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Nevada briefly

Heller, Utah’s Chaffetz urge lands protection

(Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau) – Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, have sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar calling for changes in how decisions are made to give protective designations to public lands.

They urged a process that starts with local communities rather than the “top down” approach. Decisions involving conservation designations “should originate in local communities,” said the letter, and be presented to Congress by the members impacted by any decision.

The letter was developed after Salazar asked members of Congress for their lists of lands that should be set aside as wilderness.

Governor includes Nevada in higher-education plan

(Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau) – The National Governor’s Association has selected Nevada to participate in a policy academy on how to improve higher education. Gov. Brian Sandoval said the academy is designed to address ways of improving accountability at the post-secondary education level.

“As always, higher education’s goals have been focused on continuous improvement in how we educate our students and how we help Nevada’s economy prosper,” he said. He said Nevada is working to improve accountability throughout the K-12 education system. This academy will expand that effort to higher education.

He named Chief of Staff Heidi Gansert, budget analyst Julia Teska, MGM Vice President Denise Miller, NSHE Chancellor Dan Klaich and UNLV President Neal Smatresk to the project.

Reid announces funding to expand health care in rural areas

(Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau) – Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has announced funding to expand the number of health care professionals offering primary care in rural and other underserved parts of Nevada.

The National Health Service Corps program will get $632-712 to add 13 new clinicians to the 27 already serving some 28,000 Nevadans under the program.

“Not only are we creating jobs and providing vital health care services to the most vulnerable Nevadans, but we’re also keeping talented health care professionals in our state,” he said.

The program provides an award of up to $60,000 tax free for up to two years service in an underserved community and the chance to pay off student loans from continued service.

ESPN, World Series of Poker change finale TV plans

LAS VEGAS (AP) – ESPN and the World Series of Poker are changing the way the finale of the $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em main event will unfold among players and viewers.

Tournament and cable network officials announced Tuesday that play to determine the $8.7 million top prize would be aired nearly live on ESPN, ESPN 2 and online. The broadcasts will be tape-delayed 15 minutes, meaning viewers at home will get to see televised hands sooner than ever before.

Nine players are still in the running for the top prize. Each will return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Nov. 6 to play down to three players. Coverage will air on ESPN 2. Those remaining will play Nov. 8 on ESPN for the title.

Arrest for secret camera in Reno hospital bathroom

RENO (AP) – Police have made an arrest and are reaching out to potential victims after a hidden digital camera was found in a public bathroom at a medical center in south Reno.

Roberto Ramirez, 42, of Sparks has been booked on five counts of suspicion of capturing an image of the private area of another person.

Officials at Renown South Meadows Medical Center found the concealed camera on Wednesday and called police. Detectives are still in the process of identifying and contacting potential victims. They say Ramirez is cooperating in the investigation. He was being held in the Washoe County Jail on Tuesday on $12,500 bail.

Reno police trying to stop shoplifting spree

RENO (AP) – Reno police say they’re investigating a spate of grab-and-run thefts from northern Nevada retail stores that lead to products being sold on the Internet. Authorities say stores have lost thousands of dollars in merchandise over the past two months.

Police say thieves typically fill a cart or basket with electronics and other items before running out of the store to a getaway vehicle.

Vegas Sept. airport traffic jumps 8.7 percent

LAS VEGAS (AP) – McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas saw an increase of nearly 285,000 passengers in September compared with the same month last year.

Officials reported Tuesday that 3.6 million people passed through the airport last month. That was up 8.7 percent from September 2010.

A total of 31.2 million passengers used McCarran during the first nine months this year – up 4.5 percent from the 30 million who passed through the airport during the same period in 2010.

Southwest, American, and US Airways all reported handling more passengers in September than a year earlier. Delta and United handled fewer passengers.