Las Vegas Sun

April 16, 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

For tax filers, these freebies make the day more palatable
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Tax day is here, and whether you are a procrastinator who waited until the final hours or you had your return in the first week of January, plenty of area stores and restaurants want to ...
SUV driver faces DUI count in fatal crash involving motorcycle
Monday, April 14, 2014
A motorcyclist was killed Monday after he lost control and crashed when a man accused of driving under the influence failed to yield on a left turn, according to Metro Police. The Clark County Coroner’s Office identified...
Man found dead in vacant lot in southern valley
Monday, April 14, 2014
Homicide detectives are investigating the discovery of a dead body in a vacant lot in the southern Las Vegas Valley Monday evening. Metro Police responded to reports of ...
2 critical after attempted murder-suicide, police say
Monday, April 14, 2014
Metro Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide attempt today in Las Vegas. At 5:20 p.m., authorities responded to reports of a shooting on the 1000 block of East Oakey ...
Police: Woman accused of throwing shoe at Hillary Clinton seemed 'agitated'
Friday, April 11, 2014
Metro Police identified a woman accused of throwing a shoe at Hillary Clinton during a speech in Las Vegas as Alison Michelle Ernst and arrested her on a count of ...
Hillary Clinton ducks object thrown at her during Las Vegas speech
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Hillary Clinton ducked an object thrown at her while speaking today to a Las Vegas convention crowd, but she was uninjured and laughed off the incident. "Good thing she didn't play softball like I did," Clinton quipped. The crowd...
More staffing to speed clearing U.S. Customs at Las Vegas airport
Friday, April 4, 2014
McCarran International Airport will double its number of Customs and Border Protection agents in the coming year, with additional funding included in a recent appropriations bill. Department of Homeland Security officials confirmed...
Las Vegas immigration advocate Astrid Silva earns national honor
Friday, April 4, 2014
A prominent immigration reform advocate and community organizer from Las Vegas who has helped influence Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid garnered more national recognition this week. The American Immigration Council’s Immigrant Youth Achievement Award winner is Astrid Silva …
Health District laying off staff to help cut deficit
Friday, March 28, 2014
The Southern Nevada Health District approved layoffs Thursday that will eliminate about 10 percent of its staff and result in cuts in public health services, officials said. The exact number of jobs to be eliminated has not been determined, but it is expected to be between...
Community groups promise biggest Cesar Chavez celebration ever
First Cesar Chavez Day Festival in North Las Vegas Saturday
Thursday, March 27, 2014
A handful of organizations have planned a trio of events starting today and running into the weekend that will honor the memory and values of labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.
Events honor historic 1960 accord that ended segregation on Strip
Thursday, March 27, 2014
As Nevadans are celebrating the state’s history and making giant cakes for the 150th Anniversary, the Harrison House, Nevada Black Historical Society and other organizations wanted to make sure the history of blacks in Nevada was ...
Ceremony celebrates desegregation of Las Vegas casinos
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
As part of a week’s worth of events honoring the Emancipation Proclamation and civil rights achievements, the Harrison House will hold an event this evening celebrating the desegregation of Las Vegas casinos. The Moulin Rouge Affair, named for the first integrated resort in Las Vegas, will be 4:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge 1468, 4100 W. Charleston Blvd. The ceremony honors the agreement brokered...
Enrollment of Hispanics a key factor in the future of Obamacare
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Hispanics make up a quarter of the state's overall population but 43 percent of its uninsured population. Recent studies show Hispanics are more prone to...
Horsford calls for executive action to halt deportations
Congressman dubs immigration reform the 'civil and human rights issue of our generation’s time'
Monday, March 17, 2014
Rep. Steven Horsford shared his mother’s story of coming to the United States as a child from Trinidad and called on President Obama to use his “pen and phone” to ...
Marooned in Mexico: Did the U.S. government deport an American citizen — three times?
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Francisco Diaz Jr., like his six siblings, was raised in Las Vegas, speaks English as his primary language and considers himself American. Unlike his six siblings, Junior is not officially a U.S. citizen. His mother is a citizen, having been born in Texas. So why isn't he?
