‘Broken’ mental health system overwhelms Nevada

The man’s story was terrifying. He had been tortured at the High Desert Prison in Indian Springs outside Las Vegas. He had been starved, beaten. A snake had been implanted in his stomach to slowly poison him to death.

“I can feel the venom pumping through me every time it bites me,” he said.

Jon Norheim, a Clark County judicial hearing master, listened to this man’s accusations during a recent court session to determine whether to involuntarily commit him to a psychiatric hospital.

Norheim told the man his snake problem might go away if he took his medication for schizo­phrenia.

“I’d take the pills,” Norheim advised.

“I’d rather have it surgically removed,” the man said, refusing to take his meds.

The Hispanic man in his mid-20s glared at Norheim from across the room. He balled up his fists, muscles tensed against his shirt. Two doctors sitting near him stood and moved away. Two beefy orderlies drew closer.

“Your staff is draining me,” the man said. “They actually murdered me, but after 15 hours I resuscitated myself.”

The room went silent, the accusation hanging in the air.

“So am I being released?” the man asked after a pause.

“No,” Norheim answered. “We’ve got to fix the problem.”

“OK. Have it your way,” the man said then abruptly stood up to leave.

His was the last case on the docket of about two dozen patients who came before Norheim that Friday in a makeshift courtroom at the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital, a state-run acute care facility.

The disturbed man lingered in the cafeteria next to the room where Norheim held court. The agitated patient was left alone, with no attendants to escort him to his room. A guard who accompanies Norheim told the judge, court staffers and doctors in the room to hang tight.

The man wandered outside and walked across a grassy courtyard toward the reception area and main hospital entrance, his way barred by a locked door. A half-dozen hospital staffers surrounded him, moving slowly and speaking calmly.

“I’m legally dead!” the man shouted, then tried to rush the door.

Staffers took him down, pinning his arms and legs, and then securing him in a chair with restraints.

Undaunted by the drama, Norheim said he understood the man’s panic.

“To him, the snake inside him is real,” Norheim said. “Sometimes, they talk to people we can’t see. Las Vegas is a mecca for the mentally ill.”


Norheim holds court twice a week at Rawson-Neal, hearing as many as 50 cases each visit. His job is to judge, with the help of psychiatrists and psychologists, whether severely mentally ill men and women are such a danger to themselves or others that they must be held against their will.

Involuntary commitments are rare in Nevada — only 170 cases in 2012 — because most patients quickly stabilize on medication or a psychic break caused by heavy drug or alcohol abuse resolves itself when the person sobers up, he said.

But Norheim’s caseload could increase under a proposal before the Nevada Legislature that would allow courts to retain control of mentally ill people without institutionalizing them. AB287 would allow police to forcibly take mentally ill outpatients to medication and counseling appointments under court order.

While the workload for judges would increase, Nevada health authorities hope the new legal tool, if passed, will ease the burden on crowded hospital emergency rooms and on Rawson-Neal, which has become a revolving door for thousands of mentally ill people each year.

The program would target several hundred patients who have “a history of noncompliance with treatment for mental illness” and are frequently in and out of hospitals and jail, according to the legislation. A plan of treatment would be developed and a mental health professional assigned to coordinate each case for six months. If a patient succeeds in treatment, the court order could be dissolved. It also could be renewed.

“The vast majority of these people are repeat people,” Norheim said. “People we’ve seen again and again and again. They go off their meds or their meds aren’t working and they’re back here.”

Norheim, who has heard commitment cases for 17 years for Clark County District Court, said he has seen some people dozens of times, and some predate his time on the job. He blames a lack of funding, housing, case managers, treatment facilities and intense supervision programs for the repeats.

“The most frustrating thing is we can’t do enough for these people,” Norheim said, noting many are homeless and lack a support system. “Families eventually just walk away.”


Erin Kinard, director of the WestCare Community Triage Center, said her nonprofit organization on April 1 launched a program called Safe Haven for intensive case management of 25 mentally ill people. She said group homes and treatment facilities come and go. Finding care is a challenge.

“There’s always a need and waiting lists,” Kinard said, adding that most of the patients have drug or alcohol problems they’re dealing with as well. “There aren’t enough resources.”

Dr. Dale Carrison, the chief of staff and head of emergency medicine at University Medical Center, is more blunt.

