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

KNPR'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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Education
8:18 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Las Vegas Schools Challenged By Cyber Bullying, Threats

Cyber bullying a challenge for Las Vegas schools.

 The electronic devices that give students instant access to the world for educational purposes are also their conduit to social media, which can also open them up to cyber bullying. It is a problem for school administrators.

Probably every school district in Nevada has dealt with discipline issues, including bullying, that started on social media.

The Clark County School District suspended or expelled more than 1,700 students for bullying or intimidation during the last school year. That is almost a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

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Arts & Life
7:43 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Cirque Du Soleil Setbacks And Success On the Las Vegas Strip

Cirque du Soleil executive Jerry Nadal talks about the company's successes and setbacks.

After more than two decades at the center of Las Vegas entertainment, Cirque du Soleil has become synonymous with Las Vegas entertainment.

From the north end to the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, visitors can see a Cirque show. Later this month, the company's first resident show, "Mystere", will see its 10,000th production.

Jerry Nadal, senior vice president of Cirque du Soleil’s Resident Shows Division, told KNPR’s State of Nevada the company is constantly re-evaluating acts and scenes that are part of each show.

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Education
8:39 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Nevada Higher Ed Chancellor Refutes Plagiarism Claims

The Nevada System of Higher Education was basically accused of plagiarizing a report from Brookings-Mountain West.

Nevada’s higher education agency may have copied part of a Brookings-Mountain West report to create a grant for more Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

According to an article written  in Sunday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal, The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) copied portions of a Brookings report and used it to create a similar bill draft request to the senate interim legislative committee in June.

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News
8:19 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Downtown Soccer Stadium Likely To Get Votes For Funding

Las Vegas City Council sets vote for downtown soccer stadium.

Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Coffin is voting yes on the newest terms for a downtown soccer stadium during a meeting set for Wednesday. 

That means if private developers can get Major League Soccer to grant them a franchise, the city is going to dedicate some $60 million in taxpayer dollars toward building a $200 million stadium downtown.

Talking to "KNPR's State Of Nevada" show Tuesday morning, Coffin said he will vote for the stadium funding because he likes the fact that funding for city parks has been included in the funding proposal. 

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Environment
7:29 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Plans To Ship Water In Northern Nevada Has Ranchers, Residents Worried

Plans to pipe water out of Humboldt County has ranchers worried.
Credit Chuck Schlarb

A battle over water is brewing on the parched earth of the Black Rock Desert. An effort to transport water from Humboldt County more than 100 miles south has residents and ranchers alarmed. 

Chuck Giordano grows alfalfa on the outskirts of the Black Rock Desert in a place appropriately known as Desert Valley. But don’t let the name fool you. When it comes to water, he’s lucky.

“We have a fairly good reserve of water underneath us because our water table, even with the drought, has hardly dropped any.”

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Politics & Policy
8:51 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Las Vegas Metro Chamber OK With Some Tax Increases; Unveils Tax Study

Will tax reform really happen in Nevada?

Will they be able to do it? That’s the question.

Are a bi-partisan group of lawmakers, Governor Brian Sandoval and some business leaders, ready to push for reforms to the state’s tax structure without upsetting people in the business community and the political far right?

Only time will tell. But as lawmakers prepare to convene in Carson City in February, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, an organization historically opposed to tax increases, is betting all sides will be able to reach an agreement.

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Shakespeare
8:15 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Reno Shakespearean Expert Reveals Truth About 400-Year-Old French Folio

UNR professor confirms rare Shakespeare folio.

  Eric Rasmussen has gained international fame as the top Shakespearean expert/sleuth, flying around the world from his University of Nevada-Reno office to verify, or discount, writings from the Bard.

Last month, the English professor took a detour into France for what he thought would be yet another sad journey to find that an old Shakespearean folio was, indeed, nothing but a copy.

But, boy, was he surprised.

