Monday, June 11, 2001 | 10:11 a.m.
Woman kidnapped in Houston
Metro Police this morning were looking for a man who kidnapped a Houston woman last week and robbed and sexually assaulted her on the way to Las Vegas.
The suspect is believed to be armed and is described as white, between 35 and 40 years old, 6 feet tall, with a large build and light brown hair. He was last seen wearing blue clothes, and driving a dark blue or black full-size van, which police say might have been repainted. The van reportedly has dark-colored sheets covering the windows and hanging behind the driver's seat, police said.
Police were called to the corner of Bonneville Avenue and Casino Center Boulevard about 9:30 a.m. Thursday by a citizen reporting that a 23-year-old woman was there saying she had been kidnapped.
The woman was reported missing from Stafford, Texas, a suburb of Houston, on Tuesday afternoon. The woman told police that she had been kidnapped at a large mall in Houston and was forced into a van. She said she was robbed and assaulted on the nearly 1,500-mile trip to Las Vegas, police said.
Police are asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspect to call police at 229-3421 or Secret Witness 385-5555.
Woman charged with home arson
A North Las Vegas woman has been charged with second-degree arson after a home burned to the ground Sunday afternoon.
Cheri Jones, 33, was arrested in connection with the fire that caused about $80,000 in damage to a home at 213 Harrison Ave., near D Street and Owens Avenue, Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski said.
The fire started about 3:30 p.m., and firefighters were hampered by wind gusting as high as 30 mph and a large palm tree that had caught fire in the home's front yard. Power lines fell into the back yard, Szymanski said.
Because of the fire's advanced stage, firefighters fought the blaze from outside the house, concentrating on keeping it from spreading to a neighboring home. It took firefighters about an hour to get the fire out, Szymanski said.
The fire started after Jones allegedly had an argument with the son of the woman who owned the home, fire investigators said.
Propane explosion shakes residents
Residents in northwest Las Vegas were shaken by what Las Vegas Fire Department officials say was a propane explosion Friday night.
The explosion occurred about 9:30 p.m. in the Painted Desert development northwest of Lone Mountain and Buffalo roads. Firefighters arrived at 7728 Tinted Mesa Court and found that the home's garage on fire.
The fire was brought under control in less than 10 minutes and caused $70,000 in damage, fire department spokesman Tim Szymanski said.
Fire officials say that one of the home's residents had been working with some propane tanks in the garage and may not have shut one of the tanks off all the way, resulting in the explosion.
No one was injured in the explosion or fire, Szymanski said.
Two indicted in drug smuggling
The Clark County Grand Jury has handed down indictments against two men accused of operating a drug smuggling operation while they were incarcerated in the former prison located in Jean.
Jeffrey Tyrone Marshall and Phillip Wilcoxson were named in the eight-count indictment that included attempted sale, possession of controlled substances.
According to the indictment, Marshal and Wilcoxson worked with people on the outside to attempt to smuggle heroin and marijuana into the prison. The heroin was allegedly hidden in a tape player, and the marijuana was hidden in packages of food to be brought into the prison.
Road work to tie up traffic
Motorists will have to deal with delays on Las Vegas Boulevard through the end of September as the Nevada Department of Transportation initiates a major repaving project.
The repaving of the Strip has been relegated to Sundays through Thursdays from midnight to 10 a.m. Starting today work is scheduled to begin at the intersection of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. The project will continue all the way to Reno Avenue, south of Tropicana Avenue.
NDOT will close various traffic lanes on Sahara at Interstate 15 between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. beginning Friday. Sahara will be closed in both directions between Highland and Rancho drives, and so will the north and southbound ramps to and from I-15 at Sahara, from 9 p.m. Friday until June 18 at 5 a.m.
In addition, starting today construction on the new Mandalay Bay Convention Center will close traffic on Frank Sinatra Boulevard, behind the resort.
The temporary closure marks the beginning of construction efforts on a 1.8 million-square-foot convention center expected to open next summer.
Also, repairs to Lake Mead National Recreation Area road surfaces at 11 locations on Lakeshore Drive between the park boundary on Lake Mead Drive and U.S. 93 will begin this month and should be completed in August. The work will cause some delays on Lakeshore Drive.
Deputy attorney general honored
Nevada Chief Deputy Attorney General Kevin Higgins has been recognized with a national award for outstanding public service in law enforcement.
The Stevens Award, named in memory of Judge Joseph Stevens of the U.S. District Court in Missouri, is administered by the Harry S. Truman Foundation, and was presented to Higgins Tuesday by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Higgins, a Sparks resident, was singled out for his work in creating the Nevada High Technology Crime Task Force and drafting legislation to better protect children from predators on the Internet.