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KUNR Today: RSIC opens drive-thru dispensary, Nev. joins effort to lower prescription drug costs

A large rectangular sign says “Three Nations Cannabis” and is attached to a building.
Courtesy Naomi Duerr via Twitter
The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony recently opened its first Three Nations Cannabis dispensary in the region.

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

Truckee Meadows fire chief joins Sen. Cortez Masto during Biden’s State of the Union speech 
By Kaleb Roedel

A Northern Nevada fire chief served as U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s virtual guest during President Biden’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

The Nevada senator was joined virtually by Charles Moore, chief for the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. In a press release, Moore said Senator Cortez Masto has been an advocate for Nevada’s firefighters and instrumental in delivering federal resources to help fire departments across the state.

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony opens first cannabis dispensary
By Kaleb Roedel

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony recently opened its first tribally-owned cannabis dispensary, and more are soon to follow.

The colony not only opened up its first dispensary, it also opened the first cannabis shop in the region with drive-thru service. The colony says offering the drive-thru shows an emphasis on safety amid the pandemic. In fact, it’s how they kept their other smoke shops open at the height of COVID-19.

The dispensary is drive-thru only right now, but it’s located inside a 12,000-square-foot building in South Reno and its retail space will open next month. Tribal members held a cultural blessing before officially kicking off sales.

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony is opening its second drive-thru dispensary in Verdi next week. Another is planned for Spanish Springs, but an opening date has not been set.

Nevada lowers bar for large school districts’ use of subs
By The Associated Press

In a move prompted by the pandemic, the state has cleared the way for Nevada’s largest school districts to hire substitute teachers with only a high school diploma during states of emergency.

The Legislative Commission on Monday unanimously approved a permanent rule change covering school districts with over 9,000 students attending district schools or public charter schools within a district’s geographic boundaries. The covered districts include those serving metro Las Vegas and the Reno area in Clark and Washoe counties, respectively.

The new permanent regulation replaces a temporary measure that expired Nov. 1. It was put in place during the pandemic because of the Clark County’s district’s severe staffing shortage.

$7.3 million in grant funds allocated to enhance Elko County broadband
By Andrew Méndez

A federal telecommunications agency approved the use of $7.3 million to expand broadband in Elko County.

The funds will be used for the Spring Creek area to serve over 5,500 households, nearly 170 businesses and 21 community institutions in the county.

This project is part of the Innovation State Initiative created by Nevada Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. The initiative seeks to diversify the state’s economy and increase broadband access.

Work started last summer to improve internet access in the area through a county partnership with CC Communications, a telecommunications provider in Churchill County. The funds will be used to provide additional support and complete the project; however, there is no set timeline for the project’s completion.

Nevada joins multi-state consortium to offer lower prescription drugs
By Kaleb Roedel

Nevada is joining a multi-state effort to lower the costs of prescription drugs. According to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, the state will join the Northwest Prescription Drug Consortium, which is operated by Oregon and Washington.

Through the program, consumers can save up to 80 percent on generic drugs and up to 20 percent on brand-name drugs. It’s free to enroll in the program. It’s also available to all residents whether they hold private insurance or are uninsured.

Palisades Tahoe to install $65 million gondola connecting to Alpine Meadows 
By KUNR staff

Palisades Tahoe will be getting a new $65 million gondola that will transport skiers between the base areas of Palisades and neighboring Alpine Meadows.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune is reporting that the project is part of capital improvement plans recently announced by Alterra Mountain Company, which owns the Tahoe ski resort. The gondola is expected to be completed by next winter.

Warming climate impacting Walker River Paiute Tribe
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

A new report issued by the United Nations warns climate change is ravaging the natural world and disrupting the lives of billions of people. Native Americans are on the front lines of this devastation.

Amber Torres is chair of the Walker River Paiute Tribe in Nevada. She’s been speaking out about the ways climate change is disproportionately affecting tribal nations.

“Because we’re natural stewards of the land, I can say that, definitely, we’ve seen huge climate change impacts,” she said.

Some of the most recent evidence came in the form of a tiny traditional food with great cultural significance: the pine nut. Due to a warming climate, there were none for the Walker River Paiute Tribe’s annual pine nut festival.

Torres says the new climate report is hardly surprising. She hopes that as scientists continue to ring the alarm, policymakers will bring more tribal leaders to the table.

Correction: The headline of this web post has a corrected abbreviation for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, or RSIC.

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