It’s a winter’s wonderland in Las Vegas – Lasvegasmagazine

Each year, the iconic Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens changes out its fall display for a winter theme and, despite the challenges faced this year, has done it again for this season, bringing visitors into the magical world of Queen Bellissima with four beds of floral-inspired fantasia in its new Hopeful Holidays exhibit. Its a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Visitors start by checking out the frolicking of the Coca-Cola polar bears amid huge spire and ball ornaments near the entrance. They then move on to the main bed, where spire and starburst ornaments hang overhead and surround the 42-foot silver-tipped fir tree from Northern California. Its decorated with 2,500 red and gold ornaments and 7,000 white lights. A five-car toy train races around its track below.

Near the tree is the lovely queen in a white Dior-inspired dress with red accents. Upon her hand perches a bright red cardinal, an element that designer Ed Libby drew over from the fall exhibit. It represents a kind of message from the heavens that things were going to be OK, says Libby. Its actually the first time that a design element has been used from one exhibit to the next.

That design continues in the next area of the display, where massive pine cones and huge floral poinsettias, fir trees adorned in white lights, and masses of live green plants and poinsettias set off a huge jewel-encrusted egg, which is open to reveal a pair of cardinals perched inside. Says Libby, Weve chosen poinsettias to represent a story in Mexican culture where little children went into the church and they ... didnt have any gift to lay by the manger and they laid weeds. And then the next day the (weeds were) beautiful, spectacular, colorful flowers, and thats kind of the background story of poinsettias. I think theres something really special about flowers made out of flowers, and that really is something that I love. Im an event designer in my outside world. I love bringing that component to my role here at Bellagio and doing these floral sculptures.

In the center bed is the queens fairytale-like carriage being drawn by a team of four magnificent white horses. Inside, the plush area makes a good spot to capture an Instagram pic (or two), and windows and entrances let you glimpse the other beds.

And in the south bed, a quick look reveals a team of elves decorating away, an homage to the hard-working team of gardeners, florists, designers, engineers and electricians who make the exhibit come to life each season. It takes six months to plan, and then it takes six days (to assemble), says Libby. Around the clock, 75 people, 24 hours a day for six days. Theres a team thats worked so hard to stay together this year to produce the show So thats our kind of tribute to the camaraderie of the team.

Each little detail has a meaning, says Libby, from the tiaras on the polar bears, which match the queens, to the authentically painted ornaments. Its a much deeper dive than weve done before and a lot more detail that weve done in the past.

Bellagio, 702.693.7111

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It's a winter's wonderland in Las Vegas - Lasvegasmagazine

Motorist dies of injuries from November car crash in west Las Vegas – Las Vegas Review-Journal

A 57-year-old man who was critically injured in a car crash in the western Las Vegas Valley last month has died, Las Vegas police said Monday.

Police did not release the identity of the man.

On the morning of Nov. 30, the man was driving a Nissan Pathfinder east on Flamingo Road toward Sandalwood Drive. Another man was driving a Kia Forte traveling west on Flamingo when the Nissan turned left into its path.

The Kia hit the Nissan, sending both cars off the road and into a concrete wall. Impairment was not suspected in the crash, according to police.

The 22-year-old driver of the Kia and a 12-year-old passenger in the Nissan were hospitalized with minor injuries.

The 57-year-old driver of the Nissan was critically injured. On Dec. 16, the Clark County coroners office notified Las Vegas police of his death.

His death marked the 99th traffic fatality in the Metropolitan Police Departments jurisdiction this year, according to police.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar @reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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Motorist dies of injuries from November car crash in west Las Vegas - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Las Vegas Raiders will need a miracle or two in Week 16 to stay alive – Just Blog Baby

If the Las Vegas Raiders want to stay alive in the AFC Playoff race in Week 16 of the 2020 NFL season, they are going to need a miracle or two.

Incredibly, despite losing four of their last five games, the Las Vegas Raiders are not technically eliminated from playoff contention heading into Week 16 of the 2020 NFL season. They will need a lot of help the rest of the way, including from some teams that have been terrible this season, but let us dive in none the less.

For the Raiders, this is another disappointing season, their second in a row that has seen them get out to a hot start against tough opponents, only to fade down the stretch in games they likely should have won. On Thursday night, the Raiders season may have hit a low, as they had plenty of chances to beat the Los Angeles Chargers at home, but lost in overtime to the Bolts and their rookie quarterbacks.

Looking ahead, Josh Jacobs and company will need to take care of their own business in Week 16, and they take a look at the scoreboard.

With the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, and Indianapolis Colts all with double-digit wins, they will likely all join the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs this season. The seventh spot is still up for grabs, as the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens have nine wins, and will look to get to ten and make some waves, possibly eliminating some of the above teams outside of Buffalo, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh, all of which have clinched a spot.

For the 7-7 Raiders, the only other AFC team still alive in the playoff race, they will need two things to happen this weekend. First, they have to beat the Dolphins, who are fresh off a victory against New England. Then, the Baltimore Ravens must lose to the New York Giants, which, with how well the Ravens are playing right now, seems like the biggest longshot.

The Giants looked downright terrible on Sunday night, as they were shredded by Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. Even if the Ravens lose to the Giants, they will take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17, and while the Bengals shocked the world on Monday night, could they really beat a Lamar Jackson-led team looking to clinch a playoff spot?

The chances of the Silver and Black making the playoffs are slim to none heading into Week 16, but not zero.

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Las Vegas Raiders will need a miracle or two in Week 16 to stay alive - Just Blog Baby

NDOT New Years Eve Freeway restrictions announced for Las Vegas – KTNV Las Vegas

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) will close the south and northbound Interstate 15 offramps at 5 p.m. Dec. 31 at Tropicana Avenue/Frank Sinatra Drive and Flamingo Road. However, motorists can still enter and exit I-15 at Spring Mountain and Russell roads. Vehicle access will also be restricted at the following locations:

Tropicana Avenue eastbound at Industrial Road/Dean Martin Drive

Flamingo Road eastbound at Valley View Boulevard

The event will stop on the southside of Spring Mountain Road. (However, Spring Mountain Road will remain open to both east and westbound traffic).

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to impact the scale and scope of New Years celebrations, several additional visitors are still expected in Southern Nevada, with many of them welcoming 2021 on the Las Vegas Strip, said NDOT spokesman Tony Illia. As such, we are making several temporary road and highway ramp closures, thereby ensuring a safe and successful event for both motorists and revelers.

RELATED: New Years Eve celebrations in Las Vegas | 2020

Ramp restrictions will be lifted between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., Jan. 1, 2021, or at the discretion of the Joint Operations Center. NDOT works with Waze to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but unscheduled construction changes, closures and restrictions are possible due to weather or other factors. For the latest state highway conditions, visit nvroads.com or call 511 before driving.

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NDOT New Years Eve Freeway restrictions announced for Las Vegas - KTNV Las Vegas

Circa’s Legacy Club offers homage, along with cocktails and atmosphere – Las Vegas Weekly

If the cavernous, energetic sportsbook and rooftop pool are the centerpieces of the new Circa Resort and Casino, its Legacy Club, set to debut on December 28, is an elevated escape from all the action.

Perched atop the 458-foot hotel tower that also opens for the first time this week, the luxurious lounge marks a completely different direction for Downtown nightlife while fitting neatly into the newly established Circa brand.

