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KUNR Today: High rates of anxiety and depression in Nevada, WCHD holds town hall on food permitting

The entrance to that Washoe County Health District facility. There’s a glass door with colorful, instructional signs on the exterior.
Gustavo Sagrero
KUNR Public Radio

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Friday, March 4, 2022.

Nevada seeing high rates of anxiety, depression
By Gustavo Sagrero

In a recent CDC report, Nevada ranked among the top four states for people experiencing anxiety and depression. Among the people polled, 37 percent of those responding in Nevada were experiencing these feelings.

Nevada has a list of resources to address mental health issues, including the Nevada Resilience Project, a mental health pandemic response program.

Project Coordinator Diana Lara said they help guide people to find solutions, like how to “problem solve, promoting helpful thinking, how to manage a reaction, whether that’s a little meditating in the morning [or] going out and enjoying the sunshine.”

Nevada’s 211 line can also provide a network of services, both nonprofit and governmental, to address various needs.

Newsom proposes mental health courts for homeless people
By The Associated Press

California’s governor is proposing a plan to offer more services to homeless people with severe mental health and addiction disorders even if that means forcing some into care. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal would require all counties to set up a mental health branch in civil court and provide community-based treatment to those suffering from debilitating psychosis.

People would be obligated to accept the care or risk criminal charges, involuntary psychiatric holds or court conservatorships. Newsom said they want to help people before they’re arrested. Some advocates for homeless people said forcing people into treatment won’t help.

Nevada anti-abortion group renews push for parental consent
By The Associated Press

Anti-abortion advocates in Nevada are renewing a push to force the state Legislature to pass a law requiring parental notification before a person under 18 years old undergoes a medical procedure to end a pregnancy. Protect Our Girls is a political action committee backed by Nevada Right to Life. A group official said Thursday the signature-gathering drive renews an effort stopped in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Supporters will need about 140,000 signatures by November to force the state Legislature to vote on two proposed laws. The other ensures parental access to medical records of their children. If the Legislature doesn’t pass them, they’d be offered for a statewide vote in November 2024.

Thacker Pass lithium mine still faces legal challenges after receiving state permits
By Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

The state of Nevada has approved a proposed lithium mine near the Idaho border, though the project still faces legal challenges.

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection issued air, water, and mining permits for a project in Thacker Pass. Lithium Americas is the Canadian firm behind the proposed mine. The company said it will support domestic production of batteries for electric vehicles and other devices.

Nearby rancher Edward Bartell is one of several opponents. He’s suing because he says the mine would use up groundwater and force him out of business.

“Obviously, if you have increasing droughts, as they drop the water table, that will make it even worse,” said Bartell.

Bartell never challenged the state permits, because he assumed they’d be granted. Instead, he’s suing over what he says was an inadequate environmental review by the federal government.

Western states have minerals that the Biden administration needs to strengthen the U.S. supply chain for renewables.

This story was produced with assistance from the Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Agency: Nevada mine worker died in truck that fell 60 feet
By The Associated Press

Federal safety officials say a 34-year-old worker died in an accident at a northern Nevada gold mine last month when the truck she was driving plunged about 60 feet (18 meters) to the floor of the underground mine. The victim has been identified as Marissa Hill, a maintenance technician who was operating a lube truck.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says Hill died a day after she was injured in the Feb. 14 accident at Nevada Gold Mines’ Cortez Hill operation southwest of Carlin. She had worked at the mine for more than 10 years. The accident remains under investigation.

Washoe County Health District holds a town hall on food permits for Spanish speakers
By Gustavo Sagrero

Alongside organizers from Latinos De Nevada, a social media agency, the Washoe County Health District held a town hall meeting Thursday to break down the food permitting process in Spanish.

The Washoe County Health District has already had its food permits translated into a variety of different languages, but this meeting was a pointed effort to explain the process a little more in Spanish and to answer questions.

This meeting comes after a number of complaints have been filed with the health district regarding unpermitted food vendors, most of who are serving the Spanish-speaking community.

Luis Latino with Latinos De Nevada was one of the speakers for the event.

“Una de las principales razones es que nosotros tenemos este espíritu emprendedor, pero no tenemos la información, pero para eso estamos acá,” Latino said.

Latino said that a lack of Spanish language access to this information, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit seen in the local food scene, is why this was organized in the first place.

Bill would raise slot jackpot tax report threshold to $5,000
By The Associated Press

The gambling industry and some of its allies in Congress are renewing a push to decrease the number of slot machine jackpots that get reported to the IRS. Legislation introduced Thursday is being touted as a benefit to casinos, which would need to take fewer slot machines out of service temporarily while tax forms and filled out for winning patrons. But it also would have the practical effect of preventing more slot jackpot winners from having their winnings reported to the government.

The bill would increase the threshold for IRS reporting of slot jackpots from the current $1,200 to $5,000.

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