Nevada Correspondence – November 2017

In this edition:


Baker, Elko, Ely, Fallon, Las Vegas, Laughlin, Lincoln County, Mineral County, North Lake Tahoe, Pahrump, South Lake Tahoe, Sparks



                                                             The 25-yard rifle competition at the annual Baker Turkey Shoot

November ushers in colder weather, but that doesn’t stop people from going out for the annual turkey shoot. We don’t shoot turkeys, but those who have the highest scores shooting targets win frozen turkeys. The 16th annual event will be held Saturday, November 18th, starting at 9 a.m. Adult and youth categories are available, with archery, rifle, pistol, and shotgun events. It’s $5 to enter each event, with at least five signed up for an event to go. It usually is an all-day affair, with food concessions available. Proceeds go to the Snake Valley Volunteer Fire and EMS Department.

                                              The kids’ archery competition is a popular part of Baker’s annual turkey shoot, too.

Speaking of turkeys, there are many wild turkeys in the area. That wasn’t always the case. Before 2004, there were no turkeys in the area. But in January of that year, the Nevada Department of Wildlife released wild turkeys

on private land outside the park to provide another hunting opportunity. But instead of using the lower elevation subspecies, they used a mountain subspecies, and the wild turkeys quickly went uphill into the national park, where hunting isn’t allowed. Predators have not been able to keep up, and turkeys are seen in all the watersheds in the park, including high above the sub-alpine lakes. During the winter months, large groups often congregate in Upper Lehman Campground, roosting in the trees. Wild turkeys are now one of the most-seen wildlife species in the park. But they come with problems, such as eating native wildlife and possibly outcompeting native birds. You can read more in this RJ article.

Another big event in the community in November happens right after Turkey Day. The Border Inn sponsors its Annual Craft Fair on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Vendors offer handmade crafts, baked goods, and more. It’s a great place to support Small Business Saturday and get a start on Christmas shopping!

                                                                                   The Grand Palace in Lehman Cave

Great Basin National Park stays open year-round, although roads at higher elevations close. You can still snowshoe or ski anywhere. And if you want to escape the cold, tours of Lehman Caves, which stay a constant 52 degrees Fahrenheit, are available every day. The tour schedule is limited, though, with one tour a day, at 1 p.m., on weekdays, and a second tour, at 9 a.m., on weekends. You can reserve tickets ahead of time on

— Gretchen Baker

Visit Gretchen’s great outdoor adventure blog, Desert Survivor.



Edible Elko 

Kennedy Ranch is raising great tasting grass fed beef, free range chickens and free range turkeys in Lamoille.

Last week I picked up a package of filets and the meat was perfect. Sue and Ken do a terrific job bringing tasty high quality beef and poultry to northern Nevada. Check them out at:

Festival of Trees

The Elko Convention Center is home to the annual Festival of Trees from November 27th to 29th. This is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit and support local charities. Bring the family to see the trees, hear live music performances, and visit with Santa. Find out more at the Festival of Trees Facebook  page.

Moose on the Loose

I have been hearing about an increase in moose sightings over the past few years in Elko County and have been looking forward to seeing one in Nevada. On my last trip to Jarbidge I spent time looking for one, but did not spot one. You can read more about moose in Nevada in this article I found on Facebook.

On the Road 

Nevada has many great state parks, and I’ve slowly been travelling to all of them. In late October, I made a quick stop at Fort Churchill State Historic Park. The park is located an hour East of Reno on Alternate US 95  by Silver Springs. With 3,200 acres along the Carson River, the park is a great spot for campers, historians, hikers, anglers, bird watchers, canoeists, and equestrians. I toured the restored Buckland Stage Stop, hiked along the nature trail, and walked the ruins of the old fort. Find out more at:

Closing Shot 

I wanted to end this month’s post with a photo from the road to O’Neill Basin that I took this summer. I hope you enjoy your travels to “everywhere else” as much as I do.

— Doug Clarke



Scenic Fall Drive

Aspen leaves (Populous tremuloides) rattle in the wind along scenic Success Loop. The trees’ bark was historically harvested as a quinine substitute. (Photo by Alexa Mergen)

Before winter sets in, take a drive along 38-mile Success Loop to glimpse the last of the autumn aspen leaves. Along the road are numerous places to pull over to bask in the warming sun and admire the mountains of the Schell Creek Range.

Pick up the paved road for Success Loop five miles north of McGill. After passing through a cluster of homes, the road turns to gravel, easily navigable in clear weather in a two-wheel-drive vehicle with decent clearance.

A cluster of golden-leaved aspens (*Populous tremuloides) *stand out\against the High Schells Wilderness. Trees growing in colonies are considered one organism connected underground by root sprouts. (Photo by Matt Weiser)

Take a break at Success Summit to view Steptoe Valley. Travel along the sparkling waters of Steptoe Creek toward Cave Lake State Park. There, the paved road resumes and connects with Highway 93, south of Ely.