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Politics & Policy
7:57 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Reid Talks Land Preservation, Loosening Bank Restrictions, Stepping Down As Majority Leader

Sen. Harry Reid addresses a variety of issues.

    

In his final days as Senate Majority leader, Senator Harry Reid is holding together Democrats in the US Senate to pass legislation. But his successes are manifesting tensions and division within his own party.

Last week US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, took to the floor of the Senate to rail against Citibank. Warren says legislation that is buried in a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill, would weaken restrictions on federal insurance for so-called “swaps”, where risky loan are traded.

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Environment
8:03 am
Fri December 12, 2014

The Small Bird At The Center Of A Potentially Big Political Fight

Battle lines drawn over the sage grouse.

A bird about the size of a chicken is causing a bit of a political storm in Nevada and in Washington, D.C.

The sage grouse has people drawing battle lines.

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Education
7:20 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Las Vegas High Schoolers Gear Up For Brain Bee

Las Vegas students prepare for rigorous Brain Bee competition

Meadows School senior Aliya Farmanali has been interested in the science of the brain since as early as middle school, and has ambitious goals of majoring in science and humanities in college.

Farmanali is also one of the contenders in the 2015 Nevada Brain Bee – a neuroscience competition for high school students. In its second installment, the Nevada Brain Bee will once again send its grand champion to the National Brain Bee at Maryland University in March.

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Health & Science
7:18 am
Fri December 12, 2014

More Money Helping Mental Health Care, Lack Of Workers A Big Barrier

Changes coming to Nevada mental health system.

Nevada’s handling of mentally ill patients over the years has left a lot to be desired.

The tipping point was an embarrassing lawsuit filed in September 2013 by the City and County of San Francisco that claimed hundreds of mental health patients from Nevada were being sent by bus to California when Nevada couldn’t handle the intake.

Governor Brian Sandoval made transforming the system a priority, and in 2014 formed a 20-person Behavioral Health and Wellness Council to address some of the issues.

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Politics & Policy
3:35 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Assemby Leader: No-Tax Pledge Bad For GOP

Assemblyman Paul Anderson, R-LV talks about the financial issues facing Nevada.
Credit State Legislature website

As chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee Las Vegas Republican Assemblyman Paul Anderson plays a key role in overseeing Nevada’s state budget.

But before Anderson’s committee holds any budget hearings, they are going to have to close a massive gap between what the state has to spend and what various agencies are requesting for the next two years.

The Economic Forum has predicted the state has $6.3 billion to spend over the next two years, while state agencies have requested $7.7 billion.

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Health & Science
12:10 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Respiratory Therapy Students Battle In Las Vegas' Sputum Bowl

PIMA Institute in Las Vegas hopes to defend its Sputum Bowl championship.
Credit AARC

Respiratory therapy students from all over the country descended upon Las Vegas this week for the annual Sputum Bowl.

You read that right – the Sputum Bowl. It’s the annual World Series between respiratory care students and practitioners in a battle of wits for the grand champion’s title.

Last year, Las Vegas’ Pima Medical Institute’s team were national champs – even beating heavy weights such as the Mayo Clinic. They hope to reclaim their title this year, dusting up on their respiratory knowledge.

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Education
7:46 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Nevada Receives $6.4M Grant For Preschool Development

Nevada getting millions to improve preschool.
Credit John W. Poole/NPR

 Nevada was one of 18 states awarded federal grant money by the U.S. Department of Education Wednesday to help the state’s struggling pre-Kindergarten and preschool programs.

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Civic Life
7:35 am
Thu December 11, 2014

The Voice Of The Old West

Radio Goldfield brings music, talk and information to rural Nevada.
Credit KGFN 89.1 website

  Do you know of a town with a population of a couple hundred souls that runs its own radio station? Now you do, and it’s Goldfield, Nevada.

If you drive up the US 95 toward Tonopah, it might surprise you to find yourself in Goldfield. This semi-abandoned ghost town is not that ghostly, with its lively radio voices flowing out on FM waves. While passing through there, tune in to KGFN 89.1 and you will hear The Voice of the Old West, as the station’s billboard suggests.

