Lahontan Valley News and Fallon Eagle Standard
10 a.m. at the LEF
By Ann Diggins
The fate of the gay rodeo in Fallon will be decided today by Judge Archie Blake, who Thursday afternoon postponed a decision on a motion filed by Churchill County for a temporary restraining order to prevent the event from taking place in the county this weekend.
Organizers of the National Gay Rodeo Championship, which was expected to attract participants from throughout the country, earlier this week, signed a contract with Churchill County resident David Lantry to lease his arena for the event.
News leaked out which caused a controversy among Fallon residents, some of whom believe the gay rodeo should be allowed in the community and others who fear what might happen if it does take place here. And still others are vowing to stop the event by blocking off roads.
After denying a liquor license application by Hilda Lantry Wednesday during a packed county commissioners' meeting, commissioners Thursday morning in an emergency meeting gave District Attorney Kevin Pasquale permission to file a motion requesting a temporary restraining order to prevent the event, planned for Saturday.
According to Pasquale, NRS 244.3548 requires private property owners planning an event that will be attended by more than 1,000 people to file for an outdoor assembly license from the county 60 days before the event. Neither the Lantrys nor the Gay Rodeo Association applied for that license, which Pasquale said gives the county a chance to address concerns it has about the rodeo.
Specifically, Pasquale said concerns that focus on traffic, parking, dust and noise control, control of the rodeo animals, crowds, sewage and security remain unanswered questions.
In comments made in earlier news stories, Les Krambeal, president of the Gay Rodeo Association, said the association planned to hire private security for the event, bring in portable toilets and take other safety measures during the rodeo.
But Pasquale said none of this has been discussed with the county and he termed the lease with the Lantrys "underhanded."
Earlier, the association had attempted to rent the Churchill County Fairgrounds, but were denied a contract after Pasquale and Sheriff Bill Lawry voiced the above concerns. They asked for three days to look into the matter, but Pasquale said the association never got back to them.
Pasquale said he believed the association was no longer interested in Churchill County as a site for the rodeo.
However, David Lantry reportedly offered the association the use of his roping arena, located on Union Lane in Fallon. Crews from the association have been working at the arena for the past several days cleaning it up and readying it for the event.
Thursday afternoon Pasquale said it would be illegal for anybody to hold the event or even sell tickets under the state law he has based his motion on for a restraining order.
Thursday, Lantry said he hadn't had enough notice to allow his attorneys, who are based in Reno, time to prepare a case. He asked for a continuance until this afternoon, but Blake opted for 10 a.m. this morning. The judge added that there would be no more continuances granted.
Lantry said he would make no comment on the matter until today in court.
Court reconvenes this morning at 10 in the Law Enforcement building on North Maine Street.