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KUNR Today: Bill To Make Nevada First Primary State Unveiled, Newsom Recall Effort Gets Funding

An image of Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson.
David Calvert
The Nevada Independent
Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson during the first day of the 81st session of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

Bill To Make Nevada 1st Presidential Primary Is Unveiled
By The Associated Press

A bill that would change Nevada’s presidential caucus to a primary and make it the first nominating contest in the country has been unveiled. The legislation from Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, a Democrat, calls for Nevada to hold the primary on the second-to-last Tuesday in January. It would include 10 days of early voting that wraps up the Friday before the election. The primary would be run by the state, instead of the caucuses run by political parties, and would be a separate election from a June primary held to pick party nominees and narrow the field of candidates for federal, state and local offices.

California GOP Pumps $125K Into Recall Against Gov. Newsom
By The Associated Press

The California Republican Party is giving $125,000 to the campaign aimed at recalling Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. The infusion of cash comes at a critical time for organizers, who are required to collect 1.5 million valid petition signatures by mid-March to qualify the proposal for the ballot. The funds will go toward hiring workers to gather signatures. So far, that work has fallen largely on volunteers. The funds were donated to Rescue California, one of several political committees working to oust Newsom from office. Newsom's political advisers call the proposal a misguided effort by supporters of former President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

Average Number Of New Daily Cases In Nevada Drops Below 550
By Michelle Billman

Over the long holiday weekend, Nevada’s total number of COVID-19 cases rose to more than 288,000. The average number of new daily cases over the past two weeks is now less than 550 as it continues to decline. The state’s death toll sits above 4,700 now, with an average of 14 new deaths related to the virus per day. Statewide, health officials are reporting that just more than 77,000 vaccinations are complete while nearly 300,000 have been initiated.

In Washoe County, three new deaths tied to the virus were recorded over the long weekend, bringing the county’s COVID-19 death toll to 630. Health officials are reminding everyone that if you know a senior who is interested in getting the vaccine, reach out to see if they help with scheduling an appointment or signing up for the waiting list online. More than 6,000 seniors who are 70 years and older have already been invited to schedule an appointment for the vaccine if they signed up for the Washoe County Senior COVID-19 vaccine list. To learn more about vaccinations for seniors, visit this website

The Nevada Independent is reporting that seniors in several Nevada counties can now get vaccinated at Walmart and Sam’s Club.

4-6 million Added To California's Vaccine Eligibility List
By The Associated Press

California is expanding its list of people eligible for coronavirus vaccinations by another 4 million to 6 million people. State Health Director Dr. Mark Ghaly said Friday that starting March 15 severely disabled people and those with health conditions that put them at high risk can get in line for shots. Among those included are people with certain cancer, heart, lung and kidney conditions, as well as pregnant women, those with Down syndrome, organ transplant recipients and the severely obese. California has been plagued by vaccine shortages and Ghaly acknowledged he's not sure how long it will take for the federal supply of shots to meet demand.

UNR Researchers Look For Disinfectant Solutions Against COVID-19
By Jayden Perez

Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno are testing how titanium oxide-coated materials, when subjected to ultraviolet light, could be applied to reduce COVID-19 virus particles.

Based on their findings so far, researchers say that it's likely that the titanium oxide coating, which is a chemical compound, could be applied to a wider range of surfaces such as plastics, wood, and paper. This could have potential use for businesses and hospitals as a way to disinfect surfaces.

According to a press release, the scientists used a closely related virus to the one that causes COVID-19 in their research. The research was not conducted outside of a lab, and the virus that specifically causes COVID-19 was not tested.

Nevada Senators Vote To Convict Trump In Impeachment Trial
By The Associated Press

Former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial ended Saturday with an acquittal as both of Nevada’s two Democratic senators voted in a majority that fell short of the two-thirds needed for conviction. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said it was obvious that Trump “was willing to use almost every measure at his disposal to gain and retain power, even if it meant overturning a free and fair election through violence.” Sen. Jacky Rosen said Trump incited a violent insurrection against the Congress and then “failed to take action to defend the Capitol, his vice president, law enforcement, or our democracy.”

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