Romney, Cain enter tonight's debate as front-runners, polls show
The CNN/Western Republican debate is set for Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET in Las Vegas.
October 18th, 2011
06:32 PM ET

Romney, Cain enter tonight's debate as front-runners, polls show

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain enter Tuesday night's CNN/Western Republican debate as the leaders of the race for the GOP presidential nomination, according to national polls.

Romney, Cain and five other candidates will participate in the debate, moderated by CNN's Anderson Cooper, starting at 8 p.m. ET at the Sands Expo and Convention Center and the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The debate will be shown on CNN, the CNN mobile apps and

The public can suggest questions for the candidates through this form, or through the CNN Politics fan page on Facebook, or by using the #CNNDebate hashtag on Twitter.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, 26% of respondents said they are likely to support Romney, who is making his second bid for the White House. Cain was at 25%, and Romney's margin was well within the poll's sampling error. Texas Gov. Rick Perry was third, at 13%. Separately, a CNN poll of polls indicated that Romney was on top of the field at 23%, with Cain three points behind and Perry - who was a front-runner in the national polls from late August through much of September - at 14%.


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Filed under: Las Vegas • Nevada • Politics • Republican Party
September 19th, 2011
11:31 AM ET

Nevada air show death toll rises to 10

The death toll from a crash at an air race at Reno, Nevada, has risen to 10, one of the hospitals treating patients from Friday's accident said Monday.

Close to 70 people were injured in the incident, which occurred Friday.

National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosekind said investigators are looking at whether the plane's apparently damaged elevator trim tab - whose breaking apart was captured in a photograph - played a role in the nosedive crash. Authorities do not know why the aircraft went down.

A full investigation could take six to nine months, Rosekind said.

Investigators will be poring over a trove of spectators' videos and photos, he said.

"It seems there were a tremendous number of cameras and video that was captured," he said. "On the one hand, it's an excellent source of information, but on the other hand, there's not a lot of other specific components from the wreckage that at this point we can identify."

At the time of the crash, three NTSB investigators happened to be at the air show - a common practice - and one of them has been appointed investigator in charge, Rosekind said.

The board will look at safety oversight and the placement of the grandstands for the air race, Rosekind said.

Plane crashes near spectators at Reno air races
September 16th, 2011
08:25 PM ET

Plane crashes near spectators at Reno air races

[Updated 10:47 p.m. ET] A Reno, Nevada, hospital said Friday night on its website that it had received a "total of 22 patients," including two who died, after a plane crashed at an air show about 15 miles from the city.

The patients include nine people in critical condition, meaning their vital signs are unstable "and not within normal limits," and 11 in fair condition, exhibiting stable vital signs, according to the 6:15 p.m. (9:15 ET) update on the Renown Regional Medical Center website.

[Updated 8:43 p.m. ET] Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are on the scene in Reno, Nevada, where a plane crashed Friday in front of a grandstand at the National Championship Air Races and Air Show, a spokesman for the show said.

Members of the National Guard, which were on-site for the show, are also assisting in the response, air show spokesman Mike Draper said.

[Updated 8:41 p.m. ET] "There are people still being escorted out of that area with various injuries," a spokesman for a Nevada air show said early Friday evening, shortly after a P-51 plane crashed in front of a grandstand.

Mike Draper said he's been told there are "likely fatalities" but it has not been determined who they may be, nor whether the pilot of the "Galloping Ghost" aircraft that went down survived.

[Updated 8:39 p.m. ET] There are "mass casualties" at an air show after a plane crashed Friday into an area in front of a grandstand at the National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno, Nevada, a spokesman for the air show told CNN.

In video posted on YouTube, emergency responders could be seen assisting spectators at the show, though it was not immediately clear how many were injured. CNN could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the video.

Watch video of plane crash

Witnesses told CNN affiliate KTVN  that the plane was about 400-500 feet in the air when it nosedived and crashed. Another witness told KTVN that it appeared the pilot was trying to pull the plane away from the grandstand before it crashed.

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Filed under: Aviation • Nevada
On the Radar: Texas fires, IHOP shooting, Knox trial
An iReporter captures an intersection in an Austin neighborhood.
September 7th, 2011
06:51 AM ET

On the Radar: Texas fires, IHOP shooting, Knox trial

Wildfires raged across Texas early Wednesday as they have each of the last 295 days, charring nearly 120,000 acres in the last week alone.
"I cannot emphasize enough to Texans in the impacted areas the importance of heeding all warnings from local officials, especially evacuation orders, as these fires are mean, swift and highly dangerous," Gov. Rick Perry said. The largest fire, near Austin, has spread across 33,000 acres, claiming two lives and forcing the evacuations of at least 5,000 people.

