still have to be approved by the school district’s Bond Oversight Committee and School Board sometime this fall before they could be sold beginning in December.

Because the district has to follow a protocol, officials can’t get ahead of themselves and say how the money would be spent. “It’s just too early to say,” said Michael Rodriguez, a district spokesman.

Officials are reviewing and updating a list of unfinished projects dating from 2007, an inventory that adds up to $249 million, Rodriguez said.

While new bond revenues would be kept in a separate fund for accounting purposes, the district would be working from a prioritized list of leftover projects from the 1998 program.

Those include “modernization, renovation and potentially new schools, although I don’t foresee the need for new schools at this time” because of slowed growth, Weiler said.

Contact reporter James Haug at jhaug@ or 702-374-7917.

NSPCA Gets Kittens From LA
Man killed during road-rage incident
Las Vegas police are looking for two men involved in the shooting death of a man outside a 7-Eleven story at Bonanza Road and Maryland Parkway on Nov. 12, 2018. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System hosts Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ
The 4th Annual Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ is held in celebration of Veterans Day at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Medical Center in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wildfires in Southern California
Wildfires hit Ventura County, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dedication of Nevada's Battle Born memorial
The state of Nevada on Friday dedicated its Battle Born memorial honoring 895 state residents who have died in America’s wars.
Las Vegas police and Sunrise Children's Hospital hope to prevent infant deaths
The Metropolitan Police Department and Sunrise Children's Hospital held a press conference to get the message out on preventable infant deaths attributed to "co-sleeping" and other unsafe sleeping habits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No serious injuries after car hits tree in south Las Vegas
One person reported minor injuries but wasn’t hospitalized after a Wednesday morning crash in the south valley.
Nellis Air Force Base keeps airmen fed
Nellis Air Force Bass airmen have delicious and healthy food items, and a variety of dining facilities to choose from. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Las Vegas police determined that a suspicious package found Monday morning at a central valley post office was not a threat.
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Police evacuated the area around the Garside Station post office early Monday morning near Oakey and Decatur boulevards.
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
Las Vegas family shares flu warning
Carlo and Brenda Occhipinti lost their son, Carlo Jr., or “Junior,” to the flu last year.
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Stadust Raceway
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on the TV show "Bonanza," and the actor's passion for auto racing at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas during the 1960s. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
Project Neon 85 percent complete
On Wednesday morning Oct. 31, Interstate 15 northbound lane restrictions were removed opening up Exit 41 to Charleston Blvd. On Thursday Nov. 1, Interstate 15 southbound lane restrictions were removed. The new southbound off-ramp to Sahara Ave. and Highland Dr. also opened Thursday, November 1. With Project Neon 85% finished the flow of traffic on Interstate 15 has substantially diminished. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Girl killed after jumping from bridge onto 215 Beltway in Henderson
Eastbound lanes of the 215 Beltway are shut down by the Nevada Highway Patrol after a female juvenile jumped from the 215 overpass at Stephanie and was struck by a FedEx tractor trailer. Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Vegas88s
Kristallnacht story
An interview with 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Alexander Kuechel who survived seven concentration camps and didn’t leave Germany until after World War II was over. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1 dead in central Las Vegas crash
An early Wednesday morning crash left at least one person dead and another injured. The crash was reported just around 3 a.m. at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Swenson Street. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash, one of which caught fire. Debris was scattered across the intersection as police combed the area as they investigated the scene. Flamingo is blocked in both directions between Swenson and Cambridge Street. Northbound Swenson is blocked at the intersection.
Richard Knoeppel named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Richard Knoeppel, an architecture design instructor at the Advanced technologies Academy, named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mojave Poppy Bees
(Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology) Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list.
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like