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.

Genre: 
Composer ID: 
530f6e98e1c8444fadf9e346|530f6e91e1c8444fadf9e323

Pages

Arts & Life
8:42 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Life Is Beautiful And Art Is Subjective

A snapshot of a street art mural at the 2013 Life is Beautiful festival.
Credit Instragram user Kat Odell

Art is one of the most provocative and intriguing parts of the upcoming Life is Beautiful festival Oct. 24-26. It’s also been a defining factor of the downtown festival, which spruced up the side of more than a dozen buildings in 2013.

The murals were a hit with downtown business owners and residents alike.

One mural, however, caused a bit of controversy. It was a mural depicting a cowboy in an oversized yellow hat and three reels of a slot machine in his chest, reaching out with hands to more hands poking up from the desert floor. 

Read more
Business
7:58 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Future Of Gaming Industry With Caesars, Slot Makers And Sports Wagers

The SLS hotel and casino opened on the north end of the Las Vegas strip in August.
Credit SLS Hotel and Casino

What’s the future of Caesars Entertainment? Will it be bankruptcy or salvation for the gaming company with the help of its creditors?

Caesars Entertainment has remained mostly quiet about its future and how it will deal with $24 billion in debt. The gaming company is trying to rally lenders to work out a restructuring plan. Some analysts believe a partially pre-negotiated bankruptcy is the most likely outcome.

But it’s not all about Caesars Entertainment.

Read more
Health & Science
7:42 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Maintaining A Public Hospital For Las Vegas

University Medical Center has faced budget setbacks and staff layoffs. As they county's safety net hospital, the future of indigent and uninsured care may be at risk.
Credit Getty Images

  

Recent budget cuts at University Medical Center alongside layoffs has caused concern over the future of Clark County’s public hospital.

Medicaid enrollment is expanding under the Affordable Care Act. But, reimbursement from those services comes at a rate 30 percent lower than social services – resulting in a $15 million loss for the hospital. On top of that, the Clark County Commission isn’t going to bail out the hospital’s budget with emergency loans anymore.

Read more
Civic Life
8:51 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Las Vegas Wedding Chapel Says No To Gay Marriages

Amidst the fervor of emotions and activity regarding now-legal, same-sex marriages in Nevada, some are still holding on to their convictions.

One such person happens to own a wedding chapel in Las Vegas, renting tuxes and gowns and officiating Elvis-themed ceremonies for the last 30 years. During that time, same sex ceremonies were never performed, and owner Dolly Deleon says if she has her way, they never will.

Read more
Education
8:06 am
Wed October 22, 2014

CCSD Schools Bursting At The Seams

Overcrowded classrooms in CCSD is apparent, and the student population continues to grow year after year.
Credit Huffington Post

Over-crowded classrooms in Nevada is no longer an elephant in the room -- it's a bear of an issue staring just about everyone right in the face.

The Clark County School District (CCSD) enrolled 10,000 more students this year than just two years ago.

To deal with the all those extra students – that total is now about 318,000 pupils – the district uses 1,800 portable classrooms, some of them more than 30 years old. It also has year-round schools.

Read more
Arts & Life
7:35 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Life Is Beautiful Festival Set To Descend On Downtown

An image from a brick art installation at the 2013 Life Is Beautiful festival. Festival organizers published photos from Instagram with the hashtag #LifeIsBeautiful.
Credit Instagram user Tucker Gumber

This weekend, Oct. 24-26, the second incarnation of the Life Is Beautiful Festival takes place in downtown Las Vegas.

There will be music acts, new public art, real grass lawns covering asphalt and finger food from fine restaurants. Billed as a "lifestyle event," the eclectic mix of performers, artists and musicians is a part of the festival's mission, which is to bring those who can inspire to those who need inspiring.

Read more
Tonopah Art
7:48 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Artist Portrays Tonopah Solar Farm In The Big Apple

Artist John Gerrard brought a little taste of Tonopah, Nev. to The Big Apple with his art installation, Solar Reserve.

New York City, meet Tonopah, Nevada.

At least, meet its massive solar array. Irish artist John Gerrard recently unveiled an art installation featuring the Crescent Solar Energy Project in Tonopah -- a solar power plant of 10,000 mirrors on more than 1,000 acres -- in upper Manhattan.

Gerrard’s art installation, Solar Reserve, is a 28-by-24-foot wall of light emitting diodes outside the Lincoln Center.

The wall depicts the 110-megawatt solar power plant 190 miles northeast of Las Vegas in a way that stops even hardened New Yorkers in their tracks.