“The mental health system has been broken since I got to Las Vegas 22 years ago,” Carrison said. “There aren’t a lot of options for people. Every time they cut the budget they cut the mental health budget first. We do a very poor job of evaluating them and treating them. At some point, you’ve got to say the state just doesn’t care.”

UMC’s crowded emergency room is grand central for the Las Vegas Valley’s mentally ill. Often it’s the first stop for police, who take them to the ER for a medical check before determining whether they need to be committed because of their actions or are unable to care for themselves.

The process involves submitting a “Legal 2000” request to put a person in custody for 72 hours for psychiatric observation to determine if the individual is a danger to himself or others. Doctors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, clinical counselors, therapists and police can sign a Legal 2000 order.

On average, about 50 mentally ill people are sitting in emergency rooms in Southern Nevada each day for a medical examination required for a Legal 2000 petition, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services said.

Most cases are resolved within 72 hours, and the person is released from the hospital because they stabilized and are no longer a danger.

More than 8,000 patients go through Rawson-Neal each year, according to the Nevada State Health Division. The average stay at the acute care facility is about a week but can range from a few days to a few months. It costs an average of about $850 per day per patient, according to 2011 testimony before the Nevada Legislature.

If insurance doesn’t cover the cost, state and federal programs for indigents will likely pay the tab.

About two-thirds of the patients are discharged to homes or private residences. Another 18 percent are sent to other residential and institutional settings, including group homes. Some 12 percent go to homeless shelters; 4 percent are sent to other agencies or treatment facilities; and 2 percent discharge to self-care, or a weekly motel.

Nevada’s mental health system recently came under fire after a schizophrenic man, James F. Brown, 48, told California homeless advocates that Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services in Las Vegas put him on a bus to Sacramento, Calif., dumping him in a city where he didn’t know anyone.

Nevada health officials acknowledged that discharge policies and procedures for Rawson-Neal weren’t followed in Brown’s case, and a state investigation turned up two more unsafe discharges. As a result, authorities instituted new rules that require a second doctor to sign off before discharge and for the head of the hospital to authorize all out-of-state transportation to ensure family, friends or a program is ready to help the patient on arrival.

“We blew it and we’re taking corrective action,” Mike Willden, director of Nevada Health and Human Services, told a state Senate panel in March during a public hearing examining the state’s psychiatric discharge policies.


State Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, said the state has cut $80 million from mental health funding since 2007, when the recession hit. As chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee, Smith said she hopes to restore some of the money despite a tight budget and competing needs for education and other services.

The 2007 Legislature approved $498.3 million in 2007-09 general fund spending for Mental Health and Developmental Services, according to the department. That compares to $418.3 million approved by the 2011 Legislature for the 2011-13 biennium.

Overall spending, including federal funding, dropped from $721.2 million in 2007-09 to $631.2 million in 2011-13. Nevada health officials said much of the savings came from being more efficient with pharmaceutical purchases, not cutting programs. A 19 percent cut in staffing was achieved by attrition.

Compared to other states, Nevada’s mental health spending of $57 per person is low, 39th place among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The National Alliance on Mental Illness gave Nevada a “D” grade on its most recent report cards, in 2006 and in 2009.

“In a state with high rates of severe depression and other serious mental illnesses — as well as suicides — a strong commitment is needed to restore and expand the mental health safety net,” the 2009 report said. “Without one, Nevada will find its emergency rooms and criminal justice system overwhelmed — and costs being shifted to other sectors of state and local government.”

In response to Southern Nevada’s greater need, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval included in his 2014-15 budget request about $800,000 to open a 24-hour urgent care center for the mentally ill at Rawson-Neal. That could ease the burden on ERs. On April 2, the governor added another $4 million in proposed spending to help the mentally ill transition back into the community from jails and prisons.

Willden said now that Nevada is on the road to economic recovery he wants to rebuild the mental health system, starting with the 24-hour urgent care facility and transitional housing

“We all made tough decisions” during the recession, Willden said. “Was I happy to make those kinds of cuts? No. Now that the economy is improving, I think it’s important for us to get back on track and to get our priorities right.”

Still, there are not enough state beds for the severely mentally ill. Rawson-Neal, which opened in 2006, is budgeted for 190 beds, but another 100 beds from the older hospital remain mothballed.

Willden said the state is looking at reopening some of those older beds in the 1970s-era hospital building in hopes of creating a long-term mental health wing, which doesn’t exist now. He also said the state is looking for potential partners to lease space to treat the mentally ill’s drug and alcohol problems as well.

