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Occupy Las Vegas Occupying New Location

LAS VEGAS -- A group called Occupy Las Vegas has county permission to camp in a vacant lot near McCarran International Airport and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. But they'll have to bring their own toilet paper.

A Clark County spokesman says the group obtained a 30-day permit Friday for the site near the Thomas & Mack Center arena -- and within walking distance of the Las Vegas Strip.

He says the group must provide portable toilets. The arrangement comes after days of negotiations with Clark County officials.

Some demonstrators also planned to change voting registrations to "nonpartisan" on Friday to show that Occupy Las Vegas isn't affiliated with a political party.

The demonstration is modeled after Wall Street protests in New York City blaming corporate interests for the nation's economic pain.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Wayne Newton to Open Home to Public

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas icon Wayne Newton says he hopes to open his Sin City home for public tours by February.

Newton told The Associated Press on Tuesday that a yearlong effort to transform his sprawling Casa de Shenandoah estate into a tourist destination is almost complete. The attraction was initially slated to open in December, but Newton says the project was delayed because construction permits were not approved as quickly as expected. Revised building plans submitted last month call for expanding the attraction's museum space and a theater where Newton will perform at least occasionally.

Newton received permission last year to turn his lavish home into a tourist venue. Visitors will be able to survey his European antiques and celebrity mementos, including Nat King Cole's watch and a Johnny Cash guitar.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

School Tries Everything to Get Students to Graduate

LAS VEGAS -- According to Applied Analysis, more Hispanic students are graduating from Nevada's high schools. More than 60 percent of Hispanics students graduated last year, which is the highest rate in seven years.

But that's not the case at every high school. At some, many seniors aren't on track to graduate. Staff at Del Sol High School are doing whatever it takes to get seniors to graduate. Out of 407 seniors, 301 are in jeopardy of not graduating.

Parents have been invited to be a part of the campus. In fact, an event called Community Connection is starting, geared at getting parents to check out their kids school.

The landscape is also changing at Del Sol. Students and teachers are planting flowers, the shop class is painting benches and trash cans all over campus and students taking pride in their campus -- something that was lacking. This year, a new principal is on campus who was brought in to turn things around.

Plans for Newton Attraction Expanded

LAS VEGAS  -- Construction is under way on revised plans for a Las Vegas attraction that will bring tourists into Wayne Newton's home.

The singer's sprawling Casa de Shenandoah estate has been a flurry of activity in recent months, and work on a tourist attraction to showcase his favorite celebrity keepsakes is almost complete.

Revised building plans submitted last month call for expanding a museum space and a theater where he will perform at least occasionally.

A Newton-themed car wash will also be larger than originally planned. The revised plans provide for a slightly smaller zoo and car museum.

Newton received permission last year to turn his lavish home into a tourist venue. His collection of European antiques and celebrity mementos includes Nat King Cole's watch, Steve McQueen's Rolls-Royce and a Johnny Cash guitar.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

More Passengers at McCarran Again in August

LAS VEGAS -- Passenger volume at McCarran Airport continued its yearlong incremental climb in August, gaining 4 percent over the previous year.

More than 3.6 million people passed through the airport in August, a jump of nearly 150,000 passengers from the same month in 2010. Yearly airport traffic is up 3.9 percent, or roughly 1 million people, over 2010.

Among the airport's major carriers, only Delta experienced a loss of passengers in August, while US Airways – which recently announced upcoming steep cuts in flight volume – and Continental posted double-digit gains.

About 60,000 less people came through the airport in August 2011 than in July 2011.

Player Suspended After DUI Plea

LAS VEGAS -- The UNLV Men's Basketball head coach announced Thursday that Chace Stanback will be suspended from the first game of the regular season after pleading guilty to driving under the influence.

Coach Dave Rice says the senior forward will be suspended from the regular season game on November 11, along with the Runnin' Rebels only exhibition game on November 1.

"Chace is a quality person who has had an outstanding track record in three-plus years at UNLV," Rice said. "That said, he made a bad decision that negatively impacted our program. We can't have that." 

Stanback pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor. He was arrested in May on suspicion of DUI. Toxicology reports show the player had marijuana in his system. The judge ordered him to pay a $585 fine, perform 40 hours of community service, attend DUI school and be part of a victim impact panel.

State of the University Speech Planned

State of the University Speech Planned

 

UNLV President Neal Smatresk will layout his plans for the future at the annual State of the University speech Thursday.

Smatresk will address students, faculty and staff at 10 a.m., at Ham Concert Hall on campus. UNLV along with other colleges around Nevada had to make tough choices when the state cut its budget last year. The university had to cut six programs effecting around 500 students. During the speech, the president will celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and outline his plans for the future.

Following the speech, Smatresk will dedicate the new Science and Engineering Building. The new building will house new labs and classrooms. The university hopes the building will bring together different disciplines and improve innovation.