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John L. Smith

Joe Merica was a Vegas ‘Mad Man’

There was a time Joe Merica had this town by the tail. Don’t remember him? Even his cool name had a finger-popping snap to it that made you think of an endless Happy Hour and the clink of ice in fresh glasses.

Garner portrayed a classy gambler

Although he never won a World Series of Poker bracelet or a $1 million jackpot, James Garner’s “Maverick” character was the first acceptable gambler portrayed on television. He was handsome, clever, never cheated a sucker — and always outsmarted the bad guys.

Death of mob boss finally cuts Vegas ties

Detroit mobster Jack Tocco’s death of natural causes this past week generated barely a ripple of notice in Southern Nevada. But there was a time in the early 1980s when the mere mention of his name was enough to set state and federal law enforcement on the hunt for gangsters in the neon.

Many see licensing process as a sham

He saw the question coming, but then who wouldn’t? Having failed to receive a recommendation from the Clark County Commission for a coveted state medical marijuana dispensary license for Southern Nevada, the jilted applicant knew he’d be asked if he was just a sore loser.