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With a Little Help From Her Friends, Jacky Collazo Wins La Voz Vote!!!

Posted on 26 April 2015 by Howard Copelan

Jacqueline Collazo

Jacqueline Collazo

1,530,628 votes Wendover’s own Jacky Collazo finished in first place to stay on la Voz Kids the international Spanish Language singing contest.

Produced by the  American Spanish-language network Telemundo  La Voz Kids features contestants, ages 7 to 15. Prizes include $50,000 cash for their education and a recording contract with Universal Music Group.

Collazo was one of thousands of hopefuls to win an audition  and to progress to the second round.

S&R AUTO 4-23-15Voting which ended Saturday determined if the young West Wendover High School freshman made it to the next round.

As of press time Wednesday night Jacqueline was in a distant third place according to the program’s web page. But since her story appeared Thursday morning both on line and on the street in the High Desert Advocate her number surged and carried her to first place as of Friday afternoon.

wrecteam“A lot of anglos simply didn’t even know that a Wendover girl was in this competition,” said Jamey Richards, one of the lead organizers for Jacky. “But once they found out it was an avalanche of support. We take care of our own from Wendover.”

According to the program’s website Collazo’s support was both wide and deep. While the epicenter of Collazo quake was certainly centered in Wendover votes from as far away as Zacatecas, Mexico and Israel were recorded for Collazo.


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Local Girl Needs Votes To Stay On The Voice

Posted on 24 April 2015 by Howard Copelan

Jacqueline Collazo

Jacqueline Collazo

A 15 year old Wendover girl needs her home town’s help in progressing to the next stage of La Voz Kids singing competition.

Jacqueline Collazo stunned the audience and the judges in the first round of La Voz Kids singing contest. cut and paste link to see audition:

LC Ad-HDAProduced by the  American Spanish-language network Telemundo  La Voz Kids features contestants, ages 7 to 15. Prizes include $50,000 cash for their education and a recording contract with Universal Music Group.

Collazo was one of thousands of hopefuls to win an audition  and to progress to the second round.

Voting which ends Saturday will determine if the young West Wendover High School freshman will make it to the next round.

As of press time Wednesday night Jacqueline was in third place according to the program’s web page. But since her story appeared Thursday morning both on line and on the street in the High Desert Advocate her number surged and carried her to first place as of Friday afternoon.

S&R AUTO 4-23-15To vote for Jacqueline copy and paste this link:

Or click on her button ad at the top left corner of the High Desert Advocate’s web site

Multiple voting is encourage by the contest rules.

Jacqueline is the oldest of four siblings and is the daughter of Veronica Villa.She was bvorn and raised in Wendover.

The Voice is a reality television singing competition franchise. It is based on the reality singing competition The Voice of Holland, which was originally created by Dutch television producer John de Mol. Many other countries have adapted the format and began airing their own versions since 2011. It has become a rival to the Idols franchise, and The X Factor.

wrecteamContestants are aspiring singers drawn from public auditions. The show’s format features four stages of competition. The first is the blind auditions, in which the four coaches, all noteworthy recording artists, listen to the contestants in chairs facing opposite the stage so as to avoid seeing them. If a coach likes what they hear from that contestant, they press a button to rotate their chairs to signify that they are interested in working with that contestant. If more than one coach presses their button, the contestant chooses the coach he or she wants to work with. The blind auditions end when each coach has a set number of contestants to work with. 

Coaches will dedicate themselves to developing their singers mentally, musically and in some cases physically, giving them advice, and sharing the secrets of their success.

The contestants who successfully pass the blind auditions proceed to the battle rounds, where the coaches put two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together in front of a studio audience. After the vocal face-off, the coach must choose only one to advance. If no specific winner can be identified the competition turns to a game of fate via a coin toss. In some versions, there are steals where opposing coaches can steal a contestant who was voted off by their own coach by pressing their button. As in the blind auditions, if more than one coach presses their button, the contestant chooses which coach they want. Each coach has a set number of steals (usually one or two).

concertIn some versions, the winners of the battle rounds proceed to the knockout rounds. As in the battle rounds, coaches pit two of their own team members to compete against each other. This time, the contestants choose their own song to perform individually while the other watches and waits. After that, the coach chooses one to advance while the other is sent home. At the end of the knockout rounds, the strongest members of each coach’s roster proceed to the live stage shows. In this final performance phase of the competition, the top contestants from each team compete against each other during a live broadcast. The television audience vote to save one contestant on each team, leaving the coach to decide on live television who they want to save and who will not move on. In the next round, the public chooses between the two artists left on each team, and the coach also has a vote that weighs equally with the public vote.

