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Family of Child Abuse Victim Speaks Out

HENDERSON -- The family of a 16-month-old Henderson child who was murdered is speaking out.  Not only are they sharing memories of Addison Weast, they are also want her alleged killer to pay.

Cody Geddings, who was the boyfriend of Addison's mother, is in jail accused of murder. Police believe the 24-year-old man shattered the girl's skull while he was babysitting her last week.

The Weast family held a fundraiser at Sunset Park Thursday to raise money to help pay for Addison's funeral. The emotions are still very fresh for the child's family. They say they adored Addison. Her biological father, Charles Weast, has not been able to talk publicly about his daughter's death but the grandparents are now speaking out.

Las Vegas Schools Facing 1,000 Layoffs

LAS VEGAS  -- Cash-strapped Clark County school trustees are poised to lay off more than 1,000 employees by July 1 unless the Las Vegas-based district can find another way to close a big budget shortfall.

Board members of the nation's fifth-largest school district approved a tentative spending plan late Wednesday that aims to close most of a $140 million budget gap left by reduced state funding and declining property tax revenues. The board has until June 8 to submit a final balanced budget to the state.

Administrators say classroom and administrative positions are on the block. But specifics haven't been made public. Officials say they hope the district's four employee unions will agree to concessions including salary reductions and furlough days to reduce the number of layoffs.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

First-Time Unemployment Claims Increased

WASHINGTON -- The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits rose last week, a sign that jobs remain scarce even as the economy recovers. The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time claims increased by 18,000 in the week ending April 3, to a seasonally adjusted 460,000. That's worse than economists' estimates of a drop to 435,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The report covers the week that includes the Easter holiday, and a Labor Department analyst said seasonal adjustment for Easter can be difficult since the holiday occurs in different weeks each year. California also closed its state offices for a holiday March 31, the analyst said, which likely held down the claims figures. On an unadjusted basis, claims rose by 6,500 to nearly 415,000.

Work Begins on New Transit Line Linking LasVegas and Henderson

LAS VEGAS -- The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada is marking the start of work on a 15-mile transit line connecting downtown Las Vegas and Henderson.

Groundbreaking is Thursday on the ACE Green Line, which is expected to begin service in 2011. Officials say it'll be like the ACE Gold Line, which began service last month and uses buses resembling light rail trains traveling from downtown Las Vegas and government centers to a South Strip Transfer Terminal near the 215 Beltway.

The ACE Green Line will use dedicated curbside transit lanes on a route from downtown Las Vegas to Tropicana Avenue to Horizon Drive. Officials say it's funded in part by federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funds.

 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

Expert Says Las Vegas Housing Market Healing

LAS VEGAS -- The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors says home sales jumped 33 percent in March as buyers rushed to beat the deadline for the home buyer tax credits.

The group unveiled its latest numbers at a panel discussion on the Las Vegas housing market Wednesday morning.

Panelists say the emphasis in the coming year will be on short sales. GLVAR President Rick Shelton says he also expects there to be more foreclosures on the market because banks are not willing to work with homeowners on reducing their loans. He says that will result in more homeowners opting to do a short sale. Currently, short sales make up about half of the houses that are for sale in the market.

The panel says home prices are beginning to stabilize with the median home price for a single-family home at $136,000 which is up slightly from February. There has been an increase in home sales for the past 15 months.

Budget Deadline Nears for Clark County School District

LAS VEGAS -- Some big changes are expected for the Clark County School District in the coming months. School board members meet Wednesday to adopt a tentative budget designed to cut $123 million.

One of the proposals -- eliminating year round schools -- would save $18 million. Already school board members have agreed to change 21 schools from a year-round schedule to a nine-month schedule.

"I think it'll give them a chance to save money," said Shaunrice Hill, a former student.

Even with that change, there are still 55 schools operating 12 months a year. Some parents want that to change.

"I have older kids who are in a traditional nine month school, so we're able to take our vacations the same if we are all on a nine month school," said Delilah Ascencion, parent.

Virgin Atlantic Expanding Flights to United Kingdom in 2011

LAS VEGAS-Virgin Atlantic announced today that it will begin twice weekly service between Las Vegas and Manchester in the United Kingdom. The flights will begin in April 2011. The new flights will fly out of Las Vegas on Thursdays and Sundays.

Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said that the decision to expand their Manchester flying program underlines Virgin Atlantic's commitment to flying to long-haul destinations from regional airports in the United Kingdom.