I think its hard to compare, because there definitely is nothing like this Downtown, says Alice OKeefe, Circas director of design and architecture. When we developed the concept, we looked around Las Vegasbut also outside Las Vegas, because it was important to create a destination. You cant say its like the Foundation Room [at Mandalay Bay] or the other bar rooftop experiences. Thats not to take away from whats already been done, but really its about creating something new, because people in Las Vegas and visiting Las Vegas are hungry for something new.

Like Circa, Legacy Club aims to attract Vegas visitors from all over, not just the Downtown customer. And its striking features should create that kind of excitement in no time.

An incredibly rapid elevator ride from the first-floor casino to the 60th floor opens into a lobby decorated with busts of Las Vegas founding fathers, including Steve Wynn, Bob Stupak, Howard Hughes, Jay Sarno, Benny Binion and Jackie Gaughan. Commissioned portraits of the same figures line the hall leading into the indoor-outdoor venue, which provides a first glimpse of the stunning panoramic views of our Valley.

Fire pits and cozy seating arrangements line the expansive outdoor space, and the plan is to adjust operating hours so sunset viewing is always available. Indoors, high ceilings add drama surrounding the 12-seat bar with a build-your-own Old Fashioned program, and intimate lounge seating areas offer flexibility. A photo-worthy display of more than 60 pounds of gold bars centers the space near a dancefloor.

It might be serene in the late afternoon hours or even rowdy into the night, but Legacy Club showcases Circas diversity. The few seats at the bar provide an interesting juxtaposition to the 165-foot-long Mega Bar in the casino downstairs. And there will be a dress code at the sky-high lounge.

Were not encouraging people to come right out of the pool up here, OKeefe says. The idea is to go back to your room, get presentable and come up. There are a lot of different zones and more intimate areas at Legacy Club, and to have this size and scale, I dont think theres anything else like it. Its not just a Downtown attraction. People are going to be coming from the Strip, and thats really what we wanted.

LEGACY CLUBOpening December 28. Sunday-Wednesday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m.-4 a.m. Circa, 702-247-2258.

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Circa's Legacy Club offers homage, along with cocktails and atmosphere - Las Vegas Weekly

Derek Carr expected to make a big push to play on Saturday – Las Vegas Review-Journal

If Derek Carr has his way, hell be the starting quarterback on Saturday when the Raiders play host to the Miami Dolphins.

Thats despite injuring his groin in Thursdays 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers that all but eliminated the 7-7 Raiders from the playoffs.

Carr was injured while legging out a third-down scramble late in the first quarter. He immediately left the game and was unable to return. On Friday, coach Jon Gruden pegged Carrs availability for Saturdays game against the Dolphins at 50/50.

Carr, though, is a known gamer who has missed just two regular-season games in his seven-year career and figures to fight as hard as possible to play on Saturday.

A particular motivation for Carr, who has not spoken to the media since his injury, is the importance of the Raiders finishing the season strong. Even if they are not able punch a ticket to the postseason, he knows its important to build momentum heading into next season.

Given all the upheaval caused by COVID-19 and the slew of injuries that have struck the Raiders, a 9-7 record would be considered an achievement and a building block.

To get there, the Raiders need to sweep their last two games against the Dolphins and Denver Broncos.

While it is Grudens job to protect his quarterback, Carr will make a big push to be on the field with his teammates when they return to practice on Tuesday. His goal will be to convince the coaching staff that he is physically able to perform come Saturday.

If he cant play, the Raiders will turn to Marcus Mariota, who played well in relief of Carr against the Chargers, completing 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards and rushing for 88 on nine carries.

Carr has had one of his best seasons, throwing for 3,396 yards. He has completed 68 percent of his pass attempts while throwing 24 TD passes and only seven interceptions. He also has scrambled effectively, rushing for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

Carr has fought through injuries in the past.

In his rookie season in 2014, he injured his knee against the Dolphins in London but was able to play two weeks later after the Raiders returned from their bye week. In 2017, Carr missed just one game after suffering a back injury against the Denver Broncos.

The only significant time Carr has missed in his career was when he broke his leg in the second-to-last regular-season game of the 2016 season and could not play in the regular-season finale or the wild-card playoff game. The Raiders lost both.

Carrs determination to finish the season strong is shared by Gruden.

Were going to continue to fight, continue to develop and continue to work hard and try and get our eighth victory and see if somehow we can get a winning season, which would be a great accomplishment, Gruden said.

Doing so would halt the frustrating late-season swoon that has seen the Raiders lose four of their last five games.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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Derek Carr expected to make a big push to play on Saturday - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Review-Journal partnering with CTA on virtual CES show – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Next years CES may not be in Las Vegas, but organizers are keeping ties to the city strong by partnering with the Review-Journal.

The newspapers partnership with the Consumer Technology Association which produces, manages and owns CES will allow the Review-Journal to broadcast CESs anchor desk, media day press conferences and keynotes throughout the virtual convention, which runs Jan. 11-14.

It should bring your readers more insight and more stories, Jean Foster, CTAs senior vice president of marketing and communications, said. Las Vegas is so important, and we want to keep those ties because were going to be in Las Vegas (in 2022). Its our home from home.

The trade show is typically an economic boon to the city, but CTA shifted it to a virtual format in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last in-person CES in January 2020 was estimated to bring in roughly $291 million to the city based on 180,000 attendees, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Our readers know theyll find the best coverage of CES in the Review-Journal and at reviewjournal.com, Executive Editor Glenn Cook said. Were excited to continue providing CES content for our audience, and we look forward to covering the 2022 event in person.

Media partnerships are nothing new for CES, but this will be the first time the trade show is partnering with a local media outlet.

We thought it really made sense for us to partner with somebody in Las Vegas to help get our voice out there, Foster said. Las Vegas is such an important home for CES, and we have such a strong tie to the community. We really wanted to keep that connection.

Foster said CTA is set to partner with up to 12 media organization, although some have not yet been finalized. Other partners include USA Today, Future plc, Protocol, Digital Trends and Reviewed.com.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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Review-Journal partnering with CTA on virtual CES show - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Hallmark holiday movies offer viewers balm in tough year – Las Vegas Sun

Published Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 | 3:10 p.m.

Updated 52 minutes ago

NEW YORK (AP) For the past decade, the Hallmark Channel has been a reliable destination for holiday programming. And in a year when many Americans are homebound because of the COVID-19 pandemic, network executives say there's been a craving for the feel-good movies.

Hallmark's ratings are up 2% over 2019's holiday season, the Nielsen company said. That may not seem like much, but year-to-year increases are the exception rather than the rule in modern television.

The network turned its programming over to holiday fare on Oct. 23 and has been the top-rated entertainment cable channel, excluding news and sports, for the fourth quarter, Nielsen said.

What we have seen is just how much our movies mean to our viewers, said Michelle Vicary, programming chief.

When coronavirus-related closures began in March, Hallmark tried to calm anxieties by airing a series of its holiday movies then.

But this season, COVID-19 did not affect the type of movies Hallmark made or how they were scheduled, Vicary said. Of the 40 new movies planned for this season, only one had to be canceled because filming couldn't be done because of the pandemic.

We made a choice not to let COVID affect us thematically, she said. There are a lot of places you can find information about COVID. What we provided was a respite from that.

This season's most popular movie has been If I Only Had Christmas, about a perky publicist who teams with a cynical executive to help a charity. It stars Candace Cameron Bure, probably the most reliable draw among a collection of actors who often return to Hallmark each holiday season.

Hallmark says it has also been pleased with the reception for The Christmas House, the first time the conservative programmer has prominently featured gay characters in a holiday film.