Finally, each coach will have his/her best contestant left standing to compete in the finals, singing an original song. From these four, one will be named “The Voice”—and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract.

centraIn some versions, all contestants perform each week and only the public’s vote determines which contestants advance in the competition, a format similar to both Idol and The X Factor. This means that any contestant can be eliminated and no coach is guaranteed a spot in the finals.

One of the cornerstones of The Voice format is the social media participation via Twitter, Facebook and the especially designed platform “connect.” Users are able to log in via their Facebook account and retrieve background information about the show. The platform also offers the possibility to stream the show online as well as to vote, interact with friends and to discuss various topics and questions asked by the producers throughout the show.

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New Long Canyon Mine Begins Hiring

Posted on 24 April 2015 by Howard Copelan


Hiring for the Long Canyon Mine has begun!!!

In full page ads published this week Newmont mining announced about 30 one positions for the new mine located 29 miles west of Wendover and 30 miles east of Wells.

project According to the Newmont website the Long Canyon mine is now listed which means could be accepting applications for the Long Canyon project soon.

On January 9th the Long Canyon Mine project made is long awaited appearance in the Federal Register. Its appearance is the last step between the permitting phase and the construction phase of the mine.

Expected to take two years to build the initial project mine construction is expected to employ between 300 and 500 workers.

wrecteamTwo weeks ago Long Canyon Mine project cleared its final hurdle to begin construction with Bureau of Land Management issuing its Record of Decision. The decision allows the mining operator to construct and operate a new heap leach gold mine that would consist of one open pit, one heap leach pad, a waste rock storage facility, a tailings storage facility, a natural gas pipeline from the existing Ruby Pipeline, on-site power generation plant and other ancillary facilities.  The associated disturbance would be approximately 1, 707 acres of public land, including 480 acres of split estate lands of federal surface and private subsurface.

According to a Newmont press release the first phase of development consists of an open pit mine and heap leach operation with expected gold production of between 100,000 and 150,000 ounces per year over an eight year mine life at an estimated all-in sustaining cost of between $500 and $600 per ounce. At current gold prices, the project is expected to generate around $100 million in EBITDAii annually, beginning in 2017.

concert“Taking a phased approach to developing Long Canyon gave us the means to lower development capital to between $250 million and $300 million; generate an internal rate of return of about 17 percent at current gold prices; and reduce the payback period to just over four years after first commercial production, which we expect to reach in the first half of 2017. “I’m confident that we have the engineering, ore body knowledge and community agreements in place to deliver this project safely, on time and on budget,” said Gary Goldberg, President and Chief Executive Officer.

The project will be funded through free cash flow and available cash balances, and leverage Newmont’s existing equipment, infrastructure and personnel. Capital expenditures will be allocated roughly equally in 2015 and 2016, with minimal spending in 2017.

click link for Newmont Notes:WEN04242015A12

Already the mine’s impact has been felt albeit slightly in both Wendover and Wells.

“We have seen some impact already,” said Wells Mayor Layla Walz. “Most of the vacant real estate has been bought. And there has been a noticeable increase of interest by businesses in locating to Wells.”

Walz’ observations were echoed by Wells City manager Jolene Supp, West Wendover City Clerk Anna Bartlome and Wendover,Utah Mayor Mike Crawford. All stated that their respective towns had seen an economic bump in the last six to nine months.

Everyone but Crawford attributed the upswing to the new mine.

centra“Right now we are seeing the impact of the smaller mining projects to the south,” Crawford said Wednesday. “We will probably see much more of an impact later on when the construction starts. But I believe Wells could benefit first then Wendover.”

For both Wendover and Wells the impact of this new economic power house could have far reaching impacts. Wendover which is dominated by the gaming industry could see a worker shortage as employees are lured away by higher wages and benefits offered by the mine.

