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Utah-Nev. border battle

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A young girl rides her bike to a trailer park in West Wendover. The Peppermill Hotel and Casino rises in the background. The hotels have generated solid income for Nevada residents while the Utah side languishes. (Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times)
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Wendover, Utah and West Wendover, Nevada may lie side by side but they are worlds apart economically. There are no parks to play in on the Utah side of town. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
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Yesenia Aguirre, from Zacatecas, Mexico, can’t stop laughing during a game of musical chairs at a baby shower in a Wendover events hall. Estimates are that 80 percent of the small Utah town’s population are immigrants from Mexico. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
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West Wendover, Nevada, lies along Interstate 80 on the edge of the Great Salt Desert. The hotels and casinos have created a mini-boom in the isolated town. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
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Signs on the Nevada side lure customers to strip joints and cheap booze. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
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Gertrude and Mark Tripp are the parents of ousted Wendover Chief of Police Vaughn Tripp who was fired after his stripper wife was busted selling drugs to an undercover agent. A wall of photographs of the family adorns their living room. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
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Mark Tripp, 88, the father of ousted Wendover Chief of Police Vaughn Tripp, wheels past one of many scenes of blight in the impoverished Utah town. Mark Tripp has lived in the town for over 50 years. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
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Sylvia Tripp was a stripper who was busted selling drugs to an undercover agent. Tripp’s husband Vaughn, was Wendover’s Chief of Police and was fired as a result of Sylvia’s bust. The Tripp’s suspect it was a set up to oust Vaughn in a “palace coup.” (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
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