Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 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

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.
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 ...
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.
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...
Raid on illegal clinic spurs question: Is enforcement adequate?
Friday, June 6, 2014
The arrest of an unlicensed health care provider in Las Vegas has prompted questions about how much progress has been made in a crackdown on illegal health clinics that began in 2012.
Immigration activists cited with trespassing at Rep. Joe Heck’s office
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Five protesters pushing for immigration reform legislation were cited on counts of trespassing at Joe Heck’s local office this morning after they demanded to be heard and refused to leave. A group of more than 30 protesters...
NLV police investigate shooting; man hospitalized
Monday, June 2, 2014
A man was taken to the hospital after being shot Monday evening. A 31-year-old male was found with one gunshot wound and was taken to ...
Reid: President justified to act on immigration reform if Congress doesn’t
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined this morning with representatives from the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce and other area business and tourism organizations to trumpet the need for urgent action on immigration reform. It has been nearly a year since the Senate passed...
Bill allowing immigrants here illegally to serve in military splits GOP
Saturday, May 24, 2014
By now, Brian Huerta thought he would be out of Marines basic training and settling in with his unit, combat training with his M-16, learning navigation and technical skills, building trust with his comrades and ...
Pedestrian is critical after being hit by SUV
Monday, May 19, 2014
A pedestrian is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle Monday afternoon, according to Metro Police.
Man shot four times in western valley, police say
Monday, May 19, 2014
Metro Police are investigating a shooting Monday evening in which the victim was shot multiple times but is expected to survive. Just before 5 p.m. police responded to ...
100 firefighters battle NLV recycling plant fire
Monday, May 19, 2014
More than 100 firefighters battled a raging fire at a recycling plant in North Las Vegas for nearly two hours before they extinguished the blaze that sent up a black, plume of smoke visible for miles. Crews were...
Four accidents on northbound I-15 delaying afternoon traffic
Monday, May 19, 2014
A series of fender-benders is slowing traffic on northbound Interstate 15 approaching the Spaghetti Bowl Monday afternoon. A total of four minor accidents occurred close to one another between ...
Horsford applauds state decision to boot Buena Vista out of tax program
Monday, May 19, 2014
The Nevada Housing Division has kicked the Buena Vista Springs Apartments, where an elderly resident was found dead last week, out of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, a move that was lauded by ...
How immigration inaction could separate families
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Jorge and Maria Espinosa bought into the American dream, but after 20 years here, could be torn apart by deportation. Immigration advocates are urging President Barack Obama to act on behalf of families like theirs ...
Computer problems lead to immigration court hassles, scrutiny on resources
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
With cases piling up by the thousands, lawyers are getting frustrated and judges are having to dust off cassette tapes to record hearings ...
3 Las Vegas men convicted of robbery, conspiracy charges
Monday, May 12, 2014
A jury Monday found three men guilty of running an armed robbery ring that pilfered prescription drugs and expensive merchandise from trucks and warehouses.
Court TV: Immigration cases lack personal touch
Sunday, May 11, 2014
With money tight and a growing backlog of cases as politicians get tough on immigration enforcement, judges have had to cut corners. For immigrant detainees, that has meant videoconferenced hearings rather than in-person appearances, which ...
Wind power experts: All things being equal, industry can compete
Friday, May 9, 2014
But given the tax credits given to other energy sources, financing for wind power projects is highly dependent on the production tax credit that expired at the end of 2013.
Suspect who hit boy on bike faces DUI charge, police say
Monday, May 5, 2014
A 12-year-old boy who was riding a bike had to be taken to the hospital with serious injuries after a man suspected of driving inebriated hit the boy with his car ...
Man charged in shooting death of brother-in-law
Monday, May 5, 2014
A family argument spilled into the streets Thursday, and one man has been charged with murder after killing his brother-in-law, according to Metro Police.
Metro investigating pair of inmate deaths
Monday, April 28, 2014
On Saturday, a 61-year-old male inmate collapsed in his cell at the Clark County Detention Center. On Sunday, a 57-year-old male inmate died at the North Valley Complex after a verbal altercation with ...
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 ...

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