Read more
Business
7:39 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Rural Nevada Residents See Bank, Brothel Closures

Beatty, Nev., has just over 1,000 residents and is losing its Washington Federal branch, and the Angel Lady's brothel has closed.
Credit Nevada Landmarks

Life in rural Nevada has its challenges.

Jobs can be scarce. A full-service supermarket is usually 70 miles from home. And a doctor’s appointment may be a two-hour trip.

For years the local bank branch has been a staple of rural life -- meeting the financial needs of farmers, ranchers and business owners. Now that’s even disappearing from rural Nevada, replaced by so-called smart ATMs.

Washington Federal is the latest bank to pull out. The bank is closing branches in Beatty, Pioche and Hawthorne. All three were purchased from Bank of America earlier this year.

Read more
Medical Marijuana
7:27 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Recreational Marijuana Debate Heads To Carson City

As the debate on marijuana dispensaries in Clark County continues, two Las Vegas City Councilmen have expressed cautionary words from both the law and business sides of the table.
Credit Getty Images

    

A Las Vegas councilman said on KNPR's State of Nevada Tuesday that the Nevada Legislature will be forced to consider a resolution to legalize marijuana in the state.

State Sen. Richard "Tick" Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, confirmed that that 105,000 signatures have been collected on a petition to legalize marijuana. Those signatures had to be collected by mid-November in order to be admitted to the Legislature when it begins its 2015 session in January.

Read more
Politics & Policy
4:19 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Nevada Voters Have All The Margins Tax Power

Special interest groups have spent about $2 million trying to defeat Ballot Question 3 Nevada voters will face at the polls. The Margins Tax is a bill that would increase the margins tax on businesses in order to fund public education.

Early voting began Saturday, and the fate of the Nevada Margin Tax For Public Schools Initiative, or Margins Tax, will soon be decided at the close of Election Day.

Several groups have come together against the Margins Tax, spending about $2 million to defeat the measure on Ballot Question 3.

Read more
News
3:58 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Las Vegas Receives Funding To Catch Up On Untested DNA

More than 4,000 rape kits sit untested in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department lab. New laws that require more DNA evidence to be collected for various crimes has led to the backlog.
Credit Getty Images

DNA can be a critical tool for solving crimes. New laws that require police departments to collect DNA from convicts and arrestees on crimes ranging from burglary to homicide have led to a backlog of untested DNA in Nevada.

Read more
Politics & Policy
7:45 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Republicans Reign In Washoe County

New figures released show Washoe County might be leaning red this election season.
Credit Business News Daily

In Nevada, the political parties are divided between a geographic line in the sand: Democrats live in Clark County, Republicans live in the rural counties.

And they come together in Washoe County -- the only swing county in a swing Western state. But Washoe County may be changing. Recent figures released by the county's registrar show that Republicans have taken a commanding lead when it comes to voter registration, and now hold an advantage of 6,000 voters.

Read more
Drugs
3:39 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

State Senator Proposes Heroin Clinics To Solve Nevada's Drug Problem

Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom wants to implement the use of heroin clinics, places where addicts could get prescribed doses of heroin, to help fight addiction and other issues associated with addiction.
Credit Getty Images

A state senator wants to legalize heroin clinics in Nevada as a way to combat crime and fight drug addiction.

Sen. Richard "Tick"  Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, said he will introduce a bill in the 2015 legislative session to open clinics that would provide supervised drug injections to addicts. 

Along with free doses of drugs, the clinics would provide counseling and therapy. 

“The goal is to get people off the street, out of the criminal element, address their addiction and then hopefully figure out a way to get them off of the drug,” Segerblom said.

Read more
Politics & Policy
1:35 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

It's An Ongoing Love Affair With Area 51

Desert landscaping in Nevada
Credit UNLV

To the casual observer, a remote area of Edwards Air Force Base in the Nevada desert wouldn't look like much -- a dry lakebed, the odd Joshua tree and prefab housing. But these surroundings are home to one of the most controversial government domains of the postmodern era: Area 51.

For generations, this lonely outpost at dry Groom Lake in Lincoln County has been the subject of all manner of speculation. Is it a port for visiting spacecraft? A venue for alien autopsies? Maybe, it’s a top secret military base?

Read more
Arts & Life
3:26 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Vegas Glory Days Relived With Classic Music Remakes

Reckless in Vegas mixes modern music with classic crooners and is playing this weekend at the Downtown Grand.

Michael Shapiro once parked cars at the Lady Luck to earn enough money to buy his first real guitar. The Lady Luck is now the Downtown Grand, and Shapiro is back. But this time, he's not parking cars.

Read more
Business
2:51 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Was Buffett's NV Energy Purchase Really A 'Big Bet'?

