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KUNR Today: Caldor Fire Continues March Toward Tahoe, Tribes Argue To Halt Nevada Lithium Mine

A color-coded map showing the progression of the Caldor Fire. The northeast and southeast sections of the burn area had notable growth on Sunday, August 29.
A progression map released the morning of Aug. 30, 2021, shows fire movement of the Caldor Fire toward the Lake Tahoe Basin. The darkest purple regions represent growth of the blaze Sunday.

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.

Caldor Fire Inching Closer To Tahoe
By Noah Glick

The Caldor Fire continued to march toward Lake Tahoe overnight, reaching the Twin Bridges area. The blaze is now bordering Echo Lakes, just miles outside of South Lake Tahoe.

Evacuation orders were issued late Sunday for Desolation Wilderness from the watershed ridge to the wilderness boundary. Evacuations were also ordered from the El Dorado-Placer County line to Echo Lakes.

Read KUNR’s Caldor Fire blog for the latest updates.

Nevada Tribes Push For Halt To Lithium Mining Activities
By Michele Ravera

In November, the Bureau of Land Management approved a giant lithium mine in northern Nevada. But tribes in our region argue the BLM didn’t properly consult with them – and now want a federal judge to issue a temporary injunction on the project.

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and a group known as The People of Red Mountain filed the lawsuit in federal court in July. They argued that the BLM didn’t properly consult with tribes about potential impacts to important cultural sites, a violation of the National Preservation Act.

On Friday, federal judge Miranda Du heard arguments on a motion from the tribes to temporarily halt any further disturbance to the mine site.

William Falk is an attorney representing the tribes. He said this is just one step in the process.

“The legal system is not a tactic that is going to stop this project. It can be a tactic that forces things back into an earlier part of the permitting process and give us more time to rally more support,” Falk explained.

Ranchers and environmentalists previously requested a court order to block the digging of any trenches, citing concerns over sage grouse habitat. Judge Du denied that request in July.

Former Judge In Vegas To Run For Nevada Secretary Of State
By The Associated Press

A former state court judge who was reprimanded for cursing and throwing a pocket U.S. Constitution in an outburst over a juror’s apparent effort to avoid jury service says he’ll seek the Republican nomination for Nevada secretary of state. Richard Scotti told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Wednesday he’ll run on his experience as a business lawyer, business owner and judge. Scotti served one six-year term in Clark County District Court before losing his bid for re-election in 2020. Former state Assemblyman Jim Marchant also is seeking the GOP nomination to replace term-limited Barbara Cegavske.

Nevada’s Jobless Rate Ticks Down One-Tenth Of A Percent In July
By Paul Boger

Nevada’s jobless rate fell to 7.7% in July, the state’s lowest unemployment number since the start of the pandemic. The numbers are part of the latest data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s current unemployment rate is more than two percentage points higher than the national average of 5.4%.

Most of the unemployed people have addresses in Clark County, where the jobless rate is 9.4%, which is partly due to Southern Nevada’s reliance on tourism and hospitality. In Northern Nevada, jobless claims have fallen below the national average with 4.9% unemployment in the Truckee Meadows.

Initial claims are also continuing to trend downward. Fewer than 10,000 people filed for unemployment for the first time in July.

Vegas Hospital Opens Clinic To Provide Long-Term COVID Care
By The Associated Press

A Las Vegas hospital has opened a clinic to provide ongoing care to so-called long-haulers — people with long-term medical complications from COVID-19. University Medical Center said its clinic is the first of its kind in Nevada and will also help patients enroll in clinical trials for new therapies to treat long-term symptoms. Long-term symptoms include heart and lung conditions, pain and cognitive impairment. In another development, the Clark County School District Board on Wednesday will consider allowing the superintendent to establish a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for district employees.

Michele Ravera joined KUNR in 2014 as a volunteer and was added to the part-time broadcast staff in October 2015. She is currently the station’s host for Morning Edition.
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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