Updated: Las Vegas’ Self-Driving Shuttle Service Crashes In First Hour Of Service
Update: In only its first hour of service, Las Vegas’ driverless shuttle got into a minor collision with a delivery truck that was backing up.
None of the shuttle’s eight riders were injured, nor was the truck driver; the shuttle’s front bumper reportedly bore the brunt of the damage. A representative of AAA on Twitter attributed the accident to “human error.” According to an official statement posted by Las Vegas City, “the autonomous shuttle was testing today when it was grazed by a delivery truck downtown. The shuttle did what it was supposed to do, in that its sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid the accident. Unfortunately, the delivery truck did not stop and grazed the front fender of the shuttle.” Read entire article…
Original post from:
by Andrew J. Hawkins@andyjayhawk Nov 6, 2017, 3:40pm EST
The city of Las Vegas is expanding its experiment with autonomous technology, offering members of the public free rides on a self-driving shuttle bus making stops in the city’s congested downtown. The shuttle will only make three stops on its 0.6-mile loop, but its operators are calling it “the largest self-driving pilot project in the US.”
The shuttle, which is designed by a French startup called Navya, can seat up to eight passengers, including a safety driver. So while the vehicle’s hardware and software will be handling all the driving operations, it won’t literally be a “driverless” experience.
IT WON’T LITERALLY BE A “DRIVERLESS” EXPERIENCE
The shuttle is outfitted with LIDAR, GPS, and cameras, in addition to V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) technology that will allow it to communicate with sensors embedded in Las Vegas’ traffic signals to better manage the flow of traffic. (The Verge’s Casey Newton recently got the chance to test out an Audi equipped with V2I technology in Las Vegas, and he found the experience to be much less stressful than usual.)
Starting November 8th, the shuttle will begin accepting passengers at any of the limited route’s three stops located on Fremont Street and Carson Street between Las Vegas Boulevard and 8th Street. The service is operated by Keolis, the largest private transport company in France, and will also be sponsored by AAA, which plans to use the year-long project to survey rider attitudes toward autonomous vehicles.
The shuttle project is an expansion of a two-week experiment conducted by Navya and Keolis in Las Vegas last January. At the time, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said she hoped to have a fleet of autonomous vehicles operating in the city by the end of 2017 Read more…
Who’s hitting Fremont Street for Halloween? Downtown is home to some of Sin City’s favorite haunts, and we’ve got lots of surprises in store, so join us for the wildest Halloween bash in the world. New this year, Fear the Walking Dead Survival. Take a look: Fremont StreetHalloweenWalking Dead Survival
This post was originally published by the lasvegassun.com
By Adam Candee (contact)
Published Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 | 12:33 p.m.
Updated 46 minutes ago
Years of delays and doubts about the new ballpark sought by the Las Vegas 51s vanished today with the announcement of plans for a Downtown Summerlin stadium.
Howard Hughes Corp., which acquired a controlling ownership interest in the team earlier this year, announced plans for a 10,000-seat park that will break ground by early 2018 and be ready for the 2019 season.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority acquired naming rights for the stadium in a 20-year, $80 million deal approved by the organization’s board. It will be called Las Vegas Ballpark.
“With a new home in Downtown Summerlin, the future of professional baseball in Southern Nevada looks exceptionally bright,” 51s President Don Logan said. “We are confident this location, which is easily accessed from all regions of the valley via the 215 Beltway, will help grow our fan base and introduce new generations to America’s favorite pastime.”
The stadium will feature 22 luxury suites, club seats, berm seating, party zones and decks, a kids zone and a pool beyond the outfield wall.
Howard Hughes Corp. bought 50 percent of the team for $16.4 million in March from previous partner Play Ball Owners Group, a Las Vegas-based investor group. It previously owned the other half of the club in a joint venture with Play Ball, and can donate its own land for the stadium, easing the cost of the stadium project.
HOK, a leading sports architecture firm that recently completed Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, will design the facility. HOK was involved in plans for a Las Vegas baseball stadium in 2004 when the Montreal Expos considered moving to the valley before going to Washington, D.C.
The team will leave Cashman Field when Las Vegas Ballpark is ready. The 34-year-old stadium is the oldest in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League (PCL) and has suffered in recent years from sewage leaks and other maintenance issues. Read more…
October’s Moon rises just after sunset and sets around sunrise, so this is the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long.
