2 Hurt in Helicopter Crash at Red Rock Canyon
LAS VEGAS — Authorities say two people are hospitalized with unspecified injures after a helicopter crash off a Nevada state highway in a scenic area west of Las Vegas.
Las Vegas police and the Federal Aviation Administration say the four-seat Robinson R44 crashed just before 4 p.m. Wednesday not far from the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area visitor center.
Police Officer Larry Hadfield says State Route 159 was closed in both directions for an investigation that FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said will be conducted by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.
Red Rock Canyon is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of the Las Vegas Strip. It features a 13-mile (21-kilometer) one-way sightseeing loop, rock climbing and hiking trails. It gets about 2 million visitors a year.
Whooping Cough Outbreak Closes Private Reno School
RENO — A whooping cough outbreak has prompted the closure of a private high school in Reno until next week.
The Washoe County Health District says it has confirmed four cases of whooping cough at Bishop Manogue (muh-NOHG’) High School and additional cases are listed as probable.
District officials say the Catholic school is cooperating with an investigation into the highly-contagious respiratory disease and agreed to close the school until Monday to protect students and staff.
District Health officer Kevin Dick said late Monday the outbreak is “very serious.” He says it underscores why all students are required to be vaccinated for the disease, which is called “pertussis” and is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing that makes it hard to breathe.
Washoe County School District officials say no other cases have been confirmed at any other schools in the Reno-Sparks area.
Woman Hit, Killed by Reno Firetruck Believed to be Homless
RENO — Authorities say the pedestrian who was hit and killed by a Reno firetruck over the weekend was a 63-year-old Reno woman who is believed to have been homeless.
The Washoe County regional medical examiner’s office identified the victim Monday as Charlene McMaster.
The sheriff’s office says she was struck by a Reno Fire Department ladder truck in front of the fire station just east of downtown at about 7 a.m. Saturday.
The fire department says it is cooperating with sheriff’s deputies in an investigation of the accident.
Reno Fire Chief David Cochran said in a statement he was deeply saddened by the incident and offered condolences to family of the victim. He says the department remains committed to protecting and serving the community.
Anyone with information about the accident should contact the sheriff’s office at 775-328-3350.
60 Nevada Army Guardsmen Headed to Kuwait with Helicopters
RENO — About 60 soldiers in the Nevada Army National Guard and a fleet of its Chinook helicopters are going to spend most of the next nine months in Kuwait.
The Bravo Company, 1/189th Aviation unit in Reno had planned to leave Thursday following a mobilization ceremony at the Army Aviation Support Facility near Reno-Stead Airport, but weather forced a delay until Friday.
They’re being deployed to an aviation hub in Kuwait where they’ll perform missions throughout the region as part of Operation Spartan Shield.
Officials say the CH-47F Chinooks are the workhorse of Army aviation and can transport up to 44 troops or 13 tons (12 metric tons) of cargo.
The unit plans to fly to Fort Hood, Texas to complete pre-deployment training before heading on to Kuwait in a few weeks.
The unit also deployed to Afghanistan in 2012-13.
Nevada Highway Patrol Group Seeks to Unionize State Officers
CARSON CITY— The Nevada Highway Patrol Association has filed for recognition as the collective bargaining union for state police officers.
In addition to state troopers, the association has taken the first step necessary to represent thousands of Nevada’s parole and probation officers, fire marshals, detectives, game wardens, park rangers and university and Capitol police.
It marks the third group of state employees to unionize since the Democrat-led Legislature approved and Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a new law this year allowing some state workers to collectively bargain for the first time.
NHPA President Matt Kaplan said the inability to bargain has resulted in a drastic pay disparity between local and state police who make up to 35% less than the average salaries paid their local counterparts.