KUNR Today: Nevadans protest the fall of Roe v. Wade, Primary results certified in Nevada counties
Read or listen to news headlines for Monday, June 27, 2022.
Northern Nevadans mobilize for protests against SCOTUS abortion ruling
By Gustavo Sagrero
On Friday and over the weekend, Northern Nevadans met at the U.S. District Courthouse in Reno to protest the recent Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade. Indivisible Northern Nevada and the Wild West Access Fund spread the word about the first protest which attracted a large crowd. The fund is a mutual aid group aimed at gathering and giving out resources for people looking to get abortions throughout the West.
Lily Baran from Nevada's American Civil Liberties Union spoke at the event. She said people need to build community; coming out to a protest and voting are not enough. She added, Democrats have been in power for years, but have failed to protect reproductive rights.
“We are in a moment of crisis, and we are relying on mutual aid so that women and people with uteruses are safe,” Baran said. “We have to help each other and we have to stop acting like someone is coming to save us.”
Abortions in Nevada have been protected since the ‘90s. But State Attorney General Aaron Ford released a statementFriday pointing out that potential future state and federal lawmakers could dismantle those rights if motivated enough.
Last Nevada county approves primary results after hand count
By The Associated Press
Elected officials in a rural Nevada county became the last in the state to certify outstanding results of the June 14 primary election after a hand count of all ballots in an old mining town courthouse. Two county commissioners in Esmeralda County, Nevada's least populated, spent more than seven hours Friday counting all 317 ballots before formally voting to accept the results. Nevada's other 16 counties already had certified the primary results. The largest counties in the western battleground state in Las Vegas and Reno were among those that acted earlier Friday over the objections of some who questioned the results.
The FBI is investigating Nevada state GOP leaders
By Bert Johnson
Federal agents are looking into leaders of the Nevada state GOP. According to KLAS-TV, the FBI seized Michael McDonald’s cell phone Wednesday. McDonald is under investigation for a scheme to replace legitimate electors for President Joe Biden with Republican impostors.
Michael Green, a history professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said Nevadans should pay attention to the case.
“What was going on in other places, had a bit of activity here, and that this is not necessarily a one-off – It can happen here,” he said.
The FBI also got a search warrant for Nevada GOP Secretary James DeGraffenreid. Both DeGraffenreid and McDonald have been subpoenaed by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.
Nevada gambling license approved for new Sparks casino
By The Associated Press
State regulators have approved a gambling license for the first newly constructed casino in the Reno-Sparks area in 25 years. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted Thursday to approve the license sought by Las Vegas-based Olympia Gaming for the Legends Bay Casino. The $120 million, 80,000-square-foot casino is scheduled to open before the end of the summer at the Legends at Sparks Marina shopping mall along I-80 just east of Reno. It will include a sportsbook operated by Circa Sports, table games, slot machines, video poker and multiple restaurants. Company officials say the sportsbook will be the largest in northern Nevada.
U.S. births increased in 2021, New Mexico had largest decrease
By Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau
A Pew Charitable Trusts analysis shows U.S. births increased in 2021 for the first time in seven years, but that’s not true for all states. It’s a 1% increase nationwide. While states like Montana and Idaho saw births increase more than 1% since 2019, New Mexico had the nation’s largest decrease – nearly 9%.
Beth Jarosz with the Population Reference Bureau cautions that these are preliminary numbers. Even if they change, she said they could be good news, like fewer teen pregnancies.
“Or, did New Mexico’s rate fall because people in tribal areas really were hit hard by the pandemic,” Jarosz said.
Jarosz thinks it could just be a blip on a longer-term reduction in births. However, Amanda Stevenson, a University of Colorado Boulder professor, isn’t so sure. She said it could be part of a resurgence of births.
“People are having babies at later ages, and one of the things that does is it artificially depresses the fertility overall,” Jarosz said.
Either way, there’s limited information to predict how birth numbers will change in the short term.
After negotiations stall, nurses at St. Mary’s strike
By Gustavo Sagrero
Nursing staff at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center held a 24-hour strike to demand revised labor contracts. Every three years, the nursing staff at St. Mary’s has been able to negotiate a labor contract. In 2018 it took them about a month, but now nurses have been waiting since October of last year for a new one.
Kaitlin McDaniel is a surgical orthopedic nurse at St. Mary’s, and a union representative for National Nurses United.
“We’re really out here for our patients, because we have seen them suffer, and be in unsafe situations, and we’ve watched all of our coworkers leave,” McDaniel said. “We don't want to be in this situation but we have been forced to be out here and fight for them as well as ourselves.”
The union is hoping to increase staff at the healthcare facility, supplies for day-to-day operations, and incentives for long-term retention.
In an emailed response to KUNR, a spokesperson for the hospital group said they’re hopeful to reach an agreement but no timeline was mentioned.