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By Judy Thorburn
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Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock
Entertainment Reporter/Film Critic - Las Vegas Tribune
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks
www.theflickchicks.com


NEVADA CONGRESSWOMAN SHELLEY BERKLEY RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR LEADERSHIP IN IMPROVING AMERICAN HEALTHCARE

On Tuesday, April 7, U.S. Representative Shelley Berkley was honored by many of the nation’s premier healthcare providers with the Healthcare Leadership Council’s (HLC) “Gateway to Innovation” award. The award is presented to members of Congress who demonstrate commitment, leadership and vision in working to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare in the United States.

The Congresswoman accepted the award during a ceremony at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center. The award was presented by Mary R. Grealy, president of HLC.  HLC is a coalition of chief executives of many of the nation’s leading healthcare companies and organization representing all healthcare sectors.

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“We applaud Representative Berkley for her leadership in gaining funding for health information technology and children’s health insurance coverage within the recently passed economic stimulus legislation. These are two important milestones on the road to healthcare reform,” said Mary R. Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council.

“Visionary leaders like Congresswoman Berkley understand the importance of investing in technology to enact true healthcare reform,” said John Hammergren, Chairman, CEO and President of McKesson Corp., and Chairman of the Healthcare Leadership Council.

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After accepting her award, Berkley toured Sunrise Hospital. The visit focused on the hospital’s use of technology to provide patients with higher quality care and increased safety standards. Sunrise Hospital features a number of innovative technologies, including a robotic pharmacy to prevent medical errors and improve patient care.

“Advanced medical information technology can improve patient care, prevent medical errors and produce real cost savings,” said Berkley.  “We are already seeing 21st century digital technology being used to manage records and track prescriptions and it’s the patients and medical providers who benefit from this modern approach to care.  As a Member of the Ways and Means Health subcommittee, I will continue working in Congress to encourage greater investment in the development and use of health IT in Nevada and nationwide as Congress moves forward with health reform legislation.”    


MISS USA CONTESTANTS VISIT BUCCA DE BEPPO

On Saturday evening, 51 gorgeous contestants of the 2009 Miss USA Pageant made a special appearance at the Buca di Beppo Italian eatery on East Flamingo Rd.  Dazzling in their sashes and cocktail attire and fresh from their arrival ceremony at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, the young women dined family-style on a set menu that included mozzarella caprese salad, apple gorgonzola salad, prosciutto stuffed mushrooms, lemon chicken, salmon with pesto, spaghetti marinara, broccoli with greens beans and dessert of tiramisu and gelato cones.

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After greeting on-lookers and posing for fan photos, some of the contestants joined Buca di Beppo Corporate Chef Michael Miyahara for a cooking demonstration that included pasta, peppers, tomatoes and other fresh ingredients that Buca di Beppo is famous for.

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The Miss USA appearance at Buca di Beppo follows on the (high) heels of the 2009 Miss America contestants who ate at Buca di Beppo on January 18, 2009.  This is the second year the iconic Miss USA Pageant will be held in Las Vegas at the Theatre for the Performing Arts at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The 2009 Miss USA Pageant will air live on NBC on April 19, 2009.


MISS USA PAGEANT CONTESTANTS FALL UNDER LANCE BURTON'S MAGIC SPELL

Wednesday evening, April 8, was magical for all 51 Miss USA contestants, along with the reigning Miss USA, Crystal Stewart, who was sawed in half (only temporarily) by Lance Burton in a magic trick that took place on stage before a full house at The Lance Burton Theatre in The Monte Carlo Resort & Casino. The illusion was filmed as part of the live Miss USA Pageant to be broadcast on TV. Lance Burton personally met each of the lovely ladies after the show.

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Other recent and upcoming “happenings” in and around Las Vegas include:

To raise awareness of Harrah’s Entertainment’s ‘Giving Back to the Community’ resource fair, on Wednesday, April 15, at 11 a.m.  comedy-magic duo Penn & Teller will present Goodwill of Southern Nevada with hundreds of men’s and women’s business suits collected throughout the Harrah’s Entertainment properties.  The one-day resource fair is open to the public and will be held at the  Rio Pavilion Ballroom – Rio Convention Center on Thursday April 16 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m and will focus on personal and professional development.  Workshops and presentations include opportunities to improve skills in job searching, health and wellness, nutrition, and create awareness of financial and community resources available.  Highlights include:  Resume review, interview practice and feedback, free mammograms, health screenings and dental checks, healthy cooking demos and more than 30 organizations providing services to the community.

