• HOMES FOR VETS: A new reality television show filming in Las Vegas awards home to veterans. Music star Ray J is the host of “Homes 4 Heroes.” The unique program is sponsored by Las Vegas business owner Maria Miuccio who owns Cash Kingdom, a payday and title loan company. Maria, who also owns an All State insurance franchise, plans to give away 60 homes to veterans and first-responders during the run of the TV program. Former U.S. Army veteran and Nevada Assemblyman John Moore, who lives in the first house Maria donated, is assisting in the veteran’s nominating process.
• CELINE’S TOUR REACHES LONDON: The British leg of global superstar Celine Dion’s European tour begins officially tonight June 20 in London with two back-to-back nights of spectaculars at the O2 Arena to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Our Vegas photographer Denise Truscello sent me this photo from Celine’s European tour that opened in Copenhagen, Denmark June 17. Celine has been based from Paris while hopscotching across the continent and thrilled the thousands of fans jostling outside the Royal Monceau Hotel daily with new fashion outfits. She’ll wrap up the European schedule with a return to London for her Live 2017 tour at the O2 on July 29-30.
She has packed 28 songs into her nightly set list: 1. “The Power of Love” (Jennifer Rush cover), 2. “I Drove All Night” (Cyndi Lauper cover), 3. “Taking Chances” (Platinum Weird cover), 4. “Loved Me Back to Life,” 5. “That’s The Way It Is,” 6. “I’m Alive,” 7. “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” (Pandora’s Box cover). 8. “How Does A Moment Last Forever” (Alan Menken cover), 9. “Beauty and the Beast” (Alan Menken cover), 10. “Think Twice,” 11. “The Reason” (Carole King cover), 12. “Recovering,” 13. “The Color of My Love,” 14. “I’m Your Angel,” 15. “My Love,” 16. “Because You Loved Me,” 17. “Pour Que Tu M’aimes” (Encore), 18. “All By Myself” (Eric Carmen cover), 19. “Refuse To Dance,” 20. “Love Is All We Need,” 21. “Treat Her Like A Lady,” 22. “Misled,” 23. “Black or White” (Michael Jackson cover), 24. “Love Can Move Mountains,” 25. “River Deep, Mountain High,” (Ike and Tina Turner cover), 26. “The Show Must Go On” (Queen cover), 27. “My Heart Will Go On,” and in a salute to her late husband ends with 28. “Love of My Life” (Queen cover.)
Her teenage son, Rene Charles, has stayed home here at Lake Las Vegas for now; although its said he will join his mother later on the tour schedule. As a ice-hockey fan and player he wanted to be here for the June 21 NHL Awards show and the reveal of the Vegas Golden Knights expansion team roster.
• THE JURY SPEAKS: O.J. Simpson, who is serving a minimum nine-year prison sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center (Lovelock, Nevada, is 90 miles northeast of Reno) is one of the subjects of a unique new four-night television event about jury verdicts that stunned the nation. It will broadcast on the Oxygen network in July. My friend, Nancy Glass, and her Glass Entertainment Group are producing “The Jury Speaks,” which also introduces the juries of the Michael Jackson, George Zimmerman and Robert Durst cases. She told me that the new true-crime series re-examines the high-profile controversial cases through the eyes of the people who served on the original jury. When the O.J. Simpson episode airs July 23, jury members Lionel Cryer, Yolanda Crawford, David Aldana and Jeanette Harris recount the horrors of 10 months in sequestration and how the stress and isolation they faced affected America’s most controversial verdict .
O.J. was found not guilty for the brutal murders of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her companion, Ron Goldman. But he was found guilty of armed robbery at our Palace Station when he attempted to retrieve some of his belongings he claimed were being sold by memorabilia collectors. He received a maximum sentence of 33 years for carrying a loaded weapon into a Nevada casino and a minimum of nine years after which he would be eligible for parole. According to a LA Times report last September, he toils in the prison gym mopping floors and cleaning equipment.
This would be the first time the jurors have talked en masse about their experience and the trial that led to their surprising “not guilty” verdict in the murder case. Each juror will reveal what led them to their decision, if their vote would change today and how the aftermath of their verdicts subjected them to public ridicule, harassment and scorn.
“ It offers our viewers a fresh perspective on one of the most highly publicized trials in American history,” said Oxygen media’s vice president of original programming, Rod Aissa. In his statement he continued: ”The series will allow viewers to hear straight from the people whose decisions ignited controversy and sparked a heated debate at the water coolers and in homes across America.”
O.J. (Prisoner 1027820) — one of almost 1,700 inmates there in a town of just 2,000 — is not expected to be able to watch the new series as it plays on premium cable — but also because only 10 to 15 channels are approved for prisoners. The “Juice” will have served the minimum nine years of the sentence this coming October when he could be paroled. If denied his next opportunity for freedom would be in 2022.
• 200 SHOWS & A RENEWAL: Choreographer and producer Nanette Barbera will celebrate the 200th anniversary of her “Solid Gold Soul” show at Windows in Bally’s on Thursday with a new six-month renewal. And she also broke the news to me that she will open “Solid Gold Soul II” up in Reno where her new “ICandy” show, featuring Baywatch beauty Angelica Bridges will open July 13, prior to it moving to Las Vegas later this year.
• FLYING DRONES ON THE STRIP: The FAA has given permission to the new AviSight drone company to fly over the world famous Strip marking yet another critical milestone for the las Vegas based company. FAA regulatory guidance and the Strip’s proximity to McCarran airspace had previously limited permission for the iconic Vegas strip. My pal, sports agent J B Bernstein who lives here in Las vegas and created “the Million Dollar Arm” baseball reality TV show heads up AviSight. He told me : “ Safety is in our DNA”.
AviSight has received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones over the world-famous Strip. It marks yet another critical milestone for the Las Vegas-based company. “We are so proud and grateful that the FAA has granted us this permission, not only because it allows us to provide a great service to companies that want to showcase the centerpiece of our world-renowned city, but it once again illustrates that AVIsight is the leader in safe drone operations,” J.B. said.
Here is a link to some new video AviSight recently shot on the Strip:
AviSight has a long list of firsts in the drone industry, including,
1) First to fly drones for Fox News live national broadcast, FOX NFL Sunday
2) First to fly drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) for cloud seeding
3) First to fly drones at night under the Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems authorization
4) First to fly a commercial drone at a major air show, “Thunder Over Louisville”
Eric Preiss of the Nevada Film Office explained: “Las Vegas Boulevard is one of the most iconic scenes in film and television. You can’t recreate it on a sound stage or film it with a green screen. The safe operation of drones gives production companies so many different options to capture the beauty of the boulevard.” AviSight has already begun filming and taking still photos for the city of Las Vegas, as well as several of the iconic hotel properties on the Strip.
• MONTHS IN ADVANCE: The three-day Rt 91 Harvest country music festval with Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Sam Hunt set for Sept. 29 weekened has been completely sold out. The fourth annual festival sold out in previous years but this is the first time the two-stage festival has sold out four months in advance. “Three years is not long when it comes to growth of a festival but this festival had a life of its own from the get-go,” said Live Nation’s President of Country Touring, Brian O’Connell. It is held at the Las Vegas Village grounds opposite the Luxor hotel.