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KUNR Today: GOP group endorses Nevada's Democratic attorney general, Reno is building a heat map

Aaron Ford gestures as he speaks during an interview.
John Locher, File
Aaron Ford gestures during an interview in Las Vegas on Dec. 14, 2018. Thirteen Nevada Republicans announced a new coalition on Monday, July 25, 2022, to endorse the Democratic Attorney General in his re-election bid against their party's nominee, Sigal Chattah, a right-wing candidate who bested a more moderate Republican primary contender.

Read or listen to news headlines for Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

GOP group endorses Nevada's Democratic attorney general
By The Associated Press

Over a dozen Nevada Republicans announced a new coalition on Monday to support Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford in his re-election bid against their party's nominee, Sigal Chattah. The announcement of "Republicans for Ford" signals a major shift in party support and is headlined by Ford's former statehouse rival, former state Senate majority leader Michael Roberson.

Chattah won the Republican primary by 11 percentage points over Tisha Black, a more moderate candidate who had the backing of Nevada's Republican establishment. "Now, more than ever, it is time to put duty to the state and country above partisan politics," said Roberson, who often sparred with Ford in Carson City, when Ford was Senate Majority Leader and Roberson was Senate Minority Leader.

The City of Reno plans to build a heat map
By Gustavo Sagrero

The City of Reno will begin to map temperatures of the town in its entirety to keep an eye out for the hottest parts of the city. The heat map will take about a year to complete, said Suzanne Groneman, City of Reno sustainability program manager.

“A lot of people think it's the same everywhere, but we already have some preliminary data that shows that's not true,” Groneman said. “It has to do with green spaces and tree coverage, and it plays a huge role in what's hot and what's not.”

Nationwide, neighborhoods that often have higher temperatures are also neighborhoods filled with people who aren’t very affluent and/or aren’t white.

Groneman said they already have some early data from previous work, but this new project will be much more in-depth, publicly accessible and interactive. The new map will give them a better idea of which neighborhoods in Reno have to endure warmer temperatures. It’s part of a bigger project with Rebuilding Together Northern Nevada, where they’re working alongside each other to install heat pumps in people's homes.

Editor's note: This story has been updated slightly to add the word "nationwide" in reference to data where higher temperatures tend to occur.

Nevada jobs back to pre-pandemic levels
By Gustavo Sagrero

A new jobs report from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said the amount of jobs lost during the pandemic has fully recovered. Around 1.4 million jobs now exist in Nevada, marking a new all-time high.

The unemployment rate in Nevada saw a decrease from 4.9% in May to 4.7% in June when seasonally adjusted. Five industries, including utilities, education and health all pushed past their previous levels in terms of employment. Reno and Las Vegas have seen most of the job growth in their regions.

Walker River Paiute Tribe partners with local farms to source their own food
By Gustavo Sagrero

At the peak of pandemic shortages, communities like the Walker River Paiute Tribe were among the most affected. Now, they’re working with local farms to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

The partnership is part of a Department of Agriculture program called the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement. It’ll help the reservation source eggs, dairy and produce from local and regional farms. Chairman Amber Torres said it’s a way for the tribe to continue building community with their neighboring farmers.

“We're helping the small farmers that are making a living at this and creating those relationships so that it's a win-win for both of us,” Torres said. “Not only the tribe, our tribal citizens, but also keeping those local farmers, ranchers and producers in business.”

She said they live in a food desert; the closest grocery stores to the reservation are around 30 miles away. During the height of the pandemic, those were often cleaned out. Torres added that this is only one part of a bigger plan to build a resilient food infrastructure for the reservation. It’s the first time the USDA has partnered with a tribal government for a local food program. Torres said she hopes their tribe can be an example that others can learn from.

WCSD fills two leadership roles ahead of school year
By Jose Davila IV

Washoe County School District has filled two leadership positions. Seng-Dao Yang Keo will serve as the deputy superintendent. She comes from the Nevada Department of Education where she was the chief strategy officer.

Adam Searcy will move within the district to become the new chief operations officer. He previously served as head of facilities. Both will start in their new roles next month.

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

New NDOT report lays out how to avoid hitting animals on roadways
By Gustavo Sagrero

The Nevada Department of Transportation recently released a report laying out guidelines on how to decrease animal-vehicle collisions. Researchers looked at 30 different ways to reduce these crashes. They found fencing, wildlife overpasses and underpasses remained the most effective methods. Every year, around 200 people die in the 2 million animal-vehicle collisions that occur in the U.S. The study was done with the support of national and international funders and participants.

Produced with assistance from the Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

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