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KUNR Today: Under DNC plan, Nevada may get better spot on 2024 presidential nominating calendar

People mill around a high school while a man in the background holds a Bernie Sanders sign.
David Calvert
The Nevada Independent
Voters at Sparks High School during the 2020 Nevada Democratic caucus on Feb. 22, 2020.

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Monday, April 25, 2022.

Under DNC plan, Nevada may get better spot on 2024 presidential nominating calendar
By Humberto Sanchez

The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee has adopted a proposal to designate up to five states that will hold early presidential primary contests, a move that could result in Nevada improving its third-place spot on the nominating calendar.

States will be required to submit a letter of intent to apply for one of the five spots by early May, with applications due in early June, followed by presentations to the panel.

A group of former staffers to the late Senator Harry Reid have already begun making a case for Nevada to go first. They argue Nevada does well under the plan, which considers factors like ethnic diversity and high levels of union representation.

Nevada has gone third behind Iowa and New Hampshire in recent primary cycles, even though those two states are not as diverse as Nevada.

The Silver State used to be a caucus state until last year, when the Legislature advanced a bill that switched to a presidential primary.

Read more of this story at The Nevada Independent

Carbon Reduction Program aims to reduce Nevada emissions
By Nick Stewart

Nevada will be receiving funding toward reducing transportation emissions from a new program created under President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law.

The Carbon Reduction Program will provide nearly $11 million this year to go toward the development of carbon reduction strategies. Those can include the electrification of vehicles and facilitating what are called micromobility services, such as bike and scooter programs. The goal is to reduce emissions on Nevada roads to combat climate change.

The state will be receiving funding for these projects over the next five years and is eligible to receive up to roughly $57 million total.

Cancer rates decreasing for most Americans but not Native Americans
By Dave Rosenthal, Mountain West News Bureau

Cancer rates are going down for most Americans – but not for Native people. A new program is taking aim at that problem.

When it comes to cancer, Native Americans have the lowest survival rate of any group in the nation, according to Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. It wants to find ways to improve screening, diagnosis and treatment for some common cancers.

The center says a big part of the problem is that tribal lands are so vast; that’s a barrier to screening and good care. Cultural taboos can be an issue, too, and clinics on reservations often lack treatment services.

The program will look at breast, colorectal and stomach cancers. It will start in Apache and Navajo communities, but the goal is to find solutions for any tribe.

US Sen. Cruz joins Laxalt in Nevada to bash Cortez Masto
By The Associated Press

Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas joined GOP Senate candidate Adam Laxalt of Nevada in bashing Democratic U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto during a campaign rally in suburban Las Vegas. Laxalt on Friday characterized his bid to unseat Cortez Masto as an effort to flip the evenly split Senate to Republican. Both candidates are staunch supporters of former President Donald Trump.

As he did at stops Thursday in northern Nevada, Laxalt criticized Cortez Masto’s stance on coronavirus policies and border security. On Friday, he and Cruz blamed her for rising gasoline prices.

Cortez Masto’s campaign defended her record Friday and accused Laxalt of continuing to deny that Trump lost the 2020 presidential election.

A Colorado airport aims to reduce carbon footprint by using alternative fuel
By Emma Gibson, Mountain West News Bureau

What if the next plane you flew on was powered by a blend of jet fuel and livestock tallow…or fat? A Mountain West airport has moved to reduce its carbon footprint by bringing on the alternative fuel.

This spring, the Eagle County Regional Airport near Vail, Colorado, began offering the fatty jet fuel sourced from unwanted livestock tallow.

Brian Batty works for Signature Flights Support, a sustainable aviation fuel company. He says, in the long run, their fuel reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent compared to fossil jet fuel.

“Which is a great impact to the environment — to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. We’re working towards getting the entire aviation industry to lower their carbon footprint,” said Batty.

The blend is about 30 percent tallow and 70 percent traditional jet fuel, and it’s more expensive.

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions says about 2 percent of global CO2 emissions comes from aviation.

Washoe County wastewater shows omicron BA.2 most dominant COVID-19 strain
By Lucia Starbuck

Researchers with the University of Nevada, Reno are reporting that the omicron BA.2 is the dominant COVID-19 variant in Washoe County, according to wastewater samples collected at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility in Sparks, which treats most of the wastewater in the area.

UNR researchers say more than 99 percent of the COVID-19 variants detected were omicron BA.2, but this hasn’t led to an increase in cases in Washoe County.

“Our numbers are still consistently low, and it’s been a low for quite a few weeks now. We’re constantly getting about the low two-digit numbers for daily cases. But obviously, as we know about viral evolution, we are aware of certain upticks in larger cities and around the world, so we are still very vigilant looking at our numbers,” said Nancy Diao, the Division Director of Epidemiology and Public Health Preparedness at the Washoe County Health District.

The wastewater monitoring is done through the Nevada Water Innovation Institute at UNR, and it partners with the City of Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County. The program began in 2020 and is funded with federal COVID dollars.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member forReport for America, an initiative of theGroundTruth Project.

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