Las Vegas Sun

September 20, 2017

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Ed Koch

Story Archive

Lifelong Las Vegan turned card counting into security job
Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012
With her long, flowing brown hair, ice blue eyes and curvy figure clad in hip huggers and a halter top, Patti Kunkel pulled the wool over every casino pit boss’s eyes and became a premier blackjack card counter around town.
Former attorney remembered as 'liberal conscience of Nevada'
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Ralph Denton could trace his liberal Democratic Party roots back more than 100 years to populist politician William Jennings Bryan, who in his time was the standard bearer of American liberalism.
A push to get roller derby back on track
Veterans trying to pique young interests
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Old-time roller derby is back in Las Vegas, the latest stop in its effort to return the sport to its glory days — or at least help stave off extinction.
With rosters laden with aging skaters, a struggle to find and train young talent, the lack of a major television contract to bring the game to the masses and money issues, it figures to be a bumpy road ahead for the banked-track spectacle.
Rene O'Reilly, former Clark County Mother of the Year, dies at 66
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Rene E. O’Reilly, the 2001 Clark County Mother of the Year for Civic Service, died June 14 following a lengthy battle against lung and neck cancer. She was 66.
As police chief, Ray Sheffer improved training, later worked on the Strip and prompted the use of AC in cabs
Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012
Ray Sheffer, who started the first police academy in the valley when he served as the Las Vegas police chief, was one of several local government officials who helped end segregation of Strip hotels, ran security for the Desert Inn and prompted the use of air conditioners in cabs, has died at age 87.

Reporter recalls following Muhammad Ali as boxer found 'more to life'
In honor of sports icon's upcoming birthday celebration, former Sun reporter recalls his interactions with 'The Greatest'
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012
I interviewed Ali about a half-dozen times between 1980 and 2000. Away from the TV cameras, Ali was a soft-spoken gentleman who could be downright philosophical — nothing like the loudmouth showman the public saw during his long and illustrious career.
Retiree rubbed elbows with Sinatra, 'the boys' in the mob
Longtime maitre d' and friend of the famous turns 90
Friday, Jan. 20, 2012
When Italian immigrant Emilio Muscelli came to Las Vegas to work as a showroom maitre d’ 60 years ago, he had no idea he was giving himself one of the best seats in the house to watch the meteoric growth of the tiny desert city.
Former prize fighter boxed in
Willie "Cannon" Shannon charged in 1981 murder of Las Vegas woman
Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010
During Las Vegas boxing’s heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Willie “The Cannon” Shannon, a tall, lanky, good-looking heavyweight hopeful, swaggered onto the scene and made a splash. Shannon fit the bill of the boxer in the “Rocky” films of that era — the down-and-outer who sought redemption through his fighting and eventually won the love of the public while regaining his self-respect and self-worth.
Former county DA George Foley Sr. made Nevada ‘a better place’
Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010
While his father and four brothers practiced law in Southern Nevada, George Foley Sr. shunned the family business for a somewhat lucrative career as a Las Vegas bellhop.
'Walking Through Walls': A local recalls her triumph over mental illness
Monday, Sept. 20, 2010
Over the course of many years and many false hopes, Two Lenz has found her way to recovery and telling the world in her autobiography.
Lost and found: A local recalls her triumph over mental illness
Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010
Over the course of many years and many false hopes, Two Lenz has found her way to recovery and telling the world in her autobiography.
Modeling pioneer thrived as teacher, entrepreneur
Friday, July 9, 2010
When retired fashion model Bernie Lenz went to Southern Nevada’s public junior and senior high schools in the 1960s and ’70s and spoke to girls about possible careers in the fashion industry, drumming up business for her modeling school was not her only goal.
Sun publisher, family matriarch Barbara Greenspun dies at 88
Her steady influence a perfect complement to husband’s crusades
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
In 1950, when Hank Greenspun purchased the fledgling newspaper he would turn into the daily Las Vegas Sun, his wife, Barbara, was more than just a little bit concerned with his decision and his timing. “I said, ‘Oh no, not a newspaper — not with all that we have on our plate,’ ” she recalled 50 years later. “He put $1,000 down to buy it, and we didn’t have $1,000 back then. We didn’t have any money.”
Death of a Sales Woman
Busty entertainer Annie Ample strived for fame, attained it, then shunned it and died in utter obscurity
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Busty entertainer Annie Ample strived for fame, attained it, then shunned it and died in utter obscurity.
Brash huckster and visionary builder Bob Stupak dies at 67
One of a kind made his mark as gambler, developer of Vegas World, Stratosphere
Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009
Bob Stupak was the ultimate Las Vegas gambler and huckster, always pushing the envelope if it would bring him publicity. Always the independent, he was more aggravating than charming, but always a topic of conversation, which pleased him. He died Friday after a long battle with leukemia.
Bob Stupak, builder of Stratosphere and Vegas World, dies at 67
Friday, Sept. 25, 2009
Bob Stupak, a Las Vegas legend who developed the Stratosphere and called himself the Polish Maverick, died today at Desert Springs Hospital after a long illness. He was 67. After an unconventional boyhood in Pittsburgh he came to Las Vegas, where he survived a motorcycle crash and sparred with gaming regulators. In his early days, Stupak delved into pop music and motorcycle drag racing before he began selling coupon books.
Doctor’s influence reaches into many Vegas hospitals
Air Force physician helped train a generation of medical professionals in the desert
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
When Dr. Joseph Rojas arrived at Nellis Air Force Base, his plan was to return with his family to his native Louisiana to start a private obstetrics and gynecology practice when his hitch was up.

