In July of 2007, I was awarded a competitive, paid news internship at The Las Vegas Review Journal, Nevada's largest daily newspaper. I was quickly hired as the paper's temporary night police beat reporter where I regularly broke news and conducted investigative research and legal document review in order to hold the city's police and fire departments accountable.
A complete catalog of all my work is available by clicking here.
The decision to kill a mountain lion after it was caught roaming neighborhoods in the northern part of the valley Wednesday spurred a stream of complaints. The cougar was first spotted scrounging for food and water about 9:30 a.m. near Grand Teton Drive and Jones Boulevard.
Katie Richards, 14, peered out a window of her home in the 7800 block of Spiced Strawberry Street and saw a "huge cat just ramming itself" against the family's front door. Home alone, the ninth-grader feared the cat would break through the glass of the French doors. "I was scared," she said. "I didn't know if it could break the glass on the door or not, and I was scared it was going to get inside.
Authorities on Wednesday tranquilized a mountain lion that was roaming neighborhoods near Floyd Lamb State Park about five hours after the animal was first spotted in a backyard. The cat is expected to be euthanized.
Police officers received a call at 10 a.m. that the 80- to 100-pound cat was in a car in the Steeple Chase Estates subdivision, near Grand Teton Drive and North Rainbow Boulevard. The mountain lion then jumped out of the vehicle, scaled a fence and started moving throughout residential areas, said Roman Denby, Las Vegas police spokesman.
By 10:30 a.m., helicopters swarmed above nearly a dozen patrol units surveying the area. Nervous residents watched from windows and balconies as authorities warned them over a loudspeaker to stay inside. Officers with dart rifles stood on fences overlooking streets near Saville Middle School.
Las Vegas Lights Up By Brian Haynes; Beth Walton, Contributing Writer Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: January 1, 2008
Beer swillers, street preachers, Santa Claus, a record-breaking motorcycle jump. Just another New Year's Eve in Las Vegas.
The annual fireworks show to welcome Baby New Year went off without a hitch as thousands of people crowded Las Vegas Boulevard and the Fremont Street Experience to say goodbye to 2007 and ring in 2008.
As the clock struck midnight, John Melton of Memphis, Tenn., screamed toward the sky with his hands in the air as fireworks boomed overhead: "I can't wait to win some money, party and kiss my wife. If I die today, I'll be happy."
At the same moment, Reginalld Thomas rained down $5,000 in $1 bills on the crowd at Poetry in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Thomas planned to shower the crowd with $100,000 throughout the night.
Generosity returned after home fire By Beth Walton Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: December 24, 2007 A few weeks after donating her life savings of about $20 to a family she had never met, 9-year-old Taylor Sturgis is learning what it is like to be on the receiving end of the holiday spirit.
Taylor had been planning on buying a new leotard and maybe something nice for her family with her savings until she heard on the radio that a thief at a memorial service stole thousands of dollars collected for the widow and child of an iron worker who had fallen to his death at a construction site.
Taylor insisted that her mother, Ali Sturgis, drive to the other side of town to give the grieving family Taylor's savings. "So I did," Ali Sturgis said. "And now I keep telling her that this is why everyone is being so nice to us."
Her family's Henderson home burned down last week and since then her cell phone hasn't stopped ringing with people wanting to help. "It makes me happy that everyone is giving back to us," said Taylor, a Kesterson Elementary School fourth-grader.
Months before her son's death, Vivian Jones was introduced to the man police say is his killer.
Her son, Bobby Wilkerson, introduced Michael Patterson to her as a friend.
He was the man who sold her son a pit bull. The man who lived next door with his mother, a woman Jones had befriended and with whom she was sharing her faith. "If you looked at this kid, you'd never think how cold-blooded he is," Jones said of Patterson, whom police arrested along with Dale Denton, both previously of Las Vegas, in connection with Wilkerson's slaying in August.
An 86-year-old man turned to Las Vegas police for help in July, only to suspect months later that the detective who was supposed to be helping him was stealing from him.
Metropolitan Police Department Detective Eric Washington was arrested Thursday and accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the man and his 62-year-old daughter.
Washington faces multiple felony charges, including burglary with intent to commit a felony, fraudulent use of an ATM card and theft, police said. "He's got a serious problem, let's make no mistake about it," said Las Vegas police Investigative Services Deputy Chief Ted Moody.
A 33-year-old woman died Wednesday after she lost control of her 2006 Ford Focus and it overturned on Las Vegas Boulevard just south of Sloan. The woman's 5-month- old female passenger survived the crash.
Lora Yvette Ethridge-Manier-Wilson of Las Vegas was headed north on Las Vegas Boulevard when, for unknown reasons, her car drifted off the roadway's edge onto the right dirt shoulder. As she steered to the left to move the Ford back on to the roadway, the car spun out of control and eventually overturned, said Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Kevin Honea.
The woman and the infant were both ejected from the car. Neither was wearing a seat belt.
About 19 months after Mariah Ramirez died, the infant's grandmother went to police with her belief that Anthony Naranjo had something to do with her death.
On Wednesday, Naranjo, the 22-year-old boyfriend of Mariah's mother, was booked into the Henderson jail on a charge of murder. Mariah's grandmother had given Henderson police the information they needed to focus their investigation on Naranjo at the end of August.
She told police that on Feb. 7, 2006, as she and other family members waited for Mariah, who had been taken off life support to die at St. Rose Dominican Hospital's Sienna Campus, Naranjo told them he hadn't meant for "that to happen," a warrant for his arrest notes.
He "was fake crying" that night and he had been aggressive with the children before, the grandmother told police. One time a "visibly mad" Naranjo "violently grabbed" a car seat the infant was in, the warrant says.
Three more arrested By Lisa Kim Bach Beth Walton, Contributing Writer Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: December 19, 2007
Police announced Tuesday that they have arrested three more suspects in the Dec. 11 school bus stop shooting that wounded six, including four Mojave High School students.
