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KUNR Today: Nevada Colleges Call For Vaccine Mandate For Workers, Reno Considers Ban On Whips

The Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center on the UNR Campus.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.

Nevada College And Universities Call For Vaccine Mandate For Workers
By Paul Boger

The Nevada System of Higher Education will ask the Board of Regents for permission to draft rules that would require COVID-19 vaccinations for all college and university employees.

The board is slated to take up the request at their September 10 meeting. According to the agenda item, NSHE wants employees to be fully vaccinated by December 1.

All state workers — including NSHE employees — are currently required to be either fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

Last week, the State Board of Health voted to require all college and university students to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enroll in classes next spring.

Medical and religious exemptions are allowed.

As a note of disclosure, the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents owns the license to this station.

Face Masks Required For Two Douglas County Schools Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
By Paul Boger

The Douglas County School District has closed school Friday due to poor air quality, but next week, students at two Douglas County schools will have to wear masks indoors due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

For the next four weeks, all students at Douglas High School and Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School will have to wear face coverings inside school buildings and while on buses, regardless of their vaccination status.

The district has confirmed more than 30 COVID-19 cases during the first two weeks of the new semester, which began August 9. School officials are also urging parents to keep sick children at home.

Bishop Issues Emergency Declaration As Fires Continue To Burn Across California
By KUNR Staff

Bishop city leaders have declared a public emergency due to extreme fire danger. First reported by the Inyo Register, Bishop City Administrator Ron Phillips announced the emergency declaration Wednesday.

It effectively bans all open fires in the city limits until further notice, which includes patio fireplaces, chimneys, campfires, or other portable stoves and burning devices used for outdoor recreation. Barbeques are still allowed on private property.

The emergency declaration will remain in place until the council terminates the order.

Reno City Council Considering Public Whip Ban
By Paul Boger

The Reno City Council is considering a new ordinance that would ban whips in public places. The proposed ordinance would make it a misdemeanor to “use, carry or possess whips or crack or use a whip to annoy, interfere with or endanger a person on public grounds.”

The council unanimously approved the first reading of the law this week, saying the whips intimidate residents and visitors. According to Reno Police, officers responded to more than 170 whip-related calls in the last year.

Opponents of the measure say it unfairly targets the homeless and may interfere with a resident’s right to free expression. The council must approve the ordinance again before the ban goes into effect.

Nevada Casinos Riding Hot Streak, Set New Monthly Win Record
By The Associated Press

Nevada casinos set another winnings record in July, riding a streak of robust revenues that has the state reaping the tax benefit. State regulators said Thursday that casinos statewide took in a record $1.36 billion last month. That marked the fifth straight billion-dollar month and easily topped the record $1.23 billion set in May. A Nevada Gaming Control Board analyst noted that July had five weekends and benefitted from the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas and the return of several Cirque du Soleil shows and headline concerts. It also experienced a jump in baccarat play by international guests, in addition to the return of leisure travelers and gamblers with coronavirus stimulus money to spend.

Autonomous Delivery Company Expands Into Nevada
By Noah Glick

Nuro, an autonomous delivery company, has announced plans to invest $40 million in Nevada to manufacture and test autonomous delivery vehicles.

The two planned facilities are the first in the U.S. for Nuro. One will be used for manufacturing and the other will be a closed-course test track. The company says once operational, it will be able to produce tens of thousands of delivery vehicles.

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development estimates that the company’s $40 million investment will make an overall economic impact of $2.2 billion in the first ten years.

Nuro says it plans to hire more than 250 high-skilled technology workers over the next ten years, with a projected average wage of $27.50 an hour.

The company received more than $170,000 in tax abatements over the next ten years.

Noah Glick is a former content director and host at KUNR Public Radio.
Paul Boger is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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