CBS was the top-rated broadcast network last week, averaging 4.4 million viewers in prime time. NBC had 3.8 million, Fox had 2.9 million, ABC had 2.7 million, Univision had 870,000, Ion Television had 830,000 and Telemundo had 620,000.

Fox News Channel was the most popular cable network, watched by an average of 2.38 million people in prime time. ESPN had 2.07 million, MSNBC had 2 million, Hallmark had 1.72 million and CNN had 1.68 million. The only non-news or sports programs among cable's 40 most popular last week were two Hallmark movies.

ABC's World News Tonight won the evening news ratings race, averaging 9.7 million viewers. NBC's Nightly News had 7.9 million and the CBS Evening News had 5.9 million.

For the week of Dec. 14-20, the 20 most popular prime-time programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. NFL Football: Cleveland at N.Y. Giants, NBC, 15.61 million.

2. NFL Football: L.A. Chargers at Las Vegas, Fox, 12.96 million.

3. NFL Football: Baltimore at Cleveland, ESPN, 12.42 million.

4. 60 Minutes, CBS, 11.59 million.

5. NFL Pregame," NBC, 11.31 million.

6. NFL Postgame, Fox, 10.96 million.

7. College Football: Alabama vs. Florida, CBS, 8.92 million.

8. The Masked Singer, Fox, 7.41 million.

9. NFL Pregame, Fox, 7.34 million.

10. The Voice (Tuesday, 9 p.m.), NBC, 7.27 million.

11. The Voice (Monday), NBC, 7.09 million.

12. Football Night in America, NBC, 6.92 million.

13. Young Sheldon, CBS, 6.86 million.

14. Blue Bloods, CBS, 6.38 million.

15. Monday Night Kickoff, ESPN, 6 million.

16. The Voice (Tuesday, 8 p.m.), NBC, 5.89 million.

17. Garth & Trisha Live! CBS, 5.82 million.

18. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 5.66 million.

19. Station 19, ABC, 5.63 million.

20. Magnum, P.I.," CBS, 5.48 million.

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Hallmark holiday movies offer viewers balm in tough year - Las Vegas Sun

Biden: Reversing Trump immigration policies will take months – Las Vegas Sun

Published Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 | 3:23 p.m.

Updated 36 minutes ago

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) President-elect Joe Biden says it will take months to roll back some of President Donald Trumps actions on immigration, offering a slower timeline than he promised on the campaign trail and one that may rile advocates pushing for speedy action on the issue.

His Tuesday comments echo those made by two of his top foreign policy advisers in an interview with Spanish wire service EFE on Monday hitting the brakes on rolling back Trumps restrictive asylum policies. Susan Rice, Bidens incoming domestic policy adviser, and Jake Sullivan, his pick for national security adviser, as well as Biden himself, warned that moving too quickly could create a new crisis at the border.

Speaking to reporters in Wilmington, Delaware Wednesday, Biden said hes already started discussing the issues with the Mexican president and our friends in Latin America and that the timeline is to do it so that we in fact make it better not worse.

The last thing we need is to say were going to stop immediately, the access to asylum, the way its being run now, and then end up with 2 million people on our border, Biden said.

He noted that more funding is needed for more asylum judges to process claims, and promised that while he will work to loosen Trumps asylum restrictions, its going to take probably the next six months to put that in place.

His comments come as interceptions along the border have increased in recent months. According to data from Customs and Border Patrol, detentions in October increased by 30 percent from September, and remained at that rate in November. Some experts predict the surge could increase in the early months of Bidens presidency, as a response to the damage wrought by the two hurricanes that have pummeled Central America and the economic fallout from the pandemic, as well as expectations of a more humane approach to immigration from the Biden Administration.

Sullivan and Rice both said in their interview with EFE that Biden will take executive action where possible to address issues with the immigration system, and emphasized plans to provide humanitarian aid and help bolster Latin American economies to try to address the root cause of the influx of immigrants to the U.S.

Biden will work to promptly undo Trumps deals with Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador that let the U.S. transfer asylum seekers to those countries, and will follow through on his commitment to end a Trump-era program that returns undocumented border crossers to Mexico to await their legal proceedings, Sullivan said. On his campaign website, Biden promised to end the agreement with Mexico, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, within the first 100 days of his presidency.

But Sullivan emphasized that many of those reforms will take time.

He cautioned that increasing processing capacity and changing policy at the border will take time, and warned those considering fleeing for the U.S. to wait, predicting it will take months for the Biden Administration to fully implement their plans with respect to Latin America.

Given the pandemic and the large number of migrants already waiting in northern Mexico, now is not the time to undertake the dangerous trip to the United States, he said. It will take months until we are able to fully implement our plans.

Rice said that processing capacity at the border is not like a light that you can just switch on and off.

Our priority is to reopen asylum processing at the border consistent with the capacity to do so safely and to protect public health, especially in the context of COVID-19. This effort will begin immediately but it will take months to develop the capacity that we will need to reopen fully,she said.

But Michelle Heisler, medical director of Physicians for Human Rights, expressed concerns about the pace of change during a conference call with reporters Tuesday and said there should be no public-health rationale to maintain extraordinary powers to immediately expel people from the United States without an opportunity to seek asylum.

Rice was noncommittal about when Biden would withdraw that authority, which Trump introduced in March on grounds that it would contain the coronavirus even though reporting by The Associated Press and others has found that government scientists saw no evidence for it.

Still, other pro-immigrant advocates said Tuesday that while they understood it would take time to untangle some of Trumps changes at the border, they underscored a sense of urgency. They hailed Bidens emphasis on working with Mexico and Central America on joint solutions.

The Biden administrations work to end cruelty must start immediately, said Linda Rivas, executive director and managing attorney of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas. Human rights and dignity must take center stage.

Guerline Jozef, executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, said it was a matter of life and death, with many asylum-seekers waiting in extremely violent Mexican border cities for their cases to be heard in the United States.

She said in a conference call with reporters that she was concerned about how many asylum-seekers will be allowed in by Biden but we are here, ready, determined that the process works for all those that are impacted.


AP writer Elliot Spagat contributed reporting.

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Biden: Reversing Trump immigration policies will take months - Las Vegas Sun

Efforts big and small needed to fight poverty – Las Vegas Sun

By Kyle Rahn

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 | 2 a.m.

When I got the call that United Way of Southern Nevada would be receiving its largest gift in our 63-year history, a thousand emotions hit me at once. Joy, shock and pride were among them.

But most of all, I was filled with gratitude that with her donation of $10 million, philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott had sent a clear message that the work we do, and the community in which we do it, matters.

This support of our work shows that Scott believes in United Way of Southern Nevada. She believes in the vision of our board of directors. She believes in the meaningful work of our staff, partners and volunteers. She believes in the generosity and commitment of our donors and is adding her support to stand with them and encourage others to join them.

Over the past nine months, need in our community increased dramatically, and we stepped up to help Southern Nevada respond and recover. We raised $2.4 million to help 127,000 individuals struggling through the pandemic to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads and the lights on. We helped coordinate efforts for more than 200 nonprofits to provide resources to those in need. Our Volunteer Connect platform was up and running in a matter of days, when we were told it would take months. We distributed 274,000 face coverings and 6,780 bottles of hand sanitizer to keep local businesses and nonprofits safe and open.

