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KUNR Today: Cortez Masto leads Laxalt in Nevada Independent poll but Biden’s approval rating ominous

Catherine Cortez Masto is standing at a podium and speaking into a microphone.
Daniel Clark
The Nevada Independent
U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto speaks during the Nevada Democratic Party election night event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Nov. 6, 2018.

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

Poll: Cortez Masto leads Laxalt for Nevada Senate; ominous signs over Biden approval
By Humberto Sanchez

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto leads likely Republican opponent and former Attorney General Adam Laxalt by 8 percentage points, but voter economic angst and President Joe Biden’s low approval rating could threaten her re-election bid.

New data from a Nevada Independent and OH Predictive Insights poll shows that Biden’s approval rating is lower than how former President Donald Trump is viewed right now. According to the poll, 52 percent of Nevada voters say they disapprove of the job Biden has done and 43 percent approve. But 46 percent of voters say they view Trump favorably. The former president has endorsed Laxalt, who served as co-chair of Trump’s 2020 campaign in the state.

The poll also showed that Cortez Masto received 43 percent of voters’ support compared to Laxalt, who received 35 percent.

Read more of this story at The Nevada Independent

WCSD Board of Trustees to pick new superintendent during Tuesday meeting
By Lucia Starbuck

The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees will select its new superintendent during their meeting Tuesday. There are five finalists, and only one candidate currently works in Nevada. That’s Jhone Ebert, and she’s the Nevada State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

There’s also Susan Enfield, a superintendent for a public school district in the state of Washington, and Sherrell Hobbs, CEO and president of Victory Educational Solutions in Florida. The other two finalists currently work in California: Shawn Loescher, CEO of Urban Discovery Schools in San Diego, and Caprice Young, the president of Education Growth Group in LA.

The position will start in July. Learn more about the candidates here.

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

Colorado bill would give state lawmakers 12 weeks of paid parental leave
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

A Colorado bill would give state lawmakers 12 weeks of paid parental leave, making the state the first in the country to codify those benefits for legislators.

Jean Sinzdak is with the Center for American Women and Politics. She points out Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico have some of the highest percentages of women state legislators, and this legislation reflects that.

“There’s a historical line to be drawn in terms of the relatively high proportion for women’s representation in a lot of Western states. And the legacy of suffrage and women’s participation very early on in the early days of their governments,” Sinzdak said.

That legacy fails to persist in at least one state in the Mountain West, though. Wyoming was the first to grant women the right to vote. Today, it sits near the bottom nationally for its low percentage of female state lawmakers.

US judge: Nevada inmate's execution challenge may be moot
By The Associated Press

A federal judge in Las Vegas says he’ll decide May 16 whether to dismiss a condemned Nevada killer’s lawsuit challenging the state’s plan for his lethal injection, because the state doesn't have one of the drugs it would use.

U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware acknowledged Monday that key questions about the execution method remain unanswered following weeks of testimony late last year.

But the supply of a sedative prisons officials planned to use for Zane Floyd’s lethal injection expired on Feb. 28, and a state official says they’ve been unable to get more. There also is no active death warrant in Floyd’s case, so Boulware said the question before him might have become moot.

California mayors want $3 billion over 3 years for homeless
By The Associated Press

The mayors of California’s 11 largest cities asked Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature on Monday to approve $3 billion over three years in the state budget for flexible homeless funding to go directly to cities. The mayors said flexible homeless funding is approved annually and they are asking for a three-year commitment from lawmakers and the governor.

They said Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention program funds have allowed them to come up with innovative ways to combat homelessness in their cities, including building tiny cabins and setting up lots for people living in RVs and other vehicles.

Mayors at a news conference said that the funds allowed them to add 9,000 new shelter beds and help 25,000 homeless people statewide.

High-altitude technology to measure emissions above oil and gas wells
By Emma Gibson, Mountain West News Bureau

Plans to monitor oil and gas emissions from high in the sky are afoot in the Mountain West. Think of an almost 300-foot-long silver blimp, but one in the stratosphere to measure methane. The New Mexico company Sceye calls them High-Altitude Platform Stations or HAPS.

Sceye’s CEO, Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, said the HAPS can stay above the same oil and gas wells, whereas drones or satellites move. He said they’ll dramatically improve how we see methane particles.

“We can see the difference between ‘Is it [a] pipeline that’s leaking or the cow standing next to it?’ [This is] understood as ‘We can see the specific emitter,’ ” Frandsen said.

The project started with a 2021 agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency and some state departments to monitor air quality. He said they’ll be ready to start the monitoring process this fall.

Nevada Department of Agriculture warns of highly infectious bird influenza
By Lucia Starbuck

The Nevada Department of Agriculture is warning bird owners to be vigilant of an extremely infectious virus. A strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has been detected in Nevada’s neighboring states Idaho and Utah. The virus can infect poultry, along with wild and pet birds.

Some advice includes washing hands, using PPE, and avoiding flock exposure to wild birds and waterfowl. Owners are also being asked to quarantine sick birds immediately and report it to the USDA at (866) 536-7593 or the Nevada Department of Agriculture state veterinarian.

The avian influenza does not pose an immediate public health concern, according to the CDC.

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