KUNR Today: Northern Nevada startups raise $1.4 billion, Ice skater drowns at Stampede Reservoir
Read or listen to the mornign news headlines for Monday, Feb. 7, 2022.
Reno-area startups raised $1.4B in capital, 15-fold increase
By The Associated Press
Northern Nevada business startups big and small had their best overall year in 2021 as the sector raised $1.4 billion in external funding.
The Reno Gazette Journal reports that’s a 15-fold increase over the previous year. The big jump was led by a pair of large battery technology projects started by Redwood Materials and Nanotech Energy. The capital raised is a far cry from 2013 when a small collection of startups launched in downtown Reno.
The vice president of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada says the 29 startup companies that combined to raise last year’s capital far exceeded their wildest expectations.
Booming EV sales have Western lawmakers scrambling for more charging stations
By Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau
Right now, states like Colorado, Nevada and Arizona are among the leaders in per-capita electric vehicle ownership. That’s according to data from the Pew Charitable Trust, but the Mountain West also doesn’t have very many public charging stations.
New Mexico Democrats are hoping to change that. They are pushing through a bill that would appropriate $10 million to expand the number of charging stations there. In Utah, the utility company Rocky Mountain Power announced last month it was doubling the number of ultra-fast charging stations in the state.
The newly-passed federal infrastructure law also allocates $5 billion to build a national charging network.
Ice skater drowns over the weekend at Stampede Reservoir
By Michelle Billman
Multiple people fell through the ice while skating at Stampede Reservoir over the weekend and one person died. According to the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office, five people were able to remove themselves from the water while the body of one drowning victim was located Sunday. Several agencies in the region worked together to recover the victim.
Local safety officials are urging everyone to avoid the ice on area lakes. They say it's impossible to know the stability of the ice, especially given recent temperatures that have been warmer.
California tops 80,000 deaths as virus cases tumble
By The Associated Press
Coronavirus deaths in California have topped 80,000 and another nearly 3,000 people are expected to die by month’s end. But infections, hospitalizations and intensive care cases have fallen almost as fast as they climbed during the rapid-fire omicron wave of the pandemic.
Statistics from Johns Hopkins University say the state's death toll reached 80,688 on Friday. That's more than Texas with 80,300 deaths and more than Florida and New York, which have tolls exceeding 65,000. Other indicators show that California is clearly past the peak of the omicron wave. Los Angeles County may soon end outdoor mask requirements, but probably not before the Feb. 13 Super Bowl.
Rural Western communities lack resources to fight climate change
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau
Communities across the nation are vying for funds from the $1 trillion federal infrastructure package. Some of that money is designed to address wildfire, drought, floods and other climate-induced crises, but many small rural communities in our region lack the tools to get that money, like planning departments, broadband access, and civic engagement. And, in many cases, communities of color are disproportionately affected.
Patty Hernandez of the think tank Headwaters Economics worked on the data.
"There are Indigenous areas that really stand out across the Mountain West as being places that have limited capacity and very high risks from climate-related hazards," Hernandez said.
Local governments can play a huge role in combating the effects of potential disasters, with enough help. Hernandez hopes state and federal agencies take note of this data.
Vigil for 7 family members who died in North Las Vegas crash
By The Associated Press
City leaders in North Las Vegas attended a vigil that honored the memory of seven members of a family who were killed in a multi-vehicle crash. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that well-wishers met up at the Cheyenne Sports Complex around 4 p.m. Saturday and then drove as a group to the crash site.
North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee and Councilman Isaac Brown were in attendance trying to bring awareness that speeding is a chronic problem on the city’s roadways. In all, nine people died in the Jan. 29 crash including seven members of the Zacarias family who were in a minivan that was struck by a speeding sports car that police say ran a red light at an intersection. A funeral for the seven victims is scheduled for Saturday.