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Abandoned Las Vegas Hotel Burns

LAS VEGAS -- One man was rescued and hospitalized with smoke inhalation after a blaze damaged an abandoned downtown hotel Monday night in Las Vegas.

Fire spokesman Tim Szymanski says investigators found the 7:40 p.m. fire at the El Cid Hotel might have been intentionally set. The building at Seventh Street and Bridger Avenue has been boarded up for years, but furniture was still inside the rooms and Szymanski says homeless people live there. Officials say the fire caused about $30,000 in damage.

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

Nevada Casino Winnings Up for First Time in 23 Months

LAS VEGAS -- For the first time in 23 months, gamblers are spending more money in Nevada. In November, casinos won more than $873 million, up more than 4-percent from the same time last year.

But that's not the only number going up. Las Vegas saw a near 3-percent jump in visitor volume in November. The CES convention also saw a 6-percent increase in attendance. Las Vegas leaders are hoping this good luck lasts through all of 2010.

"We think convention numbers are going to be up a little bit, and so we think that is how 2010 is going to go -- that we are going to gradually see some increases in the numbers. That's what we're expecting for the first quarter," said Cathy Tull with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor's Authority.

The LVCVA says they have 25 major trade shows scheduled for 2010 that will pump more than $2 billion non-gaming revenue into the economy. Last year, they had 24 large trade shows.

Murdered Court Officer Remembered for Dedication

LAS VEGAS -- The federal court security officer who lost is life to gunman Johnny Wicks is being remembered for his dedication and kindness.

Seventy-two-year-old Stanley Cooper was killed in Monday's shootout. He was a retired Metro sergeant.

"We want to thank Stan Cooper, a man with 26 years with Metro and 15 years as a CSO, a dedicated professional. A man who, when you walked up to him and spoke with him, he was one of those wonderful people who could touch your life. It's a shame things had to end for him this way," said Daniel Bogden, U.S. Attorney, Nevada.

Police Investigate Domestic Shooting

LAS VEGAS -- Metro police are investigating a shooting near Rancho and Alta. Police say a man shot a woman multiple times.

Officers have taken the suspect into custody and the female was transported to University Medical Center in an unknown condition.

Suspicious Package Causes 2 Hour Evacuation

LAS VEGAS -- Employees and patrons of downtown Las Vegas bank and nearby businesses are now allowed back into the businesses following a bank robbery and evacuation Wednesday morning.

The FBI reports that the robbery took place around 9 a.m. at the Nevada State Bank located at Las Vegas Blvd. and Bridger Ave. Investigators say an African-American man, wearing dark colored clothing, including a black Notre Dame jacket, and a black baseball cap approached a bank teller and set the package on the counter and demanded money. Investigators say the man did leave the bank with money but left the package behind.

The Metro bomb squad did investigate the package and determined there were no explosives. The scare caused an evacuation and some street closures. The streets are now open again.

FBI Special Agent Aida Reyes says this is the 70th bank robbery of the year. Investigators are still looking for the suspect.

Freeway and Las Vegas Strip Closures for New Year's Eve

LAS VEGAS -- Road closures will start taking place at 5 p.m. as Las Vegas prepares for a giant New Year's Eve party.

Here is information on the closures:

Downtown/Fremont Street
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. - The closing of freeway ramps will begin
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. - Fremont Street will close to the public
6 p.m. - The Fremont Street gates will open for party goers

Las Vegas Firefighters Launch Campaign Against Cuts

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas city firefighters are warning that the city's proposed budget cuts could compromise safety during emergencies. However, the Mayor and Las Vegas Fire Chief disagree.

The union that represents the firefighters has launched a website that says lives could be in danger and insurance rates could go up if budget cuts are approved. The website says critical jobs will be cut slowing down response time.

The website encourages people to sign a petition, contact Mayor Oscar Goodman and city council members, and attend a Town Hall meetings to speak out against the cuts.

"It's important we try to quell this and quash it before it gets out of hand. I don't want people to think when they call 911 they are not going to get the service they have had in the past," said Mayor Goodman.