LAS VEGAS — Dwight Jones came to Clark County assuring people of his “set of mid-western values.” They made him “always want to do the right thing — all the time — even if nobody’s listening,” he said.
But over the course of his two years in Las Vegas, did Jones himself see his own idealism eroding?
During his 2010 job interview with trustees, he told them that doing “business in a transparent way” and being upfront with the community was part of what made Colorado — where he was the state’s education commissioner at the time — one of the leading states in the country.
LAS VEGAS — When Clark County School District Superintendent Dwight Jones suddenly announced his decision to resign recently, he attributed his decision to his mother's illness.
"The decision,” Jones assured the community, “doesn't have to do with any other factors outside of just wanting to do what I think is right for my family," he told local news media.
The public is familiar, by now, with situations where personal or family reasons are initially offered to explain a public figure's departure. "I want to spend more time with my family," for example, is frequently heard. Later, however, more facts emerge. The individual may have been facing other, more active incentives — or pressures — to leave.
Carolyn Davis wanted to start a moving company in Las Vegas, but instead got caught in a sting operation by the Nevada Transportation Authority. Davis describes the NTA's rigorous licensing process while a NTA attorney defends it.
LAS VEGAS — The Teachers Health Trust’s financial situation could grow even more precarious due to fees associated with the Affordable Care Act, says CEO Peter Alpert.
“There will be fees. There will be cost increases,” said Alpert. “[The Affordable Care Act is] a subject [on which] I’ll keep the rest of my comments to myself.”
Alpert’s remarks came during a March 19 news conference where he presented THT’s updated financial report and discussed the organization’s overall financial health.
THT, the main health insurance provider for Clark County School District teachers, has had its financial viability questioned over the past two months since Nevada Journal reported that a teacher union representative told members in a Jan. 29 closed-door meeting that the trust would go “belly-up in 60 to 90 days.”
Phil Regeski owns P.R. Engineering, a civil engineering and construction services company in Las Vegas. One of Regeski's clients, the Pioneer Saloon, located in the small town of Goodsprings, Nevada, has waited 5 years and spent over $500,000 trying to get construction permits approved by Clark County.
Revised analysis of district's School Performance Framework shows 12 five- and four-star schools earned F's
Friday, March 8, 2013
| Updated: Monday, April 15, 2013
LAS VEGAS — Is the Clark County School District School Performance Framework weighted to make schools look better than they actually perform?
That’s what six new Transparent Nevada charts suggest, using the district’s own data but employing traditional letter grades.
The new charts, for the 2011-12 school year, graphically portray CCSD’s relative performance rankings of all district elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, as well as the district’s relative growth rankings for its elementary, middle and high schools.
The Transparent Nevada presentation shows that when CCSD’s actual data scores are translated into traditional letter grades — rather than the district’s “star” ranking system with its automatically free five “focus goal” points — 198 of the district’s 329 schools, or 60 percent, scored “D” or “F,” while the 131 remaining schools, or 40 percent, scored “C” or better.
LAS VEGAS — As Nevada lawmakers weigh different ways to attract new industries to the state, analysts on both ends of the political spectrum agree that one policy that shouldn’t be attempted is film subsidies.
“I don’t think they’ll create any useful industry in the state,” said Joe Henchman, vice president of the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation, a right-leaning organization that published a highly publicized study on film subsidies.
And in Louisiana, a report from a left-leaning watchdog organization, the Louisiana Budget Project, calls film tax credits “Costly Giveaways to Hollywood” that “Louisiana lawmakers ought to rein in.”
LAS VEGAS — New evidence bearing on allegations that Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and her top deputies engaged in repeated and systemic prosecutorial misconduct to indict two Lender Processing Services employees is scheduled to go before Nevada’s Eighth Judicial District Court today.
Defense attorneys for the employees say photographs now submitted to the court provide “potent proof” of the falsity of sworn testimony by Masto’s former chief deputy and head criminal prosecutor in the case, John P. Kelleher — as well as the falsity of assurances that Masto’s office gave to the court.
Gary Trafford and Gerry Sheppard, two LPS title officers, were indicted by a Clark County grand jury in November 2011 on charges of so-called robo-signing “forgery,” having authorized certain LPS employees they supervised to sign the title officers’ names to legal documents.
LAS VEGAS — The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, also known as the Mob Museum, fell well short of its original 300,000-to-600,000 visitor projection, but did meet revised attendance projections with over 250,000 visitors in its first year of operations. It fell dramatically short of former mayor Oscar Goodman’s optimistic 800,000 projection.
“They tell me not to say that I believe 800,000 people will be down here, that I’m only supposed to say 500,000 or 400-to-800,000 people will be here,” said Goodman during last year’s grand opening.
The museum, which received $42 million in tax money from various local and federal funds, has a $3.5 million operating budget, according to Jonathan Ullman, the museum’s executive director. The average ticket price is $14.96, so 250,000 visitors allows the museum to make and surpass its breakeven target.
LAS VEGAS — The Teachers Health Trust may not be going “belly-up” in 60-90 days, but if it doesn’t get a premium increase from the Clark County School District, it will “at some point” run out of revenue, says CEO Peter Alpert.
“Can I tell you when, exactly?” asks Alpert. “No. There’s lots of moving parts in this business. If we don’t receive [premium increases], will we be faced with some tough decisions? Yes.”
In a wide-ranging interview with Nevada Journal, Alpert discussed the trust’s financial health as well as its relationship with the Clark County Education ...