Silver dollars & wooden nickels: Sheriff's officers go above and beyond

The Nevada Appeal's "Silver Dollar" and "Wooden Nickel" feature recognizes positive achievements from the capital region and, when warranted, points out others that missed the mark.

SILVER DOLLAR: To Carson City Sheriff's Deputy Gary Denham and Sgt. Darrin Sloan, who went way behind the call of duty.

After their shift last Saturday, the officers returned to the home of Jo Bailey and fixed her vandalized mailbox. Bailey had recently been diagnosed with cancer and is starting chemotherapy.

"Of all the people in the world they could have done this to, they had to pick a lady that didn't have the means, or the money or the physical strength to fix it herself," Denham said.

Denham had taken a vandalism report from Bailey earlier that day and returned to "protect and serve."

"I took an oath to protect and serve. You've got to remember the serve part. You can't just throw people in jail and walk away," he said.

WOODEN NICKEL: To the person or persons who irresponsibly left 20 pounds of mercury in an apartment at Bella Lago Village on Airport Road. The highly toxic material was discovered by a maintenance crew when it removed the carpet and padding Aug. 25 from the hallway of the vacant apartment. Because of this act, 22 people have been displaced from their homes because of the high vapor readings in the complex. The person behind this fiasco needs to answer one question to everyone: What are you doing with so much mercury?

SILVER DOLLAR: More than 600 people turned out Wednesday evening for the grand opening celebration of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada. Donors, club members and the community came out to get a glimpse of the $5.5 million, 12,600-square-foot facility.

SILVER DOLLAR: To Mackena Bell, who continues to succeed at everything she does. Bell's recent feat was impressing Gen. William D. Frink Jr. on an airplane. She impressed the Army general so much he invited her to speak to his staff at the 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Los Angeles for Women's Equality Day. Bell, a Carson High graduate, is finishing up her first season of racing in the NASCAR Super Late Model division at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif., as part of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program. Bell has had an excellent rookie season, steadily improving her finishing positions and recently making history with a third-place finish, the highest ever by a female competitor in the division. Bell's racing career looks promising; we wouldn't be surprised to see her racing NASCAR Sprint Cup within the next few years.

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