Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada on February 27, 1986 · Page 29
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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada · Page 29

Reno, Nevada
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 27, 1986
Page 29
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Nevada Todays tip Thursday FEBRUARY 27, 1986 RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL Section C 5C OBITUARIES 6-17C CLASSIFIED The American Lung Association and the Medicine Shoppe are conducting free carbon monoxide screenings from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at B20 Holman Way, Sparks. Details: 358:8555. PSC closes case on bill staffers CARSON CITY - State Public Service Commission Chairman Scott Craigie said Wednesday he was reluctantly closing a case which could have required utilities to include information from consumers groups in the monthly billings. Craigie said he had to follow the ruling of the Supreme Court which held the California Public Utilities Commission could not require utilities to provide space in their billings for consumer groups. "Frankly, I believe there is too much propaganda in the utility billings," said Craigie. "Now, no matter how one-sided, legitimate consumer groups are barred from providing balance." The Supreme Court ruling, said Craigie, eliminates the opportunity of consumer organizations to explain the issues. He said the ruling "kills the opportunity" for the groups to get response from other consumers to focus on a special issue, whether it be the salaries of utility executives or conservation programs or some other item. A Las Vegas consumer group had asked the PSC for a rule which would have allowed the extra space in monthly bills to be used by these organizations for mailers. The PSC dismissed the petition on grounds it was not properly drawn and started its own case. New license bid by Sachs LAS VEGAS Former resort owner Al Sachs has filed another amended complaint in U.S. District Court in his bid to overturn a state action that forced him out of gaming in 1984. Sachs, who has lost similar complaints in both state and federal courts, claimed in the new complaint that state officials illegally appointed supervisors to run the Stardust and Fremont hotels after he agreed to sell them. Sachs is asking for the return of a $3 million fine he and partner Herb Tobman paid under a state stipulation revoking their gaming licenses along with an additional $6.5 million he claims he should have received. The complaint also asks for the court to set aside the license revocations and force the state Gaming Commission to go forward with a license revocation hearing. Sachs and Tobman agreed to the license revocation and the fine after state gaming officials threatened to close the Stardust and Fremont resorts after a skimming operation was uncovered. Sachs and Tobman were never charged in connection with the alleged skimming. Storey weighs hiring freeze VIRGINIA CITY - Storey County may join neighboring Washoe County in ordering a freeze on hiring and pay increases in an effort to trim an anticipated $400,000 budget shortfall next fiscal year. County officials said the cuts are being considered, along with sharp reductions in non-essential spending, to bring the county's $2 million budget closer to being in balance. They also hope for a modest increase in revenue from fees paid to the county that would help make up part of the shortage. The commission expects to hold a public meeting on the budget late next month or early in April. Final budget figures have to be turned over to the state by April 21. Citifare grant arrives The Urban Mass Transportation Administration has turned over $1.7 million to Washoe County to help make it easier for passengers to transfer from one Citifare bus to another. Wednesday's grant will remove the transfer sites for the 49-bus system from the city streets and will improve the use of identification cards, discount tickets and information services. The money will go to the Regional Transportation Commission, which already has spent $3.1 million in local money for engineering and land acquisition. The federal money will be used for the transfer site construction. Doctor-owned HMO OK'd The only Northern Nevada health maintenance organization owned by doctors has received state approval to begin operating. More than 135 doctors have joined Western Health Plan of Nevada, which will accept group subscribers beginning March 1. The plan will serve Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Fallon and communities on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. The doctors in the plan are members of an Individual Practice Association, owned entirely by doctors, which will provide medical care to subscribers. Saint Mary's and Carson-Tahoe hospitals will provide hospital services. Health maintenance organizations operate like insurance companies and negotiate contracts with hospitals, pharmacies, doctors and other health care providers to reduce costs. Wire service and staff reports Suspect By Myram BordersGazette-Journal LAS VEGAS A man suspected of