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KUNR Today: Nevada Electric Highway Nears Completion, Fernley Sues Feds Over Irrigation Canal Repair

A charging port connected to an electric vehicle.
Ivan Radic
Flickr Creative Commons

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Monday, Mar. 22, 2021.

Nevada Electric Highway Nears Completion
By KUNR Staff

A program designed to connect Nevada using electric vehicle charging stations is nearly complete. According to the Sierra Nevada Ally, the Nevada Electric Highway will be completed in June and cover five major highway corridors in the state.

The project began in 2015 and its Phase I and Phase II charging stations are complete. Phase I stations can be used free of charge, while Phase II stations will have varied prices.

Read the full Sierra Nevada Ally report here.

Feds Want To Fix Canal, But Nevada Town Lives Off The Leaks
By The Associated Press

A rural Nevada town founded a century ago by pioneers lured to the West by the promise of free land and cheap water is suing the U.S. government over the way it plans to renovate a 115-year-old earthen irrigation canal. The canal in Fernley burst in 2008 and flooded 600 homes. The Bureau of Reclamation wants to line part of it with concrete because it's leaking and wasting taxpayers' money. But the city of Fernley says it's been using that extra water to fill domestic wells for decades. It says it established water rights long ago and the government has never objected before.

Nevada Reports 227 New COVID-19 Cases And 1 Additional Death
By The Associated Press

Health officials in Nevada on Sunday reported 227 new confirmed COVID-19 cases with one more death. The latest numbers increased the state's pandemic totals to 301,178 cases and 5,172 known deaths, according to the state's coronavirus dashboard. The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. Statistics show Nevada's 14-day positivity rate, a key metric that essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, remained unchanged Sunday at 4.9%.

Ex-Lawmaker Charged With Misusing Funds, False Records
By The Associated Press

The Nevada Attorney General's Office has charged a former lawmaker of misusing campaign funds and filing false voter registration and campaign finance records. Prosecutors filed 14 charges this week against Alex Assefa, a Democrat who represented Las Vegas in the state Assembly before resigning in January in the wake of reports that he was under investigation related to his finances and whether he lived in the legislative district he represented. Prosecutors alleged in court documents that Assefa lied about his residence on voter registration forms, filed false campaign finance reports and misappropriated at least $11,150 in campaign funds. Assefa's attorney declined to comment.

One Snowmobiler Dead After Avalanche Incident Near Truckee
By Stephanie Serrano

One snowmobiler died after triggering an avalanche at the top of Flog Lake Cliffs near Donner Pass Saturday, according to the Sierra Avalanche Center.

The snowmobiler stepped off their sled, not realizing how close to the edge of the ridge they were, and a large portion of the cornice they stepped onto broke underneath them.

After falling, a 100-foot wide avalanche was triggered. The snowmobiler was swept down through cliffs and rocks and was ultimately found on the surface with traumatic injuries. The victim did not survive and a helicopter was used to evacuate the body.

Asian Americans Hold Rallies In California To Denounce Violence
By The Associated Press

Asian Americans and their allies held rallies Saturday in California — home of the nation's largest Asian population — to denounce shootings at massage businesses in Georgia and racism, xenophobia and misogyny. In San Francisco, hundreds gathered in Portsmouth Square, the park in the middle of Chinatown, to grieve the victims and to call for an end to racist and sexist violence against Asian Americans. In the Bay Area suburb of Brisbane, another group held an afternoon rally in a park and made the same pleas. They heard speeches from local government and law enforcement officials calling for an end to hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific islanders.

California Adopts 3-Foot Distancing Rule For Classrooms
By The Associated Press

Students in California classrooms can sit 3 feet apart instead of 6 under new guidelines adopted by the state as school officials figure out how to reopen campuses closed for a year during the coronavirus pandemic. The state recommendations announced Saturday came a day after federal health officials relaxed social distancing guidelines for schools nationwide. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises at least 3 feet of space between desks in most schools. Local leaders will have the final say on distancing. The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second largest, said it would stick with the 6-foot rule.

The photo included in this story is licensed under Flickr Creative Commons.

Stephanie Serrano (she/her/ella) is an award-winning multimedia bilingual journalist based in Reno, Nevada. Her reporting is powered by character-driven stories and is rooted in sound-rich audio. Her storytelling works to share the experiences of unserved communities in regards to education, race, affordable housing and sports.
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