Las Vegas Sun

October 31, 2014

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Tovin Lapan

Latino Community, Immigration and General Assignment Reporter

After working for his college paper, Tovin started his professional career in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he fell in love with the variety and excitement of working in daily journalism as well as with a sandwich called the torta ahogada. He comes to the Las Vegas Sun from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, where he covered higher education, city government and immigration. Prior to Santa Cruz, Tovin was on staff at the San Diego Union-Tribune, Miami New Times and Naples Daily News and worked as a freelance journalist for numerous publications. He has reported extensively in Latin America, including Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia and Mexico, and holds masters degrees in journalism and Latin American Studies from UC Berkeley.

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Story Archive

Documentary questions arrest of Mexican drug lord
Film chronicling capture of 'El Chapo' Guzman opens in Las Vegas
Friday, Oct. 31, 2014
The documentary “¿Es El Chapo?” (Is it El Chapo?), which opens in Las Vegas today, investigates the questions surrounding the capture of infamous Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
Day of the Dead is anything but lifeless in Las Vegas
Holiday is an opportunity for people to celebrate lives of deceased loved ones
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014
Events celebrating the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) are growing and spreading in the valley, and Hollywood has even had a hand in popularizing the holiday. “It’s amazing how Day of the Dead has come on, and more people are interested in the history and traditions ...
Nonprofit AzulBlue helps parents understand autism
Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014
Being a parent of an autistic child can be an isolating experience. So imagine what it’s like when English isn’t your first language.
Poll: Hispanic support of Democrats dipping
Majority of Hispanic voters disapprove of GOP and Democrats actions on immigration
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014
Hispanic voters are increasingly frustrated with the federal impasse over immigration reform and are souring on Democrats, according to a new poll that also offers insights into the 2016 presidential race.
SLS helping keep north Strip from going south, nearby business operators say
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014
For businesses on the north end of the Strip, the opening of the tourist corridor's first casino since the recession — SLS Las Vegas — hasn't been a game-changer. But it has led to ...
Your votes could win Las Vegas volunteer a $25,000 grant
Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014
Alan Aleman is a finalist in a national competition sponsored by Coors Light that awards money to a Hispanic leader to design and execute a community project. Aleman was nominated by the local chapter of the American Red Cross, where he serves as the youth representative on the board of directors. ...
Chess as a spectator sport? Organizers of big-money tourney say yes
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014
World-class players. Big prize money. A tournament based on a table game of strategy. But can the Millionaire Chess Open become the next World Series of Poker, or is it ...
Miss Asian Las Vegas pageant rewards go well beyond the crown
Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014
For the creator of the Miss Asian Las Vegas pageant, as well as one of the category winners in this year's competition, the importance of the event is ...
Deportation stats suggest Obama hasn’t upheld vow to target criminals
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014
The federal government deported a record number of immigrants in fiscal year 2013. The data showed that 438,421 immigrants were deported in 2013, up approximately 5 percent from the previous record of 418,397 in 2012. More than 2 million people have been deported since President Barack Obama ...
Hispanic voting bloc’s hue not so blue these days
Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014
Democrats hope lieutenant governor candidate Lucy Flores can energize voters, but many in the Hispanic community are disillusioned and feel as though they’ve been lied to, given ...
Tacos translated: Decoding the menu at traditional Mexican taco shops
Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014
In honor of National Taco Day, a breakdown of the all the various types of Mexican taco meat and the different ways to eat them.
250 high school students gather for Hispanic Youth Leadership Summit
Commissioner Lawrence Weekly has organized the workshops for 11 years
Friday, Oct. 3, 2014
Hispanic students from nine area schools got lessons on setting goals, taking responsibility for their actions and overcoming obstacles Friday morning at the Hispanic Youth Leadership Summit, an annual workshop organized by Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly.
Scam alert: Beware of callers seeking bail for relatives, officials say
Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
An old scam has been revived in Nevada, where at least 28 people have been defrauded through a scheme in which ...
For immigrants and others without insurance, nonprofit OB-GYN clinic is a blessing
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014
In 2005, when Dr. Kord Strebel first came to Las Vegas, his obstetrics and gynecology practice was for-profit, but with an emphasis on keeping prices low for the uninsured population. But he soon realized that he couldn't provide many recommended tests or blood work at a low cost unless he ...
Homegrown soccer star says Las Vegas ready for pro team
Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014
Herculez Gomez is the unofficial ambassador of Las Vegas soccer. The former U.S. national team member is inarguably the most accomplished player to come out of the area. He's also a supporter of a downtown MLS stadium and says people in Las Vegas "are dying for a professional team."
