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Erik Scott's drug use and behavior took center stage this week, as a coroner's inquest got under way into the July 10 police shooting that left the 38-year-old dead outside a Costco store in Summerlin.

Several store employees testified that Scott was acting unusual in the store that day.

A Costco supervisor said he called 911 because Scott refused to leave after being told that guns were not allowed.

One witness to the shooting said he thought Scott was trying to hand over his licensed sidearm to the police when they opened fire.

Scott's .45-caliber handgun was still in its holster when police recovered it from the ground near where he fell.

The medical examiner who autopsied Scott said the man had near-fatal levels of the painkiller morphine and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in his system when he died.

The inquest is expected to continue this week.


Paris pleads guilty

Trailed by a mob of reporters and photographers, hotel heiress Paris Hilton appeared in Las Vegas Justice Court and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of cocaine possession and obstructing an officer in connection with her Aug. 27 arrest on the Strip.

The celebrity socialite was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation.


Hotel to reopen at lake

Four months after closing, Lake Las Vegas' shuttered Ritz-Carlton will be given new life by Dolce Hotels and Resorts.

The international boutique lodging operator, which has 27 properties in North America and Europe, announced plans to reopen the 349-room nongaming hotel in the first quarter of 2011.

A Dolce executive said the hotel will be rebranded under a new name. The Ritz-Carlton closed in May and laid off about 350 workers.


Gibbons bucked off

Jim Gibbons' time as governor may end with months of painful rehabilitation after he was bucked from a horse at a ranch near Pyramid Lake and broke his pelvis in two places.

The 65-year-old underwent surgery at a Reno hospital and could face three months of rehabilitation that may keep him from returning to his Capitol office before his term expires at year's end.

In June, Gibbons became the first sitting governor in Nevada history to lose in a primary.


Then there was one?

The status of one of two remaining finalists for the position of Clark County School District superintendent was thrown into question after his Texas school board approved a three-year extension for him.

It's unclear how the contract offer will affect the candidacy of Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa.

Florida's Lee County School District superintendent, James Browder, already has withdrawn from contention.

If Hinojosa drops out, that would leave Colorado Education Commissioner Dwight Jones as the only remaining finalist.


Inquest study sought

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak is pushing for changes to the coroner's inquest process now used to review police shootings.

Sisolak said he thinks that both the police officer involved in a fatal shooting and the family affected should have the right to have counsel present.

He also thinks that both sides should have access to investigative reports and evidence.

Sisolak is placing a proposal to create a study committee on an upcoming commission agenda.