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Metro: Men allegedly robbed 18 places in 8 days

LAS VEGAS -- Nearly two dozen armed robberies in less than two weeks seems highly unlikely, but Metro Police said it happened and they're trying to figure out who the culprits are.

Officers said they think the same two men committed 18 armed robberies in eight days. The suspected thieves are said to be white men between the ages of 20 and 30, weighing 140 to 160 pounds.

According to police, the men are targeting stores in strip malls.

“We're talking from anywhere from the Rainbow corridor on the south side of the valley, all the way to Henderson and also north of Cheyenne,” said Sgt. Steve Candelas, Metro's robbery division.

Detectives said the two suspects would walk into establishments armed and demand money.  At times, the men have even gone as far as to say, “I need to feed my children," according to police.

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Christmas tree recycling drop-off locations

LAS VEGAS - Several locations around the valley are accepting and recycling Christmas trees. It's estimated about 250,000 are sold in the Las Vegas valley, but only 15,000 were recycled last year. 

The recycled trees will be chipped into mulch which is used in public gardens and parks across the valley.

There is no fee to recycle a tree. Trees will be accepted from Dec. 26 to Jan. 15, 2015. Clark County residents are encouraged to drop off their trees at one of the locations listed below and find tips on preparing your tree for recycling.

Boulder City

· Bravo Ball Field parking lot (891 Avenue B)

North Las Vegas

· Aviary Park - 6650 Aviary Way & I-215
· Cheyenne Sports Complex - 3500 E. Cheyenne at Pecos
· Seastrand Park - 6330 Camino Eldorado near Centennial Parkway & I-215
· Lowe's - 2570 E. Craig Road
· Craig Ranch Golf Course - 628 W.















Starbucks near McCarran robbed, suspect on the run

LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police investigated a robbery at a south valley Starbucks Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities said the events unfolded around 3 p.m. when a man walked into the Starbucks located at 600 E. Warm Springs Road with a black semi-automatic handgun.

The suspect threatened several customers and employees as he “pulled the slide back" on his gun and demanded money, according to officers.

It's unclear if the man made off with any money, but police said he fled the scene in a tan four door sedan. He's described as a white man between 25-30 years old, about five feet nine inches tall, and 180 pounds.

No one was hurt. Metro believes this robbery is connected to several other armed robberies around the valley.

Signs of recovery seen in UNLV economic forecast

LAS VEGAS -- The Silver State is still on the mend since the recession, but University of Nevada, Las Vegas economists say they expect improvements in the next two years.

UNLV's Center for Business and Economic Growth released a financial outlook report on Monday.

Casino revenue and residential construction are still off from pre-recession levels, as are car sales. The state also has the highest percentage of homeowners owing more on mortgages than their houses are worth, but overall the economy is on the mend.

Roy VanGuilder made a living as a performer on the Las Vegas Strip and then the economy tanked and he found himself saddled with a home worth less than he paid for it.

"The bubble was just getting bigger and bigger.







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UNLV English professor fired for plagiarism

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- University of Nevada, Las Vegas officials say the school has fired an English professor for plagiarism.

UNLV spokesman Tony Allen confirmed Tuesday that Mustapha Marrouchi was fired Nov. 7.

A report from the university's special hearing committee says the school's director of research integrity reviewed 26 reports the professor published from 2008 to 2013 and found 23 were similar to works published by others by using a software program to detect plagiarism.

Marrouchi was a professor of post-colonial literature at UNLV since 2008.

The report says Marrouchi did not accept invitations to attend a special hearing or to present evidence in his defense.

UNLV President Donald Snyder fired Marrouchi based on the committee's recommendation and a written report.

Marrouchi and his attorney could not be reached immediately for comment.

Coroner IDs child who drowned at southwest Las Vegas home

LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County Coroner's Office said 7-year-old Esey Asmelash was the child who drowned in a southwest Las Vegas home.

Metro Police said emergency personnel first responded to the 5600 block of Artesia Lake Court around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday night.  That's near Jones and Russell.  

Esey was taken to University Medical Center where they died, according to police.

There weren't a lot of details released by Metro Police, including how the drowning happened.

Officers are still investigating.

Conflict between state, county could affect medical marijuana dispensaries

LAS VEGAS -- Medical marijuana stores could be up and running in the valley as soon as January; but that doesn't mean a lot of dispensaries will open when that happens.

In all, only 40 dispensaries are allowed to open across the valley. Eighteen of those will be in unincorporated Clark County.

Local commissioners chose 18 applications, but the state only approved 10 of them, so this has caused disagreements between Clark County Commissioners, and the state, which is causing a hold up.

In the end, this may cause fewer dispensaries to open up.

"I guess that's a potential. I certainly hope it doesn't come to that because ultimately who is going to suffer -- the patient,” said Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commissioner.

Commissioner Sisolak said he's hesitant to grant permits to applicants the state chose without getting approval from the county first.