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New Strip shops open Thursday

LAS VEGAS - A new outdoor shopping center is opening on the Las Vegas Strip Thursday.

The Grand Bazaar Shops retail complex sits on two acres of prime real estate at Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Developers say the complex will combine contemporary retail with elements reminiscent of world-renowned markers such as London's Portobello Road and New York's Grand Central Terminal.

The Grand Bazaar Shops features 125 stores.

The people behind the project say it offers a different shopping experience than other retail outlets.

"It's more about experience than it is shopping for something," said Grand Bazaar Shops developer Larry Siegel. "You're going to be able to come here and consume and buy things you'd be able to buy in different places, but not with the experiences."

The shops are smaller, ranging in size from 150 to 300 square feet.

Nevada death penalty costs reflect U.S. trends

Infographic by Ned Wolfenbarger

When Nevada lawmakers were informed in November that death penalty cases in the state cost $532,000 more on average than other murder cases from arrest through the end of incarceration, the findings were consistent with other studies pushed by anti-death penalty advocates.

The financial hit taken by taxpayers has become one of the central arguments death penalty foes have used in recent years in an effort to have states overturn that form of punishment.

A search of the Internet turns up little in the way of arguments that refute the cost studies, even though the majority of states have death penalty laws that continue to be defended by victims' rights organizations.

There are 18 states without the death penalty. Michigan has been on that list the longest, having been without a death penalty since 1846, while Maryland was last to join this group in 2013.

I-Team: Delays normal in death penalty cases

Ammar Harris

LAS VEGAS -- Two years have passed since a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip led to a fiery crash and the deaths of three people.

The man accused of those murders, Ammar Harris, still has not been brought to trial. An old adage says justice delayed is justice denied but it's also true the wheels of justice turn slowly.

As the I-Team learned, the reasons for that aren't always foot-dragging or delay tactics.

It was in February 2013 when reputed pimp Kenneth Cherry was shot in his Maserati as he drove away from the Aria resort. The mortally wounded Cherry crashed his car into a taxicab, causing an explosion that killed cabbie Michael Bolden and passenger Sandra Sutton-Wasmund.

Since Harris was arrested the trial date in the death penalty case has moved three times and is now scheduled for July.

Bolden's brother, Tehran Bolden, worries about the toll the case continues to take on his 93-year-old mother.

I-Team: Searching for the Mirage Volcano Man

LAS VEGAS -- Millions of people have been awed by the sights and sounds of the Mirage volcano but few have seen the attraction from the other side.

Now in its 26th year of operation, the volcano was out of service for six weeks for a tune-up. The new version has three times as many special effects as the original one, thanks in part to a 135,000-watt stereo system that delivers pounding Polynesian rhythms from Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and renowned Indian percussionist Zakir Hussain through 67 hidden speakers.

It is an enormous task to make sure all of the moving parts fit seamlessly, which is why it takes a six-person team to operate the volcano full time. The I-Team can vouch for this because it became the first television crew allowed to record an entire performance from the top of the Strip attraction.

Mayweather, Pacquiao sign deal, agree to fight on May 2

Credit: Floyd Mayweather

LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao have signed a deal and have agreed to fight on May 2.

Mayweather posted a photo of his signed agreement on a social media account on Friday afternoon.

The post read "What the world has been waiting for has arrived. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, is a done deal. I promised the fans we would get this done, and we did. We will make history on May 2nd. Don't miss it! This is the signed contract from both fighters."

The long anticipated bout at the MGM Grand here in Las Vegas will almost surely break every financial record ever, and make both boxers richer than ever. Mayweather could earn $120 million or more, while Pacquiao's split of the purse will likely be around $80 million.

Riviera to be demolished for massive LVCVA expansion

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors unanimously approved on Friday to purchase the Riviera hotel-casino as part of a massive expansion effort.

Further details about a timeline of events were not immediately available.

The two-phase project would take anywhere between 5 to 8 years to complete and would create the $2.3 billion Las Vegas Global Business District.

LVCVA says it's the largest project of its kind since the convention center was built in the 1950s.

The first phase would include 750,000 square feet of new exhibit space and an additional 187,500 square feet of supporting meeting space. The second phase would include a remodel of the existing convention center "and includes 100,000 square feet general session space and another 100,000 square feet of meeting space," a release said.

Tarkanian honored with dimmed lights on Strip, downtown

LAS VEGAS -- At 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night The Strip, Fremont Street and other parts of the valley dimmed their lights for three minutes to honor legendary UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian. 

PHOTOS: Dimming the Lights for Tark

It's done to show respect for those who have had a deep impact on the city.  The push to dim the lights for Tarkanian started as a social media movement right after his death.

'Tark the Shark' as he was lovingly called was a Hall of Famer who built a basketball dynasty at UNLV, but he was defined more by his decades-long battle with the NCAA.

Tarkanian put the run in the Runnin' Rebels, taking them to four Final Fours and winning a national championship in 1990.