Talks possible in paramedics dispute

Hours after Services Employee International Union 1107 notified American Medical Response that its emergency responders planned to strike, the Las Vegas Valley’s largest ambulance provider offered to drop all unfair labor complaints against the labor union and return to the bargaining table.

“This is an overreaction by the union. We are, quite frankly, stunned by the union’s actions,” John Wilson, general manager of AMR’s Las Vegas location, said in a prepared statement released Friday. “Our contract just expired two weeks ago.”

The statement goes on to say that AMR plans to meet with the National Labor Relations Board next week.

Responding to AMR’s latest announcement, SEIU 1107 officials said they would rescind the strike notice if AMR “makes good on intent to resume contract talks.” And if a contract is settled, SEIU probably would withdraw any recently filed complaints it has filed with the NLRB against the ambulance service provider, officials said.

The labor dispute between SEIU 1107 and AMR became public Wednesday when Las Vegas and Clark County officials urged the two parties to avert a strike planned to begin Nov. 28.


Indy 500 winner Unser to take part in event

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. will participate in today’s Operation Christmas Stocking event to collect needed items for troops overseas.

The event begins 9 a.m. at Las Vegas Harley-Davidson dealership, 2605 S. Eastern Ave.

Operation Christmas Stocking is a fundraiser to collect goods for troops for the holidays and raise money for packaging and shipping.

Marketing Director Dawn Schmidt said Unser will support the event by participating in a poker run and making a donation to the silent auction.

“One hundred percent of the goods, poker run fees and other funds raised will support this worthy cause,” she said.

A list of pre-approved items to drop off at the dealership can be found online at


Jurors recommend life terms for killer

A jury decided Friday that the man convicted of murdering three people at a Halloween party in Reno last year should be sentenced to three life terms in prison without the possibility of parole.

Samisoni Taukitoku, 20, apologized and asked the jurors for forgiveness before they deliberated for about three hours and returned their sentencing verdict in Washoe County District Court.

Taukitoku was found guilty on Wednesday on three counts of murder and four counts of assault with a deadly weapon in the deaths of Derek Jensen, 23, a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno; Nate Viljoen, 23, a former UNR student; and Charles “Coogan” Kelly, 21, an acclaimed snowboarder from Truckee, Calif.

Judge Patrick Flanagan set the formal sentencing for Jan. 7, but judges rarely deviate from a jury’s recommendation in murder cases.

Laura Lui, Taukitoku’s lawyer, said they would appeal the guilty verdict and sentence.

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