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Wounded Troops Get Trip to Las Vegas

This Veterans Day, Las Vegas is honoring wounded military men and women who risked their lives in war. Close to 200 are in town for a special four-day, all expenses paid getaway.

Meeting these fine men and women, you can't help but say thank you. To them, visiting the Strip is a first -- a place they are excited to see, something that gives them a break from all the medical care they need, and a chance for them for just a few days to forget what they've been through.

SLIDESHOW: Veterans Day 2009 in Las Vegas

It's a much different landing than they’re used to. The Clark County Fire Department sprayed water onto their plane and crew members down below waved and cheered their arrival.

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Casino Earnings Down in September

State gambling regulators say September was another down month for a crucial state index of financial health.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported Tuesday that casinos in the state won $911 million from gamblers during the month. That's a nearly 9 percent decrease compared with the same month in 2008.

September became the 21st month in a row of year-over-year declines in casino winnings. Regulators say the state collected $54.3 million in taxes last month based on the September revenues. That's a nearly 14.6 percent decrease from the same month a year ago. Revenue from gambling wagers make up about 30 percent of the state general fund.

Nevada has been particularly hard hit by the recession as gamblers pull back on discretionary spending.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Elvis is Coming to the Las Vegas Strip via Cirque du Soleil

Elvis is coming to The Strip -- Cirque du Soleil style. Cirque du Soleil announced Thursday that its new show in Las Vegas will be called "Viva ELVIS."

The show will be a tribute to the life and music of Elvis Presley. It will have a permanent home at the Aria Resort & Casino at MGM Mirage's CityCenter complex, set to open in December.

Known for its extravagant theatrical performances combining live music, dance and acrobatics, the Quebec-based circus troupe announced plans for the show in August 2006. Cirque du Soleil has teamed with CKX Inc. and Elvis Presley Enterprises to create the show.

Cirque du Soleil says tickets to Viva ELVIS will be available soon.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Sentencing for Fatal Las Vegas Bombing Delayed

LAS VEGAS, Nv. -- Two illegal immigrants who face life in prison without parole will not be sentenced until January 2010. Thye were scheduled to be sentenced Thursday for a bombing that killed a hot dog stand vendor outside a Las Vegas Strip casino in 2007.

The 29-year-old bombmaker, Porfirio Duarte-Herrera of Nicaragua, and 34-year-old co-defendant Omar Rueda-Denvers of Guatemala appeared Thursday before Clark County District Court Judge Michael Villani.

Rueda-Denvers also uses the name Alexander Perez. Jurors spared the two men from the death penalty after finding them guilty in August of first-degree murder and other charges.

The bomb placed atop a parked car killed 24-year-old Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio outside the Luxor resort. Jurors were told the motive was revenge against Dorantes Antonio for dating Rueda-Denvers' ex-girlfriend.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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MGM Mirage Releases 3rd Quarter Report

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- MGM Mirage says it lost $750.4 million in its third quarter largely because the value of its latest casino project has fallen as gamblers spend less during the recession.

The loss of $1.70 per share the company is reporting Thursday contrasts with a profit of $61.3 million, or 22 cents per share, in the period a year earlier.

The results included charges of $1.72 per share tied mostly to  the CityCenter project MGM Mirage is building with Dubai World on the Las Vegas Strip. It starts opening next month.

MGM Mirage, in which billionaire Kirk Kerkorian has said he may cut his stake, says revenue fell 15 percent to $1.53 billion from $1.79 billion. Analysts forecast a loss of 7 cents per share on revenue of $1.47 billion.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

UNLV Receives $12.6 Million Donation

The Engelstad Family Foundation is giving more than $12.6 million to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for a scholarship program.

The university says the donation will support the largest active scholarship program in the university's history and the largest active scholarship endowment in the history of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

The Engelstad Scholars' Program will award full-tuition scholarships to UNLV students based on academic excellence, leadership, community service involvement and financial need. The scholarship will be renewable for up to four years. Students who receive the awards will spend 100 hours each academic year doing community service. When fully mature, the endowment will fund more than 100 scholarships of up to $5,000 per year.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Boyd Gaming Attempting to Acquire Station Casinos

Boyd Gaming Corp. is asking a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Reno to let it acquire some or all of the properties of its financially troubled rival, Station Casinos.

Boyd filed a motion Sunday asking the court overseeing Station Casinos' Chapter 11 reorganization to let Boyd submit a reorganization plan. The filing says Station Casinos rejected a $950 million offer to buy several Station properties back in February.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)