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Beloved Band Teacher, Patty Eklund Retires

Posted on 24 April 2015 by Howard Copelan

Patty Eklund

Patty Eklund

West Wendover first and only band and choral director, Patty Eklund announced she would be retiring after 19 years of bring the love of music to the Nevada/Utah border town.

wrecteam“It has been an emotional few days here, in Wolverine Land, as I announced that I will be leaving WWHS at the end of this school year! I am going to be moving to my hometown of Minot, North Dakota, and will be helping my parents out with their businesses as a bookkeeper, and I will sub once in a while when I can in the Minot district, and teach piano lessons. As life progresses, and people age, it is getting harder to be so far away from my family. I am extremely sad to leave, but very excited to be with my family. And, as I told the kids when we were all crying, “If I stay here any longer, I am going to becoming a single Cat Lady, and I don’t like cats!” They laughed, but it is true! HA!

S&R AUTO 4-23-15This is really hard for me, and was exceptionally hard on Friday as I started to tell my students. I didn’t really realize that I had affected so many kids, so that made me even sadder, after seeing their reactions. I grew up participating in music and I have been able to share my love with the kids over the past 19 years at WWHS.

Thank you, to all who have supported me and my music program, and our Wolverine students over the past 19 years. I love you all, and really do appreciate everything!

May 20th, at 6PM, at the Concert Hall, will be my final music concert as a teacher, and my final concert with my Wolverine Musicians. Please come and support us, if you can! I am not sure if there are going to be many dry eyes, but I apologize in advance for that, if you can attend!

LC Ad-HDAMr. Kyllonen will be working hard to find a replacement music teacher for me, so the music program will carry on! Some of my kids thought it was going to be the end, and that is not the case!

I will be back for Homecoming next year, and any casino flights from, that I can get on. So, you will see my face around!”

Eklund belongs to an ever decreasing number of the original teaching corps that came to West Wendover with the opening of West Wendover High School in 1996.


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BBQ Stand Wins Liquor License

Posted on 24 April 2015 by Howard Copelan

Jeff Dunham

Jeff Dunham

I The West Wendover City council approved a liquor license for the Speedway Station BBQ Restaurant in a unanimous vote Tuesday.

Earlier this year the council denied  liquor license to owner Jeff Dunham because of two misdemeanor convictions of more than a decade ago.

Carolyn Santillanez. Dunham girlfriend re-applied for the liquor license in her own name and was granted it.

click for Newmont Notes


“I believed that Mr. Dunham deserved a second chance,” said Councilwoman Jasie Holm. Holm along with Izzy Gutierrez voted for Dunham to serve liquor at his newly open barbecue restaurant. Holm and  Gutierrez were out numbered by Councilmen John Hansen, Jerry Andersen and Nick Flores.

The council were evidently swayed by a background check by West Wendover Police Chief Burdel Welsh.

According to Councilwoman Holm, Dunham had an arrest for marijuana possession and one arrest for DUI.

wrecteam“They were both over 10 years ago,” Holm said. “Mr. Dunham has been in Wendover since 2002. He has never been arrested in Wendover and he has held responsible positions in the local casino industry. I really don’t understand why they denied him a license.”

Dunham had been waiting for the city approval of his liquor license before he opened officially.

“We’ll be open tomorrow at Noon till 9pm and will run thru Sunday,” he said a month ago. “We will stay with the 4 day schedule until our liquor license is approved, then we’ll be open 7 days a week.

We feature many BBQ and Smoker specialties, Pulled Pork and Ribs, Grilled Chicken, Flank Steak and Smoked Turkey Breast.  Sides this weekend are Bacon Cheesy Mac, Au Gratin Potatoes, baked beans and our homemade Cornbread.

