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In this issue, which comes out five years since the October 1, 2017, mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, we revisit survivors to see how that night has changed the course of their lives.Read the digital editionDownload the full issue as a pdf

The Space Between

Photo of Desert Companion Editor Heidi Kyser
Ronda Churchill
Ronda Churchill Photography

FALL FEELS LIKE a break between seasons in our city, where it follows the hot mess of summer and precedes the frenetic cheer of the holidays. Philosophers of yoga write about the second between the inhale and exhale as the moment when the good stuff happens — though the entire breath requires attention for the process to work. The kids are well into their school year, Thanksgiving is a long way off. It would be easy to forget about the fleeting, in-between month of October, if it weren’t for the start of football season, hockey season, the perfect beauty of the Mojave in autumn, and were we not here, in Las Vegas, where October will forever be a time to remember. Don’t hold your breath. Take it in, pause, honor, breathe out. Hike to a good spot to catch a sunrise. And then … go get coffee or watch some hockey with your friends.

For this auspicious month, Desert Companion teamed up with KNPR’s State of Nevada to produce a series of complementary radio segments and written profiles about life five years after the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting. In our feature on p. 55, you’ll find a QR code linking to the whole series. We also celebrate the city’s growing pro-sports fandom (p. 49), explore our increasingly complex coffee scene (p. 25), visit a rural brothel turned B&B (p. 40), and much more in this issue — my first as interim editor of Desert Companion (if you missed founding editor Andrew Kiraly’s farewell, see p. 10 of our August-September issue).

You may recognize my byline. Since 2014, I’ve been staff writer, then senior writer and producer, then deputy editor here at Nevada Public Radio. I’m working hard to earn the confidence Andrew expressed passing me the torch, and I could use your help. Call or email me. Tell me what you like (or don’t) about the magazine and our biweekly newsletter, Fifth Street. What we do, we do for you. So, how are we doing?

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I hope you’re doing well, especially this month.


Desert Companion welcomed Heidi Kyser as staff writer in January 2014. In 2018, she was promoted to senior writer and producer, working for both DC and State of Nevada. She produced KNPR’s first podcast, the Edward R. Murrow Regional Award-winning Native Nevada, in 2020. The following year, she returned her focus full-time to Desert Companion, becoming Deputy Editor, which meant she was next in line to take over when longtime editor Andrew Kiraly left in July 2022.