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Caesars Palace Launching iPhone Check-In Application

LAS VEGAS -- Casino officials at Caesars Palace say they are launching a new iPhone app and allowing guests to check into the Las Vegas Strip resort through text messaging.

Casino operator Harrah's Entertainment Inc. says the new application and check-in system debut this month. The iPhone app includes a customizable electronic postcard, resort information and the hotel's Twitter feed.

The check-in system is for guests who book online at the Caesars Palace Web site. Casino officials say guests will receive a text message the day before they arrive with their confirmation number. Those who reply "check in" get to skip lines the next day and receive their key after presenting identification.

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

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Man Sentenced in Fatal Las Vegas Bombing

LAS VEGAS -- One of the illegal immigrants who set off a bomb at a Las Vegas Strip casino in 2007 was sentenced Thursday.

Omar Rueda-Denvers of Guatemala was sentenced to life in prison with no parole. Sentencing for his co-conspirator, Porfirio Duarte-Herrera, has been moved to Jan. 28.

The two men set off a bomb that killed a hot dog stand vendor.

A jury found the two men guilty of first-degree murder and other charges for killing 24-year-old Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio. The bomb was placed atop Antonio's car outside the Luxor resort.

More Than 300,000 Visitors Expected in Las Vegas for New Year

LAS VEGAS -- Local tourism officials are projecting more visitors to Las Vegas this New Year's Eve but they say spending will still be down compared to last year.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority projects this year's non-gaming economic impact from New Year's Eve to be about $183 million down from $199 million last year, which represents an 8 percent decline. They say they are expecting 315,000 visitors, which is up slightly from last year's number of 312,000.

Freeway and Las Vegas Strip Closures for New Year's Eve

LAS VEGAS -- Road closures will start taking place at 5 p.m. as Las Vegas prepares for a giant New Year's Eve party.

Here is information on the closures:

Downtown/Fremont Street
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. - The closing of freeway ramps will begin
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. - Fremont Street will close to the public
6 p.m. - The Fremont Street gates will open for party goers

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Metro to Step Up DUI Patrols on New Year's Eve

LAS VEGAS -- Expect to see more black and white on the Las Vegas Strip this New Year's Eve as Metro beefs up efforts to go after drunk drivers.

Metro will be reallocating its officers to patrol Las Vegas Boulevard and the surrounding streets looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Every officer in Metro's Traffic Unit will be patrolling on New Year's Eve.

The police have even gone so far as to contract out a blood draw specialist to test blood alcohol levels on the spot.

In the past, NHP has helped out Metro by patrolling for drunk drivers on the streets near the Strip but this year they'll be back on the highways which is their regular jurisdiction.

So far this year, Metro says they've arrested more people for DUI and there have been fewer alcohol-related accidents.

Red Cross Reaches Out to Fire Victims

LAS VEGAS -- Victims of last week's apartment fires are getting help from the American Red Cross.

Several families met with Red Cross volunteers Monday to get additional assistance following the devastating fires on Dec. 23 that left several families homeless. There were separate fires at Rancho Verde Apartments and Rainwalk Apartments.

Many of the fire victims lost all of their possessions. The Red Cross will stay in contact with the victims and assist them in their basic needs.

 

Retired Woman Wins $1.5 Million Jackpot

LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas visitor is $1.5 million richer after winning a jackpot at the Paris Hotel on the day after Christmas.

The 63-year-old retired woman, who wants to remain anonymous, was in Las Vegas for a family trip when she hit the jackpot.

She says she played about $25 and when the woman next to her got up and left her machine, she reached over and played that machine and hit the jackpot.

The woman says the money will be used to build her dream house.