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KUNR Today: Trump endorses Lombardo for Nev. governor, data show historic rise in housing prices

The front exterior of a single-story home for sale in Northwest Reno. A sign for a local realtor is also visible on the property’s front lawn.
Kaleb Roedel
/
KUNR Public Radio
Homes for sale in Reno, Nev., like this one in Northwest Reno seen Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, are not lasting long on the market due to the low inventory.

Read or listen to the news headlines for Friday, April 29, 2022.

Trump backs Vegas-area sheriff's GOP bid for Nevada governor
By The Associated Press

Former President Donald Trump is endorsing Joe Lombardo in his Republican bid to challenge the Democratic governor of Nevada. Trump's endorsement late Wednesday pointed to Lombardo's military service and his more than 30 years as a police officer.

Trump said he expects Lombardo to protect gun rights, oppose sanctuary cities, support law enforcement, veto any tax increase and secure elections. Lombardo is the consensus front-runner in a crowded field seeking the GOP nomination to run against Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak.

Lombardo issued a statement saying he wants to restore law and order, fix the state education system and build a strong economy. Sisolak's campaign noted that Trump lost Nevada in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

Federal data show historic increase in housing costs
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

New federal data show home prices in our region continue to sharply rise, and there’s likely little relief in sight. Numbers from the Federal Housing Finance Agency show a historic increase in housing prices from February 2021 to this year. In our region, home prices rose more than 24% - the highest nationwide.

Patrick Barkey leads the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at University of Montana. He sees a slow down on the horizon, but nothing significant.

“It looks like we're going to a situation where price growth is going to go from being spectacularly high to very high - better - but still putting a lot of pressure on households in our part of the country,” said Barkey.

House prices in our region are persistently high because of things like supply and demand — an issue deepened by the pandemic. Barkey said rising home prices are intensifying inequality in the Mountain West. Young folks and people of color here are more likely to get shut out of homeownership, a key way to build wealth.

Several Northern Nevada counties top state rankings for health outcomes
By Lucia Starbuck

Several Northern Nevada counties have ranked highest in the state for health outcomes. That’s according to the annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report released this week.

The report examines two health outcomes. Those are the average length of life and the quality of life. Douglas County ranked first for the second year in a row. Washoe, Storey, Pershing and Elko counties also made the top five.

The report also looked at several factors that impact health, like substance use, along with access to health care, livable wages, housing and nutritious food. Looking specifically at housing, Clark and Washoe counties, along with Carson City have the most severe housing problems statewide. Those problems can include overcrowding, high costs and a lack of kitchen and plumbing facilities.

One of the goals of the report is to illustrate that economic security is directly tied to health outcomes.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Gusty winds, dryness could fan spring US wildfires again
By The Associated Press

More of the dry, windy weather that helped fan spring wildfires from New Mexico to Nebraska is threatening to test the progress firefighters have made in controlling fires. Forecasters are warning that the volatile weather expected in the southwestern U.S. could create the same sort of conditions that sent blazes racing across the landscape last week.

In drought-stricken New Mexico, flames jumped a line built to corral the northwestern perimeter of a fire that has charred 97 square miles and burned homes. Some of the nearly 1,000 firefighters battling that fire were trying Thursday to prevent it from reaching another small community.

California Senate leaders say budget surplus soars to $68B
By The Associated Press

Democrats in the California Senate say the state's budget surplus has soared to a record $68 billion. Senate Democrats announced Thursday how they would spend that money. Their package includes a plan to give $8 billion back to taxpayers in the form of $200 checks.

That puts Senate Democrats at odds with Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom wants to give up to $800 checks to people who own cars to help offset record high gas prices. The proposal reflects the priorities of Senate Democrats. Any budget plan must also be approved by Newsom and the state Assembly. Newsom will update his budget proposal by May 15.

16 states that want to electrify USPS fleet file lawsuits
By The Associated Press

California and 15 other states that want the U.S. Postal Service to buy electric-powered delivery vehicles are suing to halt purchases of thousands of gas-powered trucks. Three lawsuits, filed Thursday in New York and California by the states and environmental groups, demand that the Postal Service conduct a more thorough environmental review before moving forward with the next-generation vehicle program.

Plaintiffs said emissions from gasoline-powered delivery vehicles would cause environmental harm for decades to come. All told, the Postal Service's fleet includes 190,000 local delivery vehicles, most of which went into service between 1987 and 1994. The Postal Service plans to buy up to 165,000 new vehicles over the next 10 years.

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