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Taxes
8:39 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Ralston: Fiore Faces Questions, Possible Criminal Charges About Unpaid Taxes

Political analyst Jon Ralston says Assemblywoman Michele Fiore is in tax trouble.
Credit Nevada State Legislature website

Last month, Michele Fiore became the first female Republican to hold the second-most powerful position in the Assembly.

But the Las Vegas resident and majority leader has some serious tax issues, uncovered by longtime Nevada political analyst Jon Ralston.

Ralston found Fiore has had about $1 million in federal tax liens levied against her over about the last decade. The taxes were money withheld from employees that were supposed to be paid to the government.

Ralston told “KNPR’s State of Nevada” she has paid only about one-tenth of the amount back.

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Politics & Policy
8:07 am
Wed December 10, 2014

The Value Of Life: Kenneth Feinberg Talks Victim Compensation

Kenneth Feinberg, the man who controlled so much money for victim funds, talked at UNLV
Credit Aaron Mayes/UNLV

Attorney Kenneth Feinberg is no stranger to emotionally charged negotiations. Some 30 years ago, he served on presidential commissions handling sensitive Agent Orange litigation.

But what he's most well-know for his taking on the harrowing task of determining compensation for the survivors and families of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001.

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Civic Life
8:00 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Documentary Shoots Final Scenes As Las Vegas' F Street Gets Reopened

F Street reopens after it was closed, blocking off access to downtown for residents in that area.

  On Thursday, residents in Las Vegas’ Westside neighborhood will finally get back what they once lost six years ago: the ability to drive down F Street without running into a wall.

In 2008, when construction equipment and machinery began to appear around the neighborhood, not much was thought about it, until a solid concrete wall appeared under the Interstate 15 underpass, preventing access to downtown from F Street.

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Art & Design
8:15 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Nevada Conservatory Theatre Looks at Shakespeare Through Hipster Horn-Rims

New twist on "As You Like It"

The Nevada Conservatory Theatre at UNLV’s new production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” is putting a twist on the classic comedy.

Director Chris Edwards has added a modern sensibility to the play’s setting, but the language of the Bard is intact.

He told KNPR’s State of Nevada the reinterpreted play is “David Bowie meets Prince meets Cyndi Lauper meets New York hipsters.”

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Sports
7:25 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Should UNLV Drop Football, Or Is Bishop Gorman's Tony Sanchez Its Savior?

Sources say Bishop Gorman coach Tony Sanchez will the leading UNLV football soon.

 Tony Sanchez is expected to be named the next head coach of the UNLV football team, according to Ron Kantowski, a sports columnist with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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Civic Life
7:23 am
Tue December 9, 2014

A Day In The Life Of A Mormon Missionary In Las Vegas

A day in the life of Mormon missionaries.

 Summers might be especially hard for the young men and women from all over the world who come together here in Las Vegas, despite the heat, to spread the beliefs of their church.

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Politics & Policy
7:20 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Las Vegas Wage Earners Fighting For Their Share

People earning a wage are fighting to get paid the benefits employers promised and many are winning.

  Low-wage workers earn even less when their employers withhold fringe benefits and overtime pay.

And workers around the country are organizing because, said David Weil, a Department of Labor administrator, they see the economy improving but “they aren’t feeling it in their own pocketbooks.”

Weil, with Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, told “KNPR’s State of Nevada” that the awareness is growing and it’s a good thing for the country.

Economists, he said, greatly fear the growing distance between the haves and have-nots.

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Civic Life
7:46 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Not Born In Las Vegas? You're Not Alone But Do You Call Las Vegas Home?

Nevada has the lowest number of people born here who stay here.

Almost everyone in Nevada is from someplace else. The New York Times released “Mapping Migration in the United States” – an interactive map that shows population relocation patterns in the country.

