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KUNR Today: Susan Enfield named Washoe County superintendent, antisemitic acts on the rise in Nev.

Susan Enfield Washoe County Superintendent KUNR Today
Courtesy of Highline Public Schools
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An official headshot of Susan Enfield, who was named the new superintendent of the Washoe County School District on Tuesday, April 26.

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

Washoe County School District selects new superintendent
By Gustavo Sagrero

The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees selected Susan Enfield as the new superintendent for the district on Tuesday. Enfield has spent the last decade as the superintendent for Highline Public Schools in the state of Washington.

There’s a wide variety of roles Enfield will carry out, like making decisions about spending, educational programs, staffing and facilities.

As the board came to a final decision, departing superintendent Kristen McNeill, who is retiring in late June, was applauded for her work for the school district. The board is now entering into negotiations with Enfield regarding the terms of her job offer.

Antisemitic acts on the rise in Nevada
By Lucretia Cunningham

A new report from the Anti-Defamation League shows antisemitic incidents in Nevada increased by 64% from 2020 to 2021. The ADL’s yearly audit revealed that incidents against Jewish people were at an all-time high nationally in 2021. In Nevada, cases specific to harassment were up by 173%, with 30 reported cases compared to only 11 reported in 2020.

One example involves the case of a Northern Nevada Jewish student who received a text message from her classmates showing a picture of a Nazi and swastikas.

The organization has tracked criminal and non-criminal antisemitic acts of prejudice or discrimination since the late-1970s but said 2021 showed significant spikes across the board for assaults, harassment and vandalism. During that time, the group received more than 2,700 reported cases nationwide — more than seven incidents per day.

Lombardo, in GOP forum, derides Nevada public health option
By The Associated Press

The consensus Republican front-runner for Nevada governor drew attention and applause from a GOP luncheon audience when he used an expletive to deride Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s decision to enact a state-managed public health insurance option.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo was talking about homelessness and the Clark County jail serving as a mental health services center. He blamed Sisolak for making things like the public option a priority. The governor last year signed Nevada's public health care option into law, amid projections that it will lower insurance premium costs for 350,000 people.

Lombardo was among nine GOP governor candidates at the forum at a country club in Henderson ahead of the June 14th Republican Party primary.

Fire managers face daunting challenges despite boost in funding
By Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

New federal funding may help with forest and wildfire management, but there are still hurdles, according to Tuesday’s Western Governors’ Association webinar on the subject.

Experts made a few things clear: increases in firefighter wages aren’t keeping pace with skyrocketing housing costs in many areas. And the wages aren’t always enough to keep employees around who are burnt out from longer fire seasons.

Kacey KC is a firewarden with the Nevada Department of Conservation & Natural Resources. She said there’s also a continued need to work with private citizens and groups to manage land with tools like prescribed burns.

“It doesn’t mean we’re going to have easy conversations every time,” she said. “But we have to have those conversations and be able to be civil.”

There also might be more money for supplies, but KC noted it’s still hard to get certain necessities like chainsaws and vehicles because of supply-chain issues. To concentrate efforts, federal and state agencies pinpointed areas to treat first with things like prescribed burns and thinning. In the Mountain West, that includes parts of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona.

Protections sought for Western bird linked to piñon forests
By The Associated Press

A bird that is inextricably linked to the piñon and juniper forests that span the Western United States has seen its numbers decline over the last half century. Environmentalists announced Tuesday that they're petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the pinyon jay under the Endangered Species Act as a way to save the species and the trees.

A very social bird, the jay is known for stashing away piñon seeds, a habit that helps propagate the next generation of trees. Piñon and juniper forests across the West already have been affected by climate change, hotter and drier conditions and more severe wildfires.

UNR summer camp aims to prepare, support American Indian youths heading to college
By Gustavo Sagrero

Starting in June, a new camp hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno Extension program will guide high school and first-year college students through a higher education readiness program intended for American Indian and Alaska Native youths. It will be held on the shores of Lake Tahoe, and speakers from the school’s various STEM colleges will be there to give presentations.

The program’s goal is to show teens the various careers available throughout Nevada’s tribes and inform them on how to apply for college. They’ll get pointers on how to be successful in college and how to finance their education. There will also be some time for recreation at the lake. The deadline for students to register is June 1.

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