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A First Look Inside the New Rush Tower

The first new hotel tower built downtown since the 1980's opened Friday. The brand new 500-room Rush Tower accepted guests at the Golden Nugget.

The head of Landry's, which owns the Golden Nugget, thinks this will be the first step to what Mayor Oscar Goodman has been talking about since he was elected -- a revitalized Downtown Las Vegas.

From the moment you walk inside the Rush Tower, the rough image of downtown becomes a distant memory. The lobby could be in any new hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. “It's more of a boutique hotel where people can get in and out a lot easier and quicker. I can tell you our pool is second to none. Our restaurants are second to none,” said Landry's founder Tilman Fertitta.

Landry's grew into a billion dollar restaurant empire. In 2005, the company bought the Golden Nugget.

Young Students to Protest Violence

The SAVE program stands for Students Against Violence Everywhere and Friday, the students at Monaco Middle School gathered to learn how staying away from bad choices now can lead them to a brighter future.

The young faces are just beginning their teen years and already they face so many struggles. “A lot of people are dying and I don't like when people die,” said / seventh grader Mark Turner.

At just 12 and 13-years-old, these students know they're just a few years younger than the teens being charged with an officer’s death – a real life example of where choices can lead. “If we can get those kids to understand or these kids to understand early there are consequences, not just for what you do but if you are there when something happens, then we can hopefully drive them away from that kind of behavior,” said Metro officer Jason Letkiewicz.

Parents Delinquent on Child Support Offered Holiday Deal

LAS VEGAS, Nv. -- Parents who are behind on their child support payments are being offered a limited amnesty on their debts.

The Clark County District Attorney's Office is offering a Home for the Holidays program that will allow non-custodial parents who have child-support bench warrants and or suspended driver's license to meet with a case manager and negotiate a one-time payment agreement. This will eliminate the warrant and/or reinstate their driver's license.

"We want to be able to put turkey dinner on the table for kids and also want non-custodial parents to step up and do the right thing. In turn, we will help with their warrants and drivers license," said D.A. David Roger.

There are 760 outstanding warrants and 4,100 suspended licenses for those who failed to make payments.

"When you collecting unemployment, it's even harder to make the payments," said James, who was taking advantage of the amnesty.

Volunteers Offer Services to Las Vegas Homeless

From haircuts to job training, volunteers are offering help to the homeless a regional event called Project Homeless Connect in Las Vegas.

Food, clothing, transportation, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and other services are also being offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cashman Center.

Last year, almost 3,400 homeless people attended. Officials say 300 of them found housing.

Maryann Ustick heads the Southern Nevada Regional Planning  Coalition's committee on homelessness. She says the idea is "a hand up, not a hand out."

A count last January tallied 13,000 homeless people in shelters or on the streets of Las Vegas at any given time, and more than 50,000 instances of people being homeless some time during the year.

 (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Arrest Made in Connection with Body Found in Vegas

Las Vegas police say they have arrested a man in connection with the death of a 22-year-old woman whose body was found in a downtown trash can last year.

Police announced Friday that 29-year-old Khalfani Howard was arrested in San Bernardino, Calif., on Wednesday. Sgt. Russ Shoemaker says Howard is awaiting extradition to Clark County.

In September 2008 the body of 22-year-old Helena Haley was found in a Las Vegas trash can. Haley was a native of North Carolina.

Detectives investigated the death and Clark County District Court issued an arrest warrant for Howard.

Las Vegas police credited the San Bernardino County sheriff's office for help in making the arrest.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.

Police Look for Suspect after Weekend Shooting

One person is dead, another is wounded, and police are looking for a shooter after an argument turned deadly over the weekend in the West Las Vegas neighborhood.

Las Vegas police homicide Lt. Lewis Roberts says the shooting happened about 11 a.m. Sunday after an altercation involving several people ranging in age from 16 to 22.

Both shooting victims were taken to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where one was pronounced dead. Roberts says the gunman disappeared into an apartment complex on Weaver Drive, northwest of H Street and Owens Avenue.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Old Las Vegas Neon Signs to Come Alive Again

Three neon signs will be lit as the sun goes down along a downtown stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard recently designated as a National Scenic Byway.

A ceremony featuring the Silver Slipper, Binion's Horseshoe and Bow & Arrow Motel neon signs was set Monday evening at the Reed Whipple Cultural Center parking lot on Las Vegas Boulevard north of U.S. 95.

The downtown stretch of boulevard from Washington Avenue to Sahara Avenue was designated a scenic route in October.

The city started in 2000 to push for designation, and Nevada made the route a state scenic byway in 2001.

Plans call for protecting existing neon signs and restoration and installation of vintage neon signs as part of a $1.1 million streetscape improvement that started in May.  

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)