If last year we were looking for a return to normalcy, this year we got it. Sort of. Despite what seemed like endless election news – and threats to our democracy – instead of weekly COVID updates, none of our top stories had anything to do with politics or viruses. What a relief.
What did interest readers this year was largely scandal and where to eat. Pass the popcorn, please: Here are our top 10 stories of 2022:
Renown x 3: Renown CEO Tony Slonim fired after internal investigation, Damning allegations emerge in wake of Renown CEO’s firing, Renown complaints continue in wake of CEO firing
A trifecta of Renown stories drew considerable reader interest. In the annals of comments that didn’t age well, Renown board chair Adam Kramer’s “The fact that Renown and Tony are being recognized on a national level as ‘best in class’…”comment is definitely on the list. Within a few weeks of saying that, the very public facing CEO was fired, allegations were made of financial corruption, multiple internal complaints surfaced and phrases like “snake pit,” “lion’s den” and “the worst” were used to describe the workplace. Those complaints continue through today. Yikes.
Victims of alleged fraudster outraged he was hired by school district, palled around with a sheriff’s office deputy for Thanksgiving
After allegedly ripping off two local nonprofits, to the tune of more than $100,000, area man Masih Madani got hired as a sub for the school district and also got to hang out with the Washoe County Sheriff’s department for Thanksgiving. That prompted Monica DuPea of the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project, one of the two nonprofits bilked of desperately needed cash, to wonder aloud if WCSD and WCSO had ever heard of Google. Meanwhile, students at Galena High School, where Madani is teaching, say he is mean and rude.
Pizza city: New Detroit-style pizza restaurant opens in Reno and Reno is big enough for two Detroit-style pizza joints
We’ll admit it: We think about Detroit-style pizza a lot. Our editorial team even passed up Texas brisket IN Texas for multiple saucy squares of the stuff. When Detroit-style pizza landed in Reno, we were ready for it. So were our readers. It’s one of several styles of regional cuisine that have landed in the biggest little city in the last few years – see also Nashville hot chicken and Nashville hot chicken in a truck – giving us a much more diverse and exciting food scene. What do you think 2023 will bring?
Local traffic continues to get worse, and in south Reno traffic problems drew their own special angst. Street racing, horse-vehicle collisions, sideshows and general Wild West behavior, and residents are pretty pissed off. Our story on the issue drew considerable attention. The main complaint we received was why we didn’t spotlight the same issue occurring everywhere else in the Truckee Meadows, especially the North Valleys. Noted.
Live music: The Go Go’s and Dark Star Orchestra
Nick McCabe is a superstar drummer and concert photographer. His show reviews are so popular not one but two of them made the top stories of the year. The Go Go’s sharing Nick’s review and photos also helped. Thanks, Nick!
Our reporting on defamation and anti-SLAPP lawsuits has been a constant for years now, and this was just the latest one. Members of the local Sikh community turned on each other after a party in Costa Rica involving sex workers, etc., and now more people are unfortunately aware of the Streisand Effect and are also out about $50,000 after filing a defamation lawsuit they were sure to lose. Pro-tip: File such cases at your own risk. Just ask Lance Gilman why.
New restaurants are a big deal in Reno. Remember when you had to wait more than three hours to get into P.F. Chang’s or when people camped outside of Chik-Fil-A before it opened to get one of the first orders of fried chicken? Information on the Riverwalk replacement for Campo, a former local favorite, was in demand and people wanted to know more about Smith and River. The restaurant opened in July under the ownership and direction of Colin and MaryBeth Smith, well-known on the local food scene. If you haven’t checked out the eatery, rest assured you won’t have to camp out front to get in.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, This Is Reno readers like their food. And “a spot that specializes in chilaquiles and other Mexican breakfast items? That doesn’t exist everywhere. Its rarity is what makes Los Chilaquiles special,” according to our food writer Nora Tarte.
Fully-stocked federal bomb shelters located under public buildings? Sounds like something out of the movies, but it’s a part of Reno’s past. Photographer Eric Marks explored a few of the city’s remaining fallout shelters, which he described as “a curious mix of past-era nuclear cynicism and 1960’s-era Orwellian design.”
“The prospect of seeking shelter for any sustainable amount of time is almost incomprehensible after only a few minutes immersed in the structure,” he added.
Well that was awkward. Former Sparks Fire Chief Mark Lawson was on the job for a week before he suddenly wasn’t, with “serious criminal charges” forthcoming. Our update to the story reveals some of the details of the case – which involves selling drugs. We anticipate more details next year as Lawson’s case moves through the system.