Our network

Nevada's First Lady Benefits From Contested Divorce

RENO -- Gov. Jim Gibbons' inability to bring his contested divorce to a close means Nevada has the benefit of a first lady for a bit longer. It also means the state must foot the bill for Dawn Gibbons' attendance at official events, including travel, security and per diem.

After 18 months locked in a bitter court battle, the couple's 24-year marriage was supposed to come to an end Feb. 28. But the governor has been unable to pay $275,000 he owes his wife under a divorce settlement reached in December. Nor has the Republican governor sold the couple's Reno home as ordered by the court.

In an order issued in late March, Washoe District Family Court Judge Frances Doherty affirmed that Jim Gibbons must pay Dawn Gibbons before the final decree will be issued. Without a final divorce decree, the couple is still married and Dawn Gibbons is technically still first lady.

 

I-Team: Millions Owed in Unpaid Tickets

LAS VEGAS -- At a time when local governments are pinching every penny, the amount of money owed to the Las Vegas Justice Court is enough to make a budget director drool.

The amount of past due traffic tickets currently on the books is $170 million and the court considers their efforts to collect the money a success.

"I think it's more out of sight, out of mind," said Sgt. Robert Wyant who is with the Las Vegas Township Constable's office. He offers a not-so-subtle reminder to a driver of traffic stops in 2005 and 2006.

Wyant asks, "What do you think you can come up with?" He intends to collect at least a portion of the $4,000 the driver owes in fines and fees. If reason doesn't work, handcuffs serve as an effective negotiating tool. "Technically what it is, you pay or we take you to jail to go in front of a judge."

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.)

Metro Investigates Triple Stabbing and Beating

LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating a triple stabbing and beating that happened around midnight near Oakey and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Police tell 8 News Now that the incident may be gang related. All the victims were taken to University Medical Center where they are expected to recover from their injuries. Metro also says two out of three suspects have been arrested.

 

United States Coast Guard Weighing Anchor In Nevada

LAS VEGAS -- The U.S. Coast Guard is weighing anchor on operations at two navigation broadcasting station in Nevada. The commander of a ground-based long-range navigation system says Global Positioning System satellites have made the so-called LORAN system obsolete.

The 24-station network stopped broadcasting Feb. 8. Now, stations in Searchlight and Fallon are being decommissioned as part of a move to save $37 million per year in operation costs. The station near Searchlight, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas, isn't the only "awkward place" for a Coast Guard station. The service also has duty stations in Kansas, New Mexico, Montana and northern Minnesota.

Police Release Suspect Descriptions in Jewelry Store Robbery

LAS VEGAS -- Police are investigating a robbery and shooting at the jewelry store near Western and Sahara. Shots rang out just after 1 p.m. while customers and employees were inside shopping.

Just after the lunch hour, two robbers tried to rob the place, and in the process, an employee was shot. The employee was rushed to nearby UMC, but there's no word on the patient's condition.

The Jewelers is a longtime jewelry store popular with locals and tourists alike, and police say the store was busy when the bullets started flying.

"I'd be pretty shaken if that happened if I was trying to shop for jewelry," said Metro Robbery Sgt. Paul Gambini.

One suspect is described as a 6'0" black male, 30 to 35 years old with a tall, medium build. He was wearing a black Washington Nationals ball cap, dark sunglasses, black t-shirt, grey jacket and grey pants. He was armed with a chrome semi-automatic handgun.

Mistrial in UMC Director's Case

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas police detectives make a costly mistake, leading to a mistrial in the case of former UMC CEO Lacy Thomas.

The former hospital chief is accused of mismanagement, costing taxpayers $11 million.

A court spokesman says Metro detectives never handed over 577 pages of meeting notes to prosecutors. So, the District Attorney's Office was unable to get the evidence over to Thomas' defense attorneys. That led District Court Judge Michael Villani to put an end to this trial.

For 10 days in court, the prosecution outlined five contracts they say Thomas gave to his Chicago business friends while he was head of UMC. The DA says Thomas paid his friend's companies a total of $11 million in taxpayer money to do work that county employees could have done for no extra charge.