KNPR's State of Nevada

Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.; 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Dave Becker

NPR's State of Nevada is the essential public affairs broadcast to understand what's happening here. Newsmakers and experts give context to local issues; discussion and profile interviews explore the unique character - and characters - of our region. KNPR's State of Nevada is a daily conversation about this place we call home.

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Civic Life
4:08 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

How Police Officers Deal With Danger On The Job

The number of on-duty deaths of police officers increased by one-third compared to last year, according to a study commissioned by the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. Shooting deaths of officers increased by 56 percent from last year. The community in Las Vegas was stunned when two officers were killed in an ambush in June. So how do officers, and their families, cope with the dangers of the job?

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Politics & Policy
4:07 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

VA Bill Offers Help For Local Veterans

Just as Congress is set to go on a summer break, a committee from both houses has negotiated a package to reform the Veterans' Administration and fund more staff to reduce waiting times. And those funds will help veterans in Southern Nevada, says Congresswoman Dina Titus, D-Nevada 1.

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Arts & Life
7:51 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Adoption Brings Surprises Later In Life

Credit Getty Images

Adoption was often a secret business. Families were encouraged to keep adoption a secret and pretend that the adoptive parents were the birth parents. The social stigma of birth outside marriage also pushed mothers to maintain the silence.

Now, though, adoptees and birth parents are trying to find each other. And their success often means that other family members are surprised to find layers to their personal story and that of their parents that they had never known existed.

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Newscast
4:03 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

CCSD Official Pleads Not Guilty To Theft Allegations

Priscilla Rocha has pleaded not guilty to more than 50 charges stemming from allegations of crimes committed while she was the head of the Adult English Language Acquisition Program at CCSD.  Rocha is accused of the theft of nearly three hundred thousand dollars’ worth of electronics, computers, and money.  The Las Vegas Sun reports that two co-defendants also pleaded not guilty, while two others are wait for court-appointed attorneys.  A bail hearing is set for Wednesday.

Newscast
4:00 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

'Catastrophic Flooding' Restricts Travel In Clark County

Kyle Canyon Road, Highway 157, is closed west of its intersection with Highway 158 following prolonged rainfall.  Beyond that point the Nevada Highway Patrol is restricting traffic to emergency vehicles. 

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the area until nine this evening, and the Clark County Regional Flood Control District has reported what it called “catastrophic flooding” in the Rainbow Canyon area, including the washing out of part of Rainbow Canyon Road.  Much of the area was damaged last year in the Carpenter 1 wildfire.

Education
3:50 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Pedro Martinez Fires Back At Washoe School Board

Washoe County Superintendent Pedro Martinez filed a lawsuit Friday against the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees for breach of contract and violating the state's open meeting law. They fired him last week after alleging that he had lied about his professional credentials. Martinez is also speaking with officials at the Nevada Attorney General's Office. 

Meanwhile, trustees on the Washoe School Board have said they didn't terminate Martinez, they simply put him on leave.

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Environment
3:47 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Mt. Charleston Residents Endure More Flooding

Flooding on Mt. Charleston has washed out at least one road and sent debris into homes and neighborhoods.

Residents are angry that the county has not accepted a $1 million project from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a structure that could protect homes in the Rainbow Subdivision. But county officials have said they do not want to assume liability for the structure.

GUEST

Larry Brown, Clark County Commissioner

Becky Grismanauskas, resident, Mt. Charleston

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Business
3:44 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

CYNK, The Billion-Dollar Company That Wasn't

If a billion-dollar company was in Las Vegas, you'd probably expect to have heard about it, wouldn't you? Even Caesars is only worth $20-some billion but CYNK was recently valued at $6 billion even though it had no apparent business and only one employee. And, by the way, the company was based in Las Vegas.

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Civic Life
8:28 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Former Assemblyman Steven Brooks Sentenced

Last Friday former state Assemblyman Steven Brooks was sentenced to 32 months in prison in Victorville, California.

The charges arose from his erratic behavior on a high-speed chase the day he was expelled from the legislature. The expulsion followed a series of incidents including threats to Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick.

Clearly, Brooks had mental health problems.

Brooks had already served half his sentence from the California episode and the rest was suspended. Now he will be extradited to Nevada to face gun charges.

