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CCSD looking to combat teacher shortage by hiring vets

CLARK COUNTY, Nev. -- Veterans with a Bachelor's Degree that are interested in becoming and educator have an opportunity to get on the fast track to becoming a teacher in Clark County.

“After three classes, which could probably be taken in the summer, candidates will be able to teach,” said Linda Quinn, Assoc. Dean of Academic and Professional Programs at UNLV.

'Troops to Teachers' is all a part of the 'Alternate Route to Teacher Licensure Program' at UNLV. Quinn says it's good for retired military personnel who are looking for a new career.  

“There are about 600 vacancies in the school district around this time of the year, and Clark County will lose even more teachers at the end of the year. So, around the fall season, CCSD will need to hire 2,000 more new teachers,” Quinn said.

Since, UNLV's main target is qualified vets, the school held a webinar Wednesday that highlighted some of the benefits.

More military medical specialists to train at UMC

LAS VEGAS --  Soon air force medical specialists from bases all over the country will be headed to University Medical Center to expand their training.

It's part of a program called Air Force Medical Services which helps medical officers stay up-to-date on the latest medical and surgical techniques that could be used later in the battle field.

Currently, 60 medical officers from Nellis Air Force Base work at UMC on a yearly basis. The expanded partnership will allow around 200 more Air Force medical specialists from around the country to get needed medical training in a clinical setting.

"The life-threatening injuries we treat inside our Trauma Center are the closest experience to an actual battle field and it's a privilege to provide training and work side-by-side these fine clinicians," said UMC CEO Mason VanHouweling.

Obama marks end of Afghan combat, pays tribute to military

KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (AP) -- President Barack Obama marked the end of more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan by paying tribute to America's military, telling troops on Christmas Day that their sacrifices have allowed for a more peaceful, prosperous world to emerge out of the ashes of 9/11.

At an oceanfront Marine Corps base in Hawaii, Obama told troops that while tough challenges remain for the U.S. military in hotspots like Iraq and West Africa, the world as a whole is better off because American troops put country first and served with distinction. He said Americans and their president could not be more thankful.

"Because of the extraordinary service of the men and women in the American armed forces, Afghanistan has a chance to rebuild its own country," Obama said to applause from Marines and their families. "We are safer. It's not going to be a source of terrorist attacks again."

Quilt holds memory of Christmas truce during WWI

LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas man has kept a blanket of love dating back almost 100 Christmases ago.

Don Irish's is an Air Force veteran who has a connection to his family and a prevalent time in history that would impress many.

“Look at the incredible work she did on this quilt,” Irish said as he looked at his mother's stitch work. “She covered the infantry, the bugler, the ambulance corps and the coastal artillery.”

Irish's mother and father met in Kansas City when artillery men like his father would visit while on leave from Fort Sill. He said when his father was shipped out to France to fight under the command of Harry S. Truman in World War I, his mother started stitching the quilt as a present.

“My mother said she hated seeing her loved one go to war,” Irish said.

All of the men in Irish's family served in the military. But in World War I something happened that has never been repeated in the history of modern warfare.

Soldier surprised daughters right before Christmas

KANSAS -- A soldier who was very determined to make it home to his family for Christmas, spent the night in multiple airports in the course of three days to do it.

It was all a part of Sergeant Stephen Thompson's plan to surprise his daughters.

“It's always the end goal you keep in the back of your mind when you're going through all of the hassle and flying through three different countries to get home to see your wife and kids,” Sgt. Thompson said.

Thompson who's based out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is in the middle of his fourth deployment in Afghanistan, but he got a two week leave.

Thompson and his wife wanted to make his homecoming special for their girls, so they enlisted the help of Santa.

It was a surprise that 2-year-old Stella and 6-year-old Sophia won't ever forget.

Few details in weekend shooting that left teen dead

LAS VEGAS — A 14-year-old boy's death in Las Vegas over the weekend is being investigated as a homicide, Metro police said Monday morning.

The coroner identified the teen as Del'Vonte Jenkins. 

Police said Jenkins was found shot around 7 p.m. Sunday near Pecos and Gowan roads in the 3600 block of Elegant Saint Court. Metro said it appeared there was "a gathering at the residence that included several family members and friends."

He was taken to UMC where he later died.

There is no motive behind the shooting and police said they don't have a suspect in custody.

Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact Metro's Homicide Section at 702-828-3521. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555, or online at www.crimestoppersofnv.com.

Christmas tree recycling drop-off locations

LAS VEGAS - Several locations around the valley are accepting and recycling Christmas trees. It's estimated about 250,000 are sold in the Las Vegas valley, but only 15,000 were recycled last year. 

The recycled trees will be chipped into mulch which is used in public gardens and parks across the valley.

There is no fee to recycle a tree. Trees will be accepted from Dec. 26 to Jan. 15, 2015. Clark County residents are encouraged to drop off their trees at one of the locations listed below and find tips on preparing your tree for recycling.

Boulder City

· Bravo Ball Field parking lot (891 Avenue B)

North Las Vegas

· Aviary Park - 6650 Aviary Way & I-215
· Cheyenne Sports Complex - 3500 E. Cheyenne at Pecos
· Seastrand Park - 6330 Camino Eldorado near Centennial Parkway & I-215
· Lowe's - 2570 E. Craig Road
· Craig Ranch Golf Course - 628 W.