Las Vegas morning update for Thursday, May 31 – VIDEO

That ties the series at 1-1 as the Capitals head back to home ice for Game 3 on Saturday at 5 p.m. 2. A rash of shootings across the valley has left three people dead in less than 24 hours. The deaths included a 2-year-old boy, who was shot and killed Wednesday morning while children played in a northeast valley apartment.

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Las Vegas casino workers vote to authorize strike

Culinary and bartender union workers leave the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, after voting whether they want to go on strike. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Culinary and bartenders union members arrive at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, to vote on a citywide strike. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Culinary and bartender union workers leave the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, after voting whether they want to go on strike. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Jenifer Murias, volunteer organizer, shouts slogans as culinary and bartender union workers leave the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, after voting whether they want to go on strike. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Culinary and bartender union workers leave the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, after voting whether they want to go on strike. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Culinary and bartender union workers leave the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, after voting whether they want to go on strike. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Culinary and bartender union workers arrive at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, to vote whether they want to go on strike. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye

Volunteer Jenifer Murias yells into a megaphone as Culinary Union members file into a university arena to vote on whether to authorize a strike Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Las Vegas. A potential strike would affect 34 casino-hotels. A majority yes vote would not immediately affect the casinos, but it would give union negotiators a huge bargaining chip by allowing them to call for a strike at any time starting June 1. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
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Unions representing Las Vegas casino workers won the right Tuesday to call a citywide strike as early as June 1 if they do not reach an agreement with employers.

Thousands of members of the Culinary Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 voted to go on strike if a new five-year contract isn’t reached, said spokeswoman Bethany Khan.

Contracts for 50,000 employees such as bartenders, housekeepers, bellhops and porters expire at the end of the month at 34 Strip and downtown resorts, including properties operated by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corp., Penn National, Golden Entertainment and Boyd Gaming Corp.

Representatives of the union workers are demanding higher wages, protection from layoffs caused by new technology, greater workplace safety measures and protection for immigrants with temporary status.

Tuesday’s “yes” vote was widely expected by the industry. The unions have held several strike votes over the decades with not a single “no” outcome, said Khan.

Strike not certain

Las Vegas casino strikes have been avoided in most cases following a “yes” vote by union members. The last citywide strike was in 1984. It affected 32 resorts and lasted 67 days.

Casinos still have at least a week to reach an agreement with unions before they potentially call a strike. Talks could even continue after June 1 without a strike being called.

Caesars spokesman Rich Broome reiterated Tuesday that the company expects to reach an agreement with the unions and avoid a strike.

James Kraft, a professor who authored a book on the 1984 strike, said he expects the two sides to reach an agreement, as both workers and casinos potentially stand to lose from a walkout.

During the 1984 strike, Las Vegas casinos lost as much as $100 million in revenue (about $250 million today), while city and state budgets lost millions in tourist-related taxes, according to Kraft.

A union strike fund helped support workers during the period they picketed.

Ready to strike

Lewis Thomas, a 59-year-old utility porter worker at the Tropicana, was among the thousands who voted Tuesday in favor of striking.

Thomas said he wants better health care benefits and company-sponsored training so employees like him are not made redundant by technology.

“We are ready to walk if we don’t get the contract. Even if it means striking one month, two months or a year,” said Thomas.

Pamela Hughes, an MGM Resorts employee, also said she is concerned about technology replacing workers such as bartenders and cocktail waitresses.

Strip hotels have been rolling out innovations such as delivery robots, chatbots and self-check-in terminals that have the ability to replace some employees.

MGM, which recently talked of a future with drones delivering margaritas, said it is working with the unions to soften the impact of job disruption from technology by providing training and new opportunities.

“While new technology may change the way some jobs function, we will always rely on the skill and personal touch that can only come from our employees,” the company said in a statement to the Review-Journal.

Piece of profit

Jose Licea, an on-call kitchen worker at Planet Hollywood Resort, arrived at the Thomas & Mack Center with a large American flag and a bullhorn, chanting “No contract, no peace.”

Licea, who has worked on the Strip for 25 years, said workers need a wage boost to cover rising prices.

“Everything is going up: gas, food, supplies. We need to raise salaries,” he said.

