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KUNR Today: Clark Co. Votes To Rename Airport For Harry Reid, NV Teachers Push For More Mining Taxes

An image from inside the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
Brian Wilkins
Creative Commons, CC BY-NC 2.0

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.

Vegas Airport Name Change To Honor Former Sen. Harry Reid
By The Associated Press

A county board voted unanimously to rename busy McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas after former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. The all-Democratic Clark County Commission approved a measure Tuesday directing the county's airport staff to file a change with the Federal Aviation Administration renaming the facility Harry Reid International Airport. The airport's current namesake is former Nevada Sen. Patrick McCarran, who was known for his contributions to aviation along with his anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic views. Reid, a Democrat and former Senate majority leader, retired from the Senate in 2016 after serving 30 years. The county commission oversees the airport and is the final authority on a name change.

New Daily Case Average In Nevada Now Below 500
By Michelle Billman

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Nevada since the start of the pandemic has surpassed 289,000, but the average of new daily cases over the past two weeks has now dipped just below 500. The state also reported 13 new deaths related to the virus Tuesday, and the death toll across Nevada is now 4,733.

In Washoe County, health officials are reporting three new deaths related to the virus Tuesday bringing the death toll there to 633. The deceased were women in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, and all had an underlying health condition. The county is also reporting 25 new cases and nearly 250 recoveries.

More California Reopenings On Way As Virus Numbers Improve
By The Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says a substantial number of counties could see fewer restrictions on businesses starting next week as coronavirus numbers improve. He spoke Tuesday at the site of a new federally supported mass vaccination site in Los Angeles that opened Tuesday along with a similar site in Oakland. Both are intended to vaccinate people in communities hit hard by the pandemic. California expects to get about 6,000 doses of vaccine a day for each site. That's separate from the state's regular vaccination allocation. California got 1.08 million doses this week and expects to get 1.28 million doses next week.

Measuring Carbon Dioxide A Good Way To Test Ventilation
By Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says proper ventilation in indoor settings can cut down the spread of COVID-19, but how can you tell whether somewhere is well ventilated?

Jose-Luis Jimenez is an aerosol expert at the University of Colorado Boulder. He said ideally, a device would exist that would start beeping when COVID-19 particles are in the air. Jimenez said we’re not there yet, but in the meantime, there is one practical option.

"One thing that we have found that's practical that can be done with limited costs, and that is very useful is to measure CO2," Jimenez said.

CO2, also known as carbon dioxide, is what you breathe out when you exhale. Knowing how much CO2 is in a space can give us a sense for how much air we’re inhaling from other people’s respiratory systems.

For around $100 each at the low end, a carbon dioxide monitoring device can indicate how well the air is being ventilated. Jimenez said this is already common practice in places like Taiwan and South Korea.

Teachers Lobby At Nevada Statehouse For Higher Mining Taxes
By The Associated Press

Nevada teachers want lawmakers to back a plan to increase taxes on the state's mining industry to better fund schools. The Nevada State Education Association held a rally in front of the state Legislature on Monday to tell lawmakers that regardless of the state's budget problems, teachers still want them to seek out new sources of revenue to ensure schools are funded long-term. Teachers and their unions have long lobbied to increase funding for Nevada's cash-strapped schools. They now say the pandemic has exacerbated problems that include large class sizes and a lack of mental health services.

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