Another person has died from the shooting rampage that occurred Tuesday at an IHOP near Carson City, Nevada, officials said early Wednesday. A gunman carrying a variant of an AK-47 rifle opened fire on uniformed Nevada National Guard members as they were having breakfast. In all, 11 people were shot, and the gunman turned his weapon on himself.

There's more from the Amanda Knox hearing in Italy. On Wednesday, a forensic expert testified that DNA on the knife used to kill British student Meredith Kercher could not have been from blood. Carlo Torre, one of Italy's best-known forensics experts, presented a detailed technical argument about the DNA on the knife as Knox appeals her 2009 conviction for the murder of her housemate. Prosecutors contend there were traces of Knox's genetic material on the handle and Kercher's in a tiny groove on the blade. Kercher's semi-naked body was found in the house that she and Knox shared in Perugia, Italy. For complete coverage of the Knox case, click here.

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Filed under: Amanda Knox • Crime • Nevada • On the Radar • Texas
Three dead, six wounded in shooting at Carson City IHOP
September 6th, 2011
04:18 PM ET

Three dead, six wounded in shooting at Carson City IHOP

[Updated at 4:18 p.m.]

[Updated at 4:18 p.m.] Five of the nine people who were shot Tuesday were members of the National Guard, a spokesperson told CNN affiliate KRNV. Two were killed and the other three are being treated in area hospitals.

[Updated at 2:18 p.m.] At least two of the victims killed at a shooting in a Carson City, Nevada, IHOP restaurant were military members who were wearing their uniforms, Chuck Allen with the Nevada Highway Patrol said Tuesday.

Police were still looking into the shooter's possible motive, Allen said, but officials were taking precautions in case military personnel were specifically targeted.

"When you have people in uniform randomly targeted ... we take that seriously," Allen said.

Heightened security measures are in effect in military bases in northern Nevada, affiliate KRNV reported, citing a National Guard spokesperson. The restaurant is located about three miles from Nevada National Guard headquarters, so it would not be unusual for service members to be eating there, the spokesperson added.

[Updated at 2:10 p.m.] Three people were killed and six others were wounded Tuesday in a shooting at a Carson City, Nevada, IHOP restaurant, police said.

Those six victims did not include the shooter, who police said turned a gun on himself.

It "appears its going to be difficult for him to survive," Ken Furlong with the Carson City's Sheriff's Office said about the gunman.

"He was still breathing," he added.

Furlong said that currently the situation appears to be contained to the one strip mall.

"Right now it appears as though there was one shooter," Furlong said. "There does not appear to be safety concerns outside of this area."

Furlong confirmed reports that a semi-automatic weapon was used during the shooting. Some of the victims "appeared to be military folks," he said.

Officials are still investigating any possible motive.


June 25th, 2011
12:18 PM ET

2 dead in Nevada truck-train crash

The site of a deadly truck-train collision east of Reno, Nevada, remained shut down Saturday as federal accident investigators examined the scene, a state trooper said.

Two people died in the accident Friday morning, Trooper Dan Lopez of the Nevada Highway Patrol confirmed Saturday.

It was unclear how many people were injured when a tractor-trailer slammed into a Chicago-to-California Amtrak passenger train at a railroad crossing near Lovelock, Nevada.

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Filed under: Nevada
Las Vegas' Sahara Hotel and Casino closing after more than 58 years
The Sahara Hotel and Casino opened in 1952. The landmark’s final guest is scheduled to check out around noon Monday.
May 16th, 2011
07:40 AM ET

Las Vegas' Sahara Hotel and Casino closing after more than 58 years

The Sahara Hotel and Casino, a fixture on the Las Vegas Strip since 1952, closes Monday for good.

The Sahara was the sixth casino built on the Strip, the Las Vegas Sun reported, and cashed in as Las Vegas grew as a gambling mecca.

"It would be nothing to go to work and make 300, 500, 2,700 [dollars] in four hours. You know that's just the way it was in the old days," John Law, who worked as a dealer at the Sahara 31 years ago, told CNN affiliate KTNV.

