I rarely drive through Nye County without buying one or more of the local newspapers. There are at least 2: The Pahrump Valley Times and the Pahrump Mirror ("Nye County's only independent newspaper" -- not sure what that means but I sense that relations between these two journalistic centers may not be the best.)
Today's Pahrump Valley Times' lead story was about a huge bust of a burglary ring -- over 3 dozen people arrested in one week!!! (The jail didn't have room for them and had to cut most of them loose on thier own recognizance, to the chagrin of the sheriff.) Who knew there was that much to steal in Pahrump? One of the ring leaders seems to have brought down the wrath of the law on his fellow alleged burglars by allegedly holding up the Kingdom Gentlemen's Club which is the town's strip club in a castle -- I thought it might be something more colorful but that was not stated in this artilce. Another article in the same edition referred to the owner of the Kingdom GC as "the owner of a brothel." Could be a separate enterprise. But if the burglars have started holding up brothels, things have just gotten out of hand. The owner of the Kingdom GC, according to the Pahrump Valley News, is also the publisher of the rival Parhump Mirror and has been convicted of bribing a former county commissioner -- but this is the rival newspaper talking. I know nothing about it myself.
The law was on a roll. In some complicated and indirect way, the massive burglary busts came from leads garnered in the discovery of a "massive marijuana grow opertation" allegedly owned and operated by a single family in two houses. The dad and sons are on the run while mom is either in jail or out on bail.
If that were not enough, U S Ecology (Now doesn't that sound like an innocent green name? They operate a hazardous waste site.) has been accused of 18 EPA violations and fined $497,492. That would cause me a financial inconvenience. U S Eclology denies any misconduct.
There is a controversial move afoot for the city to buy the Kindom Gentlemen's Club. Maybe they could buy U S Ecology while they are at it. Or U S Ecology could take over the canabis farm to raise money for the fine. But would anyone buy pot from a hazardous waste collector?
The political news featured stump speeches given by candidates at the Artemsia Community Center. The content of the speeches was largely ignored becasue of the more colorful Q&A session which sounded a bit like last year's health care town hall meetings. The paper had a big picture of a local lawyer asking a candidate challenging questions while she (the lawyer) wore a sidearm. The story related that at least one other cross examiner from the audience was also packing heat. I do not know why they attend political meetings armed, but I surmise there is a reason.
At a recent meeting, the county commissioners refused to watch a 3 minute dvd a citizen wanted to show them so they could see the flooding in her neighborhood. Bad move pastorally.
Of course there was happier news. The "annual grape stomp" has been expanded to a 2 day event. A crew of firefighters visited Charleston Elementary School. But the big good news is popping at the other end of the county in Tonopah. Great Basin College is planning to open a campus there. The Town Board is considering buying the Belvada (a disused bank) for its new convention center. Solar engery is about the double the population.
I never drive through Nye County without discovering lots of action. I always listen to Richard Eloyan's Ballad of the Nye Country Drifter and imagine bandits hiding around the occasional curves of Hwy 95 as I race through intermittently observing the speed limit. It's a happening place. If Clark County were this colorful Fr. Sherm's Las Vegas Review Journal would not be reduced to covering national and international news we don't really care about.
Disclaimer: I know nothing about the facts of any of this. Nothing. I am just saying what I read in the papers. Nor do I have the least malice toward any of these people. I do not know them. I did read the list of the recently arrested and was pleased not to find the names of anyone from St. Martin's in the Desert. They are too busy providing wholesome fun for the town's teens and knitting prayer shawls. They have no time to grow pot, burgle shady enterprises, or even intimidate political candidates with hostile questions and guns.