“Some of our patients require a longer term stay,” Willden said, adding the old building would need work.

That doesn’t take care of the staffing problem, however, after years of trimming way back.

Dean Nelson, director of psychology at Rawson-Neal, said he has just nine psychologists, down from 19 in 2007.

“It is bare bones,” Nelson said. “There are more services we could be delivering.”

He said hospital social workers help patients get into homeless shelters, group homes, assisted living situations, drug and alcohol treatment programs and offer other counseling and help, but there’s little follow-up.

“Some of them are just fragile people,” Nelson said. “If they don’t have that stable environment, it’s hard for the rest of their lives to get better.”

Dr. Angelene Lawrence, head psychiatrist at Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, said she is quitting in frustration after six years. She said there is a push for state psychiatrists to treat people whose main problems are drug, alcohol and behavioral, but not necessarily serious mental illness.

“I’d say 65 to 85 percent of the problem is drugs,” Lawrence said. “A lot of these people kind of create their own illness. And I see it as getting worse. People believe criminal behavior is because of mental illness and therefore they should all come into the psychiatric hospital. They think I have the magical ability to fix them.”


Norheim’s courtroom is witness to those broken lives.

The court allowed a reporter to watch the proceedings on condition that patients not be named to protect their privacy. The Review-Journal observed sessions on Feb. 20 and Feb. 22.

In one case, an 18-year-old woman who is a diagnosed schizophrenic refused to return home to her mother in Oakland, Calif. Instead, she said she wanted to stay in Las Vegas with a male “friend.”

Though social workers report that the woman’s mother told them the man is the woman’s pimp, the teen denied it. Tears streamed down her face as she wailed uncontrollably.

“I’m emancipated!” she cried. “I don’t want to live with her!”

Norheim told her that if the man would come to court he would release her to his care. She said he wouldn’t, and broke into tears as orderlies led her away.

Two days later, the teen’s male friend did appear. He sat silently, eyes down. She smiled widely. Doctors and social workers said the girl was stable and doing well.

Norheim asked if she would take her medication. She said yes. He asked if he could help her in any other way.

“No thank you,” she said. “Just besides the medication.”

After she and her friend had gone, Norheim shook his head. He had no reason to commit her. She was an adult who could make her own choices. Even bad ones.

“That makes me sick,” Norheim said. “That’s her pimp. I wish there was something I could do.”

In many cases, patients can’t kick their drug habits, contributing to their mental illnesses.

One 48-year-old cocaine addict who heard voices telling her to hurt herself refused immediate placement in a treatment program. Her eyes looked blank, her skin ashy, her teeth decayed.

“When a drug problem is so serious that you end up in a mental institution, for most people that’s rock bottom,” Norheim told the woman, who wouldn’t meet his eyes. “You’re going to end up dead.”

“I’m going to help myself,” the woman finally said, her voice a whisper.

The woman’s daughter sat behind her, jaw set. Tearing up, she turned away to avoid looking at her mother.

Norheim released the woman. The daughter followed .

In a few instances, hospitalization served as a wake-up call, and patients were grateful for help.

One man said his life spiraled out of control after his grandmother and 3-year-old son died. He came to court with an IV port in his arm, midway through detox and needing intravenous fluids to avoid the DTs (delirium tremens).

“I was drinking a bottle and a half a day,” he told Norheim. “I don’t want to touch the bottle again.”

Norheim said the man could stay in a private hospital until he finished detox, and then could go home.

“Thank you again for the opportunity,” he told Norheim.

Several younger male patients had taken synthetic drugs and had gone temporarily mad, running down streets, getting into fights and causing disturbances. One patient, in his early 20s, kept rubbing the side of his face with his hands, almost as if to make sure he was there. He spoke slowly, the stupor not quite lifted.

“You’ve got to stay away from that stuff. It’ll mess you up,” Norheim said.

Some patients appeared ravaged by years of mental illness.

A Rwandan woman, brittle-thin, huddled in a coat draped over pajamas. Eyes wide, she seemed unaware of where she was. Voices had told her “everybody has to die.” She stopped taking food to silence the voices. Four weeks later her family had her hospitalized.

“Her sons and husband want her home, but they want the voices to go away,” a social worker said.

