NEVADA SPCA’S “PET OF THE WEEK”

NEVADA SPCA’S “PET OF THE WEEK”

BARNABY

Age: 7 year old neutered male

Breed: Australian Cattle / Blue Heeler mix

Description: Hello my name is Barnaby and I am a gentle boy who is a bit reserved at first but that is only because my eyesight is extremely limited. What I lack In eyesight, I make up for in sweetness.

Adoption fee: $30

Nevada SPCA
4800 W Dewey Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89118
702-873-SPCA – shelter

MILLICENT SIEGEL, BUGSY’S DAUGHTER, DEAD AT 86

MILLICENT SIEGEL, BUGSY’S DAUGHTER, DEAD AT 86

Millicent Siegel, the oldest daughter of mobster and Las Vegas visionary Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, died Friday in a Henderson hospice.

She was born in 1931, the year gambling was legalized in Nevada.

Her father had convinced the mob hierarchy to purchase part of the Flamingo, which was built in the mid-1940s. Siegel fell in disfavor with the mob when the project ran over budget at a time when he was embracing the idea of being a Hollywood celebrity. He was assassinated June 20, 1947 in Los Angeles, six months after the Flamingo opened.

He grew up as a childhood friend of Meyer Lansky, who became one of top mob bosses of his era.

Millicent Siegel said in interviews that actress Jean Harlow, one of Hollywood’s biggest sex symbols of the 1930s, was her godmother. Harlow died of kidney failure in Los Angeles at the age of 26 in 1937.

“Bugsy” Siegel was born Feb. 28, 1906 in New York City. He and Lansky teamed up as feared gangsters who made their fortunes as bootleggers during Prohibition. By 1931, Siegel was wealthy enough to own an apartment in Manhattan’s ritzy Waldorf Astoria Towers.

He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1930s to oversee the mob’s westward expansion. With his good looks he was soon a fixture on the Hollywood social scene.

When Billy Wilkerson, owner of the Hollywood Reporter publication and a well-known L.A. restaurateur, ran into financial issues in building the Flamingo, Siegel saw an opportunity to get a foothold in Las Vegas. He and his partners purchased two-thirds of the Flamingo. Siegel invited a huge celebrity crowd on opening night, Dec. 26, 1945 but the hotel struggled.

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RAIDERS RISE TO THE OCCASION WITH SPECTACULAR GROUNDBREAKING EVENT

RAIDERS RISE TO THE OCCASION WITH SPECTACULAR GROUNDBREAKING EVENT

(CAPTION: NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL CALLED LAS VEGAS ‘A CITY ON THE RISE.’ (PHOTO: NORM CLARKE)

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval knew he couldn’t put NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the spot. So he said it for him.

Sandoval welcomed Goodell to Monday’s stadium groundbreaking ceremony for the Raiders and UNLV and added, “We know you can’t say so but I don’t know if there’s a better backdrop in America, if not the world, for an NFL team, right?”

That backdrop, of course, was the famous skyline of Las Vegas, glowing brightly just past sunset.

Adding to the spectacle were 58 rays of light honoring the victims of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival and Prince protégé Judith Hill opening the event with the song, “Rise Up.”

The Raiders didn’t miss a note. The opening included a standing ovation for first responders and other emergency teams as they walked through the crowd of 600 who jammed the tent venue on the 62-acre parcel west of Mandalay Bay.

The special touches weren’t lost on Goodell.

“Only in Vegas can you turn a groundbreaking ceremony into a show,” he said.

The $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat stadium is scheduled to open for the 2020-21 season.

In his speech, Goodell called Nevada “the get-it-done state and that’s the attitude of people here in Las Vegas that will help raise the bar for a sports and entertainment experience and make this stadium the place to be and not just football but other events throughout the year for all of Las Vegas and fans around the world for years to come.”

He said the stadium will be “seen around the world as a reflection of the spirit of Las Vegas, a resilient city on the rise.”

Ex-Raiders in attendance included: Howie Long, Jim Plunkett, Daryle Lamonica, Napoleon McCallum, David Humm, Fred Biletnikoff, Cliff Branch, Ted Hendricks, Lincoln Kennedy and Jay Schroeder.