Click Here to see map

Nevada has the lowest percentage of people who were born here and decide to remain here - fewer than one in four Nevadans took their first breath here, according to the New York Times. 

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Arts & Life
7:19 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Forty-Three Days 43 Names On Display In Barrick Museum Lobby

New art installation at Barrick Museum highlights the kidnapping and murder of 43 students in Mexico.
Credit Barrick Museum

Artist Javier Sanchez wants you to remember the names of 43 students who went missing on Sept. 26 in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico.

The students who had been attending Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ School of Ayotzinapa, had gone to Iguala to protest discriminatory hiring practices by the Mexican government.

After an altercation with police, the students were taken into custody. The official investigation done after their bodies were discovered revealed that the students were handed over to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel and apparently killed.

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Education
7:18 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Defense Bill Could Expand UNLV But Money To Build Could Be A Hurdle

Legislation could give UNLV a whole new campus area but does it have the money to build?

A defense bill that must pass Congress before it adjourns for the holiday break could give UNLV a whole new campus area on the city’s northwest side.

U.S. senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller added legislation to the bill which would set aside almost 1,900 acres near Nellis Air Force Base as a second UNLV campus, according to a story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Rep. Steven Horsford, D – NV has pitched the idea of having the land be used for the university’s medical school.

Horsford believes the idea would be a chance to fill a need in southern Nevada.

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News
7:17 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Is Eric Garner Video Sparking A Civil Rights Awakening In America?

A Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict a police officer for the chokehold death of Eric Garner and it has sparked outrage.
Credit New York Daily News

Something is happening in America and in Las Vegas.

People are angry and, versus years past, they are voicing that anger to a wider audience of people via social media.

There are two trending topics on Twitter: #crimingwhilewhite, which white people are using to tell stories of their preferential treatment by police officers or #alivewhileblack, which minorities are using to tell stories of mistreatment by police.

They both show that people are up in arms about how police in this country treat Americans.

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Arts & Life
7:41 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Fascination With JFK Lives On At New Exhibit

Last month marked 51 years since Walter Cronkite shocked America with a bulletin about the death of President John F. Kennedy.

Despite the time that has passed, the country’s fascination with JFK lives on. A new exhibit at the Tropicana Hotel-Casino proves just how popular the president and Camelot remain.

Jim Warlick is the owner and curator of the exhibit. He told KNPR’s State of Nevada that he was inspired to go into public service after visiting Washington, D.C. when he was a kid just a few years after the president was shot and killed.

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Arts & Life
7:30 am
Thu December 4, 2014

ArtBar at UNLV Art Museum Brings Community Together To Create

Barrick Museum

The UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum had housed tortoises in its front lobby but when it transitioned from a natural history museum to a fine arts museum in 2012 they created an ArtBar, a place for kids to create art.

Then last summer the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection exhibit featured found-art collage artist Stephen Antonakos. Antonakos is known for taking everyday objects and turning them into collages.

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Politics & Policy
7:17 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Reid Aide Causing Friction But The Senator Is Unapologetic

A top aide to Reid may be causing friction but the senator seems unapologetic.
Credit Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Barack Obama and Senator Harry Reid seem to have worked in harmony, leading the Democratic Party since Obama was elected in 2008.

However, a recent story by New York Times reporter Jason Horowitz highlights how the two leaders aren’t always in sync.

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Politics & Policy
8:37 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Nevada Republicans Pick New Legislative Leaders

Republicans in the Nevada Assembly picked a new speaker-elect.

Republicans now have complete control of the state’s political machinery, from the Assembly, to the Senate, to the governor’s office.

But within weeks of taking power, the armor began to crack. The newly chosen Assembly speaker resigned after embarrassing racist writings of his were uncovered.

Then it was learned the governor had pressured him to do so.

The governor’s fear? That the Assembly would be so conservative it would torpedo his measures to change public education and deal with the state’s inadequate tax structure.

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