Credit Getty Images

A year ago, billionaire Warren Buffett bought NV Energy, the power company that serves 2.4 million customers in Nevada.

A week ago, the New York Times characterized Buffett’s move as a “big bet on renewables.”

But was Buffett's $5.6 billion purchase of NV Energy -- more like $10 billion when the debt he took on is added in -- really much of a gamble in a country increasingly turning to solar, wind and other power sources?

In addition, California is mandated to generate 33 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020. Nevada is shooting for 25 percent by 2025.

Read more
Health & Science
7:23 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Audit Shows Conspicuous Spending On Dental Work For Jobless Nevadans

A state program that helps with job placement and training was also available for assistance with dental work for those who needed it. An audit revealed some agencies in Nevada were being very generous in its acceptance for participants in the program.
Credit Getty Images

Oral hygiene is important for many reasons -- overall health and well being paramount among them. It may also effect someone's ability to secure employment. 

According to one state agency that helps with job placement, having bad teeth can affect whether someone is hired or not, which is why there was a program aimed at helping these people.

A legislative audit of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation released this week however, discovered the Ely office of the agency spent more than any other office in the state.

Read more
Politics & Policy
3:21 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Public Opinion Still Split About Use Of Drones

UNLV researchers recently released two reports on public attitudes toward drones .
Credit UNLV

  

Republicans and Democrats have something new to disagree about – drones.

One UNLV Center for Crime and Justice Policy survey finds that Republicans are more supportive of drones being used to patrol our nation’s borders, while more Democrats approve of their use in mapping climate change and news coverage.

Another survey from the same institution finds that 93 percent of the U.S. public is opposed to drones being used to monitoring people’s activities around their homes.The same majority, however, supports drone usage for search and rescue operations.

Read more
Arts & Life
2:59 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

From Stage To Page With Actor And Writer B.J. Novak

B.J. Novak, a stand-up comedian, author, screenwriter and director will be in Las Vegas Thursday to open the Vegas Valley Book Festival.
Credit Getty Images

You might know him as The Temp, but B.J. Novak's creative output is much larger than his role as Ryan on "The Office."

In addition to producing and writing for the Emmy Award winning "mockumentary," Novak is also known for his roles in motion pictures such as "Inglourious Basterds" and "Saving Mr. Banks."

The Los Angeles resident and Harvard graduate has now authored a new book, titled "One More Thing," that hit stores earlier this year to rave reviews.

Read more
Literature
7:38 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Author Sojourner Takes On Big Solar in '29'

Mary Sojourner unfolds the story of small-town desert southwest dwellers who decide to take on the interests of the land and fight a big corporate solar move to the area.

Long-time Arizona resident and author Mary Sojourner is familiar with the barren desert lands so many of us call home. In her latest novel, "29," competing interests come to a head as rural America opposes big solar development near the town of Twentynine Palms.

Drawing her stories from those in her own 74 years of existence, Sojourner is a student and teacher of literature. In the case of "29," a multinational company plans a utility-scale solar on the site of the sacred Salt Song Trail.

Read more
coroner
7:30 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Inner Workings Of Clark County Coroner's Office Revealed In Reality TV

Mike Murphy, Clark County Coroner, will star in the one-hour reality TV pilot episode of "Postmortem in Vegas" to air on Lifetime Movie Network Wednesday.

He’s one of the first people to see you after you die. As the key chains he hands out say, Mike Murphy is a “last responder” – as Murphy is the Clark County Coroner.

A one-hour pilot reality TV show featuring him and his staff at the Clark County Coroner’s Office airs Wednesday on the Lifetime Movie Network. Though somewhat macabre themed, the show has all the elements of a would-be hit: death and Las Vegas.

Read more
Politics & Policy
2:49 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Lauren Scott Talks Policies And Growing Up LGBT

Lauren Scott is running for Nevada State Assembly District 30 against Democratic incumbent Michael Sprinkle. If elected, she would become the first openly transgender legislator in the U.S.
Credit Scott for Nevada

When Lauren Scott announced she would be running for Nevada State Assembly District 30, the media pricked up its ears. If elected, Scott -- a business consultant, Air Force veteran and equal rights lobbyist -- will make U.S. history.

Billing herself as a “moderate Republican,” who supports pro-jobs legislation and fiscal conservancy as well as pro-choice measures and LGBT equality, Scott could become the first openly transgender legislator on Nov. 4.  

Read more
Civic Life
7:39 am
Tue October 14, 2014

A Balancing Act: Single Parenting And Dating

Seeking companionship in dating and love is a natural part of life -- as well as time consuming. Many singles also have children to care for, a full-time job in itself. A new study from UNLV says despite the full schedule, single parents date the same as their childless peers.

