Second suspect held in drive-by shooting

Las Vegas police on Tuesday arrested a second suspect in connection with the Feb. 15 fatal drive-by shooting near Palo Verde High School, the same day the suspected gunman made his first court appearance.

Detectives arrested 19-year-old Ezekiel Williams about 6:30 p.m. on one count of accessory to murder and three counts of accessory to attempted murder, police said.

Williams was driving the car when the gunfire began, police said. The arrest was the second in the shooting that killed Palo Verde freshman Christopher Privett as he walked home after school.

On Tuesday, the 16-year-old Palo Verde student charged with pulling the trigger appeared in court during a brief hearing before Family Court Judge William Voy.

Gerald Quashawn Davison stood quietly during the hearing, at times closing his eyes and shaking his head.

His father, Gerald Lamont Davison, held his son’s hand throughout the hearing and talked more than his son’s court-appointed lawyer.

"The plea is not guilty. He didn’t do it," Gerald Lamont Davison blurted.

According to his arrest report, Gerald Quashawn Davison told police he was trying to scare four Palo Verde High School classmates when he pulled out a small handgun and fired four shots from a moving car.

A young woman in the car said the shooting was in retaliation for one of the four students throwing "gang signs" at her, two Palo Verde girls in the car told police.

The details in the report, released Wednesday, provided the closest thing to a possible motive in the shooting.



Acre selling for $1.51 million

Land values in Las Vegas rose 21.8 percent during the fourth quarter to an average of $1.51 million an acre for 452 acres sold compared to the previous year’s quarter, research firm Applied Analysis reported.

The price was down 25 percent from $2.01 million an acre in the third quarter.

Excluding land sales around the Strip, the average price was $939,400 an acre, still a 20.1 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2006.



$450 million more needed for roads

State Transportation Director Susan Martinovich told legislators her agency must find an additional $450 million a year by 2016, or she will be forced to scuttle $6 billion in highway projects to relieve traffic congestion.

But legislators of both parties expressed frustration about their chances of raising taxes for roads during the 2009 Legislature if Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons keeps his no-new-taxes pledge.

Under the state constitution, a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Legislature is needed to increase taxes.

The same vote would be required to override a gubernatorial veto.



Ex-UMC president accused of theft

Lacy Thomas, who four years ago was tapped to turn around the financially troubled University Medical Center, is accused of enriching his friends with no-work hospital contracts that cost the public hospital as much as $10 million.

In an indictment made public in District Court, Thomas was charged with five counts of theft and five counts of misconduct by a public officer.

Prosecutor Scott Mitchell said Thomas treated Clark County’s only public hospital as a financial trough to pay pals from his days at Chicago’s largest public hospital.



Quake damages historic town

An earthquake rocked the northeastern Nevada town of Wells, damaging hundreds of homes, rupturing gas and water lines and felling brick building facades in the mostly unoccupied historical district, The Associated Press reported.

No serious injuries were reported after the magnitude 6.0 quake jolted the high desert town awake at 6:16 a.m.

"It was like a bomb went off," said Elko County Commissioner Mike Nannini, who was standing in the middle of the 4-way Cafe & Casino when the quake began.

"The walls and ceilings started coming down. Almost all of the businesses are shut down. We have no services and no fuel," he said.



MGM Mirage dealers get raise

Dealers at MGM Mirage’s 10 Strip casinos will be given a pay raise Monday, as much as 22 percent in some cases, as the gaming operator moves to implement a uniform pay structure for more than 5,100 workers.

MGM Mirage President Jim Murren said the raises were needed to create a level playing field among its dealing work force.

MGM Mirage is preparing to add potentially 1,000 dealers when the company opens the CityCenter development in November 2009.

MGM Mirage is also looking at expansion plans on the Strip well into the next decade.



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