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A 66-year-old felon with a grudge against the federal government walked into the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse with a shotgun on Monday and opened fire.

The resulting shootout with federal marshals and security officers spilled out onto Las Vegas Boulevard, just as the workday was getting under way downtown.

When it was over, security officer and retired Las Vegas policeman Stan Cooper, 72, lay dying in the courthouse lobby, and Wicks lay dead across the street in a plant bed beside the Historic Fifth Street School.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Richard “Joe” Gardner, 48, was shot in the arm during the exchange but survived.

Last year, Wicks lost a lawsuit against the government in which he claimed his disability benefits were unfairly cut when he moved from California to Nevada. He blamed his treatment on racism.

Though security personnel were widely credited for keeping Wicks from advancing beyond the building’s screening area, the attack has sharpened an ongoing national debate over safety measures at federal courts.



The economic downturn is being blamed for a rise in illegal dumping in the desert surrounding the Las Vegas Valley.

And those who are doing the dumping are not paying for it like they used to, as collections of fines imposed on violators have been on a steady decline for years.



The Shady Lady Ranch brothel, 150 miles northwest of Las Vegas, won final approval for its plans to hire men and start servicing women.

The Nye County Licensing and Liquor Board signed off on a compliance agreement that will allow for the practice to take place so long as the male sex workers wear condoms and undergo weekly health tests.

Owners of the small bordello said they could have their first stud on staff within two weeks.



Gov. Jim Gibbons unveiled an eight-point plan to cut state spending by overhauling the public education system and eliminating collective bargaining and the class-size reduction program.

He also wants the Legislature in a coming special session to eliminate full-day kindergarten in some schools, issue vouchers to allow parents to send their children to private schools, and abolish the elected state Board of Education, which he would replace with five members appointed by the governor and the Legislature.

Gibbons said his proposals would save the state $30 million to $100 million a year.

Facing a tough primary as he seeks re-election to a second term, Gibbons touted his proposal as necessary in tough economic times.



U.S. Sen. Harry Reid declared that Nevada would benefit more than almost any other state if health care insurance reform becomes law, thanks to lower premiums, cheaper prescriptions and tax credits for small businesses.

Reid, D-Nev., made the pledge during a carefully choreographed forum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas that only a few hecklers managed to crash.



An ongoing decline in construction prompted Clark County officials to lay off 67 employees in the Development Services Department, most of them building inspectors.

Last year, the county laid off about 50 workers in the same department because of the drop-off in residential construction.

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