Nevada touts Reno as Best Place for New Air Force Squadron
RENO — Gov. Steve Sisolak and Nevada’s entire congressional delegation are trying to persuade the Air Force to make the Nevada Air National Guard Base in Reno the home for a new regional air squadron to respond to emergencies and disasters.
Sisolak, Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen led a letter to Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett Friday touting the Nevada Air National Guard Base in Reno as the best location for the planned expansion of the Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.
They say the Reno base’s 152nd Airlift Wing is uniquely suited to house the squadron partly because of it’s proximity to the West Coast and the Airlift Wing’s experience in natural disaster and medical emergency response.
There currently are only four such units currently located west of the continental divide. They say placing the 10th unit in Reno would help mitigate the disproportionate allocation of the units in the East.
The letter notes the base is in the center of the Pacific Time Zone with 2.5-hour flight times to the West Coast or Rocky Mountains. The Air Wing played a significant role responding to wildfires in Colorado and California in 2018 and at hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico in 2017.
Reno Graffiti Tagger Accused of 581 Counts, $70,000 Damage
RENO — Reno police have arrested a 28-year-old graffiti tagger accused of causing more than $70,000 worth of property damage.
Sabastian Dulong faces 581 separate graffiti counts for damaging both public and private property.
He was arrested on New Year’s Day following a lengthy investigation by the department’s full-time detective dedicated to graffiti cases.
Police say Nevada law now allows for separate graffiti incidents to be consolidated, which elevates the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Court records show his initial court appearance is pending before Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer but they don’t list a lawyer for Dulong.
The damage has been cleaned up or painted over by the by the City of Reno Graffiti Enforcement Team.
Police are encouraging residents to report any incidents of graffiti through Reno Direct at 775-334-2099 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900.
Police Open Homicide Investigation at South Lake Tahoe
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Police at South Lake Tahoe have opened a homicide investigation in the December death of a man they didn’t originally believe was suspicious.
Officers initially concluded there was no criminal activity when they found 61-year-old Jorge Lemus Campos dead in his home on Dec. 16.
But the department said Wednesday an autopsy conducted by the Sacramento County Medical Examiner found he had suffered blood loss resulting from blunt force trauma.
Police say they don’t believe there is any current threat to the community. No other details have been released.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the South Lake Tahoe Police Department Detective Division at 530-542-6100 or Lake Tahoe Secret Witness at 530-541-6800.
Reno Woman Arrested in Fatal Pedestrian Hit-and-Run Accident
RENO — Reno police have arrested a 52-year-old woman accused of fleeing the scene of an accident in an SUV after she hit and killed a pedestrian south of downtown.
Police tracked down 52-year-old Karen Hoyopatubbi about six hours after she allegedly struck a man crossing a street near Moana and South Virginia Street at about 5:15 p.m. Thursday.
She was being held Friday at the Washoe County Jail without bail after she was booked on charges including hit-and-run causing death and driving on a suspended license.
Two other people were arrested on unrelated charges during the course of the investigation — one for DUI and one on drug charges.
Police say the pedestrian was in or near the crosswalk when the northbound SUV turned onto Moana Lane and struck him. The intersection was closed for nearly five hours.
At about 11:15 p.m., the SUV was spotted several blocks away — a gray, 1998, Jeep Cherokee with a distinctive red, rear gate.
Police arrested 54-year-old John Stewart of Reno for DUI but determined he was not driving at the time of the fatal crash.
They also arrested 27-year-old Shawnie Ballestad for obstructing and resisting and possession of methamphetamine.
Jail records don’t list lawyers for any of the suspects.
Pickering Replaces Gibbons as State High Court Chief Justice
CARSON CITY — Nevada has a new state Supreme Court chief justice.
Kristina Pickering took over the position Monday from Justice Mark Gibbons, with plans to serve a oneyear term as administrative head of the seven-member court and the Nevada legal system.
Pickering was elected to the state high court in 2008 and has filed for re-election to a third six-year term. She also served as chief justice in 2013.
Gibbons is ending his third stint as chief justice and his third term on the court. He announced in November he won’t seek a fourth term.
Gibbons represented the court at the Nevada Legislature and gave a State of the Judiciary address to lawmakers last March in Carson City.
Gibbons and Pickering co-chaired revisions last year to Nevada courts’ Rules of Civil Procedure.