GUEST

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Civic Life
7:47 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Will Nevada Join States That Ban Revenge Porn?

The story usually goes like this. A woman sends a nude photo of herself to her boyfriend, imagining that the image will stay private. Time goes on, the romance disintegrates and the woman ends the relationship.

The man, outraged at having been jilted, then takes the intimate photos and posts them on a porn website. Or maybe he emails them to the woman’s employer. Maybe he tries to auction them on ebay.

Seems like an obvious violation of privacy at the very least, or at worst, a form of cyber sexual assault.

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Newscast
4:01 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Washoe County Sheriffs Have A Boat Problem

For the second time in two months, Washoe County sheriff's deputies have had to rescue one of the boats they use for search and rescues on Lake Tahoe. Deputies say they're trying to figure out what caused the boat to sink Wednesday just off the shore of Incline Village. The boat is usually stationed at Pyramid Lake but was moved to Tahoe as a replacement for the first sunken boat.

Newscast
3:58 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Las Vegas Visitors Up, Helped By Conventions

The number of visitors coming to Las Vegas jumped 3.1 percent in June when compared with a year earlier.  A report released Friday by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says almost 3.5 million people came to Las Vegas last month, compared with about 3.4 million in June 2013.  Convention attendance climbed 13.7 percent year-over-year, mostly because shows that weren't held in Las Vegas last year rotated in and a new show.

The international audiovisual expo InfoComm returned, drawing 37,000 people, and the newcomer American Library Association had 20,300 attendees.

Politics & Policy
3:47 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Henderson Citizens Panel Rejects Mayoral Job Changes

A proposal that might have cleared the way for Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen to seek a third term, and maybe protect him from a lawsuit filed by a former mayoral candidate, has been rejected.

That means former mayoral candidate, Rick Workman, will continue to pursue his case to have Hafen removed from office alleging the mayor election violated term limits.

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Arts & Life
3:41 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Facebook Wants To Be The New Vegas

Credit Getty Images

    

  

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Business
3:46 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Startup Uses Drones For Advertising, But Is It Legal?

A startup advertising company recently took flight over the Strip with a new strategy to target customers in Las Vegas. But the federal government could have the last say about their plans because the company is using drones.

The founder of DroneCast is looking to fill the sky above the Strip with advertising drones. Will the Federal Aviation Administration approve?

GUEST

Raj Singh, founder, DroneCast

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Environment
3:37 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Strip's Traffic Problem

Las Vegans often complain about the traffic. But even in rush hour our problems pale in comparison with other cities. Except in one place - the Strip.

In recent decades, the road has been widened and bridges have been built to stop herds of pedestrians blocking intersections. The monorail was supposed to cut down on traffic and then the RTC added express buses to encourage tourists to leave their cars in the parking garage.

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Environment
3:33 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Inside The Mind Of A Bear

Credit Getty Images

It’s almost as though Nevada’s bears know that Governor Sandoval has declared July Bear Awareness month.

Wildlife officials have reported several human- bear clashes lately, including a bear that was euthanized for killing goats.

Nevada’s “Think Like A Bear” campaign was launched to help bears and humans live more harmoniously.

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Newscast
11:11 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Passenger Traffic Climbs At McCarran

Passenger traffic at McCarran International Airport has climbed 1.3 percent compared with a year earlier. New figures show nearly 3.7 million people arrived and departed from the Las Vegas airport in June.

The number of passengers flying domestically was up 1.8 percent, while international traffic was up 9.2 percent for the month. Domestic flights account for the vast majority of traffic.

McCarran ranks as the ninth-busiest airport nationally.

Arts & Life
7:44 am
Thu July 24, 2014

The Story Behind 'Home Means Nevada'

It is the state’s 150th anniversary this year.

But it’s only since the 1930s that Nevada has had its own song.

And it came to be written in somewhat unusual circumstances. Patty Cafferta recently shared that story in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

GUEST

Patty Cafferata

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News
5:11 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Influx Of Kids Forces Child Haven to Expand

In April, the population of children in the county's shelter mushroomed to 83. The shelter, which was authorized to hold 56, had to set up beds in public areas and other spaces to handle the population.

