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KUNR Today: Proposed Tax Hikes On Nevada's 2022 Ballot, New Bus Route To Las Vegas

An image of the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign from the roadway.
CC BY 2.0

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Monday, Mar. 15, 2021.

New Transit Service Will Connect Northern Nevada And Las Vegas
By Jayden Perez

A new daily bus service will transport passengers between Reno, Fallon, Fernley and Las Vegas.

The Nevada Department of Transportation and Salt Lake Express plan to launch the service Monday.

The buses will pick riders up in Reno and Sparks before heading to Vegas with stops along the way. Routes will also travel between Elko and Salt Lake City as well as Twin Falls, Idaho.

Nevada's COVID-19 Test Positivity Rate Holds Steady For Third Day In A Row
By Paul Boger

The 14-day test positivity rate keeps track of how many of the state's coronavirus tests come back positive. That number has held steady at 5.8% since last Thursday. While the rate is still above the World Health Organization's goal, it is a marked improvement from this time two months ago, when more than one-in-five coronavirus tests were coming back positive.

Nevada continues to see daily increases in its vaccination rate. So far, the state has administered nearly 900,000 vaccinations. More than 10% of the state's population is fully vaccinated.

State health officials in Nevada reported more than 600 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 additional deaths over the weekend. Nearly 300,000 Nevadans have contracted the virus. 5,118 have died.

In Washoe County, the health districted reported 76 new cases and two deaths Sunday. Roughly 2,500 cases remain active countywide.

Nevada Democrats Punt Tax Hike Proposals To Voters In 2022
By The Associated Press

Proposals to raise sales and gambling taxes are headed to the 2022 ballot in Nevada. Lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled Legislature decided not to consider two tax initiatives proposed via petition by a Friday deadline. That triggered a state law that automatically sends the measures to the next election. The Clark County Education Association gathered signatures to require the Legislature to consider raising taxes on gambling and sales, which they hope will allow the state to increase funding for K-12 education. The tax initiatives are expected to be key issues in Nevada's upcoming midterm elections, when the governor's post and one U.S. Senate seat are up for election.

Nevada Conventions Coming Back, Partly
By Paul Boger

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has signed a directive increasing capacity for conventions, trade shows and conferences to 50%.

The new rules will allow event organizers to increase capacity limits if they submit a large gathering plan approved by state and local health officials. Large gatherings must also get approval from the state Department of Business and Industry.

Control and approval of large gatherings is slated to shift to the county-level on May 1. Businesses such as gyms, restaurants, bars and retail stores can also increase capacity to 50 percent starting Monday.

Got Your Vaccine? Don't Post Proof
By Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

One way people have been celebrating getting a COVID-19 vaccine is by sharing their vaccination cards on social media, but the Federal Trade Commission is asking people to find other ways to mark the occasion.

No matter where you go to get vaccinated or which of the vaccines you get, you’ll be given a COVID-19 vaccination record card. It will include your full name, date of birth, and also the date that you got your shot. Cyber security expert Joseph Steinberg said it’s not the kind of information that you would want criminals to have.

"Not because they could immediately use that on its own to commit identity theft," he said, "but identity theft is often done by assembling information from multiple sources and correlating the information by computer, of course."

And sharing your vaccination card online offers up several elements of your identity to identity thieves - especially if the post is not private. If you simply cannot resist the urge to share it, Steinberg said you should at least hide all the sensitive information on the card before posting.

Fewer Brackets But Same Number Plan Bets On March Madness
By The Associated Press

Fewer Americans expect to fill out brackets for the NCAA's college basketball tournament this year, but the overall number of people making bets on March Madness is likely to remain about the same as the last time the tournament was held, in 2019. The American Gaming Association says 47 million Americans plan to bet this year. The coronavirus pandemic is a big reason that 8% fewer Americans likely will fill out brackets because many offices remain closed. But the slack is expected to be made up for by the rapid expansion of legal sports betting in the U.S. The association says 30.6 million Americans will bet in other ways on this year's tournament, up from 17.8 million in 2019.

Paul Boger is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
Jayden Perez is a former web producer and student reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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