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Amgen Tour of California Tahoe Stage 1 may face snow challenge

Amgen Tour of California officials say they should have a decision by 9 a.m. as to what they intend to do about the Stage 1 kick-off set to begin at South Lake Tahoe given that snow is expected in the Sierra through the morning.

Race organizers, the commissaires, teams and public safety organizations have developed a number of contingency plans with the safety of the riders and fans being the number one priority, said Andrew Messick, President of AEG Sports, and presenter of the Amgen Tour of California.

The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a winter weather advisory for Lake Tahoe and the Sierra, with the bulk of the snow hitting the area before 11 a.m. Two to 4 inches of snow is expected at lake level, with 3 to 6 inches above 7,000 feet, according to the weather service. The snow should taper to showers after 11 a.m.

"The weather is constantly changing in the Sierra, and our team will be assessing weather conditions throughout the morning. A decision on any changes to the route and timing will be made at 9 a.m. and will ultimately be based on what is best and most safe for our riders and spectators," he said in a press statement. South Lake Tahoe radio station KTHO will be on-air through the morning and afternoon with live reporting. Click here for the best places to view the tour during the Tahoe stages.

Despite the weather and the Highway 50 over Echo Summit detour, organizers of the Tahoe part of the event have put forth a valiant effort to welcome riders and visitors, with a number of events, banquets and presentations.

Given the worldwide attention paid to the race, Lake Tahoe has stuck to its fundamentals which has been to showcase the region as a serious home to professional athletic competition and training. The elevation and altitude gains alone make for a climate that supports athletic winter and summer sports training, including many Olympic athletes.

“Whether it’s skinny or fat tires, Tahoe is a passionate biking community,” said Carol Chaplin, executive director of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “Hosting the Amgen Tour of California, the country’s most prestigious bike race, will put us on the map as ‘must ride’ for cyclists while having a significant impact on the local and regional economy.”

“There is nothing quite like riding at elevation — 6,300 feet,” said Andy Chapman, tourism director of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “These cyclists are going to be pushing the envelope as they make their way up and down mountain passes and not once but twice around the national treasure of Emerald Bay State Park for a grand finish at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort. Equally spectacular will be the Stage 2 Start at Squaw Valley USA with Tahoe’s famed granite peaks making for an unforgettable backdrop.”

Considered the largest cycling race in North America, the 2011 Amgen Tour of California will cover nearly 800 miles over eight days and feature 18 of the world’s top professional cycling teams. Traversing some of the state’s most picturesque highways and coastlines, the sixth-annual race kicks off at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa today at 10:30, weather permitting and tomorrow at Squaw Valley USA to Truckee. The race will continue on to 15 host cities through May 22. Click here for the list of teams.

If all goes as planned and the snow doesn't stick, here's what the schedule looks like:

Today – Stage 1
The Stage 1 2011 Amgen Tour of California around Lake Tahoe will be assisted by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and El Dorado County Sheriff’s office.

In support of this event, Highway 50, (Lake Tahoe Boulevard) and State Route 89 (Emerald Bay Road) north of the “Y” will be closed to all vehicular traffic from 10:10 a.m. to approximately 10:45 a.m. for lap one. It will again close at approximately 12:45 p.m. and re-open at approximately 1:15 p.m. for lap two. The timing for the second closure can vary greatly depending on the speed of the race and how spread apart the riders get for their second stint through the city.

For times when the tour will pass a street or road in South Shore click here.Officials suggest providing at least a 30-minute window on each side of the time listed. All times are approximate.

In North Lake Tahoe, the CHP is handling the rolling road closures on both the California and Nevada sides of the lake. Based on the Race Day Map, motorists can expect Highway 28 to be closed approximately 11:20 to 11:55 a.m. at the Tahoe City Y during lap one and between 2:20 to 2:55 p.m. during lap two. In Kings Beach, it’s 11:45 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. for lap one and 2:45 to 3:20 p.m. for lap two, as well as noon to 12:35 p.m. in Incline Village.

Monday, May 16 – Stage 2
On Monday, May 16, the Amgen Tour of California will be coming from Squaw Valley USA through Truckee. The Truckee Police Department, in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol, will be providing traffic control for this event while it is in the Town of Truckee.