Springs Preserve celebration of Asian culture expands
New name, new performances, new vendors mark fifth installment
Friday, Sept. 26, 2014
The Springs Preserve annual celebration of the valley’s varied Asian communities and their cultures is getting a new name and injection of new activities.
Southern Nevada nonprofits suffer from huge funding gap, study says
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014
If you're a Nevada resident in need, a nonprofit organization in the northern part of the state can call on much greater resources to help you than ...
Discussion: Border security and the Mexican drug cartels
Mob Museum hosts panel of border experts
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014
“Border Insecurity: The Mexican Drug Cartels and Their Threat to America” starts at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the Mob Museum, and features a diverse panel of experts. ...
Anatomy of the Army’s Best Warrior
Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014
Adam Christensen barely made it through the first round, saved by his high scores on physical tasks but practically buried by a low grade on the oral exam. Nevertheless, the Las Vegas resident made it through to the regional round of the Army’s Best Warrior competition in Hawaii and now knew his weaknesses. He went on to beat the competition in the Pacific Region and ...
Dozens fulfill dream of citizenship in emotional Las Vegas ceremony
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014
For the woman from the Philippines it happened while taking the pledge of allegiance. For the man from Israel it was during the rendition of the national anthem. The weight of the moment, becoming a citizen of the United States, hit them at ...
Culture Fest celebrates diversity through food, music and art
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014
Having created a successful festival to celebrate Black History Month, Kimberly Bailey Tureaud and her husband, Charles Tureaud, found they wanted to expand their reach and ...
Pew report: Number of immigrants in U.S. illegally holding steady
Majority of population has lived here more than a decade
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014
The number of immigrants living in the country illegally has held relatively steady in the last few years, and the majority of the unauthorized population has lived here for more than a decade according to new research from the Pew Hispanic Center.
Charity works up a lather to donate soap to the needy
Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014
Clean the World has grown from a garage operation into an international nonprofit organization, and now it’s aiming for a world record.
Concerts, festivals, boxing and more on tap for Mexican Independence Day, Hispanic Heritage Month
Fiesta Las Vegas expands to two days
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014
Like a weekend music festival with multiple stages, getting the most from the multitude of events related to Mexican Independence Day and Hispanic Heritage Month in Las Vegas requires a tactical approach.
Obama delays action on immigration until after election
President criticized from all sides
Monday, Sept. 8, 2014
President Barack Obama sparked the fury of immigrant advocacy organizations and drew a sigh of relief from fellow Democrats in tough midterm races this weekend when he postponed any executive action on immigration until after the November elections.
Biking enthusiasts hope to gain traction in Las Vegas
Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014
If Pedal PaLooza is half as successful as its founder hopes, it could still be the foundation for something Las Vegas has long missed ...
Lieutenant governor candidates Flores and Hutchison square off in Hispanics in Politics debate
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014
The only things Hutchison, a state senator, and Assemblywoman Flores, appeared to agree on is that the Nevada education system is in need of an overhaul and that Gov. Brian Sandoval will serve out his term through 2018 ...
Mosquito bite carries virus from tropics to desert
Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014
Gretchen Roselli took bronze in the 1,500-meter race at the 2013 National Senior Games and had her sights set on competing next year. But after traveling to the Caribbean and contracting a virus, the Las Vegas resident is worried ...
Las Vegans remain focused on immigration overload despite falloff in media coverage
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014
The national news media may have moved on to topics like the racial crisis in Ferguson, Mo., and fighting in the Middle East, but immigration attorneys and advocates say the fight is just beginning over how to handle ...
Will impasse on immigration galvanize Hispanic voters, or leave them apathetic?
Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014
Inaction on immigration reform has left both parties in jeopardy of losing Hispanic voters, either by causing them to grow apathetic or by galvanizing them into a force of ...
AIDS advocate: ‘We are beginning to lose control of the epidemic’
Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014
In 1986, with much of the country still trying its best to ignore the growing AIDS epidemic, a small community-minded gesture would lead to an event that has continued for nearly three decades. It started as a small birthday party, where instead of presents the guests brought canned goods to donate to the Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) food bank, founded two years earlier. The event's name: The Black and White Party, a reference to ...
Is it finally Las Vegas’ time to get a major pro sports team?
Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014
We’ve heard the pitches for years. One year it’s basketball, the next year it’s hockey, or baseball. So you can hardly blame Las Vegans for being skeptical about our ...
Dive in and explore Lake Mead
Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014
