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KUNR Today: Sisolak Says No New COVID-19 Restrictions, Lyon Co. Renaming Justice Complex After Trump

A still from a press conference with Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. Sisolak is standing at a podium. He is wearing a suit and a face mask while looking toward the camera and speaking into a microphone. There is a sign language interpreter to his right.
Governor Sisolak Via YouTube

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Friday, Aug. 6, 2021.

Sisolak Says No New Restrictions, Looks Into Vaccine Requirements Amid COVID-19 Surge
By Lucia Starbuck

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are sharply rising as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to quickly spread through the state. Governor Steve Sisolak addressed the steps the state is taking to mitigate the surge. Sisolak said during his latest press conference that he’s not imposing shutdowns or capacity limits; instead, he’s again encouraging people to get vaccinated.

He’s also considering COVID-19 vaccination requirements for certain groups. That includes people working with vulnerable populations, particularly for health care workers and those working with unhoused community members. In addition, Sisolak says he will ask his medical advisors to look into vaccine requirements for public college students.

Nevada officials are reporting an average of more than 900 daily COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks. More than 1,200 Nevadans are hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19, surpassing last summer’s peak.

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.

Northern California Wildfire Now Largest Burning In U.S.
By The Associated Press

Officials say Northern California’s Dixie Fire grew by 110 square miles between Thursday night and Friday morning, making the blaze the largest wildfire currently raging in the country. The Dixie Fire has consumed 432,813 acres — an increase of 71,000 acres from the night before. The Bootleg Fire in Oregon had previously been the nation’s largest active wildfire, at 413,765 acres. The Dixie Fire is 35% contained and is expected to grow. It currently stands as California’s third-largest wildfire in history. The Bootleg Fire, which was sparked July 6, is 87% contained.

Officials Removing Tamarack Fire Debris Boxes
By Paul Boger

Douglas County officials say they plan to remove debris boxes meant for residents affected by the Tamarack Fire due to an increase in non-household waste.

The temporary disposal locations were set up to help residents dispose of waste and vegetation affected by the fire.

Douglas Disposal will continue to provide free, self-haul trash collection to anyone living in the area through the weekend. Bently Ranch is also accepting burned vegetation at the outfit’s compost yard, but individuals must have proof of residency within the Tamarack Fire’s burn area.

Most Reno-Sparks Bus Service Suspended As Strike Continues
By The Associated Press

Regional transportation officials have suspended bus service on all but three routes in Reno-Sparks and Carson City as a strike by about 200 union drivers moves into its third day. Teamsters Union Local 533 went on strike at noon Tuesday, citing an impasse in negotiations with RTC Washoe bus service contractor Keolis. The previous collective bargaining agreement expired on July 1. RTC announced Thursday that it will operate three routes in both directions on a reduced schedule out of the downtown Reno bus station. They will travel south to Meadowood Mall and east to Sparks, along with the regional connection to Carson City.

Survey: Gun Owners And Non-Owners Agree On Some Gun Policies
By Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

A Pew Research survey shows that gun owners and non-owners share some opinions.

The divisions are where you might expect them: most gun owners oppose bans on assault-style weapons or on ammo magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Most non-gun owners support those bans.

But both are largely in favor of universal background checks. That is, requiring those checks for private gun sales or at gun shows to keep firearms out of the wrong hands.

“The truth is we’ve seen for years that gun owners do support more restrictive laws that will protect public safety, such as universal background checks,” said Adam Winkler, a UCLA professor who writes about gun policy.

Still, Winkler said Congress remains stalled on actions. While there may be movement in states, the Supreme Court could knock those laws down.

Only about 30% of people reported owning a gun in this Pew survey. The NRA opposes universal background checks and most other gun legislation.

Rural Nevada Lawmakers Vote To Name County Complex For Trump
By The Associated Press

Rural Nevada lawmakers have approved putting former President Donald Trump's name on their county jail, court and sheriff’s office. KTVN-TV in Reno reports Lyon County commissioners voted 3-2 on Thursday to rename their Justice Complex in Yerington. A proclamation credits Trump with filling hundreds of federal judicial positions and enforcing U.S. immigration laws. But a proposed proclamation clause to state he solved the humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere was rejected. Commissioners say private donations will cover renaming costs. Lyon County votes solidly Republican and Trump drew 69% of presidential ballots cast there last November. But Democrat Joe Biden carried Nevada and won the presidency.

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.
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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