Some Native American tribes referred to October’s Moon as the Full Hunter’s Moon, as it was the time to go hunting in preparation for winter. This full Moon is also called the “Travel Moon” and the “Dying Grass Moon.” Read more about Full Moon names and meaning.
Leslie Van Houten, the youngest of Charles Manson’s murderous followers, was recommended for parole Wednesday by a state panel that concluded she has radically changed her life during the more than 40 years she has been in prison for two brutal murders she helped commit 48 years ago and is no longer a threat to society.
The two-member panel’s ruling must still be approved by the state Parole Board and Gov, Jerry Brown, who reversed another panel’s ruling last year.
In blocking her release then, Brown said Van Houten had failed to adequately explain to the panel how a model teenager from a privileged Southern California family who had once been a homecoming princess could have turned into a ruthless killer by age 19.
On Wednesday, the panel grilled her for two hours on how she could address those concerns.
“I’ve had a lot of therapy trying to answer that question myself,” she said.
“To tell you the truth, the older I get the harder it is to deal with all of this, to know what I did, how it happened,” added Van Houten, now a frail-looking 68-year-old who appeared before the panel on crutches, her gray hair pulled back in a bun.
She went on to say that she was devastated when her parents divorced when she was 14. Soon after, she said, she began hanging out with her school’s outcast crowd in the Los Angeles suburb of Monrovia. She started smoking marijuana and graduated to LSD at 15. When she was 17, she and her boyfriend ran away to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District during San Francisco’s summer of love.
When they returned, she said, she discovered she was pregnant. When her mother found out, she ordered her to have an abortion and bury her fetus in their backyard.
Soon after, she was traveling up and down the California coast, trying to find peace within herself when acquaintances led her to Manson, who was holed up at an old abandoned movie ranch on the outskirts of Los Angeles where he had recruited what he called a “family” to survive what he insisted would be a race war he would launch by committing a series of random, horrifying murders. His disaffected youthful followers became convinced that the small-time criminal and con man was actually a Christ-like figure and believed him.
As she did at her parole hearing last year, the soft-spoken Van Houten went on to candidly describe how she joined several other members of the “Manson Family” in killing Los Angeles grocer Leno La Bianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their home on Aug. 9, 1969, carving up La Bianca’s body and smearing the couple’s blood on the walls.
She was not with Manson followers the night before when they killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others during a similar bloody rampage.
On the night of the second attack she said she held Rosemary La Bianca down with a pillowcase over her head as others stabbed her dozens of times. Then, ordered by Manson disciple Tex Watson to “do something,” she picked up a butcher knife and stabbed the woman more than a dozen times.
“I feel absolutely horrible about it, and I have spent most of my life trying to find ways to live with it,” she added quietly.
Relatives of the La Biancas didn’t believe her. They spoke emotionally as they pleaded with the commission to reject her parole bid.
“No member of the Manson family deserves parole, ever,” nephew Louis Smaldino said. “She is a total narcissist and only thinks of herself and not the damage she has done.”
The voice of the La Biancas’ oldest grandson, Tony LaMontagne, broke as he noted he’s about to turn 44, the same age his grandfather was when he was killed.
“Please see to it that this fight doesn’t have to happen every year for the rest of our lives,” he said of Van Houten’s nearly two dozen parole hearings.
Family members left before the panel announced its decision.
In reaching it, Parole Commissioner Brian Roberts and Deputy Commissioner Dale Pomantz said they took into account Van Houten’s entire time of incarceration. During those years she has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in counseling, been certified as a counselor and headed numerous programs to help inmates.
“You’ve been a facilitator, you’ve been a tutor and you’ve been giving back for quite a number of years,” Roberts said.
Still, he warned her that if she is released that living in society again will not be easy. He noted parole officials have heard from “tens of thousands” of people who don’t want her released. But others, he added, including many who have known her since childhood, spoke up for her, saying they’ve seen her mature in prison and become a different person.
“So with that we’d like to wish you good luck,” he said.
“Thank you very much, I really appreciate it,” replied Van Houten, who attended on crutches because of a knee injury suffered in a recent fall. She said her health is otherwise fine.
Afterward, her attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, said he believes Van Houten addressed the concerns the governor had when he denied her parole last year.
“My hope is he’s going to follow the law and let his commissioners do their job,” he said.