Great Basin National Heritage Area Welcomes Visitors

About 30 delegates from national heritage areas throughout the United States disembarked at the Ely Renaissance Village on October 10 after a Nevada Northern Railway train ride.

The National Park Service designates unique cultural landscapes, generally places that are lived in, as heritage areas to facilitate their preservation. Delegates from national heritage areas gather annually at sites to share ideas on how to preserve and promote their regions’ features. This year, they convened in Ely.

Delegates from around the United States pause to admire Ely as they disembark from the Nevada Northern Railway before exploring the living history of Renaissance Village (Photo by Alexa Mergen)

They toured the village’s restored houses and shared an evening meal outside. The Ely Renaissance Society partners with the Great Basin National Heritage Area to keep cultural traditions alive, and to attract, educate and entertain visitors.

Established in 2006, the Great Basin National Heritage Area spans White Pine County in Nevada and Millard County in Utah. It is the largest heritage area in the country, offering visitors access to art, historic sites, hiking, fishing, dark skies and more.

“Fantastic,” Alan Spears of the National Parks Conservation Association said in describing the region. “It’s a confluence of the historical, cultural and natural.”

Elissa Garofalo of Pennsylvania’s Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor was struck by Ely’s beauty. “There’s a certain quiet,” she said. “And standing at the train yard, the big blue sky and the hills and the geometry of the buildings left an impression on me.”

“We don’t want any more ghost towns,” said Brandi Roberts, executive director of the Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership in Baker. The group receives $300,000 annually in federal grants and re-grants about half of those monies to partnering organizations. “We want to help them do what they want to do.”

“We’re here to communicate more,” said partnership board member Delaine Spilsbury of the Ely Shoshone Tribe. Delaine grew up in Ely’s Seventh Street Canyon, in the hills above the current Renaissance Village.

Glenn Terry of Renaissance Village welcomes delegates who traveled from as far away as Alaska to visit Ely and the Great Basin National Heritage Area, the largest such area in the United States (Photo by Alexa Mergen)

The Village is a cluster of mini-museums nestled along the railroad tracks in downtown Ely. Each house showcases a country-of-origin of the town’s European and Asian immigrants, who arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to work on the railroad and in mining, ranching, sheep herding, and business.

“I’m surprised at how ethnically diverse it is here,” said Steven Fullen of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area in Louisiana. “But it makes sense being a mining area.” Fuller particularly enjoyed the McGill Drugstore Museum, unchanged since its closure in 1979. “To see everything in place, that snapshot is amazing. You can’t recreate that,” he said.

Certainly, there’s much for visitors to explore in the Great Basin National Heritage Area, a Nevada treasure, with Ely as their base.

All Aboard the Polar Express

Do you believe you can travel from Ely to the North Pole in an evening?

It’s possible for 22 days in November and December on the Nevada Northern Railway’s Polar Express. The 90-minute excursion brings to life Chris Van Allsburg’s 1986 Caldecott Medal-winning children’s book by the same name.

“The train was filled with other children, all in their pajamas and nightgowns….We drank hot cocoa as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars.” As in the story, in real life, passengers on this special historic train get to listen to the story read aloud and sing carols. Santa Claus — of course! — greets travelers at journey’s end.

This annual event is a tradition for many families and the railway staff encourages reservations. The special train runs at 1 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm, depending on the day.

— Alexa Mergen



Sip and Savor at Churchill Vineyards

Are you a wine wizard or a liquor lover?  If so, a visit to the Frey Family Ranch and Churchill Vineyards is a must.

Churchill Vineyards is the only Nevada winery producing Nevada grown grapes and bottled white wines.  They also make several reds with grapes shipped in from California. Their limited production appeals to collectors from all over the United States.

Colby Frey, the Churchill Vineyards winemaker, is a fifth generation Nevada farmer.  Frey is successfully growing European Vinifera grapes and producing premium wines in Northern Nevada.  He has worked with several experienced winemakers from all over the country and has been a guest speaker at different forums.

                                                                             The tree-lined entrance to Churchill Vineyards

Visitors who drive to the Frey Ranch will pass through a towering tunnel of trees that leads to the beautiful Tuscan style grounds. Colby Frey’s great-great-grandfather, Joseph Frey Sr., acquired one of the original land claims filed

in Nevada in 1854. The Frey family first made their mark on Nevada as farmers during the boom times of the gold and silver rush years. In 2001 Colby and his father, Charles Frey Jr., expanded the horizons of their farmland which was primarily planted in grain and alfalfa. They planted a three-acre vineyard and began producing wine.

On a recent tour of the farm I was impressed by the quality of the wines and the professional approach this extended family uses in farming and marketing both wines and spirits.

“All of the wines are made from grapes that are produced on the farm, except for the reds,” said marketing and sales representative Ashley Frey.

