NATIONAL NEWS

‘Mojave Max’ tortoise emerges in Vegas; latest since 2000

Apr 25, 2023, 12:34 PM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A desert tortoise that is the focus of schoolchild predictions and local lore about the start of spring has emerged from its winter burrow at a nature preserve in Las Vegas, officials said Tuesday.

Mojave Max’s appearance above ground with burrow-mate at 3:40 p.m. Monday at the Springs Preserve marked the latest date since an annual watch contest began in 2000 for the critter compared locally with Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania. Phil’s handlers said Feb. 2 that their groundhog predicted their spring wouldn’t arrive until April.

In Las Vegas, where the threatened species’ reptilian winter rest is called brumation, the earliest a Mojave Max has emerged since 2000 was a little before noon on Feb. 14, 2005. The latest had been April 17, 2012.

Three male tortoises since 2000 have borne the moniker Mojave Max. Today’s Max is marked with a radio transmitting device attached to his shell. The tortoise seen with Mojave Max on Monday does not have a name.

Biologists at the Springs Preserve think this year’s exceptionally cold winter that brought frequent rain and abundant snow to mountains in the West also kept the desert surface cool later into the spring, preserve spokesman Tom Bradley Jr. said Tuesday.

“It’s taken longer for the soil in the burrow to warm,” Bradley said. “Once it finally warmed up, Max came out.”

The desert tortoise is considered a keystone species and an indicator of the health of a fragile desert ecosystem.

The habits and habitat of Mojave Max, are studied by children at Clark County public and private schools, where officials say more than 4,200 students in grades K-5 entered this year’s contest to guess the day the tortoise would emerge. Officials said a winner of the 23rd annual contest will be announced soon.

National News

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives on the first day of the Rep...

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: With Trump as its official presidential nominee, RNC enters second day

The Republican National Convention heads into its second day — now with Donald Trump officially as its presidential nominee. Trump energized the crowd Monday night by entering the arena with a bandage on his right ear after being injured during an assassination attempt Saturday. Expect more speakers Tuesday to mention what they described as the […]

1 hour ago

President Joe Biden speaks with reporters at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday, July 15, 2024. as...

Associated Press

The Democratic National Committee says it’s investing $15 million in 7 swing state parties

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are trying to offer political counterprograming to the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, announcing $15 million to fund campaign operations in seven key swing states — even as some in the party have urged President Joe Biden to bow out of November’s election. The Democratic National Committee announced Tuesday that it […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Hawaiian residents evacuated as wind-swept wildfire in Kaumakani quickly spreads

KAUMAKANI, Hawaii (AP) — Residents of about 200 homes in a small, rural community on the Hawaiian island of Kauai were evacuated due to a wind-swept wildfire on Monday as firefighters tried to stop it from spreading by dropping water from the air, officials said. The fire had burned approximately 1.56 square miles (4.04 square […]

3 hours ago

President Joe Biden greets people after arriving at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, ...

Associated Press

Biden is trying to sharpen the choice voters face in November as Republicans meet in Milwaukee

LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Joe Biden returns to the campaign trail Tuesday for the first time since the attempted assassination of his Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, aiming to sharpen the choice voters will face this November in the wake of the attack. Biden will speak at the NAACP convention in Las Vegas, […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian stocks are mixed after Dow sets a new record

Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday as investors grappled with weak economic data from China and waited to see the outcome of a top Communist Party policy meeting in Beijing. U.S. futures rose while oil prices fell. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.2% to 41,275.08 after reopening from a holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index […]

5 hours ago

United States Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., foreground, leaves federal court following the day's proce...

Associated Press

Federal jury returns for third day of deliberations at bribery trial of Sen. Bob Menendez

NEW YORK (AP) — A jury in New York City is expected to resume deliberations Tuesday in the bribery trial of Sen. Bob Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat accused of accepting gold and cash to use his political clout to help three businessmen and the Egyptian government. Menendez, 70, insists he is innocent. He faces […]

7 hours ago

‘Mojave Max’ tortoise emerges in Vegas; latest since 2000