1-year-old drowning victim identified

A 1-year-old girl who drowned in a backyard pool Monday has been identified as Clayre M. Rukavina of Henderson.

She was found unconscious by her mother in the pool just before 10 a.m. at 262 Winona Terrace, near Warm Springs Road and Pueblo Place.

The mother was getting ready for work and didn’t realize that a sliding-glass door leading to the pool was open, Henderson police said. The pool did not have a security fence around it.

When police arrived at the home, the mother was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the girl. Officers took over the CPR until paramedics arrived.

The child was taken to St. Rose Dominican Hospital, De Lima Campus, where she was pronounced dead.

Police said the drowning appears accidental, but police were still investigating the incident.


Police identify man in hotel standoff

A man who fired several shots Monday during a standoff with Las Vegas police at the Barcelona Hotel was 29-year-old Marcus J. Blackwell, Las Vegas police said.

Blackwell was charged with one count of robbery with a deadly weapon and held on $20,000 bail at the Clark County Detention Center. Other charges related to firing the weapon at officer are pending, police said.

The incident began about 1:30 p.m. when Blackwell allegedly robbed a person at gunpoint on Craig Road near Nellis Boulevard, police said. The victim of the robbery followed Blackwell until he entered a room at the hotel.

Police evacuated nearby rooms and police negotiators talked to Blackwell, according to police. After three hours of negotiations, Blackwell fired four rounds at SWAT officers, one of whom returned fire with one shot, police said. Nobody was injured in the exchange.

Soon after, Blackwell surrendered, according to police.


Mentally ill patients have more options

Mentally ill patients aren’t waiting as long in Southern Nevada emergency rooms before being transferred to a psychiatric hospital or diverted to other mental health care facilities, health officials said Tuesday.

Though some months still show averages upward of 50 patients per day, in the past two years the state has seen a steady decline in patients with mental health problems being held in Clark County emergency rooms.

For example, in December 2006, roughly 86 mentally ill patients were being held in hospitals. During the same month in 2007, 26 patients were being held in hospitals.

Dr. Harold Cook, administrator for the state’s Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services, said the progress is a direct result of more psychiatric beds as well as additional mental health resources. In all, 238 psychiatric beds are available in Southern Nevada.


Cottonwood Cove reopened to public

A week after it was forced to shut down because of a lack of potable water, Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave reopened to the public late Monday afternoon.

The popular recreation spot 70 miles southeast of Las Vegas was closed by the National Park Service on March 31 after its water system failed.

About 100 visitors were forced to leave when the area closed. An unknown number of others, including some who had driven for hours to get there, were turned away at a roadblock set up by the Park Service on the road leading to the cove from Searchlight.

After the repairs were made, the water system was flushed and disinfected. The water was then tested by an independent laboratory and confirmed safe.

Facilities at Cottonwood Cove include a 30-room motel, a trailer village, an RV park, a store, a cafe and a marina, a gas station and a fuel dock.


Reno man files lawsuit to keep ‘her’ off ballot

A Reno man has filed a lawsuit claiming the U.S. Constitution would have to be amended to allow Sen. Hillary Clinton to appear on the presidential ballot.

Douglas Wallace, 80, argues that because the constitution refers to “he” and “his” in describing presidential duties, a woman can’t hold the office.

“The use of female gendered pronouns ‘she’ or ‘her’ are not present in the document, making it conclusive that the framers never intended that a woman would be president of the United States,” Wallace wrote in the lawsuit.

Legal scholars called the lawsuit “amusing” but without merit.

“The use of the masculine pronoun is a relic of the period,” Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

“The Constitution has been amended to expressly incorporate women into the political system. No court would subscribe to this meritless argument,” he said.

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