- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 10, 2010

NEVADA

Rory Reid ready for governor bid

LAS VEGAS | Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid is officially launching his campaign for Nevada governor.

The son of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would file his candidacy paperwork Tuesday in Las Vegas. Candidate filings close Friday.

Rory Reid is considered the Democratic front-runner and has been campaigning for more than a year. Only one other person has filed as a Democrat, political unknown Frederick Lee Conquest of Las Vegas.

Nevada’s primary is June 8.

Incumbent Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons plans to file for re-election Thursday. Former federal judge Brian Sandoval, former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon and Stanleigh Harold Lusak of Fallon also are vying for the Republican nomination.

The race also has attracted four minor party candidates.

LOUISIANA

Ethics complaint filed against Vitter

BATON ROUGE, La. | The campaign of Democratic Senate candidate Charlie Melancon has filed an ethics complaint against Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter.

Jeff Giertz, a spokesman for Mr. Melancon’s campaign, said the complaint was filed Tuesday with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. The complaint alleges Mr. Vitter violated federal law and Senate ethics rules by sending out a fundraising letter on his official Senate letterhead.

Mr. Melancon, a congressman from Napoleonville, is the only announced Democrat challenging Mr. Vitter in the Senate race. The primary election is Aug. 28, and the general election is set for Nov. 2.

Mr. Melancon’s campaign provided a copy of Mr. Vitter’s fundraising letter, which was sent in February.

LABOR

Job openings rose sharply in January

Job openings rose sharply earlier this year, a sign that employers might be preparing to step up hiring.

The number of openings in January rose about 7.6 percent, to 2.7 million, compared with December, the Labor Department said. And the job openings rate climbed to 2.1 percent, the highest in nearly a year. That rate measures available jobs as a percentage of total employment.

There are now about 5.5 unemployed people, on average, competing for each opening. That’s still far more than the 1.7 people who were competing for each opening when the recession began. But it’s down from just over 6 people per opening in December 2009.

The gradually brightening jobs picture corresponds to what many job-search Web sites are reporting.

ENERGY

Department still sees $3-plus gas coming

NEW YORK | The Energy Department still expects pump prices to climb past $3 per gallon as more motorists take to the road in the spring and summer seasons.

In a report released Tuesday, the Energy Information Administration said for the full year, it sees a national average price of $2.84 per gallon, up from an average price of $2.35 per gallon in 2009.

The EIA expects oil prices to average above $80 per barrel this spring, rising to an average of $82 per barrel by the end of the year and to $85 per barrel by the end of 2011.

NASA

Money key to more space shuttle flights

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. | NASA’s space shuttle manager said it wouldn’t be hard to add more shuttle flights. The real question is money.

Program manager John Shannon said Tuesday it costs $200 million a month to keep the fleet flying.

Right now, the space shuttles are supposed to be retired this fall. Four more missions are planned. Some lawmakers in Congress, though, are pushing for additional flights.

Last month, President Obama killed NASA’s Constellation program, which would have created a shuttle successor.

Mr. Shannon said NASA already has a fuel tank and set of boosters for one additional flight. He said getting other shuttle parts would not be a problem.

MICHIGAN

Ex-Detroit mayor arraigned on violation

DETROIT | Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been arraigned on a probation violation and released on a $10,000 personal bond pending another hearing.

A Wayne County Circuit Court judge entered a not-guilty plea on Kilpatrick’s behalf on Tuesday.

The judge ordered Kilpatrick to stay in Michigan until Thursday’s hearing, when he rules on a defense motion to remove another judge from the case.

One of Kilpatrick’s attorneys claims that the judge, David Groner, is biased against his client.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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