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Library staff and community members gather for the concluding class of the first session of Startup School at the Washoe County South Valleys Library.
Natalie Van Hoozer

Libraries across the country are taking on new roles in today’s digital age. In Washoe County, libraries are offering programs like Startup School.

When we think of libraries, we often imagine stacks of books and study desks.

“It’s not just a house of books, there’s a lot more opportunity and more and more hands on stuff,” said Morgan Tiar, a Washoe County librarian and instructor for Startup School.

She’s in a meeting room where students like Colleen Lennox are discussing their products.

Maker Craig Bergland uses solar ovens to cook items like potatoes, yams, and corn.
Natalie Van Hoozer

More than 70 inventors displayed their unique products over the weekend at Reno’s Mini Maker Faire. 

Solar-roasted coffee and a mechanical squid are just two of the products that were displayed in Idlewild Park. It’s the first year that the Mini Maker Faire has joined forces with Artown.  

“It’s part science fair, part county fair, part something entirely new,” said the fair’s executive producer, Chrissy Klenke. “It’s a unique event that celebrates the DIY culture. If you think about it, everyone is a maker in one way shape or form.”

The City Council voted for the demolition contract unanimously.
Natalie Van Hoozer

Reno City Council has approved a contract to demolish two downtown motels, the Golden West Motor Lodge and the Heart o’ Town.

The owners of two blighted downtown motels have rejected an offer from a local developer to save the properties from demolition. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

Developer Kelly Rae and her business partner offered the owners of the crumbling Heart o' Town and Golden West Motor Lodge motels $1.2 million dollars.

Rae says their offer was rebuffed without explanation and she wants to know why.

Kirk Gillis (pictured) and other Renown and Stanford executives announced the partnership to a crowd of 100 people.
Natalie Van Hoozer

Renown Health and Stanford Medicine are teaming up to give patients in Northern Nevada critical access to specialty care.

Hospital executives announced at a press conference that Renown patients will now have an easier time seeking specialized medical services like pediatric healthcare.

“We have kids in this community that are diagnosed with tumors,” said Renown executive Kirk Gillis. “We don’t have the type of physician expertise in this community to manage specialized brain tumors or lung tumors in children.”

Demolition Of Two Downtown Reno Motels On Hold

Jun 21, 2016

Reno City Council members are debating whether to tear down two rundown motels located in the heart of downtown.

At a meeting Tuesday, Mayor Hillary Schieve says she’s is in favor of removing urban blight.

“No one wants it to stay like that, I mean we all understand that," Schieve says. "Let’s be honest here, we all want the same thing, we want downtown to look great.”

Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus supports giving a local developer more time to make an offer on the properties. The developer has plans to turn it into a boutique motel.

Reno Pizzeria Gives Hope To People With Disabilities

Jun 16, 2016
Luiza Vieira

 

A pizzeria in Reno called Smiling With Hope is offering more than just classic New York style pizza. It’s giving people with special needs hands-on work experience and independence. Our contributor Luiza Vieira went to check it out.

 

 

“Hi, hello, Luiza.”

Hawken Fire is 100% Contained

Jun 15, 2016
Marcus Lavergne

Friday update: Nearly 200 firefighters are continuing mop up operations at the site of the Hawken wildfire near Caughlin Ranch on Reno's southwest side.  Officials say the fire burned 278 acres and is 100% contained as of 3 pm.  The cause of the fire that ignited on Wednesday is still under investigation. 

Thursday update: The Hawken Fire is about 20 percent contained. Washoe County and the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District officials say the flames have charred about 300 acres of sagebrush and dry grass since Wednesday afternoon.

Julia Ritchey

Pot shops, a juice bar and some affordable housing in a formerly abandoned mall parking lot. Those are just a few of the new business projects coming to downtown Reno. Our reporter Julia Ritchey caught up with the Reno Gazette-Journal's city life reporter Mike Higdon for the latest developments. Below are excerpts of their conversation.

