Las Vegas Sun

September 30, 2014

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Tovin Lapan

Latino Community, Immigration and General Assignment Reporter

After working for his college paper, Tovin started his professional career in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he fell in love with the variety and excitement of working in daily journalism as well as with a sandwich called the torta ahogada. He comes to the Las Vegas Sun from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, where he covered higher education, city government and immigration. Prior to Santa Cruz, Tovin was on staff at the San Diego Union-Tribune, Miami New Times and Naples Daily News and worked as a freelance journalist for numerous publications. He has reported extensively in Latin America, including Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia and Mexico, and holds masters degrees in journalism and Latin American Studies from UC Berkeley.

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Story Archive

Report: Nevada made progressive strides in 2013
Several laws passed will benefit minority, immigrant communities
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014
In just a few years, the Hispanic community has become a force in state politics. A racial report card released Tuesday outlines specific laws passed last year that are considered major victories for minorities and immigrants.
Recession deeper, lingering longer for Nevada Hispanics, UNLV report asserts
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014
A new report shows unemployment among Hispanics in Nevada surged during the recession and has been slow to bounce back. The reason, the authors say, is tied to where Hispanics tend to work.
Immigration holds focusing more on criminals
Metro program seen as a success, but questions remain on effectiveness and legality
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014
Metro Police and immigration officials overseeing Nevada are placing a higher proportion of immigration holds on people with previous criminal convictions, according to a recent report.
Nellis staff sergeant to make court appearance on child abuse charge
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
A noncommissioned officer stationed at Nellis Air Force Base awaits a date next week in North Las Vegas Township Justice Court on child abuse charges involving his 3-month-old son. According to an arrest report, Staff Sgt. Andrew Leach, 31, is accused of causing severe head trauma and other injuries to his son, Aiden.
Arizona employing air support to spot speeders this weekend on U.S. 93
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
Motorists headed to Arizona may spot some aerial surveillance through their moonroofs over the holiday weekend. The Arizona Department of Public Safety is planning to use a plane to capture speeding drivers on U.S. 93, which connects Las Vegas to Phoenix, during the Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day weekend, according to an agency press release.
Immigration officer's secret: She was smuggled into the country
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
A retired U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service official, who herself was smuggled into the country as a child, has some advice for government agencies and for immigrants.
Firefighters put out blaze at house in Henderson
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014
Henderson firefighters doused a blaze this afternoon that started in the garage of a single-family home near Windmill Parkway and Arroyo Grande.
Pool supplies truck spills chlorine in accident in western valley
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014
A pool supplies truck and a taxi collided just after 8 a.m. today causing a chlorine spill in the western valley, according to Metro Police. The accident occurred on El Capitan Way between Tropicana Avenue and Ausberg Lane, not far from the 215 Beltway.
Electrical problem sparks residential fire
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014
Clark County firefighters responded to a fire Thursday evening that damaged a home but did not result in any injuries.
Families, food distribution networks strained by cuts in federal benefits
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014
At Our Savior Lutheran Church, 14,000 people were served food in January alone — the highest monthly total for the program in its three-year existence. Cuts to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits (commonly called food stamps) have left many Southern Nevada families straining to make ends meet.
Police say 48-year-old posed as vice detective and sexually assaulted escort in Strip hotel
Friday, Jan. 31, 2014
A suspect wanted in a New York robbery and previously convicted of impersonating an officer is accused of posing as a cop and sexually assaulting a woman at a Strip hotel.
Police investigating report of man trying to lure NLV middle-schooler into car
Friday, Jan. 31, 2014
North Las Vegas Police are investigating a report of a possible abduction attempt on a middle school student this week, according to the Clark County School District.
What lessons did we learn from the Onion saga?
Dog that killed child has been set free, but questions remain
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014
The long legal saga of Onion the dog concluded last week when, after 21 months of court battles, Henderson agreed to release the family pet that killed a 1-year-old boy to an out-of-state rescue. The agreement stipulates that Onion can never be adopted or around children. The animal advocates who turned out in Onion’s defense and the family both expressed a hope that the tragedy would be a learning experience for the community and the local government.
Coroner IDs motorcyclist killed in crash with car
Friday, Jan. 24, 2014
The Clark County coroner has identified a motorcyclist who died Thursday afternoon in a collision with a car as 28-year-old Griffith Alexander Grossguth of North Las Vegas.
Police search for suspect in attempted robbery outside casino
Friday, Jan. 24, 2014
North Las Vegas Police released a video today of a suspect in an attempted robbery in hopes of generating new leads in the investigation.
Pedestrian hit by school bus hospitalized
Friday, Jan. 24, 2014
A Clark County School District bus hit a pedestrian early this morning, according to Metro Police.
