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KUNR Today: NV Energy to inspect power lines in Reno after 2020 fire, Jill Biden in Reno Wednesday

Smoke wafts in the sky above a neighborhood in a heavily wooded area.
Jon Humbert
/
City of Reno
A brush fire started near Pinehaven above Caughlin Ranch in Reno, Nev. in November of 2020.

Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Monday, March 7, 2022.

NV Energy to inspect power lines near 2020 Reno wildfire
By The Associated Press

Nevada's largest utility plans to inspect power lines near a Reno neighborhood where a 2020 wildfire destroyed five homes and damaged two dozen others. Investigators concluded the blaze was started by arching power lines in gale force winds along the Sierra's eastern front. NV Energy officials say the inspections will be conducted later this month as part of a request from litigants in an ongoing lawsuit over damages resulting from the Pinehaven fire.

A status conference is scheduled in court in Reno in a consolidated case combining four lawsuits filed by more than a dozen insurance companies over the damages.

Candidate filing period opens for Nevada 2022 elections
By Andrew Méndez and Michelle Billman

The filing period for judicial and non-judicial candidates in Nevada’s state and local 2022 elections opened Monday and will run until March 18.

In the cities of Reno and Sparks, positions such as mayor, along with some council seats and municipal court judgeships, are up for grabs. In Washoe County, several school board and commission seats are open, along with the job of sheriff and several other elected positions.

Statewide, some of the high profile races include those for governor, Catherine Cortez Masto’s U.S. senate seat, and multiple congressional seats.

The primary election is in mid-June and early voting will begin in late May.

First Lady Jill Biden will be in Arizona, Nevada this week
By The Associated Press

The White House says First Lady Jill Biden will be in Arizona this week to highlight job training and cancer treatment programs. Those are two policy priorities mentioned by President Joe Biden in his State of the Union address last week. Jill Biden is scheduled to arrive in Phoenix at 12:30 p.m. Monday and will visit Intel Corp.'s Ocotillo campus in Chandler to talk about the company's investment in community colleges to strengthen the workforce. She will be in Tucson on Tuesday to hear about the cancer program and services at the San Xavier Health Center on the Tohono O'odham Nation.

On Wednesday, Jill Biden will be in Nevada to visit with students at Reno's Truckee Meadows Community College before heading to Kentucky.

Levels of white supremacist propaganda remain high
By Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

Incidents of white supremacist propaganda remained at historically high levels last year, according to a new report, and our region wasn’t immune.

Last year there were nearly 5,000 cases of hateful fliers, stickers, posters, banners and stenciled graffiti documented nationwide by the Anti-Defamation League. That marked a slight decline from 2020, the worst year on record.

Ian Zeitzer is with the League’s Nevada office. He expects the problem to continue, partly because of candidates jockeying for position in upcoming midterm elections.

“Often, it's the most extreme views that are going to get the most clicks, the most shares, the most attention on television,” he said.

Zeitzer also said the data show a significant rise in anti-Semitic messaging, which is a pressing concern. He anticipates people will report more incidents as we emerge from the pandemic.

In the Mountain West last year, Colorado had the highest number of incidents followed by Utah, Idaho and Nevada. In Nevada, there were 29 incidents. The state was ranked thirty-second in the nation.

Over $31 million requested by Nevadans in unclaimed property  
By Andrew Méndez 

Over $31 million in unclaimed property cases were filed by Nevadans in February, which is the highest monthly amount claimed in state history.

Unclaimed property is defined by the Nevada Treasurer's Office as any financial asset with inactivity by the owner, typically for a 3-year period. This can include bank accounts, uncashed payroll checks and many other types of assets.

Businesses are required to report annually to Nevada's Unclaimed Property Program as a way for the state to identify unclaimed funds. You can check for unclaimed property here.

Housing advocates seek funding to repeal California law
By The Associated Press

California lawmakers are trying again to get rid of the nation's only law that lets voters veto public housing projects. The law was added to the state constitution in 1950 as a way to keep Black families out of white neighborhoods.

The latest attempt to repeal the law requires voter approval and has a lot of support. But it has hit a snag because supporters haven't found someone willing to pay for a statewide campaign to persuade people to vote for it. Such campaigns often cost $20 million or more. The proposal has no formal, organized opposition.

The number of involuntary part-timers is improving, but it’s spotty
By Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

The number of people unable to get full time work went down across our region last year as the economy started recovering from COVID’s impact, but some states are seeing more improvement than others.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were fewer people working part time who wanted full time work last year than in 2020. In Utah for example, that number dropped to almost half of what it had been during the pandemic’s peak.

In Nevada, there was only a modest improvement in the number of people who were involuntarily working part time, but the number of unemployed people declined dramatically. Wyoming saw a relatively small correction, too. In general, unemployment rates in the Mountain West tracked national trends, with two exceptions: New Mexico and Nevada, which relies heavily on tourism.

UNR selected for NASA University Leadership Initiative 
By Andrew Méndez 

The University of Nevada, Reno is one of four teams selected for NASA’s University Leadership Initiative. The initiative is designed to help support and further develop aeronautical research goals at NASA in collaboration with professional organizations and universities.

Multiple UNR professors and students will work on supporting NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility campaign. That national campaign is dedicated to advancing public knowledge of emerging aviation markets. Sierra Nevada Corporation will serve as an industry partner.

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