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KUNR Today: State Approves Washoe County Reopening Plan, Carson High To Host In-Person Graduation

An image of Laughing Planet Cafe in Reno
Alexa Ard
KUNR Public Radio

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

Nevada Approves Washoe County’s Revised COVID-19 Reopening Plan
By Lucia Starbuck

The state of Nevada and Gov. Steve Sisolak have approved Washoe County’s latest revision to its reopening plan. Under the plan, which is effective immediately, businesses are able to open at 100% capacity as long as they can provide social distancing.

Groups of up to 10 people can be seated at a restaurant. Events expecting more than 500 attendees can be approved with a safety plan.

Self-serve buffets and adult entertainment are to remain closed until June 1. That’s when all social distancing requirements are expected to be dropped statewide.

On Saturday, the state handed control of COVID-19 mitigation measures to most county jurisdictions, but not Washoe County. That’s because the plan Washoe County Commissioners submitted to the state COVID-19 task force late last week didn’t get approved. It wasn’t endorsed by the health district, school district or City of Reno.

Those required local entities have since approved the county’s current reopening plan.

Nevada has also updated the statewide mask mandate to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent guidelines, which loosen restrictions for people who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps members with Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Incline Village To Raise Beach Recreation Rates
By KUNR Staff

Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees voted to raise beach recreation rates during their meeting late last week.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune is reportingrates for beach access, boat storage and launch fees will be increasing starting this month. The board also approved a ban on the commercial use of the launches and put in place an emergency ordinance to limit access to the beach due to COVID-19.

Attorneys Defend Tax Extensions Before Nevada Supreme Court
By The Associated Press

Attorneys representing Democratic leaders in the Nevada Legislature defended the constitutionality of two 2019 decisions to extend expiring taxes and fees. The state Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments over whether it was legal for lawmakers to extend a payroll tax and DMV fee set to expire. The Nevada Constitution mandates that two-thirds of lawmakers in both legislative chambers must approve proposals that generate revenue. State Senate Republicans filed a lawsuit after the Democratic-majority Legislature extended expiring taxes and fees with approval from simple majorities. The case reached the state Supreme Court after legislative attorneys appealed a district court ruling that the fees should have required two-thirds approval.

US Fights New Deadline For Rare Plant Protections In Nevada
By The Associated Press

The Biden administration says a U.S. judge exceeded his authority when he gave federal wildlife officials a May 21 deadline to decide whether to formally propose endangered species protections for a rare desert wildflower in Nevada. The plant is at the center of a fight over a proposed lithium mine. Lawyers for the Interior Department filed an emergency request last week asking a federal judge to reconsider his order regarding the fate of the only Tiehm’s buckwheat plants known to exist in the world.

Study Looking At The Health Impacts Of Stress On Farmers, Ranchers
By Stephanie Serrano, Mountain West News Bureau

A new survey aims to understand what’s stressing out agriculture producers in our region. The first aim of the survey is to collect more data about those stressors.

Brenda Freeman works with the Western Regional Agricultural Stress Assistance Program, which is leading the research.

“If you work in farming, you don’t have control over a lot of the aspects that you might in other occupations, like the weather or increased labor costs or international trade policy," Freeman said.

There's also physical injuries and pests. Freeman said it's this lack of control that can cause chronic stress, but there’s not a lot of mental health data focused on farmers and ranchers in our region. The survey asks what’s stressing them out and how they’re coping. It also asks producers what might help, for example, access to telehealth counseling.

“It might be that we find out that the farmers want online programs," Freeman said.

Preliminary data show that ag producers experience stress particularly about finances.

Carson High School To Have In-Person Graduation In Spring
By Lucia Starbuck

Carson City School District announced Carson High School is planning on hosting an in-person graduation ceremony for their seniors in early June. Graduation will take place on the football field, masks are required and attendees are encouraged to sit with their families while social distancing from others.

Pioneer High School, Carson Middle School and Eagle Valley Middle School will have drive-through graduation ceremonies.

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.
Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning political journalist and the host of KUNR’s monthly show Purple Politics Nevada. She is passionate about reporting during election season, attending community events, and talking to people about the issues that matter most to them.
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