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KUNR Today: WCSD superintendent announces retirement, NSHE staff required to get COVID-19 vaccine

An image of the Washoe County School District Administration Building
Paul Boger
KUNR Public Radio

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

WCSD Superintendent McNeill anounces retirement
By Paul Boger

Superintendent Kristen McNeill announced her retirement Thursday during a press conference outside the district offices.

McNeill first joined the district as a teacher nearly thirty years ago. She then worked her way through the administration before she was named the district interim leader in 2019 after the school board fired the previous superintendent.

Read the full story here.

4th year since Las Vegas massacre stirs emotions, ceremonies
By The Associated Press

People who died, are healing and are struggling will be remembered Friday during the fourth anniversary of the Las Vegas massacre that became the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. A 7 a.m. ceremony at the Clark County Government Center will be shared by live-stream with a support group called “So Cal Route 91 Heals.” The group is in California's Ventura County, where there will also be an afternoon ceremony at a park in Thousand Oaks. The names of the 58 people who died Oct. 1, 2017, will be read after 10 p.m. at a downtown Las Vegas Community Healing Garden. At least two others who died later also will be remembered.

Strong support for conservation efforts in the West, says new report
By Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

Data for Progress is a self-described progressive research group. It surveyed likely voters from states with lawmakers who will be crucial to passing President Joe Biden’s environmental agenda.

In Nevada, more than three-quarters of likely voters favor Biden’s conservation initiative, which would set aside 30% of the country’s land and water over the next decade.

Danielle Deiseroth helped lead the study, which took place as the Caldor Fire was forcing people to evacuate from around Lake Tahoe.

"Visceral images of seeing areas of our country ablaze or underwater, I think, are really causing a reckoning with people that we need to come together and preserve the nature that we have," she said.

Deiseroth and her colleagues found conservation had bipartisan support. They also found a majority of likely voters in Colorado and Montana support Biden’s plan to move the country to 100% clean energy by the year 2035.

Nevada to receive $3.4 million for health care infrastructure
By Lucia Starbuck

U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen announcedthat the funding will come from the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

In Northern Nevada, Community Health Alliance in Reno-Sparks and Nevada Health Centers in Carson City will get a total of nearly $1.8 million. The funding will go toward construction, renovation and other capital improvement projects.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

All Nevada public college staff required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccine
By Lucia Starbuck

College and university staff who step foot on campus will need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof by December 1. The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents approved the requirementThursday.

Unvaccinated staff will get two warnings before then. Employees who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will be terminated at the end of the year.

New hires are required to show proof of immunization prior to starting employment. Current employees are already required to get vaccinated, or get tested for COVID-19 weekly.

About one in five NSHE employees remain unvaccinated.

As a note of disclosure, the board of regents to NSHE owns the license to this station and all KUNR employees are NSHE employees.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations in Nevada, or view the stateand Washoe County COVID-19 dashboards.

Nevada officials create dashboard displaying K-12 student and staff COVID-19 cases
By Lucia Starbuck

According to the dashboard, more than 3,500 Nevada students have tested positive for COVID-19 so far this school year.

1,300 of the student cases stem from Clark County, more than 700 are from Washoe County and more than 400 are from Elko County. Nearly 600 school staff have tested positive statewide.

The dashboard also allows users to search cases via school district, school and zip code.

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.
Bert is KUNR’s senior correspondent. He covers stories that resonate across Nevada and the region, with a focus on environment, political extremism and Indigenous communities.
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