The hotel once showcased some of the biggest stars on the Strip, including comedians Don Rickles and Johnny Carson and singers Dean Martin and Tina Turner. The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon originated from the Sahara for 20 years. And the Sahara in 1964 brought the Beatles to Las Vegas for $25,000, though it hosted their show in the Las Vegas Convention Center because the hotel's 600-seat showroom couldn't handle the crowd, according to the Sun.

But newer, bigger resorts have eclipsed the 1,720-room Sahara.

While high rollers moved on to newer properties, the Sahara featured dollar deals.


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Filed under: Gambling • Las Vegas • Nevada • Showbiz • Travel
On the Radar: Good Friday, Earth Day, Texas fires, Mideast protests
Christian pilgrims carry wood crosses on Jerusalem's Via Dolorosa in a Good Friday observance.
April 22nd, 2011
09:41 AM ET

On the Radar: Good Friday, Earth Day, Texas fires, Mideast protests

Good Friday - Non-Orthodox Christians are observing Good Friday, the solemn commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict XVI will lead a "Way of the Cross" ceremony at 3:15 p.m. ET at the Colosseum in Rome, followed by Mass at the Vatican at 5 p.m. ET.

A prosecutor and a public defender in Richmond, Virginia, will put on a mock trial with Jesus facing capital punishment. The audience will be the jury in the sentencing phase and decide his fate.

Meanwhile, a pastor looks at the connections and possible conflicts between Earth Day and Good Friday.

Earth Day - Friday also is Earth Day, an observance meant to draw attention to environmental issues, including energy conservation. Here's a list of 10 simple things you can do to go easy on your world.


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Filed under: Christian • Environment • Libya • Lindsay Lohan • Middle East • NATO • Nevada • On the Radar • Religion • Texas • Vatican
Sen. Ensign says he's resigning next month
April 21st, 2011
07:00 PM ET

Sen. Ensign says he's resigning next month

U.S. Sen. John Ensign, a Nevada Republican who is under an ethics investigation by the Senate, announced Thursday that he will resign his seat on May 3.

Ensign (pictured) had previously said he would not run for re-election in 2012 following revelations that he had an affair with a female aide who was the wife of another top aide, and that his parents subsequently gave money to the aides' family.

"While I stand behind my firm belief that I have not violated any law, rule, or standard of conduct of the Senate, and I have fought to prove this publicly, I will not continue to subject my family, my constituents, or the Senate to any further rounds of investigation, depositions, drawn out proceedings, or especially public hearings," Ensign said in a statement. "For my family and me, this continued personal cost is simply too great."

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Filed under: John Ensign • Nevada • Politics
Thursday's live video events
April 21st, 2011
07:40 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

Watch Live for continuing coverage on the battle over federal spending.

Today's programming highlights...

10:30 am ET - Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan - U.S. and German military officials will talk with reporters on current military operations in Afghanistan.

3:00 pm ET - Obama's Nevada town hall - President Obama pays a visit to the "Biggest Little City in the World" today, but it's all about business.  He's in Reno, Nevada, for a town hall-style meeting to discuss relations between the government and the American public. Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Barack Obama • Budget • Dollars & Sense • Economy • Germany • Nevada • On today • Politics • U.S. • War • World
April 13th, 2011
01:43 PM ET

Another air traffic controller allegedly caught asleep at the switch

The FAA is investigating yet another case in which an air traffic controller apparently fell asleep while on duty, a source says. The incident occurred Wednesday morning at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. It would be the third incident this year involving a sleeping controller.

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Filed under: Air travel • Nevada • Travel
Police: Nevada councilwoman killed husband hour before her suicide
Police say Nevada councilwoman Donna Fairchild killed herself after killing her husband on January 25.
March 21st, 2011
08:33 PM ET

Police: Nevada councilwoman killed husband hour before her suicide

Mesquite, Nevada (CNN) - Embattled Nevada councilwoman Donna Fairchild killed her husband of 21 years in his sleep at least an hour before she took her own life early January 25, law enforcement officials have concluded.

Douglas Law, police chief in Mesquite, Nevada, where Fairchild served on the city council, said a toxicology analysis revealed no signs of alcohol, narcotics or an anti-smoking medication in the couple's bloodstream.

The couple had stopped smoking and were dieting, leading to speculation that the murder-suicide might be linked to a smoking cessation drug.

