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KUNR Today: Reno bus drivers strike again, Proposed Nev. redistricting maps lean toward Democrats

A screenshot of a congressional district map of Nevada
Nevada Legislature
A screenshot of the proposed map of Congressional districts for the next decade for Nevada.

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021.

Third RTC bus driver strike underway after union votes down ‘final’ offer
By Kaleb Roedel

For the third time in four months, Washoe County bus drivers walked off the job Tuesday over what they say are unfair labor practices.

The union representing bus drivers with the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County overwhelmingly voted down the latest contract offer by Keolis, the agency’s contractor. The rejected proposal, which Keolis says is its best and final offer, included a 4% annual raise over the next three years. But the Teamsters Local 533 labor union said that isn’t going to cut it.

Pointing to inflation and impacts of the pandemic, the union says Keolis’s offer essentially amounts to a pay cut. Keolis, however, told reporters they believe their offer is competitive in the local market. They said efforts are currently being made to return to the negotiation table with the union.

In the meantime, RTC Washoe says they will provide commuters with contingency transit service, similar to what was done during the previous two strikes.

Proposed maps would tint Nevada swing districts blue
By The Associated Press

A new congressional district map introduced in Nevada on Tuesday proposes changes that could make the state’s two battleground districts more Democratic-leaning for the next decade. The map peels off parts of the state’s most safely blue district and adds Democratic voters to the two that have traded hands between the parties in the past. State lawmakers could approve the proposal in the coming days. The plan could aid Democrats in efforts to defend their nine-seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and decrease the amount of campaign funds that parties have previously funneled to competitive Las Vegas-area districts.

Top regents to leave leadership roles during investigation into hostile work environment complaint
By Jacob Solis, The Nevada Independent

After being accused in a hostile work environment complaint, the top regents for the Nevada System of Higher Education have signaled that they will temporarily step aside from their leadership roles on the board during an outside investigation. 

Board Chair Cathy McAdoo and Vice Chair Patrick Carter will temporarily step aside during the investigation into the chancellor’s claims that they created a hostile work environment. A special meeting on Friday will be the board’s first public meeting since publication of the chancellor’s allegations.

McAdoo and Carter did not immediately respond to requests for comment. They will retain their seats on the 13-member board, but it’s unclear which regents might take the chair and vice chair titles.

An agenda for Friday’s meeting has a single action item to elect "officers pro tempore.” There’s also a note clarifying that the newly elected leaders will not serve beyond June 30th of next year.

As a note of disclosure, the license to KUNR is held by the Board of Regents to the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Read the full story at thenevadaindependent.com.

Adam Mayberry appointed to Washoe County School Board
By Michelle Billman

The board of trustees for the Washoe County School District has appointed Adam Mayberry to represent District F, the eastern portion of the district that was recently vacated.

Mayberry is the public information officer for the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District and has previously worked for the City of Sparks. He has two children attending Washoe County schools. He was sworn in during a special meeting Tuesday morning.

The seat for District F became open when Jaqueline Calvert resigned after complaints surfaced about the former trustee no longer living in the district she was representing.

Tribal leaders sounding alarm on climate crisis
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

Tribal leaders have long grappled with how climate change is affecting their communities. Some met this week to discuss impacts and solutions.

Randy'L Teton is with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Idaho. She said climate change has brought hotter, drier summers that are fueling more destructive wildfires.

"One thing we are definitely seeing is the fires are actually burning more of the seeds. Our people are noticing that we are not getting the regrowth that is needed for our habitat which affects our wildlife," Teton said.

Teton said the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes created a climate change action plan back in 2017. Tribal communities are now anticipating an infusion of funding into their efforts after Congress passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill last week.

2 more guilty pleas from man who admitted killing 4 Nevadans
By The Associated Press

A Salvadoran immigrant who admitted fatally shooting four people during a two-week rampage in Nevada in 2019 has pleaded guilty to the two killings that occurred in rural Douglas County. It's part of a deal with prosecutors that will spare 22-year-old Wilber Ernesto Martinez Guzman the death penalty. Instead, he will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. Martinez Guzman pleaded guilty in Minden on Tuesday to first-degree murder in the deaths of Connie Koontz and Sophia Renken at their homes in Gardnerville. Last month, he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the deaths of Gerald and Sharon David at their Reno home.

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
Before joining The Nevada Independent, Jacob interned for Nevada Public Radio, where he covered the 2017 legislative session, and Reno Public Radio, where he was on general assignment covering everything from immigration to traffic to the Northern Nevada housing crunch. During that time, he also worked for UNR's student paper, The Nevada Sagebrush, serving as editor-in-chief from 2016 to 2018.
Kaleb is an award-winning journalist and KUNR’s Mountain West News Bureau reporter. His reporting covers issues related to the environment, wildlife and water in Nevada and the region.
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