Las Vegas Sun

April 17, 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

Cigarettes blamed for fire at Las Vegas mobile home
Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
A can of smoldering cigarettes started a fire late Thursday that damaged a home in the Meadows Mobile Home Park, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said.
Immigration-reform supporters push forward, even as budget battle pushes issue to back burner
Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
A few months ago immigration was atop most federal lawmakers’ agenda, but a budget standoff and looming debt-ceiling showdown have stolen the spotlight for lawmakers and the public.
With river trip behind them, students head to D.C. to seek action on water issues
Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
A trip down the Colorado River last month offered 18 students a chance to learn firsthand about water conservation issues. This week, the students are taking their knowledge to Washington, D.C., to urge lawmakers to take action to preserve water resources.
Would you pass the U.S. citizenship test?
Take a sample quiz to test your civics knowledge
Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 92 percent of naturalization candidates pass the English and civics tests. Applicants get two chances at both tests. If they fail twice, they have to reapply for naturalization and pay the $680 fee again. Think you would pass the civics test?
Career change provides icing on the cake for Las Vegas business owner
Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013
Nilda Arias always has had an eye for detail and a love of the miniature. She initially chose a career that ignored those talents, but in the end – with a little help from her mom – the right profession found her.
With business booming, NLV-based counterterrorism expert getting last laugh
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
Doron Benbenisty does not sport the long brown locks, headband or penchant for going shirtless that the fictional John Rambo did, but Benbenisty is confident, solidly built and a student of crisis situations. His Crisis Response International center operates out of a nondescript warehouse in North Las Vegas, where a small office with pictures of men hogtied and in choke holds opens out into a big space lined with shooting targets and a storage area stocked with rubber knives, duct tape, pellet guns, dummies and other training paraphernalia.
Federal inspectors at Las Vegas zoo after complaint
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013
Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited the Southern Nevada Zoological Botanical Park today in response to a complaint from a member of the public, agency officials confirmed.
Man who aspired to be police officer dies in motorcycle crash
Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
A motorcyclist who had aspirations of joining the police force died in a traffic accident late Thursday night, according to Metro Police.
Kitchen fire displaces family of six
Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
A family of six was displaced from their home early this morning after a grease fire started in the kitchen, according to Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.
3 children critically injured when truck crashes, careens into bus stop
Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
A predawn crash sent a pickup truck careening into a Las Vegas bus stop this morning, critically injuring three children, ages 2, 4 and 5, according to Metro Police.
Brazilian president cancels U.S. visit over NSA surveillance
State visit postponed pending full investigation
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
On Tuesday Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceled a U.S. visit high on pomp and circumstance as she waits for the United States to mount a proper investigation into the extent of NSA surveillance.
Man crashes into wall at MGM Grand after medical issue
Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
Metro Police are on the scene of a single-vehicle accident on the MGM Grand property. At 2:37 p.m. today, police received a report of a male driver crashing into a wall near the self-park area of MGM Grand after experiencing a “medical issue,” Officer Jose Hernandez said.
Dispute over meth fueled fatal shooting near Strip
Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
A fight over methamphetamine fueled a fatal shooting near the north end of the Strip earlier this week, according to an incident report released today.
Two injured when motorcycle collides with school bus
Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
Two people were airlifted to a hospital this morning after a school bus pulled out in front of their motorcycle, resulting in a collision, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Monsoon season coming to an end in Las Vegas
Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
Just 12 days into September and the month already has been one of the soggiest on record, but relief from persistent precipitation has arrived.
Live from Pahrump: Art Bell, master of the paranormal, makes radio return Monday
Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
Sixty-eight-year-old Art Bell has not been on air regularly since 2003, but he is coming out of retirement for a new show on SiriusXM that launches Monday from his home studio in Pahrump.
Strip performer Pia Zadora must undergo alcohol and anger counseling or face jail time in domestic abuse case
Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013
Broadway actress and Strip performer Pia Zadora will have to learn how to control her impulses and have her alcohol use evaluated before authorities dismiss a domestic violence case against her.
Henderson boy, 11, injured in possible arson
Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013
Henderson Police are investigating a possible arson in which an 11 year-old boy was injured, according to city of Henderson spokeswoman Nicole Johnson.
