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July 30, 2014

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Conor Shine

Local Government Reporter

A Kansas native, Conor studied engineering at the University of Minnesota but switched to journalism because it was infinitely more fun. It was in his blood, too; he's a third-generation journalist. Conor worked for the Wichita Eagle and the St. Paul Pioneer Press before joining the Sun in 2011.

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Story Archive

Quantum leap or pollution pit? Concerns over trash-to-energy plant coming to a head in NLV
Residents will have a chance to voice their concerns at a meeting next month
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014
An innovative plan to turn trash into electricity has left the city of North Las Vegas facing a careful balancing act.
On one side is a major economic development opportunity for the struggling city — a proposed $115 million plant that would provide 280 new jobs.
Union pay raise ruling could cost NLV $42 million it doesn't have
Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014
North Las Vegas’ anticipated budget deficit for the upcoming year could more than double as a result of a recent ruling on union pay raises.
Local governments vie for control in Nevada's new medical marijuana industry
Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014
Just as local jurisdictions can dictate where liquor stores can open, so too they are now grappling with the issue of where medical marijuana dispensaries can be located in Clark County and its cities.
Study finds Las Vegas' streetlights are plenty bright
Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014
Las Vegas has ruled out one suspect in its search for root causes behind high numbers of vehicle-pedestrian accidents after a report to the City Council today on the brightness of city streetlights. Las Vegas switched its roughly 40,000 streetlights from high-pressure sodium bulbs to light emitting diodes (LEDs) starting in 2010 as part of a sustainability effort that saves the city $1.7 million annually in electricity costs.
Las Vegas, Clark County take step toward allowing pot dispensaries
Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014
The Clark County Commission and Las Vegas City Council both directed their respective staffs today to begin crafting licensing and zoning regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries, a major step for the nascent industry set to begin operating later this year.
Request sparks discussion of possible New Year's Eve fireworks sales
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014
Elaborate fireworks displays are a staple of New Year’s Eve celebrations on the Las Vegas Strip. Starting this December, Clark County residents may be able to get in on the fun with fireworks of their own if commissioners lift a ban restricting sales to only the Fourth of July holiday.
UMC labor contract is rejected over issue of longevity pay
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014
A divided Clark County Commission rejected a collective bargaining agreement covering 85 percent of University Medical Center’s workforce over concerns about the benefit that pays long-term employees.
County pressuring reflexology clinics to weed out prostitution
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014
The Clark County Commission today approved stricter regulations for reflexology clinics meant to weed out unscrupulous operators accused of allowing prostitution and other illegal activities.
Entsminger wins official appointment as Water District general manager
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014
John Entsminger has been hired officially as the next general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District after Clark County commissioners approved an employment contract today.
Council may drop licensing requirement for food servers, pawnbrokers, others
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014
Restaurant servers, convenience store clerks and pawnbrokers could have an easier time finding work if the Las Vegas City Council votes Wednesday to do away with a work card requirement that includes mandatory police background checks. The council will discuss cutting in half the number of jobs that require work cards.
Las Vegas grants extension for proposed downtown arena
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014
Despite a majority of its members opposing the current plan for a new $390 million downtown arena, the Las Vegas City Council voted to extend an exclusive negotiating agreement today with the developer behind the project.
Sheriff's plan for More Cops dealt another defeat
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
The Clark County Commission has turned back the latest proposed versions of the More Cops sales tax to fund more police officers. Commissioners voted 4-3 today on the plan to increase the county sales tax by a total of .15 percent in two equal phases.
Commissioners name interim CEO at University Medical Center
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
The Clark County Commission today selected University Medical Center Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Barnard to replace outgoing CEO Brian Brannman on an interim basis.
Reflexology clinics face new regulatory pressure
County sees proposed rules as way to stem illegal practices in unscrupulous operations
Monday, Jan. 20, 2014
Recurring problems surrounding reflexology clinics have drawn the eye of county officials, who have been working on new regulations for the industry for the past year. The proposed changes, scheduled to go to vote before the county commission next month, would create a new chapter in county code.
Sheriff likely to find out Tuesday if latest More Cops plan will win commission's approval
Monday, Jan. 20, 2014
