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Fatal Accident Raises Questions About Senior Drivers

LAS VEGAS - For some drivers, age is just a number, and getting behind the wheel is an everyday part of life.

"You've got to have a car," driver Leonard Fields said. "I live in the middle of no place. I can't go anywhere without a car."

But, a fatal accident on Saturday has some thinking twice. An 82-year-old driver, traveling the wrong way, hit and killed a motorcyclist on U.S. 95 near Decatur. The driver may have been confused by the on-ramps.

Some people wonder if driving should come with age restrictions. "If they are going to be risking other lives, then it's not worth it just because they want their independence," driver Ursula Landreth said. "The older you get, the harder it is to stop I think," said driver Pat Wetzel. "It's a question you have to ask yourself and be sensible."

Parking Meters Pay it Forward for the Homeless

LAS VEGAS -- An old staple of downtown is being used to collect money to help the homeless.

The city of Las Vegas unveiled donation stations Tuesday providing a way for people to easily give spare change to the needy.

The city has recycled parking meters, painted them bright green, and placed them throughout the downtown area.

All proceeds will go directly to assisting the homeless through the city's Housing and Homeless Services programs. According to the 2009 Homeless Census, an estimated 13,338 individuals were homeless in Southern Nevada. Donations will fill gaps in funding for transportation, shelter and other essentials for the homeless or those at risk of homelessness.

Another goal of the program is to increase public awareness about the complex issues surrounding homelessness and help end what is often a vicious cycle for homeless individuals.

Idaho Airman Killed in Las Vegas Crash

LAS VEGAS -- The motorcyclist killed on US 95 by a wrong way driver has been identified as an Idaho airman stationed at Nellis Air Force Base.

According to Mountain Home News, an Idaho newspaper, 32-year-old Tech. Sgt. Jason Leigh was killed.

Nevada Highway Patrol says the motorcyclist was struck by an elderly driver who was driving southbound in the northbound lanes of US 95 near the Decatur Blvd. turnoff.

Two other airmen were riding with Leigh on separate motorcycles. All three were on temporary assignment at Nellis Air Force Base.

 

Immigration Rally Expected to Draw Thousands

LAS VEGAS -- More than 10,000 people could turnout Saturday in downtown Las Vegas for an  immigration reform rally.

Senator Harry Reid and congresswomen Shelley Berkley and Dina Titus are also expected to attend the rally which starts at noon in front of the Lloyd George Federal Courthouse.

Las Vegas Blvd. between Clark and Bridger Avenues will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drivers are advised to use Main Street for north/south travel. Las Vegas police will have about 40 officer on-hand during the rally.

It's estimated that 10,000 illegal immigrants currently live in the Las Vegas Valley.

Star Trek Space Ships and Starfleet Uniforms to be Auctioned

LAS VEGAS -- "Star Trek" lovers looking for Enterprise chairs, Starfleet uniforms or a model Klingon Bird of Prey can seek out new life for the dismantled pieces of a closed Las Vegas attraction based on the famous franchise.

Chief Executive Officer Alec Peters of auctioneer Propworx Inc.says fans can buy any of roughly 1,000 items from Star Trek: The Experience. The auction will take place on Saturday, April, 10th at a warehouse located at 66 Spectrum Blvd. (Map link)

Las Vegas Schools Facing 1,000 Layoffs

LAS VEGAS  -- Cash-strapped Clark County school trustees are poised to lay off more than 1,000 employees by July 1 unless the Las Vegas-based district can find another way to close a big budget shortfall.

Board members of the nation's fifth-largest school district approved a tentative spending plan late Wednesday that aims to close most of a $140 million budget gap left by reduced state funding and declining property tax revenues. The board has until June 8 to submit a final balanced budget to the state.

Administrators say classroom and administrative positions are on the block. But specifics haven't been made public. Officials say they hope the district's four employee unions will agree to concessions including salary reductions and furlough days to reduce the number of layoffs.

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

I-Team: USDA Investigates Pahrump Animal Trainer

LAS VEGAS -- For many years, notorious animal trainer Karl Mitchell of Pahrump fought to hang on to his United States Department of Agriculture license to exhibit lions and tigers and such. That's because those big cats are how he had made his living. 

At this week's hearing at the federal courthouse, Mitchell argued that he doesn't need a federal permit to exhibit the exotic cats, so USDA has no right telling him what to do.

Mitchell has had run ins with law enforcement -- state, federal and local -- for decades. He's been arrested many times and cited over and over by USDA for violations of animal welfare statutes because of the living conditions provided to his lions and tigers.