Hughes said casino operators like MGM are sharing too much of rising profits with stockholders and not enough with workers.

MGM announced this month that it would return about $2.5 billion to shareholders over the next three years through dividends and buybacks. Caesars also announced this month that it would buy back $500 million of its own shares.

The two casino operators, however, hadn’t returned any money to shareholders in at least a decade before MGM reinstated its dividend last year.

MGM and Caesars had been paying down billions in debt and investing billions more to refurbish existing properties, including ones on the Strip. MGM has also invested several billion to build three new casinos.

Contact Todd Prince at 702-383-0386 or @toddprincetv on Twitter.

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Las Vegas to dole out $10M to help homeless, seniors, youth

The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday voted to allocate roughly $10 million in anticipated federal grant funds to local programs for homeless, senior and youth programs.

City officials expect to receive millions of dollars from various grant programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, during its fiscal year that begins July 1. Las Vegas is slated to receive:

$9,323,952 in federal funds from the Community Development Block Grant program, Emergency Solutions Grant dollars, the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program. $1,330,175 in State of Nevada Home Investment Partnership Funds and Low Income Housing Trust funds.

More than two dozen organizations will share those grant dollars, including the Salvation Army, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada and Boys Town Nevada.

Contact Jamie Munks at or 702-383-0340. Follow @Journo_Jamie_ on Twitter.

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Report: More Las Vegas college graduates living at home

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Young college graduates are more likely to be living with their parents than they were before the housing bubble, especially in places that had a more exaggerated boom and subsequent crash.

RELATED: First time home buyers struggle with low inventory, high prices in Las Vegas

A new Zillow analysis of Census data finds the share of college graduates in their 20s increased the most between 2005 and 2016 in Las Vegas and Riverside, Calif. Nationally, 28 percent of recent college graduates live with their parents, up from 19 percent in 2005.

In Las Vegas, 13 percent of graduates lived with their parents in 2005 while that number spiked to 39 percent in 2016.

Near the end of 2004, homes were gaining nearly 50 percent in value each year. When the market collapsed, home values plunged by 62 percent, more than any other major U.S. market.

As more young graduates live with parents, the share living with a romantic partner was on the decline. In every large metropolitan area, a smaller share of college graduates in their twenties live with a partner than did in 2005. Las Vegas had the biggest decline in the share of recent graduates living as a couple, falling from 47 percent to 29 percent.

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Civil rights leader John Lewis promotes education at Las Vegas gala

Civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis spent his lifetime fighting for racial equality and human rights, but the 78-year-old icon stopped in Las Vegas on Sunday with a new mission to support education for the next generation. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., poses at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 22, 2018.

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Once-rundown Las Vegas office complex is spruced up and on the market

Tribeca Parc office complex in Las Vegas, Friday, April 13, 2018. The roughly 131,000-square-foot complex, now called Tribeca Parc, has three office buildings and is listed for $27.5 million. Chitose Suzuki Las Vegas Review-Journal @chitosephoto

Tribeca Parc office complex in Las Vegas, Friday, April 13, 2018. The roughly 131,000-square-foot complex, now called Tribeca Parc, has three office buildings and is listed for $27.5 million. Chitose Suzuki Las Vegas Review-Journal @chitosephoto
Tribeca Parc office complex in Las Vegas, Friday, April 13, 2018. The roughly 131,000-square-foot complex, now called Tribeca Parc, has three office buildings and is listed for $27.5 million. Chitose Suzuki Las Vegas Review-Journal @chitosephoto
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The squatters, withered landscaping and broken windows are gone. But inside the once-rundown office complex, a nameplate remains: Edwin Fujinaga, President & CEO.

Fujinaga owned MRI International, a medical billing-collections firm that was based in the suburban Las Vegas complex. But federal regulators and prosecutors went after him for allegedly running a massive Ponzi scheme, and the offices emptied and fell into disrepair.

Today, the property on Durango Drive at Hacienda Avenue is spruced up and on the market, ready to close the chapter on its blighted, beat-up past.

Well, save for the old boss’ nameplate, which is being kept as a joke, listing broker Bridget Richards said.

“We’re comedians at heart,” she said.

