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Chamber's Casino Night winners

Prize winners from the Elko Area Chamber’s annual Christmas Party/Casino Night have been announced.

Daniel Cervantes had the most chips in his hand and was declared the winner of Casino Night. He was presented with $250 in Chamber Checks.

The Hors de’ Oeuvre challenge included contestants from Gold Dust West, Hilton Garden Inn, Silver Haze BBQ, and Tomato’s Italian Grill. It was a very close race, but Kevin and Italia Babcock, owners of Silver Haze BBQ, came out on top and have bragging rights for the next year.


Casino Night winner: Daniel Cervantes 


Wednesday, Jan. 3

Today is the third day of 2018 and the 14th day of winter.

TODAY’S HISTORY: In 1777, Revolutionary forces under the command of George Washington defeated the British at Princeton, New Jersey.

In 1947, a session of Congress was televised for the first time to viewers in three East Coast cities.

In 1959, Alaska was admitted as the 49th state.

In 1993, President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS: Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), women’s rights pioneer; J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), author; Victor Borge (1909-2000), comedian/pianist; Hank Stram (1923-2005), football coach; Sergio Leone (1929-1989), director; Robert Loggia (1930-2015), actor; Glen A. Larson (1937-2014), TV producer/writer; Victoria Principal (1950- ), actress; Mel Gibson (1956- ), actor/director; Michael Schumacher (1969- ), race car driver; Danica McKellar (1975- ), actress; Eli Manning (1981- ), football player.

TODAY’S FACT: C-SPAN was launched in 1979 to “provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the U.S. House of Representatives.” C-SPAN2, covering the Senate, was launched in 1986.

TODAY’S SPORTS: In 1983, Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett set an NFL record that still stands by running 99 yards from scrimmage for a touchdown.

California fails to launch marijuana-sales tracking system

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s legal pot economy was supposed to operate under the umbrella of a vast computerized system to track marijuana from seed to storefronts, ensuring that plants are followed throughout the supply chain and don’t drift into the black market.

But recreational cannabis sales began this week without the computer system. Instead, businesses are being asked to document sales and transfers of pot manually, using paper invoices or shipping manifests. That raises the potential that an unknown amount of weed will continue slipping into the illicit market, as it has for years.

For the moment, “you are looking at pieces of paper and self-reporting. A lot of these regulations are not being enforced right now,” said Jerred Kiloh, a Los Angeles dispensary owner who heads the United Cannabis Business Association, an industry group.

The delay of the tracking system is just one sign of the daunting task facing the nation’s most populous state as it attempts to transform its long-standing medicinal and illegal marijuana markets into a multibillion-dollar regulated system. Not since the end of Prohibition in 1933 has such an expansive illegal economy been reshaped into a legal one.

So far, it’s been an unsteady start.

The state Department of Food and Agriculture, which is overseeing the tracking system, expected it to be functional for the first legal sales on Jan. 1. Now it could take months before the system launches.

Business licenses issued to growers, distributors and sellers are temporary and will need to be redone or extended later this year. Much of the state is blacked out from recreational sales because of the scarcity of licenses and because some local governments banned commercial pot activity.

“There are a lot of things inside the law that are transitional. I don’t think it’s as rigid as people want it to sound,” Kiloh said.

Another risk is that some consumers might stay in the black market to avoid sticker shock from hefty taxes. And there are concerns that a new distribution system will fail to get cannabis to shelves once current stockpiles run out, possibly in weeks.

Cathy Bliss at Mankind Cooperative in San Diego said the store did not have as much pot in stock as it would have liked.

Charles Boldwyn, chief compliance officer of ShowGrow in Santa Ana, which opened to customers Monday, said the relatively small number of licenses issued so far could create a bottleneck, cutting off pot from stores selling it.

“The biggest hurdle we see, right out of the gate, is that starting today our access to product is limited,” Boldwyn said.

The tracking system is part of the state’s maze of rules and regulations intended to govern the emerging $7 billion pot economy, the nation’s largest. They range from where cannabis can be grown and smoked to environmental safeguards for streams near marijuana fields.

According to state law, the tracking system will provide “data points for the different stages of commercial activity, including, but not limited to, cultivation, harvest, processing, distribution, inventory and sale.”

The expanded legal sales could offer a rich payoff for the state treasury. California expects to pull in $1 billion annually in taxes within several years.

Nevada News in Brief

$58M freeway enhancement planned

NORTH LAS VEGAS (AP) — Construction soon will begin on a $58 million freeway project in North Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Sun reports officials say the Interstate 15-Garnet Interchange project, which will begin taking shape next month, will improve safety and enhance mobility for both Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 93.

Upgrading an existing interchange that was built in 1963 is part of the plans.

The project also includes plans to widen U.S. Highway 93 from a two-lane highway to a four-lane divided highway for five miles.

Other work consists of reconstructing a frontage road along Apex Industrial Park with improved access points and enhanced intersections. Part of the project also includes prepping Interstate 15 for future a widening to six lanes in the area.

The project should be completed by late 2018.

‘Negligent’ discharge of police rifle injures man

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Police in Las Vegas say a man suffered a minor injury after the rifle of an officer on the Las Vegas Strip discharged following the New Year’s Eve festivities.

Officer Laura Meltzer says the officer was moving barricades around 1:19 a.m. Monday near the Monte Carlo casino-hotel when he had a “negligent discharge.”

Meltzer says the man was hit in the calf and refused medical treatment. She says two other people indicated they had been struck by something, but they had no visible injuries.

Meltzer says the situation is under investigation. She did not know whether the officer had been placed on leave, but said that is not typical in negligent discharge incidents.

She adds officers who carry rifles undergo special training in addition to the required quarterly firearms education.


Hors de' Oeuvre Challenge winner: Silver Haze BBQ, Kevin and Italia Babcock