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WASHOE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT OUT

Washoe School Board offers superintendent job back

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The Washoe County School Board is asking ousted Superintendent Pedro Martinez to return to his job.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports Thursday that the board has agreed to void any action it took last week regarding Martinez' employment and wants him to return to work immediately.

Board President Barbara Clark said in a statement the "events and circumstances" surrounding last week's ouster "had more to do with attitude, demeanor and lack of cooperation than it did with certifications and diplomas."

Martinez told the newspaper he will consider the offer.

Martinez has filed a lawsuit accusing the board of violating the state's open-meetings law. He says they fired him illegally in a dispute over whether he is a certified public accountant, which he says he is.

COLORADO RIVER SHRINKING

Deal struck to conserve Colorado River basin

DENVER (AP) - The Interior Department and four municipal water providers in the West are contributing $11 million to fund projects aimed at conserving water in the Colorado River basin, which supplies water to about 40 million people in seven states.

Interior officials said Thursday that local water providers in Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado will participate in a pilot program aimed at reducing water demand by cities, farmers and industry.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor calls the agreement "a critically important first step" in addressing water shortages in the drought-stricken basin.

Researchers from NASA and the University of California, Irvine, reported last week that groundwater losses from the basin appear massive enough to challenge long-term water supplies for the states and the parts of Mexico it serves.

RESTAURANT CRASH-VEGAS

Driver in Vegas eatery crash gets 6 to 20 years

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A driver who pleaded guilty to DUI charges after police say he plowed his car into a Las Vegas restaurant last spring has been sentenced to 6 to 20 years in prison.

Twenty-year-old Gage James Lindsey choked up and apologized during a hearing Thursday and said he thanks God every day that nobody died in the crash.

Prosecutors say Lindsey was under the influence of prescription drugs, marijuana and synthetic marijuana when he crashed into the Egg & I restaurant west of the Las Vegas Strip on April 1, 2013.

Ten people were injured.

Lindsey pleaded guilty in May to two charges of felony DUI causing substantial bodily harm. Prosecutors dropped four other charges as part of a plea deal.

Lindsey could have faced 32 to 80 years behind bars.

BELLAGIO ROBBERY-VEGAS

Bellagio robbery suspect faces new federal charges

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Federal charges have been filed against a man accused of robbing a Bellagio casino cashier of $43,500 and paying prostitutes at another hotel with money still bound in Bellagio wrappers.

An initial appearance for the man identified as John Doe or Scott Carmitchel was set for Thursday, but was postponed. He faces federal charges of armed bank robbery and interfering with commerce by robbery.

Carmitchel is accused of holding up a bank with an orange-tipped gun July 22, then committing a similar robbery July 25 at the Bellagio.

Police say he spent about $10,000 on a high-end shopping spree after saying he found a bag of cash in the Bellagio parking lot.

KVVU-TV reports Carmitchel has been uncooperative in attending hearings Wednesday and Thursday for a parallel state court case.

FATAL CRIME SPREE-VEGAS

Homeowner in crime spree died of gunshot to back

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Authorities say the homeowner killed in a deadly Las Vegas crime spree earlier this week died of a gunshot wound to the back of the shoulder.

Clark County coroner's officials released 59-year-old Richard Ramos' cause of death on Thursday, two days after police say he unsuccessfully struggled to wrestle a gun from the hands of a home intruder.

The coroner said the 27-year-old suspect, Cody David Winters, died of multiple gunshots when police confronted him outside another home he had entered.

Police said 34-year-old Officer William Moore and 24-year-old Officer Ryan Rotta were the ones who opened fire. They have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Winters' alleged accomplice, Natasha Jackson, is charged with murder in the Tuesday spree. Her preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 13.

TESLA-BATTERY FACTORY

Tesla says decision on battery factory months away

DETROIT (AP) - Electric car maker Tesla Motors says it is preparing a site near Reno, Nevada, as a possible location for its new battery factory, but is still evaluating other locations.

In a statement, Tesla says it broke ground on the Nevada site in June, and adds that it will decide on the final location for the $5 billion factory in the next few months.