Authorities took into custody on Monday night Erica Adams, 20, Dresden Williams, 18, and Franklin Jackson, 17, in connection with the shooting at Alexander and Walnut roads in the northeast valley.
The arrests were made after witnesses at the bus stop told police that Williams and Jackson, who police say are gang members, were the only shooters.
The day after six people were wounded at a school bus stop in northeast Las Vegas, authorities used pepper spray on crowds of students at two Clark County high schools. "Everyone was on heightened alert, even the students, because there had been so much media attention (on the schools)," said Clark County School Police Lt. Ken Young.
Their being on edge might have caused students to argue and fight, he said.
But Young doubted there was anything more connecting the fights at Foothill and Canyon Springs high schools with Tuesday's bus stop shootings that wounded four Mojave High School students. "It's not abnormal for us to have a fight at a school," he said.
Reporters' Notebook Beth Walton, Contributing Writer Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: December 16, 2007
When a fight broke out Wednesday at Canyon Springs High School, the day after six people were wounded in a shooting at a school bus stop, the media was quick to respond. Canyon Springs, after all, is just 2 miles south of Mojave High School, home to four of the bus stop shooting victims.
Police used pepper spray on the crowd of students when it looked like Principal Ronan Matthew was about to be attacked.
Matthew said he wasn't hit by a student. Yet within hours a local TV station and wire services were reporting the principal had been wounded. "They didn't even ask me if I was hurt," the principal said.
A teenager wanted in connection with a shooting at a Las Vegas school bus stop that wounded six young people agreed Friday to return to Nevada without a legal fight.
Nicco Tatum, 18, was arrested in Denver on Wednesday when he got off a Greyhound bus from Las Vegas. Authorities believe he was bound for Chicago, and U.S. marshals tipped authorities in Colorado that he would change buses in Denver.
At a brief court hearing Friday, Tatum said he would not resist efforts to return him to Las Vegas, where he faces six counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of battery with a deadly weapon.
Most students hanging out Thursday afternoon at an anti-violence rally outside Mojave High School found little solace in the arrest of Nicco Tatum, the teen police say opened fire at a school bus stop Tuesday.
One suspect was still at large, and, according to sophomore Jocelyne Gonzalez, 15, "either way, people are still gonna bring straps (guns) to school."
As pastors bellowed their anti-violence message from a stage, kids ate hot dogs and reflected on the days since four Mojave students and two others were shot at a bus stop near Alexander and Walnut roads.
Mojave junior Damion Brown, 16, who was among the 200 students at the Operation Lasting Peace and Safe Village Coalition rally, said that to stop violence, "you got to change the way people think."
The day after his son was shot in the stomach while getting off a school bus, Calvin Smith said he is ready to forgive.
"I'm not even angry at the kids who did this," Smith said. "I want to pray for them because I'm pretty sure the good Lord has a plan for them."
It's not their fault they don't have good role models in their lives, he said. It's not the school's fault, either. Smith, 53, places blame with their parents and society at large for glorifying violence and not adequately punishing violent crime.
Authorities arrested a suspect Wednesday night in connection with the previous day's shooting of six young people near a school bus stop.
Las Vegas police Capt. Kirk Primas said a tip came in late Tuesday night that the suspect was going to Chicago on a Greyhound bus. U.S. marshals and Denver police SWAT team members were waiting for the bus when it stopped at a bus station in Denver about 9:30 p.m. Pacific time.
Nicco Tatum, 18, is to be charged with six counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of battery with a deadly weapon, Primas said.
Suspects at Large By Beth Walton and Antonio Planas Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: December 12, 2007
Two assailants opened fire Tuesday afternoon at a school bus stop in northeast Las Vegas, sending six people to the hospital in what might have been a dispute over a girl, police said.
Two of the victims remained hospitalized at University Medical Center, one in critical condition, while suspects in the shooting at Alexander and Walnut roads remained at large.
"This is not a random act," Sheriff Doug Gillespie said at an evening news conference. "We are looking at this as someone who was there for a particular individual or individuals."
The Metropolitan Police Department is sending a bit of Sin City overseas, taking a gamble that troops soon to return to the United States might want to make Las Vegas their home and the department their new employer.
On Monday, police will drop off 16 care packages at Nellis Air Force Base to be delivered to Las Vegas police officers on active duty with the military, said Denise Kee of the department's community relations office.
Each package contains playing cards and poker chips with the department's shield, letters from local schoolchildren, newspapers and a note telling the officers that everyone at home is thinking of them.
Two off-duty Clark County firefighters were arrested Friday morning after beating a man at a casino, sending him to the hospital, police said.
Colin P. Kelley, 32, and Ali Jahanfard, 30, were taken to the Clark County Detention Center about 5 a.m., said officer Bill Cassell, Las Vegas police spokesman. Both men were charged with one felony count of battery with substantial bodily harm. Jahanfard also was charged with an additional count of battery, Cassell said. Both posted bail and were released from the detention center Friday afternoon.
Nothing was going to keep Janice Wright and her 16-year-old daughter from shopping Wednesday evening, not even news reports of a massacre at a Nebraska mall.
"You can't be afraid every time something happens; otherwise, you will never get out of the house," she said as the two entered the Meadows mall.
Wright, like other shoppers at the mall near U.S. Highway 95 and Valley View Boulevard, hoped that what happened in Nebraska was an isolated incident and additional mall security during the holiday season would keep shoppers safe.
Inspiring Signs By Henry Brean Beth Walton, Contributing Writer Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: December 1, 2007
As soon as the rain began to fall in Henderson late Friday morning, Leah Westerlund grabbed her cell phone and started sending text messages to her friends.
In no time at all, the 21-year-old had convinced Miles Anderson, 18, Jared Creazzo, 20, and Jason Lattin, 20, to drop what they were doing and drive up to Mount Charleston to see the snow.
By midafternoon, they stood in the forest just off state Route 158 as the sky blew tiny, wet flakes in their faces. It was cold and windy and the snow wasn't deep enough yet to sled down the hill on a rubber trash can lid, but anyone could see it was much better than being at work.
