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Entries in Nevada (26)

Wednesday
Mar202013

Vigil Held in Nevada for Seven Marines Killed in Training Accident 

ABC News(HAWTHORNE, Nev.) -- Several hundred people showed up for a vigil Tuesday night in Nevada to remember the seven Marines who were killed on Monday during a training exercise.

The Marines, who were from the 2nd Marine Division based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., were conducting live fire maneuver training at the Hawthorne Army Depot 140 miles southeast of Reno, Nev., on Monday when Brig. Gen. Jim Lukeman said it appeared a mortar round exploded in a tube at 9:55 p.m. PT.

Eight others were wounded in the blast.  The survivors are being treated at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno for injuries that include trauma fractures and vascular injuries, hospital spokeswoman Stacy Kendall told ABC News.

   The victims were identified as:
   -- Pfc. Joshua M. Martino, 19, of Clearfield, Pa.
   -- Lance Cpl. David P. Fenn II, 20, of Polk City, Fla.
   -- Lance Cpl. Roger W. Muchnick Jr., 23, of Fairfield, Conn.
   -- Lance Cpl. Joshua C. Taylor, 21, of Marietta, Ohio
   -- Lance Cpl. Mason J. Vanderwork, 21, of Hickory, N.C.
   -- Lance Cpl. William T. Wild IV, 21, of Anne Arundel, Md.
   -- Cpl. Aaron J. Ripperda, 26, of Madison, Ill.

The Marines had been training at the Hawthorne Army Depot and the nearby Mountain Warfare Training Center for the past month, Lukeman said.  The training was not in anticipation of an imminent deployment, he said.

The mountainous desert terrain of the 230-square-mile depot is used as a training location for special forces since it "provides a realistic simulation of the situation in Afghanistan," according to the depot's website.  The depot is also used as a storage site for ammunition awaiting demilitarization.

The Marines have issued a suspension on the use of all 60mm mortars and there associated tubes while they conduct a review of what caused a round to explode.  The suspension will affect mortars used both in training and in deployed settings.

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

   The victims were identified as:

   -- Pfc. Joshua M. Martino, 19, of Clearfield, Pa.

   -- Lance Cpl. David P. Fenn II, 20, of Polk City, Fla.

   -- Lance Cpl. Roger W. Muchnick Jr., 23, of Fairfield, Conn.

   -- Lance Cpl. Joshua C. Taylor, 21, of Marietta, Ohio

   -- Lance Cpl. Mason J. Vanderwork, 21, of Hickory, N.C.

   -- Lance Cpl. William T. Wild IV, 21, of Anne Arundel, Md.

   -- Cpl. Aaron J. Ripperda, 26, of Madison, Ill.

Friday
Dec072012

Missing Nevada Woman Survived on Snow, Tomatoes for Six Days

Citrus Heights Police Dept.(CARSON CITY, Nev.) -- The woman who was stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains survived for six days by eating tomatoes and snow until she was found by her brother, who was part of a team searching for her and her boyfriend.

Paula Lane, 46, was rescued on Wednesday.  Her boyfriend, Roderick Clifton, died.

He had left her to find help after their Jeep got stuck in the snow as they drove from Clifton's mother's home in Citrus Heights, Calif., to their own home in Gardnerville, Nev., Nov. 29.

They were reported missing the following day after Lane failed to meet her mother for a planned dinner and wasn't reachable by cellphone, according to KXTV, an ABC News affiliate in Sacramento, Calif.

The couple are believed to have taken their Jeep Cherokee off-roading when they became stuck off Highways 88-89 in Alpine County.

The area where they got stuck was so remote that cellphone service was limited.  The couple were unable to call for help, and police couldn't locate them using their cellphones.

Clifton, 44, never returned to Lane.  His body was found Wednesday, several miles from the highway.  Police have not yet confirmed how he died, but they don't believe foul play was involved.

Lane had set out to find help after her boyfriend failed to return.

Lane's family is happy she is alive.

