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Lower gas prices could boost economy

LAS VEGAS -- Gas prices continue to drop. According to AAA, a year ago today, the average price for a regular unleaded in Nevada was $3.27. Last month prices dropped to $3.05 and now they are around $2.68.

One economist says this will also help our local economy in general, especially when it comes to creating new jobs. It's always a good feeling when you pull up to a gas station and see that prices are lower than the week before.

A new report shows the trend will likely continue and the good news is spreading beyond the pump.

"My pockets are going to be happy," said LaTonya Andrews, a driver.

UNLV economics professor Dr. Stephen Brown says the lower gas prices will be sticking around for now.

"I don't see us returning to $4 gasoline anytime soon."

He says a recent increase in global oil production is a big reason for the price drop in the U.S. 

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Christmas tree recycling drop-off locations

LAS VEGAS - Several locations around the valley are accepting and recycling Christmas trees. It's estimated about 250,000 are sold in the Las Vegas valley, but only 15,000 were recycled last year. 

The recycled trees will be chipped into mulch which is used in public gardens and parks across the valley.

There is no fee to recycle a tree. Trees will be accepted from Dec. 26 to Jan. 15, 2015. Clark County residents are encouraged to drop off their trees at one of the locations listed below and find tips on preparing your tree for recycling.

Boulder City

· Bravo Ball Field parking lot (891 Avenue B)

North Las Vegas

· Aviary Park - 6650 Aviary Way & I-215
· Cheyenne Sports Complex - 3500 E. Cheyenne at Pecos
· Seastrand Park - 6330 Camino Eldorado near Centennial Parkway & I-215
· Lowe's - 2570 E. Craig Road
· Craig Ranch Golf Course - 628 W.

Teen hit by van hours after Metro holds pedestrian safety event

LAS VEGAS -- Hours after Metro Police held a pedestrian safety event, a teen was hit by a van and seriously hurt Wednesday night.

Police said the teen was "jaywalking" when he was hit at the intersection of W. Charleston Boulevard and Rainbow Boulevard around 5 p.m.

Officers said the 17-year-old, whose name wasn't released, got off of a bus and tried to run across the street when he was struck by a van. Traffic detectives said he was thrown 150 feet from where he was hit and he wasn't in a crosswalk.

"It's unacceptable; it's unnerving to me sometimes that we get called out on so many auto pedestrian collisions," Sgt. Richard Strader, Metro Police.

The importance of walking in crosswalks was a key point touched on at the LVMPD Pedestrian Safety Demonstration.  They said it's also important for pedestrians to stay away from dark clothing and wear bright colored clothes, or reflectors at night.

Dog killed in Las Vegas house fire

LAS VEGAS --  A dog was found dead after a house fire in Las Vegas Tuesday evening. Police originally told media it was a person, but the department retracted that statement a short time later.

Clark County Fire Department responded to the home on Warwickshire Way, near Jones Boulevard and Robindale Road, around 5:30 p.m. 

There were two women inside the home at the time of the fire. They were both taken to the hospital.

An update on their conditions was not immediately available.

Officials say they are investigating the cause of the fire.

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BREAKING NEWS: Police bust alleged marijuana grow house

 LAS VEGAS -- Police busted a marijuana grow house in southwest Las Vegas Tuesday afternoon and arrested two people, according to Metro Police.

The home is located on Crescent Run Court near Fort Apache Road and Lake South Drive. Two men were taken into custody. A woman and child were also in the home.

Police say the house was being rented and the men both have criminal records that are related to narcotics in Utah.

Child struck by SUV in SW Las Vegas

 LAS VEGAS -- A child was transported with critical injuries to the hospital Tuesday after being struck by an SUV in the parking lot of an apartment complex, Metro police said.

The small child was hit around 11:40 a.m. at a complex near Peace Way and So. Durango Drive. The driver did stay on the scene, police said. The child was taken to University Medical Center.

This is a developing story. Please refresh this page for updates.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo estimated to bring in $88M

LAS VEGAS -- The richest and most prestigious rodeo in the world has marked 30 years in southern Nevada. Organizers of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo are expecting more people to attend this year than last year.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimate people in town for the rodeo will spend $88 million over the next ten days for hotels, shopping and dining.

Organizers of the rodeo said they hope to see that number increase, especially now that the rodeo is staying in town for the next ten years.

"We have a ten year agreement, so prize money for next year will go from $6.3 million to $10 million. The contestants are very happy about that,” said Pat Christenson, president, Las Vegas Events.

Professional cowboys like 2013 bull riding world champ J.W. Harris said there's nothing like competing in Las Vegas.

"This place never gets old. I still get butterflies whenever I step foot into Thomas and Mack,” Harris said.