Whirlwind leaves chaos in woman's yard

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It has been four days since I've seen my auxiliary garbage can after this week's big wind.

But compared to the whirlwind that hit LeAnn Saarem's west side back yard about 6:30 p.m. Monday, I don't have much to complain about.

LeAnn, 32, is a native Carson City resident, but she says the dust devil that ripped through her back yard was a whopper.

"It was the strongest one I've ever seen," she said. "We've been working shooting grades, leveling things out, when all of a sudden the dust devil came ripping through the back of our house."

The scene she describes is like something out of Harry Potter.

"Everything that was loose was flying around," she said. "It picked up one of those green garbage cans that was full of trash and emptied it. We had another bin full of toys; it literally picked it up and blew it out in a field. We found skates 50 or 60 feet away. We have a Playskool puzzle slide the wind took up into the air and dismantled it, sending the pieces in all different directions. My husband's binder full of papers went up in the air and exploded."

LeAnn's 9-year-old daughter, Ashley, ran outside when she heard all the ruckus.

"My daughter thought it was an earthquake," she said. "We were out there for 45 minutes picking everything up."

LeAnn is the daughter of Carson City residents Leo and Annette Mankins.

Today, Carson City radio station KPTL's license is 47 years old. The radio station started broadcasting on May 14, 1955.

Radio fan Candus Lea is engaged in a project to produce a video chronicling the history of Nevada radio, including the Carson City station.

Her love of radio goes back to the days when she was making doughnuts in her parents' shop.

Sometimes, she says today, she and her brother's only company was a voice on the radio.

"I listened to the radio while I was working," she said. "I swear that when the Bellamy Brothers were on, my brother and I could make doughnuts faster.

Candus, 42, has been a Reno resident since 1991, moving her to be with her parents, who owned the Winchell's Doughnuts on South Virginia.

The video project stems from work on a tribute to Jerry Cobb. She has researched the history of Nevada radio and that is where the item about KPTL came up.

She has been working on the video fro three years and hopes to be able to sell the final product as a fund-raiser for the Nevada Broadcaster's Association and public broadcasting.

We said farewell to Jim Scripps on Thursday, who got the job at the Sierra Sun despite our best efforts at sabotage.

An aggressive business reporter, Jim is leaving the beat in fine shape for Sally Taylor, who will fill in for him for a bit.

As for the job at the Sierra Sun, no job carries more work, responsibility and can be more fun than that of a weekly newspaper editor in a small town.

Things at the Sun are looking up. In addition to Jim, the paper is getting a new publisher, and perhaps most important a new typist. Nothing harder on an editor than having to re-type press releases.

Joanie Compton has never seen the karaoke movie "Duets." But she and friend Jack Bass will be living it at Cheers over the next few weeks.

The couple, known as J&J Karaoke, will be rocking until midnight Friday nights at the Carson City bar.

Joanie, 66, hit the Carson karaoke circuit shortly after she arrived here 10 years ago at Kathy's Someplace Else under the tutelage of KJ Nita Procell.

"We do everything," she said of the couple's music selection. "We have about 3,500 music selections."

She said the couple has some rap and hip hop in their collection.

"But we don't do the rap ourselves," she said. Joanie's compadre, Jack is 73 years old and has lived in Carson City for 25 years. Joanie says that if everything works out, the couple could get a continuing gig at Cheers.

David Piel has a new show featuring 36 illustrations for Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" on display at the King Street Gallery at the Brewery Arts Center.

David's drawings are in the style of London cartoonists of the mid-19th century.

He put together a book, but there is only one copy of it.

Kurt Hildebrand is managing editor of the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at 881-1215 or hildebrand@nevadaappeal.com


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