Too much to drink on St. Patrick’s Day? Get a free tow home
Friday, March 14, 2014
AAA is doing its part to keep inebriated motorists off the roads on St. Patrick’s Day, whether or not they are members of the automobile club. The company is offering...
Police ID suspect in shooting of motorist who crashed at 215 Beltway and Eastern
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Metro Police have identified a suspect in the shooting of a man who died after causing a pileup Thursday on a 215 Beltway off-ramp while driving with multiple gunshot wounds. Police are looking for...
Immigration reform protest aims to reunite families, spur action
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Sandra Ramos is going to cross the border with more than 30 other people who, like her, are not U.S. citizens. They won't wait for the dark of night, trying to sneak in undetected. In fact, they are going to turn themselves in to the Border Patrol ...
Nye County officials investigate suspicious death at dairy
Friday, March 7, 2014
Nye County detectives are investigating a suspicious death at a dairy, the Sheriff’s Office reported today.
Police report: Sexual advances led to NLV stabbing
Friday, March 7, 2014
A 52 year-old man who is charged with stabbing another man to death earlier this week in North Las Vegas says he argued with the victim but did not stab him, according to the arrest report released Friday.
Metro releases names of officers in shooting
Friday, March 7, 2014
Metro Police today released the names of three officers responding to an attempted-robbery report on Monday when a suspect who raised a gun at them was shot and critically wounded, authorities said.
County commissioner schedules town-hall meeting on marijuana dispensaries
Friday, March 7, 2014
Local governments across Nevada are grappling with whether to allow medical marijuana dispensaries within their jurisdictions, and while some cities have already said no, at least one Clark County commissioner would like to hear from the public before taking action.
2 house fires in Henderson do combined $140,000 damage
Friday, March 7, 2014
Henderson firefighters battled two house fires Thursday, one resulting in minor injuries and both causing extensive damage.
Immigration advocates go hungry to send message to Washington
Bus tour stops in Southern Nevada
Friday, Feb. 28, 2014
Advocates for immigration reform on a bus tour to Washington, D.C., stopped in Henderson to ask people here to fast one day a week for their cause.
Coroner identifies boy, 14, killed on motorbike
Friday, Feb. 28, 2014
A boy who died after his motorbike collided with a truck Thursday near Boulder City has been identified as Christian Hipsky-Stringer, 14, of Canon City, Colo., according to the Clark County Coroner’s Office.
Las Vegas facing a couple of soggy days
Friday, Feb. 28, 2014
A storm that moved into the Las Vegas Valley early today is expected to linger in the area through Saturday, dumping up to...
Suspect in Strip shooting sentenced in 2010 rape case
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014
Is Ammar Harris, suspected of causing the deaths of three people in a predawn shooting last year on the Las Vegas Strip, heading to prison even before he goes on trial in the Strip deaths? He was sentenced this morning in an unrelated felony case. In September a jury found Harris guilty of sexual assault and robbery in a case first opened in 2010.
Report: Nevada made progressive strides in 2013
Several laws passed will benefit minority, immigrant communities
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014
In just a few years, the Hispanic community has become a force in state politics. A racial report card released Tuesday outlines specific laws passed last year that are considered major victories for minorities and immigrants.
Recession deeper, lingering longer for Nevada Hispanics, UNLV report asserts
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014
A new report shows unemployment among Hispanics in Nevada surged during the recession and has been slow to bounce back. The reason, the authors say, is tied to where Hispanics tend to work.
Immigration holds focusing more on criminals
Metro program seen as a success, but questions remain on effectiveness and legality
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014
Metro Police and immigration officials overseeing Nevada are placing a higher proportion of immigration holds on people with previous criminal convictions, according to a recent report.
Nellis staff sergeant to make court appearance on child abuse charge
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
A noncommissioned officer stationed at Nellis Air Force Base awaits a date next week in North Las Vegas Township Justice Court on child abuse charges involving his 3-month-old son. According to an arrest report, Staff Sgt. Andrew Leach, 31, is accused of causing severe head trauma and other injuries to his son, Aiden.
Arizona employing air support to spot speeders this weekend on U.S. 93
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
Motorists headed to Arizona may spot some aerial surveillance through their moonroofs over the holiday weekend. The Arizona Department of Public Safety is planning to use a plane to capture speeding drivers on U.S. 93, which connects Las Vegas to Phoenix, during the Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day weekend, according to an agency press release.
