This is a stream of local news from the KUNR Public Radio newsroom.
The coronavirus pandemic crashed the economy and slashed jobs, but it also inspired many people across the U.S. to create their own businesses, and a growing number of those entrepreneurs are moving to Northern Nevada.
The global chip shortage has slashed vehicle inventories and left dealers with few cars to sell. Ryan Dolan is the CEO of Dolan Auto Group in Northern Nevada. He spoke with our business reporter, Kaleb Roedel, about how the pandemic has changed the way people prefer to buy their cars, and why millennials are buying more than any age group.
Brett McLane is a banker in Reno who describes himself as a fiscally conservative, independent voter. He participated in KUNR's One Small Step program to connect with someone in the community who has different political views. He was matched with Susan Mazer, a musician and business owner who describes herself as liberal in all aspects. Their conversation touched on many topics, including their opinions on taxation.
Washoe County is trying to figure out how to keep people not only sheltered this winter but out of the cold. Its Safe Camp program launched six months ago to give unhoused people an alternative to the county's mega-shelter, but the outdoor tents are no match for Northern Nevada winter.
Nationally, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, and in Nevada, it ranks 8th. KUNR's Nick Stewart spoke with Misty Vaughan Allen, the state's suicide prevention coordinator, about how the pandemic is impacting mental health and what the closure of the West Hills Behavioral Health Hospital means for Reno.
Washoe County is seeing more child care providers close than open during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that's a problem for many parents in Northern Nevada who are struggling to find affordable child care.
Some would say the food that defines Nevada is the casino buffet. A heightened perception of contagion risks and other pandemic-linked obstacles have led to the permanent closure of some buffet restaurants; however, KUNR's Lucretia Cunningham spoke to UNLV Assistant Professor Amanda Belarmino who says the buffet made a major comeback over Thanksgiving and is eager to see how the industry will fare this holiday season.
Over the summer, Nevada launched a historic campaign to incentivize residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. KUNR's Lucia Starbuck checked in with Heidi Parker, the head of Immunize Nevada, to look back on what they learned from the initiative.
While some child care facilities in our region are full, with waiting lists, others are struggling with enrollment. Lucy Comstock is the director at Incline Village Nursery School, a child care facility for children aged 3 to 5 in North Lake Tahoe. Comstock spoke with our business reporter Kaleb Roedel about the financial and staffing challenges they're facing during the pandemic.
Latinos face high rates of COVID-19 and diabetes. But one community clinic in Reno is seeing sharp decreases in patient numbers, deepening the risk for people with chronic illnesses.
The omicron variant of COVID-19 has already made its way to California and health officials in Washoe County say it's only a matter of time before it will arrive in Nevada. Mountain West News Bureau reporter Bert Johnson spoke to Dr. Mark Pandori to learn more about the state's level of preparedness. Pandori is the director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory.
The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees has decided not to move forward with changing the bell schedule for K-12 students. KUNR's Lucia Starbuck has been following this issue with Fiona Perreault, a student reporter with our youth media program. They spoke to News Director Michelle Billman about the community concerns that swayed this decision.