No Major Disruptions in Downtown on New Year's

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Police officials in Reno and at Lake Tahoe say their New Year celebrations were crowded, but relatively uneventful.

Authorities in Reno think the threat of snow may have discouraged some troublemakers and kept drunks off the road. The snow held off until well into the new year.

They estimate 50,000 people jammed the downtown area for the countdown and the fireworks.

That's about the same number officials at Tahoe estimate thronged into the casino area at the south shore despite the snow that fell there.

From dusk on New Year's Eve until daybreak on New Year's Day, 65 people were booked into the Washoe County jail - 19 for suspicion of drunken driving.

That compares to 122 last year and about 50 on a typical night.

At Tahoe, 29 people were booked into the Douglas County jail and 22 into the El Dorado County jail on the California side. Officials say that's about on a par with last year.

At the lake, officials eased some of the crush by moving a barricade from the state line area farther into California.

"It was far more mellow than in the past," said El Dorado County sheriff's Sgt. Don Atkinson. "Getting into the crowd was much easier. We could set up and move more freely to the problem site."

Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini said the extra room on the California side took some of the burden off his staff and the Nevada Highway Patrol.

"When people get close, that's when you have so many fights," he said.

In Reno, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Rob Stepien praised the celebrants for their conduct.

"We would like to thank all who rang in the New Year with responsibility and good judgment," he said.

"The ones that didn't, spent their New Year's Eve in a holding cell."


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