                                                                                The barrel room at the Frey Family Farm

Wines produced at Frey Ranch include a Nevada grown Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Chardonnay-Semillon. Merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and petit Syrah are also produced with purchased grapes.

Not just grape growers, the business also produces grains for spirits that they distill right on site.  The family opened the Frey Ranch Estate Distillery, which they claim is Nevada’s first commercial distillery, in 2010.  The distillery produces brandy, grappa, vodka and gin.  They are also working on their first whiskey product that will make its debut in 2018.

                            Russell Frey gives a tour of the distillery

“We use a grain to bottle process,” said Russell Frey, distillery tour guide.  “All of our grains on the property are grown for a higher starch yield. It takes about 19 hours to produce the mash.”

The management at Frey industries realizes that water is a precious resource in Nevada, and they have worked diligently to discover crops that require minimal water consumption. It takes about one tenth of the water to raise fine wine grapes as it does to produce hay and grain crops.

The distilled products all have unique methods of flavoring with local sage and juniper berries used to make the gin.

The vodka that is produced on the farm is made with corn, rye, wheat and barley, which is not typical of other vodkas. The four-grain combination promotes a creamy texture in the spirits. Most other vodkas use only one variety of grain for easy production.

The tasting room at Churchill Vineyards and Frey Ranch Distillery is open every Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.  At 1045 Dodge Lane the location is just a short drive from town.  Visitors are welcome to come in and try out the different products.  Afterwards they will get a tour of the distillery and barrel room and, when not in production, a visit to the winery.

Fine wines and liquors are available for purchase at the farm but can also be purchased in many other locations throughout Nevada.  See or to learn where you can pick up a bottle or two of some of Fallon’s own liquid gold.

Frey Family Ranch and Churchill Vineyards, Open Saturdays, Noon-4pm.

1045 Dodge Lane, Fallon, NV 89406  Phone 775-423-4000

— Cynthia Delaney


Las Vegas

Here’s something you didn’t know about Diamond Jack: he loves to play Bingo. And he loves to play at the Plaza Hotel which has the only bingo room in downtown Las Vegas. The room was recently refreshed with new carpet, chairs and tables with 200 fixed base electronic bingo units. The Plaza holds Super Bingo tournaments every two months with nearly 1,000 players from around the country competing head to head with no linked games. The final Super Bingo event is Dec. 3-5 and the Plaza is raising each tournament’s prize amount to $200,000 with a daily $50,000 coverall. Complimentary 15-minute lessons, led by Reynz Ungos, the Plaza’s bingo ambassador, are held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.

It’s not too early to begin planning Christmas week in Las Vegas. And the holiday spectacular this year is “A Drag Queen Christmas: The Naughty Tour” at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay on Dec. 22. It stars RuPaul’s Drag Race, and that means such celebrities as Sasha Velour, Aja, Milk, Latrice Royale, Naomi Smalls, Chi Chi DeVayne, and Kim Chi. Diamond Jack will dress appropriately. 702-632-7600.


Puns for the Educated Mind

  • The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.
  • I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
  • She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
  • No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery.
  • A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
  • A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
  • Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
  • A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  • Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
  • I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  • The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

— Diamond Jack Bulavsky


Enjoy these foods, spirits and crafts before the stuffing begins …

The 12th annual Las Vegas Culturefest FoodieNation is coming to Downtown November 18th and 19th. This food and music festival has free admission and entertainment at the Fremont Street Experience from 11 a.m. until midnight. There will be a diverse array of American BBQ, Mexican, Jamaican, Soul, Asian, Creole and other ethnic foods available for purchase. Enjoy all this while listening and dancing to live bands and local DJ’s play Rock and Roll, Blues, Merengue, R & B and other musical styles.

In the something different category, the Project Taco Festival will be held at Craig Ranch Regional Park (Craig & Commerce St.) on Saturday, November 4th from noon until 8 p.m. This is their 2nd year and drew thousands of people last year. They will have margarita bars, a beer tent and over 20 competing taquerias, including Pinches Tacos, Project BBQ, Los Corrales and, new for this year, Leticia’s Mexican Cocina, which has excellent food and now has two restaurant locations in Las Vegas.

While the festival will have variations of the taco for different prices each “shop” will have a $2.00 taco for purchase. Nothing better than a handmade tortilla with chicken or fish or tacos al pastor!

They will also feature an exotic car show, carnival rides and live entertainment from bands, Folkloric dance groups and Mariachis. This is a family friendly event with general admission of $10 in advance or $15 at the gate. You can also purchase the Tequila Expo admission for $50 in advance or $60 at the gate which lets you into the grounds at 11 a.m. instead of noon. For this price you receive souvenir shot glass, 3 tacos at the VIP tent, private bathrooms, and more, plus all the general admission activities.

Here’s a new festival for you if you happen to be in the Henderson area on November 11th or 12th. The Fun-Do Festival will be held at the visitor’s center at Wayne Newton’s Casa de Shenandoah Visitors Center, located at the northwest corner of Sunset and Pecos in Henderson. This is right across the street from his famous property where tours are available.

