CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada Press Association on Saturday inducted four new members to the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame — Myram Borders, Bill Roberts, Alf Doten and A.L Higginbotham.
Borders, now retired, was a journalist for 36 years, including 25 as Las Vegas bureau manager for United Press International. She broke news, fought for Nevada’s Open Meeting Law and mentored young reporters.
Her efforts to allow cameras in the Nevada courtrooms were a major step forward for print and television journalism in Nevada.
For one of her biggest stories, in 1967 she was tipped that Elvis Presley was marrying Priscilla Beaulieu at the Aladdin Hotel. She went to the hotel and spotted Nevada Supreme Court Justice David Zenoff, who confirmed the news. The wedding occurred at 1 a.m. and Borders was the only reporter there.
She moved to Las Vegas from Kentucky at age 4 in 1940 when the town’s population was about 8,000. She graduated in the class of 1954 from Las Vegas High School.
Graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1958, she immediately entered journalism full time working for UPI and later for the Reno Gazette-Journal before returning to UPI.
Sometimes luck played a role in her scoops. She was driving home from work along Sahara Avenue in 1982 when she heard an explosion and drove straight toward it. Mob associate Frank Rosenthal was standing next to his demolished car after an assassination attempt, a scene later made famous in the movie “Casino.”
Roberts, who died in 2015, was a Tonopah native and mainstay for three decades for Central Nevada Newspapers, which he formed in 1975 with his parents and his wife, Bobby Jean.
The newspaper group included some of Nevada’s most historic newspapers — the Tonopah Times-Bonanza and Goldfield News, Reese River Reveille and Eureka Sentinel. His father, Gerald, also is a member of the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame.
Following graduation from UNR with a distinction in journalism, Roberts worked as reporter and copy desk editor on the San Rafael Independent-Journal in Marin County, Calif. He later worked for Chalfant Press in Bishop, Calif., before returning to Tonopah to help form Central Nevada Newspapers.
An active member of the Nevada Press Association, he was awarded “young journalist of the year” and, by 1980, was leading the NPA as its president.
After the newspapers were sold to Stephens Media, Roberts continued to write regularly for the Times-Bonanza.
Higginbotham and Doten were longtime figures in the history of Nevada journalism and were inducted as part of the Newspaper Hall of Fame’s effort to recognize some of the industry’s figures from the past
Higginbotham taught journalism at the University of Nevada for 43 years and, in many ways, can be considered a founder of the Nevada Press Association.
Several of his students — Bryn Armstrong, Paul Leonard, John Sanford, Chris Sheerin and Warren Lerude among them — are members of the Hall of Fame, which Higginbotham helped create in the 1920s.
Doten moved to Nevada in 1863 to participate in the silver boom but soon began work as a reporter on the Como Sentinel, Virginia Daily Union, Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, and Gold Hill Daily News, which he bought in 1872 and guided to a legacy as one of the leading newspapers of the Comstock.
In addition to his journalistic efforts, Doten is best known for his exhaustive private diaries, which he began writing when he boarded a ship to California in 1849 and continued until the last day of his life in 1903. They provided an invaluable source of history about Nevada’s Comstock era.