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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada • Page 29
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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada • Page 29

Reno, Nevada
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Mevada Tonight's tip Thursday FEBRUARY 11, 1988 RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL CITY EDITOR: JOE HOWRY, 788-6305 Section 2C OBITUARIES 2C VITALS 9-1 7C CLASSIFIED 14C BRIDGE A film about the Devils Garden area north of Alturas will be shown at 8 at the Sierra Club meeting at Reno's First United Methodist Church. Speaker: Modoc Forest ranger Paul Bailey. Details: 322-7730. 06 Flu cases hit seasonal peak in Washoe County By Lenita PowersGazette-Journal The flu season hit its high mark in Washoe County with almost 300 cases in the last two weeks, Pam Young, the county health department's community health epidemiologist, said Wednesday. Young said there also has been an outbreak of chicken pox in the county, with about 50 cases reported last week. There were 147 cases of flu reported last week and 148 cases the previous week, according to a survey of hospitals, clinics and physicians conducted by the health department during flu season, October through March. "If people are sick, they should stay home so they don't spread it at work. If they do have to go to work, they should be real careful to wash their hands after sneezing or coughing." The only cure is plenty of rest, liquids and time, Young said. Meanwhile, Young said an outbreak of chicken pox is typical this time of year. However, parents are being warned not to give children aspirin if they appear to have the flu or the chicken pox. "If a child has influenza or chicken pox and is given aspirin, they can develop See FLU, page 2C Carlin police seek man for questioning CARLIN Carlin police would like to identify and question a man seen at a service station shortly before a female attendant was kidnapped, robbed and killed Feb. 1, Chief Mike Kranovich said Wednesday. "He was seen 20 minutes before her abduction, standing around the area," Kranovich said. Barbara Nichols, 45, was found shot in the back of the head about a quarter of a mile from her Sinclair station. Kranovich said the caliber of the bullet was different from the one that Victor Wade, 68, of Malad City, Idaho, fatally shot himself with while being chased by a Highway Patrol trooper early the next morning between Carlin and Elko. Wade was suspected of killing two of his brothers two days earlier in Malad City. Kranovich asked anyone who recalls seeing someone in the service station before the victim disappeared about 8 p.m. to call the Police Department, 754-6710. The man seen hanging around was described as in his mid- to late 40s, 5 feet 10, 160 pounds, with short grayish or light blond hair and wearing a medium green nylon jacket and brown slacks. Carlin is about 275 miles northeast of Reno. ayor questions use of "At the beginning of the season we started out with about 40 cases," said Young. "I do expect it to start going down now but even with 150 cases a week, we don't consider that to be a high number. It seems to be about the same number we've had for the past two years. The number of cases usually peaks in January or February and then drops off." She said no deaths have been attributed to influenza in the county this season. The flu cases this year appear to be the common Type A and Type strain of influenza, Young said. "One of the reasons we try to isolate which virus causes it is there is an anti 1 I It 7 HORSING AROUND: Steve Kliegl of babysitting and pitching horseshoes viral medicine called Symmetrel that is effective against Type A. I've talked to people who took it and got well quickly. However, I've talked to others who took it and did not get better, so they probably had Type The best time to get a flu shot is about two weeks before the season begins because it takes that long for the body to build up an immunity, said Young. "It's never too late, though, and we still have the vaccine." The health department, at 1001 E. Ninth is just south of the Nevada State Fairgrounds off Wells Avenue. The vaccination costs $5. i3 Carson City bust results in 8 drug arrests CARSON CITY (AP) Eight people have been arrested on charges they allegedly were involved in a loosely knit drug ring here, Under-sheriff Vic Freeman said on Wednesday. And Freeman said arrest warrants were issued for four more people who also are believed to be involved in the purported metham-phetamine and marijuana buying and selling operation. Tuesday's arrests culminated a joint investigation that began last November with the participation of the Nevada Division of Investigations, the undersheriff said. Large amounts of drugs were not confiscated during the arrests and the largest cache seized from one of the suspects was only worth about $300, Freeman added. Most of those facing charges in the case were arrested at their Carson City homes and many of them worked in the Ormsby House Hotel-Casino. The suspects include: See DRUG, page 2C quizzes "UWWf, I -G-i-Vl id memos Says