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News briefs for March 19, 2004

Corrections officer cleared by fed jury

A federal jury has ruled in favor of a North Las Vegas corrections officer accused of beating Robert Panaro Sr. while he was being held in connection with the murder of mob associate Herbert "Fat Herbie" Blitzstein.

Panaro was being held in the North Las Vegas Detention Center in 1998 awaiting trial in the Blitzstein murder. Panaro testified that corrections officer Gilbert Hollins entered his cell on Oct. 28, 1998, and struck Panaro's head against the concrete floor several times.

After a three-day trial, jurors found the officer not guilty on Wednesday.

Panaro was convicted in 1999 of conspiracy involving extortion of Blitzstein and served four years before being released from prison three weeks ago.

Yard sales OK in NLV

North Las Vegas residents can again hold yard sales in their front yards and driveways.

Also, the free city permits that are still required for all yard and garage sales are available on the city's website at cityofnorthlasvegas.com.

The City Council on Wednesday revised the garage/yard sale ordinance, changing it so such sales would be allowed in front yards and driveways.

The revision erased the ban on yard sales in front of homes that had been in place since the council last updated the ordinance in October.

The council also agreed Wednesday to allow residents to advertise their yard and garage sales on private property with the owner's permission.

Limiting the number of yard and garage sales was intended to combat those who have turned their homes into small businesses by holding yard sales weekly.

Permits are also available by calling the city at (702) 633-1677, or at the code enforcement office at 1631 W. Craig Road, Suite 16.

Gorbachev speech changed to T&M

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's Las Vegas appearance scheduled for Monday has been moved from the Cox Pavilion to the Thomas & Mack Center, making 3,000 more tickets available to the public.

On March 5 the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Box Office and Performing Arts Center distributed the first batch of 3,000 tickets, which ran out in less than one day, according to UNLV spokesman Tom Flagg.

The second batch of tickets was released Thursday, Flagg said. Tickets are free and limited to two per person. They are available at the UNLV Box Office and Performing Arts Center.

Although UNLV has hosted several world leaders throughout the years, this is the first time the university has featured a leader from the Soviet Union, he said.

Gorbachev will appear at 7:30 p.m. Monday on behalf of the Las Vegas-based Russian Heritage Highway Foundation in UNLV's Marjorie Barrick Lecture Series.

County GOP convention set

The Clark County Republican Party Convention will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Palace Station.

Delegates to the Nevada State Convention will be elected, a county central committee to serve for the ensuing two years will be chosen and other party affairs may be considered.

Republican incumbents and potential candidates will be in attendance to discuss issues with delegates.

Hector V. Barreto, administrator of the Small Business Administration will be the guest speaker addressing the delegates and guests.

For more information, call Doug Roundy at 258-9184.

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