Northern Nevada briefly

Washoe County gets $2M for fire station

RENO (AP) - Washoe County has received $2 million in federal stimulus money to build a new fire station for the Arrowcreek area southwest of Reno.

Officials say the Sierra Fire Protection District was notified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that its application for the grant was approved.

Of 6,000 applications for funding, only 100 grants were awarded.

County officials say the new station will help reduce response times to the area.

Sierra Fire provides fire and paramedic service to a 214 square-mile area of Washoe County. The area along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada includes Washoe Valley, Galena, Verdi and Cold Springs.

Reno casino hits geothermal jackpot

RENO (AP) - A Reno casino has hit the jackpot: An underground geothermal water source just north of one of its new 17-story hotel tower that will generate enough heat and hot water for all 2.1 million square feet of the resort's space.

The Peppermill Resort Spa casino recently gambled on an $8 million project to drill a deep hole on their property in search of the hot water, which hovers around 170 degrees.

The new green-energy system is schedule to go online in January. It will be used to heat all restaurants, casino floors, the expansive spa, plus every shower and sink in 1,600-plus hotel rooms year-round.

The move will save $1 million a year in energy costs, resort officials said, adding project expenses should be recovered through those savings in eight years.

PBS documentary features Nevada's Great Basin Park

RENO (AP) - Nevada's bristlecone pine trees, with their ancient, twisted trunks, will be featured in a television documentary on the nation's national parks.

"The National Parks: America's Best Idea," is a six-part program directed by Ken Burns and co-produced by Dayton Duncan. The first part is scheduled to air tonight on most PBS stations.

With some trees nearly 5,000 years old, the bristlecones are a main attraction at Great Basin National Park, located in northeast Nevada near the Utah line. The grove shown in the film is near 11,658-foot-tall Mount Washington.

"I have seen the cuts (of the film) that they allowed the park service to view," said Andy Ferguson, Great Basin National Park superintendent. "Dayton Duncan, one of the co-producers, showed it to us and I was tickled to see the bristlecone pine trees front and central in one of the shots there."

Man gets life for Reno stabbing

RENO (AP) - A Reno man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a man who scolded him for his behavior while watching a football game at a sports bar.

Forty-eight year old Dante Michael Vinci pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the Jan. 8 stabbing of 44-year-old Kevin Daniel O'Connell. He was sentenced Friday by Washoe District Judge Jerome Polaha.

Witnesses said the O'Connell confronted Vinci about his behavior while watching a football game at a Bully's sports bar on Mae Anne Avenue. Vinci had placed a bet on the losing team.

Authorities say O'Connell, who was a popular bartender at another Bully's location, was stabbed eight to 10 times.

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