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I-Team: Alleged Sex Club Sues Clark County

LAS VEGAS -- The sound of the whip cracking across the bare skin was only muffled by the pulsing techno music coursing through the speakers. Low light hid the master walking around his subject. Another Saturday night in Las Vegas at Power Exchange.

The I-Team first exposed the inner workings of the adult sex club in April of 2009. Now a year later, the club's operator has been cited and a federal lawsuit against Clark County could make sex clubs more accessible than ever before.

Michael Powers runs the club and during the I-Team's first visit, he said the alternative lifestyles deserve a safe haven out of the shadows. "It's like the Elks Club or the Lions, kind of club for extreme interests, perverse interests or bizarre interests," he said.

Metro cited Powers last year for violating the "sex club" ordinance, which is a zoning law banning sex activity like swinging or social encounters.

Nevada Casino Winnings Jump 14-Percent in February

LAS VEGAS -- Regulators say casinos on the Las Vegas Strip did better in February, pushing gambling winnings up almost 14 percent statewide compared with a dismal month in 2009.

The state Gaming Control Board reported Thursday that Nevada casino win increased to almost $947 million, compared with $831 million in February 2009.

Most of the increase was driven by the Strip, where the casino win figure was up a whopping 33 percent. The board tallied a decline in the rest of Clark County, and modest increases in Washoe and Elko counties.

The state's $47 million share of overall winnings was still down more than 28 percent, compared with the same period a year ago. Analysts were anticipating signs of improvement in February, based on Super Bowl and Chinese New Year events.

The big game packed not only hotel rooms but also sportsbooks and the tables.

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.

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.

Governor Gibbons News Conference Today on Health Reform

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons will hold a news conference in Las Vegas to announce what he intends to do about federal health reform.

The Republican governor has been publicly feuding with Democratic Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who refused his directive to sue the federal government over the bill passed by Congress and signed last month by President Obama. Gibbons' news conference is at noon Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Gibbons argues the law tramples state's rights and amounts to unfunded mandates that will cost the state millions in added Medicaid costs. Masto says the Constitution gives Congress broad powers to regulate commerce. She says 14 other states have already sued, and that any outcome would apply to Nevada even if the state doesn't join the suit.

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

Nation's Economy Posted Its Largest Job Gain In Three Years

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's economy posted its largest job gain in three years in March, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent for the third straight month.

The increase is the latest sign that the economic recovery is sustainable and healing in the job market is beginning. Still, the healing is likely to be slow, and most economists don't expect job creation to be fast enough this year to rapidly reduce the unemployment rate. The Labor Department said employers added 162,000 jobs in March, the most since the recession began but below analysts' expectations of 190,000. The total includes 48,000 temporary workers hired for the U.S. Census, also fewer than many economists forecast.

Minimum Wage to Increase for Nevada Workers

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Minimum wage workers in Nevada will be getting a raise under new requirements announced by the state labor commissioner.

Beginning July 1, Commissioner Michael Tanchek says the minimum wage for workers who also receive qualified health benefits from their employer will increase 70 cents to $7.25 per hour. The minimum hourly wage for workers who don't have employer-paid insurance will rise to $8.25.

Under a voter approved constitutional amendment passed in 2006, Nevada's minimum wage is adjusted annually based on increases in the federal minimum wage over $5.15 per hour, or, if greater, by the cumulative increase in the cost of living. Tanchek says this year's adjustment in Nevada incorporates the final phase of a $2.10 increase in the federal minimum wage that went into effect in 2007.

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