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Channel 13 anchor Rikki Cheese on leave after DUI arrest

The KTNV-TV, Channel 13 anchor who was arrested last week on suspicion of drunken driving has been placed on leave, according to the station’s general manager.

Rikki Cheese, whose legal name is Lynn Cheese, was arrested last Thursday in front of her northwest valley home on the 5900 block of Filmore Avenue, south of Ann Road and Jones Boulevard, according to an impaired driving report obtained from the Metropolitan Police Department.

Cheese typically anchors the station’s live newscast at 3 p.m. and reports for other newscasts, according to a biography on the station’s website. She was not at work the day of her arrest, which happened about 4:30 p.m.

Police were initially dispatched to Cheese’s home address on Thursday after a person called 911 and requested a welfare check on Cheese’s behalf. It’s unclear who called or why the caller was concerned.

When the responding officer arrived at Cheese’s home, he watched Cheese “driving up to the residence and parking,” the report reads.

The officer greeted Cheese at her parked sport utility vehicle, where he “immediately noticed signs of impairment,” the report reads. She had a “strong” smell of alcohol on her breath, her eyes were “glassy” and “bloodshot,” and when she got out of her SUV, the report said she was “stumbling” and “staggering.”

Cheese was “polite” and “cooperative” as the officer questioned her. According to the report, Cheese told the officer she hadn’t had an alcoholic drink in two weeks and was pulling up to her house after a trip to Petco.

Despite what Cheese said, she was arrested that afternoon on a misdemeanor DUI charge; she caused no damage or harm while driving, the report read.

A family member paid $2,115 to bail her out later that evening, according to Las Vegas Municipal Court documents. She is due in court June 20.

The anchor was previously arrested for DUI in 2009, when National Park Service rangers took Cheese into custody at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

At the time, Cheese was charged with driving under the influence, having a blood-alcohol content level over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, having an open container in a vehicle, unsafe operation of a motor vehicle and failure to wear a seat belt, the Las Vegas Review-Journal previously reported.

As of Tuesday evening, it was unclear what Cheese’s blood-alcohol content was Thursday.

“Rikki Cheese is on leave pending further investigation of her arrest,” the station’s vice president and general manager Jim Prather said Tuesday afternoon. He declined to clarify whether she was on paid leave, citing that it was a “personnel matter.”

The last time Cheese was on the air was May 18, the day before her arrest. She hasn’t been on the air since.

Cheese has worked at the station since 2003.

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Find @rachelacrosby on Twitter.

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