He added his client was relieved by Wednesday’s ruling, adding he believes she will be released eventually.
“I’m getting her out of here. That’s not an issue. The question is when,” he said.
No one who took part in the Tate-La Bianca murders has been released from prison so far.
Van Houten has been in prison for more than 40 years for her role in two brutal murders committed by disciples of Charles Manson.
By Associated Press
Associated Press August 04, 2017
BY JOHN LOCHER AND JOHN RODGERS
NIPTON, Calif. (AP) — Now that one of the nation’s largest cannabis companies has bought the entire California desert town of Nipton, a question remains: Will the new owners rename the place Potsylvania?
The name Weed already belongs to an old mill town in Northern California.
American Green Inc. announced Thursday it is buying all 80 acres of Nipton, which includes its Old West-style hotel, a handful of houses, an RV park and a coffee shop. Its plans are to transform the old Gold Rush town into what it calls “an energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination.”
The town’s current owner, Roxanne Lang, said the sale is still in escrow, but confirmed American Green is the buyer. She declined to reveal price before the sale closes, but noted she and her late husband, Gerald Freeman, listed the property at $5 million when they put it up for sale last year.
Asked what her husband would think of the buyers’ plans to turn Nipton into the pot paradise of the California desert, she laughed heartily.
“I think he would find a lot of humor in that,” she finally said, adding that as a Libertarian Freeman had no problem with people using marijuana, and as a proponent of green power he’d be all in favor of energy independence. Over the years he’d installed a solar farm himself that provides much of the tiny town’s electricity.
American Green says it plans to expand that farm and also bottle and sell cannabis-infused water from Nipton’s plentiful aquifer, joint moves that would make the town green in more ways than one.
The buyers are also reaching out to edibles manufacturers and other pot-industry businesses, hoping they’ll be interested in relocating to Nipton and bringing jobs with them.
The town’s current residents number fewer than two dozen and one of its major sources of revenue is the California Lottery tickets the general store sells to people who cross the state line from Nevada because they can’t buy them there.
“We are excited to lead the charge for a true Green Rush,” David Gwyther, American Green’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The cannabis revolution that’s going on here in the U.S. has the power to completely revitalize communities in the same way gold did during the 19th century.”
Indeed it was a gold rush that created Nipton in the early 1900s when the precious metal was found nearby.
But by the time Freeman, a Los Angeles geologist who liked to look for gold in his spare time, discovered the place in the 1950s it was already a ghost town. Even worse it was 60 miles south of Las Vegas and 10 miles (16 kilometers) off the major highway that connects that city to Los Angeles.
“I like to say it’s conveniently located in the middle of nowhere,” jokes Lang.
Freeman bought the town in 1985 anyway and spent the next 30 years lovingly restoring its boutique hotel and general store, building canvas-covered “eco cabins” and stocking them with wood-burning stoves and swamp coolers.
The small hotel has become a popular destination with desert aficionados and fans of the Old West, even though it’s located so close to a major rail line that moves freight between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City that guests are handed earplugs with their room keys.
Carl Cavaness, who works at the hotel, said Thursday the sale caught him by surprise. He said he hopes the new owners will let him and his wife stay.
“We like the quiet and solitude,” the 53-year-old handyman said.
JULY FULL MOON NAMES
July is the month of the Full Buck Moon. At this time, a buck’s antlers are in full growth mode. This Full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month.
How did the Full Moons get their names? The Full Moons have descriptive names that come from Native American tribes who used the Full Moons as a sort of calendar to keep track of the seasons. The Almanac tends to use the names of the Algonquins who were prominent along the Atlantic Coast and into the interior along the St. Lawrence River and around the Great Lakes.
Golden Entertainment, operators of the PT’s Pubs chain in Southern Nevada, is acquiring a company that owns four Nevada casinos, including the iconic Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower, for $850 million.
The deal with American Casino & Entertainment Properties also includes two Arizona Charlie’s properties in Las Vegas as well as the Aquarius in Laughlin.
The transaction, announced early Monday, will include $781 million in cash and about 4 million shares of Golden stock issued to the four casinos’ current owner, Whitehall Street Real Estate Partners 2007, a real estate equity fund managed by the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs.
It isn’t Golden’s first venture into casino operations. The company operates the Pahrump Nugget, Lakeside and Gold Town in Pahrump and the Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flintstone, Maryland.