The event will enter Town limits on State Route 89 (SR-89) from Squaw Valley. It will continue northbound on SR-89 to Donner Pass Road, make a left turn onto westbound Donner Pass Road and continue on Donner Pass Road along Donner Lake, up to Old US-40 and the Donner Summit area.

Road closures will be of a short duration as the cyclists pass major intersections and should start about 9:50 a.m. on SR-89 and West River Street, and at about 10 a.m. at SR-89 and Donner Pass Road, progressing westbound on Donner Pass Road to the Donner Lake area and finally exiting Town limits by 10:30 a.m. Motorists can expect delays of up to 20 minutes at each of the major intersections. CHP officers will accompany the cyclists on motorcycles.

Motorists are urged to drive with caution and follow directions of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff, Truckee Police Department and CHP officers, as well as race officials as the race passes by. Times for the Amgen Tour of California race are approximate, based on average speeds of the peloton and are subject to change.

For a complete calendar of Tahoe’s 10-Day Countown, events leading up to the race (May 5-14), as well as activities during Stage 1 (May 15) and Stage 2 (May 16), click here.

Lake Tahoe is recognized for several annual summer biking events. America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride has participants circumnavigate the Lake the first weekend in June. Another chance to circle Tahoe’s 72-mile shoreline is during the annual Tour de Tahoe Bike Big Blue Race in mid-September. Late September brings the Tahoe Century Ride, which starts and finishes at Squaw Valley and features scenic routes and challenging hill climbs.

The annual Lake Tahoe Marathon Week offers a bike race around Tahoe’s shoreline the end of September. Furthermore, the annual Death Ride course covers five High Sierra passes that includes both sides of Monitor and Ebbetts Pass, Carson Pass and Turtle Rock Park, north of Markleeville. Tour de Nez offers significant professional stage races in the country taking place in Nevada and California; the cities of Reno and Truckee, along the shores of Lake Tahoe, and up the mountains surrounding the resort at Northstar-at-Tahoe every June.


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Carson City’s NV150 Fair is breaking the mold by offering free admittance to the fair opening after the official ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, July 31.

The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Following speeches by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Carson City Mayor Robert Crowell, fairgoers will be treated to Carson City’s first ever fair at Fuji Park and the fairgrounds. There are no admission fees to enter the fairgrounds.

A Carson City couple were jailed Thursday on felony drug charges, including suspicion of providing marijuana to minors in exchange for chores, a Carson City sheriff’s deputy said.

This week's episode of Women to Women features Lori Bagwell and Karen Abowd. Two residents who are running for Supervisor, but in different wards — Abowd, Ward 1 as an Incumbent and Bagwell in Ward 3.

Both of these women are business veterans as well as experienced in working with budgets. Karen will be running for re-election in November, while Lori will be running for the first time in an elected position.

Gaming revenue for Nevada casinos rose more than 14 percent in June, while Carson City and Lake Tahoe area figures fell some for the month, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board numbers released Friday.

Carson City area casinos, which include those in Minden, Gardnerville and all other areas of Douglas County except Stateline, report a 5.5 percent decrease in gaming revenue for June, taking in $7,934,128 compared to June 2013 where gaming profits were $8,396,690.

Nevada’s nonrestricted gaming licensees reported a total “gaming win” of $906,904,294 in June 2014.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a series of commercial burglaries. Since January of this year Carson City has experienced 27 burglaries at local businesses, said Carson City Sheriff's Office Detective David LeGros.

During these burglaries cash, guns and electronics have been stolen from businesses in areas throughout town and resulting damage done from the break-ins.

The majority of the burglaries have occurred in the east portion of Carson City in the area of Fairview Drive, Desatoya Drive and Butti Way.

After four months as the director of Carson City Animal Services, Cindy Hannah has been "let go" Carson City Manager Nick Marano tells KRNV.

The Carson City Library has joined the Salvation Army’s Carson City Corps Community Center in preparing students for the upcoming school year. The Back-To-School supply drive will run through August 11. A collection barrel and Apple Tree Poster is located at the library’s main Help Desk.

The Comstock History Center presents “One Is Silver, the Other Is Gold: Celebrating 25 Years of Nevada Folklife Apprenticeships” featuring 22 visual artists who have received grant support from the Nevada Arts Council as master or apprentice artists in a variety of folk traditions.