Through this, we continued our work to break the cycle of poverty. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, we remained committed to helping children start school ready to learn, ensuring students can graduate, helping people pursue college, and assisting individuals in getting back to work. Our community entrusted us with $1.7 million in CARES Act funding to provide childcare so parents could return to work, and children could get the education they deserve. Our investment in education, workforce development and community support ensured that Southern Nevadans could continue the path to success.

It is said a crisis does not build character; it reveals it. If thats true, then Las Vegas can rest assured in the strength of its character. Scotts donation is not just a validation of United Way of Southern Nevadas efforts, but in the way all of our partner nonprofits rallied when the community needed us most.

While we are honored and humbled to receive such a gift to support this essential work, this is only the beginning. Many more people are losing their jobs, facing eviction and wondering how to put food on the table. The needs of our community are escalating every day, and we depend on local and national support to meet them. Just as Scott invested in us, we are hopeful our entire community will continue to invest in a stronger future for Southern Nevada.

Every donation you make to United Way of Southern Nevada is a step closer to Southern Nevadas long-term recovery. It will take all of us working together to help our community recover and rebuild. Please join us at uwsn.org.

Kyle Rahn is president of the United Way of Southern Nevada.

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Efforts big and small needed to fight poverty - Las Vegas Sun

Performing in the pandemic, by zoom, drive-in and doorstep – Las Vegas Sun

Chris Pizzello / AP

Comedian Daphnique Springs performs to an empty room during a Laughter is Healing stand-up comedy livestream event at the Laugh Factory comedy club, Monday, April 20, 2020, in LosAngeles.

By Jake Coyle, Associated Press

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 | 12:23 p.m.

NEW YORK A good way to hear what weve missed this year is to listen to Sam Cookes landmark live album, Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963. On a warm January night in downtown Miami, Cooke was well into his torrid set when, in the middle ofBring it on Home to Me,he asks the audience to join in.

Let me hear you say yeah, coos Cooke.

The Yeah! that follows instant, exuberant, loud is one of the great call-and-responses in music, a euphoria of performer and audience as one.

Anything like that blissful moment has been painfully out of reach in 2020. Music halls have been closed since March. Broadway is shuttered. Comedy clubs empty. Live studio audiences mostly sent home. Cinemas with only Wash your hands on the marquee. The entertainment world has trudged on, by live-streaming, zooming and improvising. But its in-person soul was nearly snuffed out, and with it a lifeblood of human connection.

The pandemic has upended entertainment industries, driving thousands out of work, reshaping time-tested institutions and accelerating digital transformations. For the arts, which are predicated on bringing people closer together if only for a song or a few acts, a year of isolation and social distancing goes against nature. Yet despite gathering being nearly impossible in 2020, many have found ways to connect nevertheless even if applause is on mute, and standing ovations are sounded by car honks.

The show isnt the same, but it goes on.

After a month of practicing and playing inside, Los Angeles Philharmonic membersCathy and Jonathan Karolydecided they had had enough. Cathy, a flutist, and Jonathan, a cellist, began playing on the porch of their Pasadena, California, home. At first, they didnt tell anyone but their neighbors. Friends came and sat on the lawn. Passersbys inquired. And before they knew it, the Karolys had played 25 concerts, through heat and (until recently) virus spikes. They got adept at printing programs and putting out folding chairs. A steam of Philharmonic colleagues joined them. Some wept.

We take it very seriously, Jonathan says, speaking with his wife. The fact that its on our porch is irrelevant. We never wanted to sacrifice the quality. People come and theyre going to hear a first-rate concert. We challenged ourselves.

As if were playing Carnegie Hall, says Cathy.

With famed concert halls and neighborhood joints alike closed around the world by COVID-19, new venues took their place.The drive-in, a barely surviving remnant of the 50s, proliferated, filling everywhere from box-store parking lots to deserted high-school ball fields. Playingnot just movies but concerts, graduations and church services,the drive-in was reborn as the pandemics unlikely ark.

Much of the years entertainment was left to the streaming services,an ever-expanding array of subscription optionsthat offerednew oceans of content, and potentiallya vision of Hollywoods future. Not everything worked.Remember Quibi?But media goliathsincreasingly reoriented their operationsfor the unfolding streaming wars. Warner Bros., the studio of Casablanca, detoured dramatically, sending "Woman Woman 1984," straight into homes and potentially forever downsizing the movie business.

Digital was both a lifeline and an imperfect stopgap. Zoom performances, virtual cinemas, filmed theater even when done really well, as inHamiltonorDavid Byrnes American Utopia were all inevitably insufficient imitations of the genuine article. But they made weathering the storm possible. Some pandemic-fueled creations zoom reunion shows, podcasts stitched together people otherwise quarantined from one another. Artists like Taylor Swift and Fleet Foxes used time shut in to create arguably their most bracingly intimate work.

One moment of grace came in late April withthe virtual 90th birthday concert for Stephen Sondheim. The theater community, settling in for a dark year, was beleaguered and lonesome.

Were dealing with so much grief that it feels kind of petty to be concerned about whether we can perform, says Ral Esparza, who hosted the concert. Yet theres something about the intimacy of live performance that you feel bereft without it. Like emptiness the world over. Its not a small thing. Its how we live.

Technical troubles plagued the concerts start. Eventually it began, with Merrily We Roll Along.

Part of what made it so special was the mess, says Esparza. The fact that things went so wrong made it seem like things couldnt possibly go right.

Yet they did, andEsparzas rendition of Take Me to the World Take me to the world/ Out where I can push through crowds took on a new poignancy in lockdown. Later, Esparza would watch a Twitter map of the shows hashtag lighting up around the globe as the performance went on. At one point, probably during Ladies Who Lunch, New York starts to glow, says Esparza.

Performers like Esparza have moved on to other virtual productions, TV and film work. But reopening for Broadway remainsat least months away, part of the endless, indefinite postponements of the pandemic. A summers worth of a blockbusterspulled up stakesand now waits in the wings, while theaters await financial relief from Congress to stave off bankruptcy.

But 2020 also brought with it a sense of urgency. Protests and uprisings following the death of George Floyd werefelt acutely in entertainment, where diversity still lags in many meaningful areas. Many of the years most vital works spoke directly to the moment, even if they were created long before it.

Steve McQueen dedicatedhis Small Axe anthologyto Floyd, and one of its stars,John Boyega, memorably joined throngs of protesters. Other films delved into deep and painful roots of racism, including Garrett Bradleys documentaryTime, Spike Lees Vietnam veteran dramaDa 5 Bloodsand the August Wilson adaptation,Ma Raineys Black Bottom,starring Viola Davis.

I feel now that its up to us now that its really out there in the open to challenge each other in every facet our lives, says Davis. If we want that change, then we have to face some really undeniable truths about ourselves and about our country. We have to challenge that in our personal and professional spaces. This is not a time to be silent. This is not a time to question. This is not a time to make people feel comfortable. I think were over that. And that translates into art.

Maybe the years greatest music act was the 7 p.m. pots-and-pans clatter for hospital and essential workers that echoed through New York, and many other places as the pandemic surged around the country. Death was always close at hand, and the drumbeat of losses in the arts, whether from COVID-19 or other causes, was constant.John Prine.Chadwick Boseman.Alex Trebek.Bill Withers.Sean Connery.Little Richard.Carl Reiner.Eddie Van Halen.Charley Pride.

In June, the comedian and Conan writer Laurie Kilmartin lost her mom, JoAnn, to complications from COVID-19. While her mother was in the hospital, Kilmartin tweeted with heartache and humor through her moms agonizingly quick descent. One example: She is barely breathing but it would be great if she could awaken from all this and tell me to wash my robe.