Sheriff Doug Gillespie's newest More Cops plan, the fifth revision of the proposal originally presented to commissioners in December 2012, aims to address criticisms by linking a sales tax increase to depletion of a $140 million reserve fund Metro has built up over the years. As new officers are hired and the reserve shrinks, the tax will kick in over two phases, one in October 2014 and the other a year later, to supplement the hiring.
Deputy wins Water Authority's approval to succeed Mulroy
Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014
John Entsminger has been confirmed as the region’s next water czar after a unanimous vote this morning by the Southern Nevada Water Authority board. Entsminger, a 15-year veteran of the agency, was chosen last week to serve as general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, the region’s largest water delivery agency.
Decisions await county commissioners in search for UMC's next CEO
Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014
News that Brian Brannman is leaving University Medical Center at the end of January means Clark County commissioners, for the fourth time in 10 years, are looking for a new chief executive to take charge of the troubled public hospital. At their meeting Tuesday, commissioners plan to choose an interim CEO to replace Brannman, who is leaving for an executive post at St. Rose Dominican Health Systems.
State of the City: Goodman touts 2013 successes, downtown turnaround
Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman struck a positive tone as she reflected on the city’s successes in 2013 and looked forward to continued growth in 2014 during her State of the City address.
Las Vegas city manager to participate in Twitter Q&A
Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014
Las Vegas is expanding its social media presence with a live Twitter chat next week in which members of the public will have a chance to ask questions of City Manager Betsy Fretwell.
MGM Resorts clears first hurdle on path to building arena on the Strip
Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014
With an eye on opening the venue in 2016, MGM Resorts International received approval from the county Tuesday for the first round of permits and reviews needed to begin construction on an arena.
Brian Brannman leaving UMC for St. Rose Dominican Hospitals
Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014
University Medical Center CEO Brian Brannman is leaving his post at the financially challenged public hospital to take over as an executive at St. Rose Dominican Hospitals.
Senior deputy completes ascent to take reins of Las Vegas Valley Water District
Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014
Fifteen years after he was hired to join the Las Vegas Valley Water District’s legal department, John Entsminger has been chosen to take the agency’s top job.
Brown drops bid to become water czar; only one candidate left
Monday, Jan. 6, 2014
The field of candidates vying to replace outgoing water czar Pat Mulroy dwindled to one today after Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown withdrew from consideration.
Commission to consider third More Cops tax proposal
Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014
In its first meeting of the new year, the Clark County Commission returns to a discussion of a stalled sales tax proposal that made headlines throughout 2013.
Fireworks smoke prompts air quality advisory
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013
Thousands of fireworks launched from Strip hotels will light up the sky when the clock strikes midnight this New Year’s Eve. They’ll also generate a lot of smoke, prompting an air quality advisory from Clark County this morning.
Crane falls off truck, disrupting traffic in northwest valley
Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
A 50-ton crane fell off a semitrailer and into the roadway Monday afternoon, briefly blocking traffic near Rainbow Boulevard and Lake Mead Boulevard.
Injured judge talking to police; still unclear if he was attacked
Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
Judge Eric Goodman is improving after he was found unconscious earlier this month at a Summerlin park suffering head injuries and is now talking with detectives, Metro Police said today.
Standoff with man barricaded in apartment ends peacefully
Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
A potentially suicidal man who barricaded himself in an apartment near Boulder Highway and Twain Avenue early today surrendered peacefully and was taken to a local hospital, Metro Police said.
2.9-magnitude earthquake reported near Boulder City
Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 2.9-magnitude earthquake at 5:38 a.m. today near Boulder City. There were no injuries or damage reported, Boulder City Police Chief Bill Conger said.
Republic Services to make push to widen recycling at apartment complexes
Friday, Dec. 20, 2013
For those who live in apartments or condominiums throughout the Las Vegas Valley, finding an easy way to dispose of recyclables can be a challenge. Apartment dwellers tend to produce less trash than their counterparts living in single-family homes, but with more than 300,000 people living in apartments across Southern Nevada, the opportunity exists to significantly improve the amount of waste the region recycles.
Sheriff proposes compromise tax increase for more cops
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013
In an attempt to break the deadlock among Clark County commissioners, Sheriff Doug Gillespie is backing a new hybrid "More Cops" proposal that would increase the county sales tax as Metro Police hires more officers and spends down its reserves. But it’s still unclear whether the new compromise will pass.
Tortoises, taxes at issue during county commission meeting
Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
Sheriff Doug Gillespie will be back before the Clark County Commission on Tuesday with a new version of the "More Cops" sales tax increase in an attempt to unite the divided board.
Bringing kids joy and a 'happy spirit' is this Santa's favorite gift
Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