Each recognized master is encouraged to work with one or more dedicated apprentices so that their traditional art forms and personal contributions endure.

To make travel easier and safer, the Nevada Department of Transportation will temporarily suspend or alter construction work on three projects around the area during Hot August Nights and the Reno-Tahoe Open events.

No construction-related lane closures will take place between the evening of Friday, July 25 and the morning of Monday, Aug. 4 on NDOT’s Mt. Rose Highway project. For the Highway 50 project at Moundhouse, there will be some drainage and shoulder work that will not affect lanes of traffic, said NDOT spokeswoman Meg Ragonese.

A 65-year-old California man was arrested on a felony warrant charge of suspicion of statutory sexual seduction. Ronald Gene Hicks of Highland, Calif., was brought into jail Wednesday through an extradition and a $20,000 bail amount was set. No other information was available. The warrant was issued July 8, 2014 out of Carson City Justice Court.

In other felony arrests: A 23-year-old Carson City woman, Kady Joann Werlinger, was arrested July 23 in the 4200 block of Shelbyville on felony drug charges of maintaining a drug house and possession of methamphetamine.

"Jazz & Beyond" performers in Fuji Park on Aug. 2

The "Jazz & Beyond: Carson City Music Festival," in collaboration with Carson City, is proud to present five of several bands at the Nevada Sesquicentennial Fair in Fuji Park on Saturday, August 2. "Jazz & Beyond" runs from Aug. 1 to Aug. 17 and features over 50 events, mainly in the downtown Carson City area.

The five "Jazz & Beyond" bands at the Fair on August 2 are Sons of Slide Mountain, RVGS Tantalus, Lynne Colvig Latin Jazz, the Reno Jazz Orchestra with singer Jackie Landrum, and the St. Christopher Project, featuring the music of Tom Waits.

The 2014 Jazz and Beyond - Carson City Music Festival will open Friday, August 1 with a "Mad Hatter Garden Party" featuring music by the Corky Bennett Trio in the backyard of the Nevada Governor's Mansion.

The ticketed party features music, finger foods by Carson City Confections, wine, beer, and a raffle. Festivities run from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Here is an annual suggestion, if you would like to take a mid-summer vacation at an out-of-the-way location. 
Do you know that our very own White Pine County is home to one of the Nation's least visited and Nevada's only National Park?

It's the 77,000 acre Great Basin National Park.
 If you've never been there, here is a whole bunch of useful information:

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Inc., also known as RSVP, has a limited number of free Farmers Market coupons for fresh produce to offer to Carson City low-income seniors through the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

More than 100 state workers were evacuated from the Nevada Capitol in Carson City when a fire alarm sounded this afternoon.

Two black bears trapped Tuesday were released back into the wild by Nevada Department of Wildlife wardens. So far, 11 bears have been safely released back into the Sierra since July 1.

Both bears were tagged, tattooed and micro chipped in order to identify them in the future should they come back in to contact with humans. Neither bear had previously been handled by NDOW.

The Wa She Shu It Deh Native American Arts Festival returns to Valhalla at the Tallac Historic site this weekend, July 26-27. The festival celebrates the Washoe's ancient lifeways and their Lake Tahoe homeland.

The festival features traditional American Indian dancers and drum performers, basket weaving displays, art, and great food. Sponsored by the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, this event is free to attend, and open to the public. The festival runs 10 a.m. am to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Valhalla’s Grand Lawn.

In honor of Nevada’s 150th birthday, the Nevada Sesquicentennial Commission invites all Nevadans to participate in choosing the design for the fourth Sesquicentennial commemorative medallion.

This medallion, the final in the series of four being produced throughout the year, will feature the winning design voted on by Nevadans. Voting begins today, Wednesday, July 23, which marks 100 days until Nevada Day, and ends Thursday, August 7, 2014.

NV Energy has petitioned the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada with the hopes of recovering $78 million in costs associated with implementation of electric and gas smart meters in Northern Nevada.

A hearing on the matter is set for today, Wednesday, July 23, at 6 p.m. in Hearing Room A of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, 1150 E. William St. in Carson City.

Here is this week's fishing report for rivers, lakes and streams in Nevada and Northern California. This report is for the week of July 23, 2014.