Child Haven, which houses the county's abused and neglected youth, recently received approval from state officials to increase capacity from 56 to 70. So does that mean the county is preparing for a permanent increase in children at Child Haven? What are they doing to move more kinds out of the shelter and into foster homes and other placements?

GUEST

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Education
5:08 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Clark County Zoom Schools Show Early Signs Of Success

Credit Getty Images

As much as any legislation can receive unqualified bipartisan support, Nevada’s zoom schools proposal did.

Signed into law by Governor Sandoval a little over a year ago, the initiative promised $50 million dollars earmarked for Nevada’s more than 70,000 English Language Learners.

The aim of zoom schools is to give non native English speakers, especially those in early grades, a jump start.  The classroom experience includes reading centers, longer school days and smaller class sizes.

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Politics & Policy
7:59 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Macau Bans Smoking In Casinos

Credit Getty Images

The Silver State – and its casinos – have resisted the anti-smoking tide that has swept to so many other states. Eighteen of the 23 states with commercial casinos don’t allow smoking inside those buildings.

So how could a smoking ban in a city halfway around the world change our state’s stance on puffing in public places?

GUEST

Robert Shore, Union Gaming Research

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Education
7:32 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Washoe Superintendent Pedro Martinez Relieved Of Duties

According to a press release from the Washoe County School District, effective immediately, Pedro Martinez has been relieved of his duties as superintendent of that District. Martinez had served a year as Clark County Deputy Superintendent before he was tapped for the leadership role in Washoe.

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Politics & Policy
3:38 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Medical Marijuana Use Is A Touchy Issue In The Workplace

Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic medical marijuana patient from Colorado, was fired by Dish Network in 2010 for taking his medicine while off duty, in the privacy of his own home.

Coats had been a model employee. But Dish Network’s zero-tolerance drug policy prohibits marijuana use, even for medical reasons. When Coats, a customer service representative, tested positive for cannabis during a routine drug test, he was immediately terminated.

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Environment
7:26 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Protests Don't Stop Land Sale For Fracking

Credit Getty Images

Almost 30 protesters gathered outside the Bureau of Land Management offices on Thursday to protest oil and gas lease sales that could lead to fracking. The area between Austin and Tonopah, called the Big Smokey Valley, has drawn the attention of energy developers.

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Education
3:29 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Theft Damages Adult English Language Program

An official in Clark County School District's Adult English Language Acquisition Services has been indicted on charges that she stole almost $300,000 from the program. Priscilla Rocha, who has been a prominent leader in the Hispanic community, has been accused of stealing electronics and funds from the program to enrich family and friends.

Since her arrest in March, the program has been operating on reduced capacity. So how much have the thefts harmed the program? And how did Rocha and her accomplices get away with stealing so much from the school district?

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Music & Entertainment
3:06 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Hakkasan Bans 'Whales And Hippos'

Credit Getty Images

Hakkasan nightclub attracted some unwanted publicity recently when a club host told a Southern California woman that the bachelorette party she was organizing would not be comped unless she provided photographs of everyone in the party.

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Business
8:18 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Nevada's Minimum Wage Law Flouted, Says Lawyer

Credit Getty Images

Nevada's constitutionally mandated minimum wage law is being flouted, a Las Vegas attorney told a hearing held by the Labor Commissioner last week. Employers are supposed to pay an extra dollar an hour if they do not offer health insurance. But many are offering token plans and avoiding the higher wage payments, says Bradley Schrager, a lawyer with Wolf Rifkin Shapiro.

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Health & Science
7:41 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Co-Op Loses Major Oncology Clinic

The Nevada Health CO-OP, which was set up to provide a low-cost alternative to commercial health insurance plans, is having trouble keeping key medical providers on its policies. Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada has decided to give 60-days notice and will leave all the CO-OP's health plans.

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Food & Dining
4:07 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

The Vodka Mystique, From Bond To Bottle Service

Credit Getty Images

What’s in your glass? If you’re like more and more Americans it won’t be whisky or rye. Nor wine or beer.

It will be vodka.

Ever since James Bond asked for a vodka martini, the clear spirit has gone from strength to strength. And it has risen exponentially.

Of course, it’s reached a zenith with the four-figure bottle service for Grey Goose that is now such a money-maker at nightclubs along the Las Vegas Strip.

GUEST

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