"It's been a rough haul, waiting all those days, trying to know if she'd made it or not," Lane's older sister, Linda Hathaway, said at a news conference Thursday at Carson Tahoe Regional Hospital, the Carson City, Nev., facility to which Lane was taken and treated for first-degree frostbite and malnourishment.

Police had launched a manhunt for the missing couple, but bad weather at times prevented authorities from sending up planes or helicopters.

Hathaway had given up hope, and said she had prepared her sister's 11-year-old twin sons for the worst.

"We sat them down to tell them that their mother may not come back," she said.

But the women's brother kept searching along the route that Lane would have taken home.  Lane and Clifton routinely made the drive from Citrus Heights to Gardnerville.

Hathaway said her brother eventually found Lane crawling along Highway 88.

Dr. Vijay Maiya, Lane's physician, said his patient had apparently found shelter by "hiding out in a hollow tree," in addition to eating the tomatoes they had with them.

"She is medically stable.  She's recovering nicely," Maiya said at the news conference, adding that 25 percent of Lane's recovery would be physical and 75 percent would be "emotional."

Maiya expects to keep Lane in the hospital through the weekend to monitor her recovery.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct262012

Sen. Harry Reid Hospitalized After Car Accident

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(LAS VEGAS) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was hospitalized briefly Friday after his caravan was involved in a six-car crash in Nevada, but his condition is “good” and he does not have life threatening injuries.

“Senator Reid’s condition is good,” Karen Gordon of the University Medical Center in Las Vegas confirmed to ABC News.

“He experienced rib and hip contusions and has been cleared for release by the doctors,” Sen. Reid’s office said in a statement. Some of Senator Reid’s detail and a staffer had minor injuries in the accident and were evaluated at UMC.

The crash happened shortly after 4 p.m. Eastern Time while his caravan of four cars was driving on I-15 northbound hear Sahara. Reid is a member of the Congressional leadership so he gets a security detail.

Reid, according to aides, was just taken to the hospital “as a precaution” and walked in on his own. He was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident, according to an aide. He has since been released from the hospital.

Earlier Friday Reid had delivered the keynote address at the dedication of the National Atomic Testing Museum. Reid’s wife was not with him during the accident, she was at an event with first lady Michelle Obama in Nevada.

The Reid family has been prone to accidents and health related incidents in the last few years.

In March of 2011 Reid’s wife and daughter were hospitalized after their own, and very serious, car crash in Northern Virginia. His wife was hospitalized with a broken back and neck after a truck slammed into the back of the minivan they were riding in.

In addition, Senator Reid in May 2011 slipped in the rain in Washington, DC and dislocated his shoulder and had a bump over his left eye.

Not an accident, but another health related incident, Mrs. Reid was also diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in September of 2011 but is so far making a full recovery.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct022012

President Obama Visits the Hoover Dam

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages(BOULDER CITY, Nev.) -- It could be considered the mother of all study breaks: a 30-mile trek in a presidential motorcade to visit one of the greatest feats of American public works of all time.

That’s exactly what President Barack Obama did Tuesday afternoon, pausing from intensive debate preparations for an hour-and-a-half excursion to the Hoover Dam.

“Its spectacular and I’ve never seen it before,” Obama told reporters from a heliport overlooking the dam.  “I didn’t realize it was so close by.”

The dam is frequently cited by Obama as an example of American ingenuity and the value of government-funded investment in public infrastructure.

As he looked north up the river gorge, Obama marveled at the dam’s construction and power output as he chatted with Assistant Dam Manager Rob Skordas and U.S. Interior Department official Janel Brawner-Potucek.

“The power generated here, where’s it going?” Obama asked Skordas.

“Mostly Southern California,” he replied, surprising Obama.

“Not Vegas?” the president said.  “I always assumed Vegas got its power from here.”

“Yeah, you always assume this dam is powering all those lights,” said Skordas, referring to the colorful illumination on the famous Vegas Strip.