A man died Friday morning after his apartment at the Sunrise Vista Motel on Charleston Boulevard was gutted by a fire.
Authorities received calls that smoke was coming from the unit at 3801 E. Charleston about 10:42 a.m. When firefighters arrived a few minutes later, heavy flames were shooting out of the man's first-floor studio apartment, said Tim Szymanski, spokesman for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.
A Henderson man was arraigned in a Los Angeles federal courtroom Tuesday on charges that he tried to smuggle a World War II-era submachine gun into the United States in a sports car he was importing from Germany, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.
Peter Scharf, 43, was arrested Tuesday in Los Angeles by ICE agents and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Scharf was indicted earlier this month by a federal grand jury on charges of smuggling and importing a machine gun without a license. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted of the charges, said Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles ICE office.
A construction device that contains small amounts of radioactive material was stolen from a Henderson work site Tuesday afternoon and police are warning the public of its potential dangers.
City workers were using the nuclear density gauge, which resembles a large yellow shoebox with a calculator and handle, about 1:30 p.m. southwest of Horizon and College drives when it was stolen, police said. "They left it unattended for just a moment, and when they came back it was gone," said Todd Rasmussen, spokesman for Henderson police.
Reporters' Notebook Beth Walton, Contributing Writer Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: November 25, 2007
AN INCIDENT ON THANKSGIVING PROVIDED POTENTIAL FODDER for those anti-smoking ad campaigns. A Las Vegas man got more smoke than he bargained for when he tried to light a cigarette and his oxygen tube caught fire. The man swatted at the flames with a pillow, causing the fire to quickly spread throughout his apartment.
No one was seriously injured in the blaze that caused an estimated $35,000 in damage to the apartment complex.
A man who authorities say for years impersonated a first sergeant with the Army military police was arrested Friday morning.
Donald R. Raibaldi, 49, of Las Vegas was charged with felony counts of aggravated stalking, oppression under color of office, and attempted oppression under color of office, and a gross misdemeanor of impersonating a military policeman, said Sgt. Dan Flaherty with the Las Vegas police fugitive unit.
Raibaldi remained in Clark County Detention Center Friday afternoon with bail set at $12,000.
A convenience store clerk who was shot in the face earlier this year by a robber died this week.
Steve Inman, 60, of Las Vegas, was shot July 11 despite complying with the robbers' demands. There was less than $100 in the register, Las Vegas police have said.
Inman previously had retired, but he took a job at the Green Valley Grocery Store, at 4011 N. Lamb Blvd. near Alexander Road, to earn money for his wife's cancer treatments. The couple had planned to move to Washington state in August because that's where her preferred doctor practices, Inman's aunt, Judy Huddleston, said.
Just before she went under, Amy Allen's anesthesiologist told her not to worry.The donated kidney that would be transplanted into her body belonged to a 17-year-old boy. It will be strong, and it will last, he said.
Allen had good reason to be nervous about her health. The 29-year-old mother of two had spent the past 21/2 years feeling helpless, undergoing painful dialysis and unable to be the kind of mother she wanted to be because the treatments sapped her energy.
But thanks to the 17-year-old stranger, that all changed, and Allen wanted to say thank you. "Normally, it takes months to get in touch with the donor," Allen said.
But three days after Allen's Nov. 13 surgery, her mother, Cheryl Rowe, called her at the hospital bubbling with news. Rowe was sure she knew who had given Allen the kidney.
A million dollars is not justice enough for the families of those killed in 2004, when a Ford Explorer rammed into a northwest valley bus stop, the mother of two of the victims said Tuesday.
Justice would be for the SUV's driver, Veronica Schmidt, to go to jail, said Clara Guardado after an absent Schmidt was found negligent in a civil lawsuit brought against her by the victims' families.
A jury awarded the families $1 million -- $250,000 per victim to be divided among the family members.
"I'll only be happy if I can see her behind bars," Guardado said.
Reporters' Notebook Beth Walton, Contributing Writer Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: November 18, 2007
AN UNARMED SECURITY GUARD IN A VETERAN'S SECURITY UNIFORMwas more than a little upset Tuesday when he found out the person he was replacing at Brundage-Bone Concrete Pumping in North Las Vegas had been shot hours earlier.
"They just told me he got hurt on the job," the man said. "I thought he hurt his back or something. This is a problem. I got to call them about this," he said.
Police in Laughlin arrested a man on human trafficking charges, but six people they found to be in the country illegally fled Thursday.
Metropolitan Police Department officers found a vehicle with six Hispanic men inside it on a dirt road at the second mile marker of state Route 164 about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. They found more than 20 backpacks and coats on the ground in the nearby desert.
It had been five days since Irma Delgadillo's 17-year-old son died in a tragic accident, and she still couldn't bear to wash the clothes he wore the last time he left home.
"They smell like him," she said pointing to the black denim shorts, white T-shirt, boxers, socks and shoes inside a clear plastic bag given to her by staff at the hospital where her son, Giovanni Saavedra, died Sunday.
Saavedra fell from the covered bed of a moving pickup in an activity youths call "car-surfing."
"They also gave me his cell phone and house key," she said.
Police aren't sure exactly how the fire that burned a homeless man was started, but people who knew him suspect that teens who live nearby had something to do with his death.
Just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, Las Vegas firefighters responded to reports of a fire in a drainage ditch behind a strip mall at the corner of South Decatur Boulevard and Sahara Avenue. After putting the flames out, firefighters could see the charred body of a man.
He is believed to be a 61-year-old who lived in the ditch, homicide investigators said.
"His name was Peter," said Lloyd Chavez as he stared Wednesday at what was left of the man's camp in the graffiti-covered concrete channel. "If you ever needed something, he'd give it to you before he took it for himself."
A security guard on Tuesday morning shot and killed a man during an attempted carjacking at a North Las Vegas business.
Police said the suspect, estimated to be in his 20s, tried to steal the security guard's SUV at Brundage-Bone Concrete Pumping, 2410 E. Gowan Road. The would-be car thief and security guard exchanged gunfire.
