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New Partnership Helps Growing West Las Vegas Businesses

LAS VEGAS -- A new partnership will help small businesses grow in West Las Vegas. Wednesday, the Las Vegas City Council approved an agreement and lease that will allow the Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency and Urban Chamber of Commerce to develop a business incubator program.

Councilman Ricki Barlow says, "Ward 5 is historic, proud and progressive, and I look forward to the new businesses that this project will assist in becoming successful. That's something all the residents of Ward 5 and the city of Las Vegas can enjoy."

Business incubator programs provide below-market-rate office space and support services for new or recently formed small businesses. The program will also help develop small businesses so they are able to become fully operational independent enterprises.

The business incubator in West Las Vegas will be located at 1951 Stella Lake Street in Enterprise Park.

I-Team: Agassi Middle School Principal on Leave after Test Investigation Begins

LAS VEGAS -- Mattie White sits properly, passing the dog-eared copy of the "Plan for Test Administration and Test Security" back and forth between her hands.

She came forward to talk about the rules in that book, and to reveal a secret that put her former principal on leave and kicked off two investigations.

"It's hard for me to say what will happen. But according to the law, I see what should happen," White said sitting forward.

White says on March 9, 2010, Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy Middle School Principal Bevelyn Smothers admitted in a faculty meeting that she improperly looked through completed state-mandated student tests. White and other teachers tell 8 News Now that Smothers would call students back to finish tests if they left sections blank, giving Agassi Prep a leg up on test scores.

Las Vegas City Leaders Open Downtown Convention Venue

LAS VEGAS - The newest downtown Las Vegas venture is now open. A ribbon-cutting ceremony ushered in the opening of Meet Las Vegas on Tuesday. Meet Las Vegas is a three-story, 30,000 square foot convention venue that sits on the corner of 4th and Bridger.

City leaders hope the facility will bring corporate events, trade shows and conventions to downtown Las Vegas. "We have so many things happening in downtown," Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said. "The one thing that we were really missing, other than an arena or stadium, was a convention center."

Supporters of the project view it as another step in the city's ongoing effort to revitalize the area. "I think that what it shows people is that downtown has huge potential," Meet Las Vegas CEO Dan Maddux said. "A lot of people, to a degree, have forgotten about downtown. There is so much room for expansion in growth in the downtown area."

Downtown Bank Building Becomes Events Center

LAS VEGAS -- New life is being given to a former bank building in downtown Las Vegas.

MEET Las Vegas, the three-story building at the corner of 4th Street and Bridger Ave. will now play host to corporate events, meetings and trade shows.

The building is 30,000 square feet and can hold as many as 2,000 people for downtown events.

Plan to Fire, Rehire City Workers Nixed

LAS VEGAS --In a press conference, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman says the city attorney has told him his plan to fire and then rehire city workers cannot happen due to legal issues.

The Mayor says he is "disappointed."

The announcement comes one week after telling city employees he wanted to fire everyone and then rehire them for lower salaries. Legal issues prevent the mayor from being able to do it.

Goodman was looking for a way to get around unions who are refusing the 8-percent cuts. Without everyone agreeing to salary reductions, 146 employees will be laid off.

The unions say they would negotiate with the city, but would not agree to 8-percent cuts with no guarantee that more cuts could happen.

Unions React to Goodman's Plan to Fire City Employees

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is sticking to his "all or nothing" ultimatum, claiming pay cuts for all city employees is the only way to save everyone's job right now.

But union leaders disagree and say they are tired of being painted as the bad guys in the city's budget battle.

One day after dropping a bombshell on the employee unions, Mayor Goodman claims he's received nothing but positive feedback so far from city employees who supposedly support his radical idea to fire and then re-hire thousands of city workers for less money.

Goodman says the city employees he's talked with understand and even support his plan to save jobs by cutting everyone's pay.

"Every phone call so far, and there have been plenty of them, have been supportive of my position," he said.

I-Team: State Grabs Clean Water Money to Shore Up Budget

LAS VEGAS -- Millions of dollars has been taken from a state fund supposed to help clean up the water in Lake Mead. The money will now be used to help the state budget shortfall.

The loss of $62 million has critics upset and threatening a possible lawsuit.

It's a little-publicized way of helping Nevada stay afloat -- take money from local governments and agencies to fix the state's problems. It's a no-win scenario for everyone, but lawmakers are backed into a corner.

Read the bill that moves the money

Poached programs don't like it, but it's a sacrifice that keeps Nevada in the black.

With the chemicals and waste flowing from homes into the drinking supply, the Nevada Clean Water Coalition wants to build a pipe to dilute that water in Lake Mead. Not anymore.