Nevada Briefs |

Nevada Briefs

WADSWORTH, Nev. (AP) – Sheriff’s deputies were investigating Tuesday whether a body found in the Truckee River near Wadsworth was that of a 20-year-old man who was believed to have drowned upstream on May 1.

A couple discovered the body of an adult male about 12:20 p.m. Tuesday and contacted the Washoe County Sheriff’s office.

Authorities planned an autopsy to determine if it is the body of Edward Wilt, 20, Sun Valley. Wilt apparently drowned after jumping into the river on May 1 near Painted Rock east of Reno.

Friends said he was not a strong swimmer and panicked when he entered the water.

They were unable to rescue him.

Authorities continue to warn the public that a hefty Sierra snowpack is melting and the region’s rivers are swollen with frigid, swift water.

Former Thunder-bird commander, fighter pilot dies

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Chris Patterakis, a former commander of the Air Force Thunderbirds and a decorated fighter pilot, has died. He was 70 years old.

Patterakis died May 9 of unknown causes while visiting Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, according to his brother, Mike Patterakis.

Patterakis commanded the Thunderbirds flight demonstration team based at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas from 1975 to 1977.

A child of Greek immigrants, he flew 315 combat missions during the Vietnam War. In 1978 Patterakis launched an unsuccessful bid for Congress. He later started his own local telephone company and worked for 10 years as a pilot for United Airlines until his retirement in 2001.

His military colleagues remembered him for his strong leadership.

“If you had a case, and a sign that said, ‘Break in time of war,’ Chris Patterakis would be inside,” said Bob Gore, a former Air Force colleague. “You would just follow him to hell and back; I would.”

Services are scheduled Wednesday and Thursday in Modesto.

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