The shooting was still under investigation by North Las Vegas police, who would not elaborate on the incident.
Brundage-Bone officials applauded the security guard's actions during his first week on the job.
Las Vegas firefighters responding to a report of smoke at The Arbors on Decatur Apartments late Tuesday afternoon found the smoke was coming from the badly burned body of a man nearby, said Scott Allison, Clark County Fire Department spokesman.
The apartments, at 2666 Decatur Blvd., were not on fire. The smoldering body was nearly a half-mile away from the apartments in a drainage ditch behind The Sports Authority store at 2620 Decatur, Allison said
Police in Ohio are looking for the driver of a pickup that struck and killed a 16-year-old Las Vegas girl Thursday morning.
Veronica Gantt had just arrived in Columbus for a Roman Catholic youth conference when she was hit after leaving a fast-food restaurant. Gantt was walking toward her hotel with two other people on a busy road just north of Ohio State University when she was run over, Columbus police Detective David Cornute said.
Police said the truck was traveling in the same direction as the teens and didn't stop. The others walking with Gantt were not injured.
Two people were presumed killed Thursday night when a Civil Air Patrol plane crashed into Mount Potosi, about 35 miles southwest of Las Vegas, officials said.
A police air unit crew who flew over the wreckage said the crash was not survivable. The plane, a single-engine Cessna 172 , went off the radar at McCarran International Airport about 7:15 p.m., said Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
It was the second small plane that disappeared from local radar Thursday night. The same thing had happened with a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza at 6:37 p.m. Authorities later learned that plane had made a successful emergency landing several miles southeast of Jean, and its two occupants, who were headed to Phoenix from Las Vegas, were unhurt, Gregor said.
A man literally drove through a McDonald's restaurant on Monday morning, with his car coming to a crashing stop at the pickup counter.
Las Vegas police said fast driving, not fast food, was the culprit.
The driver was traveling north on Eastern Avenue about 8:30 a.m. when he lost control of his white Honda just before Windmill Lane. The compact car flew over another vehicle, scaled a guard rail in front of the building and smashed through the restaurant's window and kitchen, said officer Martin Wright, spokesman for Metropolitan Police Department.
Faced with persistent dry conditions on the outskirts of the Las Vegas Valley, bobcats by the dozen have wandered into neighborhoods over a week's span, penetrating as deep into the urban area as Mandalay Bay in search of food and water.
In one case, police shot and killed a bobcat that swallowed a pair of parakeets and a yellow-crested cockatoo after it hopped a wall in a southwest neighborhood. In the most recent case, a 20-pound bobcat surprised a tourist walking her dog in a Mandalay Bay parking lot at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The Las Vegas Paiute Tribe's police chief announced his retirement Thursday but said he is not ready to quit working yet.
Theodore Quasula, 57, said he plans to start an entirely new career. "I'm going to work until I'm 110," he joked.
The former federal Indian Affairs official plans to help establish and manage a hospitality and culinary arts school in Las Vegas. "After 35 years in law enforcement, I thought I'd try something else," Quasula said.
Nevada Highway Patrol investigators are asking for the public's help in finding the truck responsible for a grease spill on Interstate 15 that caused several accidents Wednesday morning in Las Vegas and a two-hour closure of the freeway's northbound lanes.
Witnesses said the driver of the truck pulled to the side of the freeway near D Street to plug the leak on the rig before continuing north, Trooper Kevin Honea, spokesman for the Nevada Highway Patrol said.
Parole and probation officer Richard An played a trick on one registered sex offender on Halloween that hopefully scared him into obeying the law for the rest of the evening.
He telephoned the man, convicted of sexual assault, to say that he'd be stopping by to check up on him, even though An had no intention of doing so. "It's just one more deterrent to keep them from violating the rules," An said. "He'll be nervous now."
Accidents tie up traffic in and out of LV Valley By Lisa Kim Bach Beth Walton, Contributing Writer Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: November 1, 2007 Three accidents involving big rigs created havoc on major roads in and around Clark County on Wednesday.
The California Highway Patrol closed northbound Interstate 15 about 15 miles from the Nevada border after a tractor-trailer overturned and spilled between 1,500 and 2,000 gallons of oil. The accident, which took place about 6 a.m., resulted in minor injuries to the driver, who was taken to University Medical Center, California authorities said.
Local police are pulling out all the stops to keep Halloween from being too scary this year, even citing advice from their elders.
"Like my grandmother said, 'If you're out past midnight, you're up to no good,' " said Henderson police spokesman Keith Paul.
NLV parts company with chief By Lynnette Curtis and David Kihara Beth Walton, Contributing Writer Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: October 31, 2007
North Las Vegas Police Chief Mark Paresi no longer will be working as the city's top lawman, North Las Vegas' mayor confirmed Tuesday.
Citing Police Department morale and other issues, Mayor Michael Montandon said the city is negotiating a severance package for Paresi, who has served as police chief since June 2002. A combination of "policy, human resources and personal issues" led to Paresi's departure, Montandon said.
Trick-or-treating has just gotten too frightening for North Las Vegas resident Guy Floyd. "You just feel less and less safe every year. There are fewer people turning on their porch lights, fewer people trick-or-treating," said Floyd, who Wednesday night will be taking his 5-year-old daughter, Savannah, to a school party or other closely supervised event.
"You never know who lives on the next block," he said last week as he shopped for a fairy princess costume for Savannah.
Becky Flynn had a bird's-eye view as smoke from dozens of California wildfires blanketed the Las Vegas Valley on Friday. Flynn, of Springfield, Ill., flew into Las Vegas around 11 a.m. "As we descended, it got more and more hazy," she said while watching the sunset from Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
The smoke produced a grainy sunset. "It makes for a beautiful sunset," said Gerald Prendergast of Brooksville, Fla., who also was at Red Rock. Authorities expected the smoke to remain in the valley through Sunday.
