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Special Advocates For the Elderly, or SAFE, is now accepting applications for volunteers to become court-appointed advocates through Elko District Court Department 1. From left: Marti Fricano, grants analyst with the Office of Criminal Justice Assistance; Kathy Jones, Elko County Public Guardian; Katie McConnell, attorney and SAFE board president; Teri Lockie, board treasurer; Jalaine Stanton, executive director; Lauren Landa, secretary; Judge Nancy Porter; and David Loreman, attorney and SAFE board member. 

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Woman pleads not guilty in Port of Subs robbery

ELKO – An Elko woman has pleaded not guilty to robbing the Port of Subs restaurant in October.

Erika Marie Lozano, 30, entered her plea before Judge Nancy Porter in Elko District Court, Department 1.

Lozano was charged with robbery with the use of a deadly weapon; conspiracy to commit robbery; burglary while in possession of a firearm; and assault with the use of a deadly weapon, all category B felonies.

She was also charged with grand larceny, a category C felony, and conspiracy to commit grand larceny, a gross misdemeanor.

A person convicted of robbery could receive two to 15 years in prison. With a deadly weapon enhancement, a person could serve an additional one to 15 years in prison.

A date for the four-day jury trial has not been set.

At the time of the robbery, Elko Police Lt. Mike Palhegyi said two suspects wearing masks entered Port of Subs at the Elko Junction Shopping Center on Oct. 3, shortly after closing. One of them brandished a firearm, took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the premises.

Days after the robbery, a police investigation recovered evidence from an Osino residence which connected Lozano to the robbery.

Elko police officially released a photo of Lozano, identifying her as one of the suspects in the robbery, and asked the public for information leading to her arrest.

Lozano was bound over in Elko Justice Court, Department B, by acting justice of the peace Patricia Calton on Dec. 19. Elko County Deputy Public Defender Matthew Pennell was appointed to represent her.

A second suspect in the robbery has not been identified and is still outstanding, said Palhegyi.

Lozano remains free on bail.

Open space on city planning commission

ELKO – The City of Elko is seeking a new member for its planning commission.

According to planning technician Shelby Archuletta, chairman Aaron Martinez is stepping down from his service with the commission. He has served since July 2013.

“He built a new house that is out of the city limits,” said Archuletta.

She said planning commission members are required to live within Elko city limits.

People interested in applying can send a letter to city planner Cathy Laughlin at 1751 College Ave. The application deadline is March 16. On March 27 the city council will review the applications and make a decision on who will be selected.

For more information call the Elko City Planning Department at 777-7160.

Regional News in Brief

Directors departing Wynn as lawsuits pile up

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts on Wednesday announced the departure of two members of its board of directors as lawsuits against its members and the company’s founder continued to pile up amid a sexual misconduct scandal.

The announcement of the board changes came hours after the state of Oregon revealed it had sued gambling mogul Steve Wynn and the company’s board of directors for allegedly failing to act in the best interests of shareholders and stop sexual misconduct at Wynn Resorts.

Former company director Ray Irani and director Alvin Shoemaker are now named defendants in several lawsuits brought by shareholders, including Oregon, as well as current and former company employees. The shareholders accuse them and other board members of breaching their fiduciary duties by ignoring what their lawsuits described as a longstanding pattern of sexual abuse and harassment of company employees by Wynn.

The company in a securities filing said Irani’s Monday resignation was effective immediately. It also disclosed that Shoemaker will not run for re-election after his current term expires next year.

Man pleads guilty to robbing bank

RENO (AP) — A 47-year-old Nevada man faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to robbing a bank inside a northwest Reno grocery store in October.

Mathew Hovious pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Reno Tuesday to one count of bank robbery.

Federal prosecutors say he admitted approaching a teller with a threatening note demanding money before he made off with $2,600 from the US Bank inside a Safeway on Mae Anne on Oct. 23.

They say Hovious told her, “Sorry I have to do this,” before handing her the note that said he had a gun and a friend outside, and that he would kill her if she failed to comply with his demand to turn over smaller bills with no dye packs or tracking devices.

His sentencing is set for June 4.

10 deer test positive for wasting disease

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department says 10 deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Carbon County.

The Billings Gazette reports that the positive cases revealed on Tuesday were a small enough number that more herd management isn’t needed.

The department says biologists generally consider management action to control the disease if at least 5 percent of the herd is infected. It’s estimated that just 2 percent of the tested herds are currently diseased.

That percentage is complicated, however, as the majority of positive tests came from Hunting District 510. State wildlife research specialist Emily Almberg says testing of samples from that district placed prevalence closer to 10 percent.

The fatal neurological disease affects deer, elk and moose.

Bison activists arrested in Yellowstone Park

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — A judge has ordered three bison activists arrested in Yellowstone National Park to be detained until at least Monday.

Thomas Brown of Hardwick, Vermont; Cody J. Cyson of Minnetonka, Minnesota; and Hanna Ponder of Donnelly, Idaho, appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman at the Yellowstone Justice Center.

All three have been cited for entering a closed area, which is a misdemeanor. Brown and Cyson were also cited for interfering with agency functions after park officials said they chained themselves to a corral used to hold bison early Tuesday.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports Carman granted a federal prosecutor’s request to delay court proceedings until Monday and to detain the three defendants until then.

The three are affiliated with an advocacy group called Wild Buffalo Defense that seeks to draw attention to the slaughter of bison.