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KUNR Today: Suspect Arrested In Elko After School Shooting Threat, Tamarack Fire 100% contained

An image of a fire engine at the forest
U.S. Forest Service
A fire engine on scene of the Tamarack Fire in Nevada.

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021.

Young suspect arrested for school shooting threat in Elko
By KUNR Staff

Law enforcement officials have arrested a 14-year-old in Elko after threats to commit a mass shooting at Elko or Spring Creek High School were found on social media Monday. The Elko Daily Free Press is reportingthat the female student now faces felony charges.

Schools opened Tuesday with additional patrols. The investigation is ongoing while police review evidence, but they aren’t looking for other suspects at this time.

Women underrepresented on police forces, analysis finds
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

Across the region, women comprise just 4-8% of state police, according to a new Pew Research analysis. Experts say gender parity in law enforcement will help to address many of the problems highlighted by the murder of George Floyd.

Research shows women officers use less force and excessive force. They get better outcomes for crime victims, especially in sexual assaults, and they’re perceived as more honest and compassionate by diverse communities.

Law enforcement agencies across the nation have joined what's called a 30x30 initiative by New York University's Policing Project. The goal is to achieve 30% representation of women officers by the year 2030. In our region, though, many states have yet to sign on to the effort despite low numbers of women in law enforcement.

In Nevada, women comprise 8% of state police. Three law enforcement agencies in the state have signed on to the 30x30 effort.

US casinos look to improve gender equity in management
By The Associated Press

Women make up just over half the workers in the U.S. casino industry. But the top management jobs are still largely held by men. Participants in a gambling conference in Atlantic City said Tuesday the industry needs to do more to promote women, even as it acknowledged some progress. Erin Chamberlin, senior vice president of Penn National Gaming, suggests casino bosses look around the room and see whether mostly one group or gender is represented. Jacqueline Grace, president of Atlantic City's Tropicana casino, notes that her parent company, Caesars Entertainment, has pledged to attain gender equity in its management jobs by 2025.

Tamarack Fire is now 100% contained
By Michelle Billman

The Tamarack Fire near Markleeville, California is now 100% contained, accordingto the U.S. Forest Service. Steady precipitation over the weekend helped firefighters reach full containment by adding needed moisture to the area.

The fire burned more than 68,000 acres since it was first reported on July 4. It also caused evacuations and structure damage in Nevadaand California Since late August, crews had reached roughly 82% containment, but the final portion posed additional challenges since the fire was burning in rugged terrain.

The area closure for the Tamarack Fire will expire on Sunday, but officials are asking the public to use caution in the burned area since there are still hazards such as loose debris and weakened trees. People could occasionally still see smoke from large trees and stump holes that are smoldering.

Record number of boats at Lake Tahoe had invasive mussels
By The Associated Press

The number of boats that inspectors stopped from launching at Lake Tahoe while carrying aquatic invasive species reached a record high this year. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency says inspectors intercepted 28 boats with invasive Dreissenid mussels, up from 20 in 2020 and about 10 the prior year. Dreissenid mussel species include zebra and quagga mussels. The TRPA reported Monday that despite the increase, no new invasive species have been detected in the lake. It says the substantial increase in intercepted mussels stems from a large number of newly purchased boats from other states with known aquatic invasive species and a general increase in boating activity and travel.

Nevada using $5M in COVID-19 aid for grants to kids with disabilities
By The Associated Press

Nevada is allocating $5 million in federal coronavirus pandemic aid to a program the governor and state treasurer say provides grants to children with disabilities and their families. Gov. Steve Sisolak and Treasurer Zach  Conine said Monday the Transforming Opportunities for Toddlers and Students program, or TOTS, aims to help youngsters recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and provide opportunities to save for the future. Up to 1,000 children with disabilities can receive $5,000 to use for education, transportation, housing, health care, assistive technology and other disability-related expenses. The grants will be administered through the ABLE Nevada program and don't have to be repaid.

Sierra Space, Blue Origin partnering to build commercial space station
By Michelle Billman

Sierra Space recently announced that it’s partnering with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to build a commercial space station. Sierra Space is a subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corporation, which is headquartered in Sparks. Other partners on the project include Boeing and Arizona State University.

The station, named Orbital Reef, is slated to start operations in the second half of this decade. A statementfrom Sierra Space says it’ll be built in low Earth orbit, operating as a “mixed use business park” for commercial, industrial, and research-oriented customers.

NASA Astronaut Janet Kavandi is president of Sierra Space. She’s been waiting for a time when “working and living in space is accessible to more people worldwide,” and says that time has arrived.

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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