Monday, October 29, 2007

The 411 on Free Directory Assistance!

October 29, 2007

"I can't believe this!"

Do you call 411 from your cell phone? If so, have I got an idea for you!
This may seem more like a "Saving You Money" idea, but frankly, we're all family here at News 3, and I think this also qualifies under the "Watching Out For You" umbrella. As the Watchdog, I'm always thinking about our viewers. Plus, I just wanted to tell people about it because I think it's so cool.
When I call 411 from my cell phone, it costs me $1.79. (I have AT&T service) I was reading the Chicago Tribune this weekend and noticed this article:,0,5337402.column
In a nutshell, here's how it works:
Use your phone to send a text message to this number: 466453
Before you send it, in the "text" portion of the message, type the words "set location" and then enter your zip code. (Example: set location 89114)
Send the text message.
You should receive a text that says "your default location has been set to Las Vegas", or wherever your zip code is.
I entered Google into my address book as a contact so I don't have to keep typing the number in. (466453 spells out Google-at least it does here on the work phone at my desk.)
Now, you can search on the name of your favorite eatery.
Again, put 466453 as the number you want to text message.
Then enter, say, Chipotle in the area where you write the message.
Hit Send.
It should show you a couple of options and it didn't cost a thing! Plus if you scroll down to the phone number, hit the send key, it should connect you. I have no idea of Google is keeping track of this information, but if they really want to know where I eat ... have at it.
This also works for sports scores. Same number, 466453, then enter a team name (where you normally would write the message) and hit send.
Try typing in the word "weather"
Try typing the word "movies"
Try typing in the name of a stock.
You can also get flight information. If you're flying USAIR, flight #320, you would type this: US 320. If it's Delta 320, DL 320.
If you're charged for each text message, this will cost you. 10 cents maybe, versus $1.79.
The news isn't all good. Mark, the watchdog investigative producer, who has T Mobile phone service, says he can't access the service!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lied Animal Shelter Update

october 25, 2007

We were first to bring you the highly critical and gruesomely graphic 300+ page United States Humane Society Report that made Lied Animal Shelter look so horrific even Mayor Oscar Goodman told us that this report, "Makes Michael Vick look like St. Francis of Assisi."
If you can stomach it, check out the complete report (pictures too) at:
We had sent a copy of the report to the Mayor's office, and it was not long before Mayor Goodman announced that Las Vegas City Marshalls would investigate into any criminal wrong doing. Now we learned that City Marshalls could not substantiate allegations made in the report because the Humane Society cited confidentiality with sources and documentation.
Last Thursday at the Mayor's weekly press conference we asked the Mayor about his next step. Asked if he would pressure Lied and the Humane Society for full disclosure, Mayor Goodman told us that full disclosure is what he wants to see. Because the Lied Animal Shelter contracts with the city, the Mayor stated that this issue of full disclosure would be brought up the next time Lied stands before the city council asking for a renewal. "I think the next time I discuss this is when the Humane Society (what he meant to say here is "Lied Animal Shelter") comes before council and then be able to ask some pointed questions." Pointed questions? The new administration stock answer seems to always be "that was then, this is now." If you attended any of the public meetings Clark County held where Chris Robinson, Lied's new director, addressed current improvements, you no doubt witnessed the skeptism and anger some in the public expressed toward the animal shelter. Does it not seem likely that someone on the the Lied board, or any volunteer or employee of Lied would speak-out and be able to validate and confirm allegations in the Humane Society report? Goodman also stated at his press conference that he would read the City Marshalls final report over the weekend. That begs for a follow-up. Mayor Goodman called on everyone in southern Nevada to spay and neuter. More to come.....

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Illegal Dump Update

October 18, 2007

We've got a great update on that illegal dump outside a southwest valley neighborhood.
Early this week crews with the Bureau of Land Management were at the site near Arville and Windmill to clean it up.
They took away the couches, mattresses, chairs, etc. We heard from some of the neighbors on Thursday that crews are also taking away some of the concrete chunks dumped by contractors and others who simply didn't want to make a trip to the dump. Signs which say no dumping should also go up. It's going to take neighbors to keep this place clean.
The BLM says you everyone has to get involved. Report it if you see someone dumping something onto a vacant lot. Get the license plate number and a description of the vehicle. A photo wouldn't hurt either. While putting our original story together, we talked with some of the neighbors who say they called their county commissioner about the dumping problem, but say they never heard back, so they let it go. You can't if you want it cleaned up. If you make a phone call to your county commissioner, or the BLM , or the city, and you don't hear back. Keep calling! Let them know your phone calls are not being returned and that as a voter or citizen, it's unacceptable. Be nice, but firm. If you really want to get their attention, attend a county commission meeting or a city council session. They always have a time for public comment. (First find out if the land is in the county, or a city boundary) Tell them about the mess and that it needs to be cleaned up. If you need information on how to report illegal dumping on line, we've put that information on this blog. Just page down a few entries and you'll see it. We've got dump reporting links for the city of Las Vegas, city of Henderson and Clark county.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The check in the mail could cost you!

