GIRL WITH UZI
Victim's family feels sorry for girl who shot Uzi
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The accidental killing of an Arizona firing range instructor by a 9-year-old girl learning to shoot an Uzi unleashed a storm of criticism and anger, with much of it aimed at her parents.
But the ex-wife and children of instructor Charles Vacca say they harbor no ill feelings toward the girl and her family. Instead, they feel sorry for the child and want to write her a letter to comfort her.
Vacca's ex-wife, Anamarie, told The Associated Press by phone Friday she has not spoken to the girl or her parents since the accident Monday, but her children want to write the letter.
Charles Vacca was standing next to the girl when she squeezed the trigger at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas.
The recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, and the 39-year-old Vacca was shot once in the head and died.
The identities of the girl and her family have not been released.
Prosecutors say they do not plan to file charges.
AL-QAIDA-AIR FORCE ACADEMY
Air Force Academy on al-Qaida list of targets
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - An English-language al-Qaida publication that promotes "lone-wolf" terrorist attacks includes the Air Force Academy in Colorado on a list of possible terrorism targets.
The Gazette reported on Friday that the list in the online magazine al-Malahem also includes casinos and night clubs in Las Vegas, Times Square and Britain's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as well as "tourist resorts where Israelis, Britons or Americans stay."
Academy officials say they're aware that the school is mentioned in the magazine and remain vigilant and aware of existing and emerging threats.
Assemblyman Hogan in hospital after massive stroke
LAS VEGAS (AP) - An aide to retiring Assemblyman Joe Hogan says the Nevada lawmaker is in the hospital after suffering a massive stroke.
Legislative attache Gregory Martin tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Democrat legislator had a stroke Tuesday while house-hunting in the Washington, D.C. area.
Hogan was in intensive care Friday at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. Martin says Hogan has been "unresponsive" since he was admitted.
Martin says the 77-year-old lawmaker had recently had heart surgery and had two smaller strokes several years ago.
Hogan was first elected in 2004 but decided not to run for re-election this year after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
His assembly district includes a portion of Clark County.
CRIME SPREE-DOUBLE HOMICIDE
McFarland appeals Nevada conviction in NV-UT spree
ELKO, Nev. (AP) - A man facing murder charges in the 2011 shooting deaths of a Utah couple in a two-state crime spree that already has him serving up to 56 years in a Nevada prison is appealing his conviction for kidnapping during a botched carjacking at a Wendover casino.
Utah prosecutors filed murder charges against 26-year-old Logan McFarland in Sanpete County in May after he was sent to the Ely State Prison for six felonies including kidnapping, robbery and car theft.
The Elko Daily Free Press reports McFarland's appeal filed this week with the Nevada Supreme Court seeks to overturn his convictions for first-degree kidnapping and committing an offense in a stolen vehicle.
REID'S NAME REMOVED-UTAH UNIVERSITY
Utah university removes Reid's name from center
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Southern Utah University President Scott Wyatt acknowledges he was under pressure from a group of conservatives to remove Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's name from a center on campus, but insists politics had nothing to do with his decision to do so.
The Nevada Democrat's name was removed from the school's Outdoor Engagement Center in Cedar City, Utah, last week.
Wyatt said Friday the school's 2011 naming of the center for the alumnus generated no donations to the center and created confusion about the center's purpose because nobody associated Reid with the outdoors.
The center caters to students seeking outdoor careers.
Reid issued a statement Friday saying there was no agreement to have him raise funds for the center and he's "not going to raise money to have (his) name placed on anything."
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL INJURY
Performer out of hospital after Cirque injury
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Officials with Cirque du Soleil say a performer who was injured during a show in Las Vegas this week has been released from the hospital and is doing well.
The accident happened Wednesday, during the Russian Swing act in the production of water-based "O." Cirque officials say the artist was treated at the scene and taken to the hospital, then released on Thursday.
The Russian Swing is a swiveling platform that launches performers into the air, where they twist and spin before landing in the water of the stage.
Cirque spokeswoman Renee-Claude Menard says the company plans to investigate the incident.
This week's accident comes a little more than a year after 31-year-old acrobat Sarah Guillot-Guyard died in a fall during a Las Vegas performance of the show "Ka."
Ex-Nevada lawmaker due for release from Vegas jail
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A former Nevada state lawmaker is due for release from jail, after pleading guilty to felony charges in separate Las Vegas criminal cases dating to the days before his expulsion from the Legislature.
Las Vegas police say Steven Brooks was scheduled to be released Friday from the Clark County jail.
Brooks' lawyer, Adam Gill, didn't immediately respond to messages. He had said Brooks' family would post $10,000 bail and Brooks will be evaluated in coming days for eligibility in a Clark County mental health court program.
The 42-year-old former Democratic assemblyman pleaded guilty Thursday in separate cases to firearm and resisting a arrest charges.
Brooks spent 17 months in California and Nevada jails after his March 2013 arrest on Interstate 15 the day he was expelled from the Nevada Legislature.
UNLV STADIUM-PROJECT POSTPONED
Plans for stadium at UNLV put on back burner
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Officials at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas are postponing their plans to build a new stadium for at least another two years.
UNLV Acting President Don Snyder said Thursday that other projects take priority over the venue, including plans to launch a medical school. Stadium plans were supposed to go to the Legislature for review during the 2015 legislative session.
Costs for the project range from $523 million for an open-air, shaded venue of 42,000 seats, to $833 million for a domed stadium of 60,000 seats.
UNLV stadium board member and regent James Dean Leavitt in July had proposed raising the hotel room tax on the Las Vegas Strip to help fund the project, saying that all of Clark County would reap the benefits of a stadium.
WESTERN WATER-BUSINESS SUMMIT
US official airs 'myths' on Colorado River water
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A top federal water administrator says several myths stand in the way of broad agreements needed to deal with increasing demand for water in the drought-stricken and "over-allocated" Colorado River basin.
Assistant Secretary of the Interior Anne Castle told a "Business of Water" conference on Friday in Las Vegas on there's no one-step way to avoid the possibility of cuts in water deliveries to states including Arizona and Nevada in the next few years.
She says it'll take multiple, incremental efforts
Castle is a top federal water administrator.
She says other myths are that cities just need to stop wasting water and that water is too valuable to use on farms.
Castle says cooperation is needed on all sides, and myths can be dangerous if they lead people to complacency.
HELICOPTER CRASH-DOUGLAS COUNTY
2 escape with minor injuries after chopper crash
MINDEN, Nev. (AP) - Two people have escaped with minor injuries after their helicopter crash-landed south of Gardnerville early this week.
Douglas County sheriff's officials say the chopper went down Wednesday afternoon in the Horsebend area. Authorities say they weren't notified until after the pilot and passenger made it to the hospital.
The pilot told deputies that he and his female friend had used the helicopter while fishing in the Carson River. When they lifted up off the ground after fishing, something went wrong and the crash-landed.
The two were able to contact another pilot who flew them out of the area.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.
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