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Contrary to some opinions, I love Pahrump

A couple of weeks ago in this very space I wrote a column that set some people gunning for my head.

Okay, that’s probably an exaggeration. But I did get some angry comments online, where most angry comments seem to live nowadays.

I did have one nice woman stop by the office and we talked about the column, “Odom story further damages Pahrump’s image.” I listened to her point of view, which she said was the opinion of some people she knows. I said that the column wasn’t about what Pahrump is, but what the outside reputation of Pahrump is.

I stand by that column, that the outside opinion of Pahrump is tarnished by stories such as Lamar Odom being found unconscious on the brothel floor nearby. But I don’t want to dwell too much on that point.

I want to make clear that I have a great fondness for this community that I work in, even if I do not live here.

Working in Pahrump, I have met many great people who care deeply about this community. They live here, they raise their families here and they earn a living here (of course many people also have to leave the area every day to work in Las Vegas, I just go the other direction).

So I thought I’d take this opportunity to better introduce myself to this town 13 months after my arrival. Here are 12 things about the editor of your Pahrump Valley Times.

1. I have three children ranging in age from 13 years to 23 years, all born in Las Vegas.

2. Although I was born in Las Vegas, I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee where my dad was a university professor, and then worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

3. I moved to Las Vegas in 1990 a few years after high school and worked at the now closed Odyssey Records on Las Vegas Boulevard. I worked the overnight shift and had guns pulled on me on two occasions. I then worked seven years at Borders Books and Music in Henderson.

4. I moved out here from Tennessee with my friend Bill, who now, ironically enough, lives here in Pahrump. As I travel from Henderson to my office here, Bill traveled from Pahrump to his job in a Las Vegas casino for many years.

5. I live in Henderson because that is where my wife lived when I married her in 2012. Her two sons go to Green Valley High and my daughter is in middle school and will go to Coronado High next year.

6. My wife makes twice the salary I do working in Las Vegas (almost to the penny) so moving here is not really an option, as much as I’d like to live here. Plus, she’s really beautiful. That is why I married her 15 days after we first met on Match.com.

7. I began working at the Las Vegas Review-Journal in September 2001 as a high school sports freelance reporter. My first profile was of then Bishop Gorman golfer Inbee Park, who is now one of the top female golfers in the world and in contention for Player of the Year honors. I cover Pahrump Valley girls basketball championship game in 2004.

8. I graduated from UNLV in 2006 with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and media studies. I was already a full-time reporter at the Las Vegas Business Press. I soon became a business reporter at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

9. In 2010, I was named the editor of the Boulder City Review near Hoover Dam. I did not live in that community either. But like here, I did spend a lot of off-hours there. I still have many friends in Boulder City that I talk to regularly.

10. I was named editor of Las Vegas CityLife in October 2013, but the publication was closed early last year. Instead of being laid off, I was given a position in the Review-Journal newsroom covering the City of Henderson. I did that for seven months until the position here in Pahrump became available.

11. Being the editor of the Pahrump Valley Times is the best job I’ve ever had. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t drive from Henderson every day. If I didn’t love this community, this county, I wouldn’t spend so much off-time here.

12. I had my picture taken with the Rolling Stones.

Arnold M. Knightly is the editor of the Pahrump Valley Times. His office door is always open.

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