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One of Southern Nevada’s worst medical calamities turned into a criminal case on Friday, when Dr. Dipak Desai and two of his former clinic workers were indicted for their roles in the hepatitis C outbreak.

The 28-count grand jury indictment unsealed in District Court against Desai and two of his former nurse anesthetists, Ronald Ernest Lakeman and Keith H. Mathahs, includes a half-dozen felonies, including racketeering, neglect of patients, insurance fraud and performance of an act of reckless disregard of persons or property.

The charges revolve around the cases of seven people health officials say were infected with the potentially deadly hepatitis C virus at Desai’s Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada because of unsafe injection practices.


Group: Tax it all

A conservative Las Vegas think tank says Nevada should collect sales taxes on everything — including utility bills, cell phone bills and food — if it is to come up with a more stable and fair way of taxing residents.

It also wants to reduce the cost of government by letting private businesses, unions and others bid to operate state agencies and programs.

The Nevada Policy Research Institute outlined its ideas in a new report, which calls for charging sales taxes on everything but reducing the sales tax rate from 6.85 percent to 3.5 percent.


Sun publisher dies

Barbara Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas Sun and wife of the late Hank Greenspun, died at age 88.

Greenspun assumed the role of publisher after her husband died in 1989, and, as matriarch, she was the face of the family to the many charitable organizations endowed by the clan.


Harper, Coyotes out

Nationally heralded baseball phenom Bryce Harper was ejected from a game at the Junior College World Series for protesting a called third strike, effectively ending his playing career at the College of Southern Nevada.

His ejection carried an automatic two-game suspension.

The Coyotes went on to lose after he was tossed. The team lost again on Thursday, and was eliminated from the tournament.

Harper, 17, is expected to be the top pick in Monday’s major league draft.


UNLV cuts approved

A half-dozen UNLV departments and programs were officially eliminated by the Board of Regents in a decision members called the toughest they have faced.

Marriage and family therapy, informatics, clinical laboratory sciences, sports education leadership, educational leadership and urban horticulture were cut from the university’s lineup of some 60 programs.

The cuts approved were recommended by the two university presidents.


death ruled suicide

A coroner’s inquest jury ruled that a state fire marshal’s investigator who died in a standoff with Henderson police committed suicide.

Eric Jason Thatcher, 38, died April 22 from a gunshot wound in the head, the jury of seven ruled.

Thatcher, a former Nevada Highway Patrol trooper, fired 39 shots toward officers during the more than two-hour standoff.

Shortly before shooting himself with a handgun, Thatcher was shot in the upper right arm by a Henderson SWAT officer, who fired from the backyard of another home about 140 yards away, police said.

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