Action-packed schedule ahead for Mexican Independence Day, Hispanic Heritage Month
Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013
Like a multiple-day music festival with several stages, the plethora of Las Vegas events surrounding Mexican Independence Day and Hispanic Heritage Month requires a tactical approach to get the most from all of the offerings. Hispanic Heritage Month runs Sept. 15-Oct. 15, but most of the events in Southern Nevada are booked closer to Mexican Independence Day, which is Monday.
Flash flood warning issued as county braces for a wet weekend
Friday, Sept. 6, 2013
The National Weather Service has announced a flash flood warning for central Clark County as thunderstorms bringing heavy rain and strong winds are moving into Southern Nevada this afternoon.
Woman falls to her death in Zion National Park while hiking 'Subway'
Friday, Sept. 6, 2013
A woman slipped and fell to her death while hiking in Zion National Park on Thursday, according to the National Park Service.
Another senior officer leaving Metro Police
Friday, Sept. 6, 2013
An infusion of new leadership is in store for Metro Police as a senior officer announced his retirement today, following the retirement of another assistant sheriff in July and Sheriff Doug Gillespie’s announcement that he will not seek reelection in 2014.
City Hall to be awash in rainbow colors for Las Vegas Pride
Friday, Sept. 6, 2013
Las Vegas City Hall, continuing a new tradition of changing the lighting display on the façade of the building for special occasions, will be lit in rainbow colors tonight in celebration of Las Vegas Pride.
Verbal dispute ends with one dead, one in custody
Friday, Sept. 6, 2013
One man is dead and another is in custody after a shooting that stemmed from a verbal dispute Thursday evening, according to Metro Police.
Motive, events surrounding shooting that left one in critical condition unclear
Friday, Sept. 6, 2013
A man is in critical condition after suffering several gunshot wounds early this morning, according to Metro Police.
Police seek suspects in robbery at Las Vegas Strip hotel
Friday, Sept. 6, 2013
Metro Police detectives are searching for two suspects in a hotel robbery on the north end of the Strip. On Aug. 28, a man and woman tied up a person in a hotel room on Las Vegas Boulevard South and escaped with the victim’s belongings, police said.
Groups keep heat on congressional delegation for immigration-reform support
Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013
Nevada’s entire congressional delegation has publicly stated support for reform legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship. But organizations and individuals in the Silver State aren’t letting up their push until immigration reform becomes a reality.
For these immigrants, benefits of US citizenship worth any struggle
Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013
Some immigrants become naturalized U.S. citizens because they see it as the culmination of a lifelong love affair with their adopted country. Many people want to vote and fully participate in U.S. politics and society. Still others are motivated by different opportunities only open to citizens.
FBI agents in Las Vegas arrest Michigan man accused of murder
Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
FBI agents arrested a fugitive in Las Vegas Friday who was wanted in connection with the killing of a 6-year-old girl in Michigan, according to an agency press release.
Portion of Las Vegas Boulevard closed after pedestrian is hit
Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
A pedestrian hit by a car around noon Friday has been taken to the hospital, according to Metro Police.
Police respond to four accidents in about an hour and a half
Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
Law enforcement officers are fanning out over the valley to handle multiple accidents, all of which occurred between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and several of which are clogging major arteries.
Las Vegas fast-food workers join nationwide fight for $15-an-hour wage
Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013
Joining their colleagues in cities across the country, employees at Las Vegas McDonald’s, KFC, Taco Bell and other fast-food restaurants walked off their jobs Thursday morning to protest low wages and lack of union representation. Locally, the protests started at 6 a.m. Thursday, and three picket lines were set up at different fast-food restaurants over the course of the morning.
North Las Vegas embraces Nellis' new emphasis on partnerships
NLV mayor: 'Nellis is in North Las Vegas from now on, as far as I’m concerned'
Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013
Two mayors, their areas of influence not more than 2 miles apart, are contemplating new economic realities. Both are attempting to look at their operations in a new way, examining the costs and benefits of each service offered, and both are on a mission to enter into mutually beneficial agreements.
Second suspect arrested in case of robbers posing as Mormon missionaries
Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013
A man who allegedly dressed as a Mormon missionary while committing armed robbery has turned himself in, according to Metro Police, joining his alleged partner in crime who was already in custody.
