Monte Carlo blaze fed by construction foam

Columns of black smoke loomed over the Strip on Friday from a fire atop the Monte Carlo, forcing thousands of people to evacuate.

The fire started just before 11 a.m. on the upper reaches of the 32-story hotel. Fueled by highly flammable construction foam, the flames spread along the building’s facade while firefighters standing on the roof and hanging out hotel room windows attacked them with water.

"It started with a little smoke, and I thought it was, like, kitchen smoke," said Angel Hernandez, who works at a nearby kiosk on the Strip. "The next thing I saw was the black smoke and I went, ‘That’s not the kitchen.’"

Plumes of smoke attracted hundreds of onlookers and news helicopters that swirled overhead, capturing live footage of the growing conflagration that conjured images of the MGM Grand fire in 1980 that killed 87 people.

Firefighters knocked down the flames by 12:15 p.m., but not before they had blackened a large swath of the building’s exterior. At least 13 people were treated for smoke inhalation, but authorities reported no major injuries. Two people were taken to hospitals because they didn’t have their medications, and another because she’d fallen.

"It could have been very serious," Fire Chief Steve Smith said, commending firefighters’ efforts. "This is what we train for."



Housing market continues plunge

The housing market in Las Vegas ended the year with a whimper, tallying just 1,340 new-home sales in December for a total of 19,670 in 2007, down 45.6 percent from the previous year, Home Builders Research reported.

Existing-home sales were equally weak, with 1,339 escrow closings in December. The year’s total was 24,838, a 40.7 percent decline from 2006.



Macau gaming outstrips Strip

Macau’s booming casino industry has blown past the Strip in revenues and is closing in on Nevada’s statewide win.

Fueled by three large casino openings and a 23 percent jump in annual visitor volume, gambling halls in Macau collected more than $10.3 billion in gaming revenue during 2007, a 46 percent increase. The figures were released by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

Nevada’s total gaming win for 2007 won’t be released until next month. Through November, the Gaming Control Board said, the Silver State’s casinos had won $11.752 billion from gamblers. In 2006, 24 casinos operating in the Chinese gaming enclave collected $6.95 billion in gambling revenue. Strip casinos won $6.69 billion during those same 12 months.



Inmate accused of seeking hit man

Authorities say a Clark County inmate tried to take out a hit on a judge, a prosecutor and a cop who put him behind bars.

Daimon Hoyt, 42, offered to pay a fellow inmate $30,000 to kill District Judge Michelle Leavitt, Deputy District Attorney Sandra DiGiacomo and Detective Bradley Nickell, authorities said.

Leavitt said Hoyt appeared in her court at least once on a burglary charge and acted "like a total gentleman."

Hoyt faces three counts of soliciting murder and more than three dozen unrelated charges including burglary, possession of stolen property and lewdness with a minor under the age of 14. Hoyt said in court Friday that he was innocent of the charges and wanted to take a lie detector test to prove it.



Lawmakers back Gibbons’ cuts

Although they complained that Gov. Jim Gibbons was stealing from the citizens of Nevada, legislators left intact the governor’s plan to cut state spending by $542 million over the next 18 months.

Democratic legislators, led by state Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, complained that they legally were entitled to a say where cuts should be made.

"What they are about to do is commit a crime, for Christ’s sake," said Coffin, comparing Gibbons’ plan to cut spending to someone walking into a home and stealing a TV set.

But after two hours of angry discussion, Assembly Ways and Means Chairman Morse Arberry, D-Las Vegas, moved onto another item in the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee agenda.

"Keep the Lord out of this," he told Coffin.



Furniture show organizers upbeat

Organizers of one of the country’s biggest furniture shows said registration for their upcoming Las Vegas market is up despite a national housing slump that’s hammering the home furnishings industry.

On Monday, the World Market Center opens its winter market, one of two major annual events in the multistructure campus in downtown Las Vegas.

The market is expected to attract as many as 50,000 people. It will be the first market event since the housing slump hit the U.S. economy, particularly the home furnishings industry.