A 45-year-old Las Vegas man died after the truck he was driving crashed into a car that was going the wrong way on U.S. Highway 95 near Sky Pointe Drive about 12:57 a.m. Wednesday.
William Jay Harris was northbound on the highway south of Centennial Parkway when he collided head-on with a 2001 Acura that was southbound in a northbound lane. The Acura was being driven by a 20-year-old woman whose name had yet to be released Thursday by the Nevada Highway Patrol's Southern Command.
For nearly four weeks a year, Aaron Liu gets to see the type of thing he would normally only see in movies. Across the street from his school, police officers draw their weapons, shout aggressively and make arrests.
"They are not scaring me, they are amusing me," said the third-grader at J. Marlan Walker International School in Henderson, at Mission and College drives. He knows that the uniformed police recruits he sees at Mission Hills Park, just like police in the movies, are only pretending. Liu thinks the action is "cool."
Some neighborhood parents don't, however, and say police shouldn't be training in the park across from the school.
A Las Vegas police officer who was shot in the wrist Friday after exchanging gunfire with a suspect in a domestic disturbance call was released from the hospital on Saturday. The officer, one of three hit by gunfire during the incident, was in good condition and resting comfortably at his home, said officer Martin Wright, spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department.
Police identified Terry Dixon, 42, as the suspect in the shooting at the Paradise Park Apartments, near Twain Avenue and Paradise Road. Dixon, who surrendered Friday afternoon after a 31/2-hour standoff, faces charges of resisting a public officer with a weapon, felony possession of a firearm and three counts of attempted murder of a police officer.
He is due in court Wednesday.
Three LV officers shot By Francis McCabe, Beth Walton and David Kihara Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: October 20, 2007
Three Las Vegas police officers were shot Friday afternoon after responding to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment complex just east of the Strip, Las Vegas police said.
Police received a 911 call about 1:30 p.m. from a woman who said she was fighting with her son. She told officers that her son might be on drugs, police said.
Screaming and threats could be heard by officers as they pounded on the door of the woman's unit at the Paradise Park apartments, near Paradise Road and Twain Avenue, Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said.
One witness heard a man say, "My momma's coming out," and then the shooting started.
Monique Elliott told police she had a special technique for punishing her 8-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son: She made them squat and hold telephone books above their heads.
The girl, Destiny, was ordered to stay that way for "an unknown period of time" beginning on Aug. 12, and during that time the child "disobeyed the rules," so Elliott and her girlfriend, Shantanna Shuntay Williams, beat Destiny with electrical cords and belts, a police report states.
After the beating, Destiny was forced to do push-ups.
A man who police said was killed during a murder-suicide involving a couple early Tuesday was identified as Raymond Rodriquez, 24, of Henderson.
Police said the deaths of Rodriquez and his girlfriend, Karissa Nailen, 23, who was identified earlier by authorities, were the result of a murder-suicide. Police said a history of domestic violence existed between the two.
Opal Parsons, 81, has been missing since Aug. 30, but police believe they may be on the verge of a break in the case and figure the effort can be helped by an announcement Wednesday that the reward for information is being increased by $10,000.
Las Vegas police Sgt. Tom Wagner said that some interesting information was brought to detectives' attention Wednesday morning and that a "person of interest" was scheduled to take a polygraph test later in the day. The results of the test should help determine whether robbery was a motive in the case, Wagner said.
A Las Vegas man was fatally shot late Monday on Elm Drive. Officers responded to 480 Elm, near Paradise Road and Sands Avenue, about 10:30 p.m. Tyrone Lafayette Thomas, 38, was dead at the scene, Las Vegas police Sgt. Rocky Alby said.
Witnesses said they saw Thomas enter a light-colored minivan headed eastbound on Elm. Several minutes later witnesses heard gunshots, Alby said. The man's body was found in the street, Alby said.
It was just a dream, a little more than 40 years ago, when the Rev. Jack Adam started talking up the prospect of a Southern Nevada children's shelter. But he made it a reality, in part by using his influence on the Strip to set things in motion for a 1966 fundraiser show that starred Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Jack Benny and other entertainers.
"Some of them would have flown to the moon if they could have for him, they loved him so," Ranelle Adam said of Jack Capers Adam. He died Oct. 7 at the age of 74.
A Clark County Fire Department paramedic arrested almost three weeks ago in connection with 11 drug burglaries has been arrested again.
Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Jose Montoya said Samuel Bond broke into county Fire Station No. 65 sometime before 6:30 a.m. Saturday and stole narcotics.
Fire Department spokesman Scott Allison said the drugs were taken from an ambulance locked inside the station, 3824 W. Starr Ave. Later Saturday, Bond was found passed out on his father's driveway, Montoya said.
Whoever killed William Kenyatta "Kenya" Jones was out for revenge and wasn't afraid to show it.Two handwritten signs were left on the dead man's body, according to a warrant filed by the Metropolitan Police Department on Sept. 28.
A sign resting on Jones' thighs noted: "Hard worker. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. 365 days a year. 14 million transaction between to auction. No money available. I told Kenya mony or life? He chose money. He pay for it."
Another sign was placed on the dead's man chest. It read: "For mysteries crime. I am the police. I am the judge. My decision is death. Abebe Tefera Goshu."
The Nye County district attorney's office on Friday filed a felony child pornography charge against the man who gave authorities a videotape showing the sexual assault of a 3-year-old girl.
Pahrump resident Darrin Tuck, 26, said he found the tape in the desert and then waited more than five months to turn it in, said Nye County District Attorney Bob Beckett. Tuck faces up to six years in prison if convicted, Beckett said.
Tuck's new lawyer, Chris Rasmussen, said he was confident his client would be found not guilty after the facts of the case were presented to a jury. "This sends a chilling effect to our community," Rasmussen said. "Here he is doing the right thing to protect this girl, and he's charged with a felony."
A woman with a gunshot wound to the head was found dead in the driver's seat of a Lexus SUV Friday morning by her boyfriend. Las Vegas police Lt. Lew Roberts said a caller contacted police about 7 a.m. to report the incident, which took place in a neighborhood southwest of Dean Martin Drive and Warm Springs Road.
