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KUNR Today: Washoe Co. Reports Increase In COVID-19 Cases, Low Water Closing Tahoe Boat Ramp

An image of Lake Tahoe from Sand Harbor
Nevada State Parks
At Sand Harbor, the boat launch will be closed beginning Sunday evening, due to low water levels at Lake Tahoe.

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Thursday, July 15, 2021.

COVID-19 Rising In Washoe County, Including Third Death From Delta Variant
By Lucia Starbuck

Washoe County officials are reporting a third death due to the Delta variant of COVID-19. The woman was in her 50s with an underlying health condition. All three deaths related to the Delta variant are among unvaccinated individuals. Health officials also reported 53 additional Delta variant cases, bringing the total to 118 in Washoe County.

Washoe County is also seeing an increase in new daily cases of COVID-19. On Wednesday, the health district reported 52 additional cases, which is the highest number of new cases reported since early May.

Roughly 56% of residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

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.

Expanded Child Tax Credit Begins Thursday
By KUNR Staff

Families with children will begin receiving a monthly tax cut today from the IRS as part of the American Rescue Plan.

Usually, the Child Tax Credit for parents and caregivers is $2,000 a year and is distributed when taxes are filed. With the change, the tax credit jumps up to $3,000 for children ages 6-to-17, and $3,600 for children under 6 years old.

Instead of there being one lump sum when taxes are filed, half of the total funds will be distributed monthly.

Families of more than 600-thousand children in Nevada are eligible for the credit.

Mental Competency Of Woman In Anti-Asian Assault Questioned
By The Associated Press

A prosecutor has raised questions about the mental competency of a woman who is jailed on racial bias charges and other allegations after being accused of striking a 6-year-old Asian boy on the Las Vegas Strip. Shelly Ann Hill told a judge Tuesday that she didn't understand how she could be charged with a hate crime. The judge determined it will be up to her attorney to have her undergo an evaluation. A TikTok video posted by the boy’s mother that shows part of the confrontation last week has garnered over a million views. Hill has an extensive history of misdemeanor cases involving trespassing and other offenses.

ICE Not Following Health Protocols, Leading To Deaths
By Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hasn’t been following its own health protocols, possibly resulting in detention center deaths. That’s according to a review of ICE’s own investigations.

University of Southern California researchers reviewed 55 available death reports from ICE detention centers between 2011 and 2018. Those reports showed that medical aid was slow, inadequate or completely lacking in some of these cases.

Dr. Parveen Parmar led this report. She said these findings aren’t even the whole story.

“If an individual is released from ICE custody, and they die the day, 2 days, 3 days, after they’re released from ICE custody, ICE is not required to do a death report on those individuals, and I know, anecdotally, of several cases,” she said.

Parmar said the government should investigate those deaths, and there needs to be a better flow of information. Many of those who died had been reportedly healthy before detention. The average age of the deceased was about 43.

Boat Ramp Closing At Sand Harbor Due To Low Water Levels
By Isaac Hoops

Due to low water conditions at Lake Tahoe, the boat ramp at Sand Harbor will close after this weekend. The closure of the ramp is to prevent damages to both boats and launch lanes. The parking lot will stay open for non-motorized, carry-in boats. This boat ramp will close at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Launches Organ Donation Awareness Program
By Isaac Hoops

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office will be offering what it’s calling ‘second chance’ warning tickets to motorists who are registered organ donors. From now until Monday, these warning tickets may be given in place of fines for minor traffic violations.

This campaign is in honor of 9-year-old Elizabeth Hammond who saved three children’s lives through organ donation.

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