Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada on September 3, 1986 · Page 27
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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada · Page 27

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Reno, Nevada
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 3, 1986
Page:
Page 27
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Rann ftaretto-lnurnnl WonoeHau sonlomhor 3 10QA u l Neva da Today's tip The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society is sponsoring a tour of five north shore lakefront homes from noon to 4 p.m. A $20 donation is appreciated. Details: (916) 583-1762 or (916) 583-4976. Wednesday SEPTEMBER 3, 1986 RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL Section C 2C OBITUARIES 3C VITAL STATISTICS 6-1 5C CLASSIFIED Trial of suspected child abuser delayed The prosecutor of a man charged with 16 counts of sexual child abuse said Tuesday he will appeal a judge's ruling that five of the seven children involved are not competent to testify. The trial of Thadeus Giles, scheduled to begin Tuesday, has been continued until the Nevada Supreme Court decides if it will hear the appeal, Deputy District Attorney Gordon Logan said. After the children testified on videotape for three days last week, Washoe District Judge Robert Schouweiler ruled Friday the tapes could not be played to a jury because it was not clear whether the children were testifying from their own knowledge of the events or from what they had learned during two years of therapy and questioning. The children, now 6 to 8 years old, testified in a closed-door jury room with the judge, Logan, Heidrich and court personnel present. Giles watched the taping from the courtroom. Giles was indicted in 1984 and 1985 on nine counts of sexual assault against a minor and seven counts of lewdness with a minor. The children were 3 to 6 years old at the time and being cared for by Giles' mother, Bea Barron, at her baby-sitting service. Suspects fight extradition It still has not been decided whether Washoe County or Nevada County, Calif., will prosecute two Reno men charged with the July 31 drug-related murder of Robert Eaton, 21, of Reno. Washoe Assistant District Attorney Ed Basl said Tuesday that Kenneth Kruse, 31, and Michael Beavers, 34, have only been charged in California. He said the two are fighting extradition to California. There is a problem of jurisdiction because a witness claims the men beat, tortured and kidnapped Eaton in Washoe County but shot him to death in Nevada County. Gas rate reduction OK'd Natural gas customers in northern Nevada received a price reduction Tuesday as the winter heating season approached. The Public Service Commission approved proposals by Sierra Pacific Power Co. and Southwest Gas Corp. to pass along price reductions they have received from their respective pipeline suppliers. Residential customers of Southwest Gas in Carson City, Incline Village, Tahoe's south shore, Gardnerville and Fallon will pay 6.2 percent less a month, or $3.76, on an average winter usage of 111 therms. Residential customers of Sierra Pacific in the Reno-Sparks area will save 5.7 percent, or $3.30 a month, on the average winter usage of 94 therms. Warmest August since 1940 After tabulating recent weather data, State Climatologist John James said Tuesday that August was the sixth warmest in Reno since records began 100 years ago and the warmest since 1940. The average daily temperature last month was 73 degrees, 6.1 degrees above normal. August 1939 was warmest at 74.3 degrees. The average high temperature was 93 compared to the 30-year average of 91.3. The recent warm spell made August the seventh month this year Reno temperatures have been above normal. July has been the only month with below normal readings this year. The rest of Nevada also was warm last month, with Laughlin the state's hot spot at 118 degrees Aug. 4. August also was a dry month in Nevada, with 0.07 inches of precipitation in Reno, 30 percent of normal. Las Vegas had 0.04 inches, 8 percent of its average August amount. Bridge work scheduled A Carson City company is scheduled within one montn to Degin removing remnants of the flood-demolished Weeks Bridge on U.S. 95A near Yerington. A temporary military-style Bailey bridge, installed in March, will continue to handle traffic throughout the removal process. No delays to motorists are expected. The state Board of Transportation on Tuesday awarded the $66,560 removal contract to low bidder T.E. Bertagnolli & Associates. The company plans to spend up to 25 wnrkino rtavs removing Diers. steel and chunks of concrete that have been lying in the Carson River since the Fphmarv flood. Board members approved the use of federal emergency renei tunas ior me project. The removal is a step toward replacing the damaged bridge for an estimated $1.7 million cost. Advertising for bids on that work is set for Dec. 11. Correction The opium vial pictured in the Sunday Gazette-Journal was dug up at tne site of a proposed parking lot in Virginia City. Staff and wire service reports Roof can cave in on cops who go undercover By Jane Ann MorrisonGazette-Journai LAS VEGAS During the two years Jimmy Vaccaro worked as a "narc," the tall, husky