An interpreter, speaking Swahili, explained what the court session was about. Norheim continued her case to provide more hospital care.


Some patients end up at Rawson-Neal because they have nowhere else to go.

One seen by Norheim was an 84-year-old woman, suffering from dementia. She came to the hospital from an assisted living home.

“She wasn’t following the rules so they kicked her out,” her doctor said.

The woman, her gray hair tangled, looked around in silent confusion, eyes jumping from face to face.

The public defender who represents patients before the court asked that she be held at a private hospital until a guardian is appointed to ensure she gets proper care and is receiving Medicare.

In another case, an elderly woman refused to take her son home, saying a neighbor had threatened to shoot him if he goes onto his property. The man was arrested after beating the neighbor.

In his 40s, the man had long, blond hair and hadn’t shaved in days. He wept and told Norheim that he had tried everything from Alcoholics Anonymous to drug rehabilitation, “but they never seem to work.”

“I’ve never been so sober in my life,” he said, pledging to try again to give up drugs and alcohol.

The vast majority of cases involved patients who appeared to be more a danger to themselves than anyone else.

One man had tried suicide by banging his head repeatedly against a wall. His forehead appeared split in two.

A woman, shackled for her own protection, needed surgery to repair anal tears from sharp objects she had inserted. She stared straight ahead, un­responsive, eyes dead.

Another woman, listless and with stringy hair, overdosed on pills. She was released to her mother.

“It was a mistake,” the woman said of her suicide attempt. “I have two little girls. I have too much to live for.”

Some patients appeared deep in dementia.

A squat man with closely cropped hair refused to sit. Hands on hips, he claimed to be an FBI informant in the witness protection program.

“He’s highly dangerous,” Norheim said after the man left the courtroom.

Norheim committed the most violent patients, including the snake man, a man who was arrested three times for assaulting family members and a man arrested for threatening people with a baseball bat in the street.

One violent patient raised his voice, becoming belligerent when Norheim refused to release him. He said he would refuse medication — a court order would be needed to force him to do so. He would get a private attorney and sue them all, the man added, slamming his hand on the table.

“They done make me crazy, though,” he told Norheim, berating the police. “I don’t have a mental illness. I’m not going to take it. All you are idiots. I’m going to have to shut down the entire institution.”

Norheim said the man had back-to-back fights with police.

“He’s lucky to be alive. He told them he will kill them. One of these times, it’s not going to go well.”

Contact reporter Laura Myers at lmyers @reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919. Follow @lmyerslvrj on Twitter.

