School enrollment up slightly over last year
Enrollment for the Clark County School District is up over last year by a fraction of 1 percent.
So far, the district has counted 309,800 students. That number is expected to grow to 310,000 by Sept. 19, which is Nevada’s official count day. The official enrollment figure is used to determine how much in per pupil funding public schools will receive from the state.
Last year, the district had 308,783 students, which puts enrollment growth at 0.3 percent this school year.
District Superintendent Walt Rulffes said the slow growth validates the decision by the School Board to postpone a referendum on a new bond for school construction. It also confirms the district’s projections for staffing and budgeting.
SECRETARY OF STATE
16 layoffs, nine job cuts announced
Secretary of State Ross Miller has advised staffers that Nevada’s budget woes will result in 16 layoffs and elimination of nine vacant positions in his office effective Oct. 20.
How many of those layoffs will be in Southern Nevada wasn’t announced.
The layoffs, plus elimination of the positions held vacant because of the budget crisis, mean Miller’s authorized staff level is being reduced by nearly a fifth.
Miller said in e-mails this week to staffers that he tried to avoid layoffs, adding that the reductions “will prove detrimental to the level of service the public expects from this office.”
Because personnel costs and benefits account for about 70 percent of his office budget, Miller said he was unable to meet budget reductions sought by Gov. Jim Gibbons for all government agencies “without these extraordinary layoffs.”
Miller said he’s confident the layoffs in his office won’t have to be followed by still more staff cutbacks.
The secretary of state’s office is one of the state’s largest sources of revenue, producing $105.5 million last fiscal year. Its budget for the current fiscal year is just under $20 million, including $6.2 million in Federal Help America Vote Act funding.
Gibbons and state lawmakers have approved a long list of budget cuts to cope with a projected revenue shortfall of nearly $1.2 billion by the end of this fiscal year.
Pickup driver who died identified
The man who died Tuesday when his pickup slammed into the back of a semitrailer has been identified as 43-year-old Brian Southard of Las Vegas.
Police said Southard was driving a Chevrolet S10 west on Cheyenne Avenue at 3:52 p.m. when he rear-ended the tractor-trailer, which was stopped at a red light at Michael Way, near Rancho Drive.
Southard was pronounced dead at the scene. The semitrailer’s driver, 50-year-old Benjamin Joyce of Las Vegas, was not injured.
LEE CANYON ROAD
Body identified as 29-year-old woman
The woman found dead Saturday morning in a ravine off Lee Canyon Road has been identified as 29-year-old Brandi Latonya Payton of North Las Vegas.
The Clark County coroner’s office hasn’t determined the cause of her death.
Payton was found by a man in a Jeep in a ravine off a trail about halfway between U.S. Highway 95 and the end of Lee Canyon Road.
Las Vegas police homicide detectives are investigating. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 385-5555.