Italian from New Jersey could look scruffy or well-to-do. He could drive a piece of junk and mimic a low-life dope pusher or cruise in a Mercedes posing as a spoiled rich kid. He was good at what he did. Then he ran into La Verne Roy Lee, a convicted felon who wanted to sell information. The result was a good cop being made a sacrificial lamb to a system that encourages police to use bad guys to catch other bad guys. Skid row informants and jailhouse snitches have become important pieces of the criminal justice puzzle, particularly in narcotics cases. Yet dealing with them can be like making love to a poisonous snake. As with any confidential informant, there has to be trust. But down on the street, where loyalty is counted in greenbacks and trust is reserved for sawed-off shotguns, allegiance can end abruptly. Lee was about 50, but looked 10 years older. He had bloodshot eyes and was unkempt, wearing thongs and dirty shorts. He was accompanied by his dog, Killer. After their initial meeting at a fast-food restaurant in November 1985, Vaccaro told his partner, "This guy'll never do anything for us, he's just one of those old guys trying to tell stories." But when Lee contacted the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police detective a second time, Vaccaro decided maybe he would use Lee's information. It's a decision Vaccaro has come to regret. His relationship with the informant nearly got him indicted. It did get him a public reprimand from U.S. Attorney William Maddox, who decided to dismiss the indictment against five alleged cocaine dealers because he had "lost confidence" in Vaccaro's integrity. And Vaccaro's attempt to protect Lee got the narcotics officer transferred to a See UNDERCOVER, page 2C t-rj-v r; f - t 1 Jf w ' 1 ' one-"'' t ! ' ... a 1 h;javx Tom SpitzGazette-Journal BACK TO SCHOOL: Hug High School students Alpha Kori Ramos, left, Carissa Rinden and Deanna DeHurt, all Payne, left, David Bock, Sean Gibson, Willie Jones and from Hug, get ready for classes, which start Thursday. Ele-Marcus Wooten meet during registation Tuesday. Below, mentary schools begin classes today. Some classes crowded as schools open By Sheila MuhtadiGazette-Journal Elementary schools in Washoe County are nearly brimming over with students after Tuesday's registration. "I think (classes) may be a little fuller than they originally thought," said Steve Mulvenon, Washoe County School District information officer. Officials had hoped the new Jerry Whitehead Elementary School would ease some of the anticipated overcrowding. But only one day after opening, Principal Ralph Cinfio expressed some concern about first-grade classes as large as 32 pupils. "That's kind of critical," Cinfio said. "Those little kids don't need to be in that big of classes." Mulvenon said several schools are experiencing large enrollments but that no portable classrooms are being advised for the first day of classes today. Pi k) . v' i i - ''l When high school registration closes today, an estimated 33,000 students will be attending the 63 Washoe County elementary, middle and high schools. And for some, registration was hectic. Four juniors seated at a registration table Tuesday in the Wooster High gymnasium were among the distraught. "We have nothing," exclaimed Mike Martin, waiving his hands in the air. "These teachers do not like us. They won't let us into their classes." As the boys discussed their dilemma, a teacher came up and asked them to relinquish their chairs. "And that is my counselor," Bryan Beagle said, crossing his arms. Ted Everson nodded, adding that they all had the same problem: a registra- See SCHOOL, page 3C Today Show' asks Laxalt about bid for president By Ken MillerGazette-Journal NBC-TV's "Today Show" is scheduled to begin a three-part interview with Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt today, concentrating on the presidential prospect's $250 million libel suit, his association with the late Howard Hughes and his ties with alleged organized crime associates. The three segments, which air today, Thursday and Friday on KCRL Channel 4 between 7 and 9 a.m., feature Laxalt's views on a variety of topics all aimed at his likely run for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1988. "Today Show" officials provided the Gazette-Journal with a transcript of the three shows, taken from interviewer Nancy Collins' meetings with the general chairman of the National Republican Party. Asked about rumors that President and Mrs. Reagan personally support Laxalt as the presidential successor, Laxalt said he was complimented that Mrs. Reagan speaks highly of him. When asked to describe the first lady, he said: "Highly intelligent. She's people smart. In many respects, far more people smart than Ronald Reagan or Paul Laxalt. She spots phonies quicker than anybody 1 know." Laxalt also played down his relationship with Hughes, who at one time was the biggest casino landlord in Nevada. "Howard Hughes was a marvelously positive person. Troubled. He didn't know the difference between night and day. It was not uncommon for him to call me about some nuclear testing problem at 3 o'clock in the morning, which is a little unnerving." While Laxalt said he granted Hughes "certain privileges" and "would do