Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:30 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:30:30 GMT
HENDERSON, Nev. -- The killing of a woman in 1996 has police asking the public for help in solving the cold case crime. Diane Hietbrink, 58, was found dead in her home at 302 Nebraska Street on Sept.More>>
The killing of a woman in 1996 has police asking the public for help in solving the cold case crime.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 3:08 PM EDT2013-06-19 19:08:06 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Akeem Tripp was sentenced to 20 years for the murder of his girlfriend's former boyfriend. Tripp pleaded guilty to murder in the shooting death of Phillip Hooks, 29, in March 2012 at theMore>>
Akeem Tripp was sentenced to a maximum of 20 years for the murder of his girlfriend's former boyfriend.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 2:27 PM EDT2013-06-19 18:27:50 GMT
LAS VEGAS - Nevada Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal accident on State Route 604 near Sloan Road. Drivers are urged to avoid the area. 8 News NOW will have more information as it becomes availaMore>>
Nevada Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash on State Route 604 near Sloan Road that occurred around 8:15 a.m.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:38 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:38:50 GMT
HENDERSON -- Imagine tens of thousands of children around the world learning to swim all at the same time. That's what happened Tuesday as part of "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson." The swimmingMore>>
Imagine tens of thousands of children around the world learning to swim all at the same time. That's what happened Tuesday as part of "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson."More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:00 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:00:12 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- US Thrill Rides LLC Incorporated has submitted plans to the FAA to create a 650-foot roller coaster near the Tropicana Hotel. The Florida based company is remaining tight lipped on any ofMore>>
US Thrill Rides LLC Incorporated has submitted plans to the FAA to create a 650-foot roller coaster near the Tropicana Hotel.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:57 PM EDT2013-06-19 16:57:39 GMT
HENDERSON, Nev. - A garden oasis has sprouted at John C. Vanderburg Elementary School. The garden features everything from arugula to tomatoes to radishes, which some students had never of until now. "It'sMore>>
A Henderson teacher is bringing the importance of healthy food choices into her students' lives with a unique garden club. 8 News NOW is rewarding her efforts in this week's Acts of Kindness.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:56 PM EDT2013-06-19 16:56:57 GMT
LAS VEGAS - Be careful on the roads. Police across the valley are conducting a coordinated effort Wednesday to crack down on driving violations. Police will be looking for drivers who speed, run red lightsMore>>
Be careful on the roads. Police across the valley are conducting a coordinated effort Wednesday to crack down on driving violations.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:55 PM EDT2013-06-19 16:55:20 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Sue Lowden, a former state senator and the former chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party is considering a run for lieutenant governor in 2014. "I am seriously thinking about it. I willMore>>
Sue Lowden, a former state senator and the former chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party is considering a run for lieutenant governor in 2014.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:49 PM EDT2013-06-19 02:49:28 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County Fire Department is battling a fire at a house near Russell Road and Spencer Street. According to the fire department's website, the fire started at around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.More>>
A grass fire ignited a house in the 5400 block of Escondido Street, near Russell Road and Spencer Street, Tuesday afternoon.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- When police officers call a neighborhood "a hot mess," you know it's bad.
But instead of writing it off, Metro Police officer are trying something new for the neighborhood they call "John One."
Homes and apartments along Boulder Highway near Desert Inn Road is gripped with poverty.
Squatters break into vacant homes -- busting into their own apartments after getting evicted --- and even stealing home security cameras.
It's a neighborhood where apartment managers -- in some cases -- just stopped caring to fix hazardous living conditions.
Despite all this, some residents said their streets are beginning to become safer.
Officer Andrew Hefner knows these streets.
Born in Las Vegas, Hefner has seen the neighborhood near the Boulder Strip show the scars of recession long before the rest of the Las Vegas valley.
John One is more than some lines on a Metro patrol map, it's a state of mind.
It's where young children watch slightly older children get busted for drug and where ghosts are real, as homeless people hiding in vacant homes.
It's also where landlords don't care enough to fix their buildings, using the fear of what happens to complaining tenants.
"We lost a lot of good managers in some of the apartment complexes and I think they are a little less strict on whom they allow in," Hefner said. "It increased in robberies."
Officer Hefner's day begins when a man calls police saying somebody is inside a vacant trailer next door.
A boot print can be seen next to the eviction notice and somebody stole a new air conditioning unit and switched it with a junked one.
Not long after, another call of squatters inside a vacant home.
"Who's house is this?" Hefner asks a squatter.
"Not ours, man," the squatter told Hefner.
Hefner: "Then why are you here?"
Squatter: "We're homeless."
Neighbor Kurt Kasslar said he is fed up.
"I've had my car windows broken out," he said. "I've installed a camera on my house. That got stolen … From the outside of the house. So I installed a new on the inside of the window."
Neighbors spotted a man inside the vacant house and a K-9 officer was called out to assist.
The officers called to the man and told him to come out, but he slipped out the back.
Between the two squatters, they had a blanket, a large bottle of soap and are expecting a child.
Neighbors said they saw a man breaking into an apartment he had been evicted from earlier in the day.
"You're going to jail for your warrant," Hefner said to James McMurray, the man breaking into his former apartment.
"I don't have to," said McMurray, detained for trespassing. "I got things to do."
To this, Hefner replied, "Listen. You were evicted today, right? You were told not to come back to this apartment."
Despite neighbors telling Hefner they saw him inside the apartment, McMurray denied entering the apartment after he was evicted.
Over on Macher Way, a street well-known to Metro Police, Hefner would drive by the damaged apartment buildings at night knowing that he alone could not do anything for people living inside.
One morning, that changed.
Officers, firefighters, code enforcement and social welfare workers came in force to Macher Way.
The cluster of apartment buildings had become so bad with hazardous living conditions, it could no longer be ignored.
Metro's southeast area command, which oversees the area, is Capt. Vincent Cannito's turf.
The "John One initiative," the push for more community policing, is his to lead.
"You can take a look at these buildings," Cannito said. "You can look at the problems with the windows that are boarded up. You can take a look at the wires that are down -- these are very dangerous situations. When you take a look at the fire extinguishers, none of them have a repellent in them, they're all empty. That's no way to live."
An apartment could be seen where a car had punched through a wall.
"The landlords here are used to extorting (residents)," police officer Shaun Woodard said. "Threatening them with immigration status -- whether it be an increase in rent, to pay late fees, to do certain things, they'll call immigration if they don't comply. In any other world, that's extortion."
Complex by complex, street by street, compliance sweeps and increased patrols might help. It is the last best hope for a neighborhood used to neglect..
Most of the landlords in the neighborhood were out of state and only one of them returned the I-Team's calls.
He stated he is paying to fix water and wall damage on his buildings. Arnold Forget of Iowa said he fired his previous management company when he discovered how many maintenance issues were left unfixed.