Actor and comedian Sinbad will appear at the Star of the Desert Arena at Buffalo Bill’s in Primm, Nevada 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 15. Tickets are $44.95 and $29.95.

On Thursday, April 16, McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino will host a “Graffiti Party”.  McFadden’s will hand out white t-shirts and markers to party go-ers and instead of using walls to display their creativity, bar patrons will use each other. Ladies will drink free from 10 p.m. until midnight and the whole group will enjoy $5 pitchers all night long. Plus, every Thursday night is Beerfest at McFadden’s, where guests may sign up to battle one another in games such as Beer Pong, Flip Cup and more. The Beer Pong tournaments will begin at 11 p.m.

Then on Saturday, April 18 from 10 p.m. to midnight, McFadden’s is offering free drinks to anyone turning 21 or older whose birthday is in April.  McFadden’s celebrates the entire month of birthdays the third Saturday of every month.  Friends and family may join the birthday celebration with a $10 for ladies, $20 for guys, all-you-can-drink special and $3 drinks from midnight until close.

On Friday, April 17, celebrated musician Scott Weiland, best known for his work with Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, will host an evening at LAX Nightclub at Luxor and deliver an electrifying performance.

Also on Friday, hometown favorites, The Killers will be returning to Las Vegas to perform inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s brand new Joint.  Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets start at $59.50.

60’s pop group,The Dixie Cups, will bring their all-girl vocals to The Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18. The trio will perform their number one hit “Chapel of Love” inside Marilyn’s Lounge at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door on the day of the show.

Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is hosting Party for the Planet™, a free Earth Day festival to be held in connection with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.  The environmental celebration will take place indoors at the Mandalay Bay South Convention Center Entrance. The event will include informational booths, entertainment and goodies for all those interested in “going green” and establishing conservation and sustainability habits.  Organizations including Southwest Gas, The Nature Conservatory, NV Energy and Reef Check are participating with demonstrations, information and assistance on how individuals can help save our planet.  Children will have an opportunity to have their photo taken with Sharkie the Shark and make a special Earth Day craft during event hours, while supplies last (Shark Reef Aquarium admission required).The first 500 guests to recycle batteries or cell phones at the event will receive 2-for-1 admission to Shark Reef Aquarium.

On April 20, from noon to 1 p.m., DreamWorks Pictures, The Office of Cultural Affairs, and Nevada School of the Arts' faculty and students will present a FREE lunchtime concert in the heart of downtown Las Vegas at Centennial Plaza in anticipation of the upcoming DreamWorks Pictures film, THE SOLOIST starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Foxx.  The concert will feature 3 students from the Nevada School of the Arts Violin Ensemble along with cellist Mert Sermet. Mark Mellon, a local Las Vegas artist, will also paint on canvas during the performance. Centennial Plaza is located at 401 S. 4th St., Las Vegas.

On Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m. Yom HaShoah, a Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony, will be held at Midbar Kodesh Temple, 1940 Paseo Verde Parkway in Henderson.  Mary Johnson with Facing History will discuss the voyage of the S.S. St. Louis and its legacy in the 21st Century.

Throughout the day from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21 local celebrities will roll up their sleeves to help raise money by scooping ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s locations in Henderson:  the Galleria Mall at Sunset and at the District at Green Valley Ranch location.  Proceeds will benefit local charities Lied Discovery Children’s Museum and the Nevada Community Learning Centers. All small cones are FREE with no purchase necessary, but patrons are invited to make a donation to the respective local charity. Celebrities are being confirmed for Ben and Jerry’s “31st Annual Free Cone Day” and will be announced shortly.    

Sunday, April 19th at 8pm, legendary rocker, Paul McCartney will headline the grand opening weekend at the all new Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Tickets start at $195.

Friday, April 24th at 9pm, Bon Jovi (with special guest Electric Touch) will appear in concert at the new Joint. Tickets start at $195.

