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Convicted Sex Offender Arrested at Las Vegas Airport

LAS VEGAS -- A convicted sex offender is facing federal charges after attempting to meet with a young girl at the Las Vegas airport.

Investigators say 42-year-old Darryl Owen Walizer of Las Vegas used the Internet to solicit sex from a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl. In fact, he was corresponding with an undercover officer in Texas. Federal agents say when Walizer showed up at the airport to meet the girl, he was arrested.

Walizer has prior convictions for soliciting a juvenile in other states. He is scheduled to appear in federal court on March 26, 2010. He is charged with coercion and enticement of a minor and commission of a felony sex offense by an individual required to register as a sex offender.

 

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Cloud 9 Offers Free Rides to Locals

LAS VEGAS -- The World's Largest Helium Balloon Ride is in Las Vegas and now through March 21st and is offering free rides for locals.

It was on March 6th when an unexpected storm hit, making for one bumpy ride for the seven people on board.  Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the balloon did suffer some damage and was grounded.

Now, after a few repairs, Cloud 9 has been deemed air worthy.  The company is thanking the community for its patience by offering free rides through Sunday, March 21st.  Just bring a Nevada ID to the Cloud 9 ticket counter.  To see flight times, or for more information click here. 

Las Vegas Rebel Fans Show Their Spirit

LAS VEGAS -- It's starting to look like a little Rebel fever has hit the Las Vegas Valley in anticipation of the Rebels game today.

This is the third time in four years that the eighth-seeded Rebels have made it to the tournament.

The Rebels will square off against Northern Iowa at 4 p.m. You can watch the game on Channel 8 as well as other NCAA Tournament games.

Rebel fans are ready to cheer on the team.

"Northern Iowa is a pretty good team, but I think we will be able to destroy them. I think it will be a good game," said Rebel fan Kelly Mercer.

The Runnin' Rebels fought to make it into the tournament and now as they face their first game. Students and staff say they know they can make it past this first hurdle.

Experts Say Las Vegas Seeing Signs of a Tourism Recovery

LAS VEGAS -- Signs of an economic recovery are starting to look a little better, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The group is projecting an increase in visitor numbers.

This weekend is all about March Madness, thousands expected to visit Las Vegas. Still, many are looking to the future and what they believe is a turn around for the economy.

No matter where they're from, visitors are pouring in for the big basketball weekend. May are planning to stay a while and spend big.

"My budget was about $2,500. We are going to spend three days," said Jeff Butler from Ohio.

The LVCVA believes Las Vegas is making headway in a recovery and is expecting a 3-percent increase of visitation over last year.

"The more visitors we can bring in, the more impact that's going to have on our local economy and should help improve the situation," said Rossi Ralenkotter, President of the LVCVA.

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Bettors Prepare for March Madness

LAS VEGAS -- College basketball fans are getting ready for their biggest week of the year -- March Madness kicks off Thursday.

Fans are filling out their brackets and the diehards are already staking out their seats in sportbooks to watch the games.

"It's crazy, but you have got to love it. People have passion for the school -- the teams that they support. There is no better place than Vegas to come and enjoy March Madness," said bettor Albert Moller.

The sportsbook inside the M Resort expects a big turnout, as local fans cheer on UNLV. The sportsbook director says a lot of Rebel money has also been coming in.

Inside the Mirage sportsbook, there are fewer UNLV fans but dedicated fans are expected to show up early for round one.

Police Release Murdered Woman's Picture

LAS VEGAS -- Police have released the photo of a murdered Hooters Hotel and Casino employee in hopes of generating some leads in the case.

The body of 21-year-old Prisma Contreras was found in her Jeep in a desert area near U.S. 95 and the Nelson Landing Road south of Boulder City. Her body was found Jan. 14th.

The last time Contreras was seen was on Jan. 14th around 5 a.m. as she was getting in her car at Hooters.

Surveillance cameras also captured images of a white compact sedan, possibly a Nissan Sentra, that police believe may belong to the suspect in this case.

Anyone with information is being asked to call Metro at 828-3521 or Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.

Luxor Garage Bomber Gets Life

LAS VEGAS -- An illegal immigrant from Nicaragua was sentenced Thursday to life in Nevada prison without parole for killing a hot dog stand vendor with a pipe bomb he built and hid in a coffee cup outside a Las Vegas Strip casino in 2007.

Porfirio Duarte-Herrera's fate had been determined in September, when the Las Vegas jury that convicted him and co-defendant Omar Rueda-Denvers of first-degree murder and other charges chose to spare them the death penalty.

Duarte-Herrera, 29, offered no statement Thursday before Clark County District Court Judge Michael Villani made the jury decision official.

The judge imposed an additional 19 to 50 years for Duarte-Herrera's convictions for attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon and transportation of an explosive device. The judge ran sentences totaling four to 10 years on two felony explosives charges concurrently.