Julia Ritchey | KUNR

Julia Ritchey

Julia Ritchey is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.

Twitter may be the public square of our times, but some citizens say their elected officials don't want to hear from them. It has become increasingly common for politicians at all levels of government to block followers, whether for uncivil behavior or merely for expressing a different point of view.

Utah Republicans will vote on Tuesday in a special primary in the race to succeed former Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Given how solidly Republican the district is, the race is seen as effectively crowning his eventual successor. It has also exposed growing divisions within the GOP over President Trump and the direction of the party.

The three candidates competing in the 3rd Congressional District primary on Aug. 15 are Provo Mayor John Curtis, former state lawmaker Chris Herrod and political newcomer Tanner Ainge, the son of Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge.

The Donald Trump campaign is making its first TV ad buy in Nevada since the caucus, as polls show the GOP candidate running neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton. 

Labor Day used to the be the traditional kickoff for campaign season, marking the end of summer and beginning of the three-month sprint to Super Tuesday. While that adage hold less true today, voters can expect their airwaves to sound more like this:

Bob Conrad, This Is Reno

Reno City Council is holding a special meeting next Tuesday to consider granting more money toward a sexual harassment probe of embattled City Manager Andrew Clinger. 

Council has already approved $50,000 to the Vegas-based law firm Kamer Zucker and Abbott to advise the city on its investigation into Clinger's conduct.

Now Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve will ask the council to double that in addition to hiring an independent investigator, bringing the total cost to $150,000.

Julia Ritchey

Median home sale prices are hitting post-Recession highs, and that's resulted in slim pickings for homebuyers. To get a sense of what the housing market looks like this summer, Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey went house hunting with a local realtor.

Local realtor William Process is taking me in his truck to go look at homes that exemplify the sellers market we're in right now, all of them in Sparks.

Julia Ritchey

Parents voiced frustration at a town hall meeting this week at Wooster High School held by the Washoe County School District to address overcrowding and infrastructure needs.

School district officials painted a dire picture of what will happen next year if a capital improvement ballot measure, known as WC-1, fails to pass. That includes more portable trailers, splitting schools into two schedules and using computer labs and libraries as classrooms.

Julia Ritchey

Environmentalists are hoping the 20th anniversary of the Tahoe summit, and a visit by President Obama, will renew the spotlight on conservation efforts at the lake. As Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports, despite progress, the threat of climate change looms large.

Alexa Ard

With 70 days until the election, both presidential candidates are putting more face time in battleground states. Late last week, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made their first visits to Northern Nevada since the February caucus. To get the latest, our reporter Julia Ritchey sat down with the Reno Gazette-Journal's political reporter Seth Richardson.

Donald Trump headlined a private fundraiser last Friday in Stateline, Nev., on Lake Tahoe. Richardson staked out the event, which was closed to press, and heard from those inside that it was a fairly typical speech. 

Julia Ritchey

Hillary Clinton gave a fiery speech in Reno today, accusing her opponent of embracing fringe groups and racist ideas. 

Clinton told a crowd at Truckee Meadows Community College that Trump has legitimized groups that prescribe to racist philosophies and conspiracy theories.

"From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia," she said. "He is taking hate groups mainstream, and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican party."

Julia Ritchey

With the 20th anniversary of the Lake Tahoe Summit around the corner, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid says more will have to be done to protect the lake from climate change. 

Julia Ritchey

Both presidential candidates are scheduled to make stops in Northern Nevada this week. As Reno Public Radio Julia Ritchey reports, the two campaigns see the state as up for grabs.

Julia Ritchey

The race for Nevada's U.S. Senate seat between Representative Joe Heck and former Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is intensifying. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey caught up with Heck over the weekend during a campaign stop in Gardnerville. 

  Heck says he's not worried about his Democratic opponent's attempts to tether him to Donald Trump. He thinks Nevadans are more worried about state and local issues.

"They're not questioning me about what the presidential race is, they want to know what I'm going to be able to do for them here in Nevada," said Heck. 

Julia Ritchey

Several high profile Republicans took sharp aim at Hillary Clinton during the 2nd annual Basque Fry hosted by Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt. 

More than 1,200 people gathered under large outdoor tents at the scenic Corley Ranch in Gardnerville over the weekend.

Attendees noshed on lamb chops, signed up for candidate mailing lists and snapped selfies with conservative rising stars like Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee.

Ratha Grimes, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

More than 70,000 people are expected to make a pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert for the annual Burning Man arts festival at the end of the month. The week-long event is celebrating its 30th year


Nevada's top department of corrections official says a lethal injection drug needed to conduct executions has expired, effectively putting a hold on capital punishment.

Department of Corrections director James Dzurenda told the Board of Prison Commissioners on Tuesday that the maker of the medication, drug company Pfizer, will no longer supply the medication for executions.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt is hosting his second annual Basque fry this weekend, an event gaining popularity among conservatives with big political aspirations.

Laxalt got the idea from his grandfather, former U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt, who held a similar event in Washington, D.C., back in the '80s.

"He was fortunate to have Ronald Regan come to all but one, during the years he was serving as president,” says Laxalt. “It had a Western [theme] to it, but it was just a great D.C. event to bring Nevada culture to that part of the country."

Alexa Ard

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump will headline a fundraising dinner in Lake Tahoe next week.

The Nevada Republican Party is hosting the dinner at Harrah's Lake Tahoe in Stateline, NV, on Friday, Aug. 26.

General admission is $200 while a VIP table is going for $5,000.

Trump's state director, Charles Munoz , says Northern Nevada can expect more candidate visits heading into the general election.

Julia Ritchey

Four refugee families will be resettling in the Reno-Sparks area this month under a new program between the U.S. State Department and a local nonprofit.

The Northern Nevada International Center is preparing to welcome the region's first group of refugees, two families from the Democratic Republic of Congo, on August 24.

The next family, from Syria, will come soon after. The goal of the center, as an official resettling agency, is to help at least 20 individuals displaced by violence and instability around the world by next month.

Julia Ritchey

Upscale furniture store West Elm opened its doors in downtown Reno on Wednesday, marking another step in the revitalization of the city’s core.

The 11,000-square-foot store is the first major retailer to open downtown in several decades.

It's located inside the fully renovated old Post Office building overlooking the Truckee River.

Spokeswoman Nicole Sutliff says they kept several of the old features of the building.

Julia Ritchey

Reno City Council has hired a Las Vegas law firm to handle its investigation of City Manager Andrew Clinger, who's facing allegations of sexual harassment. 

Council approved a $50,000 contract Wednesday with the labor and employment firm Kamer Zucker and Abbott to advise its probe into alleged misconduct by Clinger.

That amount, however, does not include the use of a third-party investigator, who will be paid for separately by the city.

Greg Kamer, principal attorney at the firm, says hiring a separate investigator is ideal.