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KUNR Today: City of Reno increased rental assistance last quarter, New form of meth in our region

An image of Reno City Hall, with large white block letters that read “Reno City Hall, One East First Street.”
Jana Sayson
KUNR Public Radio

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

City of Reno gave out $1.7 million in rental assistance last quarter
By Gustavo Sagrero

City of Reno staff say they gave out around $1.7 million during the final quarter of last year for emergency rental assistance. That amounts to the program helping with nearly 2,000 months' of rental payments for applicants. That's a sharp increase from previous quarters in 2021.

To qualify, applicants need to make less than 80% of the area median income, be at risk of housing instability, and show you have the ability to continue paying after the assistance ends.

New version of methamphetamine causing issues in West
By Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

The fentanyl epidemic has been setting records for drug overdoses in our region. Now, experts say a new version of methamphetamine is causing severe side effects – and deadly consequences.

The Sheriff’s Office in rural Elko County, Nevada reported last week that more meth users were showing psychotic behaviors in local jails. Coz Cusolito, who runs a needle exchange for Trac-B Exchange in Elko, sees the same trend. About six months ago, he noticed a sudden change in clients who use meth.

"They started to be more upset, more angry, more antsy when they come in. I've had to throw a few people out of my office," he said.

Cusolito doesn’t know what’s causing the shift, but the CDC says a new process for making meth has increased the drug’s potency and availability.

Lyon County to revisit renaming justice complex after Trump
By The Associated Press

Based on procedural concerns, a rural Nevada county plans to revisit a package of proposed name changes for county buildings, parks and other facilities, including a justice complex to be named after former President Donald Trump.

A formal dedication had been planned over the weekend for the Donald J. Trump Justice Complex in Yerington based on a proclamation the Lyon County Board of Commissioners approved on a 3-2 vote in August. But County Manager Jeff Page said Friday that while Commissioner Wes Henderson agreed with the resolution, he questioned whether approval required a supermajority. The board directed staff to address the concerns and provide an update in March.

California will lift mask mandate as omicron cases fall
By The Associated Press

California's indoor masking requirement will end next week for vaccinated people but masks still are the rule for schoolchildren. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration brought back the masking mandate in mid-December as the omicron variant gained momentum, and last month extended it through Feb. 15.

State health officials said Monday the mandate will end that day. Local health officials can continue their own requirements, however. The state also is lifting a requirement that people test negative before visiting hospitals and nursing homes, effective immediately. Meantime, health officials say they are continuing to evaluate the masking requirement for schoolchildren.

Nevada sees massive rise in electric vehicle registrations
By The Associated Press

More Nevada motorists are going green when hitting the road. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Monday that the state has seen a huge leap in the number of electric vehicle registrations in the past two years.

Electric vehicle registrations went from over 7,300 in 2019 to over 17,000 last year, according to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. That’s an increase of over 130%. A DMV spokesman says this is the effect of the state recently adopting Clean Cars Nevada regulation. Manufacturers must have more eco-friendly cars as a percentage of their sales.

North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District doing planned pile burning
By Gustavo Sagrero

Over the next few days, the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District has planned a pile burning. For the 48-72 hours after the burn they recommend people that are smoke sensitive to stay inside and close the windows and doors until the smoke dissipates.

This is a type of prescribed burn where a pile of vegetation or wildfire fuel is set ablaze, and wet conditions like snow help limit the spread of a fire.

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