Insight Investment Partners and Northcap — two Las Vegas firms that bought the 8-acre property from a court-appointed receiver last year for $12 million — recently wrapped up their overhaul of the southwest valley complex.

They painted the buildings, resurfaced and restriped the parking lot, cleaned the HVAC system, added parking spaces by demolishing a courtyard, and finished construction of the two-level garage.

The roughly 131,000-square-foot complex, now called Tribeca Parc, has three office buildings and is listed for $27.5 million.

Even Richards doesn’t expect an investor to buy the whole place at that price, but she said prospective users who have eyed it include labor unions, insurance companies, law firms and an international art gallery.

“Right now I have a church calling me about the property,” said Richards, a principal with Perry Guest Cos.

Northcap founder John Tippins said, “Sverything feels brand new” at the complex, even the smell. But he also guessed that, before the overhaul, maybe 10 to 15 windows had been broken.

Troubled past

MRI’s “purposed” business, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, was buying unpaid medical accounts at a discount from health care providers and trying to collect payments from insurance companies.

The agency sued MRI and Fujinaga in 2013, alleging they ran “an extensive and egregious Ponzi scheme” that defrauded thousands of investors, primarily in Japan.

A federal judge in 2015 ordered Fujinaga and MRI to pay more than $580 million in the case. Later that year, a federal grand jury indicted Fujinaga and two MRI executives in Tokyo, alleging they ran a $1.5 billion Ponzi scheme.

Fujinaga is scheduled to go trial Oct. 29, court records show.

MRI’s offices, meanwhile, emptied and became a target for vandals. Door locks were broken, windows and toilets were smashed, electronics went missing, and vandals busted through ceilings and walls to steal copper pipes and electrical wires.

Most of the landscaping also was dead or deteriorating, homeless people showed up, and hypodermic needles were found around the bushes, according to court filings.

“It was a disaster, an absolute disaster,” Richards said this week.

She used to work in an office nearby and said it “was always kind of a mystery what was going on over here.” It was a beautiful property, she said, but she never saw cars there.

When her group went in to remove the cubicles, the computers weren’t plugged in, as if it were a staging area with fake work stations to show investors, she said. One building even featured a “massive,” fake safe that anyone could bust through.

Still, the complex is great real estate, Richards said.

“They did a good job developing this property … But, you know, their loss is our gain, ultimately,” she said.

Contact Eli Segall at or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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Strategic Storage Trust IV Acquires 580-Unit Self Storage Facility in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, April 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Strategic Storage Trust IV, Inc. (SST IV), a public non-traded real estate investment trust sponsored by SmartStop Asset Management, LLC (SmartStop), announced today its acquisition of an approximately 580-unit self storage facility located at 8020 Las Vegas Blvd. South in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"The property is located on Las Vegas Blvd. adjacent to Interstates 15 and 215, with solid population density and a high traffic count," said Wayne Johnson, chief investment officer. "This acquisition aligns well with our investment criteria and we believe the property will benefit operationally by being in close proximity to other SmartStop managed facilities in the area."

The facility has approximately 55,000 rentable square feet and features 24-hour onsite management.

About Strategic Storage Trust IV, Inc. (SST IV)

SST IV is a Maryland corporation that intends to qualify as a real estate investment trust for federal income tax purposes for the taxable year ended December 31, 2017. SST IV focuses on the acquisition of stabilized and growth self storage properties. SST IV owns four properties comprising approximately 2,120 self storage units and approximately 237,000 net rentable square feet of storage space.

About SmartStop Asset Management, LLC (SmartStop)
SmartStop is a diversified real estate company focused on self storage assets, along with student and senior housing. The company has approximately $1.5 billion of real estate assets under management, including 114 self storage facilities located throughout the United States and Toronto, Canada, comprised of approximately 72,000 units and 8.3 million rentable square feet. SmartStop’s real estate portfolio also includes five student housing communities with approximately 2,800 beds and 1.1 million square feet of space, as well as three senior housing communities with approximately 350 beds and 250,000 rentable square feet of space. SmartStop is the sponsor of SST IV, Strategic Storage Trust II, Inc., and Strategic Storage Growth Trust, Inc., all public non-traded REITs focusing on self storage assets. The company is also a national sponsor of Section 1031 exchange offerings using the Delaware statutory trust structure. The facilities offer affordable and accessible storage units for residential and commercial customers. In addition, they offer secure interior and exterior storage units as well as outside storage areas for vehicles, RVs and boats. Additional information regarding SmartStop is available at and more information regarding SmartStop® Self Storage in the United States and Canada is available at

