Spring has sprung throughout most of Nevada, leaving behind the relative cold and heightened travel risks of the winter season. Technically spring begins on March 20, although for much of Northern Nevada the spring weather did not really arrive until the final days of the month. (If that date seems off, here is a quick aside. Many of us learned that spring begins on March 21, but the universe has little concern for our arbitrary calendars. The spring season begins on the spring equinox, the day following winter when the earth reaches the 90-degree point on its orbit around the sun.
March Madness is upon us. This year, as in so many years prior, sports fans of all persuasions – from the die-hards who never miss a game to those who are just conversant enough to avoid referring to “basketball rings”  – will whittle away countless hours refreshing the same webpage to monitor their brackets predicting the outcome of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
“I am strong / (Strong) / I am invincible / (Invincible) / I am woman.” You might recognize those lyrics from Helen Reddy’s 1972 hit “I Am Woman.” The song, which topped the charts in December 1972, gets a little extra play during this time of the year. National Public Radio recently included the song in its list of American Anthems, and it was the theme song of Shirley Chisholm’s groundbreaking – if unsuccessful – bid for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 1972.  The reason the song has special resonance in the early spring is that March is Women’s History Month.
Early Friday morning, at approximately 4:20 in the morning, Nevada Highway Patrol responded to an accident at the intersection of Fortune Drive and Highway 50 in Dayton, Nevada. A subsequent investigation found that a 2000 Audi S4 sedan was being driven west on Highway 50 at a high rate of speed. The driver, who was suspected of being impaired with drugs or alcohol (or possibly both), presumably lost control of the vehicle and drove into the center median. He struck a reflective sign and several marker posts before rotating across both westbound lanes.
The winter often brings foul weather and tricky road conditions, including rain, low light and sometimes even snow to Nevada roadways. This leads to more hazardous driving conditions due to the elements. Coupled with Nevada's large tourist contingent that may not be familiar with the area, accidents seem to swell during this time of the year and whether it’s a distracted local or an overwhelmed tourist, many of the folks behind the wheel these days are potential hazards.
The holidays are a time for getting together with family and uniting over shared memories and favorite meals. Childhood ornaments are hung on the Christmas tree, a careful practice which household pets and young children often frustrate by removing the “low-hanging fruit.” Relatives linger around the dining room table snacking on stale cookies and sipping warm drinks or the last of the red wine. It is a time of warmth and laughter. However, when long meals meet jovial story-telling and vacation from work, it is often easy to drink more alcohol that we would on a typical night.
On December 7, two vehicles collided at the roundabout at E. Fifth Street and Fairview Drive in Carson City. Although there were no reported injuries at the crash, the vehicles did block traffic for some time, and officers were forced to temporarily perform traffic control. Motorists were advised to seek an alternate route until the area was cleared, around 4:55 p.m.  Luckily, this crash was relatively minor and resulted in no injuries.
Maybe it is due to the constant stream of news – not just celebrity gossip, sports triumphs, and current events, but also the unique kind of action-packed politics of recent years – but it seems like 2018 has flown by. Already the last pages of the calendar are in sight, and the final holidays of the year are ticking by. Nevada Day is a distant memory, Election Day has passed, and Veterans’ Day is over. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many have already made travel plans. Those who have are the wisest among us, because last-minute travel can be costly.
We celebrated Nevada day on October 26, which celebrates the Silver State’s founding on October 31, 1864. For many, this holiday is a welcome day off work or school. On the occasional year that it is celebrated on October 31, children relish the opportunity to indulge in a full day of Halloween festivities without the distraction of six hours of school time.
A recent wave of deadly crashes across the Silver State has law-enforcement officials worrying about what the rest of the year might bring. In fact, 2018 is on-track to reverse the prior year’s downward trend in fatal crashes and vehicle fatalities. In 2016, the state suffered 304 fatal crashes which claimed 329 lives; in 2017, 290 fatal crashes killed 308 people.