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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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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Technology
3:50 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Drone Company Moves To Nevada

Ashima Devices makes unmanned aerial vehicles -- or drones -- roughly the size of vinyl LPs. The 12-inch circular objects can be launched by hand and used for a variety of public safety and industrial applications. The company started in Southern California but recently announced that it would be moving to Nevada to take advantage of the state's status as a testing site for unmanned aerial vehicles. The move will bring 400 well-paid jobs in manufacturing and high-tech to Northern Nevada. So why is the company making the move? And how will the new location help the business?

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Business
3:48 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Atlantic City's Decline, Reno's Rebirth, And What's Next For Las Vegas

The difference between Atlantic City, Reno and Las Vegas in terms of gaming is dramatic.

Atlantic City, which was once considered a competitor to Vegas, finds itself struggling to survive as casinos shutdown and mass layoffs hit the boardwalk.

Reno is looking to technology and manufacturing to diversify its economy. An economy once based on gaming, until tribal casinos in Northern California and a recession kept most gamblers at home.

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Politics & Policy
3:45 pm
Wed August 27, 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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Civic Life
3:41 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Animal Overload

Nevada’s Animal Foundation has all the dogs and cats it can handle for the moment. The organization reports it’s filled to capacity and is imploring the public to hold off on dropping off pets at the shelter until this weekend.

GUEST

Andy Bischel, development director, Animal Foundation

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Newscast
8:09 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Girl Accidentally Kills Arizona Shooting Instructor

Authorities say a 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi.

Mohave County deputies say 39-year-old Charles Vacca of Lake Havasu City was shot when he was standing next to the girl at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills, 80 miles south of Las Vegas. Investigators say she pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun over her head.​

Newscast
7:53 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Martinez Offered $25,000 To Settle Lawsuit

The Washoe County School Board has voted to offer School Superintendent Pedro Martinez $25,000 to settle a lawsuit he filed in the wake of his sudden firing and subsequent rehiring last month. Martinez now has 10 days to accept or decline the offer after the board approved the proposed settlement unanimously on Tuesday.

District officials say they only placed Martinez on administrative leave and didn't formally fire him in a dispute over his resume. Martinez' lawsuit seeking $1 million alleges the school board violated Nevada's Open Meeting laws throughout the process.

Politics & Policy
7:38 am
Wed August 27, 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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Civic Life
4:21 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Can Justices Make An Intermediate Court More Appealing?

Supreme Court Justice James Hardesty is asking the public to support a measure that would create an appeals court in the state. Nevada is one of ten states without an appeals court, which creates a big backlog at the state Supreme Court.

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Business
4:19 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Apprenticeship Can Be A Path To Fulfilling Work

So much emphasis has been placed on  preparing all high school students for college that may people have lost sight of the role that apprenticeships play in the range of career options. And they are available to workers, both young and not so young. Apprenticeship can provide a second career for people not just out of high school.

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Business
4:15 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Colbalt Data Centers Licensed By Nevada Gaming Regulators

In a modest industrial park some 20 minutes from the Strip sits Cobalt Data Centers. A well-guarded facility in which some of the largest casino companies locate the computing gear that runs their non-gaming reward programs.

Now, with the approval of Nevada gaming regulators, Cobalt Data Centers will be expanding to host gaming computing infrastructure.

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Health & Science
7:36 am
Tue August 26, 2014

How Should Nevada Set a DUI Standard For Marijuana?

When is the influence not the influence? That's the scientific and legal question now facing Nevada officials as they implement medical marijuana laws. Obviously driving under the influence of the drug is illegal but how do the police determine if a user was definitely under the influence? There is no easy test like a breath test or blood test - the standard procedure for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Business
7:30 am
Tue August 26, 2014

LVGEA Shines Spotlight On Jobs

Credit Getty Images

  

Maybe diversification of Southern Nevada’s economy away from its reliance on gaming isn’t so bad after all. The region welcomed more than 3,400 new non-gaming jobs last fiscal year, according to figures recently released by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.

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Politics & Policy
3:15 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

District Attorney Payments Raise Concerns About Justice

The Clark County District Attorney's office made dozens of payments during the last decade for rent and other living expenses of victims who testified at trial. Defense attorneys are concerned that the payments may have influenced testimony to prosecutors and at trial -- tipping the scales of justice against criminal defendants.

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Environment
3:13 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Mount Charleston Gets Flood Control Project

Gov. Brian Sandoval on Monday announced that a flood control project will be built near the washed-out Rainbow subdivision on Mount Charleston. Sandoval said construction is expected to begin in several weeks.

The governor’s announcement comes after a flash flood on July 28 washed out Clark County roads and flooded homes, causing some $2 million in damage. The Rainbow subdivision was left vulnerable to flooding and mudslides after the Carpenter 1 Fire burned almost 28,000 acres in the summer of 2013.

GUEST: 

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Newscast
2:42 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Clark County Schools Face Overcrowding, Teacher Shortages

A new school year started Monday in the Las Vegas area with a projected enrollment of 320,000 students in Clark County School District Schools, which would be a record.  Administrators in the nation's fifth-largest school district say they're again facing funding, space, and teacher shortages. Clark County School Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky told the Las Vegas Sun that more elementary schools will have to go to year-round schedules to ease overcrowding.