It always helps me to write jokes about a real situation, says Kilmartin. Then I can take whatever emotion it is grief and make it useful.

Like most stand-ups, Kilmartin, believes getting in front of an audience for her, five times a week since 1987 is necessary to stay sharp. Zoom sets have helped, but living without the thing she does best has been disorienting. On stage, Kilmartin knows shes good. She knows shes in control.

Its brain to brain, says Kilmartin. When youre on stage, youre actively finding common ground with a whole bunch of strangers for 30 minutes or an hour. And its super intense. When youre in the audience, its also super intense. Its someone changing the temperature of your body for an hour.

The outlook for live performance in 2021 is, of course, uncertain. Vaccines are rolling out, but daily cases are extremely high and global deaths exceed 1.7 million. Nobody knows how soon it will be before movie theaters are again packed, Broadway is bustling and concert stages are booming. But whenever it is, something innate and beautiful about us will be restored.

Let me hear you say yeah.

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Performing in the pandemic, by zoom, drive-in and doorstep - Las Vegas Sun

3-year-old boy shot, killed in northeast Las Vegas – Las Vegas Review-Journal

A 3-year-old boy was fatally shot in northeast Las Vegas on Wednesday evening.

Officers were called at 7:06 p.m. to the Pacific Legends Apartments after a woman called to report the toddler had been shot, according to Metropolitan Police Department Lt. David Valenta.

Investigators believe a group of adults, including the childs father, were standing in the parking lot of the apartment complex, and one of the men was manipulating a firearm when it went off, Valenta said.

We go on too many of these each year, he said. People need to take much better care of their firearms.

The boy was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center where he died. No one has been arrested in connection with the childs death yet, but officers were still investigating as of 11 p.m., Valenta said.

Any shooting is tragic but to look in the face of a 3-year-old as I just did, it doesnt get much worse than that, he said.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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3-year-old boy shot, killed in northeast Las Vegas - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Here’s why Las Vegas McDonald’s restaurants are putting cameras in their dumpsters – FOX5 Las Vegas

Jason Gates spends a lot of his time thinking about trash, and how we can generate less of it.

Since 2013 his San Francisco-based startup, Compology, has used cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor what's thrown into dumpsters and trash containers at businesses such as McDonald's restaurants and Nordstrom department stores. The point is to make sure dumpsters are actually full before they're emptied and to stop recyclable materials like cardboard from being contaminated by other junk so it, too, doesn't become waste.

"We've found that most businesses and people have the right intentions about recycling, but oftentimes they just don't know what the proper way to recycle is," Gates, CEO of Compology, told CNN Business' Rachel Crane.

To help them do it correctly, Compology puts trash-monitoring cameras and sensors inside industrial waste containers. The cameras take photos several times each day and when the container is lifted for dumping. An accelerometer helps trigger the camera on garbage day.

AI software analyzes the images to figure out how full the container is and can also let a customer know when something is where it shouldn't be, such as a bag of trash tossed into a dumpster filled with cardboard boxes for recycling. Gates said the company's cameras can cut the amount of non-recyclable materials thrown in waste containers by as much as 80%.

With McDonald's dumpsters in Las Vegas, for instance, Compology's cameras and sensors showed the company was generally doing a good job recycling cardboard packaging. But occasionally garbage bags were thrown in there, too, Gates said.

"Once we saw the bags of trash go inside the cardboard containers, we sent a notification to the people on site via text message, letting them know that they should remove it before the truck comes the next morning and telling them that putting trash in the recycling container is a form of contamination, which they should not do in the future," he said.

Brent Bohn, who owns and operates dozens of McDonald's restaurants in the Las Vegas and Phoenix areas, uses Compology at restaurants in Las Vegas to help ensure restaurant workers are recycling properly.

"The cameras have really streamlined that for us and provided accountability for us, but also for our suppliers and the haulers that we work with," he said.

Compology trained its system to sort trash with tens of millions of images, Gates said, and it uses pictures taken from within dumpsters that are now in use to get better at determining fullness and what's inside. So far, it has processed over 80 million images from the 162,000 cameras it has installed.

"The more images we get of the inside of dumpsters, the more accurate we can be," he said.

Part of why Gates sees Compology's work as vital is because the United States, which used to send much of its scrap and waste to China, is no longer doing so. China began banning the imports of recycling materials in 2017, citing environmental concerns from mixed-in contaminants, and expanded its ban in 2018.

Since then, the US has struggled to determine what to do with its recyclables, with some cities simply halting recycling programs. Cleaning up materials stateside could make it easier for the country to recycle on its own (and, in fact, it's one of the US Environmental Protection Agency's goals to raise the domestic recycling rate to 50% by 2030; it currently hovers around 32%).

Compology's service costs businesses between $10 and $20 per month per dumpster. It's saving them generally thousands of dollars per dumpster per year on waste-hauling costs, Gates said, as it can also use AI to predict what the service schedule for each dumpster should be, so it will only be picked up when it's likely to be full.

Over time, Gates hopes Compology can help standardize how waste is measured and reported something that isn't currently consistent in the US.

"You've been able to measure how much electricity, water, gas you've used for decades," Gates said. "What we're doing is being able to meter how much waste you produce."

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Here's why Las Vegas McDonald's restaurants are putting cameras in their dumpsters - FOX5 Las Vegas

Documentary reveals toll of job losses on and off the Las Vegas Strip: "I cry and pray a whole lot" – CBS News

REVERB is a documentary series fromCBSN Originals. Watch the latest episode, "Losing Las Vegas," in the video player above. It premieres on CBSN Sunday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m., 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. ET.

When the pandemic arrived, the economic shutdown hit Las Vegas harder than any other major city in America and the impact rippled far beyond the famous Strip. Economist Jeremy Aguero described the local job losses as staggering, with the highest unemployment rates ever reported by a state since 1976, when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking this data.

"During the Great Recession, we lost about 180,000 jobs over three years. [During the pandemic], we lost over 225,000 jobs in three months," Aguero told CBS News.

Las Vegas hotels and casinos reopened their doors in June, at reduced capacity to stay in line with social distancing safety guidelines. But tourism remains down, shows closed, conventions were canceled, and many jobs in the community have not come back.

"People that never struggled before are now struggling. You don't expect to see Mercedes and BMWs in food distribution lines," said Stacey Lockhart, executive director of Hopelink, a nonprofit that provides emergency housing assistance to families and seniors in the Las Vegas area. "This is going to go clear into next year, and though a lot of people are back to work, there's a whole part of the community that doesn't have a job to go back to."

The new CBSN Originals documentary, "Reverb | Losing Las Vegas," tells some of their stories. [Watch the video in the player above.]

After years of baking cookies for friends and her community, Angela Pepe fulfilled a dream and started her own cookie company, Curly Top Baker. In their first month, Angela and her staff were baking up to 20,000 cookies a week to fulfill orders primarily from Las Vegas conventions and specialty stores.

But in mid-March, when COVID-19 hit, non-essential businesses came to a halt, including the large conventions that kept companies like Curly Top Baker running. Overnight, the cookie orders stopped coming in.

Like many small-business owners, Angela had to adapt quickly and shift her business model. Online orders have helped keep her bakery afloat, but she told CBS News, "We've had the scary talk about selling the house and everything we've worked for."