Skordas and Brawner-Potucek appeared to be the only Nevada voters with whom Obama has interacted Tuesday outside his lakeside oasis in Henderson.  Aides have said the president chose to hold his so-called “debate camp” here in order to take advantage of opportunities to meet with voters in this key swing state. On Monday, he met with campaign volunteers at a local field office.

The president declined to answer questions from the press pool accompanying him about his progress in preparing for Wedneday night’s debate or the performance of Sen. John Kerry, who is standing in as Mitt Romney.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun292012

Pregnant Inmate Sues After Being Forced to Wear Shackles During Labor

Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center(LAS VEGAS) -- Valerie Nabors gave birth to her fourth child, a healthy baby girl, last October, but within 10 minutes of delivery, she charges, her ankles were shackled to her hospital bed and she was not allowed to walk.

Nabors, a prison inmate at the time, complains her legs were shackled during labor, much to doctors' dismay, and against Nevada state law.

Nabors filed a lawsuit on June 20 against the Nevada Department of Corrections claiming cruel and unusual punishment.

Nabors, from Clark County, Nev., was an inmate at the Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center (FMWCC) on Oct. 19, 2011 when she went into labor, according to the lawsuit.  Nabors served a 12- to 30-month sentence from January 2011 to January 2012 for attempting to steal about $300 worth of casino chips.

The lawsuit was filed in federal district court by attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union.  Nabors is suing the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC), its director and several top officers, as well as officials of the FMWCC.

"Ms. Nabors suffered severe and extreme emotional distress as a result of being shackled during the delivery of her child," the lawsuit says.

The Nevada Department of Corrections has no comment regarding the lawsuit at this time, a spokesman told ABC News.

"I think we have the right to expect more as women and the right to expect more from society," Staci Pratt of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada told ABC News.

Nabors, 30, was taken to the University Medical Center at 8:15 p.m. on Oct. 19.  As the ambulance was pulling out of the main gates of the prison, Sgt. Daniel Tracey "came running out of the facility" with shackles which were closed around Nabors' ankles, the lawsuit says.

According to Nevada state law, no restraints of any kind may be used on an inmate who is in labor, delivering her baby or recovering from delivery unless she presents a serious harm to herself or others or presents a substantial flight risk.

"She was not considered a flight risk," Pratt, who described her client as a "non-violent offender," told ABC News.  "She was not considered a danger."

Nabors is seeking damages for the punishment.  She was released from Jean Conservation Camp on May 11, 2012.  She has returned to the community and is taking care of her daughter, Pratt said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb172012

Watch Out! Self-Driving Cars Approved in Nevada

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(CARSON CITY, Nev.) -- Google’s self-driving car has been demoed a number of times over the past few years -- Good Morning America even took it for a spin in 2010. But the pedal’s about to be really put to the metal in Nevada.

Nevada’s Legislative Commission has approved regulations that would allow self-driving vehicles on the state’s roadways.

“Nevada is the first state to embrace what is surely the future of automobiles,” the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles Director Bruce Breslow said in a statement on the DMV’s website.

“These regulations establish requirements companies must meet to test their vehicles on Nevada’s public roadways as well as requirements for residents to legally operate them in the future,” said Breslow.

But the state is going even further: It is developing “licensing procedures” for companies to test their self-driving cars. Google has already signed on to test-drive its self-driving Toyota Prius. (Google was behind the legislation lobbying effort.) Car manufacturers such as BMW and Audi are working on similar vehicles.

Drivers will be able to distinguish self-driving test vehicles by their  red license plates. When the robotic cars actually make it to market, they will have green license plates.

General Motors has predicted the technology will be standard by 2020, which means it will probably be awhile before lots of cars with green license plates are seen zooming around the Silver State.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan212012

Elderly Man Admits to Accidentally Starting Reno Brush Fire

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(RENO, Nev.) -- An elderly man has come forward and admitted to accidentally starting a blaze that burned nearly 3,200 acres and forced the evacuation of 10,000 people in Reno, Nev., officials said Saturday.

Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez said the man, who has yet to be identified, came forward Friday on his own and confessed to improperly discarding fireplace ashes outside of his home in the north end of the Washoe Valley, about 20 miles south of town.

The blaze, which started Thursday, was fueled by wind gusts of up to 82 mph and what officials are calling the state's driest winter in 120 years, destroyed 29 homes.

"He has given statements to our investigators as well as law enforcement officers," Hernandez said. "He is extremely remorseful."

Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley said the case will be forwarded to the district attorney's office next week for consideration. The man could face arson charges that would include repayment of the cost of fighting the fire, which now stands at $690,000, but is estimated to reach totals in the millions.

"The DA will have to give this case a lot of deliberation. The fact that he came forward and admitted it plays a role, but so does the massive damage and loss of life. It's a balancing act," Haley said.

Hernandez estimated the fire to be 65 percent contained Friday night, thanks to calmer winds, but more than 300 firefighters and 125 support staff, including law enforcement and members of the Nevada National Guard, were still fighting the fire and checking for hot spots.

Of those evacuated, 2,000 people are still unable to return to their homes.

Highway 395 between Reno and Carson City, closed near the area where the brush fire began, was reopened late Friday night, but, according to Nevada State police, many other roads are still closed.

"The number one thing for us is public safety," Trooper Michael Edgell said. "We've got dozens of power poles that have been burned, that are draped across the landscape, that are borderline dripping onto the highway."

The forecast for rain and snow Saturday presented a new challenge to fire crews, with flooding possible in the burned areas.

Officials said the fire was almost identical to one that ripped through the area in mid-November that destroyed 30 homes and burned 2,000 acres. Fire crews were aided in controlling that blaze by snowfall.

Hernandez said crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading any further, containing it to about six square miles, but officials said it is shocking to see the amount of damage.

"You take so many things for granted," Edgell said. "You get used to your scenery and when you drive through here, and you actually see what the fire has done that it's just amazing to me that the fire can do so much damage."

The evacuation center set up at Damonte Ranch High School was closed and evacuees unable to find a place to stay were provided hotel rooms by the Red Cross. One hundred people in the Reno area remain without power.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan202012

Nevada Fire Destroys 20 Homes in Reno; 10K Forced to Evacuate

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(RENO, Nev.) -- Authorities in Reno, Nev. are battling a wind-whipped brush fire that forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people and destroyed at least 20 homes.

The fire started about noon Thursday in an area near U.S. Highway 395. The highway is expected to remain closed on Friday.

The blaze has burned at least 3,700 acres.  Officials confirmed one fatality but said it was unclear whether it was fire related.

Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez said firefighters have stopped the progression of the fire, but there are still acres of hot spots.

"This is not to say that the fire is 100 percent contained and extinguished.  Only that the 'active burn' or the areas at the leading edge of the fire have been halted," he said.

But Hernandez said they were able to save 800 homes that were directly in the burn areas.

"To say we are in the thick of battle is an understatement," Hernandez told reporters at a news conference overnight.

The fire also cut short a speech by Vice President Joe Biden Thursday.  Biden was giving a speech at Galena High School about college costs when the school was evacuated.

"They have just told me if I don't let you guys get out of here relatively soon they're going to make you get out of here," Biden said.

Fire officials said Thursday's fire was similar to a fire that ripped through southwest Reno in November.  That fire also forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan032012

'Bonnie and Clyde' Crime Spree Suspects Arrested Without a Fight

ABC News(ELKO COUNTY, Nev.) -- A couple dubbed "the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde" after a murderous crime spree and chase that led investigators across two states gave up without a fight Tuesday when police tracked them down in Nevada.

Logan McFarland, 24, and Angela Atwood, 25, are suspected of the murder of an elderly couple in Mount Pleasant, Utah, another attempted murder and the carjacking of a woman's vehicle, which then set off a police pursuit across 330 miles of Utah and Nevada over five days.

