Return of the terrifying candidate!



April Fools! The stories in this week’s feature package contain satire, exaggeration and outright misinformation. … Or do they?

After a complex black magic ceremony, which required the ritualized bloodletting of three illegal immigrant virgins, as well as the repeated incantation of the Second Amendment by a chorus of Tea Partiers dressed in black ceremonial robes, the latest incarnation of Sharron Angle has hatched from the oozing chrysalis in which she has slumbered for the last six years.

Angle reverted to pupal form after her crushing defeat by Harry Reid in the 2010 Senate race. Immediately upon hatching earlier this week, the hideous beast known as Herr Rroyal Wrretchedness Sharron spewed out a fume of noxious green gas and said, in a voice that was somehow both a cackle and a roar, “I WILL BE SENATE.” She then eyed her faithful apostles, who bowed before her, quaking with fear and trembling with awe, and she spoke again, slowly and deliberately: “SOME OF YOU LOOK A LITTLE ASIAN TO ME.”

She then reached out with one scaly talon and lifted up a nearby worshiper. “YOUR HEAD LOOKS LIKE A LEMON,” she said, before biting the man’s head off. “NOW MAKE LEMONADE.”

She then dipped her talon into the gaping wound atop the man’s torso and used his blood to scrawl two messages: “SECOND AMENDMENT SOLUTIONS” and “TRRUMP/ANGLE 2016.”

And with each new victim, the monster’s ambition continues to grow.

—Dan Brumby

Tesla City (UPI) - Acting in Nevada's newly named capitol, Gov. Tesla signed legislation supplementing schools funding to several Nevada counties, including Tesla County, to make up for revenue shortfalls since the state's corporation subsidy binge began with STAR bonds (Sales Tax Anticipated Revenue) and extending through the 2014 Tesla welfare package for $1.3 billion in sales and use and property tax breaks along with hiring and investment tax credits, believed to be the largest corporate welfare package in human history.

“We look at this [schools bailout] as a sign of our state’s prosperity,” the governor said in signing the measure.

On hand to watch the signing were the heads of various education organizations, including the Parent Tesla Association (PTA).

Still to be dealt with is the shortfall experienced by the state’s higher education system. The University of Tesla and the community college system are expected to receive substantial supplementary funding, another sign of prosperity.

—Tesla T. Tesla

A continuing rash of fires at some of the nation's historic cemeteries has had authorities scratching their heads for months. But now, a University of Nevada, Reno professor has come up with a theory to explain the mysterious blazes.

“It’s all Donald Trump!” said UNR history professor Michael Shoe. “Every time that guy says something stupid, another cemetery goes up in flames.”

According to Shoe, he began putting the pieces together back in December by comparing the dates of Trump’s inflammatory statements with the dates of major cemetery fires.

“June 16—Trump announced his presidential bid and said that Mexican immigrants are rapists who are bringing drugs and crime across the border with them,” Shoe recalled. “The same day, the Crown Hill Cemetery in Washington Township, Indiana, went up in flames. July 18—Trump called out John McCain and other POWs, saying he likes ’people who weren’t captured.’ That same day, there was a huge fire in the cemetery at the United First Parish Church in Quincy, Massachusetts.”

During the course of his research, Shoe isolated a total of seven cemetery fires that broke out on dates that corresponded with Trump having made inflammatory statements.

“When I really became sure, when I was positive, was after the March 3 GOP debate, you know, when Trump decided to assure Americans that he doesn’t have a small penis,” Shoe said. “That night, the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, went up in smoke. Isn’t it obvious? Who’s buried in these cemeteries? It’s Thomas Jefferson and John Adams and James Monroe. It’s our Founding Fathers, and they’re rolling over in their graves. They’re spinning so fast that they’re catching fire!”

Authorities have said that they can neither confirm nor debunk Shoe’s theory, but several Fire Science experts have corroborated the hypothesis.

“It makes sense,” said former UNR Fire Science Academy instructor, William Bosanko. “The friction created by bone spinning against wood—that could spark a fire, most definitely.”

In the meantime, fire crews will be stationed at the burial sites of the nation’s forefathers during all of Trump’s speaking engagements, just in case.

