The word of the week was cuts, as state and local officials continued to wrestle with budgets decimated by the widening economic crisis.
On Tuesday, the Clark County Commission agreed to cut six programs at University Medical Center to offset the loss of $8 million in Medicaid funds. Two days later, county officials met with union representatives to begin discussing how to trim labor costs and hopefully avoid layoffs amid looming cuts to the state budget.
Cuts at the state level also prompted the Clark County School District to solicit input from parents, students and educators (see Tuesday, below).
And on Wednesday, more than 100 Culinary union members disrupted the Las Vegas City Council meeting to protest plans to build a new City Hall downtown. Union officials argue it is irresponsible to move ahead with the project while city departments are facing — you guessed it — cuts.
OFF THE BENCH
The Judicial Discipline Commission removed District Judge Elizabeth Halverson from the bench and barred her from ever serving as a Nevada judge again.
In its decision, the commission cited Halverson’s “antics,” “willful misconduct” and “bizarre” relationship with her staff since her election in 2006.
DISTRICT GETS EARFUL
Parents, students and educators decried plans to cut $120 million from the Clark County School District budget next year.
In often emotional and defiant testimony at a public input session organized by the district, audience members argued that valley schools are already woefully underfunded and cannot afford more cuts.
Roughly 600 people attended the meeting, and a second session the next night drew 750 more.
CASA TO BE SCRAPPED
North Las Vegas officials accelerated plans to tear down the crumbling Casa Rosa public housing complex, where residents have long complained about serious maintenance problems.
The city’s Housing Authority is scrambling to move 21 families out of housing units soiled by water and sewer leaks. Next the city will have to come up with $1.9 million to relocate the remaining 55 families and demolish the complex.
REID: YUCCA WILL BLEED
Sen. Harry Reid said the election of Barack Obama as president will kill off plans to store highly radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain.
The newly re-elected Senate majority leader said he has talked to President-elect Obama about the Yucca Mountain Project several times since the election. Based on those discussions, Reid expects the project to “bleed real hard” in the next year before being halted altogether.
D.C. SHUFFLE BEGINS
A changing of the guard is under way in Washington, where Rep.-elect Dina Titus was helping make party leadership decisions and working out of a small cubicle until she’s assigned an office. Meanwhile, outgoing Rep. Jon Porter was already packing up.
If Congress is called back into session in the first week of December to deal with the auto bailout and other economic issues, it may be Porter working out of the cubicle.Week In ReviewMore Information
QUOTES“He moved like he had no purpose.”Lisa RossnagelAbout the man she fought off after he accosted her and her children last week. Jeffrey J. Hull, who police described as a one-man crime spree, ended his crosstown rampage by killing himself.“He drowned to the bottom. I dived in and saved him.”Logan KapuaThe 7-year-old boy honored by the city of Las Vegas for rescuing his 5-year-old brother, Lexander, from a backyard swimming pool in may.“Well, the buffet, you know? I mean, I’m a vegan, so I will just have salad, but that’s still a bargain.”Ellen DeGeneresWhen asked what she planned to do in Las Vegas when She wasn’t performing on stage during The Comedy Festival last week.MULTIMEDIAUNLV BASKETBALLUNLV FOOTBALLHATTON-MALIGNAGGIFIGHT WEEKGLOBAL GAMING EXPO MGM FIRE SURVIVORMETRO COMMENDATIONUMC CUTSCCSD BUDGET CUTSBY THE NUMBERS2,083The number of football fields you could cover with all the grass removed under the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s turf rebate program.37,864The number of Olympic swimming pools you could fill with the water that has been saved through the turf rebate program since it started in 1999.755The number of exhibitors at this year’s Global Gaming Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center, five more than last year.100The number of vendors at the food and beverage component of the Global Gaming Expo, 20 fewer than last year.30,000The number of wild horses billionaire T. Boone Pickens and his wife, Madeleine, have offered to adopt from federal holding pens in Nevada and elsewhere.