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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.

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.  

 

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. 

Nevada Department of Transportation

The Nevada Department of Transportation reports a 60 percent spike in the number bicycle fatalities compared to the same time last year.

There have been eight bicycle fatalities in Nevada so far this year. As of August 2014, there were only five: Three in Washoe County and one in Clark and Lyon Counties respectively. Every fatality thus far in 2015 has occurred in Clark. That’s a 700% increase for that area. NDOT spokeswoman Meg Ragonese says it’s difficult to pinpoint what’s happening but…

Julia Ritchey

Officials at the 19th annual Lake Tahoe Summit on Monday said more federal funding is needed to preserve and restore the popular Alpine lake. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey was there and brings us this report.

It's been nearly two decades since President Bill Clinton first held a summit at Lake Tahoe and directed federal agencies to coordinate to protect the lake. 

Amy Westervelt / KUNR

A program that removes invasive fish species from Lake Tahoe and distributes them to local food banks, animal sanctuaries, and composters is back on track after losing funding last year.  

The UNR team, working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, has caught more than 50,000 fish since 2011. And they’ve stretched those fish a long way.

Mick Akers / Pahrump Valley Times

The Nye Regional Medical Center in Tonopah, Nevada closed its doors for good on Friday due to financial constraints.  Officials now have to find another way to serve residents in this area. 

The ten-bed hospital was the only medical center in a 100 mile radius and served residents in both Nye and Esmerelda Counties. Now the closest medical centers are in Bishop, California, or in Hawthorne, Battle Mountain and Fallon, Nevada. But officials with the Nye County Emergency Management Office, in concert with neighboring response teams, have devised a plan.

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