Our menu will change often, think of it as a summer cookout, served take out style…I’ve spent most of my adult life in computer sales/consulting and the food and beverage industry.  I’ve always enjoyed playing poker, so I moved to West Wendover in 2002 to pursue a career in the casino business.

centra“I took a position as a restaurant supervisor at the Rainbow and spent the next year and a half working my way into the poker room.” Dunham wrote in a previous email from last year. “ I’ve spent the last decade since working as a dealer and supervisor at the Rainbow, Montego Bay and Wendover Nugget while pursuing many travel opportunities in the business, working for Card Player Cruises, Ante Up Magazine, and at WSOP and WPT events all over the world.  In my almost 12 years here in West Wendover I have sprouted roots and consider this my hometown.  I am currently the Poker Room Manager at the Wendover Nugget.  My goal is to see West Wendover continue to grow and to keep this a place that my kids and I are proud to call home.”

LC Ad-HDAWhile the two convictions could have been taken in consideration they should have not meant the complete denial of the permit.

“We as a council could have put a lot of conditions,” Holm added. “Like putting him on probation for a year or making him re-up after 18 month. It didn’t have to be this way.”

The ability of a restaurant to be able to serve beer, wine and spirits is often crucial to its success. Especially for a BBQ joint where a plate of ribs is best followed by a long cold beer.

S&R AUTO 4-23-15

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WWHS Artists Win Scholarships & Respect

Posted on 24 April 2015 by Howard Copelan

Taylor M


For the second year in a row West Wendover High School won two of the three $1000 scholarships offered to all of Elko County High School seniors by the Elko County Art Club.  The two winners are Macario Mendoza and Taylor Moore (above).  Three other W.W.H.S. students participated and made the competition very competitive. They were David Ceballos, Martin Rodriguez, and Adriana Villarreal.  Their works are published below:

S&R AUTO 4-23-15

Macario M


Adriana V


David C.

Martin R.

click for Newmont NotesWEN04242015A12Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 9.57.49 AM

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Local Girl Needs Your Vote In National Singing Contest

Posted on 22 April 2015 by Howard Copelan

Jacqueline Collazo

Jacqueline Collazo

A 15 year old Wendover girl needs her home town’s help in progressing to the next stage of La Voz Kids singing competition.

Jacqueline Collazo stunned the audience and the judges in the first round of La Voz Kids singing contest. cut and paste link to see audition:

Produced by the  American Spanish-language network Telemundo  La Voz Kids features contestants, ages 7 to 15. Prizes include $50,000 cash for their education and a recording contract with Universal Music Group.

Collazo was one of thousands of hopefuls to win an audition  and to progress to the second round.

Voting which ends Saturday will determine if the young West Wendover High School freshman will make it to the next round.

She is currently in third place according to the program,s web page.

To vote for Jacqueline copy and paste this link:

Or click on her button ad at the top left of this page.

Multiple voting is encourage by the contest rules.

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Brutal Winds Toss Semis, Snap Power Lines, Tear Buildings In Massive Great Basin Spring Storm

Posted on 16 April 2015 by Howard Copelan

Wendover Police Firemen and EMT’s rush to the aid of a truck driver.

Wendover Police Firemen and EMT’s rush to the aid of a truck driver.

High winds were the culprits in power failures, phone and internet outages and thousands of dollars in moderate damages and road closures Tuesday throughout much of northeastern Nevada and eastern Utah.

WREC linemen repair down lines below Ely wind damage.

WREC linemen repair down lines below Ely wind damage.

Part and parcel of an early spring storm the winds swept across the region with gust measured around 60 to 70 miles per hour. While the ind speed was noted what was truly unusual about Tuesdays storm was of it size covering most of the Great Basin from southern Nevada and Utah into Idaho and Wyoming.

The storm came on the heels of earlier wintry blast the blanketed much of region in a dusting of snow. But the earlier spring storm packed none of the punch of Tuesday blow out. Semi trucks were tossed around like children’s toys in the gusts.

Strong winds gusting over 70 mph triggered deadly accidents Tuesday in Nevada and Utah, including a 17-vehicle pileup that killed one person and injured at least 16 others, authorities said.

wind3According to West Wendover Police reports at just before 1:00 pm s a semi truck was traveling east bound on Interstate 80 at mile marker 408 when a strong gust of wind caught the trailer nearly tipping the semi over on the freeway. The semi tractor and trailer instead traveled off the south edge of the freeway through the desert towards Wendover Boulevard. As the semi traveled south through the desert it went through a fence and overturned onto Wendover Boulevard coming to rest on its side, blocking travel lanes in both directions. The semi was being driven by Luis Buenaventura of Ogden Utah. No other vehicles were involved and no other passengers were in the semi during this incident.

wrecteamWendover Boulevard was closed for about 2.5 hours while crews cleared the semi from the roadway. Buenaventura was taken to the Northern Nevada Regional Hospital in Elko Nevada for treatment. Injuries observed at the scene included some bumps and bruises. The semi trailer was empty, which was a factor in the wind being able to blow the semi off the interstate.

