Nevada jobless rate improves a tick in February, to 8.3%
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada added jobs in February and the state unemployment office reported the jobless figure improved a tick, to 8.3%. A State Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation report on Thursday was an improvement from 8.5% in January. But it was still more than twice the record low of 3.6% in February 2020. The coronavirus pandemic arrived a month later, prompting casino and business closures and pushing and Nevada’s unemployment figure past 30% last April. Nationally, the U.S. Labor Department put the Las Vegas jobless rate in January at 9.9%, ranking second behind the Los Angeles area among large metropolitan areas.
Nevada makes progress on vaccines amid minor uptick in cases
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada health officials reported 445 new coronavirus cases, reflecting a minor uptick from the average number the state has reported over the past two weeks. There were also 11 new deaths reported Friday. A total of more than 302,000 people have tested positive for the virus and 5,226 have died in Nevada since the start of the pandemic a year ago. Recently, the state has reported far fewer cases and deaths than it did at the peak of a surge several months ago. Still, officials are monitoring whether relaxed prevention measure that accompanied the decline could be leading to another surge in cases.
BURNING MAN ALTERNATIVE-REJECTED
Organizers denied permit for Burning Man alternative event
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Organizers of a proposed outdoor arts festival have been denied a permit to hold the event this summer in the Black Rock Desert, the same northern Nevada region where Burning Man is held. The Reno Gazette-Journal reported that Everywhen co-founder Mathew Gilbuena said their monthslong efforts to obtain a permit were fruitless because the Bureau of Land Management favored the Burning Man Project, an arts festival held in the Black Rock Desert since 1990. The agency said in an email on Thursday that the permit application was “denied for multiple reasons” such as staffing limitations and the need for an environmental analysis. Agency spokesperson Heather O’Hanlon said Everywhen is entitled to apply again.
Rare 1822 gold coin fetches record $8.4M at auction in Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The coin trading world has a new gold standard with the $8.4 million sale at auction of the only known 1822 half eagle $5 piece in private hands. Coin experts confirmed the coin that traded hands Thursday in Las Vegas is one of three of its kind in existence and the price was the highest for a U.S. gold coin struck by the U.S. Mint. The buyer remained anonymous. The price approaches the most-ever for a U.S. coin, after a 1794 U.S. “Flowing Hair” silver dollar that once fetched $10 million. Thursday’s public auction was staged by Stack’s Bowers Galleries.
31 new Washoe County cases of COVID-19 variant; new total 45
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Washoe County health officials have identified 31 new cases of the COVID-19 variant that originated in the United Kingdom since they first confirmed more than a dozen in the Reno-Sparks area about two weeks ago. Meanwhile, the overall positivity rate for the Reno-Sparks area inched back up above 5%. The statewide positivity rate has remained below that level for six consecutive days _ 4.5% as of Wednesday. The initial 14 cases of the variant confirmed in Washoe County March 13 were tied to a celebration of life ceremony attended by 60-80 people. Many of the new ones have been tied to a youth volleyball tournament.
Caesars puts pandemic losses at $2B, wants insurers to pay
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Casino giant Caesars Entertainment is putting its losses because of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 at more than $2 billion — and is suing a long list of insurance carriers it says are balking at paying its business interruption costs. A Caesars spokeswoman declined Thursday to comment about the lawsuit, and representatives from most of the insurance companies didn’t immediately respond to emails. The breach of contract and unfair claims practices case was filed March 19 in state court in Las Vegas. It’s not the first of its kind among Las Vegas casino operators. Circus Circus and Treasure Island filed similar cases last year in federal court.
Nevada casinos get more gamblers, but revenues still lag
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada casinos are getting more gamblers back a year after the coronavirus pandemic began, but house winnings on the Las Vegas Strip still lagged in February. That’s according to a key state Gaming Control Board report showing February casino winnings and revenues nearly flat statewide compared to January and down nearly 26% from February of 2020. A board analyst noted the Las Vegas Strip accounted for nearly 92% of the statewide decrease in monthly casino winnings. McCarran International Airport said Thursday that international passenger traffic was down nearly 95% in February compared with the same month a year ago.
INMATE ESCAPEE-DEAD BODY
Escaped Nevada inmate found at California home of dead man
ANTELOPE, Calif. (AP) — An inmate who walked away from a Nevada detention camp has been arrested at a Northern California home where another man was found dead. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office says 34-year-old Jonathan Autry was held on suspicion of homicide Tuesday after fighting with deputies who’d been called to an apartment in the Sacramento suburb of Antelope to check on a resident. The man’s body was found inside the home. The cause of his death is under investigation. Authorities says Autry was serving time for money fraud when he walked away on Sunday from the Stewart Conservation Detention Camp in Carson City.