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
4:46 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

The Hard Life Of A Porn Slapper

You've probably seen them on the Strip, the men and women in loud shorts advertising girls directly to your room, intently waving handbills at passersby. These "porn slappers," as they are called,  are a source of public embarrassment and consternation. Local politicians and business owners have tried to get rid of them, only to find out that they are protected under the First Amendment.

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Civic Life
4:43 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

The Role Of Grit In Social Mobility

The American Dream has hit hard times. Researchers have found that it is harder to move from poverty to prosperity in the United States than it is in many European countries.

That kind of social mobility is part of the American myth, and drives how we think of our country. So what can we do to revive the promise of social mobility? And how can anti-poverty programs promote grit among its poorest citizens?

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Civic Life
4:37 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

The Mexican Mafia On Both Sides Of The Border

The Mexican Mafia in the United States started in prisons, but now operates is all fifty states. Journalist Chris Blatchford chronicled the rise of the mafia from prisons to its modern incarnation as a sophisticated criminal syndicate.

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Politics & Policy
8:54 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Nevada High Court Rules On HOA Liens

The Nevada Supreme Court last week upheld a law that lets homeowners association foreclose on houses ahead of mortgage lenders, even if the HOAs are owed a fraction of what's owed to the bank.

The high court overruled a Clark County District Court judge in letting stand a state law that lets HOAs size homes through foreclosure when property owners are behind on their HOA dues.

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Fronteras
7:55 am
Mon September 22, 2014

New Citizens Increasingly Identify With Third Parties

A growing number of San Diego voters are opting against joining the country’s major political parties. Those, of course, would be the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. But among newly nationalized citizens, one Third Party that’s growing faster than all the rest -- the American Independent Party.

The far-right party opposes same-sex marriage and immigration. And those who register voters worry that many new citizens may not understand that they are registering for a party, and not as unaffiliated, independent voters.

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Civic Life
7:41 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Larry Burns Vies For Sheriff Job

Retired Las Vegas Metro police captain Larry Burns.

The Las Vegas police department’s cowboy reputation got an overhaul a few years ago. Training changed, the department got tougher on use of force and officer-involved shootings fell.

But the department is losing the sheriff who brought those changes. Larry Burns is one of two people vying for his job.

GUEST

Larry Burns, candidate for sheriff

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Civic Life
7:27 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Museum Will Restore Bradley’s Historic Boulder City Home

Mark Hall-Patton
Credit Clark County Museum

They were once Boulder City’s most well-known residents, but Henry and Ocie Bradley’s modest two-room home is now sitting with its windows bordered up in storage in Henderson.

The house that once stood at 618 Arizona St. was move more than 10 years ago to the Clark County Museum, where it awaits $250,000 in restoration work. The building was first used as a ticket office for Grand Canyon Airlines at the old Boulder City Airport in the mid-1930s.

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Environment
3:43 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

BLM Says Drone Flights Pose Threats To Firefighters

Credit Getty Images

The Bureau of Land Management in Nevada is warning drone pilots to keep their aircraft away from wildfires. The federal agency says it has counted at least four incidents this year when a drone has flown in or near a wildfire zone where flights were temporarily restricted.

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Health & Science
3:33 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Can Soap Save Lives?

Credit Getty Images

Las Vegas hotels throw away 200,000 soap bars daily. At the same time there are parts of the U.S. and the world where one soap bar can save a life.

Shawn Seipler was at a hotel room during one of his business trips, when he called the lobby to ask where the soap bar he barely used will eventually go.  When he found out, Shawn decided to do something about it.

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Environment
7:45 am
Fri September 19, 2014

King Fire Rages In California

Firefighters work to contain King Fire.
Credit Getty Images

With 12,000 homes at risk east of Sacremento, the King fire has officials especially alarmed. California's drought-ravaged vegetation has left the state particularly vulnerable to wildfires; this latest appears to have been caused by arson, and a suspect is now in custody.

We discuss who's still at risk of losing property to the King fire, and strategies for containing the blaze.

