Moods in Lovelock differ as Simpson parole hearing nears

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LOVELOCK, Nev. (KOLO) Only about 1800 people live in Pershing County’s largest city. Meanwhile, the Lovelock Correctional Center that sits just outside the town has almost as many residents of its own, with one more famous than the rest.

Depending on who you talk to, the mood differs around Lovelock, as OJ Simpson prepares for the possibility of getting paroled.

“We still get a lot of tourists that come in and ask if OJ is out there, and we tell them yes he is,” says Michelle Kommers, a local teacher who also works at Temptations Café.

Inside Temptations Café, she says hearing people ask about Simpson happens all the time, and prison employees aren’t allowed to talk about him.

“The ones that do work here for the prison there is a gag order on; they are not allowed to talk about OJ.”

“It’s just kind of another day for us,” she adds. “But it’s for the courts to decide if he has served his time or not.”

Down the street at the Cowpoke Café, Dagny Singer says the small size of Lovelock leads to most people having some type of connection to the prison.

“Just because it’s so small and so close knit, you can’t really go anywhere without knowing someone or knowing someone that knows someone," she explained.

Singer adds that despite all the media attention Simpson receives, not all the people in Lovelock get tired of talking about him.

“I think it’s always an interesting topic,” Singer says. “It’s just one of those small-town things that everyone likes to talk about.”

Over at the Lovelock Visitors' Center, an increased amount of media is expected Thursday. And Wendy Nelsen says the town is ready.

“We are good with it,” Nelsen says. “Anyone that wants to show up here we welcome. Lovelock is the heart of Nevada, so we are ready.”

You can see live coverage of Simpson’s parole hearing from Lovelock Thursday, July 20, 2017 on Good Morning Reno and KOLO 8 News Now Midday.

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