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Stories from the KUNR newsroom and regional partners related to the 2022 elections

KUNR Today: Nye County to offer voting in Shoshone, Nevada now has 5 reported Monkeypox cases

A digitally-colorized electron microscopic image depicts monkeypox virus particles. Purple oval shapes on the left depict mature, virus particles. Blue circles on the right depict particles of immature virions.
Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A digitally-colorized electron microscopic image depicts monkeypox virus particles, obtained from a clinical sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak.

Read or listen to news headlines for Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

Nye County becomes first in nation to offer voting in Shoshone
ByKaleb Roedel

A county in the Mountain West is the nation’s first to offer voting in Shoshone — a language that traditionally isn’t written. Under the federal Voting Rights Act, nearly 100 jurisdictions must provide assistance to speakers of traditional Native languages. One of the latest is Nye County, Nev.

Based on Census data, it’s now required to offer translation of election materials to residents on the Duckwater Shoshone Reservation. Since Shoshone isn’t written, translations will have to be done orally. So far, one tribal elder has agreed to be an interpreter for the county.

Allison Neswood is an attorney with the Native American Rights Fund who focuses on language access issues.

“Welcoming the Shoshone language, welcoming the Shoshone culture in our democratic processes is just a really important part of showing our native communities that they're an important voice in our democratic process,” Neswood said.

Other states in our region have taken similar steps. Last year, three New Mexico counties added language assistance for Zuni speakers. Idaho did the same for Nez Perce speakers in four counties.

Struggling Latino students should be priority, leaders say
By The Associated Press

Leaders with the United States' largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy group say Latino students should be a federal funding priority after falling behind during the coronavirus pandemic despite making notable educational gains in recent decades. A report on Latino student access released Monday by UnidosUS at its annual gathering says students of color and low-income students faced the most daunting challenges during the pandemic because of problems like lack of internet access at home.

Leaders with the group formerly known as the National Council of La Raza noted that large amounts of federal pandemic money were directed to schools.

Nevada now has five reported monkeypox cases
By Lucretia Cunningham

The count for monkeypox cases in Nevada is up to five as of Monday, July 11. The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health said all five of the state’s cases have occurred in Clark County and were reported through the Southern Nevada Health District.

There is a vaccine to help with monkeypox prevention, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention isn’t recommending the jab while the risk to the general public is low. Even so, the state urges anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox to isolate and to speak to a health care provider.

Monkeypox spreads mostly through close, physical or intimate contact with someone who has the virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes, followed by the development of a rash that can look like pimples or blisters.

Nevada program to provide $20M in loans, financial assistance for affordable housing
By Bert Johnson

A state program designed to finance infrastructure projects started accepting loan applications last week to help build more than just roads and water mains. The Nevada State Infrastructure Bank is a public entity that provides loans and other financial assistance to local and tribal governments and nonprofits.

Even though it’s only been accepting applications for less than a week, Nevada State Treasurer Zach Conine said proposals are already rolling in. Lawmakers expanded the scope of the bank during the last legislative session so it could finance more projects. That includes $20 million for affordable housing development. According to Conine, housing is the biggest existential threat facing Nevada’s economy.

“The concept that we can just build roads and sewer treatment plants, and somehow that is going to create the Nevada that we all deserve to live in, is a little bit archaic,” Conine said.

Conine added that as Nevada moves past the economic response to COVID-19 and into recovery, the bank will help the state get federal funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

6 employees injured after explosion, fire at a Nevada plant
By The Associated Press

Authorities say six people have been injured, but only one seriously, after an explosion and fire at a commercial manufacturing plant southeast of Boulder City. The explosion occurred just before 10 a.m. Monday. City police and fire crews plus personnel from the Henderson Fire Department were sent to the Armorock Polymer Concrete facility on U.S. 95. The cause of the explosion isn't immediately known.

Authorities say the plant was being evacuated and seven employees had been transported to area hospitals. The conditions of the injured employees weren't immediately released. Armorock Polymer Concrete is located in an industrial area some 7 miles southeast of Boulder City along U.S. 95.

Food Bank of Northern Nevada receives USDA waiver, reorients kids program
By Jose Davila IV

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada is switching up its summer meal program for kids. Northern Nevada children and their parents will be able to pick up three days' worth of breakfast and lunch food twice a week at food bank sites starting this week. Prior to the change, kids could only take one meal at a time home each day. Spokesperson Jocelyn Lantrip explained why the change should improve participation in the program.

“It’s just easier for working parents to pick up three days of food instead of trying to figure out how to get their kids to the park every day,” Lantrip said.

At least 25 of the food bank’s 38 distribution sites are participating in the new program. The food bank was able to make the change thanks to waivers provided by the U.S. and Nevada Departments of Agriculture. The waivers were originally intended to help providers cut down on congregate feeding situations when the pandemic started. Prior to the waivers, the food bank only could provide lunches on-site in parks and libraries.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Douglas County officers arrest nine people in child sex trafficking sting
By Gustavo Sagrero

Over the weekend local police agencies worked alongside federal investigators where officers posed as underaged minors around Stateline, Nev. Nine adult males were arrested on a series of charges that involve child abuse, trafficking and sexual predation. Two more adult males were arrested for solicitation of prostitution which is illegal in Douglas County. Publicly soliciting prostitution is also illegal.

The photo included in this story is licensed under the Public Health Image Library.