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Bill would prevent smoking in cars with children present

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- A Nevada Assembly member is bringing forward legislation making it a crime to smoke tobacco in a car with a minor present.

Democratic Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle is sponsoring AB322, which was heard Thursday in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

"It provides protection for the health and safety of children who cannot protect themselves," said Assemblyman Sprinkle.

The bill will prohibit motorists from smoking tobacco or electronic cigarettes in a moving or stopped car if there is a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle. The proposal would allow police to levy a $25 fine against smokers breaking the rule.

"It's kind of like child abuse," said Kameelah Purdom, supporter of AB322. "You're smoking with them in the car; you're damaging their health."

So far, the bill has the support of the medical community, including the Southern Nevada Health District.

Swimming advisory issued for Lake Mead

 LAS VEGAS -- An advisory has been issued for Lake Mead and Lake Mohave because of algae and the health concerns that could be associated with it.

The National Park Service is recommending that swimming, jet skiing and water skiing be avoided in areas of algae.

Blue-green algae, which was seen in both lakes, was tested and showed microcystin concentrations.

Southern Nevada Water Authority said the microcystin does not pose a threat to southern Nevada's drinking water because the water is treated, but there are health issues associated with microcystin if someone comes into contact with the algae.

The health issues include rashes, skin irritations and gastrointestinal illnesses.

People are advised to not let their animals drink from the lake and avoid filling water tanks with lake water in areas with algae. People who come into contact with the algae should rinse with clean water.

Man indicted for alleged sex crimes involving children

LAS VEGAS -- A Boulder City man was indicted by a Clark County grand jury on charges of nine counts of lewdness and a single count of sexual assault allegedly involving two children.

Grant Howard Morris, who appeared in Clark County District Court Wednesday, was issued a summons to return to court March 19.

Prosecutors said the victims were ages 4 and 10 at the time of the alleged crimes. A defense attorney said Morris has no prior criminal history.

Lawmakers examine bill to create prescription drug use database

State lawmakers are considering a new legislation that will try to put a stop to prescription drug abuse.  Senate Bill 114 was discussed by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee Monday. It requires pharmacists in Nevada to develop a comprehensive database to keep track of prescription meds given to patients.

Should it get passed, Senate Bill 114 would also give physicians better access to a patient's information in regards to their prescription drug history. Legislatures believe this could help keep doctors from overprescribing.

Recovering prescription drug addict, Angie Johnson said she couldn't make it through the day without the help of pain meds for nearly 10 years.

"I was on Methadone, Morphine, Percocet and Xanax all at the same time, and I was getting the maximum dose,” Johnson said.

Johnson said they were all prescribed to her by her doctor. However, she said it was also a doctor who got her help after noticing she was abusing drugs.

Senator Reid's brother accused of DUI, battery on an officer

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Authorities say the 73-year-old brother of Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid was arrested on misdemeanor driving under the influence, weapon and battery on an officer charges after he was found in a vehicle parked in a dirt median of a state highway in southern Nevada.

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Loy Hixson said Tuesday that Larry Reid was arrested a little after noon Monday and released after spending a night at the Clark County jail on charges also including driving across a median and not wearing a seatbelt.

Hixson says Reid was found in a Lexus SUV on U.S. 95 just inside Boulder City city limits, about 25 miles east of Las Vegas.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Reid confirmed Larry Reid is Harry Reid's brother, but wouldn't comment about the arrest.

Billions going out nationwide to address contaminated sites

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Billions of dollars from an environmental contamination settlement now can be disbursed nationwide, including for cleanup of former uranium sites on the Navajo Nation and a chemical manufacturing site in Nevada.

The $5.15 billion settlement between the U.S. government and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. was reached last April. But a bankruptcy court had been awaiting appeals before declaring it final this week.

The settlement resolves a legal battle over Tronox Inc., a spinoff of Kerr-McGee Corp. Andarko acquired Tronox in 2006.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Navajo Nation will use more than $1 billion to clean up a uranium mill in Shiprock, New Mexico, and about 50 mine sites elsewhere on the reservation.

Another $1.1 billion will address a perchlorate groundwater plume that has contaminated Lake Mead in Nevada.

Nevada to receive $2B for cleanups from Anadarko settlement with U.S. EPA

HENDERSON, Nev. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday it reached a settlement with Anadarko and Kerr-McGee Friday.

The settlement secures payments of $5.15 billion to resolve claims that the defendants fraudulently transferred assets in part to evade their liability for contamination at toxic sites around the country. Of this total, approximately $4.4 billion will be used to clean the environment. This is the largest sum ever awarded in this type of a bankruptcy-related environmental settlement with the federal government.