An African proverb says it takes a village to raise a child. In today's reality, however, many children are raised by a single parent, oftentimes by a mother. 

Juggling work or school and other responsibilities on top of the full-time job of raising a child means a more-than-full schedule for many. But what about having a social life -- are these parents sacrificing their emotional needs with dating and even sexual relationships in light of their parental duties?

Read more
Civic Life
2:02 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Clark County To Receive Lion's Share Of Population Growth

Clark County, which is home to the Strip, expects population growth of 328,379 over the next 20 years, according to Nevada's state demographer.
Credit City of Las Vegas

Recent economic development in the state may bring nearly 35,000 more residents to Nevada over the next two decades than originally projected.

State demographer Jeff Hardcastle said projects such as Tesla Motor Inc.'s $5 billion gigafactory to land in Reno will have a resounding impact.

Hardcastle recently released his updated figures predicting that by 2032, Nevada will have 3.3 million residents. In September, Hardcastle released a draft of his projections, but several developments sent him back to recalculate those figures.

Read more
Environment
7:48 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Arizona Death By Bees Raises Concern For Nevada

Africanized honey bees, or killer bees, killed a man in Arizona last week. Their threat in the southwest is formidable, as they are known to attack in large numbers and follow targets for long distances.
Credit Desert USA

Last week, a swarm of 800,000 bees killed a 32-year-old landscaper in Arizona.

Just three weeks ago, Africanized bees killed at least two dogs in Las Vegas, said Jeff Knight, Nevada state entomologist. In June of this year, the Las Vegas Sun reported that bees swarmed and killed a Las Vegas police dog. According to Knight, if you see a bee in Las Vegas, it is likely to be of the Africanized variety.

Africanized honey bees, nicknamed "killer bees" because of their more aggressive nature, crossed into the United States in the 1970s.

Read more
Technology
3:31 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Aerial Mob Film Company Approved For Drone Use

Aerial Mob is one of six companies to receive FAA approval to use drones for filming of commercials, TV shows and feature films.
Credit Aerial Mob

Aerial Mob is one of six aerial cinematography companies  approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to use drones for filming in commercials, TV shows and feature films.

Treggon Owens, who handles technology and business development for Aerial Mob, expects the company to begin shooting films and TV shows in November. Owens told KNPR that the company is in talks with six major studios in Southern California for projects.

Read more
Politics & Policy
3:26 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Pros And Cons Of The Margins Tax - Is It Right For Nevada?

Nevada voters have important decisions to make on Nov. 4. One of the ballot questions is whether or not to approve a margins tax to help fund education, but may weaken job growth.

This November, voters will be asked to approve a tax to help fund education.

Upon approval, the Nevada Margin Tax for Public Schools Initiative would institute a two percent margin tax on businesses operating in Nevada. Opponents of the measure, however, say it is a jobs killer that won't necessarily lead to higher spending on education.

Revenue from the tax would be allocated to public schools from kindergarten through high school, and kept in the State Distributive School Account.

If approved by voters, the margin tax would start to accrue on Jan. 1, 2015.

Read more
Metro Cop
3:08 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Metro Dancing Cop Video Goes Viral

A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer was caught on camera -- doing something adorable.

The marriage of cell phone cameras and the Internet has given us front row seats to the best and worst in humanity. This story is about some of the best.

Las Vegas Metropolitan police officer Tim Fletcher was caught on camera doing something – sure, it’s a kind of dance -- with a little boy being treated for cancer. The week-old video already has tens of thousands of hits on YouTube.

Read more
Education
7:36 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Educating Principals For Clark County Schools

School districts in North Carolina have re-prioritized leadership within schools to help the urban schools with the most problems. Would a similar strategy benefit Clark County School District?
Credit Getty Images

Almost 10 years ago, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District made a bold move.

It began to strategically place its best principals within the district’s lowest performing schools.

In a few years, 27 schools turned around with teachers and administrators working together. The school district’s strategy? Make school leadership a priority.

Today, the largest school district in North Carolina has five programs to train their principals, including an aspiring high school principal program.

Read more
Food & Dining
4:09 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Oodles Of Noodles

Credit Getty Images

Whether basking in a bowl of broth or serving as a starchy canvas for a delicious sauce, the trusty noodle is a staple of Asian cuisine.

But what’s the difference between a rice noodle and an egg noodle? And where’s the best place in Vegas to get your noodle on? We're talking about the king of comfort foods.

GUESTS

Al Mancini, food critic

Crystina Nguyen, manager, District One

Read more

Pages