By now everyone on the planet may have heard about artisanal cheese at $19 a head, the sushi at $7 a roll, and the "luxurious" M Resort. It's the General Services Administration scandal where the manager in charge of the Western United States pleaded the Fifth Amendment. But what is the long-term damage to Las Vegas? Will this lead all government agencies to cancel any meeting in Las Vegas? Will it damage our brand? And slow business?
The federal government has tried a variety of remedies to make sure that homeowners who are underwater would be able to refinance their homes. In Las Vegas, the Home Affordable Refinance Program has struggled because the limits are far outside the big drops in home prices that have happened here - often as much as 50 percent or even more. Now, a new report from ProPublica says that banks are gaming the system. We talk with the reporter who has examined the banks' actions.
Recall elections are difficult to organize and the organizers of this recall have had a false start but they finally got the signatures and so Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross will have to be re-elected to serve out the remainder of his term. He's got some big names backing him and he denounces the recall as a vengeful effort funded by disgruntled car dealer Joe Scala. But planning commissioner Byron Goynes has thrown his hat into the ring. They both join us in the studio to make their case for the Ward 6 Councilman's seat.
Metro Detective Chris Baughman has worked some of the toughest beats in Las Vegas. He was selected from the Gang Crimes Section to move to a new beat on the Vice Squad - the Pandering Investigative Team.
This week has been a feast of constitutional arguments - the taxing power and the commerce clause. But forget the Supreme Court. We want to look at how the health care reforms are taking place on the ground. What difference are they making? What will change? What should you look for as an employee with health insurance and a patient with a primary care physician?
Clark County got a new district attorney last month - former Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Wolfson. He had promised to be more pro-active in police shootings than his predecessor and to be more careful in laying appropriate charges. But he began with a controversial decision not to proceed against a Henderson police officer who was caught on tape kicking a driver who was having a diabetic seizure. Wolfson joins us to talk about his plans for the prosecutor's office.
The slates are now complete for the primaries in June. The big names drew some opponents and there will be a couple of tough intramural battles to see who carries the party banners in the congressional and legislative races.
A big field has nominated to run for the special election to fill the Ward 2 seat on the Las Vegas City Council. Among them is Kristine Kuzemka. She is campaigning of themes similar to many other candidates - frugal budgeting and business development downtown. She has other issues such as Ward 2 getting a fair share of its tax revenue spent in the ward and she has criticized Mayor Carolyn Goodman for refusing to endorse same-sex marriage. Kuzemka says it could cost the city tourism dollars. We talk with the Las Vegas public defender about why she should win this week's special election.
A field of nine is running to replace Steve Wolfson on the Las Vegas City Council. One of them is Planning Commissioner Ric Truesdell. Truesdell has the endorsement of the previous mayor, Oscar Goodman and the current mayor, Carolyn Goodman. He is running on his experience as a businessman and his record of public service. Other candidates have been more critical of a developer running for city council.
Kirsten Tranter's new novel tells of a group of college friends ten years after they graduate. Their rivalries and personal foibles all spill out a their annual Las Vegas reunion when they find themselves subjected to blackmail.
On Wednesday, President Obama launched a new plan to cut through red tape and encourage banks to refinance mortgages that are under water. It would, on average, free up $3,000 to each family with a mortgage.
Avery Cardoza has been a longtime observer of the Las Vegas scene and the pitfalls of gambling. He's gathered some of those thoughts into a dark, comic novel Lost in Las Vegas. For a man who's watched gambling for so long, is not necessarily a fan of Sin City. He joins us to talk about the book and his take on Las Vegas.
As budget cuts eat into infrastructure spending, the future of high-speed rail is beginning to look shaky. A government review in California has recommended the state not sell bonds to finance the next stage of the railroad between San Diego and San Francisco because it doubts the project is financially viable. Still construction firms and financiers are pressing ahead, as is the governor of California, Jerry Brown. This setback could also be problematic for projects in the Southwest like the Anaheim to Las Vegas link that is not yet off the drawing board. So what is the future of high-speed rail?
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is not the only department that has been troubled by too many police shootings of suspects. Portland Police Bureau has in recent years faced similar issues with a minority community that was angry that so many of its members, often mentally ill, were being shot.
Even though the Iron Curtain fell more than 20 years ago, some of the former Soviet Republics have had trouble getting their judicial systems independent and free of political influence. Federal judge Lloyd George has been hosting five Ukrainian judges in Las Vegas to see the workings of the US judicial system.
Deborah Coonts, author
Cortney Warren, PhD, Asst Prof of Psychology, UNLV
Frank Stile, MD, plastic surgeon, Esthetique Plastique
No matter your age or gender, chances are you have insecurities about your body. Particularly in Las Vegas, where the entertainment industry reigns supreme, lots of women choose to go under the knife in order to preserve their youth or enhance their beauty.
Last week the pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Summerlin pled guilty to mail fraud charges for stealing $650,000 from his parish. The money went in compulsive gambling, according to the priest's lawyer. So what happens to the priest? What kind of treatment is available? And what happens to the parish? How do the new priest and the flock pick up the pieces after a shattering experience like this?