Education Notebook: School news and events for June 25-July 1, 2015


The establishment of Western Governors University was to be announced June 16 after the creation of a memorandum of understanding by Gov. Brian Sandoval to establish a partnership between the state and the nonprofit nationally recognized university. Nevada is the sixth state to establish a partnership with WGU, which will be the state’s only online, competency-based university. Its mission is to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education for working adults in the state. It will offer accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four high-demand sectors critical to building Nevada’s economy: kindergarten through 12th-grade teacher education, information technology, business and health professions, including nursing.

For more information, visit


Students from across the U.S. were set to arrive in Hunt Valley, Md., June 15 to compete as national finalists in the U.S. Army’s 13th annual eCYBERMISSION competition. The eighth-grade team TMT from St. Victor Catholic School, 4246 S. Eastern Ave., was among those teams participating. The Web-based science, technology, engineering and math competition is designed to cultivate student interest in STEM by encouraging students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world problems in their communities.

Twenty national finalist teams were chosen from 60 regional finalists, with national finalists focusing their projects on one of seven mission challenges that affect their communities: alternative sources of energy; the environment; food; health and fitness; force and motion; national security and safety; and robotics.

As national finalists, each team member received a $2,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond and a paid trip to compete for the first-place national award in their grade. National winning teams were set to receive up to $9,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, valued at maturity.

For more information, visit


A ceremony was set for June 17 in the governor’s office at the Grant Sawyer Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., to honor Letters About Literature reading and writing contest Level 1 winner Charlotte Thaler and Level 2 winner Tazreean Ahmed.

The contest is for students in grades four through 12 and is sponsored by the U.S. Library of Congress Center for the Book in Washington, D.C. Students were asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them. Letters were judged on state and national levels.

The program is sponsored in Nevada by the Nevada Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

For more information, contact Robbie DeBuff, library consultant, at 702-755-8065 or


Las Vegas Sands is expanding its corporate citizenship commitment in Las Vegas to provide homeless youths increased educational resources and support year-round but especially during the summer school break, when they are at a higher risk to lose focus on their education.

LVS plans to provide a $60,000 grant for the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth to fund computers, books, scholarships and other career resources for its drop-in center, 4981 Shirley St. It also plans to provide a $45,000 grant for Street Teens, which will allow the organization to expand its infrastructure and provide more educational resources at its drop-in center.


Park Elementary School, 931 Franklin Ave., recently received a $100,000 Gift of Knowledge grant from The Rogers Foundation to purchase iPads as a literacy learning tool for second- through fifth-grade students.

The foundation also gave a Gift of Imagination grant worth $91,804 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada and Las Vegas Philharmonic to purchase instruments and tablets for a music program set to kick off in three locations.

This was in addition to the $100,000 Gift of Innovation grant received by the Coral Academy of Science.

For more information, visit


Best Mattress, in support of the Title 1 Homeless Outreach Program for Education (Hope) of the Clark County School District, has donated $2,500 to help students fund their first year of college.

The Title I Hope is a program that works to remove obstacles for homeless students, helping to enroll them in school and educate school personnel, parents and unaccompanied youths of the educational options under the McKinney-Vento federal law.


Registration for fall 2015 Safekey is set to open at 7 a.m. July 27 at the Safekey main office, 416 N. Seventh St.

Office hours for registration are set to be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Registration is $20 per child’s account, per school year and $7 for a morning pass and $10 for an afternoon pass.

Payments can be made at, by calling 702-229-3399 or in person at the office. The program is a prepaid service. Financial assistance may be available for qualifying families. Hours vary

per site, and not all sites offer a morning program.

For more information, call 702-229-3399.


Matt Smith Physical Therapy and Desert Valley Therapy are hosting a school supply drive through June 26 to benefit Ronnow Elementary School, 1100 Lena St. The public is invited to drop off supplies at any of the Matt Smith Physical Therapy or Desert Valley Therapy locations. Suggested supplies are backpacks, paper, pencils, crayons, washable markers, scissors, erasers, glue sticks, tissue, colored pencils, pocket folders, rulers or binders.