If you want to see up close the colorful fish of the Caribbean or examine the wreckage of a sunken World War II vessel, you start by getting certified for scuba diving. And when you do that in Nevada, you might just find one of the great scuba diving spots in the world in your own backyard ...
What a trip: New show in Las Vegas melds entertainment with tourism promo
Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014
The Mexican state of Veracruz has taken a new approach to marketing itself to tourists: It's launched a Las Vegas Strip show that features ...
How a wind turbine works
Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014
The wind can produce energy. We know that. But how much? At what cost? And is wind energy a solution for Nevada?
‘Love God Love People’: Las Vegas church leader reaches out to LGBT violence victims
Friday, Aug. 8, 2014
The Rev. Kathryn Obenour grew up in a household where helping those in need was a way of life. Now, at age 73, she's launched a final project: to provide members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community with ...
Chikungunya, a disease with an odd name but painful symptoms, turns up in Nevada
Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014
It has a funky name, is transmitted by a particularly aggressive mosquito and has spread throughout the Caribbean and into the U.S. since its introduction to the Western Hemisphere late last year. Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus previously limited to Asia, has now appeared in Nevada, too. The Southern Nevada Health District has confirmed that the illness was found in a Clark County resident returning from vacation, adding Nevada to the list of states touched by the virus' expansion in 2014. The illness will most likely be limited ...
Citizenship granted: ‘It’s like a new birthday for me’
Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014
His case took a bit longer than usual, but Abdul Nasser Karouni, a Lebanese immigrant and Las Vegas small-business owner, is about to become a U.S. citizen ...
Polls show everyone losing during immigration crisis
Blame is widespread as Congress, Obama grapple with border surge
Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
In January, 57 percent of people said they disapproved of the Obama administration’s handling of immigration. Now the figure is up to 68 percent.
Suspect in Mexico stabbing death captured in North Las Vegas
Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
A Mexican national accused of a fatal stabbing in his home country nearly 16 years ago has been returned to Mexico after he was arrested last month in North Las Vegas. Pedro Curiel-Herrera, 35, was...
Advocate: It’s time to expand gun restrictions in domestic violence cases
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Sue Meuschke has fought domestic violence for 25 years as an advocate for victims. Today, she'll be in Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers and support a bill designed to keep guns out of the hands of ...
Citizenship delayed: Las Vegas businessman caught in limbo after questioning by FBI
Sunday, July 27, 2014
When the citizenship process goes smoothly, it typically takes five or six months for someone to go from application to taking the oath of allegiance. In the case of Lebanese immigrant Abdul Nasser Karouni, it's been almost two years, and a lot of scrutiny in airports ...
Colorado River Day message: ‘We need to conserve’
Friday, July 25, 2014
Following a cascade of increasingly bleak news about the health of the Colorado River, one of the nation’s most vital waterways, a collection of southwestern cities including Las Vegas ...
Helping others: UNLV senior launches group for undocumented students
Friday, July 25, 2014
A year ago, Greysel Sousa wouldn’t have made her recent trip to explore the international relations doctorate programs of several East Coast colleges, including Johns Hopkins, Tufts and Princeton. Such a trip would have been...
Poll: Hispanics remain skeptical about economic recovery
Majority of Hispanics are concerned about foreclosures, paying monthly bills
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The majority of Hispanics say their finances have gotten worse or stayed the same in the last five years, and most are concerned for their economic future according to a new poll.
Shania Twain announces end of Caesars Palace residency
Monday, July 21, 2014
The last installment of the “Shania: Still the One” show at the Colosseum will be Dec. 13, ending the 100-show residency for the country music star that began in December 2012.
Coroner identifies woman found at elementary school
Monday, July 21, 2014
The Clark County Coroner’s office has identified the woman who was found dead near a northeast valley elementary school early Saturday morning. ...
Effects of Southwest’s border crisis reaching into Nevada
As D.C. deliberates, Northern Nevada sees surge in requests for legal aid
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Every time the phone rings these days, Rosa Molina steels herself for a heart-wrenching story. She has been taking far more calls than usual from immigrants, and many of them are sharing tales of abuse and violence. This week, she has already taken a call from a mother who says she paid a smuggler $7,000 to escort her children from El Salvador to the United States, only to be contacted and asked for...
Report: Nevada Hispanics face many obstacles to scholastic, financial success
Bleak picture of student success emboldens push for reform
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
A new report says Hispanics in Southern Nevada trail their counterparts in neighboring states when it comes to ...
LVGEA endorses immigration reform
Local economic development group joins long list of business associations
Friday, July 11, 2014
The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance became the latest business association to endorse immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for those without legal residency, when the board of directors approved a resolution on Friday.

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