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NV Energy Grants $25,000 to Spread the Word Nevada Literacy Programs

NV Energy Grants $25,000 to Spread the Word Nevada Literacy Programs

NV Energy recently awarded a $25,000 grant to Spread the Word Nevada, a children's literacy nonprofit organization serving low-income children and families in the Las Vegas Valley and Clark County School District.

The grant will allow Spread the Word Nevada to continue providing children's books, family literacy events, and reading mentors to the 23 elementary schools adopted since the organization started in 2001.

"We are grateful for NV Energy’s continued financial support and belief in our children’s literacy programs," said Lisa Habighorst, Executive Director of Spread the Word Nevada. "Our mission of distributing books and promoting reading to the underprivileged children within our communities is so successful due to community partners like NV Energy.

Small Businesses Staying Afloat Amid Recession

LAS VEGAS -- Small, locally-owned businesses are trying to get noticed in the middle of Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Many independent retail stores are barely staying afloat from the recession.

Locally-owned and operated stores often lose price wars against larger brand-name stores. When it comes to choice and options, online shopping is a fierce competitor.

"We're hanging in there and I think the difference between us and a lot of big box stores is the personal service," said Dansey's Hobbies co-owner Judy Lugo. "We usually pick up around the 10th, the 12th, and we run it right through until New Years."

Parents Push to Draft Jim Rogers as Superintendent

LAS VEGAS -- More than 7,000 parents signed petitions supporting Jim Rogers as interim Clark County superintendent. The Las Vegas businessman and former university chancellor says he's open to taking the job, but district officials say they don't need him.

Rogers says he has goals if he becomes interim superintendent, but no specific plans. He has knowledge of how high education works, but hasn't been to a school board meeting in months. And Rogers faces a potential conflict of interest involving the school board president and one of his own employees.

But parents tell the Clark County School Board one clear message: They want Rogers to take over.

If picked as superintendent, Rogers claims he could get up to speed within weeks, despite being thrust into the middle of a union pay fight.

"Yeah, it's enough time. Because the problems in one endeavor are pretty much the same problems," he said.

First-Time Unemployment Claims Increased

WASHINGTON -- The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits rose last week, a sign that jobs remain scarce even as the economy recovers. The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time claims increased by 18,000 in the week ending April 3, to a seasonally adjusted 460,000. That's worse than economists' estimates of a drop to 435,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The report covers the week that includes the Easter holiday, and a Labor Department analyst said seasonal adjustment for Easter can be difficult since the holiday occurs in different weeks each year. California also closed its state offices for a holiday March 31, the analyst said, which likely held down the claims figures. On an unadjusted basis, claims rose by 6,500 to nearly 415,000.

Virgin Atlantic Expanding Flights to United Kingdom in 2011

LAS VEGAS-Virgin Atlantic announced today that it will begin twice weekly service between Las Vegas and Manchester in the United Kingdom. The flights will begin in April 2011. The new flights will fly out of Las Vegas on Thursdays and Sundays.

Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said that the decision to expand their Manchester flying program underlines Virgin Atlantic's commitment to flying to long-haul destinations from regional airports in the United Kingdom.

Governor Gibbons News Conference Today on Health Reform

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons will hold a news conference in Las Vegas to announce what he intends to do about federal health reform.

The Republican governor has been publicly feuding with Democratic Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who refused his directive to sue the federal government over the bill passed by Congress and signed last month by President Obama. Gibbons' news conference is at noon Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Gibbons argues the law tramples state's rights and amounts to unfunded mandates that will cost the state millions in added Medicaid costs. Masto says the Constitution gives Congress broad powers to regulate commerce. She says 14 other states have already sued, and that any outcome would apply to Nevada even if the state doesn't join the suit.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Nation's Economy Posted Its Largest Job Gain In Three Years

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's economy posted its largest job gain in three years in March, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent for the third straight month.

The increase is the latest sign that the economic recovery is sustainable and healing in the job market is beginning. Still, the healing is likely to be slow, and most economists don't expect job creation to be fast enough this year to rapidly reduce the unemployment rate. The Labor Department said employers added 162,000 jobs in March, the most since the recession began but below analysts' expectations of 190,000. The total includes 48,000 temporary workers hired for the U.S. Census, also fewer than many economists forecast.