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John L. Smith


The Rhythm: Drum great Louie Bellson dies

Pick a big band, any big band, and Louie Bellson was likely the rhythm behind the swing. From Harry James and Duke Ellington to Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey, Bellson was a smash. The “Living Legend” of jazz died on Valentine’s Day at age 84. His...

Legislature working on Presidents Day

Here’s one to watch: The Legislature, now controlled by Democrats, has a chance to override Gob. Jim Gibbons’ 2007 veto of a Senate Bill (SB146) that would have enabled small counties to boost their property taxes to help pay for new juvenile...

CHURCH OF TWAIN: Of dogs and bankers

The recent news that Wells Fargo executives tried to defend their expensive and wholly inappropriate employee junket to Las Vegas only months after accepting $25 billion in federal taxpayer bailouts set off a storm from City Hall to the White House...

Siddiqui casino fraud case gains steam

The case of Omar Siddiqui, the former Fry’s Electronics executive and casino high roller charged with money laundering and defrauding customers out of more than $60 million, continues to intrigue gaming industry observers. It should also make some...

All aboard! Reid scores for Nevada

The high-pitched Republican whining has begun now that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s fingerprints are being lifted from an $8 billion component of the $787 billion federal stimulus package to be used for unspecified high-speed and intercity...

Just spell his, I mean our, name right

Mayor Oscar Goodman is being accused in some terribly cynical circles of pulling a political/media stunt in his pursuit of an apology from President Obama for a perceived slight on the delicate image of pristine Las Vegas. They might be right, those...

Las Vegas ‘bargain’ stories proliferate

From Phoenix to Sidney, stories about Las Vegas as a bargain party destination are popping up everywhere. It makes locals wonder, “If it’s so cheap to visit, why has it become so expensive to live here? Maybe we should just visit fulltime.” Here’s...

Fechser’s memorial draws hundreds

Cowboy and casino man Key Fechser’s death last week at age 55 left folks from New York to Alaska missing their favorite character. Hundreds of those people converged on the J.W. Marriott Friday to celebrate his life and hear some hilarious stories...