Her business did not qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program, established by the CARES Act. Still, Angela negotiated rent payments with her landlord and is hoping her company will survive. While most small businesses nationwide partially or fully reopened by summer, about 58% of owners said they worried about having to permanently close, according to a July 2020U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey.

Angela's husband, Mark, was furloughed from his hotel marketing job of 15 years, and then his position was eliminated. "It was a punch in the gut," said Angela. He's now putting his energy into marketing for the bakery business.

Angela's bakery remains open with her family's help, but she thinks the government could have done more to support small businesses. "I just wish that a lot of the larger companies that were able to take advantage of the grant money, would have left some for the smaller [companies]."

Heading into the holiday season, Angela is hoping orders of gift boxes will pick up, but admits she's still under tremendous stress.

"There are a lot of nights that I cry and pray a whole lot. It seems so unfair," she said. But she's trying to stay positive for her children. "They'll remember 2020 was crazy. We were going through all kinds of different scenarios with our finances, but we conquered."

Before the pandemic, Tierney Allen, a tribute artist who performs impersonating Lady Gaga on the Las Vegas Strip, was looking forward to her most successful year yet. "I was on Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and every local news station. I thought that 2020 was going to be even bigger. And then it just stopped."

When the Strip closed down, Tierney found herself with no income at all. She promptly applied for unemployment, but it took 17 weeks for the first check to arrive. "Food stamps, Medicaid, unemployment benefits all the government programs that are supposed to be a safety net saved us," shared Tierney.

"I see every day, people losing their homes, having to leave Las Vegas. It's decimated the entertainment community," she said. Though hotels and casinos reopened in June, shows and entertainment venues did not.

And amid the financial hardship and uncertainty, Tierney was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. She is responding well to treatment, but there's still a long road ahead with upcoming surgery followed by radiation.

Tierney's husband, Travis, had a long-running show impersonating Elvis on the Strip. As established performers, they started a live-stream show on a makeshift stage in their home to provide a platform for fellow tribute artists and share in whatever donations trickled in.

Some Las Vegas shows are finally starting to reopen with new safety guidelines in place, but Tierney doesn't anticipate returning to the Strip until 2021. In the meantime, her live-streaming shows have been therapeutic. "It gives me a reason to sing, and music is healing. I'm pushing myself to get ready and share my talent. It's something to live for."

Bradford Cook worked for nine years as a union lead electronics technician at MGM. Furloughed back in March, he hoped to get called back after hotels and casinos reopened. Instead, he got a call in September telling him his position was being terminated.

"I just had to hold it together because I didn't want the kids to see me in a stressful situation. You have to be their strength," he said.

A divorced father of two with shared custody of his kids, he's gotten by on savings and unemployment, but fears his savings will be depleted soon. Thestate's eviction moratorium expired on October 15, but an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopping evictions brought on by the pandemic remains in effect through December 31.

Finding work is only one hurdle for Bradford and his family. School campuses remained closed in Las Vegas, so his children, ages 6 and 10, need adult supervision and hands-on assistance for remote learning throughout the day, making it challenging to look for new employment.

Bradford is still hoping he'll get called back to his union position at MGM but is currently looking for work elsewhere. To afford to stay in their house, he'd likely need to find two jobs. He believes he's got enough between savings and assistance from loved ones to make it through the end of the year.

"I guess when times are other than ideal, you find a way to make it through."

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Documentary reveals toll of job losses on and off the Las Vegas Strip: "I cry and pray a whole lot" - CBS News

The Las Vegas Gambling Scene Has Gone Off-Strip. Here’s What Investors Need to Know – Motley Fool

During the COVID-19 pandemic, cities and towns that rely on business and convention traffic have been particularly hard-hit. For example, Las Vegas plays host to some of the biggest conventions across all industries, most of them filling up the large hotels and casinos along the famed Las Vegas Strip. Most of the major events for 2020 have rescheduled, and some of 2021's most anticipated events, including the annual CES conference in January, have switched to a virtual format. All this has been devastating, not just for hotel businesses but for all businesses that serve the millions of tourists who visit each year. But is there hope?

All of these changed plans have had a direct impact on the entire economy of Las Vegas. September data from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority indicates visitor volume is down 51%, and the number of people arriving via airplane is down nearly 61%. In September, total hotel occupancy reached 46.8% overall, down 41.5% year over year, while weekend occupancy was at 66.1%

The big casino brands have been feeling the pain. In the third quarter, Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), owner of the Venetian and the Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip, reported net revenues from its Las Vegas properties fell by 62.6% to $152 million. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) was down 66.1% year over year. Sheldon Adelson, CEO of the company, is said to be exploring a $6 billion deal to sell the Las Vegas properties to focus on the Asian market.

Gaming revenue in Clark County for September tells an interesting story. While Las Vegas Strip revenue was down by 39.1%, gaming revenue for the area was down by only 26.9%, and revenue in the Boulder Strip area was up by 1.8%. Part of the reason for this is that while air travel has slowed dramatically, traffic hasn't fallen nearly as much, and locals are taking advantage of the entertainment options in their own town.

Says Hayim Mizrachi, CCIM, partner/president at MDL Group/CORFAC International:

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The Las Vegas Gambling Scene Has Gone Off-Strip. Here's What Investors Need to Know - Motley Fool

Las Vegas City Council considers ordinance to ban feeding of wildlife within parks – KLAS – 8 News Now

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) The Las Vegas City Council will consider a new ordinance that prohibits the feeding of any wildlife within city parks.

Community members are concerned that feeding the birds at Floyd Lamb Park, is causing some of the ecosystem and public areas to deteriorate.

Joe Whitaker has been going to Floyd Lamb park with his family for over 40 years.

Whitaker says over the past few years he has seen more and more people feeding the birds. He even observed some dumping large bags of seed throughout the park.

Thats drawn in a lot more birds and waterfowl, Whitaker said. Weve seen a lot of the birds injured, die.

Overfed birds are causing issues at Floyd Lamb Park. Fishermen tell me feces cover benches, birds are being aggressive, & the pond water is becoming very murky

Now a new ordinance is being considered that could ban feeding wildlife in city parks. Full story tonight on @8NewsNow pic.twitter.com/QY9lnUXQ14

Now, he says the park is overrun with geese and ducks, as well as pigeons, which he has never seen there before. Because of this, feces cover the benches and are affecting the fish in the ponds.

The water is become especially murky, Whitaker said. I think a big part of that is because of the feces thats being dumped in the water by the waterfowl.

Whitaker says the City of Las Vegas has been responsive when contacted about the feces and have tried to power wash many areas.

Now, the Las Vegas City Council will consider a new ordinance to ban the feeding of animals within city parks, recreational facilities, and public plazas.

Whitaker hopes the city will step up and continue to make Floyd Lamb Park a nice place for families.

Kids that are out there now that are young like I was when I started here, can enjoy the park and enjoy the fishing for a long time to come, Whitaker said.

This ordinance will be considered at the city council meeting on Wednesday, November 4th at 9 a.m. Public comments can be made in-person, or sent to the city clerk, up to an hour before the meeting.

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Las Vegas City Council considers ordinance to ban feeding of wildlife within parks - KLAS - 8 News Now

Las Vegas tea shop operators say man threatened to blow up store – Las Vegas Review-Journal

The operators of a southwest Las Vegas Valley business say a man threatened to blow up their store because of their rainbow LGBTQ flag and a flag supporting presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Beyah Delmuneo, the owner of the Milk+T bubble tea shop, said her girlfriend, Caroline Sadorra, answered the phone Thursday afternoon to a man yelling at her about two flags displayed outside the business.

