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KUNR Today: Washoe Co. Reports Second Delta COVID-19 Death, Sparks Announces New Art Walk

Ken Lund
Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0
The City of Sparks has announced a new program called the Sparks Art Walk that will display rotating installations in Victorian Square in downtown Sparks.

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

Washoe County Reports Second Delta COVID-19 Death
By Lucia Starbuck

Washoe County officials are reporting a second death due to the Delta variant of COVID-19. The man was in his 50s with an underlying health condition, and he had not received a COVID-19 vaccine. Health officials also reported 14 additional Delta variant cases, bringing the total to 65 in Washoe County.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations in Nevada, or view the state and Washoe County COVID-19 dashboards. Lucia Starbuck is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Wildfire South Of Reno Accidentally Caused By Worker
By The Associated Press

Fire investigators say a construction worker accidentally started a wildland blaze that charred nearly a square mile of mostly grass and brush in the Steamboat area south of Reno last month. No homes were damaged or injuries reported in the fire that was fully contained three days after it broke out on June 16. The Truckee Meadows Fire District investigators determined the human-caused fire was accidental and the person responsible will not be liable for any damage or costs incurred fighting the fire. District spokesman Adam Mayberry said the worker was cutting cinderblocks and inadvertently hit a reinforcement bar, which sparked the blaze.

Nationwide Fossil Fuel Use Dropped To Lowest Point In Three Decades Last Year
By Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

The U.S. used 9% less fossil fuel in 2020. That’s according to the federal Energy Information Administration. The agency said decreased transportation during the pandemic played a big role in that.

Daniel Kaffine is an economics professor at CU Boulder. He expects us to use more fossil fuels this year as people take delayed family trips and go back to the office.

“There’s a lot of really interesting questions there about how much is temporary and how much of it will have some persistence,” Kaffine said.

That includes people who will continue telecommuting.

Looking at other forms of energy, Americans used 19% less coal last year. That's the lowest level since federal agencies started tracking the data in 1949. Projections show that it’ll rebound this year but is expected to continue a longer-term national decline.

Nevada Indigenous Boarding School May Be Part Of US Review
By The Associated Press

The Nevada Indian Commission has been collecting information on the history of the former Stewart Indian School in Carson City after U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced she’s launching an inquiry into the the federal government’s boarding school program for Native American children. Stacey Montooth, director of the Nevada Indian Commission, told the Reno Gazette Journal that the commission has not yet received direction from the Interior Department but has begun speaking with the leaders of Native American tribes across the country about identifying missing students from boarding schools and speaking to staff about how the commission might approach the project. The boarding schools were part of a U.S. policy to force assimilation as part of treaty rights.

University Of Nevada, Reno Awarded Grant For Clean Energy Development
By Isaac Hoops

The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Nevada, Reno a grant of $550,000 for clean energy development. The funding will be used to research rare earth elements for clean energy solutions, as well as promoting chemical engineering to Nevada high schoolers.

City Of Sparks Announces New Art Walk Program
By Isaac Hoops

A new program called the Sparks Art Walk will begin July 15th and continue monthly. Art will be on display in Victorian Square in downtown Sparks in partnership with an event series hosted by a local nonprofit called 39 North Downtown.

“The exhibit features five different sculptures and one mural. We had a call to artists back in October, and we had a selection committee choose these pieces of art,” said Francine Burge, the special events supervisor for the City of Sparks.

Those artworks will be on display for two years.

“And at that time, we'll do another call to artists," Burge said, "and we'll uninstall these pieces and install new pieces, so it'll be constantly rotating and give more reasons for people to come downtown on a regular basis.”

Of the six current pieces, two were created by Sparks natives.

Project Proposed For New Learning Farm At Carson High School
By KUNR Staff

Plans for a teaching farm have been proposed for a plot of land near Carson High School. The group that proposed the idea is a nonprofit called The Greenhouse Project.

The Nevada Appeal reports that in previous years, Carson High School has worked with The Greenhouse Project on creating an agriculture curriculum as well as a greenhouse on the campus. According to the nonprofit, the newest project would further benefit the high school’s agriculture sciences curriculum.

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.
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.
Isaac Hoops is a former student reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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