This is their inaugural year and promises food trucks and tents, kids events, local bands, and a car show with advance general admission of $5, seniors/military of $4 and children under 54 inches tall free. Tickets at the gate are $8 and $7. Ticket prices include tax. The hours are 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday with Sunday’s hours 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

                                     Nutella Banana Funnel Cake at Sunset Park’d

Truckin’ right along, Sunset Park’d is hosting their 5th food truck and micro brew festival on November 4th at  … wait for it … Sunset Park! From Noon until 8 p.m. they will have music, food, beer, rides, fun, and their beautiful park for all ages to enjoy. This is one of the best food truck festivals in the Las Vegas area! Grass is so much better than asphalt for your feet.

There is more room to move around the trucks, and they have had numerous activities set up for adults (wine painting) and children (water balls), plus other crafts and live bands. The park is located at Eastern Avenue and Sunset Road in Henderson. Another best thing about this festival is there is no admission charge for the food truck festival. So, you can go and enjoy your day at the park and have over 30 food trucks to keep hunger at bay without having to bring a picnic basket!

A note for the Brew’s Best Beer Festival being held there at the same time. They are charging $35 at the gate for this portion of the festival which includes a souvenir tasting glass and gives you unlimited samples from local and national breweries. They are celebrating their 10th festival year. Their hours are 1 p.m. until 7 p.m.

The Silverton Casino will be holding a couple of craft shows this month in their Veil Pavilion. Both Craft & Gift Shows have free admission, parking, swag bags, samples and a drawing ticket. They have drawings every ½ hour, with over 50 prizes. Between 70 and 100 crafters plus vendors will showcase arts, crafts and other unusual holiday gifts for purchase. The show dates are November 12th and November 26th and the hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

They have an added feature for the 26th craft show which is their Hug-A-Bear Drive to support children in need. They are requesting a new 10” or taller stuffed animal to give to children in need of comfort. If you are able to do this, they would greatly appreciate your effort and will give you a free gift.

If you are a wine connoisseur or even if you just want to try a variety of wines before you buy, you might want to attend Lee’s Discount Liquor 15th Annual Wine Experience on November 11th at the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV. They are featuring over 1,000 wines from across the U.S. and other countries. Argentina, Spain, Italy, Chile, and France are just a few named countries, and there will also be various spirits to try including beer, vodka, rum, whiskey, and various liqueurs. The hours are 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Tickets purchased in advance are $60. You can also be admitted at the door for $70.

Over the years this event has had celebrities presenting their name-sake spirits and food booths presenting finger foods to soak up some of the liquor. This is definitely a drink and don’t drive event.

They will also be holding a silent auction going to Lee’s Helping Hand. This is a non-profit organization supporting numerous charities related to education, disabled families and organizations, adoption and senior services throughout Las Vegas.

— Pauline Cimoch

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The Singing Trump visits The Joint at Hard Rock

The Singing Trump portrayed by singer, impersonator and comedian Jeff Tracta from Season 12 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” will headline a night of singing, laughing and dancing at The Joint inside Hard Rock on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $45.45.

Tracta first earned fame starring as Thorne Forrester for eight years on the CBS daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful.” His musical talents manifested on the soap. He has performed concerts in more than 31 countries and albums go triple platinum worldwide. Tracta also made his Broadway debut starring as Danny Zuko in Tommy Tune’s revival of “Grease.” His award-winning comedy performance in “Agency” received rave reviews and won the Los Angeles Critics Choice Award.

Bellagio’s Conservatory Harvest display Embraces Autumn

The newest Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens display running through Nov. 25 envelops the autumn season with enchanting landscapes featuring two exotic flower-encrusted 19-foot peacocks and mystical creatures.

The East Garden has a 25-foot circular dome draped in gold and burgundy vines and four ornate chandeliers while the South Garden features a 28-foot enchanted talking tree and three scarecrows. The conservatory is open to the public 24 hours daily and free.

November Dining News

                                                                                             Ferraro’s Lasagne

Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar will celebrate its 32nd anniversary, Nov. 4-12 with a special anniversary three-course menu spotlighting the restaurant’s best-loved fare priced at $32.32 per person. In December 2009, the well-established restaurant relocated to Paradise Road, renamed it Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar, and owners Gino and Rosalba Ferraro’s son Mimmo became executive chef. The current 312-seat location occupies more than 9,000 square feet and has a wine collection comprising 16,000 bottles and 1,200 labels.

The contemporary fine dining Phoenix at Lucky Dragon with panoramic views of the Strip has updated its menu to serve a wider variety of upscale Asian flavors. The alteration moves Phoenix away from the original and more traditional family-style service toward a style better suiting the restaurant’s upscale atmosphere.