  Highlights

Julia Ritchey

Reno's housing market has steadily regained its health, making it a sellers’ market. This is putting strain on the city’s dwindling supply of rental homes. In our ongoing series Squeezed Out, reporter Julia Ritchey explores what’s happening in Midtown, Reno’s trendiest neighborhood.

"This is a nice little space. So you can see, I have access to a backyard and a frontyard..."

Margie Hicks has lived in her two-bedroom, one-bath rental house on Caliente Street in Midtown for about six years.

She says back then, it wasn't hard to find a place to rent.

Nevada's New Voter ID Law

Apr 16, 2016
Scott, Flickr

At the polls this election season, voters will have one more requirement to prove their identity. Our contributor Luiza Vieira has more on the state's new voter ID law which recently went into effect.

When voting, if your signature does not match the one on file, you will have to respond to a list of questions to confirm your personal data. Erik Jimenez, is a spokesman for the Washoe County Republican Party.

U.S. Dept of Agriculture, Flickr (CC by 2.0)

The Nevada Department of Education has announced federal funds to help students experiencing homelessness. 

"In Nevada last year there were 17,172 students identified as homeless," says Mike Walker, state coordinator for homeless education. 

And, he says, that number has been increasing substantially over the last four to five years. That's where an annual grant from the Department of Education comes in.

 

Reno City Council has approved giving a strip of land located downtown to developers building a $50 million student housing project that would displace some tenants. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray has more.

 

The city is abandoning a section of Lake Street located between East Sixth Street and East Seventh Street that is about 10-foot wide by 400-foot long.

 

 

Ready, Set, Pitch!

Apr 14, 2016
Startup Weekend Reno

The sixth installment of Startup Weekend kicks off Friday at Greater Nevada Field, formerly the Aces Ballpark, in downtown Reno. Our reporter Julia Ritchey has more. 

Aspiring entrepreneurs will brainstorm their best ideas over the weekend in a competition aimed at fostering startup culture.  

Attendees are given 54 hours to come up with an idea, form a team and work on a website and marketing plan before pitching to a panel of judges. 

Bryan McArdle of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada is one of the organizers.

 

We all know Reno has been coming out of the recession and with redevelopment on the rise, the city is changing. Some are concerned with the potential impacts of gentrification, especially on homeless people. KUNR’s Anh Gray sat down with two Reno-based journalists to get their take on what they’ve learned while reporting on this topic. 

Northern Nevada HOPES provides healthcare to people regardless of their ability to pay. The center recently opened its doors to a new facility in downtown Reno. Our reporter Anh Gray sits down with the center's CEO Sharon Chamberlain to learn more about the healthcare barriers that exist in the community.

  

Juliana Sacoman

The Zika virus outbreak has gained international attention for the past three months. Even though it poses little risk for Northern Nevadans, some are feeling the ripple effect. Our contributor Luiza Vieira  spoke to one of those Reno residents.

New Law Will Introduce Electronic Sample Ballots

Feb 1, 2016
Weimin Liu, Flickr. / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wmliu/291109929/sizes/o/

 

 

New revisions to Nevada’s election laws that were passed last spring recently went into effect. Our contributor Luiza Vieira has details on one of the laws that grants voters more access to ballot information.

 

Registered voters can now receive sample ballots online or by email. Precious Hall is a political science professor at Truckee Meadows Community College and says the new law will increase voter education.

Voter Profiles: Reno Activist Feels The Bern

Dec 30, 2015

Ahead of the 2016 election, we're profiling local voters to find out what issues are most important to them. Just a few days after Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders made his second stop in town, Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey caught up with a local political activist who's feeling the Bern.

In a purple sweater with matching eyeshadow, Theresa Navarro is brimming with energy as she make calls at the Bernie Sanders campaign office in Reno. Navarro is a retired political consultant and full-time activist who's lived in Nevada for 45 years.

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