McFarland and Atwood were arrested without incident Tuesday afternoon near the Big Springs Ranch by Elko County, Nev., sheriff's deputies, a U.S. Marshals spokesman told ABC affiliate KTVX in Salt Lake City.

A rancher who is also an Elko County commissioner was in a plane checking on his cattle Tuesday when he spotted the two walking about 30 miles west of Wendover, and he contacted police, U.S. Marshals spokesman Jim Phelps said.

Neither of the two had been charged Tuesday evening, and federal officials said they would drop a charge of unlawful flight to let state authorities handle the case.

Police say the couple's crime spree began last Thursday when they stole a car in Moroni, Utah, about 100 miles south of Salt Lake City. A day later and eight miles away, police say the suspects broke into the home of retired couple Leroy and Dorotha Fullwood.

Investigators found signs of a struggle inside the home and believe the Fullwoods, who were found dead on New Year's Eve, were murdered after a botched robbery. Surveillance video later captured the male suspect at a convenience store, allegedly using the couple's stolen credit cards.

"A credit card receipt was found in the vehicle that corresponded with residence here," Police Chief Jim Wilberg of the Mt. Pleasant, Utah, police department said. "They ransacked the house. There is a lot of evidence that's been collected."

Police believe that after stealing the Fullwoods' car the suspects drove more than 200 miles into Nevada, where the next morning they carjacked a woman at gunpoint. The couple allegedly shot the woman in the head as she managed to escape. Miraculously, the victim made her way to a Nevada police station, then was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

"[The victim] was transported by an ambulance here to an awaiting medical helicopter," Sgt. David Wiskerchen of the West Wendover, Nev., police department told ABC News.

She is recovering at a Salt Lake City hospital after undergoing surgery, according to KTVX.

Police managed to catch up with the suspects on a Nevada highway, pursuing them at speeds more than 100 miles per hour, but the two avoided a spike trap and managed to elude state troopers on back-country roads.

That was the last police saw of them until the rancher led them to where he'd seen them walking.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan032012

Police Pursue Murderous 'Bonnie and Clyde' Across Western US

ABC News(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Utah and Nevada state police are hunting a couple they have dubbed "the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde" after a murderous crime spree and chase that has led investigators across two states.

The armed and extremely dangerous suspects are linked to the murder of an elderly couple, another attempted murder and the carjacking of a woman's vehicle, which then set off a police pursuit across 330 miles of Utah and Nevada over five days.

Police say the couple's crime spree began last Thursday when they stole a car in Moroni, Utah, about 100 miles south of Salt Lake City. A day later and eight miles away, police say the suspects broke into the home of retired couple Leroy and Dorothy Fullwood.

Investigators found signs of a struggle inside the home and believe the Fullwoods, who were found dead on New Year's Eve, were murdered after a botched robbery. Surveillance video later captured the male suspect at a convenience store, allegedly using the couple's stolen credit cards.

"A credit card receipt was found in the vehicle that corresponded with residence here," Police Chief Jim Wilberg of the Mt. Pleasant, Utah, police department said. "They ransacked the house. There is a lot of evidence that's been collected."

Police believe that after stealing the Fullwoods' car the suspects drove over 200 miles into Nevada, where the next morning they carjacked a woman at gunpoint. The couple allegedly shot the woman in the head as she managed to escape. Miraculously, the victim made her way to a Nevada police station, then was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

"[The victim] was transported by an ambulance here to an awaiting medical helicopter," Sgt. David Wiskerchen of the West Wendover, Nev., police department told ABC News. She is recovering at a Salt Lake hospital after undergoing surgery, according to ABC News Salt Lake City affiliate ABC-4.

Police did manage to catch up with the suspects on a Nevada highway, pursuing them at speeds over 100 miles per hour. The suspects avoided a spike trap and managed to elude state troopers on back-country roads.

The couple were last seen driving a stolen gray Volkswagen Jetta with Colorado license plate 725WHX.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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