Area briefs |

Area briefs

by AP Wire

BATTLE MOUNTAIN, Nev. (AP) – A wild horse advocacy group has donated $5,000 worth of grass seed to help restore habitat for wild horses near here.

The Cedar City, Utah-based National Mustang Association donated the seed to the Bureau of Land Management in Battle Mountain for use in the Rocky Hills Herd Management Area.

Nearly half of the area was blackened by August wildfires.

Plans call for the donated Nordan and Siberian crested wheat grass seed to be mixed with native seed and drilled into about 500 acres by tractor.

The BLM conducted an emergency roundup of about 1,500 wild horses in Nevada this fall after the state’s worst wildfire season on record.

BLM officials said the fires that blackened 1.7 million acres left limited forage for the state’s estimated 22,000 wild horses.

The mustang association also funded the construction of three water projects near Tonopah to help wild horses deal with limited rainfall.

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Hotel-motel occupancy rates in the Reno area have topped last year’s rates for a fifth straight month, tourism officials said.

Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority figures show 634,417 rooms were occupied in October, up 6.5 percent from 604,870 in October 1998.

Motels led the way with a 22.5 percent boost in occupied rooms in October over last year and a year-to-date increase of 9.1 percent.

Hotels reported a 3.7 percent increase in October with 360,212 occupied rooms.

Tourism officials attributed the increases to a variety of major conventions and special events, including the Senior Pro Rodeo and American Cowboy Team Roping Association Finals.

While October airport passenger counts were down, road counts were up 6.5 percent, reflecting an increase in the number of visitors who drove to the Reno area.

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Organizers of a Reno fund-raising event are beginning to wonder whether a $4,000 diamond being offered as the grand prize will ever turn up.

Only one of nearly 600 champagne glasses sold as part of Junior Achievement’s fund-raiser earlier this month contained the diamond. The rest had a stone that looks like a diamond.

People who bought the glasses for $20 were supposed to take them to a Reno jewelry store to determine whether they had the real thing.

But the diamond has yet to surface more than a week after the glasses were sold at a banquet. Nearly half of the glasses have been brought to the store.

”It’s beginning to look like someone has it and doesn’t know it,” said Bart Marks of Rogers Jewelers in Nevada, which donated the diamond.

Junior Achievement helps teens learn about business.