The life of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who rose from childhood poverty and deprivation in Nevada to become one of the nation’s most powerful elected officials, will be celebrated by two American presidents and other Democratic leaders on Saturday, a testament to his impact on some of the most consequential legislation of the 21st century.
President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are scheduled to speak during an invitation-only memorial for the longtime Senate leader who died Dec. 28 at home in Henderson, Nevada, at age 82 of complications from pancreatic cancer.
Former President Barack Obama, who credits Reid for his rise to the White House, is scheduled to deliver the eulogy.
“The president believes that Harry Reid is one of the greatest leaders in Senate history,” White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday. “So he is traveling to pay his respects to a man who had a profound impact on this nation.”
Biden served for two decades with Reid in the Senate and worked with him for eight years when Biden was vice president.
Along with Obama, Elder M. Russell Ballard, a senior apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will speak at the 2,000-seat concert hall about Reid’s 60 years in the Mormon faith. Vice President Kamala Harris also will attend.
“These are not only some of the most consequential leaders of our time — they are also some of Harry’s best friends,” Reid’s wife of 62 years, Landra Reid, said in a statement announcing plans for the Smith Center for the Performing Arts event. “Harry loved every minute of his decades working with these leaders and the incredible things they accomplished together.”
Reid’s daughter and four sons also are scheduled to speak.
Obama, in a letter to Reid before his death, recalled their close relationship, their different backgrounds and Reid’s climb from an impoverished former gold mining town in the Mojave Desert to leadership in Congress.
“Not bad for a skinny, poor kid from Searchlight,” Obama wrote. “I wouldn’t have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support, and I wouldn’t have got most of what I got done without your skill and determination.”
Reid served for 34 years in Washington and led the Senate through a crippling recession and the Republican takeover of the House after the 2010 elections.
He muscled Obama’s signature health care act through the Senate; blocked plans for a national nuclear waste repository in the Nevada desert; authored a 1986 bill that created Great Basin National Park; and was credited with helping casino company MGM Mirage get financial backing to complete a multibillion-dollar project on the Strip during the Great Recession.
Singer-songwriter and environmentalist Carole King and Brandon Flowers, lead singer of the Las Vegas-based rock band The Killers, are scheduled to perform during the memorial.
“The thought of having Carole King performing in Harry’s honor is a tribute truly beyond words,” Landra Reid said in her statement. In addition to his daughter and sons, Reid is survived by numerous grandchildren.
Those flying to Las Vegas will arrive at the newly renamed Harry Reid International Airport. It was previously named for Pat McCarran, a former Democratic U.S. senator from Nevada who once owned the airfield and whose legacy is clouded by racism and anti-Semitism.
New Hampshire police are searching the last known location of Harmony Montgomery, a 7-year-old girl who has been missing since 2019.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office announced Saturday Manchester police will search 77 Gilford St. in Manchester, the last location Harmony was known to be at before she went missing, WCVB reported.
Authorities conducted a search of the residence on Jan. 2 but did not find anything conclusive, according to WCVB.
The current residents at 77 Gilford St. are not involved with the case, Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said, the news outlet reported.
Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, was arrested Tuesday. He was charged with felony second-degree assault arising from 2019 conduct against Harmony, as well as one misdemeanor charge of interference with custody and two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child, pertaining to Harmony, according to officials.
The girl’s stepmother, Kayla Montgomery, was arrested after receiving food stamp benefits for the missing 7-year-old girl, police said.
According to authorities, between December 2019 and June 2021, Kayla obtained over $1,500 in food stamp benefits “by failing to remove Harmony Montgomery from Kayla’s family account.”
Harmony was enrolled in school in Massachusetts in 2019. She spent her early life in foster care in Massachusetts with her younger brother Jamison, according to Blair Miller, the boy’s father, the Washington Post reported.
When Miller adopted Jamison in 2019, he was told that Harmony had been reunited with her father. Jamison had often talked of his sister, but Miller and his husband’s efforts to connect with her had been unsuccessful, he told the newspaper.
Officials set up a dedicated tip line – 603-203-6060 – for information that could help officials find Harmony and announced reward money for tips that lead to the girl’s location.
As of Saturday, the reward sum had reached $94,000, Manchester police announced.
A winter weather advisory was issued in Massachusetts for Sunday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. due to freezing rain.
The advisory, issued in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Worcester Counties, predicts ice accumulations of up to one-tenth of an inch.
“Icing is expected to produce slippery roads and hazardous travel conditions,” the National Weather Service wrote. “Plan travel accordingly and drive with caution.”
The coldest air of the season is expected early next week with Arctic air leading to bitterly cold conditions Monday night into Tuesday, the weather service said.
“Temps top out in the single digits to mid-teens with wind chill values as low as -20F,” the NWS announced.
Friday brought the first real snowfall of the season in the state with more than a dozen communities topping a foot of snow.
Those heavy amounts were concentrated in the eastern part of the state, however, areas outside the main swath of the storm, including much of outer Cape Cod and the west, saw just a few inches.