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KUNR Today: Nevada Law Gives Tribes Tuition-Free College, Reno OKs Municipal Bonds For Development

A close-up image of the exterior of Reno City Hall
Jana Sayson
KUNR Public Radio

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Monday, June 7, 2021.

Governor Signs Multiple Bills Impacting Nevada’s Native American Communities
By Paul Boger

Indigenous students from Nevada’s federally recognized tribes can now go to a state college or university tuition-free.

AB262 was among three bills signed by Governor Steve Sisolak during a ceremony outside the Stewart Indian School Museum in Carson City on Friday. The law waives all mandatory fees for all native students with at least a 2.0 grade point average.

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Chairman Arlan Melendez says the law can have a huge impact.

“There’s many Native Americans, though, that can’t afford to send their children to school, to college,” he said, “so I think it’s really important to open up more opportunities for Native Americans.”

AB88 calls for the renaming of racially insensitive mascots and place names, and it puts an end to the sundown siren in Minden.

The last bill was AB270, which provides funding to preserve the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum. That museum tells the story of forced assimilation through the context of the old boarding school.

Reno City Council Approves $36.7 Million In Municipal Bonds For Development In Cold Springs
By Lucia Starbuck

The Reno City Council has approved a financing agreement that allows a large residential development north of Reno to acquire funding for infrastructure at a lower cost.

Spanning roughly 1,700 acres in the southwest corner of Cold Springs, the StoneGate development will eventually include 5,000 homes, with 200 affordable housing units once complete. There are also plans for several schools, grocery and retail stores, along with emergency services.

The Reno City Council recently approved more than $36 million in municipal bonds to finance upfront water and sewer projects. This agreement allows the developers to acquire funding from an investor at lower interest rates. If the developer doesn’t pay the money back, it would not default on the city. The bonds are expected to close this fall.

In exchange for the bonds, the developers are required to pay the city $1.5 million. That money would go toward initiatives such as a scholarship program for children from low-income families to participate in recreation activities, support for small business startups and an aquatics facility.

Read more of Lucia Starbuck’s reporting on the StoneGate development here.

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

Contruction Of Veteran's Memorial In Sparks Closing Portions Of Marina Walkway
By KUNR Staff

A section of the walking path around the Sparks Marina will be closed this summer due to construction on the Nevada Veteran’s Memorial Plaza. Detours are in place to accommodate path users.

The plaza is a statewide memorial which will have the names of all current, and future, servicemen and women of Nevada enshrined on it.

California Governor Won't Lift Virus State Of Emergency
By The Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he will not lift a coronavirus state of emergency on June 15. But he still intends to lift most mask and other restrictions on that date. Newsom said Friday he will keep in place the emergency order that gives him broad authority to issue, alter or suspend state laws and regulations. Newsom said he is not taking the summer months off from the threat posed by the coronavirus. Republicans in the state Senate have tried repeatedly to pass a concurrent resolution to end the state of emergency. But Democrats in the majority have blocked their efforts.

California Draws 15 Winners Of $50,000 Vaccine Prizes
By The Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom took a turn as gameshow host as the state drew the first 15 winners of $50,000 prizes for getting vaccinated against the coronavirus. Newsom and two others drew the winners from a lottery machine Friday. It's the first in a series of drawings, culminating in 10 grand prizes of $1.5 million each on June 15. That's the day when the state expects to drop almost all coronavirus related restrictions on businesses and gatherings. The state will contact winners and give them 96 hours to claim their prizes. Winners Friday came from Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Alameda, San Luis Obispo and Mendocino counties.

Judge Overturns California's 32-year Ban On Assault Weapons
By The Associated Press

A federal judge has overturned California's three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, calling it a "failed experiment" that violates the constitutional right to bear arms. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled Friday that the state's definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states. California first restricted assault weapons in 1989, with multiple updates to the law since then. California's attorney general argued that assault weapons are more dangerous than other firearms and are disproportionately used in crimes and mass shootings. But Benitez said the guns are overwhelmingly owned for legal purposes. Gov. Gavin Newsom calling the decision "a direct threat to public safety."

Paul Boger is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning journalist covering politics, focusing on democracy and solutions for KUNR Public Radio. Her goal is to provide helpful and informative coverage for everyday Nevadans.
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