Nevada Closes Pot Test Lab, Issues Cannabis Product Warning

LAS VEGAS — Nevada state officials have closed a marijuana testing laboratory and issued a public health warning about tainted strains of cannabis products sold at retail and medical dispensaries in the Las Vegas area, Mesquite and Carson City.

The state Department of Taxation said in a Friday notice there were no reports of illness, but that high levels of mold, yeast, bacteria and fungus were found in some products tested at the Cannex Nevada lab in Las Vegas.

The department said people with suppressed immune systems were most at-risk of illness.

The advisory listed batch and lot numbers and dispensaries by name. It advised consumers not to consume products named Island OG, Lemon Meringue, THC Bomb and Zombie Kush sold in raw cannabis and prerolled packages.

It said products that failed secondary microbial testing by an independent lab were being sent for additional testing at a third lab under state oversight.

Officials said they had no reason to believe that the dispensaries or cultivators knew the products were tainted.

The advisory was the third issued this year by the department overseeing the state’s lucrative marijuana market.

Utah to Begin New Requirement on use of Off-Highway Vehicles

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is about to start requiring nonresidents to get a new type of permit for using an off-highway vehicle in state parks or on public lands.

KSL-TV reports that the $30 permit good for 12 months is a result of Utah dropping its recognition of offhighway vehicle registrations from Nevada or any other state.

The new requirement takes effect Wednesday.

Utah State Parks officials said revenue from permit sales will support recreational areas.

Program coordinator Chris Haller said that fewer and fewer states have honored each other’s permits and that only 13 had reciprocity with Utah at the beginning of 2019.

Sheriff: Almost All Upgrades from Vegas Shooting Implemented

LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas police have implemented almost all their self-identified upgrades stemming from a review of officers’ responses to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history more than two years ago, the elected head of the department said Monday.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said in a statement the agency has enacted 84 of 93 recommendations outlined in a departmental self-critique he made public last July.

On the eve of a fireworks extravaganza expected to draw more than 300,000 people to Las Vegas Strip, Lombardo said the “after-action review” has shaped preparation and training for future mass casualty incidents in a region with 2.2 million residents that draws more than 40 million visitors a year.

The nine items that weren’t completed weren’t identified. Officer Alejandra Zambrano, a department spokeswoman, said she could not immediately say what they are.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has “addressed lifesaving measures to secure open-air venues that face high-rise structures,” the statement said, and “now keeps trauma kits on-hand at large venues” to treat injured people.

The department “has also filled gaps in training that were found as part of the 18-month internal review and addressed issues with radio communication, among other changes,” the statement said.

Las Vegas police today total more than 3,100 sworn officers, up from about 2,700 at the time of the October 2017 massacre that killed 58 people and injured hundreds at an open-air music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

A gunman fired more than 1,000 rounds with assault-style rifles out the windows of the Mandalay Bay resort before killing himself. Police found him dead more than an hour later, after officers blasted through the doors of his 32nd-floor suite.

Police and the FBI said the gunman planned meticulously and acted alone, but said they never identified a “single or clear motivating factor” for the shooting. Federal investigators said the gunman may have sought notoriety.

Weather Service: 2019 Becomes 9th Wettest Year for Vegas

LAS VEGAS — The National Weather Service says 2019 has become the ninth wettest year on record in Las Vegas.

The three-hundredths of an inch (0.76 millimeter) of rain that fell since midnight Thursday raised the year’s total rainfall at McCarran International Airport to 6.87 inches, the weather service said.

Las Vegas’ yearly rainfall record set in 1941 is 10.72 inches (0.27 meter).

New Nevada Law to Limit Indoor Use of Vaping, E-Cigarettes

LAS VEGAS — A new Nevada law will expand the state’s clean-air law that already restricts smoking to also prohibit use of vaping products and electronic cigarettes in most public places and indoor places of employment.

The new law to provide protection against secondhand aerosol was enacted during the 2019 legislative session and takes effect Jan. 1, the Southern Nevada Health District said.

Places where use of vaping products and electronic cigarettes will no longer be allowed will include child care facilities, theaters, arcades, malls, restaurants and bars where minors aren’t prohibited, the health district said.

Use of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, or vaping products will only be allowed in areas of casinos and stand-alone bars where minors are prohibited as well as retail tobacco stores, strip clubs or brothels and convention floors at tobacco-related trade shows, the district said.

Burning Man Organizers Sue Over Millions in US Permit Fees

RENO — Burning Man organizers sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to recover millions of dollars they say the government has overcharged them in fees over the past seven years at the counterculture celebration in the Nevada desert.

Black Rock City LLC, the nonprofit that produces the annual Burning Man event, filed the lawsuit Dec. 13 in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Organizers told the Reno Gazette Journal they’re tired of waiting over the past four years for the bureau to provide justification for the nearly $3 million it charges annually for a permit to hold the 80,000-person event in the Black Rock Desert about 100 miles north of Reno.

“This case is our attempt to break this cycle,” Burning Man spokeswoman Megan Miller said in an email to the newspaper.

The Burning Man organization is seeking “relief from defendants’ ongoing, unlawful and prejudicial conduct towards (Black Rock City LLC) that threatens the viability of the iconic Burning Man event,” the lawsuit said.

Police: 2 on Outing for Practice Shooting Accidentally Shot

SLOAN— A 27-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl were accidentally shot and wounded by a man during a family outing to practice shooting Christmas afternoon, authorities said.

The incident occurred near Sloan about 15 miles (24.kilometers) south of the Las Vegas Strip, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said.

Lt. Peter Kisfalvi said the injuries to the woman and girl weren’t considered life-threatening and the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that it wasn’t immediately clear whether anybody would be charged in the incident.

Police did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for additional information.

Nevada Casino Winnings Fall Just Short of $1B in November

LAS VEGAS — Nevada casinos brought in nearly $938 million in winnings in November, down slightly from the same month a year ago, regulators said Friday.

A steep decline in baccarat winnings contributed to an overall 3% decline in total winnings from the same month a year ago, the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s report shows. Winnings also declined in blackjack and slot machines.

Winnings increased from the same month a year ago in roulette and craps.

Driven by a major increase in football betting, Nevada sportsbooks won $31 million last month, up 14.3% from last year, according to the report.

The November haul was down slightly from October when Nevada casinos reaped more than $1 billion in winnings, the sixth time this year the state had topped the mark in a key index of fiscal health.

The nearly $11 billion in winnings the casinos have hauled in over the last 12 months was up nearly 1% from the previous year, the report shows.

Gambling tax revenue is second only to sales taxes as a percentage of the state’s annual budget. Nevada has no state income tax.