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KUNR Today: Nevada Fully Reopens, Large Events Start Back Up

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Food Truck Friday Facebook
A crowd of people gather for Food Truck Friday in 2019.

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

Nevada Fully Reopens, COVID-19 Cases And Test Positivity Rate Continue To Decline
By Lucia Starbuck

Daily COVID-19 cases are continuing to decrease in Nevada. Officials are reporting an average of 124 daily cases over the last two weeks, along with two deaths per day.

The state’s test positivity rate, known as the percentage of COVID-19 tests returning positive, is 3.8%. That’s the lowest rate the state has seen since June of last year.

The state fully reopened at 100% capacity Tuesday as well. Social distancing is no longer required. Masks are not required for people who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination, though health officials are recommending masks for those who are unvaccinated. Private businesses are still allowed to require masks.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations in Nevada, or view the stateand Washoe County COVID-19 dashboards.

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

Tribal Police Get More Authority On Reservations
By Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that tribal police can search and detain non-native people travelling through reservation lands.

It used to be that if a tribal cop pulled a non-native person over, they most likely couldn’t detain them or even search them, even if the officer had a strong suspicion that the driver was committing a crime, and that’s a restriction that doesn’t exist for most non-tribal police. But in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that tribal police can temporarily detain and investigate non-native people on public roads if they’re under suspicion of breaking state or federal laws.

Monte Mills is an Indian law professor at the University of Montana. He said this is a big step forward in affirming tribal sovereignty.

“Tribal communities really depend on local law enforcement, including tribal officers, to be able to take reasonable measures to stop and investigate, and even detain, folks in their normal course of business,” he said.

However, Mills said in most cases tribal police still cannot charge and prosecute non-natives with a crime. Instead, they must turn them over to county, state or federal authorities.

Major Labor Unions Back California Governor In Likely Recall
By The Associated Press

Labor unions representing workers in manufacturing, retail, grocery stores, health care and other businesses are backing California Gov. Gavin Newsom in an expected recall election. The California Labor Federation delivered the endorsement Tuesday at the state Capitol on behalf of 2.1 million workers and 1,200 affiliated unions. They say Newsom, a Democrat, supported workers during the pandemic and called the drive to remove him from office “anti-worker." Their announcement aims to show unity in organized labor after the new president of the largest state workers union said he won't support the governor.

Smartphone App Could Help Prepare For Wildfires
By Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

A flying ember lands near your house. Do you have wood mulch, grass or rocks there? Do you have a flammable fence connected to the house or brush near wood siding?

A free app called Wildfire Ready is a virtual reality tool that can help you identify these potential fire hazards and possibly prevent a house from burning down in a wildfire.

Daniel Gorham is a research engineer with the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, which made the app.

“This is very much a tool. It’s not a be-all-end-all answer. It does include some of the tips and some of the mitigation actions that you can take,” Gorham said.

Of course, he said if neighbors’ houses aren’t prepared too, your home might still be at risk, so outsmarting a fire needs to be a community-wide effort.

Milkweed Planted In California To Help Monarch Butterflies
By The Associated Press

A conservation group is planting more than 30,000 milkweed plants throughout California in the hope of giving Western monarch butterflies new places to breed. The San Francisco Chronicle reports Monday that the River Partners group has joined with others and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the plantings along the Sacramento, Feather and Kern rivers. The plants are seen as critical because the orange-and-black butterflies lay their eggs on them. Their caterpillars also eat them. Earlier this year, researchers said an annual winter count recorded fewer than 2,000 of the butterflies. That's a massive decline.

Community Events Return To Northern Nevada This Weekend
By Lucia Starbuck

Community events are making a comeback to Northern Nevada this summer, as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Food Truck Friday will return to Idlewild Park in Reno this Friday at 4 pm. Additionally, the Nevada State Fair will be held at Mills Park in Carson City, starting Thursday.

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.
Madelyn Beck is a regional Illinois reporter, based in Galesburg. On top of her work for Harvest Public Media, she also contributes to WVIK, Tri-States Public Radio and the Illinois Newsroom collaborative.
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