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NLV's new police chief says leadership will be 'transparent'

NORTH LAS VEGAS -- The North Las Vegas Police Chief has only officially been at the helm since May 8, but he's already making waves. Within the first few minutes of being chief, Alex Perez asked the FBI to look into links, investigated as child porn, found on the mayor's iPad.

Perez, the man who isn't afraid of controversy, and who said his leadership will be transparent, spoke with 8 News NOW for his first official television interview since his promotion.

Reporter Joe Bartels: "Is there anything you can say about this situation involving the North Las Vegas Mayor, his iPad and what was found on it?"
Perez: "Unfortunately, I have nothing to add to that, at this time."

Perez's swearing in front of the North Las Vegas Mayor and City Council on May 20 was a significant one because he is the first Hispanic police chief for the city.

PD: Teacher allegedly molested 7 students; faces 32 charges

NORTH LAS VEGAS -- Investigators say a North Las Vegas music teacher inappropriately touched seven of his students. The District Attorney's office says it will charge 54-year-old Jeremiah Mazo with 10 additional child molestation counts, meaning Mazo faces 32 counts of child molestation.

All of the incidents allegedly happened during Mazo's time as a teacher at Hayden Elementary. Prosecutors say Mazo's pattern of inappropriate behavior at the school stems back nearly three years.

The seven students who came forward said Mazo touched them inappropriately on dozens of occasions. One of the victims was an 8-year-old girl.

Mazo's alleged contact with her alone resulted in 22 separate charges against the teacher who was teaching music at Hayden Elementary up until he was arrested in late April.

I-Team: Former court employee alleges workplace abuse by judge

NORTH LAS VEGAS -- A former court employee told the I-Team she was ordered by North Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge Catherine Ramsey to run personal errands for the judge while on the clock.

The former employee met with the I-Team but didn't want her face to be shown on TV because she didn't want her future in the justice system to be impacted by the accusations she is leveling against the judge.

But the I-Team verified that the former employee worked for the court and has made the same allegations in a formal complaint.

I-Team: “Did Judge Ramsey ever direct you to run personal errands for her on taxpayer time?”

Former court employee: “Oh, all the time.”

She said the personal errands Ramsey directed her to perform included filing paperwork at Clark County Family Court in connection with the judge's former spouse, and picking up Ramsey's tax returns.

Program aims to keep kids from getting kicked out of school

NORTH LAS VEGAS -- There may be a racial divide when it comes to disciplining kids at Clark County Schools. According to the latest numbers, by the U.S. Department of Education-- African American students are suspended at higher rates in Clark County.

African American students make up about 12 percent of all students in the classroom in the county, but they account for more than 25 percent of suspensions. About 40 percent of the students suspended are Hispanic. The 40 percent is proportionate to the number of Hispanic students in local classrooms.

However, white and Asian students have significantly lower suspension rates.

CCSD has decided to take action and address the issue, but some say, the district's new plan could jeopardize the future of other students.

Driving You Crazy: Light needed at Ann and Commerce

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Rebeccah says there should be a stop light at Ann Road and Commerce Street. She says, with all the schools around, there isn't always a crossing guard available for the older children.

The Ann-Commerce intersection is in North Las Vegas. Findlay Middle School, Watson Elementary School and Mojave High School sit less than a mile away.

North Las Vegas officials say a new traffic signal is being designed for this intersection.

The design should be finished by October, and construction is slated to start by the end of the year.

What's driving you crazy? E-mail your traffic questions and complaints to Demetria Obilor.

Blue Bell closing plants, laying off employees

 LAS VEGAS -- As a result of the listeria outbreak, Blue Bell Creameries announced Friday it will close plants around the country, including the one in North Las Vegas.

The company will lay off 750 full-time and 700 part-time employees around the country, which is about 37 percent of the company's workforce. An additional 1,400 employees will be furloughed.

Company CEO Paul Kruse said they are forced to take cost-cutting measures to preserve the company.

"The agonizing decision to lay off hundreds of our great workers and reduce hours and pay for others was the most difficult one I have had to make in my time as Blue Bell's CEO and president," he said.

The listeria outbreak sickened 10 people across four states. Three died.

Historic Kiel Ranch site in North Las Vegas to become park

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- North Las Vegas officials are marking the start of more than $2 million worth of construction on a new park at one of the first settled spots in the Las Vegas area.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place Wednesday at Kiel Ranch Historic Park -- a seven-acre site surrounding an ancient spring north of Carey Avenue between Losee Road and Commerce Street. The site is part of an original 240-acre homestead that historians say was settled in the mid-1800s by Conrad Kiel.

The neglected area around the site has become overgrown with weeds and and infested with trash. North Las Vegas officials say it's time for a new beginning for the historical site.

"It's been here for years and years, and decades and decades, and if you didn't know it was back here you wouldn't know," said City Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown.