Washoe deputy justified in fatal shooting of Sparks suspect
RENO — The Washoe County district attorney has cleared a sheriff’s deputy of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a suspect who was trying to steal a shotgun from the deputy’s patrol car.
District Attorney Chris Hicks concluded in a 34-page report released late Friday that Deputy Yancy Butler was justified in killing Cory Stephens in Sparks in August 2017.
Hicks says Stephens had been comatose in a truck in Sparks when the deputy determined Stephens was wanted for failing to appear at sentencing for drug charges and eluding an officer.
Butler tried to arrest him during a struggle but Stephens was able to grab his police radio and repeatedly strike him on the head.
Stephens then opened the unlocked door of the patrol vehicle and reached for Butler’s shotgun, refused orders to stop and was shot by Butler.
3 killed, 4 hurt in US 395 crash near Nevada-California line
RENO — The California Highway Patrol is investigating a head-on crash on the edge of the Sierra that killed three people and injured four other others on U.S. Highway 395 near the California-Nevada line.
The patrol says a south-bound Nissan Pathfinder collided with a north-bound Toyota Tacoma at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday near Walker, California about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of the Nevada line at Topaz Lake.
Two people in the Tacoma were taken to a Reno hospital where the driver later died. Five people in the Nissan also were hospitalized before two of those passengers were pronounced dead.
At least two of the injured people remain in critical condition.
No names have been released.
Anyone with information should contact CHP in Bridgeport at 760-932-7995.
Fire restrictions begin on public land in southern Nevada
LAS VEGAS — Several land management agencies in southern Nevada are putting limits on campfires ahead of the July Fourth holiday.
The fire restrictions began Monday.
In most places, campfires are allowed only in developed recreation sites.
Visitors to Lake Mead National Recreation Area can have wood or charcoal fires on the shoreline if the natural vegetation is at least 100 feet away.
No ground fires are allowed at the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, but visitors can use grills or fire rings provided by the refuge.
Cigarette smoking also is regulated.
Fireworks and other explosives are not allowed.
The restrictions cover U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Clark County, Mt. Charleston Fire Protection District, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service land.
4 wildfires in north-central Nevada all human caused
RENO — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says four separate wildfires that broke out in north-central Nevada this week all were caused by humans.
The fires that began on Tuesday near Interstate 80 between Lovelock and Winnemucca are all now either out or under control.
The largest, the Union Fire, reported Tuesday south of Mill City about 130 miles (209 kilometers) northeast of Reno burned about 2 square miles (5 sq. kilometers) before fire crews controlled it Wednesday.
No one was hurt but two structures and an RV were destroyed.
Three other fires reported Tuesday and Wednesday in the same vicinity burned between 1 acre (0.4 hectare) and 237 acres (96 hectares).
No structures were damaged.
The BLM said Friday the causes of all four are believed to be human-related and are being investigated by the state fire marshal.
Jury sides with homeowners in flooding lawsuit against Reno
RENO — A jury has sided with dozens of northern Nevada homeowners who filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the city of Reno of causing flood damage to dozens of homes and property north of town in Lemmon Valley.
The Washoe County District jury returned a verdict Wednesday that found the city was liable for using private property without adequately compensating the owners. It determined the city was not guilty of trespassing or causing a nuisance.
The suit claimed the city pumped, diverted or discharged excess storm water into the normally dry bed of Swan Lake, which overflowed during the winter of 2016-17.
The city maintained the homeowners were the victims of an unforeseen natural disaster.
City Attorney Karl Hall says they’re considering whether to appeal.
The second phase of the trial is scheduled for December when damages will be considered.
$1,000 reward in arson probe in Carson City
CARSON CITY — Investigators say a fire that destroyed a town house under construction in Carson City was arson.
Fire officials and Carson City sheriff’s deputies are seeking the public’s help with any leads in their investigation into the Sunday night fire.
Secret Witness is offering a $1,000 reward for information in the case.
Carson Fire estimated damage at $225,000 at the home under construction in the Arbor Village Development.
He says one unit was fully involved and the flames were starting to spread to connected units when two dozen firefighters arrived at the scene at Little Lane and Centerville Drive.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 775-887-2677 or Secret Witness 775-322-4900.