Pilot travel-Arbys 4-17-15While the Wendover crash was the ,lost spectacular it was not alone. After two truck were blown over in Utah, Interstate 80 from Lake Point to Wendover was shut down to all high profile vehicles.

As winds whipped across the Salt Flats with enough velocity to snap light poles in half on Tuesday, Wells Rural Electric Co. (WREC) line crews in Wendover worked diligently through challenging conditions to repair damaged equipment and restore electricity in a timely manner.

centraOutages in the Wendover community were first reported just after 2 p.m. to WREC’s Outage Dispatch Center. With several outages reported in the area and throughout WREC’s service territory, WREC’s crews went to work quickly identifying the issues and then restoring electricity. Power was back on for approximately 90 percent of WREC owners in the Wendover community by 5 p.m. after crews identified and replaced several broken wires. After restoring power in Wendover, crews moved out onto the Salt Flats to resolve the remaining outages in the area.

While power outages are part of doing business in the electricity industry, Tuesday’s efforts were just the latest example of WREC’s culture of safety and reliability. WREC hasn’t had a lost-time accident in 648,637 hours and the average WREC owner was without power for less than 10 minutes in all of 2014.

Fatal pile up near Tooele

Fatal pile up near Tooele

During the course of Tuesday’s outages, WREC owners played an important role in speeding up the restoration of their power. The Outage Dispatch Center fielded several calls from owners without electricity, which provided invaluable information to help WREC crews locate and troubleshoot the cause of outages as quickly as possible. The more information received by the Outage Dispatch Center, the quicker WREC crews can identify the scale of an outage and pinpoint the problem.

While power remained on in West Wendover cable, internet and some phone service was interrupted.

Owners experiencing an outage are encouraged to call the 24-hour Outage Dispatch Center at (800) 566-6696. Aside from helping WREC find the cause of outages faster, the dispatch center also provides updates and follow-up phone calls to owners who report outages. Owners can also check the status of outages at And on the cooperative’s social media pages.

Farther south in Ely high winds ripped through the White Pine County seat causing thousands of dollars in property damage.

The Great Basin

The Great Basin

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Montego Bay Bandit Tony Vera Avoids Life, Could Be Out In 3 Years

Posted on 16 April 2015 by Howard Copelan

Tony Vera Las Vegas Mug Shot

Tony Vera Las Vegas Mug Shot

Montego Bay bandit Tony Vera avoided a life sentence and could leave prison in as little as three years ruled Elko District Judge Al Kacin Monday.

Kacin sentenced Vera to eight years in prison for his part in the Montego Bay robbery a year ago.

Pilot travel-Arbys 4-17-15Vera was set to be sentenced on January 13 in plea bargain arranged by his attorney Gary Woodbury and Elko County District Attorney Mark Torvinen. According to Woodbury, Vera, would have pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and would have a received a six to ten year sentence.

Vera had been looking a life in prison sentence for being an habitual criminal.

wrecteamBut instead of going to prison for six years, Vera jumped bail and escaped temporarily.

A month later he was back in custody after being arrested in Las Vegas on a drug charge.

“He was arrested on February 20, 2015 at an apartment complex located in the 4800 block of Boulder Highway.  Patrol officers conducted an investigatory stop and he ran from officers,” said Las Vegas Metro Public Information Officer  Laura Meltzer. “During the search incident to arrest, multiple baggies of what was later determined to be methamphetamine was located on his person.  He was booked for possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and obstructing.”

Kacin gave no explanation as to why Vera did not receive the much harsher life sentence however the habitual criminal finding otherwise known as the “3 strikes” law has come under increasing criticism from jurists and legal experts as being expensive and counter productive to the interests of justice.

