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KUNR Today: WCSD Board of Trustees approves contract for new superintendent

A headshot of superintendent Susan Enfield. She is looking toward the camera and smiling.
Courtesy of Highline Public Schools
An official headshot of Susan Enfield, who was named the new superintendent of the Washoe County School District on Tuesday, April 26.

WCSD Board of Trustees approves contract for new superintendent, Dr. Susan Enfield
By  Michelle Billman

The board of trustees for the Washoe County School District has approved a contract for the new superintendent who will be starting in July. According to a statement from the district, Dr. Susan Enfield will receive $310,000 annually under a four-year agreement.

The superintendent oversees more than 8,000 employees and more than 62,000 students. Enfield has been the superintendent for Highline Public Schools in Washington state for the past decade. In 2018, the National School Foundation Association named her superintendent of the year.

The current superintendent, Dr. Kristen McNeill, is retiring next month.

Lasers used to measure snowpack
By Emma Gibson, Mountain West News Bureau

Collecting data on snowpack helps water managers estimate future supplies. Recent aerial technology uses lasers to more accurately measure snow depth across the West.

From a soaring plane, Airborne Snow Observatories flies over watersheds and beams masses of lasers down to the snowpack below. They’re creating elevation maps.

Co-founder Jeffrey Deems said by comparing these maps to ones done in the summer, they can calculate the snow’s depth throughout the whole watershed, instead of localized recordings. He’s excited to see if more accurate data leads to proactive water management.

“Can you start to make more informed decisions earlier in the year? Do you get early warning of floods or droughts within the year that can improve decision making come snow melt season,” he asked.

Deems said aerial mapping is expensive but there is also a cost for inaccurate data. Throughout the Mountain West they’ve flown in Colorado but are hoping to expand to New Mexico, Wyoming and Arizona.

In drought-ravaged California, water use is up dramatically
By The Associated Press

California's water usage jumped nearly 19% in March. State officials said Tuesday it's the most water used in March since 2015. Gov. Gavin Newsom had asked residents last year to use 15% less water in the middle of a severe drought. Since July, the state has cuts it's water use by just 3.7%.

Newsom responded to the news by pledging to spend an extra $26 million on water conservation programs. That's in addition to the $190 million he proposed in January. In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced residents and businesses would have to reduce outdoor landscape watering from three days per week to two.

New round of federal funding for water projects announced
By Alex Hager, KUNC for the Mountain West News Bureau

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a new round of funding for water projects this week. It’s coming from the bipartisan infrastructure law.

The money will help repair aging water systems across a region in the grips of historic drought, covering everything from canals in Wyoming, Arizona, and Nevada to a pipeline in Utah. In total, $240 million is getting allocated for improvements across 11 states. Projects in Colorado and California will also get funding for repairs.

Interior secretary Deb Haaland said this will help “safeguard water supplies and revitalize delivery systems.” Conservation groups say there’s an urgent need for federal spending on water projects in the region, as drought is forcing users to get creative with a shrinking supply.

Nevada health officials remind residents overdose medicine is available statewide
By Gustavo Sagrero

Between January 2020 to June 2021, Nevada health agencies recorded a 20 percent jump in accidental drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved for two-thirds of those deaths.

To address this, the Division of Public and Behavioral Health and the Nevada Overdose Data to Action program are raising awareness about naloxone. Nevadans can access Naloxone for free and without a prescription through many of the pharmacies statewide. If administered in time, it can save a life.

Opioid is an umbrella term that encompasses drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone, along with heroin and fentanyl.

Nevadans can find out which pharmacy in their neighborhood stocks naloxone here.

New Department of Transportation projects create hundred of jobs
By Gustavo Sagrero

At a meeting earlier this week, Nevada’s Transportation Board of Directors announced over 600 year-long positions will be created through various contracts to work on the state’s road infrastructure.

All of these projects will work to update current roadways like installing traffic signals, re-paving highways, and updating the lights along sections of highways.

The start dates for projects will vary, but the department is already recruiting for about a hundred jobs.

Ukrainian poetry reading, historical presentation at UNR Thursday
By Michelle Billman

There will be a Ukrainian poetry reading on Thursday evening at the University of Nevada, Reno. The event will be held at the Lilley Museum of Art on the UNR campus, starting at 5:30 p.m. The goal of the programming is to raise awareness about Ukrainian culture, and it is part of a series of similar events taking place nationwide.

At the event, Ukrainian poetry will be read in English and UNR professor Barbara Walker will give a presentation on the country’s history. Walker is a professor of Russian, Soviet and Inner-Eurasian History.

Due to commencement ceremonies, people are encouraged to take public transportation because parking on campus will be limited. Learn more about the event here.

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