Ceremony Recognizes Refugee Students, Graduates
Rosy Mibulano, a graduate of Las Vegas High School who came to America from the Congo in 2015, was recognized in a ceremony for refugee students in Clark County. Like many other students relocated to Las Vegas from countries around the world, Rosy had a challenging high school experience, from learning English to adjusting to American customs and taking care of her family. On top of that, she wants to go to school to become a nurse so she can take care of her mother, who suffers from diabetes. The annual Refugee Recognition Ceremony celebrates the enormous lengths these young adults go through to create a new life for themselves. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Water leak at Mandalay Bay convention center
The convention center area of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas experienced major flooding Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Melinda Cook
Hollywood Memorabilia Up For Grabs at Las Vegas Auction
Elvis Presley's car, Marilyn Monroe's bras, Han Solo's blaster, and Jerry Lewis's "Nutty Professor" suit are just some of the items that are up for auction at Julien's Auctions at Planet Hollywood June 22 and 23. The auction's viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Springs Preserve Exhibit Shows Off "Nature's Ninjas"
"Nature's Ninjas" arrives at the Springs Preserve, in an exhibit and live show featuring critters that come with natural defenses, from armadillos to snakes, poison dart frogs to scorpions and tarantulas (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossRoads of Southern Nevada psychiatric urgent care to open in Las Vegas
Jeff Iverson, who operates the nonprofit sober living facility Freedom House, is opening a private addiction treatment center that will operate a detoxification center and transitional living for substance users trying to recover. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Wayne Newton surprises burglars
Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen, arrived at their southeast Las Vegas home shortly before midnight on Wednesday to find two burglars inside their house. The burglars fled and were seen heading north through the property. Las Vegas police quickly set up a perimeter and launched an extensive search of the area, but the suspects were able to escape. It was unclear if the burglars got away with anything of value. Several items, under the watchful eyes of the police, were seen on the ground near the home's main driveway. Neither Newton, nor his wife, were injured. The Newtons were not available for comment.
Police Officers Turn Off Body Cameras
In four separate body camera videos from the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting released Wednesday, officers in a strike team are instructed to turn their body cameras off and comply with the request.
Debra Saunders reports from Singapore
Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent talks about the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
How long will North Korea's denuclearization take?
In Singapore, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent Debra Saunders asks President Donald Trump how long North Korea's denuclearization will take. White House video.
LVCVA purchase of gift cards hidden
A former LVCVA executive hid the purchase of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards in records at the agency. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, said the money was for promotional events and did not disclose that it was for gift cards. Lawson also instructed Southwest employees to submit invoices without mentioning the purchases were for the cards. More than $50,000 of the cards cannot be accounted for. The convention authority is publicly funded . Lawson recently resigned.
Kim Jong Un visits Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage visited the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore briefly Monday night, local time. (Video by Philip Chope)
Coca-Cola Bottle Purse Has 9,888 Diamonds
Designer Kathrine Baumann and jeweler Aaron Shum set the Guinness World Record for most diamonds (9,888) set on a handbag. The Coca Cola bottle-shaped purse was on display at the Coca Cola Store on the Strip. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sentosa Island a pleasure resort with a pirate past
The site of Tuesday's U.S.-North Korea summit is known for theme parks and resorts. But before that, it was known as a pirate island. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judge Sandra Pomrenze's comment about girl's hair
Nevada Races Full of Women From Both Sides
It's already been a historic election season for women in politics. Record numbers of women are running for political office all over the country - including Nevada. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
East Las Vegas home damaged by fire
Clark County Fire Department crews responded to a house fire in east Las Vegas Thursday morning. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
911 call: Mom tries to get to son shot at Route 91
A woman stuck on the interstate during the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, tries to get to her son. 911 call released by Las Vegas police.
Las Vegas 911 caller reports people shot on Oct. 1
A 911 caller on Oct. 1, 2017, reports several people shot at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
911 call from woman under stage in Las Vegas shooting
A 911 call from a woman underneath the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival during the Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting.
LVCVA facing scandal over gift cards
LVCVA is facing a growing scandal over airline gift cards. LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned.
Siblings separated in the foster care system get a day together
St. Jude's Ranch for Children and Cowabunga Bay Cares program partnered to bring 75 siblings together for the day to play on the water slides and in the pools at the Henderson water park. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People flee the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Las Vegas police released footage from a camera on Mandalay Bay of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Aaliyah Inghram awarded medal of courage
Aaliyah Inghram, a 10-year-old girl who was shot while protecting her 18-month-old brother and 4-year-old cousin during a shooting on May 8, awarded medal of courage. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegans Pack Public Lands Open House
A crowd filled the Clark County Library conference room Tuesday afternoon where Clark County officials hold their first -- and possibly only -- public meeting on plans to open almost 39,000 acres of federal land for development just outside the Las Vegas metropolitan area. County commissioners are set to vote June 19 on a potentially controversial resolution seeking federal legislation that would set aside tens of thousands of acres for conservation while giving Nevada’s largest community more room to grow. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police search Henderson Constable's home and office
Las Vegas police served search warrants Tuesday at Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell's home and office. The investigation was sparked by a Las Vegas Review-Journal story showing Mitchell wrote himself $70,000 in checks, used ATMs at casinos and video poker bars, and traveled to places his adult children live. All using county funds. Police refused to comment but Mitchell's attorney said he did nothing wrong.
Vegas Golden Knights fans shows his colors for community
Vegas Golden Knights superfan Lynn Groesbeck has wrapped his new truck with Knights logos and images. He loves how the Golden Knights are bringing community back to Las Vegas. People stop him on the street to take photos and share his support. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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