More from the Appeal Newsroom
September 19, 2007
After the publication of last week’s column, I learned two things.
One, apparently pointing out something that is true doesn’t diminish the hatred it will generate from those it pertains to and two, when that truth involves women, they will get even.
Starting this week, my column has been “selected” for a new “pilot” program that was installed on my computer at the behest of my editors.
A ceremony Friday will commemorate and honor those who were prisoners of war and are missing in action.
President George W. Bush has proclaimed Sept. 21, 2007, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. The Carson City ceremony will be 10 a.m. to noon at the Nevada Veterans Memorial Wall behind the Capitol.
The number of persons ” military and civilian ” still missing from various military action is staggering. There are more than 88,000 still unaccounted for. Over the past several years, most of the 50 states have proclaimed POW/MIA Recognition Day in conjunction with the national effort.
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During Friday’s ceremony, the Carson High School Naval Junior ROTC Color Guard will present the U.S. flag and Gov. Jim Gibbons and Mayor Marv Teixeira will present proclamations.
WHAT: POW/MIA Recognition Day
WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon Friday
WHERE: Nevada Veterans Memorial Wall, between State Capitol and Legislative Plaza
With Street Vibrations, the annual motorcycle event taking place in Reno and Virginia City kicking off today, the Nevada Highway Patrol wants to remind motorists to be aware of motorcycles on the roads of Northern Nevada.
So tips to keep in mind during Street Vibrations:
– Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say three or four seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.
– Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders, (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle’s signal is for real.
– Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of wind, road debris, and passing vehicles. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off.
– Because of its small size a motorcycle seems to be moving faster than it really is. Don’t think motorcyclists are speed demons.
– Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
– Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden by objects inside or outside a car (door posts, mirrors, passengers, bushes, fences, bridges, blind spots, etc). Take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic, whether you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections.
– Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because it can’t always stop “on a dime.”
– Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle’s better characteristics, but only at slower speeds and with good road conditions. Don’t expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.
– Carrying a passenger complicates a motorcyclist’s task. Balance is more difficult. Stopping distance is increased. Maneuverability is reduced. Predict more problems when you see two on a motorcycle, especially near intersections.
– Mirrors are smaller on a motorcycle and usually convex. This gives the motorcyclist a smaller image of you and makes you appear farther back than you actually are. Keep at least a three or four second space cushion when following a motorcyclist.
– There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don’t “recognize” a motorcycle and ignore it (usually unintentionally). Look for motorcycles, especially when checking traffic at an intersection.
– At night, single headlights and taillights on motorcycles can blend into the lights of other traffic. Those “odd” lights could be a motorcycle.
– When a motorcycle is in motion, don’t think of it as motorcycle; think of it as a person.
LAS VEGAS ” A judge set bail Wednesday at $125,000 for O.J. Simpson in the former football star’s alleged role in the armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors at a casino hotel.
Simpson stood before the judge, hands cuffed, wearing a blue jail jumpsuit as the charges were read.
He answered quietly in a hoarse voice and nodded as Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure Jr. detailed charges of kidnapping and robbery, among others, and laid out restrictions for his release.
Simpson did not enter a plea.
Unlike his arraignment in the killings of his ex-wife and a friend in 1994, when he declared he was “absolutely 100 percent not guilty,” Simpson was subdued throughout the proceeding.
“Mr. Simpson do you understand the charges against you?” the judge asked.
“Yes, sir,” Simpson said, standing between his Florida lawyer, Yale Galanter and local attorney Gabriel Grasso.
Galanter said outside court that Simpson will plead not guilty.
Simpson’s oldest daughter, Arnelle, his sister Mattie Shirley Simpson Baker and other relatives were in court for the hearing.
The judge told Simpson the conditions of release included surrender of his passport to his attorney and no contact with co-defendants or potential witnesses.
“If you see them walking down the street, you’re to cross the street,” the judge said. “You do not use any means to contact these individuals. Don’t use e-mail, telephone, mail, passenger pigeon, no, whatsoever, contact.”
Galanter said it would take up to eight hours to process Simpson’s release from custody, and Simpson would try to return to Florida, where he lives, sometime Wednesday.
“My intention is to have him leave Las Vegas as soon as possible,” Galanter said.
Simpson, 60, who was acquitted in the 1994 killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, was arrested Sunday after a collector reported a group of armed men charged into his hotel room at the Palace Station casino and took several items that Simpson claimed belonged to him.
Authorities allege the men went to the room on the pretext of brokering a deal with two longtime collectors, Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong. Fromong was later hospitalized in critical condition Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack.
