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Nevada Gaming Revenues Down in October

LAS VEGAS, Nv -- Nevada gambling regulators have released October casino win figures, which show another decline.

Nevada gaming revenue was down 11.6 percent in October as compared to a year earlier. Total gaming revenues for the past year were $800.3 million as compared to nearly $905 million a year ago.

Casino taxes, along with sales and use taxes, account for about two-thirds of state revenues. For the fiscal year that began July 1, total collections are about $50 million short of projections that were used to set the state budget.

 

Leaders Hopeful for Coming Year

LAS VEGAS -- The weather may have been cold, but crowds turned out for the lighting of the official Las Vegas Christmas tree on Fremont Street.

This holiday season, Downtown Las Vegas has seen good news with a casino expansion opening and some setbacks with a hotel closing. Despite the economy, Mayor Oscar Goodman is sticking to spreading holiday cheer. "I'm the happiest mayor in the universe," he said.

With the flip of a switch, Las Vegas' official Christmas tree was lit, making downtown even brighter. "It's the holiday season. The public is just yearning to have a good time, to feel good about one another, not to have complaints, not to have the economy knock our heads in," said the mayor.

Despite the recession, the Golden Nugget just opened the first downtown tower in 20 years -- a multi-million dollar investment. The mayor also says the performing arts center is coming out of the ground in this economy.

Elderly Man Accused of Killing his Wife Dies

LAS VEGAS, Nv -- An 86-year-old man who was due in court today for allegedly killing his wife has died.

Joseph Woods died Tuesday morning. Woods told police he and his 80-year-old wife had a suicide pact when he shot her and then himself on September 23. Joseph Woods survived the self-inflicted gunshot wound and was expected to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

The case against Woods has been dismissed.

New Business Focus on West Las Vegas Market

LAS VEGAS -- New jobs, new construction and new growth are all happening in West Las Vegas, a part of town that was once stagnant.

The Buy and Low grocery store opened more than a year ago in an area that needed something like this. Since then, more shops have come in to the center in West Las Vegas, a place that for some time was forgotten about. It's these developments that come with jobs that are helping.

They may not seem like a lot of places to shop, but it's a start. "It has been absent since the beginning of time because we never had those stores in this area," said John Edmonds with Edmond Town Center.

Edmonds owns the plaza near J Street and Owens that is growing. With growth come jobs. "People are responding, shopping, going to the bank, utilizing the facility here now that is available to them," he said.

Las Vegas Couple Mourns Loss of Baby

LAS VEGAS -- A young Las Vegas woman apparently didn't know she was six-months pregnant when her fiancé took her to University Medical Center with extreme abdominal pain.

Six hours later, the couple returned home where the baby was delivered with serious complications and died. Tuesday that baby was laid to rest – her tiny casket draped in pink lace, gracing the altar of the New Birth Baptist Assembly.

"God allows certain things to happen to expose the frailties in human society," said Bishop Tyrone Seals during the service.

Baby Angel Nicole Dewberry died within minutes of being born breech and premature last week. Twenty-five-year-old Roshunda Abney and her fiancé apparently didn't know she was pregnant when she went into premature labor.

World Market Center Evicts Over 100 Businesses

LAS VEGAS -- The World Market Center in Downtown Las Vegas is one of the largest furniture showrooms in the world. When the project first opened three years ago, it was supposed to play a key role in revitalizing downtown. Now court records show eviction filings for the center have more than doubled in the past year. One former tenant says the center is nearly empty.

The center would not grant access to 8 News Now, but at the courthouse there are about 150 eviction actions involving World Market Center this year, compared to about 65 last year.

Although the center was supposed to help furnish a future for Downtown Las Vegas, one former tenant says it could be in financial trouble. He says since the recession, fewer buyers have started coming to the trade shows and many of the businesses began struggling. Yet he says the center refused to rework lease agreements or lower the rent.

Council Passes City Hall Vote

LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas City Council moved forward with the plan to build a new City Hall. The plans to sell more than $180 million in bonds was approved in a five to one vote, with Councilman Stavros Anthony the lone vote against the measure. Councilman Steve Ross abstained.

Several people were critical of the plan, saying the city should not be taking on more debt in a time when they are cutting the budget.

"We are losing jobs in the city. We are losing services for the citizens. We are losing safety factors that we had built in our contract to protect our members. That's a fact," said Dean Fletcher, president of the Las Vegas Firefighters Union.