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KUNR Today: COVID-19 deaths reach 900 in Washoe Co., Finalists vie for vacant WCSD school board seat

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 Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021.

Hospitals strained as Washoe County surpasses 900 COVID-19-related deaths
By Lucia Starbuck

The Washoe County Health District is reporting a grim pandemic milestone and cases are on the rise. Washoe County has surpassed 900 COVID-19-related deaths. The county reached 800 deaths 44 days ago.

Daily COVID-19 cases were decreasing from mid-September to mid-October, but they are now increasing again while hospitals remain strained. Washoe County District Board of Health Member Dr. Reka Danko explained why.

“With severe COVID infections, sometimes it’s taking weeks, to upwards of many weeks and sometimes even months, for patients to achieve recovery and be able to be stabilized for discharge,” Danko said.

91% of staffed hospital beds are occupied in Washoe County.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations in Nevada or view the state COVID-19 dashboard.

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

Fire restrictions lifted in Placer and El Dorado counties
By Lucia Starbuck

Fire restrictions have been lifted in Placer and El Dorado Counties. This includes the North Tahoe Fire and Meeks Bay Fire Protection Districts. Homeowners are now allowed to use wood-burning firepits and outdoor fireplaces, along with charcoal barbecues, unless a high wind or red flag warning goes into effect.

Another California ski resort moves up season opener
By The Associated Press

Another California ski resort has moved up its opening day thanks to this week’s huge dump of snow in the Sierra Nevada. Palisades Tahoe joins Mammoth Mountain in starting its season on Oct. 29. Palisades Tahoe says the big storm dropped more than 3 feet of snow on its upper mountains. The resort plans to be open on weekends only as conditions allow until full-time operations begin on Nov. 24. Mammoth moved up its opening by two weeks to Oct. 29 even before the storm arrived.

There are four finalists for vacant seat on WCSD Board of Trustees
By Lucia Starbuck

There are four finalists for the open seat on the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees. Former Trustee Jacqueline Calvert resigned in September after moving out of District F, which is an at-large position that covers the east side of the district.

The applicants include Adam Mayberry, the public information officer for the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, and Elvira Diaz who is a community organizer. Former TMCC president John Gwaltney is also running, along with Jack Heinemann, a student at UNR and substitute teacher.

Trustees will interview and select a new member during their next regular meeting on November 9.

Conservative groups threatening school boards across the region
By Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

A Nevada school board had to reschedule its public meeting twice this month over violent threats. It’s part of a regional trend pitting conservatives against local education officials.

The Elko County School Board held a virtual meeting Tuesday that was originally scheduled for October 12. Parents railed against issues like mask mandates and COVID testing requirements.

In Elko County, masks are only required in schools where a COVID-19 outbreak has occurred, but the backlash led five out of seven members of the board to resign in August.

In Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, two trustees resigned after protesters shut down a school board meeting. In Colorado, a far right paramilitary group has been mobilizing members to confront education officials.

Stewart Indian School Hosts Nevada Day Art Event
By Nick Stewart

On Saturday, the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum in Carson City will be featuring Native American artists in honor of Nevada Day. The event is being held to tell the stories of the students and staff who were part of the Native American boarding school which was in operation from 1890 to 1980.

Four artists will be demonstrating their crafts, such as basket weaving and beadwork, and they will also have artwork being sold. They’re part of a collective called the Great Basin Native Artists, which has members from across the region, including Nevada and California.

Nevada looks to keep Fremont Cannon blue against UNLV Friday
By Noah Glick

The so-called "Silver State Series" continues Friday night, as Nevada football takes on in-state rival UNLV at Mackay Stadium.

The Wolf Pack won last year's battle for the Fremont Cannon in Las Vegas, 37-to-19, and has won six of the last ten games against the Rebels. Nevada, 5-2 on the season, is heavily favored against UNLV, who has yet to win a game this season.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday. The game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network and on ESPN radio, 94.5 FM in Reno.

Nick Stewart is a student reporter for KUNR and is studying journalism at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.
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