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Oscarson throws his hat into contentious ring

To the surprise of no one, Pahrump resident James Oscarson has announced his re-election bid for his third term in the Nevada Assembly.

The Republican is expected to receive some challenges from within his party from GOPers upset at his vote in support of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s $1.1 billion package of new and extended taxes. But Oscarson’s support was not in a vacuum as the package passed the Republican-controlled Assembly 30-10.

Oscarson supported the package because of its ambitious education agenda.

Barely a week passed before county Republicans issued a press release denouncing Sandoval and Oscarson.

“Be it resolved that Governor Brian Sandoval and Assemblyman James Oscarson, due their betrayal of the trust and responsibility to Republicans, have made themselves unwelcome to enjoy the privilege of being honorary members of the Nye County Republican Central Committee,” the statement read.

As seen in the front-page story today by reporter Daria Sokolova, the assemblyman stands behind the vote as being in the best interest of the schools, and also Pahrump.

We’ll see if voters agree.

Kids having kids

There’s a case that is in the courts that is causing vitriol on social media around Pahrump.

In Wednesday’s newspaper, there was the story of a father, Michael Haver, who is sitting in the Nye County Detention Center facing felony child abuse charges.

According to police, he all but confessed to breaking his two-month-old child’s femur.

The story, which quickly made the rounds of Pahrump social media circles before it was in the newspaper, has caused a lot of anger toward Haver. While we are a country that has a court system that claims innocence until proven guilty, the general public seems to have already rendered their verdict.

According to a source at the court, security was increased before his initial hearing on Monday and again on Thursday afternoon.

According to police reports, Haver was changing the baby’s diaper when he said he heard a “pop.” Haver, who I’m told is 20 years old, looked terrified in court. He’s going to have to live with this for the rest of his life, part of that time, most likely, while in prison.

I also can’t imagine what members of this infant’s family are going through, especially the mother. As a father myself, I understand the anger if someone seriously injured my child, nephew, cousin or any member of my family.

And then there’s the infant itself. The child will grow up with the knowledge that dad apparently lost his temper and, in that split second, changed the lives of everyone involved.

There seems to be nothing but loss here, no matter the outcome in court.

The calming whiteness

On Wednesday, I encountered my first snow of the season driving over the hump to Pahrump. Living in Nevada for the past two decades, I rarely encountered snow on the desert floor where I usually stay. I’m not a skier (see Sonny Bono) and never been a big fan of the cold.

But seeing the snow on the Spring Mountains as I approached on State Route 160 heading to work brought a certain calm to my morning. It was nice to see the beautiful whiteness against the changing leaf colors on top of the hump. It reminded me of my childhood growing up in Tennessee.

The whiteness continued down the other side for a couple of miles until I was back in the desert.

It made me think that I often don’t take time to enjoy the beauty of Nevada as I drive to work. I’m fortunate that my work commute does not consist of staring at the bumper in front of me on Interstate 15 heading toward downtown Las Vegas.

But on my drive to Pahrump I’m usually zoned out listening to a Tony Kornheiser podcast, or my download music, basically on autodrive.

Wednesday turned out to be a great day at work, finishing the Tonopah newspaper early. I then stopped by a restaurant on top of the hump on the way home, had a delicious beer burger to finish off the great day.

Nevada is such a beautiful place.

Arnold M. Knightly is the editor of the Pahrump Valley Times. Contact him at aknightly@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @KnightlyGrind

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