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KUNR Today: Special session on Nev. redistricting starting, Renown requiring employees be vaccinated

An image of the exterior of the Nevada State Legislature building, with black lettering of the words: Nevada State Legislature.
Jana Sayson
KUNR Public Radio

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

Nevada schedules special session to redraw political maps
By The Associated Press

Nevada lawmakers will meet on Friday to begin redrawing congressional and state legislative districts based on population shifts and growth. On Thursday, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced the special session. Decisions from Nevada's Democratic-controlled Legislature, particularly over the lines defining two battleground congressional districts, will be closely observed as both parties vie for control of Congress. Legislative leaders have released a baseline proposal that would peel off parts of the state’s bluest district and add Democratic voters to two southern Nevada battlegrounds to give both more comfortable Democratic majorities.

Reno Republican Don Tatro to take over Ben Keickehefer’s state Senate seat
By Kaleb Roedel

Washoe County and Carson City officials have appointed Reno Republican Don Tatro to take over the state Senate seat recently vacated by Ben Kieckhefer. The former senator resigned last month to accept an appointment to the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Tatro is a mortgage lender who once served as executive director of the Builders Alliance of Northern Nevada. He will represent parts of Washoe County and Carson City when state lawmakers convene to redraw Nevada's congressional and state legislative districts. That long-awaited special session will begin Friday at 1 p.m.

Why is Nevada still leading the nation in unemployment?
By Sean Golonka, The Nevada Independent

In September, Nevada’s unemployment rate declined slightly from the prior two months, falling from 7.7% to 7.5%. Nevada has ranked last among all 50 states, or been tied for highest unemployment, for three straight months.

Nevada’s economic struggles have not been the same across the state, though. David Schmidt, the state’s chief economist, said the disruption in employment is seen more in the hotel and casino industry, particularly in Southern Nevada, than in all other industries.

Specifically, he says the casino and hotel industry in the Clark County area is only around 65% recovered, compared to the peak employment seen prior to the COVID recession. The total for all industries in the state is closer to about 93%.

Read the full story at thenevadaindependent.com.

Renown to require all staff to get COVID-19 vaccine
By Lucia Starbuck

Renown announced this week that it will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In a statement the hospital says it will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s emergency regulation. Under that regulation, health care workers at facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid must be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022.

Renown’s requirement will apply to all employees, along with new hires and students. The healthcare operator said about 80% of Renown’s staff have been vaccinated or granted an exemption.

Nevada encouraged by demand for COVID-19 shots for ages 5-11
By The Associated Press

Nevada health officials are encouraged by initial demand for COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 5-11 and local pediatricians are reporting strong interest. But they said Wednesday some logistical issues and technical glitches in the state’s scheduling platform have slowed the rollout of the doses at county and community health clinics. Experts also expressed concerns that a recent uptick in new coronavirus cases statewide could signal a similar trend as last November when the pandemic began a climb to its most serious level. They’re hopeful the addition of the 277,000 Nevadans aged 5-11 to those eligible for vaccination will put the state in a better position than last year.

Nanotech Energy plans large-scale battery manufacturing facility east of Reno-Sparks
By Kaleb Roedel

A Los Angeles-based battery manufacturer is planning a major expansion into Northern Nevada. Nanotech Energy this week announced plans to build a large-scale manufacturing facility on more than 500 acres of land at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, east of Reno-Sparks.

The company claims its graphene-based nanotechnology has advantages over traditional lithium-ion batteries. That includes higher storage capacity and faster charging speeds.

Nanotech Energy said it's blueprinting a campus that will include multiple buildings and span more than 1 million square feet. The first building is scheduled to open by the end of next year. Over the next five years, the project is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs.

Nevada Democrat looks to become first openly transgender statewide elected official
By Kaleb Roedel

Kimi Cole, who publicly transitioned a decade ago, announced that she is running for Nevada’s lieutenant governor position. That seat was vacated earlier this year after former lieutenant governor Kate Marshall accepted a job with the Biden administration.

Cole is currently the chairwoman of the Rural Nevada Democratic Caucus. She has lived in the state for 65 years and has been involved in politics for close to 10 years.

In her campaign announcement, the LGBTQ-rights advocate branded herself as a candidate looking to bridge political divides.

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.
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.
Sean Golonka joined The Nevada Independent after working as a contributor for Boston University News Service and a columnist for The Daily Free Press. Sean also worked as a producer for BUTV10's award-winning professional sports talk show Offsides.
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