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I-Team: Teacher Investigated for Sexual Abuse Received $70K

Melvyn Sprowson

LAS VEGAS -- Clark County School District says they're going to change their hiring policies after giving a job to a teacher investigated for sexually abusing children in Los Angeles.

Melvyn Sprowson worked as a kindergarten teacher at Wengert Elementary School near Sahara Avenue and Nellis Boulevard until he was arrested on charges of kidnapping a Las Vegas teenage girl. 

The I-Team has uncovered the confidential settlement papers which show the Los Angeles Unified School District paid Sprowson thousands of dollars to resign and agreed to keep his history secret.

Sprowson is now charged with kidnapping a 16-year-old runaway girl who stayed at his house after meeting him online. He's pleaded not guilty and remains in jail waiting for a trial.

A CCSD official explains how Sprowson was hired.

Ex-Con Enters Plea in Las Vegas Child Sexual Assault Case

Richard Schlacta

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A 48-year-old ex-convict from California pleaded not guilty in Nevada state court to charges that he abducted a Las Vegas schoolgirl and sexually assaulted her at knifepoint.

Richard Martin Schlacta faces nine charges including kidnapping, sexual assault of a minor, attempted sexual assault of a minor, coercion, and battery in the Aug. 28 incident.

The girl testified at a preliminary hearing last month that Schlacta grabbed her as she was locking her bicycle at a school bus stop, threatened to slit her throat with a box cutter, pulled her behind a building and attacked her before she got away.

Schlacta is jailed on $1 million bail.

His arraignment was postponed Nov. 27 after his defense attorney withdrew and two deputy Clark County public defenders were appointed to his case.

I-Team: Teacher in Kidnapping Case Once Accused of Sex Abuse

LAS VEGAS -- The kindergarten teacher facing charges of kidnapping and abusing a teenage girl has a past of sexual abuse allegations.

Prosecutors introduced that information to the judge before Melvyn Sprowson's preliminary hearing, which was supposed to start Monday.

According to public records from the Los Angeles Unified School District, a child's legal guardian sued Sprowson in 2008, accusing the teacher of unlawful sexual acts.

The district was also sued for negligent hiring. The district settled with the child's family in 2010 for an undisclosed amount of money.

No criminal charges were ever filed against Sprowson. Instead, he moved to Las Vegas and became a kindergarten teacher at Wengert Elementary School. That is where he was working when he was arrested in November.

Driving You Crazy: Rough Off-Ramp at U.S. 95 and Charleston

LAS VEGAS - A viewer says the exit to eastbound Charleston Boulevard from northbound U.S. 95 needs paving. The viewer says the road is so rough, it resembles a washboard.

Traffic8 brought the issue of this rough road to the attention of the Nevada Department of Transportation. The road's condition isn't surprising, since approximately 30,000 vehicle drive this daily. NDOT agrees this road needs help.

The agency is planning to include this ramp in a future construction project to address issues with this and other ramps around the valley.

The bad news is that no timetable exists for when the road will be fixed. NDOT is still determining the cost of the project and, more importantly, identifying funding sources.

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

Sec. Duncan: Nevada Needs to Invest More in Education

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at Bracken Elementary School

LAS VEGAS -- Education Secretary Arne Duncan visited Las Vegas Wednesday, looking at several successful schools in the Clark County School District.

Secretary Duncan said Nevada can do better when it comes to investing in public education for kindergarten through 12th grade.

He made those comments during a roundtable discussion with local principals and CCSD Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky at Bracken Elementary School.

Duncan made it clear he wants to see more Nevada students succeeding in more schools like Bracken Elementary, which is a five-star blue-ribbon campus.

However, at the roundtable, principals from much lower performing schools were there to make their voices heard, including Tim Adams, the principal of Martinez Elementary School, which at one time was a one-star school.

"Resources are important. Teachers are important, materials," Adams said. "If there is no funding available, it is more difficult."

UPDATE: Woman's Testimony Canceled on Court Abuse Case

LAS VEGAS -- Monica Contreras, the woman who accused a family court marshal of sexually groping her during a search, had her testimony before a federal grand jury canceled.

Contreras was called to testify before the federal grand jury Tuesday morning. Her attorney, Ross Goodman, said Contreras was set to testify, but sat there for nearly three hours before being told her testimony was not needed. Goodman said there is no word on why it was canceled and whether the testimony will be rescheduled.

Contreras accused marshal Ron Fox of sexually touching her during a search. The I-Team revealed her story in March 2013 with a video that showed how she was arrested in front of her young daughter when she tried to tell the hearing master what happened.

Family Court Hopes to End Cycle of Drug Addiction

LAS VEGAS -- Parents getting high and leaving their children to suffer.

Right now, family court judges are seeing more drug-addicted parents flooding the system. The problem is so bad kids taken away from their families years ago are now showing up again, to watch child services take away their children.

Judges say this is a cycle they are seeing repeated over and over, all because of drugs. They say it is impacting thousands of children.

Right now, there are 3,700 kids in the system here in Clark County. Of those kids, about 80 percent were taken from their parents because of neglect and in the majority of those cases the neglect stems from drug use.

Michelle Bortle has spent the last year getting clean after sinking into a methamphetamine addiction.

"It just takes over. You start off little, and then, before you know it, you've lost everything," Bortle said.