documents shouldn't discuss city money, but defends legality By Wayne MeltonGazette-Journal Two days after the Reno City Council received a confidential memo advising how it can spend public funds, Mayor Pete Sfer-razza said Wednesday he doesn't want such documents to discuss mnnpv mattprs in the future. Sferrazza "There was absolutely no reason to have that memo confidential," Sferrazza said of the document from Senior Assistant City Attorney Robert Groves. Late Monday, the council decided to build a new bridge and help rebuild the Wells Avenue Overpass with up to $4 million left over from a $30 million general obligation bond approved by Reno voters in 1985. The memo, obtained by the Gazette-Journal, details why the City Attorney's Office believes bond money can be used on the span even though voters thought they were approving the bond for other roads. With Councilwoman Kathryn Wishart absent, the council unanimously approved using the bonds after its members received the memo. No council members discussed the memo or its contents at the meeting before they voted. On Wednesday, the mayor emphasized using the money for bridges is legal. The $4 million is available because the city efficiently spent or earmarked the remaining funds for repairing roads voters were told would be upgraded, he said. The new bridge spanning the Truckee River would connect Sutro Street and Kir-man Avenue. Kirman would be extended through a section of what is now the Reno Gazette-Journal's employee and customer parking lot. Sferrazza said the Gazette-Journal, which had a front-page article on the memo Wednesday, is giving the issue big play because the newspaper's management doesn't want Kirman to be extended through its parking area. "The newspaper kind of has a conflict on the issue because they would prefer not to have that road built across there," Sferrazza said. Everett Landers, Gazette-Journal executive editor, said, "The remark by the mayor is evidence of his reaching for straws to explain the obvious lack of attention of the City Attorney's Office to the public's need and right to know how the City Council arrived at its decision. "The only quarrel we have in this situation is the attempt to put a veil of secrecy over the reasoning behind this decision," Landers said. Dave Licko, Gazette-Journal controller, said former publisher Bob Whittington, See CITY, page 2C Jean Dixon AiklnGazeile-Journal Reno combined Wednesday as he demonstrates the fine art of a toss in Evans Park to 2-year-old stepdaughter Jamie Bothello. Gaming authorities uphold decision to close casino By Jane Ann MorrisonGazetie-joumai LAS VEGAS An attempt to convince the Nevada Gaming Commission it made a mistake when it decided Jan. 26 to shut down the Silver Spur Saloon and Gambling Hall failed Thursday, so the casino will remain closed. The five commissioners were bombarded with legal arguments for six hours before they decided that their emergency closure of the small Henderson casino was proper and there was no reason to reopen it. Attorneys for casino owners Sidney Rudich and his nephew Jeff Jolcover argued that the commission's action closing the casino without allowing a hearing where the owners could present their side was improper. Mark Lerner, Jolcover's attorney, said the action "puts punishment first. In other words, shoot first, ask questions later. Generally you have a hearing before you have punishment." However, commissioners agreed to consider next Thursday whether a supervisor should be appointed to run the casino while the owners fight the complaint. Lerner contended that even if the Gaming Control Board's complaint alleging slot skimming was true, the state was shortchanged in taxes by only $607. However, in a transcript of the closed 3 accused in casino scam Three Southern California men have been accused in an alleged scheme that authorities say bilked two Lake Tahoe casinos out of $53,000 in cash and credit. A federal grand jury has indicted Virgilio Pascual, Firooz Bagha and Saeed Navidi on four counts of fraud. Authorities say Bagha and Navidi were able to gain $43,000 credit from Caesars Tahoe and $10,000 credit from Harvey's casino in the fall of 1985. They accuse the two of giving false names, then telling casino employees to check their credit with a Bank of America branch in Orange, Calif. Pascual, a bank employee there, allegedly told the casino operators that the two men were preferred customers with extensive lines of credit, authorities said. Bagha is presently serving prison time in Texarkana, Texas, on bank fraud charges, authorities said. The other two men remain at large. 