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62-year-old woman dies in Desert Inn crash

A pickup going the wrong way on Desert Inn Road on Sunday clipped another car, which spun and struck a third vehicle, killing the 62-year-old Las Vegas woman driving it, police said.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene near Westwind Road. Her name has not yet been released by the Clark County coroner’s office.

The crash occurred at about 5:15 p.m. Sunday when the driver of a Toyota pickup swerved into oncoming traffic and hit a Toyota Camry, Las Vegas police said.

The Camry was sent spinning into the victim’s Plymouth Neon.

The 44-year-old woman driving the pickup was arrested on driving under the influence and drug charges. The woman was taken to the Clark County Detention Center.


Friends dispute abuse suspicions in slayings

Hundreds of mourners packed a funeral in St. Johns, Ariz., on Monday for a man alleged to have been shot to death by his 8-year-old son, while friends and neighbors disputed any suggestion the boy had been abused.

They painted a picture of Vincent Romero as a caring father who seemed to be doing all he could to raise a polite and respectful boy.

“They were always together doing things as a family, fishing, hunting,” Carlos Diaz, a cousin of Romero’s current wife, said after the funeral.

Romero, a 29-year-old employee of a construction company, was shot with a .22-caliber rifle on Wednesday along with Timothy Romans, a 39-year-old man who rented a room in his house.

Police said Romero’s son planned and carried out the killings, and confessed. Authorities would not discuss specifics of the confession.

The boy has been charged as a juvenile with two counts of murder. He appeared at a court hearing Monday.

Judge Michael Roca gave defense attorneys until Friday to either find an expert to evaluate the boy’s competency or to agree to one suggested by the prosecutors.


NASA: Phoenix Mars mission has ended

NASA on Monday declared an end to the Phoenix mission, some five months after the spacecraft became the first to land in Mars’ arctic plains and taste water on another planet.

Mission engineers have not heard from the Phoenix lander in more than a week. It fell silent shortly after a raging dust storm blocked sunlight from reaching its solar panels. Although ground controllers will direct two satellites orbiting Mars to listen for Phoenix for several more weeks, the chances that it will respond are slim.

Phoenix’s demise was predicted. Unlike its hardy twin rover cousins Spirit and Opportunity, which are approaching their fifth year near the red planet’s more hospitable equatorial region, Phoenix’s days were numbered from the outset.

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