—Wilja Cherdel-Glisney

A group of University of Nevada, Reno students has unveiled a new app for Android and IOS users. The group designed and built the MomBlock app to help college kids avoid embarrassing interactions with their mothers on social media.

“According to the Pew Research Center, 75 percent of parents are on social media,” said Heidi Dittrich, a computer science major and one of the app’s creators. “And, according to me, they’re embarrassing 100 percent of the time. Once you’re in college, you just don’t need that kind of stress.”

Dittrich and fellow app creators, Rob Prattle and John Bainsbury, created MomBlock as a part of a senior seminar course at UNR. According to the trio, the app can do everything from flagging and removing embarrassing baby photos that users have been tagged in to detecting the fake accounts mothers often set up to spy on their children.

“We built an algorithm for MomBlock that scans the posts and tweets of all of your social media friends and followers,” said Bainsbury. “It’s designed to detect phrases and keywords that might be used by a mother trying to pass as another young person.”

“It was simple, really,” Prattle explained. “Moms use old people lingo. So, MomBlock will flag posts and tweets that contain phrases like ’what’s the 411?’ or ’that’s bitchin’.’” The app alerts you and, boom, you now know that your new Facebook friend is really your mom in disguise.”

The app’s other features include Twitter and Facebook bots that can be programmed to send out automated direct messages geared toward placating meddlesome mothers. The messages can be customized but also come with a standard list of prepared phrases like “So excited for geography class today” and “With all these college classes, who has time for parties?”

“This is groundbreaking,” said Prattle. “No more will our mothers torment us online. Think about it. Your mom friends you on Facebook—harmless, right? Wrong. Just think of the damage your mom could do when you’ve inadvertently given her the keys to the kingdom. She’ll be checking up on the girls you’re talking to. She’ll be checking to see if you’re posting when you’re supposed to be in class. MomBlock can put a stop to all that. Sorry, mom.”

MomBlock has only been on the market for a week and has already been downloaded by more than 2.5 million users. It has a 4-star rating in both Google Play and the Apple Store, making it a sure contender for the most popular app of the year. With a price tag of $4.99, it’s among the more expensive apps on the market. But the developers think it’s worth it.

“Just imagine the pain and suffering and humiliation you’ll be saved,” Dittrich said. “MomBlock is going to keep your mother off your back. That, and we really need the money to pay for beer and weed, or, um, I mean sodas and fruit juice and stuff.”

—Zach Murkerberg

The Reno Gazette-Journal today gloated over its successful drive to overthrow the Washoe County School Board.

In a story headlined “Troubles inspire 20 to vie for 4 seats,” the newspaper told a carefully sanitized tale of its two-year effort to drive the elected members out of office.

“Both [retiring members Lisa] Ruggerio and [Howard] Rosenberg were among members who twice broke the Nevada Open Meeting Law and were fined by the state,” wrote reporter Trevon Milliard. The board members were advised to act as they did by the school district attorney, and the fines were brought by an attorney general who was unwilling to stand up to the newspaper-driven furor—though her deputies advised her against the fines, which were a breach of state policy against prosecuting officials who follow their lawyers’ advice.

As a consequence of the newspaper’s vendetta, a long-standing state policy has been altered, leaving all public officials uncertain when they may run afoul of the law, and a proposed school funding ballot measure this fall thrown into doubt. Now, that’s an April fool.

Since the RGJ campaign against the board began, two board members have resigned for health reasons, and the rest are declining to seek reelection. One appointed incumbent is running for a full term.

Retiring members of the board declined to return the newspaper’s calls.

Contacted on press deadline, a member of the USA Today Network’s editorial board was aghast that anyone would question the newspaper’s motives: “You guys are mean.”

—Ned Synsimer

Lisa Banner is a life-long Nevadan. She was born in Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center in 1974, graduated from Reno High School in 1992, and completed a degree in Nutrition from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1996. She married her husband, William, at Lake Tahoe in 2002. Their two children, Bruce, 12, and David, 10, were also born in Reno. William was born in San Diego in 1976, but moved to Reno with his family when he was 9. The family owns a home in Southwest Reno, which they purchased in 2011.

