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Wynn Out of PA Casino Project

LAS VEGAS -- Casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd. said Thursday it is dropping its bid to develop a waterfront casino in Philadelphia, saying the project isn't appropriate for the company.

The long-stalled Foxwoods riverfront project has faced financial troubles and neighborhood opposition since winning one of two gambling licenses set aside for Philadelphia in 2006.

"We are fascinated by the legalization of full gaming in Pennsylvania and stimulated by the opportunity that it presents for Wynn Resorts," CEO Steve Wynn said in a statement. "This particular project did not, in the end, present an opportunity that was appropriate for our company."

The Las Vegas-based company, which runs two casino-resorts in Sin City and expects to open its second property in Macau later this month, said it has terminated agreements and negotiations for a possible investment in the Foxwoods project.

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First-Time Unemployment Claims Increased

WASHINGTON -- The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits rose last week, a sign that jobs remain scarce even as the economy recovers. The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time claims increased by 18,000 in the week ending April 3, to a seasonally adjusted 460,000. That's worse than economists' estimates of a drop to 435,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The report covers the week that includes the Easter holiday, and a Labor Department analyst said seasonal adjustment for Easter can be difficult since the holiday occurs in different weeks each year. California also closed its state offices for a holiday March 31, the analyst said, which likely held down the claims figures. On an unadjusted basis, claims rose by 6,500 to nearly 415,000.

Motorcyclist Dies in Accident on I-15

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal accident on I-15 and Sahara. Police say a motorcyclist was struck by a semi. The accident closed lanes of I-15 northbound for several hour.

Police say the motorcycle slammed into the back of a car and the rider was ejected. A semi then ran over the driver. He died at the scene.

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to Open in December

LAS VEGAS  -- The CEO of the new $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas casino says it will open in mid-December with about one-third of its rooms delayed until July 2011.

It is likely to be the last major new casino-resort likely to open on the struggling Las Vegas Strip for at least a few years. Even before the Cosmopolitan plays its first hand, executives and analysts say it must draw new customers who feel it is a must-see draw to Sin City.

Cosmopolitan CEO John Unwin said the hotel's amenities,including 13 restaurants, a spa, nightclub, 150,000 square feet of meeting and convention space and retail stores, would open in mid-December with the casino and the bulk of its 2,995 rooms. 

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Accused Murderer Charged in Prison Attack

LAS VEGAS -- Authorities say a Las Vegas process server awaiting trial in two murder cases is now facing new charges.

Police say 48-year-old Gregory Lee Hover was cutting another inmate's hair when he used the scissors to cut the man's back.

Hover has now been moved to a jail isolation unit and faces a new charge of battery by a prisoners with the use of a deadly weapon.

Hover is also facing murder charges for the death of a 64-year-old homeowner. He and his alleged accomplice, 18-year-old Richard Freeman are accused of shooting and killing Julio Romero during a home invasion robbery.

They are also accused in the murder and sexual assault of 21-year-old Primas Contreras. Police say Hover and Freeman kidnapped her after she left her job at Hooters Hotel-Casino. Her body was found in a burned out jeep in the desert near Boulder City.

Virgin Atlantic Expanding Flights to United Kingdom in 2011

LAS VEGAS-Virgin Atlantic announced today that it will begin twice weekly service between Las Vegas and Manchester in the United Kingdom. The flights will begin in April 2011. The new flights will fly out of Las Vegas on Thursdays and Sundays.

Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said that the decision to expand their Manchester flying program underlines Virgin Atlantic's commitment to flying to long-haul destinations from regional airports in the United Kingdom.

Nevada's First Lady Benefits From Contested Divorce

RENO -- Gov. Jim Gibbons' inability to bring his contested divorce to a close means Nevada has the benefit of a first lady for a bit longer. It also means the state must foot the bill for Dawn Gibbons' attendance at official events, including travel, security and per diem.

After 18 months locked in a bitter court battle, the couple's 24-year marriage was supposed to come to an end Feb. 28. But the governor has been unable to pay $275,000 he owes his wife under a divorce settlement reached in December. Nor has the Republican governor sold the couple's Reno home as ordered by the court.

In an order issued in late March, Washoe District Family Court Judge Frances Doherty affirmed that Jim Gibbons must pay Dawn Gibbons before the final decree will be issued. Without a final divorce decree, the couple is still married and Dawn Gibbons is technically still first lady.