Caffeine and an agent found in chocolate were detected, and Bill Fairchild also had taken a mild allergy medication, Law said. He added that the medical examiner's report confirmed his department's findings that the couple died in a murder-suicide.

The Fairchilds were found dead before dawn in the bedroom of their home in a newer subdivision in the hills overlooking Mesquite, a desert community of about 15,000 about 80 miles north of Las Vegas.

At about 4:20 a.m. Donna Fairchild emailed two friends, and then called 911 and summoned police to her home. "I'm so very sorry,"  she said, according to Law.

Police found Bill Fairchild, a former Denver homicide detective who worked part-time at Mesquite's recreation center, lying under the covers with a gunshot wound to the side of his nose. Gunshot residue was found on his eyelids, indicating he never woke up, Law said.

Donna Fairchild, also retired from the Denver police force, was found fully clothed, lying on top of the covers with a 9 mm gunshot wound to the temple.

Police discovered a note on the telephone stand in the kitchen, signed by "Donna."

"I am so sorry for the disappointment I have caused all of you," the typed note said. "I know this makes no sense. It never will."

The bodies were found hours before Donna Fairchild was to attend a City Council meeting and face possible sanctions over a $94.30 travel expense voucher and public comments she made about a state agency.

She was one of three candidates who had announced they were running against incumbent Mayor Susan Holecheck, who along with the city attorney placed the agenda items seeking sanctions against Fairchild on the city council's meeting agenda.

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Filed under: Crime • Nevada
Man who fell in Nevada mine dies
Rescue teams were called in to find the body of Devin Westenskow, but authorities determined the mine he fell into was too dangerous to enter.
March 5th, 2011
07:10 PM ET

Man who fell in Nevada mine dies

The man who fell into an abandoned northern Nevada mine earlier this week has been declared dead, an official said Saturday.

The Pershing County, Nevada, coroner made the determination around 12:30 Friday afternoon, U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Doran Sanchez said.

There was no safe way to retrieve the body and that the shaft would be sealed, Sanchez said.


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Filed under: Mining • Nevada
March 4th, 2011
08:07 PM ET

Rescuers call off Nevada mine rescue because of 'dangerous conditions'

A 28-year-old man who fell into an abandoned mine in Nevada may have to stay there until conditions at the mine allow for his rescue, officials said.

The man fell Wednesday at the Murphy Mine Complex, which dates back to 1895 and is located about 60 miles south of Winnemucca in Pershing County, said spokeswoman JoLynn Worley of the state Bureau of Land Management.

Rescuers went down the shaft but could not find him. They did, however, find him upon sending a camera down the shaft, and at 8 p.m. PT Thursday, he was alive and moving his hands.

“It appears that due to the hazardous and dangerous conditions of that shaft, the rescue efforts were stopped,” Worley said.

As of 3 a.m. Friday, the camera was still recording him. He was breathing, but there was no movement, she said.

A U.S. Navy Search and Rescue team is assisting regional authorities and the Newmont Mining Corp. in the rescue.

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Filed under: Mine accidents • Nevada • U.S.
Gotta Watch: 2-story snowman; viral millions; old school CNN
A Reno, Nevada, father built a two-story snowman outside his home.
March 1st, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Gotta Watch: 2-story snowman; viral millions; old school CNN

Coolest dad ever - A dad in Reno had a lot of snow in his backyard and apparently a lot of time on his hands. He spent more than 50 hours building a two-story snowman complete with a slide for his kids and their friends.

Don't quit your day job - There's a new get-rich-quick scheme out there, and all you need is a camera and a computer. Partner up with YouTube and toss some ads on that snoring cat video and you just might make millions. CNN's Jason Caroll shows you how.

TV the old-fashioned way - CNN opens its archives to give you a rare glimpse at how the sausages are made. It's tough to picture how a network made the jump to 24-hour news when even creating a simple graphic was such an arduous task.

Filed under: Gotta Watch • Media • Most Popular • Nature • Nevada • Protest • Technology • TV-CNN Newsroom • Uncategorized • Weather • YouTube
Gotta Watch: 6-alarm blaze; I was a hostage; Mustang roundup
January 3rd, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Gotta Watch: 6-alarm blaze; I was a hostage; Mustang roundup

Massive fire in Toronto – A 6-alarm fire in Toronto lit up the sky and put the lives of hundreds of firefighters at risk as 32 trucks battled the blaze in a 100-year-old building.