                                                                                         Nachos Diablos at Pancho’s

Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant in Downtown Summerlin will celebrate National Nachos Day with Nachos Diablos offered exclusively on Monday, Nov. 6. With chicken, price is $13.95 and a dollar more for shrimp.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in the Grand Canal Shoppes is bringing back its famous pumpkin cheesecake through the end of November for $6 per slice. In addition, Grimaldi’s Tuesday Tastings, which includes half-off glasses, carafes and bottles of wine all day, has been extended through the end of the year.

— Jackie Brett



Legendary Smokey Robinson will groove at the Edgewater

Smokey Robinson, whose career encompasses more than four decades of hits, will again star at The E Center at the Edgewater on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40, $50 and $80.

Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and record producer Robinson was born and raised in Detroit, Mich., where he founded The Miracles while still in high school. The group was Berry Gordy’s first vocal group, and what started the Motown Record dynasty. Their single of Robinson’s “Shop Around” became Motown’s first No. 1 hit on the R&B singles chart. In the years following, Robinson continued to pen hits for the group, including “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “Going to a Go-Go,” “More Love,” “Tears of a Clown” (co-written with Stevie Wonder), and “I Second That Emotion.” The Miracles dominated the R&B scene throughout the 1960s and early 70s and Robinson became vice president of Motown Records serving as in-house producer, talent scout and songwriter.

Robinson has received numerous awards including the Grammy Living Legend Award, Kennedy Center Honors, and National Medal of Arts Award from the President of the United States. He has also been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.

Sawyer Brown will visit the AVI

American country band Sawyer Brown will appear at the Avi Grand Ballroom on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.

The group’s original five members were part of country pop singer Don King’s road band. When King stopped touring in 1981, the group decided to stay together and took the name “Sawyer Brown” after the street where they rehearsed, Sawyer Brown Road. The band auditioned for the TV show “Star Search” in 1983 and ended up winning the $100,000 grand prize and record contract.

Sawyer Brown has released 20 studio albums and more than 50 of their singles have entered the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts with three reaching No. 1. Their many awards include a Horizon Award from the Country Music Association in 1985, a Vocal Group of the Year award in 1997 from the Academy of Country Music, and five Vocal Band Of The Year Awards from the TNN Music City News Country Awards.

Comedians Reign on Weekends at the Edgewater

The Edge Lounge puts two different comedians center stage Friday-Sunday at the Edgewater at 7 p.m. with “Comedy on the Edge.” Tickets are $15 with a $2 discount available on Sundays for U.S. veterans.

The upcoming comedian lineup includes: Nov. 3-5 Kathleen Dunbar and Andrew Searles; Nov. 10-12 Freddy Charles and Alex just Alex; Nov. 17-19 L.A. Hardy and Derrick Stroman; and Nov. 24-26 Eric Lampaert and Jorge Ruiz.

                        Comedian Freddy Charles

Freddy Charles is paired with Alex just Alex Nov. 10-12. Charles began his stand-up comedy career in 1984 as a regular at the Hyatt on Sunset in Hollywood. Soon he was headlining comedy clubs around the United States and Canada and appeared in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, Riviera, and Golden Nugget. Charles mounted a one-man show “The Love is There” in Montreal during the 1997 Just for Laughs Festival. He performed on “Showtime Comedy Club Network,” game show “Make Me Laugh,” numerous commercials including Jeff Foxworthy’s “Redneck Video,” and was featured on NBC’s Halloween special “Witches, Warlocks and Werewolves.”

 L.A. Hardy will appear with fellow stand-up Derrick Stroman Nov. 17-19. Hardy, who is married and the father of two children excels at real observations and a no holds barred style with material which just keeps coming. He has performed with Comics On Duty Tour and was the second group of civilians to visit Iraq in the Fall of ‘03. The group performed 28 shows in 30 days in a variety of venues. Hardy has traveled with the U.S. military in more than 35 countries and performed for the troops. He’s appeared on many television networks and most of the major comedy clubs.

Eric Lampaert will partner with Jorge Ruiz Nov. 24-26. Multi-lingual actor and comedian Lampaert is a famous face in France, where his reality prank show made him a TV star. In the United States, he’s best known for starring in a broadband ad with Bruce Willis. Lampaert performed in the “Moonwalkers” film, plays a stoner in a film low-budget British feature “AmStarDam,” and hosts the cult night Comedians Cinema Club in which comics attempt to recreate classic flicks.

Aquarius hosts UFO Symposium

The Time for Truth: Living La Vida Loca (UFO Symposium) will be held at various sites within the Aquarius Friday-Sunday, Nov. 10-12 starting at 8 a.m. each day. The 2017 Laughlin UFO Symposium features headline speakers plus breakout national and international speakers, all experts in the fields of UFOlogy, metaphysics and consciousness. The full attendance package is $350.

— Jackie Brett

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Lincoln County

Volleyball player coached by grandmother

Not too many players have the circumstance to be coached in their high school careers by their father or mother. On occasion, a cousin, brother, sister, aunt or uncle may be the head coach of a given sport.

