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The best of 2021, part 1

ufo.jpg

Associated Press

A Department of Defense image from the Gimbal unidentified aerial phenomenon incident in 2015. In 2021, the Pentagon released additional information about what used to be called UFOs.

State of Nevada pulled together some of the top stories from 2021, with coverage ranging from civil rights to culture, from Hunter S. Thompson to UFOs. Today hear stories from the first half of 2021:

Among the voices we heard from:

Ruby Duncan, pioneering Las Vegas civil rights leader: “I was on welfare, and I was sick of it, I wanted to go to work, and the welfare department didn't want me to go to work. The so-called welfare system is so abusive and ridiculous.”

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Coco Montrese, headlining drag performer: “I started in college, and I did it to to actually not have to call home and ask for extra money.”

Montrese said performers can face challenges balancing their public and private personas, “II do recognize that people actually see us differently when we're on stage than when we're off stage.”

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Writer Veronica Klash, on the 50th anniversary of Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” said: “For me personally, as someone who has worked as part of the hospitality workforce in Las Vegas, just reading scene after scene of this man being cruel and just violent in many different ways toward hospitality workers was very difficult to get through.”

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Attorney and commentator Dayvid Figler countered, “As a timepiece, as something that was written about burgeoning Las Vegas in 1971, I think it did capture a lot of the city.”

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Michael Anderson spoke about the accident that killed five of his fellow bicyclists: “A truck pulls up behind us and says something really bad happened back there. ‘Your friends have been hit and they're all over the road.’

“And I go, ‘What?’ I'm just thinking, ‘OK, that can't be right. So I turn back around, we start to head back down.”

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Longtime TV journalist George Knapp on the government’s release of information on unexplained areal encounters, what used to be called UFOs: “If you'd told me 10 years ago, this was gonna happen. I'd have laughed at it. But it is a form of confirmation. It's a form of our government saying, ‘Hey, there's something real going on here.’”

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