This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements can generally be identified by our use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "will," "expect," "intend," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "continue," or other similar words. Because such statements include risks, uncertainties and contingencies, actual results may differ materially from the expectations, intentions, beliefs, plans or predictions of the future expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and contingencies include, but are not limited to: uncertainties relating to changes in general economic and real estate conditions; uncertainties relating to the implementation of our real estate investment strategy; uncertainties relating to financing availability and capital proceeds; uncertainties relating to the closing of property acquisitions; uncertainties relating to the public offering of our common stock; uncertainties related to the timing and availability of distributions; and other risk factors as outlined in Strategic Storage Trust IV’s prospectus, as amended from time to time. This is neither an offer nor a solicitation to purchase securities.

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Community Development Partners Opens Renovated Affordable Housing in Las Vegas

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Community Development Partners and BLVD Capital will host a grand opening celebration for Baltimore Gardens and Cleveland Gardens Apartments on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 11am. The Baltimore and Cleveland Gardens project is a 201-unit, family development for households earning up to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). The ribbon cutting will take place at 316 West Baltimore Ave in Las Vegas, NV, and will feature the following speakers:

City of Las Vegas Acting Director of the Office of Community Services, Kathi Thomas-Gibson Nevada Housing Division Deputy Administrator, Tim Whitright Community Development Partners CEO, Eric Paine

Baltimore Gardens and Cleveland Gardens Apartments are the newest projects to join Community Development Partners’ expanding portfolio of life-enriching, affordable communities.

Located in close proximity at 316 West Baltimore Ave and 311 Cleveland Ave, the two rehabilitated apartment complexes consist of 201 units throughout 21 buildings constructed between 1958 and 1960. All units receive Section 8 rental assistance. Extensive upgrades were made to update building systems and exteriors and water efficient landscaping was installed. Interiors were updated to include new flooring, paint, cabinets, countertops, and energy efficient windows and appliances. Renovations were designed by Integrated Design & Architecture, constructed by Precision General Contractors, with property management by Cornerstone Residential.

Eric Paine, CEO of Community Development Partners, the project’s developer, says, "These renovations will elevate living conditions, improve energy efficiency, and increase security. These changes go beyond simply providing quality, affordable housing; they help create a healthy and engaged neighborhood."

The $27 million project financing for Baltimore and Cleveland Gardens includes tax-exempt bonds issued by the Nevada Housing Division (NHD) and equity from the sale of non-competitive 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, as well as HOME funds from the City of Las Vegas. HOME is the largest Federal block grant to state and local governments exclusively to create affordable housing.

About Community Development PartnersFounded in 2011, Community Development Partners develops and operates sustainable, life-enhancing affordable housing with a focus on long term community engagement and innovative design. The company has offices in Newport Beach, California and Portland, Oregon and has developed and currently operates properties in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Oregon. For more information, visit:

Contact: Beth Binger BCIpr619-987-6658

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SOURCE Community Development Partners

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Homeless mental patients given ‘Greyhound therapy’ from Las Vegas could get a payout | The Sacramento Bee

Mentally ill people who were cast out of a Las Vegas psychiatric hospital and issued Greyhound bus tickets to cities across the country without proper consent, care or planning soon will have their day in court.

A Nevada court has ruled that James Flavy Coy Brown, whose 2013 bus trip took him to Sacramento, and potentially hundreds of others who had similar experiences, may as a group pursue damages against Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, which oversees the hospital, and various treatment professionals.

Sacramento attorney Mark Merin filed the class-action lawsuit on behalf of Brown and others who allegedly were victims of “Greyhound therapy,” or patient dumping, by the state’s primary psychiatric hospital.

Martha Framsted, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, declined Tuesday to comment on the latest legal action.