starting fires in three Strip hotels was arrested Wednesday night as he fled the Sands Hotel shortly after two blazes were discovered inside the gambling resort. The suspect was identified as Thomas Edward Littleowl, 30, of Bakersfield, Calif. A spokesman for the Clark County Fire Department said Littleowl was arrested for investigation of nine counts of arson stemming from five deliberately set fires at the Dunes Hotel Tuesday night and four fires started Wednesday night two Mark CroGazette-Journal UNEXPECTED GUESTS: The giant China Airlines 747" and tional Airport Wednesday, where they were diverted PEOPLExpress 747 sit on tarmac at Reno Cannon Interna- because of fog in San Francisco. Bay fog brings unexpected guests to Reno By Phil BarberGazette-Joumal . Two Boeing 747 jumbo iets were diverted to Reno Wednesday when ground fog at the San Francisco airport limited runway visibility to about 700 feet, 500 feet less than the minimum. In Reno, the visibility was more than 40 miles. A PEOPLExpress flight, en route from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco, landed at Reno Cannon International Airport at 9:10 a.m. and a China Airlines, en route from Shanghai to San Francisco, landed at Reno at 9:25 a.m. Reno's runway can handle the big jets, but 747s rarely land here because only short-haul airlines use the airport. The 191 passengers on the China Airlines jet were required to remain on board while it sat on the Reno ramp for about four hours. Airport Authority Operations Officer Gary Litzsinger explained that U.S. Customs officials in Reno regularly handle scheduled flights from Canada, but See UNPLANNED, page 2C Carson City Mint By Laura MyersGazette-Journal CARSON CITY Nevada's Museum Department gave a private business exclusive rights to use the "CC" patented trademark of the old Carson City Mint perhaps jeopardizing a state proposal to mint gold medallions for tourists and collectors, a legislative subcommittee was told Wednesday. The 1985 Legislature created the subcommittee to study the feasibility of minting gold and silver medallions to help Nevada's mining industry, give tourists and collectors a state memento and bring money to the state via royalty payments. If deemed feasible, Nevada s Mineral Department would design a medallion with the state seal on one side in sizes of 1, ' " 7 1 : n i i TtfaiiMr jf'lrrTr-M n Roger JerkovlchGazette-Journal CANDIDATE: Rhinestone Cowboy sits in front of the Capitol and discusses why he's running for Carson City sheriff. arrested in Vegas Strip fires inside the Sands and two inside the Holiday Inn Center Strip. The blazes at the Sands and Holiday Inn Center broke out between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The suspect is accused of starting one fire in a fifth-floor linen closet of the Sands and another in a bathroom near the grand ballroom on the main floor off the casino. Police also booked the suspect on charges he started two fires in the Holiday Inn Center several hours earlier, one on the second floor near the executive board room and a second in a fifth-floor maids' locker room. In each instance sprinkler systems o 0 Associated Press CULPRIT: Fog shrouds San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge Wednesday, and the warm front that caused it is bringing 70-degree days to Reno. trademark no longer Nevada's 0.5 and 0.25 troy ounces. The gold would come from Nevada mines which produce 60 percent of U.S. gold and the medallions would be made by a mint holding a state contract. The state would receive a royalty of $4 for each troy ounce minted. Assemblyman Bruce Bogaert, R-Reno, subcommittee chairman, said because of its historical significance, the CC trademark was supposed to be stamped on the medallions. But last year, the state Museum Department entered into an exclusive rights contract for the CC trademark with Marshall Earth Resources Inc. of Reno, and now the state might not be authorized to use it. "This puts an anchor down on the whole i siTTS 1 "i SJ extinguished the blazes and damage was minimal. Littleowl is also suspected of setting five fires at the Dunes on Tuesday which led to the evacuation of 1,650 people and sent six to the hospital. Firefighters again responded to a call at the Dunes Wednesday night but reported it was a false alarm. The five Dunes fires, causing an estimated $55,000 damage, broke out Tuesday during a two-hour period in various locations of the 1,200-room resort. The first and most severe blaze, which caused $40,000 in damage, occurred at 10:40 p.m. proposal," Bogaert said. "I didn't know about the Department of Museums giving away the rights to the trademark. I think it basically came as a surprise to everyone. We may have to seek an attorney general's opinion on whether we can still use the trademark." Nevada Museums Director Scott Miller said the museum's trustees voted in December to give Marshall Earth Resources rights to use the CC trademark for the next 10 years because "they thought it was a legitimate endeavor." Marshall Earth Resources representative Russ de Lipkau said the company plans to build a smelter and mint in Carson City. The company has until