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KUNR Today: Vaccine clinics for kids this week, WCSD changing bus routes

Exterior of the Washoe County School District Administration Building
Andrew Mendez
/
KUNR

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Monday, Dec. 13, 2021.

COVID-19 vaccine clinics for kids offered at WCSD schools this week
By Lucia Starbuck

This week, there are COVID-19 vaccine clinics for kids ages 5-11 at 13 Washoe County School District schools. The clinics will be held from 3-6:30 pm or 10 am to 2 pm at elementary and middle schools in Reno, Sparks and Sun Valley. Appointments can be made, but are not necessary. And the child does not need to attend the school where the clinic is being held at.

More information can be found in English here and in Spanish here.

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

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

Nevada National Guard ends activation with Washoe County Health District
By Michele Ravera

The Nevada National Guard’s last day supporting the Washoe County Health District operations at the Reno Livestock Events Center is today. This work has been the lengthiest and largest state activation in the history of the Nevada National Guard.

Since April of 2020, the Nevada National Guard has supported the health district with a multitude of efforts. From data entry to collecting samples for testing, the Guard has covered a variety of tasks, including providing support for more than 200,000 COVID-19 vaccines and more than 90,000 COVID-19 tests that were administered in Washoe County.

“It cannot be overstated how important the Nevada National Guard has been to the COVID-19 Response in Washoe County,” said James English, Operations Chief for the COVID-19 Response.

At its peak, more than 2,500 doses a day were given at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. Now, COVID-19 operations will move to the Washoe County Health District’s main clinic at 1001 East 9th Street, Building B, in Reno.

Vaccine operations inside the health district will be available Monday-Friday starting next Monday, Dec. 20. The Health District also acknowledged the Community Emergency Response Team, the Medical Reserve Corp, and Board of Pharmacy volunteers.

WCSD changing bus routes due to driver shortage
By Michelle Billman

The Washoe County School District has announced that it is changing school bus drop-off and pick-up locations for most middle and high school students because of a critical shortage of nearly 70 bus drivers. The change will start in early January as students return from winter break. Impacted students will go to a nearby elementary school or other public location in order to wait for their bus each morning. Then, they will be dropped off at the same location after school.

The district will be sending out more specific information to impacted students this week. You can also find details at www.washoeschools.net/transportation. District officials issued a reminder for drivers to slow down since students will be walking to, and waiting at, new locations throughout the community.

Sequoia National Park opens Giant Forest that survived fire
By The Associated Press

Sequoia National Park is reopening its Giant Forest area, three months after extraordinary efforts saved the grove as Northern California wildfires destroyed thousands of other redwoods. The park says the Giant Forest will be open Saturday and Sunday and after that it will open from Thursdays through Sundays.

The Giant Forest includes the General Sherman tree, which is the largest living thing on earth. Fire crews in September wrapped the trunks of the majestic trees in foil and used other methods to protect them after a lightning fire tore through the Sierra Nevada. Wildfires over the past two years have burned more than 10,000 giant sequoias.

Interior Secretary Haaland faced criticism as she addressed Western governors
By Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland gave a keynote address to Western governors gathered at a conference in California last week, but she faced some criticism from another speaker.

Haaland gave governors a rundown of what the Biden administration has done for Western states over the past year. They included the creation of a new Indian Youth Service Corps and the passing of the infrastructure bill. She also warned about the devastating effects of climate change and wildfires, but later in the day another keynote speaker, Frank Luntz, criticized Haaland’s talk. Luntz is a longtime Republican strategist and he gave a talk about communications strategy. He told governors that the secretary needed to take a second look at the words she uses.

“If she uses the word climate change, she automatically loses one-third of her audience. One-third simply do not accept it, and consider that partisan. You talk about climate, but not climate change, and I offer this because I know the governors were all taking notes,” Luntz said.

He also gave the governors some tough advice regarding vaccine misinformation, saying they need to start tackling it head on with facts.

California governor wants Texas-like law to ban assault guns
By The Associated Press

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he wants to empower private citizens to enforce a ban on the manufacture and sale of assault weapons in the state.

Newsom's proposal is similar to a Texas law that outlaws abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday allowed Texas' abortion law to stay in effect while it is challenged in court. Saturday, Newsom said he would use the same idea to enforce a ban on the manufacture and sale of assault weapons in California.

Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle dismissed Newsom's proposal as grandstanding for a possible run for president.

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