But for Karley Whipple, a senior at Pahranagat Valley High School in Alamo, Nevada, she has the unique experience of being coached by her grandmother! What memories and stories to tell her own children someday.

Ginger Whipple, Karley’s grandmother, has been the head coach of the Pahranagat Valley team since at least 1983, maybe even longer.  Ginger herself admits she doesn’t even know.

Whipple coached both her daughters, Nikki and Kalie, when they were in high school at Pahranagat Valley. Both of them were on championship teams, too, as the Panthers won nine straight state 1A volleyball titles at one point (1997-2005). In fact, the Pahranagat girls have been in the 1A State Championship game for the past 22 years in a row and won it 18 times, both of which are  state records.

                      Karley Whipple (in yellow shirt) and her grandmother Ginger Whipple in the Pahranagat  Valley High School gym

A few years ago, when Karley was in middle school in 2012, the Pahranagat Valley team lost the 1A championship 3-0 to Tonopah.  Whipple was in tears seeing her favorite team lose, and cried to her mother she feared that, “Grandma would quit coaching now, and I won’t be able to be on her team in high school.”

That didn’t happen, and PVHS has won the championship three times since, including last year with Whipple on the team. And she is one of the main hitters for the Panthers this year as they seek to win yet another championship for “Grandma” Ginger, who already is the record holder for state titles in all classes with 18.

Karley, a three-sport athlete, says playing for her grandmother, and her mother, too, who is the assistant coach, “is a pretty awesome experience. It’s hard, but it’s also fun and tough at the same time because we are so close. I have learned a lot about the game by watching and listening to her (Ginger) because of her long experience.”

Ginger said she was harder on her two daughters when they played for her. “I feel it was a real opportunity and privilege to be able to do that. Kind of a cool thing.” At the same time she admits, “I was harder on them than anybody else. I expected more from them because I know what they are capable of.”  The same is likely true with Karley.

Daughter Kalie went on to college, not in volleyball, but in basketball, earning All-American honors at the University of Utah. She is now serving as the girls basketball coach at The Meadows High in Las Vegas.

And what does Karley want to do after high school?  She is undecided.

— Dave Maxwell


Mineral County

Ace a par-fect year-round golf location

On the outskirts of Hawthorne, along Highway 95, the Hawthorne Army Depot is clearly marked by fencing, signage and the differentiated military structures, which include a guarded entry point. In seeing this ammunition-based military facility, many are surprised to learn that the Walker Lake Public Golf Course, which opened in 1952, is located on the base. Checking in advance for the current vetting process, one drives into the main entrance with proper identification and drives west, just blocks from the main entry gate.  This course has been referred to as “The best 9-hole course in Nevada,” offering a fair price that is enhanced by breathtaking views for any golfer to treasure.

The well-manicured golf course also offers a driving range, putting green and chipping green for those who desire a little practice time. Golf carts and clubs are available to rent at this year-round course. On premises is the Club House (pictured above), offering snacks and a bar located in a spacious room for visiting. Relax while looking at incredible vistas of the surrounding mountains and open ranges surrounding this golfing oasis.

Surrounded by mature trees and colorful, seasonal foliage, this historic 1930s base presents an overall atmosphere of a Midwest feel, with areas of sprawling grass and stately two-story brick homes. These residences remain on grounds as permanent rentals today, although at one time they housed the commanding officers of WWII and other wartime employees.

Area golfers will say, “This course is the best kept secret,” in that it is never crowded, remains low in price, can please the most experienced golf pro, while still accommodating the beginning golfer who is still learning the game.  From sand traps to varying fun challenges, all ages can play, and fundraising events or private parties can easily be arranged in advance.

Check out their website at for future tournament schedules, or call for reservations and advanced access information at (775) 945-1111.

— Sheri Samson


North Lake Tahoe

                                                                         Mount Rose-Ski Tahoe on October 20 this year

The temperatures have dropped fast in North Lake Tahoe, and the local ski resorts are busy hosting job fairs and firing up their snow guns.

Mount Rose opened on October 27th with limited operations, and once Northstar California, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and others follow suit with a solid layer of white on their trails, then they’ll be announcing their opening dates, too.

All sorts of gyms around North Lake Tahoe are offering winter conditioning classes to help you get your ski legs ready for the snow. The Incline Recreation Center hosts group classes that focus on strength, balance, endurance, flexibility, and coordination three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays from 9am-10am.

On November 7, Incline Elementary School will be hosting its 5th Annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration.

From 5-7pm, the community can enjoy games, crafts, traditional Mexican dance, a student art gallery, ofrenda, Latino food for purchase, and a homemade salsa-making contest. Money raised from this event will support literacy efforts at IES, so come celebrate Day of the Dead at IES this fall.