Security was tight for the court appearance. Those entering the courtroom were screened by security officers and Las Vegas police using a bomb sniffing dog.
Members of the media filled virtually all of the 65 seats in the courtroom. Among those present was Marcia Clark, who unsuccessfully prosecuted Simpson for murder and is now a special correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight.”
Outside, a row of a television trucks lined the block.
Las Vegas visitors Diane Johnson, 70, and her sister, Linda Bradbury, 62, both of Nebraska, came by to see the hoopla.
“We had to see if we could see what it was all about, see if we could get a glimpse of O.J.,” said Bradbury.
According to police reports, the collectors were ordered at gunpoint to hand over several items valued at as much as $100,000. Beardsley told police that one of the men with Simpson brandished a pistol, frisked him and impersonated a police officer, and that another man pointed a gun at Fromong.
“I’m a cop and you’re lucky this ain’t L.A. or you’d be dead,” the man said, according to the report.
“One of the thugs ” that’s the best thing I can call them ” somebody blurted out ‘police!’ and they came in military style,” Beardsley said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show. “I thought it might have been law enforcement or the FBI or something because I was ordered to stand up, and I was frisked for weapons.”
“At no time did Mr. Simpson hold any type of firearm at all,” he said.
Beardsley also cast doubt on the authenticity of a recording of the confrontation made by Tom Riccio, the man who arranged the meeting between Simpson and the two collectors. Riccio reportedly sold that tape to celebrity gossip Web site TMZ.com.
“I do not believe that these tapes are accurate,” Beardsley said. He said information was missing and the recordings should be professionally analyzed.
“Simpson confronted me, saying ‘Man what’s wrong with you, you have a turn-over order, you have a turn-over order for this stuff, man,”‘ Beardsley said, but he said that part wasn’t on the tapes.
The Los Angeles Times reported that court records show Riccio has an extensive criminal history from the 1980s and ’90s, including grand larceny in Florida, possession of stolen goods in Connecticut and receiving stolen property in California. According to the newspaper, Riccio acknowledged his past in a telephone interview late Tuesday.
Riccio said he was not concerned with how his past might affect his credibility “because everything’s on tape. That’s why it’s on tape.”
He also said he had been promised some form of immunity by prosecutors.
The memorabilia taken from the hotel room included football game balls signed by Simpson, Joe Montana lithographs, baseballs autographed by Pete Rose and Duke Snider and framed awards and plaques, together valued at as much as $100,000.
Although Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in the deaths of his ex-wife and Goldman, a jury later held him liable for the killings in a wrongful death lawsuit and ordered him to pay a $33.5 million judgment. On Tuesday, a California judge gave a lawyer for Goldman’s father a week to deliver a list of items Simpson was accused of taking from the hotel room, raising the possibility that they could be sold to pay off the judgment.
“He’s ordered to pay us millions of dollars,” Goldman’s sister, Kim Goldman, said Wednesday on NBC. “If he went to Vegas to go collect on those things so we wouldn’t, there’s some irony in that.”
Kim Goldman also said she felt some satisfaction with Simpson’s arrest.
“I’m not going to lie to you, I do feel a little bit of elation to see him in handcuffs,” she said. “I hope that in some way the pressure that we put on him for the last 13 years drove him to this.”
Two other defendants, Walter Alexander, 46, and Clarence Stewart, 53, were arrested and released pending court appearances. Stewart turned in some of the missing goods and Alexander agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, authorities said. A fourth suspect, Michael McClinton, 49, of Las Vegas, surrendered to police Tuesday.
Simpson and the other three men are charged with two counts of first-degree kidnapping; two counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon; burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon; two counts of assault with a deadly weapon; conspiracy to commit kidnapping; conspiracy to commit robbery; and a misdemeanor, conspiracy to commit a crime. Simpson also faces one charge of coercion with use of a deadly weapon, a felony.
Police were seeking two other suspects, whom they had not identified.
– Gas pipeline work continues on Fairview Drive from Butti Way to Highway 50 East. Lane restrictions are in effect with controls for movement of heavy equipment.
– East Fifth Street from Saliman Road to Fairview Drive will be closed Thursday. Alternate routes include Fairview Drive and Highway 50 East.
– Due to the construction of the new Sheriff’s Administration Building, Harbin Avenue is closed to traffic between Musser and Second streets. This closure will remain in effect for the duration of the construction which is estimated to be completed in September.
A change is occurring in Northern Nevada weather. Today will be windy and mostly cloudy with scattered showers in the afternoon. Highs from 63-73. Southwest winds 10-15 mph in the afternoon increasing to 15-30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.
Tonight, breezy and mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Low in the low- to mid-40s.