Decem- See MINT, page 2C Meet the real Rhinestone Cowboy, candidate for Carson City sheriff By Laura MyersGazette-Journal CARSON CITY The "Rhinestone Cowboy" already has a few names Vernon Lee Hall, The Crusading Rabbit, Dick Fox and even Joy Worth. Now, the wheelchair-bound man who wears 10-gallon hats, white cowboy boots and rhinestone cuff links and tietacks, wants to add a title Carson City sheriff. "When I first came to town I said, 'Hey, this is a nice little town.' Now I'm thinking that it's time to straighten it up and fix some things," Rhinestone said. "There's no access ramps for handicapped, people speed up and down these streets all the time and they let them. You never see a sheriff's deputy around. There's so many things I could do better for this town if I was sheriff." Rhinestone, 56, officially became a candidate for sheriff in early February and in a storage room near the swimming pool. Minutes later, small blazes were discovered in the north and south high-rise towers two in an unoccupied convention room, one in a 14th-floor north tower" linen closet and another in an employee lounge near the third-floor administrative offices. " Automatic sprinkers extinguished blazes in the high-rise sections of the hotel. ; Hotel spokesman Al Guzman said the 1,650 guests were evacuated as a precau See STRIP, page 2C Decision due on disaster declaration By Wayne MeltonGazette-Journal Federal authorities say President Rear gan is expected to decide tonight or Friday whether to declare five northwest Nevada counties federal disaster areas after at least $15 million in flood damage last week. State officials fear there may not be: enough damage to convince Reagan to approve all types of low-interest loans and grants, but they remain hopeful he will decide to give some help to local governments and owners of damaged homes and businesses. Reagan "is going to look at the facts and make his own decision," said Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Larry McTernan. "Only he can declare it, and he does turn down some similar requests." Nevada Gov. Richard Bryan's formal request for the disaster declaration in Washoe, Storey, Douglas, Lyon and Carson City counties arrived in FEMA's San Francisco office Wednesday evening. FEMA administrators said they would need 24 hours to review the document before forwarding it to the White House. Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt remains "hopeful we can have the declaration of a disaster approved as quickly as possible," said his press aide, Tom Loranger. "The senator will do what he can to make sure that occurs." Heavy rain and snow pounded the region Feb. 14-19, causing widespread flooding. Damage to public property is estimated at $10 million, while damage estimates to homes and businesses haven't been released. Damage probably wasn't severe enough for Reagan to approve special temporary housing, said Don Dehne, deputy director of the state's Division of Emergency Management. But there are no minimum damage levels for governments to qualify for help,! so "I remain hopeful we'll get the public assistance declaration," Dehne said. Also, there's still a chance damage will be deemed serious enough for Reagan to approve low-interest Small Business Administration loans to homeowners and businesses. Dehne said it took a week for his office to formally submit the request because state and federal authorities needed time to estimate damage costs. No special estimates were needed in several flooded California counties last week, which Reagan immediately declared disaster areas. FEMA administrators said it was obvious damage there was very serious. Damage to Reno-area homes, although "very disappointing and crucial to those who live there, was not of a serious structural type" on a widespread basis, said Frank Follmer, Nevada Emergency Management spokesman. But there remain several types of grants and loans Reagan still may approve, including: ! U Loans of up to $100,000 at 4 percent interest for homeowners to repair their primary residences for losses that aren't insured. ! . Low-interest loans for homeowners to replace or repair up to $20,000 in personal property, except for structures. Businesses could get SBA loans of up to $500,000, the first $100,000 at 4 percent and the remainder at 8 percent all to be repaid within three years. More gas service restored, page 2C will probably have go up against Sheriff Hal Dunn, who is expected to run for reelection. "I'll win," Rhinestone said, lighting his third filterless Pall Mall in 20 minutes. "I'm trying to quit. I can if I want. Cold turkey. There's not much that can stop me in anything I want to do." Confined to a wheelchair since the late 1940s because of an accident while he was in the Marines, Rhinestone doesn't let too much get in his way. Since the county courthouse doesn't have any wheelchair ramps, Rhinestone said he had to sit outside while an aide filed his nomination papers. Despite some arguments, he said he will officially appear on the ballot as "Rhinestone Cowboy." And even though Carson City "doesn't See REAL, page 2C ,

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