Ronnow is a Title 1 campus, which means at least 40 percent of its students come from low-income families.

For more information, call 702-256-9738. For locations, visit or


The Leadership Academy of Nevada is expanding and has added a limited number of seats for the 2015-16 school year. It focuses on developing principled leaders through delivery of a liberal arts education using cutting-edge technology. It offers instruction to students in grades six through 12 throughout the state.

Regularly scheduled enrollment information meetings are held online and in Las Vegas so parents and students can learn more.

For meeting dates, times and locations, visit


Clark County high school students are invited to submit original poems for the Vegas Valley Book Festival’s Spark! Poetry Writing & Recitation Competition. Modeled after the national Poetry Out Loud competition and the Scholastic Writing competition, the contest will have students reciting their poetry during the book festival that is scheduled for Oct. 17.

The first-place prize is $300, second place is $200 and third place is $100. Students are asked to present three original poems to be judged by a panel consisting of poets, authors, educators and other community members. Panelists will use scoring guidelines to assign numerical values to the evaluation criteria.

Three presentation rounds are planned. Students who register through Sept. 30 will be eligible to present one poem in the first round. The top six will present in the second round, and the top three in the third round will determine first, second and third place. Scores will be cumulative. Students must present the poems they submitted on their registration form.

For guidelines and a registration form, visit For more information, contact Maryjane Dorofachuk, Nevada Arts Council arts learning coordinator, at 702-486-3738 or


The camp program Money Smart Middle Schoolers is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. June 29 at the Sahara West Library, 9600 W. Sahara Ave.

Co-sponsored by Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada, the camp will teach students in sixth through eighth grades about money and budgeting.

Registration is required, but the camp is free. For more information, call 702-507-3631.