Banner has held several jobs in several different industries in several locations all around the Truckee Meadows. She and her family dine out at least once a week, and have tried many different restaurants around town, including several restaurants in local casino resorts. At least once a month, she and her husband go out for a concert, also often at a local casino resort.

Despite her life-long residency in Reno, Banner had never gambled. That is, until last Tuesday. While waiting at the airport for her husband and sons, just returning from a trip to visit her husband’s grandmother in San Diego, Banner dropped a quarter into a slot machine. She did not win any money.

“Well, I had never tried it before,” she said. “It was just something to kill time for a minute. I don’t know. It was kind of fun, I guess.”

When asked why, despite growing up in a state world-renowned for its gambling, she had never tried it before, Banner answered, “Growing up here, we were just never very interested” in her home state’s biggest industry.

—John Sparks

Tahoe Tessie, a “half fish/half lizard/half dinosaur” who has lived in Lake Tahoe for over 10,000 years, recently decided to move downriver to Pyramid Lake.

“Honestly, I would have moved a few years ago,” she told reporters recently. “But the water level of the Truckee River was so paltry the last couple of years—it was too low for me to make the swim down to Pyramid.”

When asked why she didn’t just travel through the network of underground caves connecting the two rivers, she responded: “Too many Morlocks.”

She said she decided to move away from Tahoe because of the high cost of living and what she described as “repulsive gentrification. … And if I had to hear one more fucking jam band, I would’ve gone on a killing spree.”

At one point, Tessie lost her temper with a reporter who asked about Tessie’s cousin, Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Tessie reprimanded the reporter for bringing up her famous cousin, who she referred to as “an attention-grabbing hussy—you know she’s just a cheap knockoff, right?”

However, Tessie seemed genuinely happy about her new place of residence. She said that she and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe had come to a great arrangement that granted her residence in exchange for help policing the ghost children who haunt the lake at dusk every day.

“This is really going to be a great fit for me,” she said. “This lake is just much more conducive to supernatural life.”

—Harry Henderson

Local fans of the Sharknado franchise have cause for celebration. In a joint press release issued last week, the SyFy channel and the The Asylum film production company announced that the fourth installment in the series will be filmed in Lake Tahoe.

“We’ve done Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C.,” said Thunder Levin, who wrote the screenplay. “I thought that, this time, it’d be nice to break away from the big city, metropolitan feel, you know. Lake Tahoe is a beautiful setting. I think the sharks will really shine there.”

According to director Anthony C. Ferrante, Tahoe was the logical choice for several reasons.

“Well, first off, you need a big body of water,” Ferrante said. “And I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that we also had to consider a plot device we could use to get the sharks from the ocean to an inland setting.”

Ferrante’s teaser regarding how the sharks will make it across California to the Sierra has set the social media sphere abuzz with speculation. One popular theory assumes that the movie will reveal a series of underground waterways linking the lake to the Pacific.

We spoke with Phillip Wolkman, a local meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Reno, who has his own theory.

“I think they’ll use a storm,” said Wolkman. “It’ll be something like a Pineapple Express, which is a storm system that starts out as tropical moisture near Hawaii that gets carried in an atmospheric river all the way to the West Coast and sometimes into the Sierra. That would totally work. And we do occasionally get water spouts, which are essentially very weak tornados over water. We get those on Tahoe. It works.”

For now, theories continue to abound and locals are anxiously awaiting a casting call for extras to play alongside the movie’s returning stars like Tara Reid and Ian Ziering, as well as the expected slew of celebrities making cameo appearances in the film.

—Lightning Jones

Many Nevadans took offense last year when First Lady Michelle Obama used her anti-obesity campaign Let's Move to advise Americans to “skip the buffet.” With more than 10 dozen buffets spread across the Silver State, it's little wonder that some residents regarded the advice as a personal affront. Now the first lady is raising hackles again—this time by taking to social media to directly call out a beloved Reno dining tradition.

“AYCE Sushi … Really, #Reno?” Mrs. Obama tweeted. “#ShowSomeRestraint. Fish is supposed to be healthy!”

Not taking the message lightly, Reno residents have begun firing back with tweets of their own—claiming that the first lady is just jealous of Reno’s fishy bounty and using the hashtag #EatYourHeartOutMichelle.

—Ivanka Drinkpabst