“Well, now it’s real, right?” said Sandoval, who called it “one of the most transformative moments in the history of Las Vegas.”

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ANDRES STEPS INTO VOID AS ANGEL OF MERCY; WINCHELL’S SWEET WIN AND BOBBY FLAY’S PLAY

ANDRES STEPS INTO VOID AS ANGEL OF MERCY; WINCHELL’S SWEET WIN AND BOBBY FLAY’S PLAY

(CAPTION: JOSE ANDRES AT 2016 EVENT AT SLS.) PHOTO: NORM CLARKE

 

Superstar chef Jose Andres, who counts several Las Vegas restaurants among his empire, has become something of an angel of mercy in Puerto Rico.

There’s buzz in the food industry personalities that the Spanish-born Andres deserves a Nobel Peace prize for his humanitarian efforts after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of 3 ½ million people in September.

Andres has been at the forefront of preparing nearly 3 million meals. There are photos on social media showing four giant-sized paella pans that were so big they served 6,000 meals. Not long after Andres arrived on the island he had helped organize a team of volunteers who were cranking out 125,000 meals a day.

FEMA has been paying him to lead the relief effort but he’s been critical of the slow response to the crisis.

SWEET WIN FOR THE WINCHELLS

A well-known Las Vegas family once known for its donuts empire is celebrating a sweet victory in thoroughbred horse racing.

The Winchell family’s most accomplished horse in five decades of racing, Gun Runner, captured the $6 million Breeder’s Cup Classic on Saturday at Del Mar.

Ron Mitchell, 45, and his mother, Joanie, own 120 horses and 18 gaming taverns, including a number of Jackpot Joanies. Winchell Donuts was founded by Ron’s father, Verne, in 1948.

The Winchells and their partners, Three Chimneys Farm, plan to retire Gun Runner in January after the $16 million Pegasus World Cup in Florida and put him out to stud. He’ll join a stable that includes the 2013 Eclipse Award winner Will Take Charge, the American champion three-year-old male horse.

FLAY MAKES ANOTHER PLAY

Another celebrity chef with local ties made news in the horseracing world this week.

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay paid $1.5 million for a share of a 10-year-old mare named life well lived that’s believed to be in foal to American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner and first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

Flay has had the horseracing bug for years. Two years ago he bought an interest in Creator shortly before it won the Belmont by a nose. American Pharoah has quite the harem. He reportedly gets $200,000 in stud fees per year. A stallion of his caliber typically books 200 mares a year.

REMEMBERING ROY HALLADAY

The death of pitching great Roy Halladay in an airplane accident on Tuesday brought to mind a conversation I had with a Colorado Rockies pitcher in the mid-1990s. Big league scouts were showing up in scores to see Halladay play for suburban Arvada West.

One day, Rockies reliever Darren Holmes, now the Rockies bullpen coach, approached me in the clubhouse with two questions: “Have you seen this Halladay kid pitch?” and “Can you tell me how to get to their field? I’d like to see him.”

Such was the fascination of Halladay’s legendary potential.

He was taken No. 17 overall in the 1995 big league draft, by the Toronto Blue Jays.

I regret I didn’t join Holmes to see Halladay play.

He went on to become an eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young winner. His two no-hitters came in 2010 when he was with the Philadelphia Phillies. The first one was a perfect game against the Florida Marlins. Adding to his reputation as a big-game performer, his second no-no came in his first post-season game, in the opening game of the National League Division Series against Cincinnati.

He holds the distinction of being just the second player ever to pitcher a no-hitter in the post-season, joining the New York Yankees’ Don Larsen, who a had perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 World Series.

Halladay was flying his ICON A5 plane by himself when it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

KNIGHTS’ NUMBERS

Some numbers to put the Vegas Knights’ 7-0 route of the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 27 in perspective: As of Tuesday (11-7-17), the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado rank eighth in average goals scored per game, at a 3.36 goals clip. The Kings, 10-2-2, rank second in Sports Illustrated’s power poll. The Knights are 9-4-1 and rank sixth in the poll. Colorado ranks 21st with an 8-6 record. According to S.I. the Golden Knights will be “the feel good story of the year, no matter what happens.”

