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KUNR Today: NSHE chancellor resigns, Naomi Irion's family says response from LCSO was delayed

Nevada System of Higher Education

Read or listen to the news headlines for Monday, April 4, 2022.

Nevada regents OK departure of higher education chancellor
By The Associated Press

The Board of Regents for Nevada's state universities and colleges has accepted the resignation of Higher Education Chancellor Melody Rose under a severance agreement less than two years into her four-year contract. The board's 9-4 vote Friday to pay Rose $610,000 in severance follows controversy over a 2021 complaint in which she accused the board and the board's vice chair of gender discrimination, intimidation and retaliation.

Investigators found insufficient evidence to support Rose's legal claims but said the board had engaged in unprofessional behavior, was politically factionalized and had possibly committed ethical violations. Rose's resignation makes her the third chancellor to depart in five years.

As a note of disclosure, the Board of Regents to the Nevada System of Higher Education owns the license to KUNR.

Report: Slain Nevada woman's family says response delayed
By The Associated Press

The family of a northern Nevada woman who was kidnapped and killed has complained that a sheriff's office mishandled its initial response to her disappearance weeks before her body was found. KRNV-TV of Reno reports that Naomi Irion's family said a Lyon County deputy delayed taking a missing person report when told of the 18-year-old Fernley woman's disappearance. Relatives also say the office didn't promptly begin an investigation or issue a "be on the lookout" notification for Irion and her car. Lyon County Sheriff Frank Hunewill did not immediately respond Saturday to a request by The Associated Press for comment

Some schools across Mountain West trying 4-day weeks
By Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

Hundreds of schools across the Mountain West have 4-day weeks. Now, even more see it as a way to attract new staff.

The results of switching to four-day school weeks have been mixed, and there needs to be a lot more research to say how to make those days work best. For example, how long should school days last? But, data clearly shows the shorter week has been embraced by students, parents and teachers.

And now, national staff shortages are even more acute. So the shorter week is being used more widely to potentially attract staff to rural schools, like those in Montana. Elsie Arntzen is state superintendent there, and says as long as there’s community support and it’s student-focused, it can work.

“If the focus is on the student and not the adult, I believe it doesn’t matter if it’s 4-day or 5-day or part of Saturday, which Montana law prohibits,” she said.

She said a 4-day week won’t likely work for every school, but she said it’s one of the many ways they’re working to attract and keep more teachers.

Washington OKs 1st statewide missing Indigenous people alert
By The Associated Press

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a bill that creates a first-in-the-nation statewide alert system for missing Indigenous people. The system is similar to Amber Alerts and so-called silver alerts, which are used respectively for missing children and vulnerable adults in many states.

Washington's new Indigenous people alert system will notify law enforcement when there's a report of a missing Indigenous person. It also will place messages on highway reader boards and on the radio and social media, and will provide information to the press. The law attempts to address a crisis of missing Indigenous people - particularly women - in Washington state.

New Mexico legalizes recreational marijuana
By Emma Gibson, Mountain West News Bureau

As of April 1, adults in New Mexico can buy recreational marijuana – it's the latest Mountain West state to take that step. Under the new law, adults can buy up to 2 ounces of recreational marijuana.

TJ Emerick was buying some Apple Fritter flower on opening day at Carver Family Farm's dispensary in Albuquerque. He says he'll be coming to local dispensaries now.

“We’ve been excited, been ready for this. Don’t have to drive to Colorado, especially with the gas prices right now,” Emerick said.

NPR reports dispensaries in eastern New Mexico are ready to serve their Texan neighbors who currently can’t legally buy medical or recreational marijuana. That could cut into sales in Colorado, if New Mexicans and Texans buy closer to home.

Throughout the Mountain West, most states now have legal medical and recreational cannabis. Only medical cannabis is legal in Utah and neither is legal in Idaho and Wyoming.

This report was done with help from Megan Kamerick of KUNM.

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