Putting Out The Fire

The threat of devastating wildfires is only growing as temperatures rise and drought persists. That's why KUNR is exploring innovative ways for fighting and preventing fire in our region.

Alexa Ard

State's 100-Day Rule Vexes Private School Parents

This week our news team is taking an in depth look at the state's new Education Savings Account program in a five-part series called Nevada's Gamble on School Choice. To kick things off, our reporter Julia Ritchey tells us how private school parents are at arms over one of the most controversial elements of the law: the so-called 100-days rule. Cheri Wulforst has a daughter in fourth grade and a son in first. They both attended private school in Reno, but that all changed this school year...
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Julia Ritchey

In Reno, Marco Rubio Calls For Immigration Fixes

GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio stumped in Reno last night (Monday), the first of a multi-leg tour of the state. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey was there and has this report. About 250 people crowded into a ballroom at the Peppermill Casino to hear Rubio outline what he thinks it will take for America to succeed in the 21st century. The Florida Senator spoke extensively on immigration, emphasizing his parents' journey from Cuba to the United States in the 1950s. "Legal immigration...
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Julia Ritchey

GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio stumped in Reno last night (Monday), the first of a multi-leg tour of the state. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey was there and has this report.

About 250 people crowded into a ballroom at the Peppermill Casino to hear Rubio outline what he thinks it will take for America to succeed in the 21st century. 

The Florida Senator spoke extensively on immigration, emphasizing his parents' journey from Cuba to the United States in the 1950s. 

Reno Public Radio likes to catch up with Reno author Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl, to explore language and writing. With schools just getting back into session, Fogarty chats with KUNR's Michelle Bliss about things like where the word "syllabus" comes from and how kids these days misuse the word "versus."

Fogarty also provides behind-the-scenes details of the recent North American Scrabble Championship held in Reno.  

Anh Gray

Washoe County School District officials painted a bleak picture Friday of the future of repair and construction needs to a newly formed committee on public school overcrowding. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey was there and has this report.

The average age of a Washoe County public school is 39 years old and $25 million a year is the minimum needed for repairs and renovations to the district's crumbling infrastructure.

Drone America

Our series Putting Out The Fire has been exploring new ways of fighting and preventing devastating wildfires, which are a major threat to Nevada and California during this fourth year of drought. In this segment, Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss explores how high-tech cameras and drones are rewriting the rules of firefighting.

Mike Richards is CEO of Drone America, a small company on the forefront of changing how emergency responders can fight fires. He likens the drones of tomorrow to comic-book superheroes of the past.  

Nevada has one of the lowest rates of college graduates in the nation. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports the Nevada System of Higher Education is providing more money to low-income students to fix that problem.

Less than a third of adults in Nevada between the ages of 25 and 34 have an associate’s degree or higher in 2012. That’s 10 percent less than the national average.  

  

Nevada businesses need a more educated workforce. That was a major theme of Governor Brain Sandoval’s Conference on Business this week. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray has more.

Tray Abney is with The Chamber of Commerce of Reno, Sparks and Northern Nevada and he was among the business leaders and policymakers who attended the conference in downtown Reno. He says with Tesla and other new companies on their way to the region, established businesses are already seeing a boost.  

 

Amy Westervelt

The U.S. Forest Service is sounding the alarm about the skyrocketing cost of wildfires. The agency now spends more than half its budget dealing with fires, compared to 16 percent in 1995. This week KUNR’s news team is looking at new ways to cope with wildfires in our series, Putting Out The Fire. In the second story we look at a controversial new strategy that could help forests adapt to warming climates. 

 

Julia Ritchey

Washoe County's Regional Transportation Committee held another public meeting Tuesday night on its ambitious $60 million project along the Virginia Street corridor. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey was there and tells us some cycling advocates are disappointed with the lack of bike lanes.

The design phase of the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension project is about 15 percent complete, and project leaders hope to have a final version by next March. 

The vital corridor will see extended bus service, more bike lanes, improved pedestrian walkways and wider sidewalks. 

J. Michael Johnson, National Park Service

Wildfires in the West are getting larger and more intense every year. Right now, 66 large fires are burning in 11 western states, consuming more than a million and a half acres. California and Nevada rank in the top 10 most wildfire-prone states in the country. This week our series Putting Out the Fire examines innovative approaches to fighting and preventing fire. In our first story, we look at some new thinking around fire, and ideas for protecting your home. 

  A major water agreement between California and Nevada is one step closer to reality more than three decades after it was first proposed. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey spoke with John Erwin of the Truckee Meadows Water Authority to explain the significance of the deal and how it will help in future droughts.

The Truckee River Operating Agreement will allow Nevada to better manage its waters, Erwin says.

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