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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.

 

I-Team: Millions Owed in Unpaid Tickets

LAS VEGAS -- At a time when local governments are pinching every penny, the amount of money owed to the Las Vegas Justice Court is enough to make a budget director drool.

The amount of past due traffic tickets currently on the books is $170 million and the court considers their efforts to collect the money a success.

"I think it's more out of sight, out of mind," said Sgt. Robert Wyant who is with the Las Vegas Township Constable's office. He offers a not-so-subtle reminder to a driver of traffic stops in 2005 and 2006.

Wyant asks, "What do you think you can come up with?" He intends to collect at least a portion of the $4,000 the driver owes in fines and fees. If reason doesn't work, handcuffs serve as an effective negotiating tool. "Technically what it is, you pay or we take you to jail to go in front of a judge."

School Board Member Wants School Schedules Reviewed

LAS VEGAS -- A Clark County school trustee wants to switch more of the district's year-round schools back to nine-month schedules to save money.

Board Member Chris Garvey's proposal could help close a shortfall of $123 million in the district budget. But officials say it could hurt year-round school employees, who would lose work days.

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

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.)

Metro Reports Burglaries Down in Northwest Neighborhoods

LAS VEGAS -- Metro's Northwest Area Command says their property crime statistics are down slightly this year. But people living in some northwest neighborhoods say they don't believe those numbers.

Centennial Hills , north Summerlin and neighborhoods all around Metro's Northwest Area Command have some good news according to property crimes Sergeant Tom Melton. His numbers show that compared to a similar time last year, burglaries are down 26 percent and auto thefts are holding steady.

"I have six detectives here at Northwest Area Command and I told you earlier I scan around 700 reports," said Sgt. Tom Melton, Metro.

But Richard Kronen says his northwest neighborhood has seen more property crimes this year than ever before. He describes what happened next door.

NASA Moon Rocks on Display in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- The College of Southern Nevada is inviting the public to view a moon rock collection on loan from NASA.

The viewing will be held this week. In all, about 800 pounds of moon rocks were collected between the first manned moon landing in 1969 and the last in 1972. Most remain in storage in NASA facilities, but NASA encased a small number of the rocks in clear plastic for educational purposes.

That's what will be on display at the College of Southern Nevada.

(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.