Murder suspect competent for trial
SPARKS — The man suspected of killing a young boy and elderly woman in September 2010 at a house on I Street was ruled competent to stand trial on Wednesday following a psychological evaluation. Public defenders for Justin Ouimet had filed a petition to withdraw the competency evaluation, but the Nevada Supreme Court denied that motion earlier this month. Ouimet is charged with the murders of Connor Lawrence, 2, and Lana Stone, 62, the son and...
Assembly GOP oppose school bond bill
CARSON CITY — There's no disagreement over freeing up hundreds of millions of dollars by allowing Nevada school districts to keep smaller amounts in bond reserve accounts. The battle lines are drawn around what to do with the unfrozen funds. Gov. Brian Sandoval wants to use $425 million for school operations. AB183, sponsored by Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, would restrict use of the money to its voter approved intent of capital improv...
Some lawmakers raise concerns over benefit cuts
CARSON CITY — Some Nevada lawmakers raised concerns Wednesday that changes to public employee health insurance costs and benefits would be particularly harsh to lower wage earners, a sentiment shared by one tearful state worker who feared not being able to pay for her son's insulin to treat his diabetes. Susie Giurlani said both she and her husband work for the state. Furloughs imposed in 2009 and other costs attached to their wages have reduc...
Nevada sales jump 11.2 percent in December
CARSON CITY — Taxable sales in Nevada shot up 11.2 percent in December, thanks mainly to the holiday shopping season, auto sales and a huge pipeline being built across northern Nevada, the state Department of Taxation reported Wednesday. Merchants sold $4 billion in goods during the month, on which the state collected gross revenues of $315 million, an increase of nearly 8 percent, the agency said. December marked the sixth straight month of i...
Schools chiefs critique bill for remedial classes
CARSON CITY — A bill that would expand opportunities for high school students to catch up on credits for graduation is a great idea, but one more thing cash-strapped districts can’t afford, school representatives said Monday. School lobbyists weighed in at an Assembly Education Committee hearing for AB138, a wide-ranging bill aimed at better preparing high schoolers for college or the work force. It would require schools to inform students abo...
Memories of 1995 haunt GOP as shutdown talk grows
WASHINGTON (AP) — Few memories haunt Republicans more deeply than the 1995-96 partial shutdown of the federal government, which helped President Bill Clinton reverse his falling fortunes and recast House Republicans as stubborn partisans, not savvy insurgents. Now, as Congress careens toward a budget impasse, government insiders wonder if another shutdown is imminent — and whether Republicans again would suffer the most blame. Leaders of both ...
City of Reno closures today
RENO — Reno City Hall and city administrative offices will be closed today in observance of Presidents’ Day. In addition, the Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center and Pool, Neil Road Recreation Center, Teglia’s Paradise Park Activity Center, McKinley Arts & Culture Center, Sibayan Youth and Recreation Center and Southside Cultural Center will be closed. The Northwest Pool will be open for regular hours. Residents can still visit www.reno.go...
Reid to address Legislature this week
CARSON CITY — U.S. Sen. Harry Reid will address a joint session of the Senate and Assembly during the third week of the Nevada Legislature that begins Monday. Lawmakers during the week also will take up bills dealing with cell phones, occupational diseases, courts, education, election ballots and special legislative sessions. Reid, the Senate Democratic Majority Leader, won re-election to a fifth term in November against tea party-backed Repub...
Mental health advocates fear budget cuts
CARSON CITY — Six years ago, former corrections officer Mark Burchell was so sick from bipolar disorder that he imagined himself as a military general out to save the world. In reality, he was an unwashed, unshaven homeless man searching out bus shelters and still-warm car hoods to sleep on at night. The habit earned him stay after stay in jail until he was admitted to Nevada’s pioneering Mental Health Court system, which steered him to stabil...
Attorney: Witness tampering in NV police sex case
RENO — An attorney for a woman suing a Nevada police department over a former officer’s conduct has asked a federal judge to stop what the lawyer says is witness tampering by the Reno city attorney’s office. Court papers filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court contend a deputy city attorney sent an e-mail to officers warning them against speaking about the civil lawsuit to attorney Scott Freeman, The Reno Gazette-Journal reported. Freeman r...
Ensign to hold town hall at UNR to discuss economy
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. John Ensign, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, plans to host a public town hall meeting to address the fiscal and economic crisis. This is an opportunity for Ensign not only to share his concerns but also to hear from Nevadans about their concerns and their solutions. The town hall will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the third floor theater of the Joe Crowley Student at the University of Nevada, Reno.