Washoe County

Red and blue lights flashing on top of a police car.
AARON ANDERER / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

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.

Two people sitting across from each other in front of a curtain. A sign language interpreter is on a screen to the top left.
Screenshot / City of Reno Via YouTube

Top law enforcement officials in Washoe County spoke during a town hall on Monday, June 22, about some of the steps their agencies are looking at to improve community policing as the national discussion on law enforcement reform continues to unfold.

There is a red ball in the forefront, a tricycle and playground house in the middle, and a tan building in the background.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR

Washoe County has officially opened the doors to Our Place to Grow, a shelter for unhoused families with children in Sparks. Units for women will be opening soon as well. The county provided $2 million for the facility, which is run by the homelessness advocacy nonprofit called Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality, also known as RISE. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck spoke with the executive director, Benjamin Castro, about what sets Our Place to Grow apart from other shelters.

A building that says, 'Reno Events Center.' There is a man walking in front of the building and a line of people near the entrance.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

During the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 300 houseless individuals have been sleeping at the Reno Events Center, but the makeshift shelter is slated to close at the end of June. Washoe County and City of Reno officials are working on securing a place for those staying at the facility to sleep next.

Civil Unrest In Reno: May 30 Through June 3

May 30, 2020
The exterior of Reno City Hall. Police tape and a dumpster are surrounding the entrance. Broken windows are boarded.
Bree Zender / KUNR

4:55 p.m. | June 3, 2020

Acting City of Reno Manager Jason Soto is directing the Reno Police Department to craft a new formal policy where officers must intervene when they see other officers use excessive force.

A medical student administers a COVID-19 swab test through the window of a car.
Brin Reynolds / University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

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.

In mid-march, The American Association of Medical Colleges recommended that medical schools suspend clinical rotations because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A medical student performing a COVID-19 swab test through a car window. Another medical student is holding a bag to place the test in afterward.
Brin Reynolds / University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

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 COVID-19 pandemic has moved the education of students at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine online. To help during the crisis, more than 70 of them are now volunteering throughout Northern Nevada.

A pink building with the word office on top of it. In the background are motel rooms and a staircase.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR

Hundreds of thousands of Nevadans have lost their jobs due to nonessential business closures meant to limit the spread of COVID-19. To protect them from housing insecurity, Governor Steve Sisolak ordered a moratorium on evictions, but there’s confusion on who is protected. Both tenants and landlords for weekly motels are concerned about what the future holds.

Nurse holds COVID-19 Sample Kit
Bree Zender / KUNR Public Radio

If you’re starting to feel sick, what do you do? Sore throat, exhaustion, trouble breathing... No doubt at that point you’d have COVID-19 on your mind.

A landscape photo with a paved road on the left side and gravel, sagebrush and hills on the right side.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR

The Truckee Meadows Public Land Management Act, formerly known as the Washoe County Lands Bill, is back before Congress. It would allow federal land in Nevada to be sold to local government for development and conservation projects. The proposal has received support from the cities of Reno and Sparks, as well as Washoe County, but it has also faced public criticism.

Several tents are being dismantled.
Stephanie Serrano / KUNR Public Radio

137 tents that were turned into homes by people living on the streets of Reno were removed by law enforcement on Wednesday, March 4.

Editor's note: this story contains adult language. 

A microscopic picture of COVID-19
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases / Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

An official from the Washoe County Health District said the county doesn’t have adequate staffing to respond to a possible outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Census taker walking up to the front door of a residence.
U.S. Census Bureau

The 2020 U.S. Census kicked off this month and Census Bureau representatives are bolstering their recruitment efforts in Nevada.

A pedestrian walk sign in a Reno neighborhood.
Stephanie Serrano / KUNR

25 Washoe County students have been struck by vehicles since August. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano sat down with MJ Cloud to understand what’s going on. Cloud was a police officer for 25 years and now she’s the district’s Safe Routes to School coordinator.

A woman stands behind a podium to ask members of the Community Homelessness Advisory Board a question at a public meeting.
Stephanie Serrano

Soon local women, children and families experiencing homelessness will have their own shelter to stay in. The Washoe County Board of Commissioners has approved nearly $15 million to fund the Our Place Homeless Housing Project in Sparks. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano reports the shelter will have 265 beds.

A body of water with a pipe in the forefront and street signs with water surrounding them.
Bob Conrad / ThisisReno

Different solutions have been proposed to reduce water levels from the flooded Swan Lake in Lemmon Valley, a battle that has been affecting nearby residents since 2017. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck spoke with ThisisReno’s Bob Conrad about what’s been done, what can be expected, and how some residents are feeling.

Illustrated by Stephanie Serrano

The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees has approved an added lesson on sexual orientation and gender identity to the recently revised sexual education curriculum. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano has this report.

Illustrated by Stephanie Serrano

In June, the Board of Trustees for the Washoe County School District approved five updated lessons, but a lesson on sexual orientation and gender identity was sent back to the committee to be revised. Rochelle Proctor is the district’s sexual education coordinator. She’s been working with a team of advisors for over a year redefining the district’s sex ed. high school curriculum. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano spoke to Proctor about the reasoning behind the curriculum changes and edits made to lesson 1.

 After reading several books Miss Ginger Devine (Left) and Aspen Meadows (right) participated in a dance party and took pictures with community members.
Stephanie Serrano

Hundreds of locals attended a national community event over the weekend called Drag Queen Story Hour. The event has been at the center of recent controversy after the mayor of Sparks and the Nevada Family Alliance complained that it should be canceled. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano spoke to one of the queens who read books to the children at Sparks Library.

Getting to know Christopher Daniels

The Washoe County School District introduced its two-way immersion program a decade ago. It’s an opportunity for students to learn a secondary language and gain respect for another culture. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano uncovers the challenges the district has had implementing this complex program.

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