His voice just sounded angry and hostile, Sadorra, the store manager, said, adding that he began interrogating her.

The man also used a homophobic slur when describing the store, Sadorra said, God bless you and ended the call, but five minutes later he called back, she said.

Im going to blow up your f store, the man said, according to a recording Sadorra took of the phone call.

Delmuneo said long lines to file a police report at a Metropolitan Police Department station prevented her from reporting the call until Saturday morning. When Sadorra called 911 on Thursday afternoon, a dispatcher told her it wasnt an emergency.

The two now hope that police will take the mans threats seriously.

We literally have all the evidence they could possible need, Sadorra said.

Sadorra said the phone call scared her, and her and Delmuneo have been cautiously eyeing every customer who walks up, wondering if its the same man. On Saturday afternoon, employees took orders at a picnic table outside the business, while the front door remained firmly locked.

But many customers who came to the store on Saturday voiced their support for the business after hearing about the mans threat on the news, Delmuneo said.

She also owns tea shops in Portland and Los Angeles, and all of the businesses have a rainbow flag with the Milk+T logo on it. Delmuneo said shes always been very vocal about being a member of the LGBTQ community and sharing her political beliefs the Biden flag came from a campaign event the store hosted last weekend for Rep. Susie Lee.

Although some people have urged the couple to remove the flags out of fear for their safety, Delmuneo and Sadorra both said theyre determined to continue displaying them.

Since the mans call, the two have put up another rainbow flag, this one reading: In this house, we believe science is real, Black Lives Matter, love is love, no human is illegal, womens rights are human rights.

It just doesnt seem right to not stand for something, Delmuneo said.

The two said they strive to make their store inclusive of everyone, including people who dont agree with them. But they also want respect from others, Sadorra said.

Sadorra said she wants the man who called her to face consequences for the threat, but she also thinks he may be going through a hard time.

I just hope that he finds peace, that he doesnt do this anymore, she said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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Las Vegas tea shop operators say man threatened to blow up store - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Halloween in Las Vegas 2020: What to Do, Events and Activities – Vegas Magazine

In a year as scary as 2020, its hard to imagine that were only just now getting to what is supposed to be the spookiest time of year: Halloween.

While normally we would all be dressing up and going to festive parties or taking kids out to trick or treat, things will be looking a bit different this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

If you dont have plans for Halloween yet but are dying to do something last-minute and safe, weve got you covered. After doing some research, weve created a list of the best Halloween events and activities in Las Vegas this year.

From orchards and pumpkin patches to haunted houses and ghost tours, there is something for everyone on this list. Dress up, eat some candy, and have fun this Halloween but dont forget your mask!

Gilcrease Orchard

7800 N. Tenaya Way| Website

For those who want more of a laid back Halloween, we suggest visiting the Gilcrease Orchard, just a 30-minute car ride from the Strip. From exploring a huge pumpkin patch to sipping apple cider and carving your very own jack-o-lantern, there are plenty of activities for both children and adults. Open Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays from 7am to 10pm, the orchard is free of charge.

Fright Ride

1700 S. Industrial Rd.| Website

Billed as Las Vegass largest immersive socially-distanced haunted attraction, how could you not be the least bit interested in this haunted house? As if the name isnt scary enough, the attraction calls for guests to participate in their Research Lab to be test subjects in a fear diagnosis and while being transported on a nightmarish journey through a 75,000 square-foot venue. Its costume-optional but reservations are required, so reserve tickets here now before they sell out.

The Sand Dollar

3355 Spring Mountain Rd / Ste 30| Website

The Sand Dollar, a crowd favorite bar in Las Vegas, will be transforming into Nightmare on Spring Mountain for Halloween, acting as a pop-up bar with spooky cocktails, costumes and elaborate decorations. With extra health and safety precautions and socially-distanced table, reserve seats here for a spooky (but chill) Halloween.

Moapa Valley Corn Maze

1500 Lewis Ranch Rd., Moapa, NV 89025| Website

If you want to get away from the Strip for a little while, take a trip to Moapa Valley for the day. With a haunted corn maze, zombie paintball and a pumpkin patch, what more could you want for some wholesome Halloween fun? There are plenty of activities for kids, like the giant bounce pillow blow-up as well as pedal carts. For adults, there are also many tasty treats such as hot apple pie fries and caramel apples. Buy tickets online now.

Las Vegas Strip Ghost Tour

3200 S Las Vegas Blvd. | Website

If youre into ghosts and legends, this is the perfect way to celebrate your Halloween. Book tickets here for the possibility of seeing ghosts of celebrities and mobster victims that still haunt the Strip. Not only is the tour scary, but its also a great learning experience, filled with many facts about historical Las Vegas deaths. Trust us, you wont want to miss out on this one.

Horrorwood Video

1217 S. Main Street | Website

For a relaxed (but spooky) night at the Drive-In, check out the Majestic Repertory Theatres version of Halloween. Theyre completely transforming their normal Horrorwood Video stage production into an outdoor drive-in movie theatre decorated like a retro 1980s-style video store and showing terrifying VHS horror movies. Shows are from 7pm to midnight and cost $50 per vehicle, and $70 on Halloween night buy tickets here for a spooky time.

Rail Explorers Halloween Costume Ride

601 Yucca St, Boulder City, Nevada 89005 | Website

Just 20 minutes from the Strip, celebrate Halloween with Rail Explorers by pedaling through the Nevada desert, River Mountains and Eldorado Valley in full costume. Guests are encouraged to come at 5:30pm for sunset tours and at 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday for lantern tours. Book now before its too late.

Asylum-Hotel Fear Haunted House Las Vegas Haunts

4300 Meadows Ln. | Website

One of the most terrifying haunted houses in all of Las Vegas, Asylum-Hotel tells the story of the Feoray and Vander families and how their businesses fell to pieces in the spookiest of ways. A fallen asylum combined with a haunted hotel has us scared already, but what about you? If you want to know more, buy tickets here and dont miss out on a haunting experience.


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Halloween in Las Vegas 2020: What to Do, Events and Activities - Vegas Magazine

Federal agencies fall short of Trump forest protection goals – Las Vegas Sun

Published Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020 | 8:48 a.m.

Updated 11 hours, 1 minute ago

Nearly two years ago, President Donald Trump stood amid the smoky ruins of Paradise, California, where he blamed the deadliest wildfire in the state's history on poor forest management.

"You've got to take care of the floors, you know? The floors of the forest, very important," the president said.

He ordered the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Interior to make federal lands less susceptible to catastrophic wildfires with measures such as removing dead trees, underbrush and other potentially flammable materials.

But while Trump has accused California and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of doing a terrible job of forest protection, his own agencies fell short of his goals for federal lands in 2019.

They treated a combined 6,736 square miles (17,446 square kilometers) just over half of the 13,203 square miles (34,196 square kilometers) the president sought, according to government data. It was only slightly better than their average annual performance over nearly two decades.

Without directly addressing the figures, the Forest Service said in a statement Friday to the Associated Press that prospects are very good for stepping up forest treatments in the next several years, assuming Congress provides more funding and state and private landowners play bigger roles. The agency has formed stewardship agreements with 19 states and will rely on partnerships with state governments to get this work done, it said.

The numbers show it will take more than executive orders to make significant progress on a problem that has been building for a century, scientists and advocates say. More money and personnel are needed, along with policy changes.

