As We See It

In brief: A Strong Cities, Strong Communities update and more

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The Rampart Casino is shown, Monday Sept. 26, 2011.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

Getting Stronger

In 2013, the Las Vegas City Council accepted a $1 million federal grant through the Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative, aimed at incentivizing public stabs at innovative economic development. Ten teams just made the phase-one cut, with the best three winning cash prizes. First place ($60,000) went to Build a Vibrant Las Vegas’ unmanned aerial and robotics resource center proposal for Cashman Center. Second ($30,000) went to a team from the Gensler firm that envisions Cashman Center as a geographic hub for sustainable business. And in third ($10,000), a mixed-used project by local architect Eric Strain and community developer Arnold Stalk planned for the mid-Strip/Main Street area. All 10 teams still have a shot at $800,000 in prizes, though we won’t know the big winner until next spring. According to the city, the Las Vegas contest drew interest from 49 states and 48 countries. —Erin Ryan

Big payout, big heart

An unidentified Las Vegas man won $14 million on a slot machine at Rampart Casino last week, and will be donating his entire jackpot to charity and his church, according to casino officials. (Apparently, the church was holding services in a high school gymnasium, but can now afford to build its own location.) While it strikes us as slightly crazy that he wouldn’t keep at least some of the cash, we’ve heard enough horror stories about the “curse” of winning a lot of money to think that maybe this guy’s got the right idea. —Ken Miller

Driving Miss Smith

A group of Utah Highway Patrol troopers partnered up last week to make sure 87-year-old Nevada woman Helen “Skeeter” Smith made it to Ogden to see her son at a hospital. After Smith accidentally hit a trooper’s car during a traffic stop, the officers determined she needed assistance. In all, four troopers helped in the “shuttle” effort. At a time when most of the news about police officers is anything but good, this is a pleasant reminder that some still live by that “protect and serve” motto. —KM

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Magazine's managing editor, having previously served as associate editor at Las Vegas Weekly, assistant features ...

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