Man killed in single-car crash on Warm Springs Road
Friday, Jan. 24, 2014
A man died Friday morning after crashing his car into a pole, according to Metro Police.
Dog that killed boy in Henderson released after 2 years in custody
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014
Onion, a family dog that tragically killed a 1 year-old boy in April 2012, has been released after nearly two years of legal wrangling between Henderson and animal rights advocates.
Former loan officer gets prison time in Ponzi scheme
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014
A former loan officer from Henderson was sentenced today to more than six years in prison and will pay $830,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to defrauding at least 16 clients, according to the United States Attorney’s Office in Nevada.
Vigil planned for woman stabbed to death
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014
There will be a vigil from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. today for Daisy Dahan, who, according to Metro Police, was brutally stabbed to death a week ago by her husband, Richard Dahan, after asking for a divorce.
Motorcyclist dies after hitting sign along I-15
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014
A motorcyclist died early Friday morning after hitting a sign while exiting Interstate 15, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Sentencing of suspect in Strip shooting delayed in unrelated rape case
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014
Attorneys for Ammar Harris, suspected of killing three people in a startling shooting last year on the Las Vegas Strip, won a delay today in his sentencing on an unrelated conviction.
D.A.'s office clears officers in fatal 2013 shooting of suspected gang member wanted for attempted murder
Friday, Jan. 10, 2014
Metro Police officers who returned fire and killed suspected gang member Roberto Torres in February 2013 were justified in their actions, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office determined.
Applications for driver's authorization cards remain brisk
830 cards and permits issued in the first week
Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014
After a week of taking applications, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles has issued 830 driver's authorization cards and learner's permits.
Missing Kentucky woman spotted in Las Vegas
Friday, Jan. 3, 2014
Metro Police found the car of Jena Chisholm in Las Vegas Thursday evening and said she was spotted in town, but police and her family are still trying to find the woman from Kentucky.
Officer, suspect injured in crash, chase that started at Wal-Mart
Friday, Jan. 3, 2014
A Metro Police officer and one of two suspects had to be taken to the hospital after a pre-dawn high-speed chase Friday.
Metro seeking suspects in stabbing that left man in critical condition
Friday, Jan. 3, 2014
Metro Police are investigating a stabbing that occurred in the western Las Vegas Valley early Friday morning and left one person with critical injuries.
Three boys missing from foster home found at relative's house
Friday, Jan. 3, 2014
Three boys who ran away from the their foster home before the new year were found Thursday night and have been returned to the custody of Child Protective Services.
With citizenship in hand, chef now ready to focus on SLS Las Vegas opening
Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
Chef Jose Andres, who helped popularize the Spanish tradition of tapas in the United States, has restaurants in four U.S. cities and Puerto Rico, helms a nonprofit organization and teaches college classes. While managing all of those responsibilities, Andres and his wife, after 23 years in the country, were sworn in as U.S. citizens in a ceremony Nov. 13 in Baltimore. Andres already operates Jaleo, É by Jose Andres and China Poblano in Las Vegas, and the offerings from the James Beard Award-winner will expand in 2014. Andres is culinary director for SLS Hotels and is currently planning the lineup for SLS Las Vegas.
Sweet leap of faith: Jin Caldwell follows her passion for chocolate, finds success
Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013
Jin Caldwell was in her own personal pressure cooker. It was 2003, almost 10 years after Caldwell defied her parents’ wishes and chose spatulas over stethoscopes. Jean-Philippe Maury, the world-class chef in charge of pastries at Bellagio, invited Caldwell to try out for a chocolatier spot on his team. After attending Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Ariz., and joining the staff at Green Valley Ranch upon its opening, Caldwell was preparing for the biggest interview of her life — a test that would go a long way to validating her career path.
59 test positive for TB after Las Vegas outbreak
Monday, Dec. 23, 2013
A total of 59 people have tested positive for tuberculosis since the disease killed a woman and at least one of her children who had been at a Las Vegas hospital this summer. According to a report by the Southern Nevada Health District, 977 people were tested.
Man gets 11 years in $15 million mortgage fraud scheme
Friday, Dec. 20, 2013
A man who pleaded guilty in a $15 million mortgage fraud scheme was sentenced this week to 11 years in federal prison. In all, 10 people were charged and convicted in the scheme involving straw buyers and the submission of fraudulent paperwork to obtain mortgage loans, officials said.
Government says deportations down 10 percent, percentage of criminal deportees up
Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 368,644 people from the country in fiscal year 2013, down approximately 10 percent from fiscal year 2012.
Biden to participate in online immigration discussion, Hispanic organizations issue midterm congressional report card
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013
With the debate over broad immigration reform inevitably moving into 2014 and advocates regrouping for the next congressional session, Vice President Joe Biden will participate in a live Internet discussion on immigration this afternoon. Biden and Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, will take questions from the public on immigration in an online forum hosted by internet communication service Skype and search engine Bing from 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Bus station guard tells police he pleaded for his life with suspect in shooting