The City of Henderson has partnered with TARGET® for a new cultural arts series, TARGET® Presents ArtBeat, a FREE event incorporating family-friendly activities that celebrate and educate the community on diverse world arts, entertainment and traditions with art displays, crafts, demonstrations and concerts from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. in the Henderson Events Plaza, 200 S. Water Street, in the Water Street District. The ArtBeat series will kick off Friday, April 24 at 8 p.m. featuring a concert by Bash The Trash, a mix of infectious grooves, rhythms and musical styles from instruments created out of recycled materials. Pre-show activities include an interactive drum circle demonstration, visual artists displaying pieces made from recycled materials and a children’s craft area. Future dates include May 1, May 22, May 29, June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, September 4, September 11, September 18 and October 9.

The O’Jays, one of the most popular and long-lived soul groups of the 70s, will perform at the Club inside the Cannery Casino & Hotel on Saturday, April 25. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $24.95, plus tax and fees.   

On Saturday, April 25 from 4 to 7 p.m, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosts the official Kenny Chesney tailgate party at the property’s world famous pool.  Party goers will enjoy food and drink specials along with DJ spun music prior to Chesney’s Sun City Carnival 2009 tour stop at The Joint later that night. The official Kenny Chesney tailgate is FREE and open to the public, age 21 or older.  A ticket to Chesney’s performance at The Joint is not required for entry to the celebration.

Roni Josef International Salon & Spa and the Springs Preserve have partnered to host the Eco-Elegant Bridal Affair, a bridal expo for the eco-chic bride-to-be, to benefit the American Cancer Society and the Springs Preserve. The Eco-Elegant Bridal Affair will offer an opportunity to learn and meet with a variety of wedding vendors who specialize in organic dining and sustainable wedding products and services including Roni Josef International Salon & Spa. Those in attendance will enjoy breathtaking surroundings, dazzling floral arrangements, and enviable gifts and prizes.  In addition, guests will experience an elegant bridal fashion show featuring select designer gowns and hair and make-up designs created by Roni Josef International Salon & Spa.   This event will be held on Friday, May 1 from 5-9 p.m. at the Springs Preserve, located at 333 S. Valley View Boulevard. General admission is $10 per person, $15 per couple and FREE for children ages 17 and under. VIP admission is $30 per person, $50 per couple, $10 per child ages 5-17 and FREE for children ages 4 and under. Brides who purchase the VIP admission tickets will receive a luxury bridal gift bag, hors d’oeuvre reception provided by Wolfgang Puck catering, complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and a wedding cake 101 course and cake tasting with Little Pastry Chefs.  All guests will receive personal consultations with eco-vendors, admission to the Springs Preserve museums and exhibits and, paperless vendor information on a commemorative Eco-CD with all show highlights. Admission tickets are available at the Springs Preserve box office and reservations are required for this event

Grammy winning, R& B recording artist Robin Thicke and Grammy and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson co-headline at The Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Casino Resort on Friday, May 1, 2009. Tickets are $55, $75 and $85, plus any additional service fees

On May 2 and 3, beginning at 9 a.m., The California Hotel and Casino celebrates May Day with the 12th Annual Lei Day Polynesian Festival. This FREE event, open to the public, will feature the very best of Hawaii—arts and crafts, food, activities, music and cultural demonstrations.  The festival will feature a 7:15 p.m. performance by Olomana’s Jerry Santos on Saturday. For this special event, tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased at the California Hotel BConnected Players Club.  Tickets are $20 at the gate. On Sunday, the “Island Fever Block Party” featuring local bands and non-stop entertainment starts at 3 p.m.; admission is FREE.


Celebrity sightings:

Tuesday night, March 7…

Former Spice Girl and star of Peepshow Mel B and her husband Stefan Belafonte dined at LAVO inside The Palazzo. 

MLB free agent Frank Thomas dined at N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort for the second consecutive night. Also, Rapper Too Short was spotted hanging out at Moon Nightclub.

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Photo credit: Shane O'Neal

At Blush Boutique Nightclub inside Wynn, rapper Flo Rida entertained the crowd with an 45-minute set atop the Blush bar around 1:30am. During his performance he celebrated with champagne, spritzing the audience to their delight while tossing out 10k to the crowd.  Afterwards he took photos with fans and signed autographs.

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Photo Credit: Brian Steffy

Later in the day Flo Rida and R&B songstress Teairra Marie were spotted at Rain Nightclub inside Palms Casino Resort shooting their new music video, “Cause a Scene.”

Professional poker player Antonio Esfandiari was also in attendance.

Wednesday night, April 8, professional poker player Bon “John” Phan dined at N9NE Steakhouse with a party of seven.


