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KUNR Today: City Of Reno To Require COVID Vaccine For Employees, Elko Hospital Near Capacity

An image of a woman in military gear receiving a COVID-19 vaccine from a medical professional.
Department of Defense
Senior Airman Marisol Salgado, medical technician, administers a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Army Capt. Rebecca Parrish, a COVID-19 intensive care unit nurse at Brooke Army Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Dec. 17, 2020.

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Monday, Sept. 27, 2021.

City Of Reno Soon Requiring All Employees To Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19
By KUNR Staff

The City of Reno will soon require its employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. KRNV is reportingthat city officials sent an email to employees making the announcement this week.

The new requirement will unfold when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives full approval of the Moderna shot. Unvaccinated city employees need to use N-95 masks until that time.

The requirement comes on the heels of Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve's announcement that she has tested positive for COVID-19. Schieve made the announcementon social media Thursday, explaining that her symptoms are mild, which she attributes to being vaccinated. The mayor said that she has taken many precautions throughout the pandemic because she is immunocompromised.

For ten days, she’ll be quarantining, which includes working remotely. Schieve is urging others to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Climate Change Fuels California Emphasis On Preventing Fires
By The Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has approved nearly $1 billion in new spending to prevent wildfires that are getting bigger and more destructive from climate change. Newsom approved the spending on Wednesday while visiting Sequoia National Park. The park contains some of the world's largest and oldest trees that have been threatened by a recent wildfire. California's wildfire budget has grown to $3.4 billion from just $800 million in 2005. But most of that money has been spent on putting fires out. California's $1.5 billion total wildfire prevention budget this year will pay for things like clearing brush and dead trees that act as kindling for large fires.

Nevada Hospital Calls On Residents To Take COVID Precautions
By The Associated Press

A hospital in rural northeastern Nevada is pleading with residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to take other precautions to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital in Elko said Friday its intensive care and medical-surgical units were near capacity and that it had postponed elective surgeries and added beds. Along with getting vaccinated, the hospital urged residents to avoid large gatherings, wear a mask when around people other than in households and observe physical distancing. The hospital said wait times were longer than normal but that it was still able to safely provide medical care.

Longmont, Colo. Now Sister City With Northern Arapaho Tribe
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

The northern Colorado city sits on the ancestral homeland of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Following an 1860s treaty, the U.S. government pushed Native Americans from this area. Today, the Northern Arapaho call Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation home.

Stephen Fast Horse is a tribal councilman. He said the partnership is a huge opportunity for Northern Arapaho youth to see their homeland.

"The significance can’t even be explained in words. You know, I'd hope that this could be given a spotlight to where it could be part of a movement that other states and cities want to follow," he said.

The new agreement will be anchored by initiatives that allow children to visit each other’s community. Fast Horse says this is a profound step in forging understanding between Indigenous and non-native people, and he believes it to be the first in the U.S.

Nevada Man Pleads Guilty To COVID-Relief Fraud Scheme
By Michele Ravera

A Nevada man pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to defraud multiple financial institutions of more than $1.9 million in forgivable loans. He did so by filing fraudulent bank loan applications that were earmarked for coronavirus aid. This included listing non-operational businesses as if they had employees and monthly payroll.

According to court documents and admissions made in court, Jorge Abramovs submitted at least 12 Paycheck Protection Program loan applications to seven different lenders. Abramovs pleaded guilty to several charges, which also included tax fraud, and he faces a total of 45 years in prison.

In May, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud.

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.
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