Gaming trailblazer had ‘big Texas heart’
State’s first female casino owner, champion of child welfare, education, dies
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Throughout her storied gaming career, which began when she was a 15-year-old waitress in a Texas gambling house owned by legendary casino boss Benny Binion, Claudine Williams had the golden touch.
Mob-era gambling boss was ‘Old Vegas’
Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008
With the heart attack-related death Monday of Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal , 79, at his Boca Raton, Fla., home, the book may finally be closed on one of the most colorful periods — and people — in Las Vegas history.
100 years of service
St. Joan of Arc celebrates distinction as oldest Catholic church and parish in Las Vegas
Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008
The parish of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church celebrates its 100th birthday today, a milestone that its pastor, the Rev. Timothy Wehn, credits to the “continuity of faith” displayed by parishioners, tourists and the homeless, and the stable leadership of a devoted clergy.
Desert Inn, Stardust chief helped integrate Las Vegas Strip
Monday, Sept. 1, 2008
When black U.S. diplomat and 1950 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Ralph Bunche visited Las Vegas during the height of Strip hotel segregation in the 1950s, Desert Inn Managing Director Allard Roen not only got Bunche a room at the resort but also safely escorted him to it.
Sister of Sun founder a hat designer, singer, philanthropist, dynamo
Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008
When Alice Goldberg came to work as a receptionist and operator for the Las Vegas Sun in 1955, the feisty transplanted New Yorker saw her duties as much more than greeting customers and answering phones.
His was the influence that backed Hughes’ cash
Former spy brokered big deals that led to mob’s exit
Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008
On his deathbed, Robert Maheu reminisced with his longtime friend Gordie Margulis about several moments in his life, but perhaps none as poignant as what happened on April 16, 1961, the night before the doomed invasion of Cuba.
Vegas TV pioneer, newsman, historian Stoldal retiring
Dedication to accuracy will keep him busy correcting government Web sites
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Bob Stoldal, top news executive for KLAS-TV Channel 8, is retiring from the station June 30 after 36 years there. But he’s not retiring from facts. He’s launching a crusade to go after one of the big producers of Web site inaccuracies: the U.S. government.
How Vegas became a city like no other
Mix mobsters, visionaries and stars with desert, add decades
Sunday, May 18, 2008
For what was for so long a small town, Las Vegas always has been about big things. The gangsters and the gaming pioneers were larger than life. The entertainers were the biggest and the brightest of stars. Even the bombs were huge, as towering mushroom clouds from aboveground atomic testing in the 1950s were as iconic as the flickering neon and the stretch of skyscraper resorts that would become the signatures of this desert oasis.
The highs and lows of the World Series of Poker
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Throughout the final day’s play at the 1997 World Series of Poker, Stu Ungar periodically reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a photo of his daughter, Stefanie. Through his familiar blue-lensed granny glasses, he stared at the teen’s portrait and smiled before tucking it back into his shirt pocket — close to his heart — and playing his hand.
Bill that transformed a city
Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Wide Open Gambling Bill of 1931 was the cornerstone on which Las Vegas’ economy was built.

'Eighth Wonder of the World'
Workers suffered hardships, death to build historic Hoover Dam
Thursday, May 15, 2008

Each year, about 10 million people visit Hoover Dam.

