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Next of kin notified in Nevada fighter jet crash

FALLON, Nev. (AP) — Next of kin have been notified of the death of a U.S. military pilot killed in a fighter jet crash during a Nevada training exercise, but the victim's name is being withheld pending a formal announcement by the pilot's parent command.

Naval Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Reagan Lauritzen confirmed Monday that officials reached the family of the pilot who crashed Saturday on a training range east of Naval Air Station Fallon.

The Navy confirmed the death late Sunday. It's unclear when the family received notification, which Lauritzen said triggers at least a 24-hour hold on public identification. She declined to identify the parent command.

Lauritzen says the F/A-18C was a Marine jet on loan to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, not one of the Navy's Hornets as initially reported.


Candidate filings off to robust start in Nevada

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada's 2014 election season is in full swing with candidate filings underway through March 14.

Democratic state Controller Kim Wallin was among the first to file. She is running for state treasurer. Republican Dan Schwartz filed later Monday.

Republican state Sen. Mark Hutchison wasted no time filing for lieutenant governor. His GOP rival Sue Lowden, a former state senator, also filed.

Adam Laxalt made his bid for the GOP attorney general nomination official, while former state Sen. Barbara Cegavske, a Las Vegas Republican, filed for secretary of state. State Assemblyman Cresent Hardy and tea party leader Niger Innis filed as Republican candidates for Nevada's 4th Congressional District currently held by Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford.

Two-term Republican Rep. Joe Heck also filed for re-election. He is seeking a third term.


57,000 shed from Nevada voter registration rolls

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada has tens of thousands of fewer active voters than it did in January.

The Secretary of State's office says 57,241 voters were moved from the list of active voters in February as county clerks continued their cleanup of registrations.

People who haven't voted in two successive elections are deemed inactive, though they are still eligible to vote.

According to the latest figures released Monday, Democrats outnumber Republicans statewide by 63,500. In 2010, the Democratic advantage was 100,000.

A breakdown shows 41 percent of Nevada's active voters are registered as Democrat and 35 percent as Republican.

About 18 percent are nonpartisan, 5 percent are members of the American Independent Party, and the rest are affiliated with other minor political parties.


Lake Mead visitation off 43 percent in shutdown

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Lake Mead National Recreation Area in southern Nevada saw a 43 percent drop in average visitation during the 16-day government shutdown last fall.

A report released Monday by the National Park Service says the number of visitors in October fell to about 267,000, down from a three-year monthly average of 473,000.

The analysis says that decline resulted in a drop of $8.4 million in visitor spending.

Not every national park in the country was included in the report, so it's unknown what affect the shutdown had on Great Basin National Park along the Nevada-Utah line.

A separate report on national park visitations in 2012 shows nearly 95,000 people visited Great Basin that year, spending nearly $5 million.


Officer-involved shooting snarls Vegas traffic

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities say an investigation of an officer-involved shooting snarled traffic on a busy Las Vegas freeway at the start of the afternoon rush hour.

Las Vegas police Officer Larry Hadfield says police responding about 3:45 p.m. to a report of an armed robbery at a residence near Charleston Boulevard and U.S. 95 shot a male gunman.

The wounded man was taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries. His identity and condition aren't immediately known.

No police officers are reported to have been injured.

Hadfield and Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremie Elliott say the investigation forced the closure of freeway on- and off-ramps at Charleston and the 95 east of downtown.


Man accused of flying under the influence in Nev.

BOULDER CITY, Nev. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a 47-year-old man who they say took a plane on a drunken joyride in Nevada.

Boulder City police say they arrested Paul Michael Weddle on suspicion of piloting an aircraft while under the influence, taking a vehicle without the owner's consent and making a false statement to an officer.

Police say an employee with sightseeing company Scenic Airlines reported someone stole the plane and had been taking off and landing repeatedly at the airport Sunday night.

Authorities say Weddle was arrested after a struggle and had a blood alcohol level of 0.13 percent.

Weddle reportedly told police he took the plane to complete the take-off and landing portions of his pilot's license. Boulder City Airport Director Brok Armantrout says Weddle was apparently a former airline employee.


Inmate serving up to life dies in Nevada prison

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — An inmate serving up to two consecutive life terms for sexual assault has died at a Nevada prison infirmary.

The Department of Corrections says 54-year-old John Leipold died Saturday at the regional medical facility at Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City.

Prison officials say he died of a chronic medical condition and an autopsy will be conducted.

Leipold was convicted in Washoe County of two counts of sexual assault and was sentenced to consecutive terms of 10 years to life.

He had been in prison on those convictions since 1999.


Woman dies, husband survives small-plane crash

TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) — Rescuers say a woman died and her husband was critically injured when a single-engine plane crashed a few miles from California's Truckee Tahoe Airport.

Placer County sheriff's Capt. Jeff Ausnow says 70-year-old Ray Richard Farnell, the pilot, was hospitalized in Reno Monday night, and his wife, 55-year-old Darla Sue Farnell, was pronounced dead at the scene. He says the couple were from Tahoe City. Ausnow tells the Reno Gazette-Journal that a California Highway Patrol helicopter spotted wreckage around 11:50 a.m.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer says the Piper PA-46 Malibu took off from Santa Ana. Ausnow says it went down in a rugged area about 6 miles southeast of the airport.

It was unknown why the plane crashed.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.


2nd store owner claiming Vegas arson case puppies

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A second pet shop owner is claiming 27 puppies rescued from a Las Vegas business that authorities say a woman and a man tried to torch.

Attorney Amy Chelini said Monday that Prince and Princess pet store owner Donald Thompson wants to turn the dogs over to a nonprofit animal rescue group called A Home 4 Spot.

Clark County officials say they're reviewing Thompson's ownership claim.

With store co-owner Gloria Lee in jail awaiting trial, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said last week he wanted to turn the animals over to the non-profit Animal Foundation in Las Vegas.

Lee and Kirk Bills are being held on arson, conspiracy and attempted animal cruelty charges.

They're accused of trying to torch the store early Jan. 27 for the insurance money.


New court date in Vegas strip club slaying case

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas judge postponed naming a lawyer for a 27-year-old ex-convict facing murder and other charges in the shooting death of a man in a vehicle outside a strip club.

A special Clark County public defender, David Schieck (SHEEK') said Monday that he's checking whether his office can represent Christopher Mallett.

Judge Diana Sullivan reset a hearing for Wednesday.

Mallett hasn't been asked to enter a plea. He faces murder, robbery, burglary and weapon charges in the Jan. 11 shooting of 28-year-old Antonio Darrnell Logan outside the Crazy Horse III nightclub.

Las Vegas police say Mallett is a gang member who had a prior dispute with Logan.

Records show that Mallett served time in state prison on a December 2008 theft conviction in Las Vegas.

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