Newly documented young adults living up to deferred action's promise
Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013
While millions of immigrants residing in the country illegally are wringing their hands in a nervous holding pattern as Congress weighs a sweeping reform program, Las Vegan Juan Salazar has already gotten a taste of life with legal status. In June 2012, President Barack Obama introduced deferred action for childhood arrivals, a temporary program that offers work permits to immigrants with no criminal record who were brought to the United States at a young age. To be eligible they must be in school, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, or have served in the military.
Police seek suspect who shot man in the head
Friday, Aug. 23, 2013
A man is in the hospital after being shot in the head early Friday afternoon, according to Metro Police.
Police searching for Utah teen they believe may have been lured to Las Vegas
Friday, Aug. 23, 2013
Authorities are are asking for the public’s assistance in the search for a missing 16-year-old female from Alpine, Utah, who may have been lured away by someone she met on social media.
Driver killed after running red light at Arville and Oakey
Friday, Aug. 23, 2013
A driver died Thursday night after running a red light and colliding with another vehicle, according to Metro Police.
Teen indicted on murder charge stemming from house party shooting
Friday, Aug. 16, 2013
A Clark County grand jury has indicted a 16-year-old male on a charge of murder in the fatal shooting of his friend and fellow teenager.
Four drinks, two miles, six cars: Woman admits to consuming alcohol before causing pileup on Desert Inn
Friday, Aug. 16, 2013
A woman who is suspected of causing a major pileup and serious injuries on Desert Inn Road on Thursday admitted she had two bloody mary cocktails and two beers before she got in her car to drive home, according to Metro Police.
Heck yearns for ‘comprehensive’ discussion, not rhetoric, on immigration reform
Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013
U.S. Rep. Joe Heck knows the “pathway to citizenship” is the sticky part of the immigration-reform debate that sends politicians into frazzled fits of tongue-tied constituent coddling.
Aspiring politician turns to fundraising to subsidize unpaid internship in Reid's D.C. office
Monday, Aug. 12, 2013
Las Vegan Jessica Padron beat out tough competition for a coveted internship in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, and she's not going to let money — or the lack of it — get in her way.
Las Vegas man arrested after four 'random' stabbings
Friday, Aug. 9, 2013
A 53-year-old man was arrested late Thursday after he allegedly stabbed four strangers at an intersection near the Strip, according to Metro Police.
Power knocked out for hours to part of Flamingo on Las Vegas Strip
Friday, Aug. 9, 2013
Power to part of the Flamingo on the Las Vegas Strip was knocked out for hours today as a result of ongoing construction at the adjacent Gansevoort, a company official said.
World's oldest hip-hop dance crew gettin' its swagga on at Las Vegas competition
Friday, Aug. 9, 2013
When manager and choreographer Billie Jordan hears about “popping and locking” from her crew, she has to make sure they are talking hip-hop dance moves and not the condition of their artificial hips. Indeed, several members of the world’s oldest hip-hop dance crew, New Zealand’s Hip Op-eration, most likely have more metal in their worn joints than rapper 2 Chainz typically wears around his neck.
North Las Vegas Police ID driver arrested after 8 pedestrians hit
Friday, Aug. 9, 2013
A woman hit eight pedestrians, including a pregnant woman, with a car before crashing and fleeing on foot Thursday night, according to North Las Vegas Police. Police responded to the incident about 11:30 p.m. on Losee Road, near Lake Mead Boulevard.
Police: Father of slaying suspect says son heard voices
Friday, Aug. 2, 2013
A man suspected of stabbing and killing his 25-year-old girlfriend last week in east Las Vegas was taken into custody Thursday, Metro Police said.
Man hit by bus is identified; coroner rules death a suicide
Friday, Aug. 2, 2013
A 53-year-old Las Vegas man died Friday morning after walking into the path of an oncoming public bus, Metro Police said.
Man arrested in hit-and-run accident that killed young Metro Police Explorer
Friday, Aug. 2, 2013
With help from witnesses, Metro Police tracked down a suspect accused of fleeing the scene of an accident that killed a teenager Thursday. Jvon Lawrence Williams, 29, was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of hit-and-run and driving under the influence, police said. Williams was picked up at his home in the northwest valley about 7 p.m. Thursday.
White House continues to press for immigration reform, re-emphasizes economic benefits
Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013
he Obama administration continues pounding for immigration reform this week, with White House officials releasing two separate reports on the economic benefits of overhaul legislation.

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