GUEST

Bob Moffit, reporter, Capital Public Radio

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Civic Life
7:32 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Erin Bilbray Talks Middle East, Economy And More

Erin Bilbray has the name recognition – her father was a longtime former Congressman – but can she overcome a two-term incumbent and win Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District? That’s what she’s trying to do and she has little more than a month left to do it.

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Arts & Life
3:37 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Pilot Shares Insider's (Sky) View Of Reno Air Races

Credit Tim Adams

Burning Man may get more attention every year, but for 50 years, thousands of race fans have gathered at the National Championship Air Races in Reno.

Steve Hinton is one of those fans. He attended his first Reno Air Races with his father - Steve Hinton Senior - when he was just two-weeks old.

And just like his father, Steve Hinton took to the skies as a teenager to learn how to fly vintage airplanes and compete in races. This year, Steve Hinton won his sixth straight championship at Reno.

GUEST

Steve Hinton, pilot

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Arts & Life
3:20 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Nevada Ballet Theater Brings Live Music To A Midsummer's Night's Dream

Nevada Ballet Theater and the Pacific Northwest Ballet will bring the magic of midsummer to the earliest days of autumn with this weekend's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Seasons. Both productions have sprawling casts, and both will also feature a live orchestra.

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Civic Life
3:18 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Will Berretta Help Revive The Clark County Shooting Complex?

Upscale gun brand Berretta is making their way into the Las Vegas market. Not as a boutique and range at the Palazzo as was originally planned in 2012, but as the sponsoring gun company of the Clark County Shooting Complex.

The range has come under fire in the last several years since apparently it’s a big money drain for the county, losing as much as $350 thousand annually.

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Soccer Stadium
4:17 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

How Much Is A Soccer Stadium Worth To Las Vegas?

Developers want city taxpayer help to build a professional soccer stadium in downtown Las Vegas.

This week and next, developers and city staff are on tour throughout the city touting the $200 million stadium and its financing through a series of public meetings.

One  issue is that the city would fund about 78 percent of the upfront costs of the stadium, through general fund tax dollars and the issuance of city/taxpayer-guaranteed bonds. Over 30 years, the city would need about $8 million annually to pay off those bonds.

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News
4:09 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

One Las Vegas Neighborhood Doesn't Want Pot Shops

Residents of an older neighborhood near UMC want nothing to do with the emerging medical marijuana industry. They are organizing opposition to a proposed medical marijuana dispensary near the public hospital.

But their opposition runs counter to reasoning by some public officials who want to put medical marijuana dispensaries near patients. Where is the best location for medical marijuana dispensaries? And is it possible to balance the needs of patients with the needs of residents?

GUEST

Jessica Saylor, resident, Scotch 80s 

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Civic Life
3:49 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Update: Athiest Airman Can Omit 'So Help Me God'

Updated Sept. 17, 3:48 p.m.

A Sergeant at Creech Air Force Base crossed out the words "so help me God" on his re-enlistment contract before signing it earlier this year.  The Air Force said at the time that if the airman did not sign the contract by November, he would not be allowed to re-enlist.

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Civic Life
4:54 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

The NFL, Boxing And Domestic Violence

War Machine
Credit Getty Images

A few days ago, adult film star Christy Mack posted these words on her Instagram page:

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Civic Life
8:52 am
Tue September 16, 2014

District Attorney's Office Again Fails To Disclose Witness Payments

Once again the District Attorney’s office is accused of making payments that they didn't disclose to witnessess. This time it’s a 500 dollar payment made to a witness of a 2008 attempted murder.

Because the DA made the payment to the witness off the record, defense attorneys are calling for the conviction to be overturned.

This is the second time the DA’s office has been asked to overturn a conviction for this reason.

GUEST

Bethany Barnes, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Environment
8:38 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Sailing Rocks Explained

Credit Getty Images

Sailing stones in Death Valley - of course you’ve heard about them. These are the stones that leave mysterious tracks on a barren lake bed, sometimes miles long. Thousands of tourists and scientists visit Racetrack Playa each year: some to enjoy the mysterious sight and, if lucky, witness the movements; others hoping to explain the phenomena.

For decades scientists presented different theories regarding the stones that seem to drag themselves across the sandy surface. Hurricanes, sand devils and energy fields – these are just to name few.

