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A sweetheart deal for your sweetheart
by Harry Spencer
Feb 16, 2008 | 591 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Today is the final day for “Autoshow 2008” at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on South Virginia Street. This year’s show carried a Valentine’s theme due to its proximity to the Feb. 14 annual romantic celebration. In addition to showing the best in new vehicles from the area dealers that sponsor the show, this year’s admission charge of $4 will go in its entirety to three of the local area’s major charities: the Autism Coalition of Nevada, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Keaton Raphael Memorial Children’s cancer organization.

Children under 12 and seniors over 60 are admitted free to the show and this year there is a play and entertainment area for children in the center of the show layout.

Make or break time For Wolf Pack


Following last Monday’s fine win over WAC-leading Utah State, the University of Nevada’s basketball team was (at the time of this writing on Wednesday) due to define its season when it traveled to Boise State on Thursday. In their first meeting the Boise Staters handed the Pack a solid 15-point whipping in Reno. Since the leaderboard of the WAC was pretty crowded at the top following Nevada’s victory over Utah State it looks like any one of four teams could wind up the season by winning the WAC title. Those four would be Nevada, Utah State, Boise State and New Mexico State. Whatever happens, however, it is now pretty well determined that the WAC will only get one team in this year’s NCAA tournament and that is the automatic bid that goes to the winner of the WAC postseason tournament. Since the tourney will be held on the New Mexico State home court in Las Cruces, the venue would seem to favor New Mexico. However, the seeding that determines the order of play in the tournament is based on the spot in which teams finish. Number one is paired against number eight and number two gets number seven so it is important that if a school wants to get past the first round it would behoove them to finish no lower than third at season’s end (in the tournament number three will get number six). Usually the most evenly matched tournament game pits number four against number five in the opening set. By the time you read this things will have shaken out to a greater degree in the WAC.

Nevada ex-soccer coach fracas

The legal battle between the University of Nevada and ex-soccer coach Terry Patraw went to the judge for his decision recently. The case, which rated as the top Nevada athletic story of 2007, came about after Patraw sued the university over her termination following her action in reporting what she saw as violations to the NCAA. Many of the details of the suit were kept under wraps due to a reported “gag” order on behalf of the NCAA. An interesting yarn to follow.

Joe Crowley featured

Long-time UNR President Joe Crowley has been getting a great deal of publicity during his retirement days. The affable Crowley had the new student union building named in his honor and it is one of the more striking edifices on the campus as it sits cheek to jowel with the soon-to-be-opened Knowledge Center. The old student union is being renovated and spruced up for a special education program.

Crowley is even more remembered by the current student body population who have come to call the new building “The Joe.” He is also the cover boy on this month’s edition of the Senior Spectrum newspaper with a fine profile written by Senior Spectrum publisher Connie McMullen.

Celebrity corner

In addition to the Turner Classic Movies channel, the cable channel that features Western flicks is also a good spot to catch some familiar entertainers who used to frequent this area. Most notable among the Western stars are John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Gregory Peck, all three of who won the Reno Silver Spurs in past years. The other night there was an old black and white “oater” that starred John Carroll and Vera Ralston. While Carroll was never a major Western star type in Hollywood he did appear in a number of major motion pictures in a second leading man category. Probably his most notable role was as the cocky pilot opposite Wayne in “Flying Tigers.” Carroll made one of his appearances in Reno when he was booked into the SkyRoom of the Mapes Hotel for a two-week stint. Hobnobbing with him after his opening night I asked him why he had never appeared in many Hollywood musicals. His reply was, “Actually, I can’t sing worth a damn, but the orchestra here seems to be carrying me along pretty good!” In person Carroll was a good six-foot four and had a very outgoing personality. His engaging smile for the ladies at ringside while he was performing probably added a lot to his popularity during his fortnight in the SkyRoom.

Harry Spencer is a Reno freelance writer.
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