Friday, Dec. 6, 2013
A security guard who told a loiterer Thursday night to move along from in front of the downtown Greyhound bus station said he pleaded for his life when the man pulled a gun on him.
Manhole work to close part of Jones Boulevard
Friday, Dec. 6, 2013
Manhole work over the weekend will cause closures and traffic restrictions on Jones Boulevard, according to a Nevada Department of Transportation advisory.
Las Vegas sees record-setting cold, braces for snow
Friday, Dec. 6, 2013
Las Vegas kicked off December with a record-setting cold front and a second weather system moving in this weekend is expected to dust the western valley with snow on Saturday.
Judge delays sentencing in rape case for suspect in Strip shooting
Newly appointed attorneys for Ammar Harris seek, receive postponement
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013
Sentencing in a 2010 rape and robbery case for the man accused in a deadly shooting earlier this year on the Las Vegas Strip has been delayed into the new year. Ammar Harris, 27, is in custody and awaiting trial on three capital murder charges stemming from a Feb. 21 shooting and crash on Las Vegas Boulevard. After Harris was taken into custody, a woman who earlier accused Harris of robbery and rape resurfaced, and prosecutors reopened that case.
In brief: Boehner hires immigration adviser; fast on National Mall reaches 22 days
No timeline offered for House to debate reform
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
As the Dec. 12 end of the U.S. House of Representatives' 2013 session inches closer, immigration-reform advocates are hoping for progress while House leaders are offering little concrete information on when debate on the issue will begin.
NFR Preview: Something for everyone
Friday, Nov. 29, 2013
Every December, Christenson and his colleagues help turn Las Vegas into a cowboy town when they coordinate the National Finals Rodeo competition. Increasingly, they're working on ways to open the event not only to more cowboys but to people who might not know a steer from a bronco.
'The face of hunger in Nevada is different'
Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013
Like a kid obsessed with his Christmas wish list, the Three Square Food Bank in North Las Vegas has been planning all year long for the holidays. The food bank, which was founded in 2006 and serves Clark, Lincoln, Nye and Esmeralda counties, has been searching for the best deals on turkeys and other holiday staples since the 2012 holiday season ended. This year it plans to bring in 12,000 turkeys, which will be distributed through the 600 partner agencies in the community that receive food from Three Square’s 120,000-square-foot warehouse to the people in need of assistance.
Shell game: The long, dramatic story of OD, Mandalay Bay's green sea turtle
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013
OD’s descent from carefree traveler to patient relegated to perpetual captivity started in 1999. Before that, he lived an adventurous life, hopping eastbound Atlantic currents to feast in the Mediterranean, before cruising back to the Florida Keys for a hot date. He traveled, ate, mingled with ladies. But in 1999, his life changed. That, coincidentally, was also the year his current home, the Shark Reef Aquarium, opened its doors at Mandalay Bay.
Trial in fatal Strip shooting, crash delayed until September
Monday, Nov. 25, 2013
The trial of a man charged with murder in a shooting and deadly car crash on the Las Vegas Strip has been delayed until September, and his new attorneys said they may need even more time to prepare.
Community coalition identifies next target of concern: Helping the valley's seniors
Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013
The super-charged growth years of the early 2000s brought shinier, grander casinos, rapid housing expansion, new jobs and a lot of seniors to Nevada. As the number of retirees in Nevada continues to climb, one local organization has begun taking a hard look at issues the elderly face.
Metro seeking suspects accused of falsifying police reports to boost credit scores
Friday, Nov. 22, 2013
Metro Police are seeking several suspects in a racketeering scheme that involved boosting credit scores through falsified police reports.
Don’t expect the rain to stop anytime soon
Friday, Nov. 22, 2013
A slow and steady rain that contributed to power outages and more than 250 traffic accidents across the Las Vegas Valley is going to hover over the area through most of Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Groups urge investigation of Herbalife for promises made to Hispanic distributors
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013
A trio of organizations serving the Hispanic community says nutritional supplement company Herbalife is misleading independent distributors, promising profits that are all but unattainable, and they have asked Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to investigate the multinational company.
Groups protest plight of immigrant detainees, seek talks with Henderson officials
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013
Following the release of a UNLV Law Clinic report questioning the standards of care for immigrant detainees at the Henderson Detention Center, on Tuesday evening law professor Fatma Marouf asked the Henderson City Council to meet with herself and the other authors to address their concerns.
D.C. approves licenses for undocumented immigrants
Mexican Consulate to host meeting on Nevada driver's authorization cards
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013
The Mexican Consulate will host an informational meeting on Thursday on the new driver's authorization cards. Nevada is one of 11 states that allows residents to drive regardless of their immigration status. Washington, D.C., approved a similar measure this week.
Immigrant detention: Is Henderson’s financial boon part of a national boondoggle?
City has been paid millions annually to house immigrant detainees, but the center and reasons for detentions come under increasing fire
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013
With an average detainee population of more than 200 per day, the Henderson Detention Center has been the primary facility in Nevada for housing federally detained immigrants since early 2011.

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