October 12, 2007

On Thursday, during News 3 at 5pm, we showed you how some unscrupulous businesses are taking advantage of Las Vegans. They are promising you're the winner of a sweepstakes, a lottery, extra funds leftover from some rich person overseas. It's crazy!
If you didn't see it, you can click here:
Watch out! Since the story aired, we've heard from several viewers who say they've received these kinds of checks in the mail. Some didn't know it was a scam and actually wired money to these people, then saw our story! At least one person has lost $2,000. Please keep these things in mind. The checks may look real, they may have your name and address on them, don't send any money! Most of these checks are from out of state. It will take SEVERAL days for your bank or credit union to clear the check. By then, you've wired money to the bogus company and they get to keep it. In fact, the check you received will never clear, because it's bogus! We called the company who sent one of these checks to a News 3 viewer. We posed as the winner and provided the claim number. They wanted us to cash the check and then call back. Then they'll ask you to wire the money to someone right away. They want you to do this before you find out the check won't "clear". Think about this, if all the people who are told "they are the winner of the lucky sweepstakes", or the "South African Lottery" or whatever agency they're using, were actually winners, we'd have new, multi millionaires walking all over this town.
If you still don't believe us, cash the check and wait for it to clear. Beware, your bank or credit union will probably charge you a fee when the check is returned!! If you're unsure, show the check to a manager at your bank or credit union and let them know your concerns.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dumping Info

October 10, 2007

If you see dumping, and you believe it may be Bureau of Land Management land, you can call the 24/7 Lake Mead Dispatch center at 293-8998.
Be prepared to provide some information about the vehicle and what was dumped.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Illegal Dumping Update

October 9, 2007

An update on our "illegal dumping" story from Monday night. If you haven't see it yet, click here for the story.
Since our report, one caller offered up the following website from the Southern Nevada Health District where you can report illegal dumpers and perhaps receive $100. Fill out the complaint form at:
Witnesses may be entitled to a $100.00 reward pursuant to NRS 444 if the information provided leads to an assessment of an administrative penalty by the Hearing Officer or a conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction. A reward cannot be paid until the administrative penalty or court ordered penalty has been paid in full to the Health District.The Environmental Health Supervisor, Amy Irani, says the Health District wants to hear from anyone who sees dumping of solid waste in an inappropriate area. (Basically, any place that is not a dump or transfer site.) Irani says you've got to get the license plate number of the car or truck, a good description of the car or truck, and be willing to sign a witness statement. If you'll do that, then the county can go after the illegal dumper. The Health District operates a 24 hour line to report any health issue, which includes the dumping of solid waste. The number is 759-1000.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Taking on Neighborhood Eyesores!

October 4, 2007

Who doesn't like a nice, comfy couch, or a lazy-boy recliner? But when that couch and recliner are abandoned in a vacant lot across from your house, it's a much different story! It becomes an eyesore, it brings down your property value, and it tends to invite others to dump as well.
It's a scenario one Channel 3 viewer brought to the WATCHDOG'S attention. Once we saw the property in question, even we were a bit surprised. It's amazing the problem was allowed to go on for so long!
We found out who actually owns the property, we've confronted the owners about the problem as well.
Along with a couch, reclining chairs, mirrors, desks, and garbage, some contractors were dumping chunks, of concrete and other garbage from construction sites. Apparently they didn't want to waste their time going to the dump.
For those of you who have a problem with trash and junk stacking up on a vacant lot, or on a neighbor's property, we've got some information that could be helpful. If you live in the city of Las Vegas or Henderson, call the city in which you live and talk to someone in code enforcement. If you live in Clark County, and not in an incorporated city, contact the county's code enforcement division.
Here are some code enforcement options on line.
Clark County
City of Las Vegas
City of Henderson