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KUNR Today: Large Events Coming To Reno, Casinos Soon Back To Full Capacity

An image of a dealer at a table dealing cards.
Alexa Ard
KUNR Public Radio
A dealer hands out cards at the Eldorado Casino in Reno, Nev. Casinos are allowed to go back to 100% capacity beginning June 1.

Here are your local morning news headlines for Thursday, May 27, 2021.

More Large Group Events Return To Reno-Tahoe
By Jayden Perez

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority has announced three large group events that are coming to the area.

USA Climbing’s 2021 Youth National Championships will be held this summer. The event could bring around 500 people to the region. The Airports Council International Annual Conference & Exhibition will occur sometime this year, bringing an estimated 800 people.

The 2024 Shriners International Imperial Session was also announced. Organizers anticipate roughly 3,500 people will attend. The three events are expected to infuse an estimated economic impact of $18 million dollars into the Northern Nevada economy.

Nevada Gaming Control Board To Rescind All COVID-19 Restrictions
By Jayden Perez

The Nevada Gaming Control Board will soon rescind all COVID-19 restrictions for gaming establishments. The protocol update will go into effect Tuesday, June 1. That is also the date that counties can open to 100% capacity.

If counties decide to put in place restrictions after that point, gaming licensees are expected to follow the revised guidelines.

Many Unvaccinated May Not Wear Masks Indoors, Survey Finds
By Stephanie Serrano, Mountain West News Bureau

A new survey suggests that some unvaccinated people may not comply with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue wearing masks indoors. Most states in our region trail the national rate of people who are fully vaccinated.

Recently, the CDC announced new mask wearing guidelines: People who are fully vaccinated against the virus can remove their masks in most indoor and outdoor places.

Matt Motta is an assistant professor of political science at Oklahoma State. He said this is causing some trust issues between people.

“There was some concern that people who are not vaccinated or who are only partially vaccinated might choose not to wear a mask anyway,” he said.

His survey confirms that 1-in-4 unvaccinated people are less likely to wear a mask indoors, in places such as stores or restaurants. Fully vaccinated people are more likely to continue wearing a mask. Motta said if you’re the type to get the vaccine, you’re more likely to follow guidelines.

“People who are more trusting of doctors and medical science tend to be more likely to want to be vaccinated," he said.

Washoe County Founds Trust Fund To Provide Affordable Housing
By Jayden Perez

Washoe County has made a step towards providing more affordable housing. This week, the Board of County Commissioners and the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada agreed to form a trust fund designed to provide more affordable housing.

The Washoe County Affordable Housing Trust Fund also received its first private donation of $75,000 dollars from SilverSummit Healthplan. SilverSummit is a Medicaid provider for Nevada.

Housing created by this fund is designed to prioritize low-income residents, especially those who earn up to 50% of the median income.

Western Drought Prompting Federal Response
By Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

Parts of our region are experiencing the worst drought conditions in more than a century. That’s prompted President Joe Biden to pledge a government-wide response.

Administration officials testified during a virtual congressional hearing on the drought this week. They included Craig McLean, the acting chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

“NOAA's archives at the national centers for environmental information report that this past year has been for Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah, their driest in 126 years,” McLean said.

He said as the drought continues, it will cause significant water and crop shortages, as well as severe wildfires.

An Interior Department official told lawmakers that the Biden administration wants government agencies to work together on this. It also plans to boost funding to address water shortages in its upcoming budget proposal.

Lyon Co. Murder Victim Identified 29 Years After Death
By Jayden Perez

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office has discovered the identity of a murder victim, 29 years after his death. The sheriff’s office used genetic matches in order to find a list of possible family members. Previously known as Sand Canyon John Doe, the victim has since been identified as Vincent Trapp.

The investigation is ongoing, and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Nevada Division of Investigation are asking for public assistance.

WCSO Purchasing Robot To Help Address Sexual Assault Kit Backlog
By Jayden Perez

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is set to purchase a new robot to assist its Forensic Science Division. The cost of the robot, and services attributed to it, is around $367,000.

With the new purchase, the sheriff’s office expects to process more sexual assault kits in order to alleviate a backlog.

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.
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