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Nevada Election 2018: A late night for those wanting election results.
Nevada Election 2018 | Election Update
Nevada Election 2018: A late night for those wanting election results. The latest from the Las Vegas Review Journal. Studio anchor Aaron Drawhorn joined by columnist Victor Joecks discussing voter turnout and impact.
Scenes from the Nevada GOP Election Party
Crowds gather at Nevada's GOP Election Party at South Point in Clark County. Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Long lines in 2018 Nevada election in Las Vegas
Polling places in Clark County, Nev., saw long lines during the 2018 election.
Dennis Hof Wins, What Now?
Although Nevada Republicans have seen stronger elections, brothel owner Dennis Hof, who passed away unexpectedly October 16, managed to win his race for Assembly District 36 despite being dead. Hof ran as a Republican, calling himself the “Trump of Pahrump.” Although the colorful candidate and showman easily defeated his Democratic opponent from the grave, county commissioners from the three counties comprising District 36 must now meet to name Hof’s replacement.
Henderson voters talk about their voting experience
Henderson voters talk about their voting experience. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Voters hit the polls at Downtown Summerlin in Las Vegas
Voters, including first time voters, were lined up before the doors opened at the voting center in a tent in the parking lot behind Dillard’s at Downtown Summerlin. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Election Day time off
Nevada companies are required to give employees one to three hours of paid time off on Election Day, depending on the distance between the place of work and a polling location. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris Speaks at UNLV Rally
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris speaks at a UNLV rally hosted by the Nevada State Democratic Party.
Early voting ends Friday in Clark County
The final day of early voting is Friday, Nov. 2. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. Voting locations will stay open past their scheduled closing time so long as people are waiting in line to cast ballots. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President’s son visits Las Vegas in support of Republican candidates
Eric and Lara Trump show their support for U.S. Representative Cresent Hardy and other Republican candidates during a rally at the Nevada Republican Party’s Summerlin office.
Barack Obama Encourages Las Vegas To Vote Early
Former President Barack Obama visits Las Vegas to encourage people to vote early for the midterm elections.
Former Vice President Joe Biden Speaks Along With Democrat Candidates Speak At #Risenvote Rally
Former Vice President Joe Biden Speaks at the #RiseNVote rally to get voters to vote early.
Heller, Rosen participate in debate
The senatorial debate between Dean Heller and Jacky Rosen highlighted differences between the candidates, who spent much of Friday night exchanging barbs on health care, immigration and gun control. (Courtesy KLAS-TV, Las Vegas)
Police Update on Fremont Street Shooting
Lt. Ray Spencer gives an update regarding a homicide investigation that occurred in front of a bus stop near Fremont Street and Casino Center, involving a security officer and another male.
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Alleged Las Vegas casino con man, who was on the run, appears in court
Mark Georgantas -- who entered a plea deal on a charge of stealing from people he met at Las Vegas casinos, but failed to show up for sentencing -- appearing in court after being captured in Utah. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Memorial service for Kwavon’tia Thomas
Timika Thomas sings during a memorial service for her son, Kwavon’tia Gregory Thomas, at Unity Baptist Church in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Kwavon’tia was shot and killed on Christmas Eve. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVMPD Looking For Blue Bucket Bandit - VIDEO
On December 31, 2018 detectives with the LVMPD Northwest Area Command Patrol Investigations Section received a report of the theft of a surveillance camera from the front porch of a residence located in the area of West Lake Mead Boulevard and North Rampart Boulevard. The victim in this case became aware of other residents in the neighborhood who had been the victim of similar crimes.
16-year-old boy fatally shot in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas police were investigating the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, marking the department’s first homicide investigation this year. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police searching for man in Christmas robbery
A man walked into a business about 2:35 a.m. Dec. 25 on the 5000 block of South Eastern Avenue, near East Tropicana Avenue, and “committed a robbery,” a police release said. Police wrote that a person followed him outside of the business, and the man pointed a gun at him. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Fatal shooting at Green Valley Ranch casino
Henderson Police Department Lt. Kirk Moore briefs the media on a fatal shooting at Green Valley Ranch casino in Henderson on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police release video of suspect in armed robbery
Las Vegas police released video Monday in an effort to identify a man they said robbed a convenience store clerk at gunpoint last week.
Buffalo Wild Wings Hit and Run
Here's the surveillance of the hit-and-run crash in front of BWW, in which a woman repeatedly crashed into a manager's vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot. She walks in, asks how long the wait is, then storms off after being told of the 10-minute wait time. Footage courtesy of manager Daniel Rees.
Multi-agency DUI Strike Team focused solely on arresting impaired drivers
The newly formed DUI Strike Team made up of Las Vegas police officers and Nevada Highway Patrol Troopers have hit the streets looking for impaired drivers. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jury finds former corrections officers not guilty on all counts
Paul Valdez and Jose Navarrete, two former Nevada Department of Corrections officers accused of using unnecessary force on an inmate were both found not guilty on all charges after a jury deliberated less than 2 hours.
Henderson Constable appears in court
Earl Mitchell, the Henderson Constable indicted on four counts of theft and one count of fraudulent appropriation of property, appeared in court Thursday.
Former FBI agent recalls tragic case 20 years later
Timothy Blackburn robbed a Bank of America depository in December 1998 for more than $1 million — the largest bank robbery in Nevada’s history. After eluding authorities initially, Blackburn was caught and jailed at the North Las Vegas Detention Center. In August 1999, he escaped, guns blazing, with his wife’s help, and disappeared for weeks only to be found at an apartment near Boulder Highway. Former FBI Agent Henry Schlumpf, the lead on the case, remembers vividly the hostage situation that would end tragically. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Officer Shoots Suspect in Nye County - Bodycam