Larry Hansen was Christmas shopping with his wife in 2004 when a chance encounter with a mall Santa changed his life. Nine years of dressing as Santa Claus and talking with thousands of children later, Hansen says he's having "an absolute ball" and recalls some touching memories.
Auction of delinquent-tax properties nets more than $2 million
Friday, Dec. 6, 2013
Properties with delinquent taxes were put up for auction by Clark County this morning, offering investors willing to put down cash an opportunity to score a deal.
Residents get some long-awaited details about massive I-15 widening project
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013
With major improvements to a stretch of Interstate 15 moving ahead at an accelerated pace, the Nevada Department of Transportation is reaching out to the public before the project shifts into gear.
With tax revenue up, Las Vegas could see first balanced budget since recession
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013
With revenues from consolidated and property taxes inching steadily upward, Las Vegas is aiming for its first balanced budget since the recession devastated the region’s economy.
After fires, then floods, Mount Charleston now bracing for increased risk of avalanches
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013
Damage from this summer’s fire on Mount Charleston already has led to unexpected flooding that damaged homes in the area. Now, with heavy snows beginning to fall on the mountain, officials are warning the loss of vegetation could lead to an increased risk of avalanches this winter.
County officials seek cheaper way to protect desert tortoise
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
After spending $95 million since 2001 protecting Southern Nevada’s desert tortoise population, Clark County commissioners are looking for a way to reduce the costs of caring for the threatened species.
UMC's oversight put in hands of eight board appointees
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
The Clark County Commission has approved a group of eight candidates to oversee University Medical Center as part of a newly formed governing board.
Water rate hike one approval away from going into effect
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
The Las Vegas Valley Water District signed off today on a water rate hike that will see the average customer’s bill increase by about $5 per month by 2017.
Report to offer forecast of city's financial health
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
A short agenda awaits the Las Vegas City Council as members return from the holiday break. The council will use the lull in activity to review its financial forecast and receive reports from several initiatives when members meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall.
CEO has big plans for newly merged Henderson, Las Vegas Boys & Girls Clubs
Monday, Dec. 2, 2013
After more than 50 years operating as separate organizations, the Las Vegas and Henderson chapters of the Boys & Girls Club are joining forces to extend their collective reach throughout the community. After the formal merger last month, president and CEO Ken Rubeli is laying plans to turn the newly joined organizations into one of the most visible nonprofits in the valley.
New UMC governing board poised for appointment
Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013
The Clark County Commission will take the final step toward creating an independent governing board for University Medical Center on Tuesday when it considers a group of nine candidates to oversee the hospital.
Charities gear up for holidays, say needs aren't abating
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013
With the holiday season fast approaching, local nonprofits are marshalling volunteers, stocking their food pantries and collecting supplies to provide coats, toys, turkeys and other goods to needy families over the next five weeks. It’s already been a busy year for these organizations. While donor support has remained strong, their leaders say the number of Las Vegans in need remains high in the wake of the recession despite modest improvements in the economy. It’s a trend that shows no sign of going away.
Meet the people poised to assume oversight of UMC
Monday, Nov. 25, 2013
Some of Clark County’s most powerful executives are proposed to sit on the governing board to oversee University Medical Center. Clark County commissioners will vote Dec. 3 on the slate of nine candidates.
UMC chief weighs in on Obamacare, e-records and a UNLV med school
Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013
While the Affordable Care Act has been making headlines for its effect on consumers, hospitals are also making changes to comply with the new law. UMC CEO Brian Brannman is confident the organization will meet the law's minimum standards in a timely manner.
New Southern Nevada Health District leader ready to put agency on the move
Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013
Dr. Joseph Iser in September began his job as the new chief health officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. Soon, his agenda will be to find a new, permanent home for the health district’s offices.
Students quiz community leaders at Mayors Prayer Breakfast
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013
Given the chance to address some of Southern Nevada’s most powerful leaders, a group of 425 high school students didn’t back down from asking the tough questions this morning.
Las Vegas sells land at Symphony Park for assisted living center
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013
Downtown’s Symphony Park is getting a new tenant after the Las Vegas City Council approved a $5 million land sale to a real estate company planning to build a skilled nursing and assisted living center.
Once-a-week trash and recycling pickup for 210,000 county customers wins approval
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013
The Clark County Commission is amending its franchise agreement with trash hauler Republic Services to allow the company to extend a single-stream recycling program to 210,000 customers in the unincorporated county.

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