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Missing Nye County woman’s husband might want to lie low

If Paul Fields was hoping for a valentine on Feb. 14, he didn’t get one from the Nye County sheriff’s office.

Fields is the husband of Maureen Fields, a Pahrump woman who went missing on or about Feb. 14, 2006. Her Hyundai was discovered Feb. 16 in the California desert not far from Pahrump.

According to a department press release issued this week, Nye County detectives “have uncovered new information and evidence, which will hopefully close the case.”

The official media missive wastes little time in narrowing the field of suspects in the 41-year-old woman’s disappearance:

“Maureen’s husband, Paul Fields is refusing to cooperate with the investigation. He has provided no additional information to assist in this investigation since he retained an attorney shortly after Maureen went missing.”

Ouch.

Paul Fields is always free to complain about the rude treatment he’s received from the sheriff’s office. But to do that he’ll probably have to contact the detectives working his wife’s case.

JAILHOUSE BLUES: In an effort to ease overcrowding at the Clark County Detention Center, Sheriff Doug Gillespie says he wants to lease the state penitentiary in Jean should Nevada officials decide to close it.

“I’m pursuing the Jean prison,” Gillespie said in an interview this week with the Review-Journal editorial board. “The state says they’re going to leave there.”

Taking over the Jean prison would add 600 beds. The detention center currently houses 3,100 people in a facility built for 2,800.

LEARNING LESSONS: The result of the G-sting investigation was a major victory in the federal government’s war on public corruption, but U.S. Attorney Gregory Brower says he expects the lesson will have to be taught again.

“When you see those people go to prison, you’d like to think other public officials would learn from it,” Brower said in a recent interview. “I guess the (G-sting) cases and convictions show us all that the lesson learned, if there is one, is short-lived.”

BETTING UPDATE: The New Jersey Assembly last week voted 58-17 to approve legislation that could lead to legalizing betting on professional sports. Although the bill faces big hurdles — if it passes the Senate, it goes before the state’s voters and still must overcome a federal wagering ban — it’s believed legalized pro sports betting in Atlantic City could generate upward of $800 million a year.

Although representatives of the National Football League oppose the legislation, what are the odds professional sports betting will remain illegal forever in New Jersey?

Meanwhile, it’s estimated that at least $80 billion is wagered illegally on sports in the United States each year.

JUDICIAL CANDIDATES: Attorney Suzan Baucum is gathering important endorsements in her run for District Court Department 25. Baucum is the executive director of the Nevada Law Foundation.

Associated with the foundation the past 17 years, Baucum has been endorsed by the Police Protective Association, Clark County Prosecutors Association, and the Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs.

The race for the newly created department has also drawn interest from veteran attorneys Kathleen Delaney, Susan Scann and Nicholas Perrino.

ON THE BOULEVARD: The local casino racket is buzzing with talk of layoffs from the neighborhood joints to venerable Strip properties despite recently published reports that Las Vegas resorts enjoyed a banner year at the bottom line. … Meanwhile, published reports detailing plans for a “new Las Vegas” in the Zaragoza region of Spain will have some locals wondering whether the worldwide spread of legalized gambling will make Las Vegas casino employees’ jobs steadily less secure.

With more than 30 hotels and casinos planned, Aristocrat Technologies of Australia is said to be a major player in the Zaragoza development. Says an Aristocrat spokesman: “This is going to be a new version of Las Vegas in Europe. It’s going to bring lots of jobs. Disneyland Paris will be tiny in comparison.”

BOULEVARD II: A Clark County School District official is calling rumors of a vermin infestation at a local junior high school immensely overblown. Only a couple of mice have been trapped in the past three weeks, and the school passed a Feb. 1 county health inspection. That’s a relief. But why do e-mails from high-ranking district officials call the problem serious?

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295.

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