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News

KUNR Today: Reno-Tahoe airport preps for holiday travel, Jan. 6 commission subpoenas two Nevadans

An image of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Humberto Sanchez
/
The Nevada Independent

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021.

Reno-Tahoe airport prepares for pre-COVID passenger numbers
By Michelle Billman

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is preparing for heavy travel during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Airport officials released a statement saying they expect passenger numbers to return to pre-COVID levels. Roughly 15,000 passengers are expected on peak travel days.

With ongoing staffing shortages, travelers should leave extra time for their TSA security check, the airline check-in, and parking. All travelers must wear a face covering until mid-January in airports and on airplanes, even if they have proof of vaccination.

Jan. 6 congressional panel seeks testimony from Nevada political operatives
By Humberto Sanchez, The Nevada Independent

The congressional committee investigating the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol has issued subpoenas for documents and testimony from two Nevada-based political operatives.

The committee said in letters to Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lynn Lawrence that the couple assisted in organizing the rally that was held near the White House just before the riot. At the rally, former President Donald Trump urged his supporters to "fight like hell."

The committee cited press reports that Stockton and other organizers collectively communicated with Trump, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others about the rally, as well as other events planned to coincide with the certification of election results.

The couple released a statement saying they want to tell their side of the story, but they did not say if they would comply with the panel’s requests.

Read the full story at thenevadaindependent.com.

Study: Decreasing snowpack spells trouble for post-wildfire recovery
By Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

A new study shows snow levels can have a big impact on how ecosystems recover after a severe wildfire. Fire is a natural process that’s critical for maintaining a healthy forest, but big burns like the Caldor Fire, which threatened Lake Tahoe, are getting more severe due to climate change.

According to Anne Nolin, it’s also changing how burned areas grow back because the West is getting more rain and less snow. Nolin is a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.

"We know that snowpack matters before a fire and this study brings some awareness to the fact that snow matters after a fire," Nolin said.

She and her colleagues looked at the Rocky Mountains in Montana and Idaho, as well as the Columbia River watershed. They found a close relationship between the level of snow in a given year and the amount of new growth that came after. That’s because the snowpack acts like a savings account for water, which helps trees get through the dry season.

As the West becomes hotter and drier, Nolin says we may have to adjust our expectations of what wildfire recovery looks like.

Newsom names energy adviser as state's top utility regulator
By The Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has named his senior adviser on energy policy as the next president of the powerful state body that regulates utilities. Alice Reynolds is set to lead the five-member California Public Utilities Commission starting Dec. 31. The job requires Senate confirmation, but that's often a formality. The commission plays a significant role in monitoring utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric as they grapple with wildfire safety and power shutoffs. It also oversees telecommunications, rail, water and transportation companies like Uber and Lyft. Reynolds has a long history in energy policy.

City of Reno receives $500,000 arts grant, Mammoth Lakes Recreation getting $150,000
By Michelle Billman

The City of Reno is receiving a federal grant for $500,000 to support local arts organizations as they recover from the pandemic and continue reopening efforts. The National Endowment for the Arts selected Reno for the grant, which will be used to provide subgrants to local arts agencies.

Organizations based in Reno will be able to apply early next year. The money will be used for saving jobs, funding operations, buying safety supplies, and promoting artistic endeavors to encourage attendance.

In total, more than $20 million will be given to 66 agencies. Mammoth Lakes Recreation also made the list and will receive $150,000 dollars in American Rescue Plan funds.

Another Sierra ski resort delays opening due to dry weather
By The Associated Press

The Sugar Bowl Resort at Lake Tahoe has postponed the start of ski season, becoming the third resort in the region to delay its opening days due to uncooperative weather. The Sacramento Bee reports that Sugar Bowl had planned to open Friday, but announced the delay due to forecasts calling for more mild and dry weather. Sugar Bowl did not immediately reschedule opening day. Earlier, Heavenly and Northstar resorts announced they would not be open by the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and also did not have rescheduled openings. There had been high expectations when storms delivered enough snow to allow three other Sierra Nevada resorts to open early at the end of October.

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