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Filed under: Animals • Canada • Fire • Nevada • Texas
Gunman in helmet robs Bellagio casino
December 14th, 2010
07:37 PM ET

Gunman in helmet robs Bellagio casino

Police say they’re trying to find a helmet-wearing gunman who robbed one of Las Vegas' most recognizable casinos of $1.5 million in casino chips Tuesday morning – and may also have robbed a different casino last week.

With a helmet and visor hiding his face, the man rode to Bellagio casino (surveillance image, above left) on a motorbike, walked inside and pulled a gun at a craps table where several people were gambling at about 3:50 a.m., said Lt. Clint Nichols of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department .

The gunman told everyone not to move, and then took the casino’s supply of chips "that were … [in] the box they keep on the craps table," Nichols said.

The man then ran back outside to the motorcycle, which he rode away, Nichols said. No injuries were reported.

The man might be the same person who robbed the Suncoast Hotel & Casino on Thursday morning, police said. In that robbery (surveillance image, above right), a man wearing a motorcycle helmet robbed the cage area of a poker tournament room of less than $20,000 in cash at about 12:30 a.m., Nichols said.

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Filed under: Crime • Nevada
November 9th, 2010
09:39 AM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people


Jonathan Duhamel

The 23-year-old from Boucherville, Quebec, won the 43rd World Series of Poker on Monday, raking in more than $8.9 million in prize money.

"It's a dream come true right now. It's like the most beautiful day of my life," he said, according to a report from Canada’s CTV.

Duhamel outlasted 7,318 other entrants, the second-largest ever field in the tournament, which began July 5. Duhamel paid a $10,000 buy-in to get into the field.

Floridian John Racener finished second, collecting $5,545,955 in prize money.

Duhamel is the first Canadian to win the championship. The former college finance major learned poker by reading books and playing online, sometimes betting as little as 2 cents a hand, according to a CTV report. Monday’s victory was his biggest by far.

"I love playing poker so much, so I mean I'm going to be playing all those big tournaments and try to make other big scores," CTV quoted him as saying. "I'll be there next year in the World Series and try to do my best again."

The final was played at the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio in Las Vegas, Nevada. It can be seen on ESPN tonight at 10 p.m. ET.


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Filed under: Canada • Charlie Crist • Courts • Crime • Florida • Israel • Justice • Most Intriguing People • Nevada • Politics • Showbiz
November 3rd, 2010
10:24 AM ET

On the Radar: 2012, jobs and mailing terror

Road to 2012 - Wednesday belongs to Republicans. The GOP knocked Democrats out of at least 10 governorships on Tuesday and grabbed the majority in the House by winning at least 60 seats. That means John Boehner is likely to be the next speaker of the House, and President Obama called to congratulate him. Democrats held on to power in the Senate, with Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada beating Tea Party-backed candidate Sharron Angle. The day brought victory for some other Tea Party-backed candidates, but the winning group did not include Christine O'Donnell, who lost to Democrat Chris Coons in the contest for the Senate seat vacated by Vice President Joe Biden.

But what everyone is really talking about is two years away. The race to 2012 begins today.

Jobs - The victorious vibes are already transitioning into pressure to deliver. Voters are concerned about the economy, and the burden is on those elected Tuesday to deal with it. According to the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, employers announced nearly 38,000 job cuts last month. In a separate report, payroll processor ADP says private-sector jobs increased by 43,000 in October. Economists are predicting steady growth, which could improve Obama's chances of holding onto his job.

Shipping and terror - With the new focus on safety in package shipments, Greece suspended air shipments of all mail and packages for 48 hours due to parcel bombs mailed from Athens this week. Packages were sent on Tuesday to the leaders of Germany and Italy. At least nine other bombs were sent to embassies in Athens. Authorities in Europe are scrambling to safeguard the public. One aviation chief is calling for a complete security overhaul within the industry.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Delaware • Democratic Party • Germany • Greece • Harry Reid • Italy • John Boehner • National security • Nevada • Politics • Republican Party • Tea Party
November 3rd, 2010
12:41 AM ET

Harry Reid defeats Sharron Angle in Nevada Senate race

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has defeated Tea Party-backed Republican nominee Sharron Angle in Nevada's Senate race, CNN projects. Projections are based on CNN analysis of exit poll data.

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Filed under: Elections • Harry Reid • Nevada • Politics
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