Reporters’ Notebook

LAS VEGAS MAYOR OSCAR GOODMAN TROTTES OUT A WELL-WORN JOKE recently as he gave a key to the city to Lord John Taylor of Warwick, the first black man to take a seat in Great Britain’s House of Lords.

As he handed Taylor the key, Goodman said: "If you go to the MGM after 2 o’clock in the morning, this will open up all of the slot machines."

Let us now review all the permutations of this bit of Goodman shtick:

In February 2001, at a key presentation to the cast members of "Forever Plaid" before their final performance at the Flamingo Las Vegas, Goodman said: "The littler keys (I am giving you) only open the slot machines late at night."

Then in April 2004, while giving keys to cast members of Fox’s "Best Damn Sports Show Period," Goodman said the keys would open slot machines and "back doors to gentlemen’s clubs."

In August 2005, while presenting U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens with a key, hizzoner informed him: "Just between you and me, this key opens up all the slots at the Wynn."

And in February 2006, when keys were given to three actors from "Mamma Mia," the joke went like this: "This also opens up the back of the slot machines at The Mirage."

Where’s the key that opens the vault holding Goodman’s book of fresh jokes?

 

GETTING SHOT BY A GUARD IN PRISON CAN BE COSTLY. In December 2006, 22-year-old Donald Hixon was shot and wounded by a prison guard while serving a 12- to 48-month sentence at High Desert State Prison for possession of a stolen vehicle.

A grand jury later indicted the guard, Paul Chafffee, for battery with a charge of battery with a deadly weapon for the shooting.

Hixon’s wounds were extensive from the shooting. He lost his gallbladder and parts of his intestines and had shotgun pellets lodged in his kidney, liver and stomach.

What did he get for his trouble? Earlier this month, the Nevada Department of Corrections sent Hixon a bill for $24,407 to cover medical expenses related to the shooting.

On Thursday, the Department of Corrections told the Review-Journal that the bill was a mistake and took all the charges off Hixon’s prison account.

Hixon was released from the prison in August after completing his sentence. He is suing the prison department for injuries associated with the shooting.

DAVID KIHARA

 

OVERHEARD ON THE SCANNER: "In the slots area, a man who is sleeping and vomiting while playing the slots. They’re requesting a welfare check."

 

THE GLOBE SUPERMARKET TABLOID GOT THE STORY — or at least a story, based on speculation — behind O.J. Simpson’s arrest in Las Vegas last month.

"Experts say a brain tumor could explain why the fallen star apparently acted so irrationally" when, police say, he barged into a Palace Station hotel room and stole sports memorabilia he claimed was rightfully his. All this is based on "one insider" telling the Globe that "O.J. has been complaining for nearly a year about severe headaches and dizziness. He keeps telling everyone he’s convinced he has a brain tumor and is dying."

This report was sandwiched between some noteworthy journalistic analysis of boxer Oscar De La Hoya’s "cross-dressing scandal" and a think-piece bearing this headline: "Did Britney Put a Hit On Hubby? FBI says ‘No way’"

 

SEN. HARRY REID TOLD REPORTERS RECENTLY THAT HE LEFT NO STONE UNTURNED in a recent push to persuade Republican senators to consider Democratic proposals to alter the course on the Iraq war.

"I spent three weeks calling and speaking with Republican colleagues," the Senate majority leader said. "I even called Larry Craig trying to get votes."

STEVE TETREAULT

 

something must have gotten lost in translation. when zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic was in town recently for a conference of the Croatian Fraternal Union, and he got together with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman to talk about … graffiti.

It seems Bandic is as vexed by spray-painting hooligans as Goodman is, and he wanted to discuss steps Nevada has taken against taggers and their ilk.

Goodman, famously, has suggested graffiti offenders have their thumbs cut off, or that they be placed in public stocks where passers-by can smear paint on their faces. But that’s not what he and Bandic talked about. Instead, the visitor was given a copy of the recently passed state law that toughened penalties for graffiti.

"This is war," Bandic told the media, according to the Web site www.javno.com. "This is total war with the urban guerrilla."

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