it again," he said the Hughes era "was good for Nevada, and there was no real reason why we haa to bring him before a hearing so the press could feast upon him. We had all the ancillary information." Laxalt also dismissed as "fantasy" reports that Hughes was grooming the one-time Nevada governor for president and said "one thing Howard Hughes knew (was) that I, as governor and otherwise, had been my own man." Asked about his $250 million libel suit against The Sacramento Bee over a 1983 story that alleged the Ormsby House in Carson City was "skimmed" of $2 million while owned by the Laxalt family in the early 1970s, the senator explained why he filed the lawsuit. "What finally happened was that this was the first time any news publication anywhere had questioned the integrity of myself or my family. And I simply wasn't going to let that remain in the record." See LAXALT, page 2C Ex-state Supreme Court justice coming home By Bill O'DriSCOll Gannett News Service WASHINGTON Cameron Batjer's days in the nation's capital are numbered, and that's all right with him. The former Nevada Supreme Court justice, completing his fifth year on the U.S. Parole Commission in suburban Maryland, acknowledges that "this is a town for the upward bound." But Batjer, 67, doesn't see himself heading that way. The commission will be dismantled by 1991, as ordered by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984. In its place will be a restructured U.S. Sentencing Commission, but by then Batjer expects to be gone. When he gets back to western Nevada, where his Republican roots are planted in the ranchlands of Smith Valley, the soft-spoken Batjer likely will retire with a state pension. He could sit as a senior justice on the high court with the court's permission. But retirement "would be the prudent thing to do," he said. However, it won't be on the 80-acre Smith Valley ranch still in his family. It's too remote, he says, and the house needs too much work. In the meantime, there's the ever-growing caseload for the nine-member commission, of which Batjer is vice chairman. "When I first came on board, there were 24,000 cases. Now there are more than 41,000 cases. We're really busy," he said. And it's not all Washington work. He's often traveling to one of five regional offices to fill in for absent regional commissioners. It's at that level parole hearings for prisoners in federal penitentiaries are first handled. Appeals go to the National Appeals Board, of which Batjer is chairman. If the three-man panel cannot reach agreement, the final decision is made by the chairman. Two years ago, Congress voted to abolish the commission and revamp the sentencing procedure to avoid disparity between prison sentences of federal convicts with similar crimes and records. St- COMING, page 2C V Mark CrosseGazetle-Jouma! TEEN INJURED: Care Flight heads for Washoe Medical Center Tuesday with Kathryn Ann Dres-bach, 16, whose car overturned on U.S. Highway 395 at Parr Boulevard, north of Reno. Dresbach was thrown out after her southbound car overturned twice. She later was listed in stable condition with a head injury, broken arm and fractured collarbone. Passenger Jennifer Land, 16, of Reno suffered minor injuries. Skim-case deal with Sachs, Tobman stands By Jane Ann MorrisonGazette-Journai LAS VEGAS The recent dismissal of federal skimming-related charges against a Las Vegas casino corporation will have no impact on Nevada's 1984 settlement with former Trans-Sterling executives Al Sachs and Herb Tobman, according to Chief Attorney General David Johnson of the gaming division. Federal attorneys on Aug. 27 asked U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben to dismiss conspiracy, mail fraud and racketeering charges against Trans-Sterling and former Stardust casino executive Vincent Sammarco. The attorneys said they thought there was evidence of guilt, but they doubted they could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. As expected, once prosecutors made such a motion, McKibben dismissed the charges. The move is expected to streamline the tax fraud trial set Sept. 15 against four former Stardust employees Lou Salerno, Fred Pandolfo, Lawrence Carpenter and James Gabriele. During a series of pre-trial conferences, McKibben ruled that evidence of organized crime influence upon the Stardust and Fremont casinos that surfaced in trials in Kansas City will not be admissible in this case, in which indictments were issued Jan. 10, 1984, before the Missouri trials. Without that evidence, a legal problem developed for the government in which Trans-Sterling, the parent company for the Stardust and Fremont, could appear to be a victim of embezzlement under the evidence the government was prepared to present. In the indictment, Trans-Sterling was named as a defendant, but Trans-Sterling president Al Sachs and vice president Herb Tobman were not indicted. Tobman, an unsuccessful candidate for governor in the Democratic primary against Gov. Richard Bryan, had no comment on the dismissal of charges. Although no skimming charge was included in the indictment, the tax charges alleged that from 1979 to 1984, between $2.5 million and $5.2 million was skimmed y See SACHS, age 2C

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