In addition to those properties, Golden operates slot routes with more than 12,000 machines in Nevada and Montana.
Golden is best known in Southern Nevada for its dominance of the local tavern market, operating more than 50 locations under six brands — PT’s Gold, PT’s Brewing, PT’s Ranch, Sean Patrick’s Pub & Grill, Sierra Gold and SG Bar — through its PT’s Entertainment Group.
“This is a transformational event for our company, creating a significant gaming portfolio centered around Nevada-based casinos that, in addition to our Pahrump properties, will include two well-known Las Vegas locals casinos, a destination resort in Laughlin and the iconic Stratosphere property on the Las Vegas Strip,” Golden Chairman and CEO Blake Sartini said in a release announcing the transaction.
The biggest part of the transaction, literally and figuratively, is the 2,427-room Stratosphere and its 1,149-foot tower, the tallest free-standing observation facility in the United States. The site, technically, is just off the Strip within the Las Vegas city limits read more…
Posted by: Marc, May 21, 2017
Caesars Plans To Upgrade and Expand In Las Vegas
This isn’t entirely news (see Vegas News on May 7) if you read this column every week. However, old-school corporations like Caesars typically move slowly so some information is just reaching the masses. This week Caesars Entertainment CEO Mark Frissora discussed some post-bankruptcy plans with Bloomberg.
We already knew that Caesars was planning to build on the vacant land they own just off the Vegas Strip. There are 40 acres of land behind The Linq and 50 acres behind Bally’s that are waiting to be used for something. Caesars also plans to do something with the seven acres in front of Caesars Palace and up to the Vegas Strip. Please no Caesars Palace Grand Bazaar. Please.
Some of the space behind Bally’s and The Linq will be used on cheap construction like shopping and convention space. I don’t think a new hotel tower will be added to either property and was curious what the twitter world thought. Without using the name of the casinos I asked twitter what they would build on the space and received some interesting responses.
The most interesting response was from @John_Mehaffey. He thinks building something similar to Rising Sports Ranch in Mesquite, NV could make sense. I’m a sports fan so I like this idea. If a sports complex is built behind Bally’s it would be a nice sister property to The Linq and could tie in nicely with another nearby sports complex, Topgolf at MGM Grand. Caesars could even partner with Rising Sports Ranch to share in the expense of building the experience.
It seems as though Frissora and Caesars already have a plan in mind but I think the sports complex idea or a water park would inexpensively complement what Caesars offers. Keep your eyes open for more news on these developments.
Flamingo, Caesars Palace Renovations Planned. Maybe More To Come.
Caesars plans to renovate 7,000 hotel rooms throughout the country this year. The biggest renovation scheduled right now is to 1,270 rooms at the Flamingo. Caesars Entertainment will be upgrading all of the FAB rooms at the hotel.
These rooms were renovated five years ago but were never really completed since they didn’t touch the bathroom. That renovation brought the rooms from the 1970’s to the 1990’s but not much more. The first batch of new rooms at the Flamingo will be available in November. Caesars is currently planning completion by the second quarter of 2018. You can read more about the renovations here and see the rendering video below:
As we previously mentioned, Caesars will begin renovations to 1,100 hotel rooms at the Palace Tower of Caesars Palace Las Vegas. No other Las Vegas renovations have been revealed yet, but the Indigo Tower at Bally’s could use a renovation. Perhaps that will tie together their plan for the 50-acre plot of land behind the hotel.
Caesars Quick Hits
Richard Marx will perform “Satisfied: Only The Hits” at Flamingo from August 15 through September 2. Read more here.
A person is suing Planet Hollywood because he was frightened by a mannequin in his room. Read more here.
Cosmopolitan Evolution Continues
The latest renovations at the Cosmopolitan aren’t for just anyone. The hotel just opened 21 luxury penthouses located on the 71st through 75th floors. There’s also a new high rollers room called The Reserve on the 71st Floor. This intimate 3,200-square-foot high rollers lounge is for the highest of high rollers.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the room will have a sliding wall to create two parlors. The casino expects that gamblers in this lounge will be wagering around $1,000,000 per hand. The Cosmopolitan continues to evolve into a casino that still appeals to the cool kids while trying to open its doors to traditional casino customers. The penthouses should appeal to both, while the gaming lounge will probably only appeal to the gambler. Read more…