Previous Nevada Journal articles

Work starts on $1 billion Nevada solar plant

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Construction has begun on a $1 billion solar power generating station in the Mojave Desert that officials say will produce enough electricity to power about 80,000 California homes when it is completed in 2016.

The 250-megawatt project, dubbed Silver State South, will capture solar energy with panels spread across almost 4 square miles of federal land south of Las Vegas, according to a fact sheet obtained Friday from a First Solar Inc. representative.

Continue reading »

Education, Transparency

Administrator on CCSD payroll working
for another state government?

District investigation underway

LAS VEGAS — Has one of the Clark County School District’s department honchos found a way to eat taxpayer cake in two separate states at the same time?

It appears so.

In Southern Nevada, for nearly 12 years, Bramby Tollen was the director of CCSD’s purchasing and warehouse department. Then this March, according to district officials, she was transferred to the CCSD human resources department as an “Administrator on Special Assignment” — while continuing to earn a base salary of $104,760 a year, plus $1,800 annually for longevity.

Tollen’s total pay and benefits for the 2013 calendar year were $140,663.82, according to CCSD information on Transparent Nevada.

However, as of June 13, Snohomish County, Washington, has had a new purchasing manager — also named Bramby Tollen.

Continue reading »

Labor

Once a prominent union member,
now he's a union target

Local sues former department PIO over health-benefit payments

For 30 years he represented the Clark County Fire Department as its public information officer.

Now Robert Leinbach is being sued in federal court by the department’s union. The complaint — by firefighter Local 1908 — accuses him of “breach of trust, breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and unjust enrichment.”

Continue reading »

Judge: 'FBI, investigate yourself'
on witness tampering charge

Lawyer seeks answers to his brother's suspicious death in federal custody

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the FBI to scrutinize allegations that the agency pressured a witness not to testify in a trial about videos related to the Oklahoma City bombing.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said the agency needs to get to the bottom of the claims from Utah lawyer Jesse Trentadue, who said that the FBI threatened to cut off a former government operative's benefits if he appeared in court.

Continue reading »

Justice Scalia hails Idaho water adjudication

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia praised Idaho's completion of a nearly 30-year process negotiating water rights as a successful exercise in state rights and local control.

Scalia was the keynote speaker at Monday's event in Boise marking the end of the largest ever adjudication review settling water ownership throughout nearly 85 percent of the Gem State.

Continue reading »

Intelligence Gap: How a Chinese national
gained access to Arizona’s terror center

An un-vetted computer engineer plugged into law enforcement networks and a database of 5 million Arizona drivers in a possible breach that was kept secret for years.

Lizhong Fan’s desk was among a crowd of cubicles at the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center in Phoenix. For five months in 2007, the Chinese national and computer programmer opened his laptop and enjoyed access to a wide range of sensitive information, including the Arizona driver’s license database, other law enforcement databases, and potentially a roster of intelligence analysts and investigators.

The facility had been set up by state and local authorities in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, and so, out of concerns about security, Fan had been assigned a team of minders to watch him nearly every moment inside the center. Fan, hired as a contract employee specializing in facial recognition technology, was even accompanied to the bathroom.

However, no one stood in Fan’s way when he packed his equipment one day in early June 2007, then returned home to Beijing.

Continue reading »

Black conservative legal scholar slams
governor's 'demeaning the rule of law'

Cites 'rush to justice' in Michael Brown shooting death

Washington, DC - Legal scholar Horace Cooper of the Project 21 black leadership network is condemning a statement by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon that appears to prejudge the investigation into the death of Michael Brown.

Cooper, a former professor of constitutional law at George Mason University and co-chairman of Project 21, noted that Nixon, in a taped message, asserted that "a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued."

Continue reading »

Officer in Ferguson shooting characterized

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A police officer whose shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old ignited racial upheaval in a St. Louis suburb has been characterized as either an aggressor whose deadly gunfire constituted a daylight execution or a law enforcer wrongly maligned for just doing his job.

An incomplete picture of Texas-born Ferguson officer Darren Wilson has emerged since Aug. 9, when authorities say the white six-year police veteran killed Michael Brown during a confrontation in the predominantly black city where all but three of the 53 police officers are white.

Continue reading »

Government development authority
suckered in $1.3M bond fraud

Ex-governor and ex-National Guard officer promoted
bogus sweetner factory for jobs and economic development

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The former CEO of a supposed sweetner firm committed fraud to secure almost $1.3 million from bond funds that were supposed to be used to build an artificial sweetener plant in a central Missouri town, a federal judge ruled in a bankruptcy case.

In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey rejected all appeals raised by Bruce Cole and his wife, Nanette, and ordered them to repay $904,167 that had been transferred to their personal accounts and $360,000 sent overseas to creditors, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/XxiCuG ).

Continue reading »

Autopsy: Michael Brown shot 6 to 8 times

One shot entered top of skull, suggesting Brown was bent forward toward officer

FERGUSON, Mo. — A St. Louis County autopsy has found that the large black teenager killed during a confrontation with a white police officer was shot six to eight times.

County medical examiner's office administrator Suzanne McCune says the autopsy showed Michael Brown was hit in the head and chest. McCune would not confirm whether Brown was hit elsewhere on his body or discuss other details.

Continue reading »