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KUNR Today: Reno City Council chooses three finalists for Ward 5 appointment

A view down East First Street shows the side of Reno City Hall, a street light and other buildings in the background.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio

Read or listen to news headlines for Friday, August 26, 2022.

Reno City Council chooses three finalists for Ward 5 appointment 
By Lucia Starbuck

There are three finalists for the open seat on Reno City Council Ward 5, which represents northwest Reno. Reno City Council members said it was difficult to whittle down the list of applicants from 36, ultimately down to three.

The seat became vacant earlier this month after former council member Neoma Jardon took a new job as head of the Downtown Reno Partnership. Council members said they took into account community involvement and looked for a colleague they’d like to work with.

Alex Goff is a veteran and the chair of the City of Reno Human Rights Commission. He’s also heavily involved with the Democratic Party. Reno City Council positions are nonpartisan. Elliot Malin does political consulting and is a pro bono lobbyist for the Anti-Defamation League in Nevada. He has experience in public policy.

Kathleen Taylor is a City of Reno planning commissioner and started a small business that develops communication plans for large transportation projects. There will be two meet-and-greets with candidates next week at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Reno City Hall and Wednesday at the Reno Fire Station on Mae Anne.

Learn more about the appointment process on the City of Reno’s website here.

Elevated nighttime temperatures in Reno symptomatic of climate change
By Shelby Herbert

This past week, Reno experienced several unusually warm nights, with temperatures entering the 90s even hours after sunset. A data set explains why it’s not cooling off at night like it used to. According to Climate Central, an organization that analyzes the impacts of climate change, this week’s high evening temperatures triggered an alert on the Climate Shift Index because it’s a significant deviation from the norm for this area.

 A map of the United States shows county borders throughout the country. Multiple counties in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Utah and Nevada are shaded in red, orange or yellow to show higher numbers on Climate Central’s Climate Shift Index.
Courtesy of Climate Central
Climate Central’s Climate Shift Index is based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.

The index is a five-point scale, with each number representing the likelihood that climate change is responsible for a given weather event. For example, a zero indicates a weaker influence, whereas a five indicates that climate change is the likeliest culprit for an unusual pattern. This week’s temperatures have been flagged as a level five. Furthermore, Reno has warmed 11 degrees since the 70s, making it the nation's fastest-warming city.

Shelby Herbert is a reporter for KUNR and the Hitchcock Project for Visualizing Science, which is part of the Reynolds School of Journalism.

WCSD Board approves third Coral elementary school campus
By Jose Davila IV

Reno charter school, Coral Academy of Sciences, will open its third elementary school campus after approval from the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees. Coral Academy is a sponsored charter school, so the district is responsible for unpaid benefits and unemployment contributions if the campus closes. However, it has no say in the day-to-day operations of the school.

Those financial liabilities were at the center of trustee and district staff concerns about the expansion in prior meetings. In the final deal, Coral agreed to place more than $900,000 in an escrow account to mitigate any future liabilities.

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

Rare Nevada fish progresses toward endangered species listing
By Shelby Herbert

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Monday that the Fish Lake Valley tui chub may qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The tui chub is a small freshwater fish that was once found at several locations in the Fish Lake Valley in Esmeralda County. Following the installation of groundwater pumping projects for agriculture, the chub’s entire range retracted into a single spring.

Groundwater pumped from Fish Lake Valley is primarily used to grow alfalfa, a water-intensive crop frequently exported to Asia or the Middle East, and used to support livestock in the United States. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, which initiated the endangered species list petition, other threats to the tui chub’s habitat include proposed mines and energy projects in the region.

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