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Nevada briefly

Harrah’s mulls purchase of Planet Hollywood in Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Harrah’s Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Loveman says his company is trying to buy the Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas.

In an e-mail to employees obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Loveman said his company’s interest stems from the fact that Planet Hollywood sits at the end of a line of Harrah’s-owned casinos in Las Vegas.

The operator also owns Harrah’s Las Vegas, Imperial Palace, Flamingo Las Vegas, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas. The acquisition of the 35-acre Planet Hollywood would add about 2,500 hotel rooms to Harrah’s inventory of 20,370 rooms on or near the Strip.

3 swine flu deaths reported in Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Local health officials have reported three more swine flu-related deaths in Clark County.

The Southern Nevada Health District says the new cases bring to 29 the number of such deaths in Nevada’s most populous county. To date, the health district has received 117,200 doses of the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine and has administered more than 69,700 doses.

Former nuke workers closer to payments

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Sen. Harry Reid says the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is changing position to support a key measure for compensating sick former Nevada Test Site workers.

Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday the next step is for the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health to approve the NIOSH “special cohort status” recommendation next month.

The designation lets case evaluators attribute illnesses to work at the nation’s nuclear proving ground north of Las Vegas without a cumbersome government “dose reconstruction” process.

Former workers complain sick colleagues are dying while the government slowly processes claims for medical benefits and $150,000 payments under a program created by Congress in 2001.

NIOSH has estimated about 500 of workers from the years of underground nuclear tests, 1963 to 1992, could qualify.