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John L. Smith

Nevada has its own toxic water troubles

The water crisis in Flint, Mich., has gone national with blanket media coverage. The problem is as plain as the brown muck that’s been flowing from kitchen faucets.

Republican campaign more like a revival

Judging from the turnout of Tuesday's Republican presidential caucus in Nevada, the GOP is converting its "big tent" into a revival tent. Trouble for the Republican establishment is, Nevadans clearly find themselves feeling the spirit for flamboyant...

Late casino skimmer smiling to very end

Before the name is lost to history in Las Vegas, a place that revises its past like no other, pause to consider the life of Donald Shepard. He died recently at age 79. In another place, at another time, Shepard might have been remembered as a good-...

Desert helps keep things in perspective

Our desert is such an expansive place, a poem of silence and space between basin and range, it can disrupt all sense of scale. Humans hiking across a distant dry lake shrink to colored specks. And those tan hills that look no more than an hour's...

Verlie Doing was gem for Searchlight

The cafe inside the Searchlight Nugget bustled during breakfast, but on that fine February morning in 2013 owner Verlie Doing was easy to spot. Surrounded by adoring family members, she was the blue-eyed great-grandmother with the big smile and a...

Bundys are unwanted guests who won't go home

You've agreed to host a party and have had a good time, but now the hour is getting late. The house has gone from a crowded cacophony of conversation and music to a roomful of stragglers whispering in hushed tones. Most will grab their coats and...

Boxers need someone in their corner

"Creed," the seventh installment in Sylvester Stallone's enormously successful "Rocky" series, has hit the big screen with a haymaker. With Michael B. Jordan as promising fighter Adonis Johnson and Stallone working the corner, "Creed" is being...

Payment for rights may not be just water under bridge

As with so many lucrative heists, authorities allege the Virgin Valley Water District caper was an inside job. Businessman and land owner John Lonetti owned a ranch along the Virgin River near Bunkerville and had groundwater to sell. After lengthy...

Nelson has life's rhythm down to art form

These days drummer Sandy Nelson qualifies as an All-American oldie but goodie. At 76, Nelson moves with a little less pep than in his prime as a versatile drummer in Los Angeles for three decades before moving to Boulder City, where he's resided the...

Restaurateur's policy just tip of iceberg

Danny Meyer might need to hire a food taster the next time he visits Las Vegas. The New York restaurateur and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group has a juicy presence in Las Vegas. His Shake Shack gourmet burger joints at New York-New York and...

Showdown over land civilized -- so far

Not a shot was fired, not a voice was raised. And there was no sign of rogue rancher Cliven Bundy. Nor were the Koch brothers burned in effigy. You'll have to ride the range a long time to find a more qualified panel to discuss the complexities of...

Dreamlike oasis sparks preservation crusade

Out in the Mojave National Preserve, the rocky road to Piute Springs is an unmarked shock-buster. But there in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the intrepid traveler will find water gushing to the surface and cottonwoods and willows lining a small...

Aspen's fall serves as reminder for investors of risk

Not many years ago, Jeffrey Guinn was the high-flying head of Aspen Financial Services. He parlayed the booming Southern Nevada construction economy and his status as a son of popular former Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn into a winning combination that...

Nevada's empty range merits monument status

If you drive through Nevada and see only a tumbleweed wasteland, then this column is probably not for you. If you increase your speed on U.S. Highway 50, dubbed “America’s Loneliest Road,” because you find that it’s also America’s most...