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KUNR Today: Nevada Death Penalty Ban Back On The Table, Trauma Experts Weigh In On Tough Year

David Calvert
The Nevada Independent
Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Steve Yeager inside the Legislature on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 in Carson City, Nev. Yeager is the chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Thursday, Mar. 25, 2021.

Death Penalty Debate Reemerges In Nevada After Past Stalls
By The Associated Press

Nevada lawmakers are considering proposals to abolish the death penalty in the state. The Assembly Judiciary Committee on Wednesday introduced a bill that would end Nevada's death penalty that is nearly identical to a 2019 proposal that stalled before receiving a hearing. Committee Chair Steve Yeager hopes the growth of the criminal justice reform movement and renewed interest following executions that occurred during the Trump administration will generate enough political will to pass a ban. About 80 inmates are on death row in the state, but Nevada hasn't executed anyone since 2006.

Online Results Favor Vegas Shooting Memorial At Concert Site
By The Associated Press

Online opinions favored putting a permanent memorial to the 2017 Las Vegas Strip massacre at the outdoor concert site where 58 people were killed in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. A planning committee heard Wednesday that more than 6,000 responses came in during a two-week call for ideas. More than 65% termed it extremely or very important to have the memorial at the site. MGM Resorts International owns the property across Las Vegas Boulevard from its Mandalay Bay resort. The questionnaire wasn't a scientific survey, but the committee plans to incorporate opinions into its location and design decisions.

Trauma Experts Weigh In On Historically Tough Year
By Stephanie Serrano, Mountain West News Bureau

It’s been a traumatic year, from the pandemic and social justice protests in response to police brutality to an insurrection at the nation’s capital. Now, our nation is dealing with two new mass shootings. How do we move forward?

“It feels like there’s danger everywhere,” said pyschologist Dr. Bethany Brand, because traumatic events can put our brain into high-gear.

"It is our brain's attempt to protect us by making us hyper-alert," Brand said.

So, how do you help your body and mind let go of that fear?

Elaine Miller Karas is the cofounder of the nonprofit Trauma Research Institute. She said hyperfocusing on the present moment can help calm your nervous system.

“There’s something that we call walking grounding. As I take each step, I’m going to feel my foot on the ground and remind myself, 'I’m in the here and now and I’m feeling safer but maybe not safe,' " Miller Karas said.

She said the key word is “safer” because no one ever feels completely safe. She adds going to places that you personally feel safe can also help.

Nevada County Leaves Purple Tier And Enters Red Tier
By KUNR Staff

Some businesses in Nevada County will begin reopening or slightly increasing their capacity after the county has moved to the red tier.

Accordingto The Union, Nevada County, where Truckee is located, moved down to the red, or very high, tier because it met the state case and positivity requirements for two consecutive weeks.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Miller warned, however, that the county could move back into the purple, or severe, tier once again.

Cuts To USPS Could Hurt Mountain West Service
By Savannah Maher, Mountain West News Bureau

Sweeping service cuts could be coming to the U.S. Postal Service, and that will likely have an outsized impact in the Mountain West.

Shortened post office hours, increased postage prices, and longer delivery times for first-class mail. That’s what embattled Postmaster General Louis Dejoy has proposed as part of a plan to keep the USPS afloat.

Mayor Niel Segotta of Raton, New Mexico said the changes would hit small, remote towns like his the hardest.

"We don’t really have any FedEx or UPS drop-off sites. We rely on the post office considerably," he said.

The same is true on tribal land throughout our region. Eugenia Charles Newton is a council delegate for the Navajo Nation’s Shiprock chapter, where she said many residents lack broadband access and formal street addresses.

"So, this proposal, it really cuts into the lifeline for some people," she said.

Dejoy’s plan comes after a rocky year for the USPS, and his days as postmaster general could be numbered under the Biden administration.

Reno Fire Department Announces Free Disposal Of Dangerous Vegetation
By Jayden Perez

The Reno Fire Department has announced a new program to assist homeowners with protecting their homes from wildfire.

As a part of the Reno Home Wildland Fuels Reduction Program, there will be an event on Sunday to provide dumpsters for vegetation disposal at Reno Fire Station 11.

The City of Reno will also deliver dumpsters to requesting neighborhoods to help dispose of harmful vegetation. They will be available every weekend from April 2 through September 26.

The program dumpsters are only for disposal of plants that grow on the property.

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.
Jayden Perez is a former web producer and student reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
Savannah comes to Wyoming Public Media from NPR’s midday show Here & Now, where her work explored everything from Native peoples’ fraught relationship with American elections to the erosion of press freedoms for tribal media outlets. A proud citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, she’s excited to get to know the people of the Wind River reservation and dig into the stories that matter to them.
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