The victim had just dropped her children off at her ex-husband's house when her boyfriend saw her car stopped near the corner of Maulding Avenue and Procyon Street. The boyfriend also called police after finding her body, Roberts said.
A man who last year was at the center of an international child abuse case was arrested Thursday on charges of forgery and burglary. Arash Hashemi, 37, was in the Clark County Detention Center on Thursday night, according to jail records. His bail was listed as $40,000.
Hashemi previously ran afoul of authorities last year after the 3-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, Samaneh Rezaei, was nearly beaten to death at his home.
Twenty-six gang members who were in the country illegally were arrested in the Las Vegas Valley during a six-day sweep in mid-September, authorities said.
The arrests, announced Tuesday, were the latest installment of Operation Community Shield, an initiative launched in 2005 by Immigration Customs Enforcement. One goal of the operation is to get gang members off the street by enforcing immigration laws.
The 26 people arrested last month with the help of Las Vegas police face deportation, said Richard Curry, an ICE assistant special agent. "There is no doubt these people commit a lot of local crimes, everything from murder down to violent assault, domestic violence and narcotics. Removing some of these individuals from the gangs themselves will assist in making the streets a little safer," he said.
Reporters' Notebook Beth Walton, Contributing Writer Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: October 7, 2007
ONE PARISHIONER DIDN'T GET ENOUGH OF THE LICENSED STRIPPER who busted through the doors of Guardian Angel cathedral during Sunday Mass two weeks ago wearing only a T-shirt. The Boulder City man sent a letter to a reporter containing an invitation for the woman to make a repeat appearance at the church, a photograph of the letter-writer and his phone number.
"I would love for you to be my guest at Mass this Sunday at 11 a.m. Please call me and tell me you'll be my friend. ... Your best friend you have today -- was at one time a stranger. ..." The church member made no mention of recommended attire for the occasion.
The Clark County Fire Department never tried to prevent police from investigating the paramedic accused of stealing drugs from ambulances and fire stations, Fire Chief Steve Smith said at a news conference Thursday.
"In fact, at every incident we have asked them, encouraged them, to come out and investigate all matters to make sure we are covering all the bases and make sure that we are addressing our security flaws," Smith said.
Smith was responding to a Wednesday Review-Journal article about what appeared to have been a missed opportunity to arrest Samuel Bond at the first of 11 narcotics thefts to which he confessed when he was arrested Sept. 30.
A jail guard went to the detention center Wednesday, but it wasn't for work. Correctional Lt. Irving Blake, 52, was arrested on allegations of misconduct during his tenure at the Southern Nevada Correctional Center in Jean. He also was fired.
Blake, who worked at the prison for 14 years, was arrested on two felony charges, including misconduct and oppression under color of office, authorities said.
A couple of months ago, Clark County Fire Department paramedic Samuel Bond was caught red-handed at the first of the 11 drug robberies to which he later confessed, according to the police report regarding his Sunday arrest.
But on July 19, after Las Vegas police had read Bond his Miranda rights in connection with the theft of a narcotics pack from a Fire Department ambulance, fire officials asked police to let them handle the matter internally, the report said. The officers acquiesced, and Bond was able to continue stealing drugs from other ambulances through the end of September, according to the report.
The report said the reason the Fire Department gave for the request to back off on July 19 was that "there had been a problem with Clark County Fire Department's inventorying procedures."
About 7:30 a.m. a boater saw a man waving and yelling for help from one of the Boulder Basin islands on the Nevada side of the lake. When the boater stopped, the man, a Henderson resident, told him that he spent the night stranded on the island.
He said he and a friend had crashed their 35-foot cabin cruiser into the shore of the island about 7:30 p.m. Friday and his friend was still missing, said Roxanne Dey, spokeswoman for the Lake Mead National Recreation area.
"Anytime someone can stay on the shoreline or on the island until help arrives, it's better," she said. "At least he was on land and wasn't treading water all night."
Two people wanted in connection with the half-hour videotape of a 3-year-old girl being sexually assaulted were still at large Saturday night.
Authorities believe Chester "Chet" Stiles, who has been named by police as the man seen molesting the child on the tape, and Darrin Tuck, the 26-year-old Pahrump man who turned the video over to authorities, are on the run.
Stiles' last known address was in Las Vegas, and he was reported to have been in the valley as recently as two weeks ago, Nye County sheriff's Detective David Boruchowitz said.
Nye County authorities turned to the media again on Wednesday seeking help in identifying a girl being sexually assaulted by an older man on a video handed over to police earlier this month.
Sheriff Tony DeMeo thinks that through the media, the public will bring the girl, estimated to be 4 or 5 years old, to safety. "The media is going to be the conduit where information comes to us so we can I.D. her," he said. "People all over the world are interested. Even if the tip we need comes internationally, it will come to us."
Unusual things happen in Las Vegas every day, but when was the last time a stripper clad only in a T-shirt busted through the doors of a cathedral interrupting Mass? For parishioners who worship at Guardian Angel, the last time was Sunday.
The woman walked into the cathedral just off the south Strip during the 11 o'clock service. Holding a cup in her hand, she bent down at the altar and exposed her buttocks in view of the congregation, said Mathew Chmielewski, who sat in the front pew. "The Mass kept going. No one knew what to do," said Chmielewski.
Death came sooner than expected for 47 pigs en route to a slaughterhouse Thursday, when the truck transporting them rolled over on a valley freeway interchange.
The 79,000-pound truck was traveling the entrance ramp to southbound Interstate 15 from westbound Interstate 215 when it overturned, crushing a guardrail and coming to a stop on an overpass.
For nearly three hours, some of the 160 pigs trapped inside the two-story trailer of the big rig squealed loudly as authorities waited for the arrival of another trailer to transport the hogs. Nearly a dozen pigs had escaped through a crack in the roof of the trailer during the 9:55 a.m. accident, and officials feared that more would get loose.