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Civic Life
4:34 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Ex-SEAL Team 6 Commander: Is LV Really A Terrorist Target?

Richard Marcinko

You know them from the movies, jumping out of planes into the dark of night, planting bombs deep underwater or taking out targets after slinking unseen through enemy territory.

Most of us know that special forces exist in the various military branches, but few of us know what they really do or who they are.

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Arts & Life
3:56 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Mobster Takes Cover As Summerlin Rabbi In New Novel

Writer Tod Goldberg lived in Summerlin for several years near the turn of the century. So he turned it into the setting of his new novel about a gangster in hiding, who finds himself disguised as a rabbi in suburban Las Vegas.

So can a cold-blooded killer convince people he is a spiritual man? And will the experience change his nature? Goldberg tackles all these questions in a new novel released earlier this month.

GUEST

Tod Goldberg, author, Gangsterland

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Education
3:53 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Pedro Martinez Turns Down $25K Settlement Offer From Washoe Trustees

Ousted Washoe County School Superintendent Pedro Martinez has turned down a $25,000 settlement put forward by the board of trustees, according to his attorney.

Martinez hired Reno lawyer William Peterson after the superintendent was fired from his job in July. Peterson has said the legal fees to represent Martinez are already more than twice the $25,000 offer?

William Peterson, a partner with Snell & Wilmer in Reno, said a court-supervised medication is scheduled for Sept. 22.

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Politics & Policy
3:19 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

New Jersey Decriminalizes Sports Betting At Casinos And Racetracks

NJ Gov. Chris Christie
Credit Getty Images

Sports betting is illegal in all but four U.S. states. New Jersey is hoping to be the fifth.

New Jersey’s acting attorney general issued a directive last week telling the state’s casinos and racetracks that they are free to take sports bets without fear of state reprisal. The catch is wagering on college sports games in New Jersey or involving in-state college teams anywhere is banned.

Trouble is, federal law still outlaws sports betting. That’s because of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that passed in 1992.

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Business
3:14 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Examining the Tesla Deal: Who Wins? Who Loses? And How Will it Change Nevada?

Credit Getty Images

It's the biggest economic development deal in Nevada history. The state will grant $1.25 billion in incentives to Tesla Motors to build a $5 billion Gigafactory near Reno.

Critics of the deal have already pointed out that it will take money from the fledgling film production credit program. And other wonder whether state and local governments will ever recoup the tax breaks.

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Politics & Policy
9:00 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Journalist Says Local Police Try To Hide Shooting Statistics

Reno editor Brian Burghart was a very disgruntled man. He decided a couple of years ago, after witnessing a police killing, to find a national database of police shootings. But none existed. He concluded that the local police preferred to keep such information secret.

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Politics & Policy
7:38 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Rep. Dina Titus On Immigration, Veterans And More

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus represents a heavily Democratic district in urban Las Vegas. But her Republican challenger, Dr. Annette Teijeiro, recently received the endorsement of Hispanics in Politics. Rep. Titus has supported comprehensive immigration reform and will soon take a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border to inspect conditions for migrant children fleeing violence in Central America.

So does the endorsement hurt her standing with Hispanic voters? And will immigration reform become a big issue in the upcoming election?

GUEST

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Business
8:04 am
Fri August 29, 2014

A Tale Of Three Cities

Most people think of Las Vegas and Reno as two cities but UNLV historian Eugene Moehring says we should really think of it as three cities. The third city is the Las Vegas Strip.

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Politics & Policy
4:06 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Report: Future of Sen. Harry Reid Unclear

Forty years ago, Harry Reid lost a close race for U.S. Senate to former Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt.

Now more than half-way through his fifth term, there are questions about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's health, his recent gaffe at the Asian Chamber of Commerce event, and a possible challenge from current Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

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Fronteras
3:41 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

San Diego’s Taxi-Turned-Uber Drivers Get A New Lease On Life

The city of San Diego will take up measures this fall aimed at reforming the existing taxi industry. But cab companies are urging them to turn their gaze toward mobile rideshare companies. They insist they aren't losing customers to Uber. But they are, in fact, losing money. Fronteras reporter Megan Burks says the money is following cab drivers, who are making the jump to Uber in droves. 

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