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Web Extra: Rebels Randall Grimes hoping to make the big catch

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Randall Grimes has taken the long road to come home. He played one season in Southern California for the USC Trojans, then verbally committed to Minnesota. Now, after leaving the Trojans he will begin play for his hometown Rebels of UNLV.

Grimes played his high school football at Desert Pines in Las Vegas where he was rated as a 4-Star athlete and as the 11th top player in the nation at his position. He initially turned down offers from BYU, Utah, Nebraska and UNLV before choosing the Trojans.

8 News Now Sports Reporter Jon Tritch talked to Grimes about his return to Las Vegas. This is the unedited interview. ... Read More

Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart’s father announces he is gay

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KLAS) — Ed Smart, the father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, has come out as gay, local sources in Utah report.

Sixty-four-year-old Smart shared a note addressing his sexuality on Facebook Thursday that was intended for friends and family. The post was removed, but not before several media outlets obtained it.

He confirmed its authenticity Friday. The Salt Lake Tribune published the note, which starts out, “This is one of the hardest letters I have ever written. Hard because I am finally acknowledging a part of me that I have struggled with most of my life and never wanted to accept…” He says sharing the news is a “huge relief.” ... Read More

New Trump student loan watchdog in industry insider

NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration is appointing a long-time student loan industry executive to be the government’s top watchdog for the $1.5 trillion student loan market.

Robert Cameron will serve as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new student loan ombudsman, a job designed to protect student loan borrowers from poor industry practices in the student loan industry.

Cameron most recently worked at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, better known as Fed Loan Servicing, as their head of compliance. PHEAA has been cited for poor industry practices, most notably for how it has handled the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

The student loan ombudsman position has been vacant for over a year. The previous occupant, Seth Frotman, quit in protest of the Trump administration’s handling the issue of student loans... Read More

Get your tickets: Neon Museum to showcase art by iconic filmmaker Tim Burton

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s an exhibition that will bring two icons together for one incredible showcase. “Lost Vegas: Tim Burton at The Neon Museum presented by The Engelstad Foundation” is coming this October, and tickets are now on sale.

For just $30 general admission to the Neon Boneyard, attendees can explore Burton’s love for Las Vegas’ neon heritage through several site-specific installations. If you’re looking for a late-night experience, admission to the nighttime spectacle “Brilliant!” will be $24.

This collaboration between Burton and the Neon Museum is unique in that the venue is not just hosting the filmmaker’s art, it’s also serving as creative inspiration.

One of the best parts of “Lost Vegas?” Several of the works will play off the museum’s sign collection. Just to refresh your memory, the collection was starred in Burton’s film “Mars Attacks!” ... Read More

Lake Mead rises nearly 15 feet thanks to wet winter

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Conditions on the over-taxed Colorado River have improved dramatically over the past year, but not enough to stave off voluntary cutbacks for some water users in the Southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

A federal report released Thursday says the water level in Lake Mead, the biggest reservoir on the river, is expected to be slightly below 1,090 feet above sea level on Jan. 1.

That’s nearly 15 feet higher than projected last year, thanks to a snowy winter. It means river users will avoid tougher mandatory cutbacks.

A riverboat glides through Lake Mead on the Colorado River at Hoover Dam near Boulder City in this Oct. 14, 2015, file photo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

But it’s low enough for Mexico and the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada to make voluntary reductions from their share of water, which they agreed to in March... Read More

California man tortured pot dispensary owner by cutting off his penis, burning him with blow torch

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A California man has been convicted of kidnapping and torturing a marijuana dispensary owner by cutting off his penis and burning him with a blow torch before leaving him in the desert.

Jurors in Newport Beach on Friday found 40-year-old Hossein Nayeri guilty of two counts of kidnapping and one count of torture.

Authorities say Nayeri and three others abducted the dispensary owner from his Newport Beach home in 2012 along with his roommate’s girlfriend, believing the man had buried large amounts of cash in the desert.

Authorities say the suspects bound and tortured the man while demanding the money.

The man survived and testified at trial.

Nayeri also testified and denied involvement in the kidnapping... Read More

LIVE: NTSB news conference on Dale Earnhardt Jr. airplane crash

The National Transportation Safety Board is holding an 11 a.m. news conference on the plane crash involving Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife Amy, and their 15-month-old daughter.

The plane crashed yesterday in Elizabethton, Tennessee after it landed... Read More