Immigration officer's secret: She was smuggled into the country
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
A retired U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service official, who herself was smuggled into the country as a child, has some advice for government agencies and for immigrants.
Firefighters put out blaze at house in Henderson
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014
Henderson firefighters doused a blaze this afternoon that started in the garage of a single-family home near Windmill Parkway and Arroyo Grande.
Pool supplies truck spills chlorine in accident in western valley
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014
A pool supplies truck and a taxi collided just after 8 a.m. today causing a chlorine spill in the western valley, according to Metro Police. The accident occurred on El Capitan Way between Tropicana Avenue and Ausberg Lane, not far from the 215 Beltway.
Electrical problem sparks residential fire
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014
Clark County firefighters responded to a fire Thursday evening that damaged a home but did not result in any injuries.
Families, food distribution networks strained by cuts in federal benefits
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014
At Our Savior Lutheran Church, 14,000 people were served food in January alone — the highest monthly total for the program in its three-year existence. Cuts to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits (commonly called food stamps) have left many Southern Nevada families straining to make ends meet.
Police say 48-year-old posed as vice detective and sexually assaulted escort in Strip hotel
Friday, Jan. 31, 2014
A suspect wanted in a New York robbery and previously convicted of impersonating an officer is accused of posing as a cop and sexually assaulting a woman at a Strip hotel.
Police investigating report of man trying to lure NLV middle-schooler into car
Friday, Jan. 31, 2014
North Las Vegas Police are investigating a report of a possible abduction attempt on a middle school student this week, according to the Clark County School District.
What lessons did we learn from the Onion saga?
Dog that killed child has been set free, but questions remain
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014
The long legal saga of Onion the dog concluded last week when, after 21 months of court battles, Henderson agreed to release the family pet that killed a 1-year-old boy to an out-of-state rescue. The agreement stipulates that Onion can never be adopted or around children. The animal advocates who turned out in Onion’s defense and the family both expressed a hope that the tragedy would be a learning experience for the community and the local government.
Coroner IDs motorcyclist killed in crash with car
Friday, Jan. 24, 2014
The Clark County coroner has identified a motorcyclist who died Thursday afternoon in a collision with a car as 28-year-old Griffith Alexander Grossguth of North Las Vegas.
Police search for suspect in attempted robbery outside casino
Friday, Jan. 24, 2014
North Las Vegas Police released a video today of a suspect in an attempted robbery in hopes of generating new leads in the investigation.
Pedestrian hit by school bus hospitalized
Friday, Jan. 24, 2014
A Clark County School District bus hit a pedestrian early this morning, according to Metro Police.
Man killed in single-car crash on Warm Springs Road
Friday, Jan. 24, 2014
A man died Friday morning after crashing his car into a pole, according to Metro Police.
Dog that killed boy in Henderson released after 2 years in custody
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014
Onion, a family dog that tragically killed a 1 year-old boy in April 2012, has been released after nearly two years of legal wrangling between Henderson and animal rights advocates.
Former loan officer gets prison time in Ponzi scheme
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014
A former loan officer from Henderson was sentenced today to more than six years in prison and will pay $830,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to defrauding at least 16 clients, according to the United States Attorney’s Office in Nevada.
Vigil planned for woman stabbed to death
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014
There will be a vigil from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. today for Daisy Dahan, who, according to Metro Police, was brutally stabbed to death a week ago by her husband, Richard Dahan, after asking for a divorce.
Motorcyclist dies after hitting sign along I-15
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014
A motorcyclist died early Friday morning after hitting a sign while exiting Interstate 15, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Sentencing of suspect in Strip shooting delayed in unrelated rape case
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014
Attorneys for Ammar Harris, suspected of killing three people in a startling shooting last year on the Las Vegas Strip, won a delay today in his sentencing on an unrelated conviction.
D.A.'s office clears officers in fatal 2013 shooting of suspected gang member wanted for attempted murder
Friday, Jan. 10, 2014
Metro Police officers who returned fire and killed suspected gang member Roberto Torres in February 2013 were justified in their actions, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office determined.

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