Las Vegas Sun

September 22, 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

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.
Mount Charleston on the mend
Monday, June 30, 2014
It started with a lightning strike in Carpenter Canyon, on the Pahrump side of the Spring Mountains, at 3 p.m. July 1, 2013. A fire sparked in the dense, virtually inaccessible wilderness. Firefighters were called in but had a hard time cornering the flames. On July 4, the fire crested the ridge. The mountain’s more than 500 residents...
Five basics for safely hiking and camping in the desert Southwest
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Tony Nester is a wilderness survival instructor who has called the outdoors his office for more than two decades. He has written books on survival training, worked with movie stars, and offered advice in Outside Magazine and on the Discovery Channel. Yet, even someone with his experience and knowledge can make a boneheaded mistake hiking in the Southwest. If you're going to explore nature ...
Las Vegas fans catch a scorching case of ‘socceritis’
Friday, June 27, 2014
Across the Las Vegas Valley, and the nation, U.S. soccer fans have turned out like never before for the World Cup, filling ...
Police: Man who forced way into home, beat resident is arrested
Monday, June 23, 2014
Christopher Stiles allegedly forced his way into a home in the southwest valley near Blue Diamond Road and Buffalo Drive using a firearm. Stiles and his alleged accomplice ...
Man arrested after altercation, stabbing on the Strip
Monday, June 23, 2014
Three brothers chased down, disarmed and bloodied a man after he allegedly stabbed their cousin on the Las Vegas Strip early Sunday morning. Just before ...
Two Nevadans ID’d as victims of airplane crash last week near Lake Mead
Monday, June 23, 2014
Troy Saxton-Getty Jr., 48, of Carson City, and Natalie Jimenez, 28, of Overton, both died of multiple blunt-force injuries sustained during the plane crash …
Coroner probing second EDC-related death
Monday, June 23, 2014
The Clark County Coroner’s Office is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death of a young man who was found unconscious at Vdara Saturday evening and later …
Adelson supports immigration reform, but will his wallet follow suit?
Sands chief pens op-ed calling for GOP to lead on reform
Friday, June 20, 2014
Sheldon Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and recently one of the biggest Republican donors, published an op-ed calling for Congress to pass immigration reform in Politico Magazine Thursday.
DACAmented: Two more years of deferred action work permits
Recently renewed program gives eligible young immigrants working rights
Saturday, June 14, 2014
On the ground in immigrant communities, those who received work permits through DACA say the program has been a psychological and financial boost, albeit temporary. In Nevada, thousands of young people have received the permits, leading to driver’s licenses, jobs and increased opportunities for education.
Jose Antonio Vargas documentary comes to Las Vegas
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Shocked by a lack of government response, Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas wants to spark a national conversation about immigration in the United States by talking about ...
Man arrested after body found at residence in The Lakes
Friday, June 13, 2014
A man was taken into custody today in the death of a woman whose body was found in her home at The Lakes in the western valley. Officers responded to a call …
Your 2014 World Cup primer
The names and storylines you need to know to talk the talk during the tourney
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
A primer on the faces and storylines taking center stage in Brazil
Las Vegas community mourns, honors victims of Sunday shooting spree
Monday, June 9, 2014
There was singing, there was praying, and there were hugs and handshakes that lasted a beat longer than usual. There were also many tears. A couple hundred people gathered ...
Metro Police arrest suspect in man’s stabbing death
Monday, June 9, 2014
Metro Police have arrested a man who allegedly stabbed another man to death early Monday morning. At 3:20 a.m. Monday, Metro officers responded to a call ...
What will Las Vegas look like in 2030?
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Demographic shifts in age, race and ethnicity will play a large role in reshaping the future of Southern Nevada. Education, health care and transportation improvements will be central to the community’s ability to thrive and ...
Cooling stations opening as valley comes under excessive heat watch
Friday, June 6, 2014
With triple-digit temperatures in the area forecast over the next six days, Clark County is preparing aid stations to help people …
Metro investigates double-stabbing at Treasure Island parking garage
Friday, June 6, 2014
Metro Police detectives are investigating a double-stabbing early Friday on the Strip. At 1:33 a.m. officers responded to a call to the parking garage at Treasure Island, where they found …
6 people suffer smoke inhalation in house fire
Friday, June 6, 2014
Six people suffered smoke inhalation today in an electrical fire that started near the air conditioning unit of a house in the 1900 block of Wengert Avenue, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue officials said.
The fire started about...

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