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Nevada's First Lady Benefits From Contested Divorce

RENO -- Gov. Jim Gibbons' inability to bring his contested divorce to a close means Nevada has the benefit of a first lady for a bit longer. It also means the state must foot the bill for Dawn Gibbons' attendance at official events, including travel, security and per diem.

After 18 months locked in a bitter court battle, the couple's 24-year marriage was supposed to come to an end Feb. 28. But the governor has been unable to pay $275,000 he owes his wife under a divorce settlement reached in December. Nor has the Republican governor sold the couple's Reno home as ordered by the court.

In an order issued in late March, Washoe District Family Court Judge Frances Doherty affirmed that Jim Gibbons must pay Dawn Gibbons before the final decree will be issued. Without a final divorce decree, the couple is still married and Dawn Gibbons is technically still first lady.

 

Governor Gibbons News Conference Today on Health Reform

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons will hold a news conference in Las Vegas to announce what he intends to do about federal health reform.

The Republican governor has been publicly feuding with Democratic Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who refused his directive to sue the federal government over the bill passed by Congress and signed last month by President Obama. Gibbons' news conference is at noon Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Gibbons argues the law tramples state's rights and amounts to unfunded mandates that will cost the state millions in added Medicaid costs. Masto says the Constitution gives Congress broad powers to regulate commerce. She says 14 other states have already sued, and that any outcome would apply to Nevada even if the state doesn't join the suit.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

United States Coast Guard Weighing Anchor In Nevada

LAS VEGAS -- The U.S. Coast Guard is weighing anchor on operations at two navigation broadcasting station in Nevada. The commander of a ground-based long-range navigation system says Global Positioning System satellites have made the so-called LORAN system obsolete.

The 24-station network stopped broadcasting Feb. 8. Now, stations in Searchlight and Fallon are being decommissioned as part of a move to save $37 million per year in operation costs. The station near Searchlight, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas, isn't the only "awkward place" for a Coast Guard station. The service also has duty stations in Kansas, New Mexico, Montana and northern Minnesota.

Hundreds of Valley Children Have a Happy Easter Thanks to Local Volunteer Program

LAS VEGAS --  Hundreds of Valley kids will have a Happy Easter thanks to the help of a program called E BUNNY and a group of volunteers who put all their love and care for these children into the form of an Easter basket.

E BUNNY is a grass-roots community outreach program dedicated to bringing Easter Baskets to homeless and disadvantaged children as a token of hope, joy and renewal by passing out baskets to children on the streets of Las Vegas the day before Easter.

The program is made possible by complete strangers who donated care packages that came fittingly in an Easter Basket.

Some of these kids had never received an Easter Basket before. The reward for the volunteers is the smile on each child's face as they received a basket. But these baskets are more than just candy and stuffed animals.

"Priority of giving back hope and spirit to people is huge," said Linda Lera-Randle, Volunteer.

Nation's Economy Posted Its Largest Job Gain In Three Years

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's economy posted its largest job gain in three years in March, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent for the third straight month.

The increase is the latest sign that the economic recovery is sustainable and healing in the job market is beginning. Still, the healing is likely to be slow, and most economists don't expect job creation to be fast enough this year to rapidly reduce the unemployment rate. The Labor Department said employers added 162,000 jobs in March, the most since the recession began but below analysts' expectations of 190,000. The total includes 48,000 temporary workers hired for the U.S. Census, also fewer than many economists forecast.

Charges Against Nevada Tea Party Candidate Could Be Dropped

LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas judge is expected to approve the withdrawal of criminal charges today against a Nevada Tea Party candidate looking to unseat Sen. Harry Reid.

Prosecutors say Scott Ashjian paid more than $5,500 to cover a bounced check. Records show he faces foreclosure on almost $1 million in home loans, owes $200,000 to the IRS and faces liens and city nuisance actions

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Metro Police Solve 107 Murders in 2009, 14 Cases Remain Open

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas homicide detectives had an 83-percent solve rate in 2009. In all, they arrested suspects in 107 out of 121 murders.

Police saw a 10-percent drop in murders from 2008 to 2009, down 36 from the peak in 2006. Still, police have 14 unsolved murders on their books for 2009. In each case, police have few suspects and even fewer leads.