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VEGAS WATER AGENCIES-LAYOFFS

Vegas-area water agencies laying off 101 workers

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Southern Nevada Water Authority and Las Vegas Valley Water District plan to lay off 101 employees in a move aimed at saving the agencies millions.

The layoffs are expected to take effect next week, although spokesman Scott Huntley says the workers will have pay and benefits through June 19.

Another 54 vacant positions will be permanently eliminated. The agencies have about 1,350 employees.

Huntley says the moves are part of a restructuring that will save the agencies some $14 million.

He tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal the district and the authority are transitioning from being growth-oriented to focusing on maintenance and customer service.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Washoe County OKs medical pot zoning regulations

(Information in the following story is from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Washoe County commissioners have approved rules governing where medical marijuana facilities will be allowed within unincorporated areas of the county.

Under the ordinances approved Tuesday, dispensaries will be allowed to operate in strip malls, mixed-use and areas zoned for commercial use.

Grow houses would only be allowed in industrial areas, shopping centers or strip malls. Grow houses must be enclosed buildings where none of the marijuana odor can be detectable from the outside.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports commissioners also limited dispensary hours of operation from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The commission still must decide how to charge for a medical marijuana business license.

RANGE SHOWDOWN

Nevada governor decries BLM in rancher dispute

LAS VEGAS (AP) — U.S. Sen. Dean Heller is adding his voice to complaints about a federal roundup of cattle from a rural Nevada rancher who claims longstanding grazing rights on remote public land about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

The Republican senator said Wednesday he told new U.S. Bureau of Land Management chief Neil Kornze in Washington, D.C., that law-abiding Nevadans should not be penalized by an "overreaching" BLM.

Bureau and National Park Service officials haven't commented about criticism of the roundup of cattle from rangelands that rancher Cliven Bundy has used for decades in the Gold Butte area.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval says there's an atmosphere of intimidation, and says constitutional rights are being trampled.

The elected officials say they're concerned about closed roads and land declared off-limits during the operation.

NORTH VEGAS DOUBLE SLAYING

Mental exam ordered in North Vegas slaying case

(Information in the following story is from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com)

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — A judge ordered a mental evaluation for a 30-year-old North Las Vegas man accused of killing his mother and sister in a home where police found a bloody chain saw.

Darius Davon Sorrells was scheduled Wednesday to appear May 2 before Clark County District Court Judge Linda Bell for an initial competency hearing.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that a public defender was appointed to represent Sorrells.

The hearing could determine if Sorrells will be examined at the Lake's Crossing state mental health facility in Sparks.

Sorrells is accused of bludgeoning his 34-year-old sister, Natasha Nicolle Sorrells, and beginning to dismember her corpse in the bathtub of their North Las Vegas home.

The body of their mother, Janice Burden, was found wrapped in plastic sheeting in the living room.

FATAL HIT-RUN

Reno police identify woman killed in hit-run

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A woman killed in a hit-and-run accident has been identified by Reno police as 50-year-old Dianne Lane.

Officers say Lane was crossing Mae Anne Avenue around 8 p.m. March 27 when she was struck by a dark-colored pickup. She died at the scene.

Investigators say Lane was not in a marked crosswalk, which is believed to have contributed to the accident. She was struck while crossing the street between Coit Plaza and Sierra Highlands Drive.

The driver of the pickup did not stop and police are still looking for a suspect.

NORTH LAS VEGAS-BUDGET

Sandoval attempts deal to salvage North Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is trying to broker an 11th hour deal between the city of North Las Vegas and labor leaders to try to stave off the city's further financial demise and possible takeover by the state.

Sandoval summoned city leaders and bargaining representatives to his Las Vegas office on Wednesday, a day before city managers were to present a tentative budget and plan to deal with its $18 million shortfall.

North Las Vegas has been trying to stem its bleeding for several years. In January, a state judge ruled the city could not withhold $25 million in contractually authorized pay raises to public safety employees.

Last week city officials proposed a $7.7 million settlement with the unions, saying the alternative would be steeps cuts and layoffs.

BLOODY HOME SLAYINGS

Trial reset to 2015 in Vegas hammer deaths of 2012

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Trial has been reset to June 2015 for a 23-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting and killing a Las Vegas mother and daughter, and nearly killing their husband and father in a bloody hammer attack.

Court records show that Bryan Devonte Clay Jr.'s defense attorney, Tony Sgro, and prosecutor Pamela Weckerly sought more time to prepare, and Clark County District Court Judge Jessie Walsh granted the delay.

Clay's death penalty trial had been due to begin this month.

He's accused of attacking and killing Ignacia "Yadira" Martinez and 10-year-old Karla Martinez in April 2012, and leaving Arturo Martinez with a severe head injury.

Martinez's two sons, ages 9 and 4, were spared in the attack.

Authorities say Clay told detectives he was under the influence and didn't remember anything.

GIRL HOSPITALIZED-SCHOOL FIGHT

Girl hospitalized after fight had medical episode

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Police say a girl who's in the hospital after a fight at a Las Vegas middle school suffered a medical episode during the altercation, and it's unclear whether the fight itself was the cause.

Clark County School District police say the scuffle at Mike O'Callaghan Middle School on April 2 involved two girls who had a strained relationship on and off campus.

They say it wasn't a case of bullying.

Officials say the 13-year-old girl was taken to University Medical Center and remains under doctor's care, although her identity and details about her condition haven't been released.

School police Capt. Ken Young said Tuesday that both girls are suspended from school and could be expelled or face criminal charges.

NOROVIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTHERN NEVADA

Stomach bug going around Vegas ID'd as norovirus

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Health officials say a stomach bug is going around in the Las Vegas area, and they've identified norovirus as the cause.

Southern Nevada Health District officials report Wednesday that they've seen an increase in cases of gastrointestinal illness in the past few weeks.

Tami Bruno of the epidemiology office says an investigation began March 28 when people at a conference at the Planet Hollywood started coming down sick.

But Bruno says the illness has been reported around the valley, including at private parties and in long-term care facilities.

Norovirus is a common virus that brings symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea and cramps. It's contagious and can't be treated with antibiotics.

Officials say sick people should stay home from work or school until at least three days after their symptoms have ended.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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