See Hollywood Memorabilia for Free This Week
Looking for something free to do this week? Julien's Auctions viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. Hundreds of iconic movie and television items are on display, including designs and props from Star Wars, Marilyn Monroe's undergarments, costumes from "Superman III," "The Nutty Professor" (1963), "Roseanne" and more. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hollywood Memorabilia Up For Grabs at Las Vegas Auction
Elvis Presley's car, Marilyn Monroe's bras, Han Solo's blaster, and Jerry Lewis's "Nutty Professor" suit are just some of the items that are up for auction at Julien's Auctions at Planet Hollywood June 22 and 23. The auction's viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Springs Preserve Exhibit Shows Off "Nature's Ninjas"
"Nature's Ninjas" arrives at the Springs Preserve, in an exhibit and live show featuring critters that come with natural defenses, from armadillos to snakes, poison dart frogs to scorpions and tarantulas (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossRoads of Southern Nevada psychiatric urgent care to open in Las Vegas
Jeff Iverson, who operates the nonprofit sober living facility Freedom House, is opening a private addiction treatment center that will operate a detoxification center and transitional living for substance users trying to recover. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Wayne Newton surprises burglars
Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen, arrived at their southeast Las Vegas home shortly before midnight on Wednesday to find two burglars inside their house. The burglars fled and were seen heading north through the property. Las Vegas police quickly set up a perimeter and launched an extensive search of the area, but the suspects were able to escape. It was unclear if the burglars got away with anything of value. Several items, under the watchful eyes of the police, were seen on the ground near the home's main driveway. Neither Newton, nor his wife, were injured. The Newtons were not available for comment.
Police Officers Turn Off Body Cameras
In four separate body camera videos from the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting released Wednesday, officers in a strike team are instructed to turn their body cameras off and comply with the request.
Debra Saunders reports from Singapore
Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent talks about the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
How long will North Korea's denuclearization take?
In Singapore, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent Debra Saunders asks President Donald Trump how long North Korea's denuclearization will take. White House video.
LVCVA purchase of gift cards hidden
A former LVCVA executive hid the purchase of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards in records at the agency. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, said the money was for promotional events and did not disclose that it was for gift cards. Lawson also instructed Southwest employees to submit invoices without mentioning the purchases were for the cards. More than $50,000 of the cards cannot be accounted for. The convention authority is publicly funded . Lawson recently resigned.
Kim Jong Un visits Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage visited the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore briefly Monday night, local time. (Video by Philip Chope)
Coca-Cola Bottle Purse Has 9,888 Diamonds
Designer Kathrine Baumann and jeweler Aaron Shum set the Guinness World Record for most diamonds (9,888) set on a handbag. The Coca Cola bottle-shaped purse was on display at the Coca Cola Store on the Strip. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sentosa Island a pleasure resort with a pirate past
The site of Tuesday's U.S.-North Korea summit is known for theme parks and resorts. But before that, it was known as a pirate island. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judge Sandra Pomrenze's comment about girl's hair
Nevada Races Full of Women From Both Sides
It's already been a historic election season for women in politics. Record numbers of women are running for political office all over the country - including Nevada. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
East Las Vegas home damaged by fire
Clark County Fire Department crews responded to a house fire in east Las Vegas Thursday morning. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
911 call: Mom tries to get to son shot at Route 91
A woman stuck on the interstate during the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, tries to get to her son. 911 call released by Las Vegas police.
Las Vegas 911 caller reports people shot on Oct. 1
A 911 caller on Oct. 1, 2017, reports several people shot at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
911 call from woman under stage in Las Vegas shooting
A 911 call from a woman underneath the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival during the Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting.
LVCVA facing scandal over gift cards
LVCVA is facing a growing scandal over airline gift cards. LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned.
Siblings separated in the foster care system get a day together
St. Jude's Ranch for Children and Cowabunga Bay Cares program partnered to bring 75 siblings together for the day to play on the water slides and in the pools at the Henderson water park. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People flee the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Las Vegas police released footage from a camera on Mandalay Bay of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Aaliyah Inghram awarded medal of courage
Aaliyah Inghram, a 10-year-old girl who was shot while protecting her 18-month-old brother and 4-year-old cousin during a shooting on May 8, awarded medal of courage. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegans Pack Public Lands Open House
A crowd filled the Clark County Library conference room Tuesday afternoon where Clark County officials hold their first -- and possibly only -- public meeting on plans to open almost 39,000 acres of federal land for development just outside the Las Vegas metropolitan area. County commissioners are set to vote June 19 on a potentially controversial resolution seeking federal legislation that would set aside tens of thousands of acres for conservation while giving Nevada’s largest community more room to grow. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police search Henderson Constable's home and office
Las Vegas police served search warrants Tuesday at Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell's home and office. The investigation was sparked by a Las Vegas Review-Journal story showing Mitchell wrote himself $70,000 in checks, used ATMs at casinos and video poker bars, and traveled to places his adult children live. All using county funds. Police refused to comment but Mitchell's attorney said he did nothing wrong.
Vegas Golden Knights fans shows his colors for community
Vegas Golden Knights superfan Lynn Groesbeck has wrapped his new truck with Knights logos and images. He loves how the Golden Knights are bringing community back to Las Vegas. People stop him on the street to take photos and share his support. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Acting Coach Daryl Morris on His Craft
Acting coach Daryl Morris, whose father Bobby was Elvis Presley's conductor in Las Vegas, discusses his craft and how he leads his own classes. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Constable wanted county funds to fight Review-Journal investigation
The Las Vegas Review-Journal asked for public records to investigate constable spending. But Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell hired outside counsel to fight the request. And he wanted the county to pay nearly $7,500 for those attorneys. The county declined. And records show the constable's office owes taxpayers $700,000. County officials said the money will be repaid over three years. Mitchell abandoned his re-election before the Review-Journal story ran.
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.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
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