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KUNR Today: Sen. Cortez Masto On Debt Limit, Sandoval Pushing UNR Enrollment And Research

An image of Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) questions Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Sept. 28, 2021.

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021.

U.S. Sen. Cortez Masto Blasts Senate Republicans Over Debt Limit Battle
By Noah Glick

As Congress continues its stalemate over raising the debt limit, Nevada U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is questioning why Senate Republicans are blocking efforts to raise the limit after their states received federal coronavirus relief.

"The work that we're doing to increase the debt limit has a lot to do with that debt that was incurred back then to address the pandemic. Isn't that right?" Cortez Masto, a Democrat, asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during Tuesday's hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

"It's true," Yellen responded. "Raising the debt limit allows us to pay bills that were incurred because of those acts and others of Congress."

"So, just so I can clarify, so my colleagues who are refusing to come to the table to address this, they're getting the benefit of that relief in their states however, correct?" Cortez Masto asked.

"Yes, of course," Yellen said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell objected to raising the debt limit on a simple majority vote, saying he wouldn't support Democrats' spending plans.

Congress must come up with a solution before Thursday's deadline to avoid a partial shutdown. The current public debt is more than $28 trillion.

Ski Resorts Planning For Pandemic Winter, Mask & Vaccination Policies
By Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

As ski resorts are beginning to prepare for another pandemic winter, one of the region’s top resorts is requiring masks and vaccinations for some indoor activities.

Vail Resorts owns prominent ski hills in Colorado, Utah and in California near Lake Tahoe. It recently announced it will require masks and proof of vaccination for those 12 and older who want to eat indoors at cafeterias.

Vaccinations won’t be required for guests anywhere else in the resorts, though they have to wear masks inside, and skiers and snowboarders won’t be required to wear a mask outside on the hill.

Vail Resorts and Aspen Snowmass in Colorado are also mandating vaccination for all their employees. Adrienne Saia Isaac with the National Ski Area Association said these vaccine requirements are to protect vulnerable populations.

“Especially young children who can’t get vaccinated, who are joining us on the slopes in our ski-and-ride program,” she said.

Other big resorts in the region are expected to announce their COVID-19 plans in the coming weeks.

Multiple Sierra Ski Resorts Announce Addition Of High-Speed Chair Lifts
By Paul Boger

A number of Sierra ski resorts have announced multi-million dollar expansions.

Vail Resorts recently announced that Northstar California and Heavenly Mountain will get new high-speed chairlifts while Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe announced Tuesday that plans are underway to expand the Lakeview area of the mountain, which will include additional ski terrain and a new high-speed chairlift as well.

The expansions are among the largest in history for each of the ski resorts. The updates are expected to be completed ahead of the 2022-23 winter season.

Sandoval Says UNR To Focus On Expanding Enrollment, Research Status
By Paul Boger

University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval says the school will use the next decade to expand enrollment and educational opportunities for all students. Sandoval made the commitments during his first State of the University address Tuesday.

That goal includes increasing enrollment to 25,000 students by 2030, which he said is part of what he likes to call the 'Wolf Pack Way.'

"Now, when I look to the future, I see an institution that places a premium on the hopes and dreams of all of our students, that through this crucible of the pandemic, we are preparing a new generation of leaders who undertand that we must adapt to an evoloving societal, technology and climate landscape,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval said he also wants UNR to join the American Association of Universities, an exclusive group of major research universities that aim to uphold strong academic research and education standards; although, he admits that could take several years.

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

Masks Required In Carson Schools Until Transmission Reaches 'Low' Threshold
By Noah Glick

Students in the Carson City School District will need to continue to wear masks for the foreseeable future.

At Tuesday's school board meeting, the district announced it will continue its policy of requiring masks for all individuals, including students, parents, employees and volunteers. They must wear face coverings when indoors and on school buses.

The requirement will stay in place until Carson City's COVID-19 transmission rate falls to the "low" category for two consecutive weeks. The area is currently under the "high" transmission category.

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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