Thursday night, April 9…

A packed crowd at TAO’s Worship Thursday was treated to an impromptu performance when 90’s pop star CeCe Penniston jumped up to sing her club hit “Finally.”  Also in the crowd, rapper/producer Jermaine Dupri and comedian Bill Bellamy who hopped on the mic a few times himself to give shout outs to the club.

For the third comsecutive night MLB hitter who is currently a free agent, Frank Thomas, was spotted at the Palms Casino Resort. Thursday, Thomas and three others drank wine inside ther Playboy Club and left close to 1 a.m.


Friday night…

Singer Macy Gray, joined by her two daughters, was spotted having a quiet dinner at TAO Las Vegas.  The trio took a table upstairs for ultimate privacy.


At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino:

Pin-up model Bernie Dexter signing autographs and greeting fans inside Love Jones.

Macy Gray posed for a few impromptu photos in front of Fuel.
Over at Wasted Space, Conflict Of Interest rocked out in front of a packed house.

Friday night (4.10.09) in Nove Italiano, at the Palms Casino Resort, Jerry Tarkanian, former UNLV basketball coach of the Runnin' Rebels, was spotted having dinner with four guests.


At N9NE Steakhouse…

William Lee "Willie" McGinest, Jr, linebacker for the Cleveland Browns, was joined by a large party in the private dining room for dinner.

Steven Jackson, NFL running back for the St. Louis Rams, was spotted having dinner.

At a separate table Anthony Anderson, actor, comedian and writer, was seen having dinner with his family last night.


At Rain Nightclub…

Patrick Willis, NFL linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, arrived with 8 friends from Mississippi and were spotted at a table on the dance floor celebrating a bachelor party. Willis and friends were also spotted later that night in ghostbar. Willis started off the evening with dinner at N9NE Steakhouse.

Also Heather West, winner of the reality television show Hell's Kitchen season 2, arrived with friend to celebrate her birthday. 


At Playboy Club…

Justin Timberlake arrived around 2 a.m. with a group of several friends.

Frank Thomas, a Major League Baseball designated hitter who is currently a free agent, was spotted with friends playing blackjack and hanging out at a private VIP table.


Saturday night, April 11…

Former MLB player and manager, Pete Rose, also known as Charlie Hustle, dined at N9NE Steakhouse with four other guests
Las Vegas’ very own Robin Leach enjoyed dinner at Nove Italiano.
Tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Willie Colon partied  at Moon Nightclub with a large group of 13.

At Rain Nightclub, personal assistant for TV host Chelsea Handler, Chuy Bravo, was spotted entering the club with a friend around 1:30 a.m.

Chewy from Chelsea Lately enjoying dinner at Strip House inside Planet Hollywood.  Dining at a separate table that same night was Nicky Hilton.

Mark McGrath, in town for perform at Perry Palooza and his best friend, Terminator director McG dined at TAO. Nearby, fighter Winky Wright ordered a twenty ounce steak, needing nourishment after losing a twelve round battle to Paul Williams earlier in the evening.

Also dining at TAO was David Spade, who has made the restaurant a part of his nightly ritual before his performance at The Venetian.

Over at sister club LAVO, comedian Eddie Griffin and several friends had a VIP table in the nightclub.

Justin Timberlake spotted enjoying dinner with friends in Nobu. Later, Timberlake was seen gambling inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. He is in town promoting his 901 Tequila.

Over at the new restaurant Rare 120, boxer Ricky Hatton was seen having dinner with his manager and friends.

“The Hills” star Stephanie Pratt celebrating her birthday at Body English. Ben Lyons of E!’s “Daily 10” stopped by to wish Pratt a happy birthday and later, Wasted Space co-owner Carey Hart stopped by Pratt’s table.


Sunday, April 12…

Holly Madison spotted enjoying dinner inside Strip House at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Chewy from Chelsea Lately enjoying dinner last night, Saturday, April 11.  Dining at a separate table that same night, Nicky Hilton.
Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather was spotted dining in the lounge at N9NE Steakhouse, inside the Palms Casino Resort.

Justin Timberlake spotted dining at AGO and gambling with friends inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Wrestler and actor Bill Goldberg dining with wife and stuntwoman Wanda Goldberg also spotted dining at AGO as well as staying at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.  The couple was seen chatting at dinner with Timberlake.


I will be back next week with more of what’s “happening” in and around Las Vegas.

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