Nevada’s 3 strikes statute demands a life sentence for anyone convicted of three felonies. The law does not make a distinction between violent or non-violent felonies nor does it take into account either the felons incarceration history or the length of time between convictions.

centraWhile Vera committed his third felony about a year after he was last released from prison his record inside the system was not violent and according to some he was a “model” inmate posing little danger to either fellow inmates or to correctional officers. Still as an inmate it cost the state between $40,000 and $50,000 a year to keep him behind bars.

Vera along with accomplice Elbert Woodson robbed the Montego Bay Casino in February 2014. Woodson was captured after a spectacular car chase and crash the night of the robbery. Vera managed to make good his getaway and stayed on the lam for a month before being captured at his girl friend’s house near Tucson, Arizona.

bottRIWhile on the run, Vera gave an exclusive interview to the High Desert Advocate. In it, Vera claimed that there were at least six persons involved and that he did not commit the actual robbery. But the biggest bomb Vera dropped was that very little of the $81,000 stolen was ever recovered by police.

According to Woodbury only $3,400 was recovered from Woodson’s car after it crashed leaving a little over $75,000 unaccounted for.

According to Vera he has had two previous felony convictions one for burglary and one for robbery. He finished a ten and a half year sentence in 2012.

“I was at Ely and then at Carson,” he said. “I got out in 2012 and came to Wendover.”

concertWoodbury confirmed that it would very likely that Vera would indeed be classified as an habitual criminal and would get a life sentence if he lost at trial.

Vera’s partner in crime, Elbert Woodson, did not attend his sentencing hearing either and his whereabouts are perhaps unknown. There is a $50,000 bounty for his arrest.

Unlike his much more flamboyant partner Tony Vera, Woodson kept his mouth stoically closed from the time he was arrested for robbing the casino to the day he made his $7,500 bail several months later.

However when the day came to be sentenced, Woodson like Vera a month before was a no show in Elko District Court.

Woodson and Vera were the first two thieves to at least be partially successful in robbing a Wendover Casino in over 75 years.

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Celtic Bank Okays Bid, Steve Perry New Owner Of Rusty Palms

Posted on 16 April 2015 by Howard Copelan



The Rusty Palms has a new owner.

Two weeks after he won the auction for the defunct resort Celtic Bank approved former Wendover, Utah Mayor’s Steve Perry $450,000 bid for the defunct resort

Perry’s winning bid was less than double the $250,000 opening call. According to the rules of the auction the bid must be approved by the seller, Celtic Bank, who also has first right of refusal.

Pilot travel-Arbys 4-17-15While Perry’s bid is less than 20 percent of the construction loan Celtic Bank lent builder Steve Weinstein to build the Rusty Palm cutting its losses might have been the best course of action.

The Rusty Palms won final approval from the West Wendover City Council in November 2008 and construction began almost immediately and continued through the winter on the estimated $2.5 million project. However while workers began building Weinstein began to receive troubling news, several of the businesses who first expressed interest in began to receive troubling news, several of the businesses who first expressed interest in coming to the Palms either backed out or went out of business as the Great Recession began to take its toll in Utah.

wrecteamFacing prospects of a diminishing list of possible tenant Weinstein began to look for ways to save his investment and found one– turn it into a casino.

The only hitch to the plan was West Wendover 200 room hotel room minimum ordinance passed the year before.

The restrictions are not unique to West Wendover. Indeed several Nevada cities have similar restrictions on the books.

centraHowever in West Wendover’s case the city has not seen a new casino since 1986 with the exception of a small slot operation inside the Pilot Truck Stop. And while Weinstein left the Rusty Palms when Celtic Bank foreclosed four years ago the hotel room minimum has haunted the project ever since.

Despite being aggressively shopped around no real serious buyer has looked at the Rusty Palms largely because of the room restrictions. Perry’s price for the project was so low that he could perhaps afford to build those 200 hotel rooms that proved such a burden to the project in the past.

When interviewed Tuesday Perry said his plan for the property were up in the air.

“(West Wendover City Manager) Chris Melville suggested that we put an RV Park there,” Perry said. “But we still have to think about it.”


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