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'A lot didn't make it,' Store owners encourage hope for 'Small Business Saturday' boost after pandemic hardships

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- As many turn their attention to holiday shopping after Thanksgiving, store owners are encouraging Las Vegans to shop local for 'Small Business Saturday.'

"We just have to make sure that we take care of our own," Dolores Wiarco told 8 News Now Friday, while out shopping. 

She is one of many who was headed out to shop as part of a time-honored, American tradition. 
'Black Friday' is always big, but this year, a lot of people are focused on supporting local stores, as they slowly rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic's economic punch. 

"They struggled," Wiarco said of small businesses in 2020. "A lot and a lot of them didn't make it."

Laura Reyer, who owns 'Las Vegas Chocolate Bar' in Downtown Las Vegas' Container Park, told 8 News Now the last year hasn't been easy. ... Read More

Shadow inflation: What it is and how you're already paying it

(NEXSTAR) – Inflation means the price of just about anything and everything is going up right now. It's obvious at the gas pump and the grocery store. But there's a sneakier force at play, too – a force economists are calling shadow inflation.

Shadow inflation refers to a type of inflation that is much harder to capture in the consumer price index. That's because the price of a good or service may stay the same, but the quality has gone down.

Say you're checking into a hotel, explains Daniil Manaenkov, economics researcher at the University of Michigan. "You used to come into a hotel, get greeted, chat with people at reception, every morning you got a decent sized continental breakfast, you sat in the lobby and observed other guests. ... Read More

I-Team : UNLV student’s family calls fraternity boxing match, 'school-sanctioned amateur fight that cost him his life'

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- The family of a UNLV student who died after a fraternity boxing match is demanding answers.

The I-Team has learned that Nathan Valencia collapsed after the fight ended on November 19th.  He passed away four days later. 

His family told the I-Team he suffered brain injuries which he could not recover from.  

“We will leave no stone unturned to determine how a 20-year-old ended up in a school-sanctioned amateur fight that cost him his life,” the family wrote in a statement sent through their attorneys, Nick Lasso and Ryan Zimmer of the Richard Harris Law Firm.

“I was like this, this thing, it’s like an underground fight club,” Joe Castro said. 

He told the I-Team that he is a longtime friend of Valencia’s. 

Castro said Valencia did not have boxing experience but wanted to participate in the charity event as a member of his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.  ... Read More

'We are shocked and heartbroken,' UNLV president addresses student's death following fraternity boxing event

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- UNLV’s school president is issuing his first comments regarding a UNLV student, Nathan Valencia, who died after fighting in a fraternity boxing match. 

The I-Team first reported on Valencia’s death Thursday.

On Friday afternoon, UNLV President Keith Whitfield shared the e-mail message below with the university community.

Dear Campus,

It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness I share that a member of the UNLV family is no longer with us. 

Nathan Tyler Valencia has passed away following a tragic incident a week ago. Nathan was a junior at UNLV and had participated in Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s “Fight Night,” an off-campus event intended to raise money.

Soon after his fight, Nathan collapsed and was taken to a hospital. We are shocked and heartbroken as we mourn the loss of one of our own. ... Read More

'New variant of concern,' CDC releases statement following WHO classification of Omicron

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- The CDC released a statement after the classification of Omicron, as a 'new variant of concern' on Friday by the World Health Organization.

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern and has named it Omicron. No cases of this variant have been identified in the U.S. to date. CDC is following the details of this new variant, first reported to the WHO by South Africa. We are grateful to the South African government and its scientists who have openly communicated with the global scientific community and continue to share information about this variant with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CDC. We are working with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more about this variant, as we continue to monitor its path... Read More

Black Friday shopping crowds not the same as in past years

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- Shoppers are still making their rounds as Black Friday wraps up.

This year looked very different from years past-- there weren't a lot of massive crowds rushing to get their hands on the best deals once doors opened.

Downtown Summerlin mall officially opened at 8 a.m. but several big-box stores let customers in earlier.

In previous years, Black Friday usually has massive crowds lined up wanting to be the first to pick and choose from the best deals.

"We usually go to big malls in southern California and parking is a big zoo. After a lot of folks chose online shopping last year because of the pandemic-- shoppers expected to be part of a huge back this year but that wasn't the case," said Karen Selke a shopper... Read More

Community holds vigil for Lee's Liquor CEO, Kenny Lee

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- The community, family, and friends joined together to remember Kenny Lee the CEO of Lee's Discount Liquors early Friday morning, on November 26, outside the company's store on Tenaya near Centennial Parkway.

53-year-old Lee died on November 19, in a crash on U.S. Highway 93 in Northern Nevada.

500+ red balloons were released at 10:25 a.m. as part of a celebration of life, by those in attendance.

Many of those who knew Lee best came together to share their favorite stories and write a message on the balloons before releasing them into the sky.

"They were the most wonderful people you would ever meet. I'm heartbroken for the wife and kids. Like I said, anytime my little company needed anything, Mr. Lee and Kenny Lee were always there for me." said George Harris a small business owner. ... Read More