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Caesars Palace headliner Mariah Carey has had enough of her “Russian dictator.” That’s the nickname Carey gave to her controversial manager of three years, Stella Bulochnikov. According to multiple reports, Carey has severed the relationship. Bulochnikov, a former standup comedian and TV producer, was behind Carey’s reality show on the E! network, “Mariah’s World.” Bulochnikov was blamed for creating friction that led to Carey’s split with billionaire James Packer earlier this year after a one-year relationship.

ON THIS DAY

November 6, 1993: James “Fan Man” Miller interrupts the Evander Holyfield/Riddick Bow fight by swooping into the outdoor ring at Caesars Palace in a motorized paraglider. Fan Man suffered a seventh-round knockout when fans beat him senseless. The fight resumes after 30 minutes.

November 7, 1995: The Landmark Hotel, which was featured in the movies “Casino” and “Diamonds Are Forever,” but closed five years earlier, is imploded to make way for a Convention Center parking lot. Footage of the destruction is used in the campy alien movie “Mars Attacks!”

THE PUNCH LINE

“It just came out that Lady Gaga got engaged over the summer! The wedding will be pretty low key – just 50 or 60 costume changes.” – Jimmy Fallon

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LIFE AS TOM JONES IMPERSONATOR HAS ITS “NUTTY” MOMENTS

LIFE AS TOM JONES IMPERSONATOR HAS ITS “NUTTY” MOMENTS

(CAPTION: TOM JONES IMPERSONATOR, HARMIK AT NICOLE CURRAN’S BACHELORETTE PARTY. CURRAN IN BUNNY EARS.) PHOTO: HARMIK

“Nutty” requests are not unusual for Tom Jones impersonator Harmik Kazanchian.

He’s been booked for nudist conventions. “I was the only person in the theater with clothes on,” he said.

Tom Jones’ staff hired Kazanchian 15 years after a wide search for someone who would appear in a video about the creation of a perfect Tom Jones clone in a laboratory “to see if Tom could be duplicated. I blew up at the end of the video and Tom partied on with a girl,” he said.

He’s had his moments with mistaken identity. A decade ago he walked into a high-end Las Vegas restaurant and was quickly ushered to a top table. Faster than you can say “What’s New Pussycat” he was offered a humidor full of expensive cigars and Jones’ favorite Scotch.

“Then Tom came in about 4 a.m. and the jig was up,” said Kazanchian, who is known as Harmik, the Tom Jones Clone.

Last weekend he was a booked for a hush-hush gig in the high roller suites at Aria in City Center.

As in most cases, he was given very little details about the party he was performing for. Just show up and at 6 p.m. Saturday and a bellman would deliver his equipment.

A woman met him at the entrance of the suite and he was escorted to a bedroom. No, it’s not that kind of a deal, although he’s had some bookings that take some shocking turns.

“They had everything orchestrated,” he said. His recorded background music equipment was set up in another room and five minutes after his arrival, a butler hit the pause button.

Kazanchian burst out of the bedroom singing “She’s A Lady” for a surprised Nicole Curran, the fiancée of Golden State Warriors owner Joe Locob. They have been a couple for years.

Welcomed by shrieks of delight, Harmik had the bachelorette party instantly dancing and singing. He followed with another Jones’ megahit, “What’s New Pussycat” before wrapping up the 30-minute gig with photos.

A big Tom Jones fan, Curran was “devastated,” said Kazanchian, that the Welsh superstar had cancelled recent shows at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, so a trip to Las Vegas was planned. What she didn’t know was that her gals had a Tom Jones experience planned.

It’s all good clean fun, said Kazanchian, a happily married man who made a point of noting that his hands were touching the couch, in the photo, not any of the women.

Sometimes he signs panties that he passes out to his audiences. The nudist conventions “are the only time I’ve signed all skin. I know this sounds so bad for a Christian man but I’m just doing my job. I get a lot of nutty requests.”

He also gets to meet some cool people.

“I did an event in Carefree, AZ with Dan Akroyd to save Black Mountain,” he said. “When the event ended Dan and I went to the bar next door and he sang Beatles songs and I sang (Tom Jones) cover songs.”

In 2009 he was booked at the Wynn Las Vegas. “I didn’t even know who the client was,” he said.

It turned out to be a birthday bash for Steve Wynn, the billionaire resort developer.

