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Nevada Supreme Court ruling brings ESA program to a standstill

The Nevada Supreme Court has put a halt to the controversial ESA program. However, both sides of the argument claimed victory Thursday.

The court found Nevada's Education Savings Account program doesn't violate the state constitution however the funding under the bill that created the program is in question.

Justices issued a 4-2 ruling on Thursday calling for a permanent injunction on the program, which was on hold on a temporary basis.

The ruling says the program authorized last spring by the Nevada Legislature did not have its own dedicated funding source and is unlawfully drawing on money allocated for public schools in the state's Distributive School Account. It would have allowed parents to use public school dollars to pay for private school tuition... Read More

Coyote sightings on the rise

Officials are warning of an increase in coyote attacks on pets in Sun City and Summerlin.

The Sun City Animal Hospital sent out a notice to their clients that they've seen an increase in the past nine months.

Coyotes are most active in the Spring and early Fall months at dawn and dusk which is also a time when owners typically take their pets out for a walk.

"We used to see them in the back of the house, and we saw one on the street the other day," said Arthur Heathcote, resident in Henderson.

"They come down here, and they pick off mostly the rabbits, but every once in a while they grab a dog too," according to Henderson resident Jim Sunich.

Sunich has lived in his neighborhood for 16 years, and sadly, over that time, Sunich says he's heard plenty of stories about neighbors losing pets to coyotes. There was even an incident that happened this year... Read More

School reopens for Johnson students

A Las Vegas middle school is back in session nearly a week after a mercury discovery forced more than 1,000 students into a quarantine that lasted overnight.

The Clark County School District said Tuesday that students are back at Walter Johnson Junior High School.

A few dribbles of the neurotoxin were first found on campus last Wednesday morning, prompting a hazmat situation that lasted until 5 a.m. Thursday.

It was the largest decontamination effort in the history of the school district and Las Vegas fire department.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the cleanup effort has yielded more than a quarter cup of the element.

Officials say the campus has been fully decontaminated though they're still investigating how the mercury got to the school... Read More

Johnson Jr. High remains closed, more mercury found

Students will not be returning to Johnson Junior High for a third day as Environmental Protection Agency officials continue to investigate a mercury contamination on campus.

There are still some areas in the school -- specifically the gym -- where crews are making sure all traces of mercury are removed. Crews also checked dozens of nearby homes over the weekend.

Cleanup crews were at the school until 9 p.m. Sunday testing for traces of mercury. Clark County School District officials revealed as much as a quarter of a cup of the substance was found on the campus.

A teacher discovered some students playing with the mercury last Wednesday during a school assembly, but district officials say it was likely on the campus prior to that day.

This resulted in a lockdown where students and staff were not allowed to leave the school until early Thursday morning after they had been screened individually by EPA investigators... Read More

CCSD: Students could have been exposed to mercury prior to Wednesday

Students could have been exposed to mercury much longer than first thought at Johnson Junior High School.

The school remains closed as the Environmental Protection Agency works to decontaminate the campus. All Friday EPA crews worked to screen and decontaminate parts of campus that may have higher than normal levels of mercury. Outside of the school, a station was set up for parents to bring clothing they wanted checked.

It was also learned that the mercury had been brought onto campus possibly days before a teacher saw students playing with the substance.

It was on Wednesday when Johnson Junior High was first put on lockdown because of a mercury contamination scare.

"They told me to lift up my hands like this. They made me turn around lift up the back of my foot to make sure I didn't step in it," said Nashawn Carlson, a 7th grader. ... Read More

Nev. Board of Education unanimously approves reorganization plan

The Nevada Board of Education has voted unanimously in favor of a dramatic plan to shift the balance of power from a central office to the more than 300 schools in the Clark County School District.

Proponents of the reorganization plan approved Thursday say it's important for Nevada to act boldly, arguing the status quo hasn't improved the state's bottom-ranking public school system.

The plan fine-tuned over the past 14 months calls for an "empowerment" model that gives principals and their volunteer boards control over about 80 percent of the money flowing to their schools.

Critics scrutinized the details of the plan, asking whether it will distribute resources equitably. A panel of 12 legislators still must approve the final regulations that passed Thursday. That vote is expected on Sept. 9... Read More

Hikers saddened fellow hiker fell to death

A hiker fell to his death Thursday night at Red Rock Canyon. The Clark County Coroner's office identified the hiker as Justin Manering.

Manering fell 15 stories in the Ice Box Canyon section of Red Rock. Skilled hikers say it's an area that is often under-estimated for real danger.

"Some hikes can be really hard," said Madel Cruz, hiker. "It's always worth it once you get to the top."

Manering was hiking with a group of people when he fell. Hikers 8 News NOW spoke with Friday at Red Rock were sad to hear about a fellow outdoorsman.

"Oh wow that's very sad," Cruz said.

Cruz knows there are risks when hitting the trails, but Branch Whitney with 52 Peak Hiking Club says the potential risks at areas like ice box canyon which can seem like an easy place to get to, can often have a lot of unexpected hazards... Read More