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The Clark County District Court granted class-action status to the lawsuit’s plaintiffs this week after years of legal wrangling. Merin now will launch an intensive search for Rawson-Neal patients, many of them homeless and psychotic, who were issued one-way Greyhound tickets by the hospital.

The Sacramento Bee documented Brown’s story beginning in 2013. Subsequent investigations by the newspaper found that Rawson-Neal regularly discharged homeless patients via Greyhound bus, sometimes to places where they had never been and had no ties.

Brown, who suffers from schizophrenia, was desperate and confused when he arrived in Sacramento, a place he had never visited and where he had no connections. No prior arrangements had been made for his care or housing. He told police he was advised by the Nevada psychiatric hospital to “call 911” when he arrived in the capital city.

He was on the streets for days before he was admitted to UC Davis Medical Center, and then to a group home in Sacramento. He reunited with his daughter in his home state of North Carolina for a time, and now lives in a care home there.

The Bee found that Brown’s experience was not an isolated one. The newspaper discovered that Rawson-Neal bused roughly 1,500 patients out of Nevada between 2008 and 2013, a third of them to California. Some of the patients, The Bee documented, became homeless and went missing after their bus trips. Some died tragically. Some committed serious crimes in their new cities.

Rawson-Neal denied that it routinely sent patients to other cities without planning for their welfare, but federal and state investigations confirmed other cases in addition to Brown’s. The hospital has said that it no longer buses people out of state without chaperones.

The Bee’s stories about the busing scandal won several national journalism awards, and were a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting.

The class-action complaint against Rawson-Neal alleges that patients “were discharged with deliberate indifference to, and reckless disregard of, their serious medical and psychiatric needs for which no plan was developed or followed.”

Patients, it states, “were administered powerful psychotropic medications and, while unable to intelligently and knowingly consent, were involuntarily placed into taxis and conveyed to Greyhound buses into which they were loaded” for trips to destinations across the country.

The suit accuses the hospital, its staff and the mental health agency with negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. It asks for an injunction preventing the hospital from improperly discharging patients, as well as unspecified financial damages.

In its order granting class certification, District Judge Mark Denton said the case’s allegations “rise and fall based on whether defendants implemented a blanket policy” to discharge patients out of state without adequate documentation and planning.

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When it routinely was sending unescorted patients out on buses, the Nevada hospital was under financial stress because of severe budget cuts and eager to discharge poor patients, Merin said in an interview with The Bee. Rawson-Neal’s staff was “under a ‘hurry up and get these people out of here’ directive,” he said.

To assist Merin’s team in locating previous patients, the court has ordered the hospital to supply records, including any contact information, for everyone who was given one-way tickets during the class period, which the court ruled began in 2011 and runs through the present. As many as 700 people could be affected, Merin said.

“We’re setting up a process whereby we reach out to every one of those people for whom we have contact information so that we can try to get notice to them,” he said. “Otherwise, we are left sending notices to homeless shelters and placing public announcements in newspapers. It’s very hard to reach this class of individual.”

The trial is scheduled for Aug. 24 in Nevada, though the case could settle before then, Merin said.

Any settlement would require attorneys to negotiate the amount paid to everyone who is identified as part of the class and wants to participate in the lawsuit, he said.

“We would get claim forms out to everyone, so everybody will get compensation of some sort,” Merin said.

Reached at his care home in North Carolina, Brown, whose story triggered the investigations and lawsuit against the hospital, said he was pleased that the class-action case finally is moving forward, more than five years after he stepped off a bus in downtown Sacramento following his discharge 15 hours earlier from Rawson-Neal.

Brown, who had been homeless in Las Vegas, had only a few bottles of Ensure nutritional supplements to sustain him during his trip.

Now 53, Brown said he is unhappy that he currently lives in a retirement home where most residents are far older than him. “But I don’t have any money or any other place to go,” he said. “So it’s better than being on the streets. It’s better than being homeless.”

Brown said he never imagined that his case would have drawn national attention, nor that it would still be moving through the legal system after so many years.

“I feel good that it’s going ahead,” Brown said. “I almost gave up on it, for sure. I got to the point where I felt that everybody had forgotten about me.”

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