While you’re out shopping for the holidays, consider stopping by Gus’ Open Pit Barbeque in Incline Village on November 17. From 5:30pm-7:30pm, local plein air artist Monika Johnson will help you paint your very own version of Lake Tahoe that you can give to that special someone or hang proudly on your wall. Reserve your canvas for the Nov. 17 event at Gus’ BBQ at Easel and Wine.

                                                                              Dining on the Truckee River at River Ranch

Since we’re on the topic of food, where are the best places to have Thanksgiving dinner in North Lake Tahoe? If you are looking for an intimate lake-view setting with upscale options, check out Gar Woods Grill & Pier on Carnelian Bay  (530-546-3366 or 775-883-1234),  the Lone Eagle Grille in Incline Village (775-886-6899), or River Ranch (530-583-4264) on the Truckee River at Alpine Meadows. (Be sure to make reservations ahead.)

If you want to spend Thanksgiving in a more enlivened, merrier atmosphere, then head over to the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach for its 5th Annual Tahoe Community Thanksgiving Celebration. Starting at 2pm – 6:30pm, people can enjoy food, fun, live music, and even go home with leftovers. This Thanksgiving celebration is open to the public and is the kickoff party of Toys 4 Tots.

— Kayla Anderson



Pahrump adds New Car Show to fall lineup

                                                                    A classic 1968 Chevy Camaro owned by Shane Switzer

The town of Pahrump just added one more attraction to its fall lineup to make this town the place to be.

It certainly will be ranked as one of the best rural town car shows in Southern Nevada, and maybe the state, as 138 cars from all over the region came to the Pahrump Top Notch car show  on Oct. 7. The show  was  held at the Top Notch facility at 3681 W. Bell Vista Road in Pahrump.

The show was a huge success, and according to show organizers it  will be back next year.  The car show promoter Tex Whitson, former manager of Merle Haggard, said Top Notch owner, Marcel Martel, has wanted to do this for a long time.

“He owns around sixty MOPAR cars and considers them to be an investment,”  Tex  said.  “I  told him one day that having a car show would be a great opportunity for him to show them off, and he agreed.”

Martel brought in twenty cars from his personal collection that were not judged.

What makes this car show worth visiting and even participating in?

Tex said one of the things that Marcel wanted to do was to bring a car show to Pahrump that was different from all the other shows. The one thing that concerned him most about local shows in town was the fairness of the judging.

“If you have gone to shows here in town you would have noticed that there was a slight bias,” Tex said. “All the judges were either from one car club and were local to Pahrump. They knew everyone in the show and often picked their friends car. Martel wants to eliminate that.”

Tex said that at the Top Notch show all  the judges were from out of town, so you had no hometown bias. Martell chose judges from California and Arizona.

Tex said another problem with the small car shows around town was the prizes. “Martel  knew that to get people from out of town that he would have to offer something better than just gift cards,” Tex explained. “So in addition to some great trophies, he put up cash.” Martel  gave out $3,000 in cash prizes to the participants. There were also a lot of raffle prizes for everyone who chose to buy tickets.

                   A beautiful 1951 Chevy Skyline convertible owned by Dennis and Barbara Harrison of Las Vegas graced the car show

To make it even more attractive,

Martel gave the proceeds to a worthy cause.  All the proceeds of this show was all donated to the Nye County School District for needy children. The organizers ended up donating about $2,600.

Still  not convinced it’s your thing?

Brett Chumley, owner of Mom’s Diner in Pahrump, takes to the stage to hand out raffle prizes. Mom’s Diner also provided some delicious grub to the show

One of the reasons people liked the show was because it provided things for the kids to do there.

“It is much bigger than expected, there are a lot of cars out here,” Pahrump resident Nye County School District, a participant in the show, said. “I guess this is the first one, and it’s pretty good. I was impressed with it. There is a lot more to do here. There are rides and vendors. There was a lot of planning put into this, you can tell.”

People attending also liked the fact that Mom’s Diner provided some good eats and that the Hubb Bar and Grill  provided some drink as well.

To top it all off, there were good tunes to listen to as you browsed through all the classy old cars, for the Reeves Brothers, a local country band, was  there to entertain.

The bottom line is people are ready to come back next year. Clark Hendrickson, another Pahrump local and participant said it was definitely something worth doing again.

“I think it was the best car show that I have seen in Pahrump, yet,” Clark said. “The one in the park used to be good. It had music too, but this is a good show. Lots of people came out from Las Vegas. I would do this again.”

— Vernon Hee


South Lake Tahoe

                                                                                          Fall colors above Cave Rock

As Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part; the late fall is filled with anticipation while people wait for the snow to start flying.  November is also the preparation month for the town and local businesses getting ready for a busy ski season.  Would-be visitors wait at home and watch weather reports hoping to hear about a big storm in the Sierras.  Will the atmospheric river that flowed through last year and pummeled the area with record precipitation hit us again?  But instead of waiting for what might be, why not live in the now and enjoy the peace and quiet of Lake Tahoe in November.