The eight-month-old boy rescued from a two-alarm fire Monday afternoon remained in critical condition Tuesday with third-degree burns at University Medical Center's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, fire officials said.
"This is your nightmare, having something handed to you like this," said paramedic Steve Land, who watched his partner take the crying baby from his grandmother's arms while flames shot out of the family's apartment at the Sonoma Shadows complex at East Karen Avenue and Maryland Parkway.
Nancy Oesterle quipped she would have washed her blond hair and worn something other than white capris if she had known her image would be plastered all over television Monday.
Oesterle, a Las Vegas justice of the peace, was yanked off the bench in the morning and put in front of a pack of hungry reporters as the designated court spokeswoman for the O.J. Simpson robbery case. "It was a crazy day," said Oesterle, 50.
Another suspect busted By David Kihara and Brian Haynes Beth Walton, Contributing Writer Las Vegas Review-Journal Published: September 18, 2007
As O.J. Simpson was wrapping up his first full day behind bars in the county jail, a Las Vegas man who is alleged to have helped him steal about $75,000 worth of sports memorabilia was on his way to the same lockup.
Detectives arrested 54-year-old Clarence Stewart at his lawyer's office about 4:30 p.m. Monday, police said.
Stewart brought with him a "substantial amount of the stolen memorabilia," which police photographed and booked into evidence, said Capt. James Dillon, head of the Metropolitan Police Department's robbery and homicide bureau.
Are there some spots, even in this city, that don't need electronic glitz? The Historic Preservation Commission thinks there are, and one of those is Las Vegas Academy.
Located in a downtown historic district, the magnet school which allows students to major in performing arts is having trouble convincing the commission that an electronic sign advertising the school's productions and events is necessary.
"Harmony in a physical environment relaxes you; it decreases stress," said Janet R. White, a preservation board member who teaches architecture at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Forty-five dollars can't buy a pair of designer jeans or a Nintendo Wii, but it almost bought one man a 12-year-old child on Fremont Street just over a year ago.
The minor, who admitted she was selling the man sex for the cash, was arrested. The 47-year-old would-be customer, who had the cash hanging out of his pocket, was given a citation. "The real crime is we're not prosecuting the adults that are preying on these children," said Clark County Deputy Public Defender Susan Roske.
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell failed to list properly his constable post as a source of income on financial disclosure forms, but he did not do it intentionally and does not deserve punishment, the Nevada Ethics Commission ruled Wednesday.
Mitchell's challenger in last year's election, Ron Hilford, filed the complaint that led to Wednesday's hearing.
In response to the question on disclosure forms "list all general sources of income for you," Mitchell did not include his job as constable. He listed only his job as a Henderson police officer.
He said he did not include his constable pay because it is not his primary source of income, which is what he interpreted the word "general" to mean.
Tuesday brought back painful memories for Kevin Hagood as he held a folded flag during the annual Sept. 11 tribute to his friend, Palo Verde High School teacher Barbara Edwards.
"For some reason my heart stopped on this one," he said while the morning sunlight cast long shadows across the soccer field where Junior ROTC airmen wearing white gloves and crisp, blue uniforms stood at attention.
Las Vegas will remain a frontrunner in the unpopular race for the nation's steepest cab fares. Beginning Oct. 1, passengers will be charged $3.30 for the initial cost of hiring a cab, or drop fee, a dime increase from the current rate. The cost per hour for the time spent traveling slower than 8-12 mph, known as the wait-time charge, will rise to $28 from $22.
Even before the increases approved last month, those fees were higher than similar charges in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Chicago.
Even before two of their family members died in a Sunday car accident, Terry Jones and Robin Stumps knew tragedy well.
In January, they lost their 3-month-old daughter, Dayja, who choked in her sleep. A family friend who had lived with them off and on for at least five years was fatally shot in November. Stumps had legal guardianship of the teenage suspect charged in the crime, whom Jones described as like "an adopted son."
And a family friend and a local rapper known as X1 died in July, said Jones, a producer at Dynasty Records in Las Vegas. As many times as it happens, Jones said, you just never get used to death or absence.
Authorities have identified Donald L. Lubben of Las Vegas as the man who died Tuesday in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 15 near Craig Road. Lubben, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Lubben's van collided with a trailer tractor after crossing the median and then traveling north in the highway's southbound lanes.
An 81-year-old woman went missing Thursday morning, and police suspect she was taken from her home. Opal Parsons was last seen by her daughter, Carol Holt, at 5 a.m. in her bed before Holt left for work. When Holt returned home at 2 p.m., she said the front door was open to the mobile home the two share near East Charleston and North Nellis boulevards.
Nothing was missing from the residence except Parsons and her purse, said Las Vegas police detective Dan Holley.
The lone survivor of a single-car accident that killed four Las Vegas teens on Interstate 15 in California Sunday morning was the only person in the vehicle wearing a seat belt. "This just shows the importance of wearing seat belts. They do save lives," said Greg Smoak, a California Highway Patrol spokesman with the Barstow Area Office. "I can't say they would be any better off, but statistics show they possibly would have been."
Robin Stumps, 47, who sat belted in the right front passenger side of the car that crossed the interstate and rolled over, remains in the burn unit at University Medical Center.
Some adults might fondly recall their fun days on the playground, such as when the resident daredevil swung all the way over the top and left the less brave -- those who only jumped from their seats midair -- literally in the dust. Or when the bigger kids pushed the merry-go-round so fast that the little ones dizzily flew off and onto the dirt. The scrapes and scratches just didn't seem to matter much back then.
But today, priorities are different. High-flying and fast-moving are low priorities in playground design, said Rich Waller, construction maintenance technician for Clark County Parks and Recreation.
Las Vegas police officer Brian Jackson is still in training, but he's already being called a hero.
Jackson and officer Jesse Hiddema, who also is in training, were the first to respond to a two-alarm fire Thursday that destroyed six units at Meadow View Apartments, near Spring Mountain Road and Jones Boulevard, and left at least 16 people homeless.