California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas are also in the running for the factory. Competition is intense for the plant, which Tesla says could employ 6,500 people by 2020.

Tesla wants the factory to supply batteries for its Model 3 electric car, which is set to go on sale in 2017.

Earlier Thursday, Tesla and Panasonic Corp. announced that they will collaborate on the battery factory.

NEVADA SALES

Nevada taxable sales up 8 percent in May

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Nevada's taxable sales rose 8 percent in May compared to the same month a year ago, but sales and use tax collections are lagging behind projections for the current fiscal year by about one-half of a percent.

The state Department of Taxation says 11 of Nevada's 17 counties saw taxable sales decline in May. But the two largest offset that with double-digit increases - 12.7 percent in Clark County and 11.7 percent in Washoe County.

Taxable sales totaled $3.2 billion in Clark County in May and nearly $560 million in Washoe County.

General Merchandise stores led the way with a statewide increase of 37.8 percent. The construction industry fell 23 percent.

Sales and use taxes are down $4.3 million, or .5 percent, from what the Economic Forum projected from July 2013 through May.

SHOOTING DEATH-VEGAS

Man found dead east of downtown Vegas; 3 sought

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Police are looking for three suspects they believe were involved in the death of a man east of downtown Las Vegas.

Authorities say they responded to reports that a man had been shot at about 11 p.m. Wednesday. They say they found the man dead near the sidewalk at Eastern Avenue and Fremont Street.

Detectives say it appears three male suspects approached the man when he was shot and then fled the scene.

The suspects are described as males who are about 20 years old. Police say one of them was seen riding away on a bicycle.

Authorities have not yet released the name of the man who was killed.

ELKO KILLING

Elko police probe killing of man at home

ELKO, Nev. (AP) - Elko police are investigating the killing of a 31-year-old man who appears to have been bludgeoned to death.

Lt. Richard Genseal told the Elko Daily Free Press that Richard A. Lawson Jr. appeared to have died from repeated blows to the head with a solid object. He says officers found him dead when they were called to a home on Wilson Avenue about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Genseal says Lawson was in a bedroom at the home where six or seven people live, some sleeping on couches. He says no one at the home claimed to have heard anything.

Genseal says the area is known for drug activity. He also says Lawson reported the theft of a camera and laptop computers at the home on July 17, but he doesn't know if that played any role in to the killing.

PROSTITUTION STING

Las Vegas man sentenced for Utah prostitution case

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - A Las Vegas man convicted in a southern Utah prostitution case will serve 180 days in a county jail.

A Utah judge sentenced Leroy Haley Wednesday and ordered him to pay $1,500 in fines.

Investigators arrested Haley in sting operation at a St. George hotel last year.

Prosecutors say he and a 20-year-old Las Vegas woman brought a teenage girl to Utah and forced her to perform sex acts for money.

Haley pleaded guilty in June to human trafficking, two counts of exploiting a prostitute and assault by a prisoner.

The Spectrum of St. George reports 20-year-old Francis Mary Uhrhan pleaded guilty in January to prostitution and exploiting a prostitute.

She served eight months in jail and is being supervised by probation officials in Nevada.

ARIZONA PLANE CRASH

NTSB: Plane that crashed in Arizona was flying low

LITTLEFIELD, Ariz. (AP) - A federal investigator says the pilot of a small plane that crashed in far northwestern Arizona was flying well below what's allowed by regulation.

Newly licensed pilot, 19-year-old Daulton Whatcott, and 16-year-old Jaxon Whatcott, were headed to a basketball tournament in Nevada when the single-engine Cessna crashed near the Arizona-Utah border on July 20. The brothers from Clinton, Utah, died.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Larry Lewis said Thursday that motorists on Interstate 15 saw the plane hit a canyon wall, about 100 feet above the elevation of the road. Lewis says the plane should have been flying at a minimum 500 feet.

Preliminary information indicates the plane rounded a corner and turned upside down before striking the canyon wall and sparking a small fire.

A full report isn't expected for months.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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