Silver Dollars & Wooden Nickels |

Silver Dollars & Wooden Nickels

The Nevada Appeal’s regular 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: “He picked up the gun and laid it right in my face … and said, ‘Do you want to die?’ And for a lack of a better answer I said, ‘No, but do you want a cup of coffee?'”

Carson Coffee owner Curt Spradley’s close encounter with a masked armed robber Jan. 31 certainly deserves a Silver Dollar for his display of coolness under fire. The robber fired a shot, which ricocheted off a desk and grazed the 76-year-old’s foot. Spradley, according to one of his employees, maintained his composure and continued to talk to the man in a calm tone ” even though the robber kept pointing his gun at Spradley’s face.

Spradley, according to his employee, reached up and moved the muzzle of the gun aside just before a second shot was fired. The man then fled.

“My wife says I have nerves of steel.”

Mrs. Spradley knows her man.

If you have information about this incident, contact Secret Witness’ anonymous tip line at 322-4900 or call the sheriff’s department at 775-887-2020, ext. 41400.

Silver dollar: Three pieces of silver go out to the trio of Carson High School senior athletes who signed national letters of intent this week to continue their playing careers in college.

Two of those ” Brandi Vega, Washington State University, and Blake Moreland, Saint Martin’s University ” will compete on the soccer pitch at the collegiate level. Softball outfielder Katie McEwan is headed to Santa Barbara City College.

Silver dollar: To the Western Nevada College softball program playing its first games in school history this week. Congratulations to the players, coaches and school. Despite a rough start, the team turned it around Friday sweeping a doubleheader from Colorado Northwestern Community College. In the first game of the doubleheader Alyson Herman tossed a five-inning perfect game for the Wildcats. Weather permitting, the Wildcats will play their first games in Carson City on Friday and Saturday. Check it out.

Silver dollar: What took us so long?! Finally, the Silver State will get its due in the realm of the creepy-crawly.

State lawmakers, back in the Capital City for the 2009 legislative session, managed to find time during a break in solving the state’s budget crisis to approve a statewide contest to select a state insect.

Fourth-graders in gifted and talented programs across the state have been invited to participate. Students will need to submit a one-page essay outlining their recommendations for our new state icon.

What really bugs us, though, is that our favorite “insect” ” the really creepy spider ” isn’t eligible because it’s technically an arachnid. How disappointing; not even a chance of a recount once all the ballots are in.