Columnist writes last RJ column, will try hand at fiction

Updated July 16, 2018 - 2:04 am

I’m ready to escape reality and try my hand at fiction, so this is my last hurrah at the Las Vegas Review-Journal after 38 nonconsecutive years.

Some readers loved my column and will miss it. Others will jump for joy to know I’m off their backs.

After all, I wrote about then-Gaming Commission Chairman Harry Reid during the worst time of his life, when mobsters dubbed him Cleanface.

Then-Clark County Commissioner Dario Herrera earned my scrutiny over a juiced contract with the Las Vegas Housing Authority — even before he was convicted of selling his commission votes to help a strip club owner.

Lynette Boggs-Perez was a former county commissioner scrutinized for not living in her district and, more recently, for claiming a neighbor’s puppy as her own while she was running for a Texas judgeship. I thwarted that.

Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will be happy I will no longer challenge his truthfulness. Lawyer Glen Lerner will be pleased I won’t write more about his dubious ethics.

The Summerlin hoarder probably won’t even know I am gone from the pages of this newspaper. But his neighbors might miss me.

I’ve spent my entire career in journalism, working for four newspapers starting in 1971: the Christian Science Monitor in Boston, the Southwest Times Record in Arkansas, the Las Vegas Review-Journal (twice) and the Reno Gazette-Journal. Forty-seven years of fun, even during tough times.

In Arkansas, I occasionally covered Bill Clinton’s failed 1974 campaign for Congress, never suspecting he’d eventually become president. It was a fine demonstration of my keen political acumen. I also remember trailing former South Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky when he visited Vietnamese refugees housed at Fort Chaffee.

I moved to Las Vegas in 1976, figuring it would be a three-year gig before moving on. I’m still here, and I still love this city.

In my first 11 years at the RJ, I was the night cops reporter, I wrote magazine features, then became the federal court reporter, covering mobsters and crooked politicians. Finally, I became the gaming reporter.

Covering political corruption and Las Vegas mobsters like Anthony Spilotro was the perfect training for becoming the Reno Gazette-Journal Las Vegas bureau between 1986 and 1990. My legislative experience in Carson City for the Gazette-Journal prepared me to return to the RJ in 1990 as its political reporter. There were fewer mobsters, but more crooked politicians — such as Clark County commissioners Herrera, Mary Kincaid-Chauncey, Lance Malone and Erin Kenny.

Digging deep into voting records with another reporter, we showed that legislative lobbying reports were a sham and that Clark County officials didn’t know who their lobbyists were wining and dining at taxpayer expense.

I covered Nevada legislators who couldn’t get an invitation to a church picnic unless they were elected officials.

But I also engaged with politicians who were policy wonks and truly served the public, not their donors or lobbyists. They were seldom recognized for their honor, integrity and hard work.

In 2003, the RJ made me its first female general interest columnist. Excluding a seven-month stint covering Las Vegas City Hall, that’s been my job ever since, cutting back from three times a week to once a week in 2014, my first retirement.

Journalism, travel, family and friends have been my priorities and my passion.

The people I worked with have been funny, delightful and dedicated. Some made me a better writer and some made me a better reporter. Some, like the late journalists Laura Myers and Lisa Kim Bach, made me a better person.

Thank you readers, for letting me know when you liked a column. Or even when you didn’t.

I wasn’t wild about the vile name-calling or the hatefulness that’s so blatant today, but it came with the job.

My goal as a reporter was to be fair, even if I had strong feelings. As a columnist, I wanted to help readers by telling them something they didn’t already know.

Frankly, being a columnist and writing about whatever I liked was more fun. Anyone recall when I wrote about the first time I colored my hair? Or when I went to the Strip’s first topless pool?

The RJ gave me leeway as a columnist to write about the subjects I thought would interest you. I hoped you would be as angry as I was when agencies designed to help the poor ended up fattening the wallets of bureaucrats.

Really, if I don’t write that novel now, while I can still see the keyboard, I never will. It’s time.

If you liked my work, wish me luck. If you loathe me, breathe a sigh of relief.

Jane Ann Morrison can be reached at janeannmorrison1971 @gmail.com.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Vegas Homeless Remembered
Las Vegas vigil remembers 179 homeless people who died over the past year in Clark County. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A look inside Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory
Tesla's Gigafactory east of Reno produces the batteries that fuel the company's electric cars. Production has created more than 7,000 jobs, and the campus that includes one of the largest buildings in the world is expected to triple in size by the time it is completed. Tesla Vice President Chris Lister leads a tour of the facility. (Bill Dentzer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Garnet Interchange Ribbon Cutting
The Nevada Department of Transportation celebrated the completion of the $63 million I-15-US 93 Garnet Interchange project. The project includes a modified diverging diamond interchange and a 5-mile widening of US 93.
State Foresters Hunt for Record Trees
Urban foresters from the Nevada Division of Forestry hunt for record setting trees.
Rick Davidson directs NFR satellite feed
Rick Davidson directs the Wrangler NFR's live satellite feed from a production trailer outside the Thomas & Mack Center. (Patrick Everson)
Scott Boras, Bryce Harper's agent, speaks to media at baseball's winter meetings
Baseball agent Scott Boras updates media on the contract negotiations of his client Bryce Harper during baseball's winter meetings at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 12, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Achievement School District
The achievement district faced strong opposition from traditional schools back in its beginnings in 2016. But with schools like Nevada Rise and Nevada Prep, it's slowly and steadily growing. Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State QB on record-breaking receiver
Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion talks record-setting receiver KeeSean Johnson. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The annual 'Shop with a Cop' event at Target
This year’s "Shop with a Cop" event gave about 40 children the chance to shop at Target alongside a North Las Vegas Police officers. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Bizutesfaye
Melvin Dummar dead at 74
Melvin Dummar has died at 74. Dummar was famous for claiming to have saved Howard Hughes in a Nevada desert in 1967. Dummar claimed to have been left $156 million in Hughes’ will. The will mysteriously appeared after Hughes’ death in 1976. It was dismissed as a fake two years later. Dummar never saw a dime of the billionaire's fortune. Dummar died Saturday in Nye County.
Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like