Kazanchian’s contribution to the evening: He was hired to sing “She’s a Lady” in honor of Paul Anka, one of the guests at the party. Anka wrote the song, which Jones turned into a major hit in 1971. Kazanchian also sang “What New Pussycat” in a nod to another party attendee Burt Bacharach, who wrote the 1965 hit with Hal David for the movie of the same name.

Kazanchian, 57, has been impersonating Jones since 1977, where he grew up in Queens, N.Y., the son of Armenian-American diamond dealer.

He was eight or nine when Jones’ album “Live at the Flamingo” came out. “I wanted to be like him.”

He got a taste of celebrity when he did two songs in his school play as a senior.

“By the end of the school year when the yearbooks came out, they announced on the loud speaker that ‘Harmik will be signing books,’” at a certain time, he said.
Funny story, he said.

“When I was in the eighth grade at Lady of the Angeles, every month we got to order books. I ordered a book about the Osmonds. Sister Joanne approached me one day and said ‘I want you to know this is a book that mostly girls order.’ I stuck to my guns,” he said.

Full disclosure: I am opening for Harmik at Freedom Hall Theater, 2460 Hampton Road, on Sunday at 3 p.m. I’ll be sharing my favorite Las Vegas stories.

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O.J. SIMPSON TURNED AWAY FROM EXCLUSIVE LAS VEGAS CLUB

O.J. Simpson has been denied access to the clubhouse at the Red Rock Country Club because he wasn’t with a member, it was learned Tuesday.
Simpson, who was released from prison Oct. 1 after a nine-year stay, is reportedly living, golfing and socializing at Red Rock Country Club with his unidentified friend.

“It wasn’t like he was banned because he was a bad guy,” a club member told Norm.Vegas. “He didn’t realize he had to be a member. It was pretty innocent.”

Simpson, the 1968 Heisman Trophy winner who broke the NFL rushing record in 1973, was arrested on Sept. 16, 2007 at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino and charged with 12 felonies, including armed robbery and kidnapping, in a case involving his sports memorabilia. Simpson told the police he was trying to reclaim his stolen possessions.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Kid Rock, who is bringing his “Great Show on Earth” tour to Mandalay Bay on March 24, announced Tuesday he will be releasing his new album “Sweet Southern Sugar” on Nov. 3…

Caesars Palace headliner Mariah Carey serenaded fashion mogul Karl Lagerfeld with her hit “Hero” at a party honoring the iconic designer Monday in New York City.

According to The Sun in Sydney, Australia, Carey was wearing the $10 million, 35-carat diamond engagement ring she received from ex-fiance James Packer, who unsuccessfully attempted to build a hotel casino in Las Vegas. Carey and Packer broke up 13 months ago after a nine-month romance. She attended Monday’s party with boyfriend Bryan Tanaka, one of her dancers.

The star-studded celebration was attended by top models, including Gigi and Bella Hadid, their mother Yolanda Foster and Naomi Campbell.

Carey returns to The Colosseum in December with her “All I Want for Christmas is You” concert series.

ON THIS DAY…

October 24, 1954: Bing Crosby, who was widowed two years earlier, marries Kathryn Crosby at St. Anne’s Church in Las Vegas. They have three children – including Mary, who shoots J.R. Ewing on “Dallas” – and stay together until the crooner dies of a heart attack after a round of golf in Spain in 1977.

October 25, 1990: In a third-round knockout at the Mirage, Evander Holyfield defeats Buster Douglas to become the undisputed heavyweight champion. It was Douglas’ first and only defense after his stunning victory over Mike Tyson. Holyfield would hold various titles off and on for the next decade.

SIGHTINGS

At Mike Tyson’s “Undisputed Truth—Round 2” over the weekend at the MGM Grand: comedian Eddie Griffin, on Friday; 10-year NBA veteran CJ Watson of Las Vegas and reality star Vinny Guadagnino, on Saturday and former NBA All-Star Metta World Peace, formerly Ron Artest Jr., on Sunday.

THE PUNCH LINE

“Another big story is this Harvey Weinstein scandal…some very serious allegations came out about his sexual misconduct. You can tell they’re bad, cuz Anthony Weiner just unfriended him.” – Jimmy Fallon

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