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KUNR Today: Harry Reid's funeral brings prominent Democrats to Vegas, Dean Heller booed at debate

A screenshot from a live stream of Harry Reid's funeral, showing former President Barack Obama delivering the eulogy.
A screenshot from a live stream of Harry Reid's funeral, showing former President Barack Obama delivering the eulogy.

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.

Obama, Biden honor Sen. Reid as man 'who got things done'
By The Associated Press

Former President Barack Obama has commemorated the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as a man “who got things done." Democratic leaders gathered in Nevada on Saturday to recall Reid - often laughingly — as a man whose impatience for pleasantries was part of a drive to improve the lives of ordinary Americans.

The turnout at Reid’s Las Vegas memorial service testified to Reid’s impact on some of the most consequential legislation of the 21st century, despite coming from a childhood of poverty and deprivation in Nevada. The longtime Senate leader died Dec. 28 at 82.

Election deniers running for secretaries of state across nation, region
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

Secretaries of state wield a lot of power. They manage elections and many even oversee the counting of votes. An NPR analysis found at least 15 Republican candidates running for secretary of state skeptical of President Biden’s 2020 win — despite there being no evidence of election fraud.

In our region, election skeptics running for the office include David Winney in Colorado, Audrey Trujillo in New Mexico, and Jim Marchant in Nevada. They’ve all cast doubts on the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Jeremi Suri studies public policy and history at The University of Texas at Austin. He points to a similar push from the 1950s and 60s. That’s when a wave of candidates running for these offices were intent on dismantling voting rights.

"We had individuals promising to use their office to protect white voters and by implication, to make it harder for African-Americans and other minorities to vote," Suri said.

Given the influence secretaries of state have over elections, Suri said we should watch these races a little closer.

Nevada Republicans boo Heller over past with Trump at debate
By The Associated Press

The challenges facing former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller as he runs for Nevada governor were on full display on Thursday at the first gubernatorial debate leading up the June 2022 Republican primary election. Heller was booed multiple times over claims about his conservative track record and relationship with former President Donald Trump.

Heller has tacked rightward on issues such as election policy and immigration throughout the primary campaign, but Republican activists continue to remember his opposition to Trump’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the resulting enmity between Heller and the former president.

Nevada hospitals request state aid as virus strains staffing
By The Associated Press

Staffing shortages are imperiling Nevada hospitals as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rise again amid another surge. The highly contagious omicron variant is causing staffing shortages and leading the Nevada Hospital Association to issue a plea for state support.

The association's report on the status of the pandemic in the second week of January said people crowded emergency rooms in search of coronavirus tests and an employee exodus at rural hospitals were putting new strains on facilities statewide. Hospitalizations have steadily risen in Nevada and 1,326 patients with confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 now occupy hospital beds.

California Democrats revive universal health care bill
By The Associated Press

Democrats in the California Legislature have revived a plan for what could be the nation's first universal health care system. Democratic state Assemblyman Ash Kalra introduced a universal health care bill last year. But the bill stalled because there was no plan to pay for it. Kalra on Thursday unveiled a second bill that would raise taxes on some businesses and individuals to pay for it. Democratic leaders then scheduled a hearing on Kalra's first bill for next week. A coalition of doctors and hospitals oppose the bill because they say it would cost too much and restrict choice. Kalra says health care is already too expensive.

Skier lost on Christmas found dead near California resort
By The Associated Press

The body of a skier who vanished in a Lake Tahoe-area ski resort on Christmas has been found two weeks later. Authorities say search-and-rescue volunteers found the body of Rory Angelotta a “considerable distance” from the ski resort from where he told friends he was going skiing before meeting them for dinner.

Authorities say it's possible he was trying to find a residential neighborhood about 3 miles from the resort when he succumbed to the elements. More than 200 people searched for him over six days before suspending the effort. During that period, a freak storm caused whiteout conditions, subfreezing temperatures and dumped over 7 feet of snow.

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