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North Las Vegas: Hardest Hit City?

North Las Vegas: Hardest Hit City?


The alarming billboards appeared overnight on the street corners and empty lots of North Las Vegas, the hardest recession-hit city in the hardest-hit state in the nation.

 "Warning: Due to recent police layoffs, we can no longer guarantee your safety!"

Once the country's fastest-growing city, the middle-class haven of 220,000 outside Las Vegas is now teetering on the brink of insolvency. The state is threatening to take over the city and desperate officials are even considering selling the brand new city hall.

The billboards came down after a court blocked mass police or fire layoffs, but the problems remain in the state's fourth-largest city. Property values have plummeted. After spending more than it earned for four consecutive years, the city will not be able to make payroll come October, state auditors said.

Looking for Solutions to North Las Vegas' Financial Woes

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- A judge has decided to force the City of North Las Vegas and it's police supervisors back to the negotiating table over a $1 million contract. This highlights the nearly $5 million budget shortfall the city already faces.

Judge Scann decided in court to send the 50 police sergeants, lieutenants and captains and the city to mediation. This brings further questions in North Las Vegas' attempts to balance its budget and keep city services alive, and some neighboring political leaders are talking about the end of North Las Vegas as we know it.

North Las Vegas, incorporated 1946, has a population of 216,000 residents. But there is another number plaguing it.

"The new shortfall number was $8.6 million. Since then the city has, through a variety of different means, was able to shave off about $4 million from that and we're down to about $4.9 million," said North Las Vegas Finance Director Al Noyola.

National Downgrade Has Local Agencies Watching Their Credit

LAS VEGAS -- Local cities and government agencies are also nervously looking at their credit ratings, as some, including North Las Vegas, have seen recent downgrades.

The downgrade of local city credit ratings will not directly affect the interest rates charged for mortgages and credit cards. However, downgraded cities will need to pay bond holders higher interest rates, costing taxpayers in increased fees and taxes.

The credit ratings game on Wall Street is watched with anxiety in local cities and government agencies. Clark County says they've taken the steps needed to keep up their near perfect rating.

See how Nevada agencies rate

I-Team: Bugs Bugging Residents Near Wastewater Plant

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Some residents in North Las Vegas are more than a little bugged. Nuisance flies called midges are swarming the neighborhoods near the Sloan Channel, the discharge point for the city's treated wastewater.

As Clark County works to combat the pests, it points to the insect invasion as one more reason a federal court should stop the flow.

You may remember the City of North Las Vegas began discharging treated wastewater into Clark County's Sloan Channel last June without the county's permission. Each entity believes they are within their legal rights, and a lawsuit is pending in federal court.

Yet while both sides wait for a ruling, nearby residents wait for relief from thousands of tiny pests.

NLV Mayor: Election Lawsuit Taking 'Emotional Toll'

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Taxpayers in North Las Vegas have paid more than $100,000 since a city councilman lost the race by one vote, said Mayor Shari Buck.

Buck released a statement Friday saying the council has installed Wade Wagner as the new councilman in Ward 4 following judicial rulings in Wagner's favor. Wagner won the race by one vote. His opponent Richard Cherchio, who was also the incumbent, filed a lawsuit contesting the election.

" It is unfortunate that Richard Cherchio and his team have chosen to pursue phantoms and unresolved emotions by searching for nonexistent "problematic" votes as they prepare to mount a feckless legal challenge. These actions have cost the taxpayers of North Las Vegas over $100,000 so far, which could have been used to mitigate layoffs," Buck said in her statement.

Police Revisit 1986 North Las Vegas Murder

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. - April Marie Rhodes never made it past seven years of age. The innocent girl's life ended terribly, when a cold-blooded killer grabbed her out of her bed, raped her and bludgeoned her to death.

North Las Vegas Police Sergeant Tim Bedwell wants this horrifying and heartbreaking case solved. Whoever ended April Rhodes' life has gotten away with murder for almost 25 years.

"Nothing shakes up a community worse than the death of a child," he said. "It put everyone on edge."

Rhodes shared a bunk bed with her 10-year-old brother. Somehow, someone got into their apartment near Lake Mead Boulevard and Belmont Street.

"The last time she was seen alive was November 23, 1986, and she was found dead that following morning November 24," Bedwell said.

Former City Councilman Challenges Election Results

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The candidate who lost his North Las Vegas City Council seat by one vote filed a lawsuit Wednesday contesting the election.

A recount conducted last week again determined Wade Wagner the winner of the Ward 4 seat. However, instead of numbers this latest challenge by Richard Cherchio deals with any irregularities in the vote.

The Clark County Election Department acknowledged early on that one ineligible ballot was cast in the race. With one ballot separating the winner from the loser, Cherchio's attorney says he wants a court to thoroughly review the outcome.