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KUNR Today: Latino vaccine outreach lagging, Burning Man heading back to the playa in 2022

A sign on a sidewalk in Lovelock, Nevada, advertises a free health clinic in Spanish.
Bert Johnson
Mountain West News Bureau
The Student Outreach Clinic offers free health services for many Spanish-speaking patients in Northern Nevada.

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Monday, Dec. 20, 2021.

Fire in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks contained
By The Associated Press

A huge forest fire in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks has been fully contained more than three months after it broke out. The National Park Service says fire managers declared the KNP Complex 100% contained on Dec. 16 after significant precipitation in the Sierra Nevada. The fire has not grown in recent weeks but there has been continued activity in remote areas.

The KNP Complex was ignited by a lightning storm on Sept. 9. Two fires that were spotted the next day eventually merged and scorched 138 square miles.

Nevada prisons chief would halt execution over complications
By The Associated Press

The Nevada prisons chief who will be responsible for carrying out the state’s first execution by lethal injection in more than 15 year if the courts allow it to proceed assured a federal judge he would halt the procedure if there were any complications.

Corrections Department Director Charles Daniels said Friday he is “going to err on the side of caution.” His testimony came as lawyers for convicted inmate Zane Michael Floyd try to prove the state’s plan for a never-before-used combination of drugs would subject Floyd to an agonizingly cruel and inhumane death. No date has been set for a possible execution.

Western states lagging in Latino vaccine outreach, for now
By Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

New researchfrom the Kaiser Family Foundation shows Western states are lagging in their efforts to vaccinate Latinos. But, that may not be the case for much longer. About half of Nevada’s Hispanic population has been vaccinated against COVID-19 according to the data.

America Davis directs outreach for Immunize Nevada, a nonprofit that works with the state. On a recent Saturday, she was helping lead a free vaccine clinic at Saint Gall Catholic Church in rural Northern Nevada. Davis said preparations for this clinic began in September.

"We were going to have to go to them, we were going to have to build bridges, we were going to have to make people feel connected and understand exactly why vaccination was important," she said.

This was the second vaccine clinic in Gardnerville, Nev., a tiny town one hour south of Reno. But, more than 70 people came through to get their shots.

Only one other state in the Mountain West has vaccinated a higher percentage of its Hispanic population: New Mexico, at 62%. Utah is tied with Nevada for second place.

Nevada tribal women reflect on Lake Tahoe resort name change
By The Associated Press

Women of Nevada's Washoe Tribe have long fought against the word “squaw,” a racist slur that for more than half a century was part of the name of a famous Sierra ski resort.

The resort north of Tahoe City, California, was called Squaw Valley long before it became famous for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics. It formally switched its name to Palisades Tahoe in September. Leaders of the Washoe Tribe say Tahoe is a sacred place and they hope it raises awareness about past injustices of other Native Americans.

An eight-minute documentary, Walking With My Sisters, shows the women discussing the milestone and what the land means to them.

Elko County voters reject school construction bonds in special election
By Jazmin Orozco Rodriguez, The Nevada Independent

Voters in northeastern Nevada shot down a ballot question proposing the Elko County School District take out $150 million in bonds for capital funding projects.

The special election was held earlier this month after an extension of the existing “Pay-As-You-Go” school construction funding stream was voted down last year. Close to 60% of nearly 5,000 votes tabulated in the special election were against the measure. Only 40% voted in favor of it, according to preliminary results released by the county clerk’s office.

Other mail ballots postmarked on time but received later may be added to the total count this week. The results dashed hopes for school district leaders looking to fund a variety of projects, including updating K-12 schools and building a new elementary school.

Read the full story at thenevadaindependent.com.

USDA invests $5.9 million to build and improve critical infrastructure in rural Nevada
By Gustavo Sagrero

Rural cities and counties in Nevada will have access to a series of federal grants and loans totaling a little less than $6 million to update electrical, data, and water access.

Among those towns, the City of Carlin in Elko County will borrow more than $4 million to replace old water lines as they transition their source of water from springs to storage tanks. The loans and grants are run through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which also has a list of cash resources for rural communities to build access to - and reinforce - electric and data lines.

Burning Man is back in 2022
By Michele Ravera

The Burning Man organization has announced they will return to the Black Rock Desert to build a temporary city in dust in 2022. They’ll host the annual gathering after cancelling it for the past two years because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

They’ve explained changes to certain aspects of hosting the event as well. Outside services will no longer be part of the city plan. That includes delivery of fuel, housing and heavy equipment to large-scale camps and projects. At the city’s center camp, coffee will no longer be sold. And large camps will find their placement is determined by new factors to encourage civic engagement.

The 2022 theme for Burning Man has been named “Waking Dreams.”

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