A Nye County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man Thursday night. Jason Paul O’Bannon, 46, died after the altercation with police. Reports of a man firing a weapon outside his house brought police to the scene just after 8 p.m. Detective Wesley Fancher fired the shot that killed O’Bannon, police said. O’Bannon had a “lengthy criminal history” in California and Nevada dating to 1988, according to police
Nye County sheriff news conference on officer-involved shooting
Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly details the police response as officers came under fire Thursday when a man was shooting a rifle in his yard. When the man pointed a weapon at an officer, police opened fire. The man died.
Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing - 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
The Mob Museum
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Man shot, killed by Las Vegas police after traffic stop
Las Vegas police give a briefing after a man was shot and killed by an officer following a traffic stop. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video of suspect in Home Depot parking lot shooting
A man who was injured in a Nov. 20 shooting in the southwest Las Vegas Valley died at a hospital Tuesday, the Clark County coroner’s office said.
Nevada Task Force 1 Dog Units Return
Four dogs and their handlers returned to the Las Vegas Valley on Thursday, November 29, 2018, after deploying to the Paradise, California wildfire last week. The dogs, trained in human remains detection, are part of Nevada Task Force 1, a Federal Emergency Management Agency urban search and rescue team. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police thwart brazen kidnapping attempt
Metro officers suspicious of woman claiming to be with Child Protective Services prevent possible kidnapping of three-week-old infant.
Shot Spotter technology used by Metro extended for another year
Gunfire location technology being used by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department gets extended for another year of evaluation.
Nye County pursuit ends in rollover crash caught by dashcam
A truck flipped twice before landing on its wheels as a driver tried to flee Nye County Sheriff's deputies on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018.
Nevada Highway Patrol stops wrong-way driver on Thanksgiving
The Nevada Highway Patrol has released dashboard and body camera video showing troopers deploying spike strips to stop a suspected impaired wrong-way driver early Thanksgiving Day. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
DUI sentencing
The parents of 8-year-old Levi Echenique speak after a woman who drove under the influence of marijuana and killed the boy was sent to prison.
3 Pahrump residents arrested on false imprisonment charges
James Thatcher, 28 of Pahrump, Chelsea Demille, 30 of Pahrump, and Sandra Wombles, 19 of Pahrump were all arrested after it was discovered that they were holding an adult female and male prisoners in their bedroom. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
2 kids struck by gunfire in North Las Vegas shooting
On Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, people opened fire into a residence in the 3600 block of Hamlin Place in North Las Vegas. Two kids were hit by gunfire and sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to North Las Vegas police. Anyone with information is asked to call the NLVPD at 702-633-9111.
Stephan Bonnar DUI Arrest
Stephan Bonnar arrested for DUI in Nevada.
Life and times of a 90-year-old horse player
Leo Polito of Las Vegas describes meeting legendary jockey and trainer Johnny Longden on the beach at Del Mar. Mike Brunker/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Learning the history of singing bowls
Presentation at Summerlin Library teaches residents about the history of singing bowls (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vicki Richardson speaks about on the power of art
Artist and arts advocate Vicki Richardson talks about the power of art to inspire and challenge. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DressCoders pairs tech with haute couture
DressCoders is a startup focused on haute couture garments. The company uses illuminated thread that is washable and can be sewn right into the fabric. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Brava infrared oven
In cooking with the Brava infrared oven,there’s no preheating. the bulbs can reach 500 degrees in less than a second. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sinks Merge Style And Utility
Study could determine cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases
Dr. Aaron Ritter, director of clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, discusses his research on how inflammation in the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holocaust survivors talk about tragedy and friendship
Janos Strauss and Alexander Kuechel share their perspectives on life. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Siegel Cares' Santa delivers toys to kids at Siegel Suites in Las Vegas
Siegel Cares, the charitable wing of The Siegel Group, delivered toys to families at their apartment complexes in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Revisiting “Christ the King” sculpture
A longtime admirer of the sculpture at Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas shares her perspective. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terry Fator Christmas House
Arguably better than a hotel holiday display, is Terry and Angie Fator's home located in southwest Las Vegas.
UNLV Winter Graduation Packs Thomas & Mack
UNLV's 55th winter commencement ceremony included approximately 2,146 undergraduate and graduate students who recently completed their studies. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Build-A-Bear comes to Reed Elementary School
Students participated in a Build-A-Bear-Workshop at Doris Reed Elementary School in Las Vegas, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the LVRJ
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center art depicts names of God
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center founder Sharaf Haseebullah talks about new diamond-shaped art panels featuring some of the 99 names of Allah at the main entrance the Las Vegas mosque. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Catholic Charities hosts early Christmas meal
Students from the Bishop Gorman High School football and cheerleader team helped to serve food at the Christmas meal sponsored by the Frank and Victoria Fertitta Foundation at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada on Sunday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
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