The fires are getting bigger, the fire seasons are longer and costs are significantly increasing, said Dylan Kruse, director of government affairs for Sustainable Northwest, a Portland, Oregon-based nonprofit that seeks collaboration between forest industries and conservationists. We need billions of dollars and we're not even close.

Trump and Congress have provided only modest spending increases for forest treatments in recent years, he said. The president sought a nearly $50 million cut in 2018, which lawmakers rejected. His 2021 budget recommends $510 million, up from $445 million allocated this year.

Trump has drawn ridicule from political foes and some scientists for arguing that western forest floors should be raked" and ignoring the role of climate change-induced warming and drought in the West's worsening wildfire crisis.

But protection measures like those sought in his 2018 executive order have drawn support from administrations of both parties for two decades.

A national fire plan developed under President Bill Clinton and continued under President George W. Bush called for hazardous fuel reduction and suppressing invasive beetles, along with restoration of burned-over lands to prevent erosion. The Obama administration released a fire management strategy that embraced fuel removal and controlled burns.

The amount of land receiving such treatments from the Forest Service and Department of Interior has edged upward, peaking at 10,469 square miles (27,115 square kilometers) in 2009 before declining to almost half that for several years. It jumped to 8,505 square miles (22,027 square kilometers) in 2016 President Barack Obama's last year in office.

Under Trump, the treated area has gone from 6,367 square miles (16,490 square kilometers) in 2017 to nearly 7,336 square miles (19,000 square kilometers) in 2018. Last year it was up to 6,736 square miles (17,446 square kilometers).

Still, the Forest Service says 125,000 square miles (323,748 square kilometers) it manages need work such as tree thinning and regulated burns to reduce fuel loads. The agency estimates many times more that much government and private land is vulnerable to severe wildfire.

The Department of Interior, which includes the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, did not respond to written questions from AP.

These agencies are still lagging far behind on these projects, said Susan Jane Brown, an attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center.

Federal officials acknowledge their longstanding policy of putting out fires as quickly as possible, instead of letting some take their natural course, made forests overgrown and less able to cope with drought and disease.

A Forest Service study this month found that about one-third of trees in areas where excessive vegetation had not been removed died between 2014 and 2018. In thinned out places, the tree mortality rate was 11%.

Some treated areas had been subjected to prescribed burns fires intentionally set and carefully monitored.

In its statement, the agency said it now uses prescribed fire on about 2,187 square miles (5,664 square kilometers) of national forest land each year and plans to do more. But it said the practice has its challenges, including smoke pollution in nearby communities and a minor risk of losing control.

Those burns along with other fuel reduction measures also are costly, requiring gear, materials and skilled personnel. Yet the Forest Service has fewer staffers to devote to them, while hiring thousands more people to extinguish fires that have grown bigger and more numerous.

The service lost 7,000 non-firefighter positions between 1998 and 2015. The share of its budget devoted to firefighting has shot up from 16% in the mid-1990s to more than 50% today and is expected to keep rising as the agency buys more helicopters, fire engines and other equipment.

Shifting resources from forest treatment to firefighting doesn't bode well for long-term prevention, said John Bailey, an Oregon State University forestry professor who worked with federal officials on a fire management strategy released in 2014. It emphasized fuel reduction efforts, from clearing forest debris to rangeland grazing.

We're on a trajectory where fire seasons are going to get longer and drier and resources stretched thinner, he said. We're just not making the progress we need to.


Follow John Flesher on Twitter: @johnflesher

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Federal agencies fall short of Trump forest protection goals - Las Vegas Sun

Last day the busiest for Clark County early voting – Las Vegas Review-Journal

As 81-year-old Delma Brown scooted her walker out of Pearson Community Center as part of the final cohort of Nevadans to vote early in the 2020 general election, she was asked what motivated her to cast her ballot.

To get out of the house, Brown said, the deadpan line eliciting a laugh from her daughter, Claudia Buford, who also voted Friday. They dont let old people out any more.

With the COVID-19 pandemic raging on, Buford said her mother, a retired North Las Vegas schoolteacher and longtime poll worker, has only left the house twice since March.

And both were good reasons: a flu shot and to vote, Buford said. Its important, right?

All elections are important, Brown said.

The mother-daughter pair was among the 31,000 Clark County residents to have voted early on Friday as of 5:40 p.m. This incomplete total is already the largest one-day turnout posted by the county in the 2020 early voting period. The polls closed at 8 p.m., but anyone already lined up to vote was allowed to cast a ballot, regardless of the hour.

Fridays partial results brought Clark Countys early voting total to more than 373,000. As of 3:47 p.m., at least 515,000 Nevadans voted early in person.

In 2016, about 489,000 Clark County residents and 702,000 total Nevadans voted early.

However, after factoring in this years record-smashing mail ballot turnout, the overall turnout was a little more than 1.05 million voters as of Friday afternoon.

Final statewide totals for mail ballots and in-person early voting were not available before print deadline on Friday, but Nevada could eclipse the overall turnout in the 2016 general election a little more than 1.1 million before polls open on Election Day.

Scene from the polls

The final wave of early voters faced some lines in Clark County, though it appears no voting site matched the three-plus hour waits faced at some places during the first day of early voting on Oct. 17.

The Galleria at Sunset remained one of the countys hottest spots, with waits of around an hour. Smaller community center locations, such as Pearson, had no wait at all.

The Williams family Mike, Shamial and son, Anson, all of Las Vegas waited only a few minutes to cast their ballots side-by-side at Pearson just after the center opened at 9 a.m.

Marva Putnam, of Las Vegas, said the weather contributed to her Friday afternoon decision to head to another busy spot, Mountain Crest Recreation Center.

I was not going to send it in the mail, she said. I normally vote on Election Day, but its a beautiful day and my husband was just here, so I thought Id come out.

At the Silver Springs Recreation Center in Henderson, Chris Lorenzo said all elections are important, as the country is facing and often faces challenging times.

I recommend everyone vote just, whoever youre representing, make sure theyre representing your agenda, he said. What you think would help you and benefit you.

Some voters at the East Las Vegas Community skipped the modest 15-minute wait in favor of curbside ballot drop off just after 5 p.m.

Jodie Stembridge, 60, of Henderson, was among the dozens who stood in line for the last hour of early voting at Heritage Senior Center.

Ive always voted in person, she said. This is my place to vote.

Stembridge was also carrying her sons mail-in ballot to drop off. Her sights were set on the presidential race, and she planned to vote for Trump, she said.

Thursday was the first time voting in Nevada for former Southern California residents Stephanie Schulz, 57, and son Tanner, 22.

We didnt want to go through all the mail-in ballot trouble, Stephanie Schulz said. Although in-person is definitely more convenient.

Between all the fraud, we just want to make sure our votes 100 percent count, Tanner Schulz said.

An election polling place worker said the line at Heritage briefly extended to an hour wait, but for most of the day voters experienced a 20-minute line that moved quickly around the corner and into the building.

Democrats out in force

Democratic leaders and volunteers were prevalent throughout the Las Vegas area.

The volunteers, wearing blue T-shirts, thanked those leaving Pearson, East Las Vegas and other voting centers and asked them to urge three friends to do the same.

Sen. Jacky Rosen held a digital event, and Rep. Susie Lee appeared in person with Doug Emhoff, husband of Democratic vice presidential candidate and Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez also appeared at two Las Vegas events.

Contact Rory Appleton at rappleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Sabrina Schnur contributed to this report.

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Last day the busiest for Clark County early voting - Las Vegas Review-Journal