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KNPR listeners respond to challenge from Giunchigliani in memory of her late husband

Public radio on-air pledge drives don’t often bring tears to your eyes, but on Tuesday afternoon, the outpouring of affection on KNPR-radio, 88.9 FM, in honor of the late Nevada political consultant Gary Gray surely touched anyone listening in.

Gray was killed April 9 in a car accident. He was 69.

In a move that defines courage and class, Gray’s wife, Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, set aside her grief and matched listener donations in his name during the ongoing KNPR fundraiser. Gray and Giunchigliani have been longtime member contributors to the station.

The response was immediate. The station was flooded with calls.

Chalk up another win for Gary Gray.

“Chris G. reached out to us with a request that people honor Gary with a pledge,” KNPR President and General Manager Flo Rogers said. “Naturally, all of us at Nevada Public Radio were very touched that within days of his passing Chris wanted to steer her expression of grief into something tangible for public radio.”

The generous gesture, Rogers added, was “completely consistent with who she is and who he was.”

Gray was best-known as one of the most successful and savvy political minds in Nevada political history. But he was also a world traveler, avid skier and jazz aficionado. A skilled craftsman, he built his own home.

Rogers said her KNPR team works throughout the year to connect with listeners, “But you really felt it on Tuesday.”

T-MEN TALES: The Mob Museum put on its white hat Thursday in presenting “Follow the Money: The Unsung Intelligence Unit That Brought Down the Mob.” The event helped usher in the museum’s new “Follow the Money” exhibit, which heralds the many successes of the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS Criminal Intelligence.

Among the bragging rights: nailing Al Capone and solving the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.

Panelists included Rich Weber, head of IRS Criminal, Tom Moriarty, Department of Justice Special Investigator, and former Las Vegas IRS Special Agent in Charge Paul Camacho. The panel was moderated by Mob Museum director of content Geoff Schumacher.

RIV REDUX: It’s not scheduled to close until next month, but current and former Riviera employees are already understandably sentimental about one of the Strip’s great glamour girls. Some served cards and dice, others cocktails and steaks, but they’re sure to serve up tasty memories when they meet to celebrate the venerable casino and hotel at 6 p.m. Monday at the Riv’s Wicked Vicky Tavern.

After 60 years of action, there are plenty of memories to go around.

ON THE BOULEVARD: Casino industry veterans Michael Gaughan, Gil Cohen, Mike Gnadovich, Jane Klein and many more are offering fond remembrances of their pal host Allan “Jamup” Hirschorn. An all-world character. … The talented choir from diminutive Sandy Valley High School will back up Foreigner on “I Want to Know What Love Is” during the rock super group’s April 25 concert at the Primm Valley Resorts’ Star of the Desert Arena. A very cool thing to do. … If it’s as competitive as some boxing insiders believe it can be, next month’s Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao welterweight title unification bout will shout for a return engagement.

BOULEVARD II: Guessing Nevada’s overstressed and underpaid state prison corrections officers were watching this week’s protests calling for a hike in the minimum wage to $15 for fast food workers and others. … After a slow start, Las Vegas cab companies finally appear to have gotten up to speed in the political and media lobbying departments against slick rival Uber. … They won’t likely challenge Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga for Strip supremacy, but Jonas Peterson will moderate and Jeremy Aguero will keynote the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance “Perspective” on May 19 at the Four Seasons. (Tickets: lvgea.org.)

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? Email comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call 702-383-0295. Follow him on Twitter: @jlnevadasmith

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