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April 20, 2014

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News briefs for August 17, 2004

Inmate escapes correctional center

A 37-year-old prison inmate from Clark County escaped from the Warm Springs Correctional Center in Carson City Monday.

Reginald Becker, serving a 48- to 120-month term for burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, disappeared while on a work crew at the perimeter of the prison about two miles from downtown Carson City.

He is described as white with a shaved head, tattoos that cover his entire body, standing 5-feet-11, weighing 190 pounds. He was last seen wearing prison blue jeans and blue denim shirt.

Nellis stages mock battle

Nellis Air Force Base's quarterly mock air battle over the Nevada Test and Training Range will run through Aug. 27.

More than 100 aircraft, including B-52s and F-16s, will be flying in the exercise. The exercise will also include Army, Navy and NATO aircraft as well as aircraft of allied countries.

More than 2,400 people from 22 units will be involved in the exercise, Nellis officials said.

The aircraft are scheduled to fly missions during the day and night.

Pot petition needs pros and cons

Volunteers are being sought to write the pros and cons of the initiative petition allowing adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana.

A federal judge in Las Vegas has ordered the marijuana petitions be recounted to determine if they have the required 51,337 signatures of registered voters to qualify for the November ballot.

In the meantime, Secretary of State Dean Heller Monday asked for volunteers to write the arguments for and against the petition if it has the required signatures.

The county clerks and registrars of voters say they must have the final ballot by Sept. 1 in order to get it to the printer in time for absentee and sample ballots.

Those who want to volunteer can contact the Secretary of State's Office (775) 684 5705 or by e-mail at [email protected] by 5 p.m. Thursday.

Deal planned for Pappas family

Las Vegas officials are considering paying the Pappas family $4.5 million for a 7,000-square-foot parcel of land that was taken through eminent domain about a decade ago to clear the way for the Fremont Street Experience parking garage.

The City Council, meeting as the Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency, will discuss the settlement proposal Wednesday.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman previously has said that the $4.5 million offer, made in 2000, no longer was valid. The Pappas family had asked for $7 million, and the city appraisers have said the land is worth less than $1 million.

The Pappas family failed in a bid to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. The remaining issue now is to come to an agreement about the property value.

Lawsuit dropped against Goodman

Michael Hamdan, the man who had filed a defamation lawsuit against Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, announced Monday that he has withdrawn the lawsuit. Hamdan said the lawsuit cost too much for him to pursue, while Goodman was able to lean on the city attorney's office.

Hamdan also asked for an investigation into allegations that public safety officials -- including Goodman -- kept a lid on information they received in 2002 related to possible terrorist attacks in Las Vegas.

Hamdan claims he overheard a cell phone conversation in Arabic in which the callers said they would "hit" the city on the day of freedom, which Hamdan interpreted to mean a terrorist attack on July 4. He claims that local public safety officials disregarded his warning.

He was suing Goodman because the mayor angrily referred to Hamdan as a liar at a news conference. The mayor also said that he'd like to "whack this guy."

Goodman declined to comment on the issue.

Goodman spent much of last week trying to defuse claims from a Detroit federal prosecutor who said that public safety officials in Las Vegas were shown a surveillance tape of Strip casinos and hid the information from the public.

Members named to nuke panel

President Bush has appointed new members to the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, an independent board which reviews the Energy Department's plan to store waste at Yucca Mountain.

The board issues scientific and technical recommendations to the department and Congress. It most recently sent a letter to the department saying to no longer believe corrosion inside the mountain was as much of a risk as it once thought.

On Monday Bush appointed B. John Garrick to be chairman of the review board. Garrick now serves as chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste. Bush also appointed committee member George Hornberger to be on the review board.

Monday's Nuclear Waste Review Board appointments also included William Howard Arnold of Michigan, Daryl Busch of Kansas, Andrew C. Kadak of Rhode Island, Ali Mosleh of Maryland and Henry Petroski of North Carolina, according to the White House.

Board members Daniel Bullen and Paul Craig resigned this year and former chairman Michael Corradini resigned in on Dec. 30, 2003.

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