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KUNR Today: Washoe Co. approves funds for election needs like staffing, Jill Biden’s visit to TMCC

A roll of "I voted" stickers is wrapped loosely on top of an envelope for a mail-in ballot.
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Read or listen to the morning news headlines for Thursday, March 10, 2022.

Jill Biden touts husband's economic agenda at Nevada college
By The Associated Press

First Lady Jill Biden wrapped up a three-day trip promoting her husband's economic agenda in Arizona and Nevada with a tour at a community college in Reno. Biden said Wednesday that Truckee Meadows Community College is using American Rescue Plan funds to help train students to meet growing demand for nurses, radiologic and emergency medical technicians.

Biden visited training rooms with mock ambulances and an X-ray lab where she chatted with students. They said the grants they received were critical to keeping the programs running and them in school. Biden said that "building a better America" means investing in the U.S. workforce and providing training opportunities for working families.

Washoe County approves nearly $1.3 million for 2022 midterm election needs
By Lucia Starbuck

Washoe County Commissioners have approved nearly $1.3 million to pay for the 2022 midterm elections.

Most of the money will go toward printing and mailing ballots. The rest will go to temporary employment agencies to assist with staffing needs. The only two companies that submitted bids are out of state, but they must hire Nevada residents who are registered to vote.

The temp employees will help with tasks such as customer service, voter registration and poll worker recruitment.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

The gap between rental costs and wages is widening, especially in Boise and Reno
By Dave Rosenthal, Mountain West News Bureau

Rents are rising quickly across the Mountain West, but wages aren’t growing nearly as fast. A new study says that gap is widening in cities in our region.

Research by Online Mortgage Advisor tracked changes in rent and salaries, and it measured how much of a renter’s salary is needed for a one-bedroom apartment.

That gap in affordability grew wider in many US cities from 2017 to 2021, but nowhere as much as Boise, Idaho, and Reno, Nevada. They are ranked numbers 1 and 2 on the list.

The top ten include other Mountain West cities, too. Las Vegas comes in at number five, and Colorado Springs is number eight.

COVID-19 cases in Nevada lowest seen since summer of 2020
By Lucia Starbuck

COVID-19 cases in Nevada have hit their lowest level since summer of 2020. The state is reporting an average of 137 cases per day over the last two weeks.

The percentage of tests returning positive in the state is about 6%, but at-home tests aren’t reported. The World Health Organization still recommends a rate under 5% before governments reopen.

Roughly 57% of Nevadans five years and older are fully vaccinated, but not necessarily boosted.

Clark County districts loosens measures to curb COVID spread
By The Associated Press

Nevada's largest school district is loosening some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Effective Wednesday, the Clark County School District no longer requires wearing of masks on school buses and employees don't have to participate in mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing. The district took the steps as numbers of COVID-19 cases dropped in previous weeks.

The district last month lifted its requirement for masking indoors at schools and other facilities immediately after Gov. Steve Sisolak lifted Nevada's mask mandate. Sisolak said school districts could set their own policies. CCSD measures remaining in place include a mandate that parents or guardians ensure children are free of symptoms when going to school.

Incoming 12th graders in Nevada required to get vaccine against meningitis
By Lucia Starbuck

Incoming high school seniors in Nevada will now be required to receive a vaccine against meningitis ahead of the next school year. Vaccinations are already required for infections such as tetanus, polio and diphtheria.

Meningitis is a swelling of fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Vaccines are available at pharmacies, health districts, some hospitals, and through primary healthcare providers. 12th graders can receive medical exemptions if authorized by a physician.

Warm spring weather is coming earlier due to climate change
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

The official start of spring is around the corner and a new analysis says the season is shifting due to climate change.

Warm spring weather is arriving earlier. That’s according to a new report by Climate Central, which focuses on the impacts of climate change. In the Mountain West, the average spring temperature has increased by three degrees Fahrenheit since 1970.

John Abatzaglou studies climate change at University of California Merced. He didn’t work on the report but points out earlier, warmer springs melt our snowpack faster.

“We’re living in a water scarce environment. Mountains are key for holding onto water and if they let the water go earlier in the year, that ends up resulting in less water as we head into the summer when we really need it,” he said.

And if we lose that water too soon in the year, Abatzaglou says it could spell more trouble for the West’s ever-lengthening fire season.

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.

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