KUNR Public Radio: Local News Feed

A local news stream from the KUNR Public Radio newsroom and regional partners.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

7:29 p.m. | July 9, 2020

Nevada Sees Spike In COVID-19-Related Deaths Overnight
By Stephanie Serrano

The State of Nevada is reporting a total of 571 COVID-19-related deaths, up 18 more than Wednesday, according to the state’s online dashboard. The total number of cases is close to reaching 25,000, and more than 408,000 tests have been conducted.

A group of people attending a virtual conference.
Screenshot / Washoe County School Board Trustees Via Zoom

Washoe County students may soon reunite with friends and teachers this fall after school closures were mandated in the spring to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Washoe County School District approved plans for the reopening of schools. Those proposals now head to the Nevada Department of Education for final approval.


Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued the formal proclamation to call the Nevada Legislature into a special session beginning on Wednesday, July 8 at 9 a.m. to address the historic budget shortfall. This is the 31st Special Session in Nevada’s history.

A fire and smoke on the side of a mountain.
Image from ALERTWildfire Greater Tahoe cameras on Twitter @nvfirecams

7:53 p.m. | July 9, 2020

The Bureau of Land Management has updated estimates for the Numbers Fire, burning south of Gardnerville. The agency says it has burned 18,300 acres and is just twenty percent contained.

Thursday, crews were flown to the upper ridgeline of the Pine Nut Mountains to try to limit fire spread over the ridge into Smith Valley. Helicopters supported crews by dropping water from buckets and delivering supplies.

The weather over the fire area will continue to be hot, dry and breezy. A pattern of high temperatures and low relative humidity is expected to continue for several days.

A graphic showing a medical professional giving a patient a nasal swab used for COVID-19 testing.
United Nations COVID-19 Response / Unsplash

Coverage of novel coronavirus is supported by the Mick Hitchcock, Ph.D., Project for Visualizing Science, a science reporting project from the Reynolds School of Journalism.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Washoe County is significantly higher than what’s being reported. That’s according to the results from the first COVID-19 antibody study out Wednesday.

Dr. Bret Frey is an emergency room physician in Reno, Nevada, and he likens working in health care right now to fighting in a war. 

"I always thought that there was a good chance that World War III would happen in some form in my lifetime, I just didn't appreciate it was going to come in the form of a virus," Frey says.

A group of people having a virtual meeting.
Screenshot / NSHE via BlueJeans

Conversations about police brutality and systemic racism are continuing after the killing of George Floyd. The Nevada System of Higher Education is responding by making modifications to its campus policing and having conversations about discrimination on university campuses. During a NSHE town hall on these matters, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said the time for action is now.

A close-up image of a Uhaul moving truck.
Joey Rozier / Creative Commons

Millions of Americans have been relocated due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center.

The survey, conducted in early June, shows that 22% of Americans either have moved or know someone who has because of the pandemic. That translates to more than 72 million people.

Video Stream: Nevada 31st Special Session

Jul 8, 2020
Alexa Ard / KUNR Public Radio

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued the formal proclamation to call the Nevada Legislature into a special session beginning on Wednesday, July 8 at 9 a.m. to address the historic budget shortfall. This is the 31st Special Session in Nevada’s history.

Governor Steve Sisolak sits at a podium at the state legislature.
Lucia Starbuck / This Is Reno

Lawmakers in Nevada are slated to gavel into a special session Wednesday morning to address a looming budget crisis. According to a report released by the Governor’s Office, Nevada is looking at a $1.2 billion deficit in the state’s general fund. 

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

7:36 p.m. | July 7, 2020

Nevada Reports Nearly 900 Additional Cases Of COVID-19, Officials Discuss Limitations Of Contact Tracing
By Lucia Starbuck

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported 876 additional cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. There are now nearly 550 COVID-19-related deaths in Nevada, and there have been close to 384,000 COVID-19 tests performed. The growing number of cases in the state is causing challenges related to contact tracing.

14 desks separated with at least six feet of space to adhere to social distancing rules.
Washoe County School District

In a little more than a month, students across Nevada will settle into the 2020-2021 academic year, but as COVID-19 continues to spread, school officials in Washoe County are rethinking what in-person instruction may look like.

A desert landscape in the foreground and mountains in the background.
Noah Glick

The U.S. Military could gain control over more than 1,300 square miles of public land in Nevada currently managed as a wildlife refuge under a bill passed by a congressional committee last week.

Fans in the stands watching baseball.
Brian Bahouth / The Sierra Nevada Ally

A 60-game Major League Baseball season is poised to get underway later this month, but Minor League Baseball Triple-A affiliates across the nation recently announced that their 2020 season has been canceled, and that includes the Reno Aces. Contributor Brian Bahouth of the Sierra Nevada Ally reached out to the team’s general manager to break down the details. 

Red and blue lights flashing on top of a police car.

The City of Reno held a virtual town hall on June 22 with top county law enforcement officials to discuss a study on policing in Washoe County. The study was completed back in 2018 by the Guinn Center, a nonprofit, bipartisan organization. Town hall participants examined what work has been done to improve community policing since the study was released, along with what work remains to be done. KUNR’s Jayden Perez spoke with Nancy Brune, executive director of the Guinn Center, to learn more.

A worker trimming a cannabis plant at a cultivation facility.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

Starting this month, Nevada’s new Cannabis Compliance Board will take over regulatory authority of the state’s growing marijuana industry from the Department of Taxation. Originally proposed by Gov. Steve Sisolak last year, the new agency is now tasked, in part, with inspecting cultivation facilities, testing cannabis products and determining who can grow and sell cannabis in the state. KUNR’s Paul Boger spoke with Tyler Klimas, executive director of the board, to better understand what that transition means for Nevada.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

With protesters taking to the streets nationwide to demand justice for George Floyd and confront police brutality and systemic racism, Mountain West News Bureau reporters are gathering perspectives of people of color from around the region.

Researchers have released a new guide for parents about how to keep their kids from being recruited by extremists online.

A white sign that says, "For Rent," in red.

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a directive that gradually lifts the moratorium on evictions starting this week. The eviction moratorium has been in place since late March to protect Nevadans from housing insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck talked to Deonne Contine, the executive director of Washoe Legal Services, about what tenants can expect moving forward.

A Washoe County Registrar of Voters employee holding a stack of submitted mail-in primary ballots.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

Of the more than 490,000 ballots cast in Nevada’s primary election, 10,799 were unable to be counted statewide — most because of invalid signatures that voters failed to “cure.”