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Las Vegans March For Charlie

Holding “ Je Suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) placards beneath their umbrellas, more than 150 Las Vegans gathered in front of Paris Las Vegas Sunday around 10:30 a.m. and made their way South down the Strip to New York-New York. There, in the cold drizzle, they sang the French national anthem, "La Marseillaise," to demonstrate their solidarity with the  millions of people marching for unity at the same time in Paris.
“It was very moving,” said Christelle Chamblas, of the  Francophone Academy of Las Vegas, which organized the local event. “We were proud to be French and touched by the number of Americans who turned out to show their support of our common values of freedom of expression and freedom of religion.”
The marches, which attracted more than 4 million participants worldwide, according to French newspaper  Le Monde, were inspired by last week’s ideologically motivated  killing spree that left 17 people dead in Paris and its surrounding suburbs. The terror began Wednesday, when Islamic extremists stormed the editorial headquarters of satirical weekly newsmagazine  Charlie Hebdo and shot dead 12 people, including cartoonists, editors, police and security staff. Another policewoman and four civilians in a Kosher supermarket also lost their lives before the three suspected perpetrators were killed by French law enforcement on Friday.
“People of many different nationalities, races and religions marched with us,” 
  Chamblas said, reflecting the composition of demonstrations in Paris and elsewhere. “This event has touched everyone who cares about protecting the values of democracy.”

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Desert Companion welcomed Heidi Kyser as staff writer in January 2014. In 2018, she was promoted to senior writer and producer, working for both DC and State of Nevada. She produced KNPR’s first podcast, the Edward R. Murrow Regional Award-winning Native Nevada, in 2020. The following year, she returned her focus full-time to Desert Companion, becoming Deputy Editor, which meant she was next in line to take over when longtime editor Andrew Kiraly left in July 2022.