55-mph ruling appealed Nevada's attorney general on Wednesday appealed a judge's ruling that threw out a lawsuit challenging the 55-mph speed limit. Attorney General Brian McKay said he would take his opposition to the federal speed limit to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. McKay originially sued on grounds that Nevada was being unconstitutionally coerced by the federal government to enforce the lower limit. U.S. District Court Judge Bruce Thompson, however, ruled on Jan. 15 that the federal government clearly has that power. Thompson based his decision largely on a recent U.S. Supreme Court case that denied a challenge by the state of Alabama when that state attempted to collect taxes on food stamp purchases. The court ruled that the federal government had the power to withdraw food stamp allocations to Alabama if the state started collecting the taxes. Man talked out of suicide CARSON CITY The Carson City Sheriff's Department sealed an area around a residence for about an hour Wednesday morning while convincing a suicide-threatening man to drop a rifle and surrender. Wade Robinson, 41, of 1806 E. Long was taken to Carson-Tahoe Hospital for mental evaluation, Sheriff Paul McGrath said. During the incident, which began at about 11 a.m., Robinson shot once from a window, but not at anyone, McGrath said. A sheriff's negotiator talked to Robinson by telephone and convinced him to put his gun down. Coast Guard hearing set The House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee has scheduled a Feb. 18 hearing to discuss the proposed March 1 closure of the U.S. Coast Guard station at Lake Tahoe, Rep. Barbara Vucanovich, said Wednesday. The unit is one of 25 Coast Guard operations across the nation scheduled to shut down during March because of federal budget cuts. Vucanovich, along with fellow committee member and California Republican Norm Shumway, will testify against the plan to shut down the nine-man, two-boat operation. The ranking Republican member on the committee is Alaska's Don Young, who Vucanovich considers to be sympathetic to her position. Vucanovich said she thinks there is a 50 percent chance of reversing the closure decision. meeting where the closure was discussed, Dan Reaser, chief deputy attorney general for the gaming division, said that confidential informants say the skimming has been going on for at least two years and he believes more than $1 million has been skimmed from the casino. Skimming is the practice of removing money before it is taxed. Whether the state lost $607 in taxes, or $60,000 if $1 million was skimmed, does not make a difference, according to Commissioner Bob Lewis. "As far as I'm concerned, skimming is probably the most severe crime against the state," Lewis said before he joined the unanimous vote to keep the casino closed. "I'm not so much concerned the state has lost $607, I'm really concerned as to how the state lost $607." The Silver Spur has three blackjack tables and 90 slots. In 1986, it suffered a net loss of $127,708 and in fiscal 1987 it lost $68,748, according to reports the owners have filed with the control board. The board members believe the losses may be even greater. During the closed portion of the commission's Jan. 26 hearing, Reaser said the company is "not very healthy" because of the criminal activity. "There are only 30-35 employees and we See CASINO, page 2C Stead crowd on key issues NX Couple indicted in alleged misuse of credit cards By Mark LundahlGazette-Joumai A Virginia Highlands couple, who authorities say operated the most extensive credit card scam in northern Nevada, have been hit with a 72-count criminal indictment. A federal grand jury handed up the charges Tuesday evening against Ronald L. Rushton and Teresa M. Wise, accusing them of holding at least 15 unauthorized credit cards and making illegal applications for another 32 cards. The indictment indicates federal agents uncovered 27 alleged false credit applications to Weinstock's department store alone. "They were very organized and very methodical in seeking credit cards," Assistant U.S. Attorney General Robert Bork said about the couple, who were arrested on Dec. 7. Federal authorities said the couple allegedly used at least 13 U.S. post office boxes around Lake Tahoe and western Nevada as drops to receive credit cards ordered under false names and businesses. They are also accused of using sev- See CREDIT, page 2C By Courtney BrennGazette-joumai Child care, Contra funding and northern Nevada's water supply were among the concerns of about 50 Stead-area residents who took advantage of the opportunity to question U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, Wednesday night. Opinions and queries from the citizens also ran the gamut from health care to gun control to tax reform during the town meeting at Stead Elementary School. The meeting is one of several Reid is holding in cities and towns throughout Nevada to gauge public opinion on national and local issues. Reid's next town meeting is in Yering-ton tonight at 7, at the Yerington High School auditorium, 114 Pearl St. At Wednesday's meeting, Reid called child care "a real national problem," and said the federal government should set guidelines for child-care licensing. He said the increasing number of two-paycheck households has created the need for businesses to get in on child-care programs either by starting in-house day-care centers or helping employees find day care. See REID, page 2C Patrick FordenGazette-Journal EXPOUNDING: Sen. Harry Reid, answered questions on a variety of issues Wednesday at a town meeting at Stead. i Staff reports

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