Friday, Aug. 20, 2004 | 9:25 a.m.
Area closed after bomb threat
A 46-year-old man was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after walking into a restaurant just off the Strip and yelling he had a bomb in his suitcase, authorities said.
Metro Police closed Sahara Avenue between Las Vegas Boulevard and Interstate 15 for a short time after the man claimed to have an explosive device in the Golden Steer restaurant around 11:30 a.m.
Las Vegas Fire &Rescue Deputy Chief Richard Gracia said the department's bomb squad was called to check the suitcase. Firefighters opened it remotely and found it just contained clothing and personal items, police said.
Some nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution.
Leading Democrats to visit LV
Two of the Democratic Party's top leaders will visit Nevada next week to rally voters in the battleground state.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is scheduled to co-host a town hall meeting Wednesday morning with Democratic congressional candidate Tom Gallagher.
They will speak to seniors at the Concorde Assisted and Retired Living Home.
Gallagher, who is running in the 3rd Congressional District against incumbent Republican Jon Porter, has made prescription drug reform one of his biggest issues.
Dan Hart, a Gallagher campaign consultant, said the visit from Pelosi proves that the Democratic Party is targeting Gallagher as "a national priority."
Hart hopes that party leaders will follow with some major financial backing, as well.
On Thursday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe will stop in Las Vegas to hold an event as part of his nine-state campaign tour before the Republican National Convention.
Democratic Party spokesman Jon Summers said he did not know details of the event.
Another celebrity to help Mason
Nevada Supreme Court candidate John Mason is continuing to raise money with his celebrity clients -- this time with country music superstar Toby Keith.
For $750, supporters can attend a private reception with Keith prior to his Aug. 27 concert at Mandalay Bay. For $500, supporters can meet him at another reception before his Aug. 28 concert at Harrah's Tahoe. Proceeds benefit Mason's campaign.
Mason held a fund-raiser with Olivia Newton-John on Feb. 6 at the Reno Hilton and another on March 19 featuring Reba McEntire at the Beverly Hills Hilton on March 19.
Michael Hackett, one of Mason's political consultants, predicts that Mason has raised the most money of the four candidates for Supreme Court Seat E, which is being vacated by Justice Deborah Agosti.
Hackett declined to say exactly how much Mason has raised, pointing out that campaign finance reports are due out on Aug. 31.
Death Valley to stay closed
The National Park Service will keep Death Valley National Park closed to the public over the weekend after a strong thunderstorm Sunday caused flooding, killing two people when their car was crushed by mud and debris.
Park service crews have repaired about 200 feet of a 10-inch water line that broke in two places during the flash flood, Park Service spokeswoman Roxanne Dey said.
The Park Srvice ordered 300 workers who live in and near the park to boil all drinking water until further notice. The local village of the Timbisha Shoshone tribe is also affected by the water system's outage.
The main artery into the park from Las Vegas and Pahrump could be closed for an extended period of time until major portions of the road are rebuilt, Dey said.
"We will have a better estimate of that work and a preliminary schedule next week," Dey said.
Death Valley National Park Superintendent J.T. Reynolds and Superintendent of the Death Valley Unified School District Jim Copeland have agreed to postpone the start of the school year from Monday until Aug. 30.
New general due to take over Nellis
Maj. Gen. Stephen Wood, Air Warfare Center commander, leaving Nellis Air Force Base to take an assignment as a deputy chief of staff at the Pentagon.
President Bush has nominated Wood for a promotion to the rank of lieutenant general and to oversee plans and programs at the Pentagon. If confirmed for the post by the Senate, Maj. Gen.-select Stephen Goldfein would take over as commander of the Air Warfare Center.
Goldfein is currently serving as director of operations and capability requirements under the department of the chief of staff at the Pentagon.
Wood was assigned to Nellis in June 2002, and base officials say that a change of command ceremony will likely occur within a couple of months, pending the Senate confirmation.