11-year-old found with mother’s boyfriend

An 11-year-old Las Vegas girl who was reported missing Thursday was found in Porterville, Calif., with her mother’s boyfriend, who was en route to Washington, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

A statewide Amber Alert went into effect on Thursday as authorities searched for Esther Melendez.

On Thursday night, law enforcement pulled over Jose Rangel-Martinez’s red Chevy Cavalier in the small town just north of Bakersfield. The girl was with Rangel-Martinez, who police believe is about 30 years old.

Police would not comment Friday on their investigation.

Melendez was last seen on her bicycle Thursday afternoon outside her Pecos Road apartment complex.


County issues dust, ozone advisory

A dust and ground-level ozone advisory has been issued through today.

Clark County Air Quality officials sent notices to construction sites and are advising residents to take precautions in the event of more strong winds. Ozone levels also are expected to rise.

“We are entering the peak of the ozone season,” said Phillip Wiker, Clark County meteorologist.

The advisory is only a precaution, as current dust and ozone levels are not at unhealthful levels. Wiker said windy conditions generate airborne dust that can lead to respiratory problems.

A similar advisory was issued prior to this week’s conditions, but Wiker said the expected winds won’t be as strong or for as long.

Officials urge residents to call Air Quality’s dust-complaint hot line at 385-DUST to report excessive amounts of blowing dust.


Man killed by driver going wrong way ID’d

The 34-year-old man killed early Thursday morning by a person driving in the wrong direction on U.S. Highway 95 has been identified as Michael Ricco Giandrea of Las Vegas.

Giandrea was driving a Toyota Celica north between the Las Vegas Beltway and Durango Drive about 1:15 a.m. when his vehicle was hit by Chevrolet Monte Carlo traveling south in the northbound lanes by a 27-year-old man, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The front left side of the Monte Carlo struck the front left side of the Celica, according to Highway Patrol trooper Kevin Honea.

Giandrea died at the scene.

The man driving the Monte Carlo, whose name was not released, was taken to University Medical Center.

Honea said it was not known why the man was traveling the wrong way. An investigation is under way.


Bush signs bill funding MagLev train project

Plans for a levitating train from Las Vegas to Disneyland can move forward under a transportation bill signed by President Bush on Friday that frees up $45 million for the futuristic project.

Derided by critics as pie in the sky, the train would use magnetic levitation technology to carry passengers from Disneyland to Las Vegas in well under two hours, traveling at speeds of up to 300 mph. It would be the first MagLev system in the United States.

The money is the largest cash infusion in the project’s nearly 20-year history. It will pay for environmental studies for the first leg of the project.

Funding had been delayed by a drafting error in Congress’ 2005 highway bill, which was corrected by the legislation signed Friday by Bush.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., praised passage of the law, saying the MagLev project “will safely and efficiently move people between Southern California and Las Vegas.”


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