Although most are awed by its sweeping architectural design and impressive size, not many are aware of the hardships endured by those who, from 1931 to 1935, built what was then the nation’s highest dam and costliest water project.

Conscience of the community
Sun founder Hank Greenspun fought for little guy; left lasting legacy
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Where in the world was Hank Greenspun?
'Bugsy' Siegel - The mob's man in Vegas
Siegel left his mark and myth in Sin City
Thursday, May 15, 2008
In builder Del Webb’s storied career, he was never more nervous than when he was general contractor for the construction of the Flamingo Hotel.
Mob Ties
Thursday, May 15, 2008
They were law enforcement’s pests and the casino industry’s parasites, arriving in Las Vegas as the feds cracked down on gambling coast to coast. They were the mob — gangsters, hoodlums, thieves, small men — Las Vegas’ founding fathers. Their influence locally lasted about half a century, although their impact on those formative years will forever be threaded into the tapestry of Las Vegas’ lore and history.
Showtime: How Sin City evolved into 'The Entertainment Capital of the World'
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Before central air conditioning and eye-catching neon lights, the Las Vegas Strip entertainment scene started in the western-themed El Rancho Vegas, a motor lodge located on Highway 91.
The many colors of Mayor Oscar Goodman
Thursday, May 15, 2008

He touted the benefits of drinking gin to a fourth-grade class, recommended that graffiti taggers have their thumbs cut off and suggested that brothels would be one solution to revitalizing a run-down Fremont Street.

That’s our quirky Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Wayne Newton owned the Strip
'Mr. Las Vegas' will go down as entertainer, but also owned the Aladdin
Thursday, May 15, 2008

In 1980, Wayne Newton, affectionately known as “Mr. Las Vegas,” got a taste of what Frank Sinatra had experienced for much of his life — accusations of mob association.

World Series of Poker
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008
Throughout the final day’s play at the 1997 World Series of Poker, Stu Ungar periodically reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a photo of his daughter, Stefanie.
Edward H. Kopf: 1924 2007
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007
In the autumn of his storied career as one of Las Vegas' leading plastic surgeons, Dr. Ed Kopf in the late 1980s would enlist a crew of local nurses and doctors to fly to poverty-striken villages throughout Mexico.
ROBERT GOULET: 1933 - 2007
'Camelot' baritone, Vegas headliner was arts advocate
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007
Goulet died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was sent Oct. 13 from Las Vegas for an emergency lung transplant after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.
G.T. SHIRES, 1925-2007
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007
Dr. G. Thomas Shires did not have time to think about making history. He was too busy trying to repair damage done by bullets that had ripped into the flesh and organs of Texas Gov. John B. Connally Jr., and presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
Fire victims, a deal waits in Vegas
Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007
Fire victims, a deal waits in Vegas
Victor David Wood: 1923-2007
Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007
Victor Wood was crusading for computers in Clark County schools when Microsoft founder Bill Gates was a 13-year-old student trying to master an old Teletype terminal.
CAPERS ADAM: 1932-2007
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2007
While preparing to host a fundraising gala to build a Southern Nevada children's shelter in 1966, the Rev. Jack Adam fretted that charging $25 per seat might scare off potential patrons.
She tells it her way
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007
Frank Sinatra liked to spoon with her, and other Rat Packers also enjoyed her company in the bedroom.
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007
Born: Nov. 26, 1935, Duenweg , Mo.
Scholarly diplomat's mind, with a Mideast focus
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might have been in New York City this week to speak to students at Columbia University and to address delegates at the United Nations, but the real audience he was trying to reach was in the Middle East.
Shot at immortality for WWII vets
Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007
Of the more that 16 million U.S. military members who fought in World War II only about 3 million are still alive.
DiDi Carson: 1928-2007
Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007
DiDi Carson was not afraid to champion less-than-popular causes if she thought they would benefit the Democratic Party.
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007
Click here for a printable graphic.
Too bright for Vegas? Clark County thinks on it
Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007
Soldier from LV dies of self-inflicted gunshot
Friday, Aug. 31, 2007
He took antidepressants before returning to Iraq
Alex Shoofey: 1916-2007
Friday, Aug. 31, 2007
The day after Elvis Presley opened at Las Vegas' Hotel International in 1969, the resort's president, Alex Shoofey, was in the showroom having a cup of coffee with Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

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