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Prospects brighten for small-scale budget deal

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Despite the poisonous environment in Congress, chances are improving for a small-scale budget deal next month that would ease automatic spending decreases that threaten to cut more deeply into domestic programs and military priorities in 2014.Democrats won't get Republicans to agree to higher taxes, nor will Republicans get Democrats to address the exploding cost of retirement programs.But a mutual desire to avert another government shutdown sets the stage for splitting the $91 billion difference between what Senate Democrats and House Republicans want to spend next year on operating budgets of the Pentagon and domestic agencies.Both House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and his counterpart, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, profess optimism while working hard to minimize potentially damaging leaks that could derail their efforts.  

Hundreds of Crashes as Las Vegas Gets Rain

Nevada Highway Patrol monitors streets in its traffic management center.

LAS VEGAS -- Authorities in Las Vegas have responded to hundreds of car accidents after a storm system dropped an inch of rain over southern Nevada.

Trooper Loy Hixson says the Nevada Highway Patrol responded to 141 crashes between 7 a.m. Thursday and 7 a.m. Friday, including 37 with minor injuries, which is four to five times what the agency sees on a normal day.

Hixson says most of the crashes have just involved one car and many are due to hydroplaning, which is when a driver loses steering and breaking control because of a layer of water between the tires and the road. 

He says motorists used to bone-dry roads forget they need to change their driving habits when storms roll in.

"Pumping the breaks, applying light pressure but yet enough to get the vehicle to slow down but not to the point that it causes the tires to lock up, because then you're at the mercy of where gravity is taking you," Trooper Hixson said.

Workforce Center Aimed at Providing Skilled Employees

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Nevada was one of the hardest hit states when the recession hit, causing the state's unemployment rate to skyrocket. A unique center opens Wednesday that could bring more employers to the state.

Economic leaders in Nevada constantly try to convince companies to move to Nevada. The new Workforce Development Center will help companies see the benefits of operating in the Silver State.

The College of Southern Nevada and Nevada Job Connect are teaming to open the center on the CSN Cheyenne campus.

Business owners now can go to the college campus for a range of resources. They can learn about customized training for employees or get help identifying potential hires with specific skill sets.

In other words, the center is a one-stop-shop for businesses that want talented workers.

Senate Women Unite in Fighting Sexual Assault in the Military

WASHINGTON (AP) -- One by one, the record number of women in the Senate spoke out about fighting sexual assault in the military.

In an unusual series of speeches, Republicans and Democrats insisted on Tuesday that it was their historic number that has forced Congress to embrace sweeping changes to the military justice system in the annual defense policy bill.

They set aside their differences over how best to prosecute attackers and focused on how their actions will help the victims. The work began with the seven women who serve on the 26-member Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said the women of the Senate have driven the issue. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state said the historic number of women on the committee helped drive the change.

Electric Daisy Carnival Returns in June

Electric Daisy Carnival Returns in June

The producers of one of the largest music festivals in the country announced Monday plans to bring the festival back to Las Vegas.

Insomniac says the Electric Daisy Carnival will return to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway June 20 through June 22, 2014.

This year people who have attended the festival over the past three years will be able to get tickets first through the Headliner Loyalty Program. The passes will go on sale for 24 hours before the pre-sale of tickets.

The loyalty tickets will start selling at noon Pacific Standard Time, Nov. 25 through noon the next day. Early Owl Pre-Sale tickets will be available starting at noon on Dec. 2.

All tickets will be available through the Insomniac and EDC websites. Tickets start at $249 for general admission.

Drone Crashes Outside of Creech AFB in Nevada

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Military officials say nobody was injured when a drone crashed on a range outside of Creech Air Force Base northwest of Las Vegas.

Authorities say the crash happened about 3:45 p.m. Thursday, about five miles north of the base.

Officials say a board of Air Force personnel will investigate the crash.

Specifics on the incident weren't immediately available Friday morning.

The crash comes 11 months after MQ-9 Reaper aircraft went down in the desert north of Las Vegas. Investigators say crew members at Nellis Air Force Base didn't thoroughly check the craft before they sent it out on a training mission.

Nobody was hurt in the Dec. 5 incident, but it cost the government $9.6 million.

Some Military Outreach Programs Being Cut

Some Military Outreach Programs Being Cut

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Navy's daredevil Blue Angels jet team is back in the air. But continued budget cuts have grounded hundreds of the military's other community activities.

The Pentagon plans to spend $129 million in the new budget year on Navy port visits, military band performances, Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds performances.

That's an increase from fiscal 2013, when community programs were eliminated mid-year due to so-called sequestration. That resulted in the cancellation of dozens of community air shows around the country.

The Defense Department says restoring some of the money means the Pentagon can still do things to help connect with communities while watching the budget as the same time.