Heavenly Mountain Resort officials weren’t sitting on their hands as they announced an opening day of November 17.  A clever tactic to announce the date, so as to get people buzzing about a ski weekend at Tahoe. Even if it doesn’t snow, the temperatures are getting colder, so that the state of the art snowmaking Heavenly uses will get enough runs open to satisfy the “jonesing” skiers.  Also, there will be plenty of opening day activities at the Heavenly Village at Stateline that weekend to add to the excitement.  Go to for information on lift tickets, season passes and other accommodations.

Visiting during the shoulder season in early November has its advantages, especially if you want to just relax and avoid the sometimes overwhelming crowds of winter weekends.  The Stateline casino-hotels offer discounted rates in their hotels, especially in the midweek days.  Get a nice, comfortable room at a reasonable rate at Harrah’s ( … and walk around like you own the place because business is slow.  All the top-notch restaurants are open and ready to give you a great meal and a wonderful time.

                                                                            The refurbished pier at Round Hill Pines beach

Many things may slow down during the autumn months here at the Lake, but construction definitely does not.  Round Hill Pines is getting a makeover for next season.  Crews started the demolition of the summer only resort on October 4, leveling the beach front bar and pavilion area.  Taking out the structures but not the footprint, as a full commercial kitchen, retail space, restrooms, and an open-air pavilion have already been taking shape as workers have laid the concrete slabs for the foundations and will work all winter to be ready for summer 2018.  And it’s about time something is being done at this charming little spot in Marla Bay, just a half mile away from Stateline, because the aging buildings that sat there for years were starting to become eyesores.  A refurbished pier and breakwater will also greet beachgoers and boaters next year, as well.

         Smoked Alaskan salmon BLAT with roasted pepper goat cheese from Bella Tahoe

Right now, cool, crisp days will greet visitors to the Lake, and the weather is anyone’s guess on any given day.   Even on days when the sun is shining, the temperatures don’t go very high, but throw on a sweater and go for a stroll along an empty beach.  Maybe stop by and grab a sandwich before you go at Bella Tahoe Catering and Deli, located at 152 Hwy. 50, Stateline, NV. 89449, right next to Lakeside Inn and Casino.   Bella’s offers to-go box lunches with a gourmet sandwich, fruit or pasta salad and chips.  Try the Rubicon Sandwich, freshly sliced pastrami with sauerkraut, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, and stone ground mustard on toasted marble rye.  Go for a brisk walk, take in the beauty of the lake and then reward yourself with a good sandwich.  Winter will be here soon enough, so sit back and enjoy the wait.

— Brendan Packer



For those that aren’t quite over Halloween, consider visiting the new Key and Code Escape Rooms at The Outlets at Legends. What is an escape room, you ask? If you’ve ever watched or played the game of Clue, then it’s kind of like the true-life form of that. Teams of 2-10 people enter a theme-based room and try to solve puzzles to unlock the door within 60 minutes.

                                                                               Do you dare enter Dr. Ensaine’s office?

The Dr. Ensaine Room is known to be the most popular yet scary room, while the Chain Reaction is the most adventurous room. Try out the legendary Tahoe ’64 room or Family Secrets (if you can deal with confined spaces and rising temperatures). Open Thursday-Monday, the escape rooms at The Outlets are a creative way to spend the evening. Book your escape online at

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean softball season has to be! Registration opens up for the Deep Freeze Softball League to start on January 10. Adults ages 18 years and older who aren’t afraid to brave the elements will play eight weeks of games in all kind of weather conditions including snow, sleet, rain, and hail in an attempt to win the coveted Ice Cube Trophy. For more information about signing up a team, visit the City of Sparks website. If playing softball out in the cold isn’t your thing, fortunately you can practice year-round at Tommy’s Grandstand indoor batting cages on Meredith Way.

Although snow this deep at Golden Eagle Regional Park sports complex is unlikely, you should always be prepared. (Image courtesy of Mankato Free Press)

If this photo makes you chilly just looking at it, then head over to Iron Skillet at 1950 East Greg Street for a little warm up. A little over a year ago, Iron Skillet put forth a $2.5 million renovation to revamp the restaurant to include a 24/7 buffet and full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Even though it may feel a little strange eating a USDA Choice steak at 11:30am, it definitely gives you enough energy to go out and brave the cold.

                                                                               Choices abound at the Iron Skillet buffet

Calling all turkeys! Before you settle in for a day of family, football, and feasting, head over to Scheels for the 19th Annual Turkey Trot. On November 23 starting at 8:30 a.m., runners and walkers of all ages are invited to trot around the Sparks Marina and beyond. Participants can choose to do either a 2-mile untimed walk/run, or more competitive folks can opt for the 10k timed run which winds through neighborhood streets as well as the bike path around the marina. Pay only $25 if you register by November 16, or otherwise it costs $60 cash on race day. Every entrant receives a commemorative T-shirt, fruit and refreshments. Costumes are encouraged!

— Kayla Anderson