Arriving around midnight, Jackson and Hiddema began pounding on doors to wake sleeping residents. Moving to the back of the complex, Jackson saw Mary Morris, who is in her 70s, trying to put flames out with a garden hose. Her significant other was asleep inside.
A railway tanker containing toxic chlorine gas rolled unchecked out of the Arden train yard on Wednesday, and apparently no one there noticed.
Or if they did, they failed to notify police that a tanker with the potential to set off Nevada's worst-case disaster scenario was on a fast-moving and uncontrolled northbound tear through Clark County's urban center.
"Our first notification came from a utility company survey crew," Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Bill Cassell said Thursday.
A suspect in a violent kidnapping that unfolded Monday night was captured by police Wednesday after a standoff at an apartment complex near Owens and Eastern avenues.
Kyle David Jackson, 27, of Las Vegas was charged with kidnapping, attempted murder and battery with a deadly weapon after a SWAT team found him at the complex. He was being held in Henderson jail.
Police say Jackson beat his girlfriend in his car Monday when she tried to escape with the aid of two men in a pickup. Jackson allegedly rammed the truck with his car until the pickup overturned, at which time he pulled the woman back into his car.
For a brief slice of time Wednesday morning, the difference between disaster and a normal day in Las Vegas was hitched to a runaway train tanker loaded with hazardous chlorine gas.
The tanker, which escaped the Arden train yard, located south of state Route 160, picked up speed on the downhill and cut a 20-mile swath through the urban heart of Clark County, racing west of the resort corridor and past densely populated neighborhoods around the Union Pacific tracks.
It finally came to rest in North Las Vegas after Union Pacific maintenance workers boarded the tanker, activated the hand brake and ended the threat of an accidental release of poisonous gas.
Benjamin Lublin and several of his neighbors took the day off Tuesday. But it wasn't for a holiday, and there definitely wasn't a block party. In fact it was the opposite of a block party. Lublin and more than a dozen fellow residents of the Monaco Isle development, near Desert Inn and Cimarron roads, had spent the last 24 hours trying to clean up after Monday's storms flooded their neighborhood.
"Look around. It looks like a freakin' disaster zone," said Lublin, 3288 Lapis Beach Drive.
Warped cardboard boxes, wet carpet and soggy furniture littered lawns, making the area look more like a junk yard than a neighborhood.
The man who was killed while playing video poker early Sunday at the 7-Eleven on Sierra Vista Drive at Cambridge Street was Marlow Gipson, 25, of North Las Vegas, according to the Clark County coroner's office.
About 3:20 a.m. a gunman opened the front door of the convenience store and shot Gipson at least eight times, Las Vegas police Lt. Lew Roberts said. He said police believe the gunman knew Gipson.
A series of fierce thunderstorms lashed the Las Vegas Valley early Monday with heavy rain and lightning strikes that sent firefighters responding to about two dozen swift water rescues and as many fires.
Amazingly, no one was seriously injured though several motorists narrowly escaped their vehicles and were rescued by firefighters, city and Clark County fire officials said.
Clark County Fire Department spokesman Scott Allison said a wrought iron fence prevented a car with a woman inside from being swept away at the flooded intersection of Koval Lane and Winnick Avenue.
A woman died Sunday afternoon after the car in which she was riding crashed into a light pole in Henderson. About 2 p.m., a Henderson police officer attempted to pull over a white Scion that he had seen swerving in traffic on Greenway Road near Boulder Highway. The Scion sped away toward Fairway Road and Pacific Avenue, police said.
The officer turned off his emergency lights and siren and continued traveling in the direction of the speeding car, as roadside witnesses pointed out the where it had gone, according to Keith Paul, Henderson police spokesman.
Top-flight entertainment, carousing until dawn and the chance at a life-changing jackpot aren't the only things drawing visitors and new residents to Las Vegas. For some people who come to this desert oasis, the rapidly developing high-rise hotels and casinos are less important than the area's high-rising boulders and mountains.
As author Dan Koeppel writes, the city's best-kept secret has been exposed. National Geographic Adventure, in its September issue, names Las Vegas the nation's No. 1 adventure town in which to live and play.
Faith wasn't left out of any part of the new Bishop Gorman High School. The new facility, which opens to students Sept. 5, was designed to combine the most modern architecture with the most traditional facets of Catholicism.
"We have to remember why we are here," said Las Vegas Bishop Joseph Pepe, who added that the students' academic journey is tied to their journey of faith. "We wanted to make sure there was a Catholic identity," Pepe said...
Dawane Goodman doesn't know what it's like to see success, but that hasn't kept him from knowing how it feels. Born with two detached retinas, the nearly blind teenager is setting his sights high. After he graduates from high school he hopes to be bound for Harvard University.
Goodman is more determined than ever to do his academic best since learning his collegiate choice won't be limited by finances. The North Las Vegas resident, who will be a junior at Legacy High School when classes begin this month, has been studying two hours a day for the SAT and ACT exams."I just have to," he said. "There's no way I can slack off now."
When the Centennial Hills Library opens in January 2009, it will become the cornerstone of the center of the fast-growing northwest community. Ground was broken in July for the library, on a seven-acre site where Buffalo Drive and Deer Springs Way intersect.
"It's going to be great, like a one-stop shop. There's going to be one place to go for everything," Centennial Hills resident Terri Rodriguez said.
Near the library site will be a fire station, police station not yet built, and the new Centennial Hills Community Center that opened July 28.
George Riesz died in a place he loved. The former hospital administrator, who died on Aug. 4, spent his last hours at the University Medical Center, a facility he helped create. He was 77.
"He always thought it was the best hospital in town," said Ann Riesz, his wife of 30 years.
George Riesz served as a hospital administrator for the Southern Nevada Memorial Hospital from 1975 to 1983. While serving as an administrator at Southern Nevada Memorial, he worked on a multimillion-dollar expansion that eventually became part of UMC. "Everything he did was through his own determination," said Ann Riesz, 72.