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Keeping Homeless Out of Vacant Buildings

LAS VEGAS -- Fire investigators believe homeless people started a blaze inside a vacant building in downtown Las Vegas.

The fire started just after 7:30 p.m. on Monday. One person was found inside the building. He wasn't seriously hurt, but authorities said he told them several other people where inside the building when the fire started. Neighbors in the area say homeless people breaking into vacant buildings in the downtown area is a huge problem.

"The whole building could have gone up," nearby resident Christopher Johnson said. "The building next to it could have gone up. I constantly run them off, either from our back alley, (when they're) trying to sleep in the corners or urinating in corners of the back alley by our door that goes into the building. It's a big problem."

One room in the building was heavily damaged by fire. Two others suffered minor damage.

 

Las Vegas Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

LAS VEGAS -- It took 15 years for Martin Luther King Jr. Day to become a national holiday and Monday Las Vegas celebrated Dr. King's legacy with the annual parade Downtown.

Dr. Martin Luther King once said he wanted his kids to be judged by the content of their character, and not by the color of their skin. The diversity of people who lined Monday's parade route shows Dr. King's message is alive and well.

SLIDESHOW: Martin Luther King Day Parade 2010

For 28 years, the parade has marched down the streets of Las Vegas. Bob Morgan hasn't missed one. "I look at all the kids and you look at all the different schools and everybody's participating -- the mayor, all of the schools, black kids, white kids. And, it just makes my heart fill with pride," he said.

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.)

Police Seek Help in Woman's Murder

LAS VEGAS -- Police are looking for any information that can help them solve the murder of a 74-year-old woman.

Constance Weiner was found dead in her apartment Friday at the Arthur McCants Apartment complex, located in the 800 block of N. Eastern.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Metro's Homicide Section at 828-3521 or CrimeStoppers at 385-5555.

 

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.