Arts & Life
2:08 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

When Is It Safe For Children To Move Into The Digital World?

We all live in the digital world - the Internet, cell phones and social media are ubiquitous. But when is it safe to let children wander unsupervised in that realm? Facebook says children can join when they turn 13, but the popular social media site has also been exploring ways to allow parents to supervise younger children on the site.

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Business
12:20 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Sahara Casino Transformed Into The SLS Las Vegas

Credit Chris Sieroty

The Sahara hotel and casino, which once hosted Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, had seen better days when SBE Group CEO Sam Nazarian purchased the resort in 2007 with plans to restore the property. But, the recession stalled his plans and eventually the property was shut down in 2011.

After $415 million and a year of construction, the reincarnated Sahara opened at the stroke of midnight Friday as the 1,600-room SLS Las Vegas.

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Literature
8:48 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Lee Mallory Wants To Be Las Vegas King Of Poetry

    

Many of us happily said goodbye poetry in high school.Why spend so much energy struggling with an image? Why worry about meter and rhyme when the same thing could be said much more expeditiously in prose?

That’s not how Lee Mallory thinks of poetry. He is himself a poet but not one who keeps himself secluded by his notebook or laptop.

He’s reaching out into the community to perform poetry and bring it to people who may never have thought about it before.

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Health & Science
7:54 am
Mon August 25, 2014

UMC Cuts Services To Save Money

University Medical Center has cut nearly 300 staff and reduced services in areas where it says it cannot compete with private hospitals in Clark County. The local public hospital has faced financial problems for some time and last year lost $71 million. County officials who have handed off management of the hospital to an expert board have told UMC to reduce its deficit this year to $41 million.

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Politics & Policy
7:39 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Two Years Later: Deferred Action In Nevada

  

Two years ago, President Barack Obama signed an order to protect certain immigrants who arrived in the country as young children. Many young undocumented immigrants in Southern Nevada have benefited from the program. But residents of our region have not been approved as quickly as those in other areas.

So how can the program work better in Las Vegas? And is it a good idea to allow the president to make immigration policy through executive order?

GUESTS

Audrey Singer, senior fellow, Brookings Institution

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Politics & Policy
3:42 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

What's Next For Nevada's Death Penalty?

Credit Getty Images

A messy execution in Arizona that made national headlines could buoy efforts by death penalty opponents to stave off capital punishment for some 80 Nevada inmates awaiting execution. But supporters of executions believe the problems can be corrected and that the death sentences in Nevada should be carried out.

Nevada has not had an execution since 2006. Before any executions take place, a new death chamber needs to be built.

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Arts & Life
3:37 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Celine Dion Bows Out

Credit Getty Images

Celine Dion seems to have sung her last note in Las Vegas for a while. The singer canceled the rest of her scheduled performances for the year to deal with her husband's battle with cancer. She also has her own health issues, which have affected her singing.

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Music & Entertainment
3:14 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Las Vegas Meets The Beatles

The Beatles head to their rooms at the Sahara.
Credit Las Vegas Sun

It was 50 years ago this month that Las Vegas hosted two concerts featuring an up-and-coming quartet from across the pond. The concerts were notable for, among other things, the lack of any audible music. Instead of hearing the Beatles play hits like ‘Twist and Shout’ concert goers could only hear the screams of giddy teenagers.

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Sports
8:36 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Big Knockout Boxing Launches In Vegas

This Saturday night a subsidiary of Direct TV will try to revamp boxing. The sweet science has been faltering in recent years because of a lack of competition in the heavyweight division and has not been able to sustain interest of fans who are defecting to mixed martial arts such as Ultimate Fighting Championship.

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Health & Science
4:08 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Does Nevada Need A Right To Try Law?

    

It's devastating news that anyone dreads  -- hearing that you or a loved one has a terminal illness. Understandably anyone in this situation is desperate to hold on to any hope of recovery. In some cases that may include trying medical treatments that have not fully been clinically proven.

Colorado recently passed a ‘Right to Try’ law, which gives patients access to drugs that may be helpful to their condition, but have not yet been approved by the FDA. A similar measure has been put forward here in Nevada.

GUESTS

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Business
4:03 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Hail A Taxi With A Tap Of The Screen

A local company launched a new app that will let users hail and pay for a taxi with a smartphone app. The technology is similar to that used by Uber and Lyft, but uses regulated taxis and limos instead of private drivers. Will the new technology mollify travelers who would like to use Uber or Lyft in Las Vegas? Or will it open the door for those companies to come to Southern Nevada?

GUEST

Mark James, president and CEO, Integrity Vehicle Solutions Company

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Politics & Policy
7:38 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Henderson's Pot Shop Dilemma

Local governments throughout the valley have been taking applications for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Las Vegas and Clark County have managed to find applicants in most areas under their control. Henderson, on the other hand, finds itself with a cluster of applicants on the northwestern edge of the city – along Sunset Road.

So why is that happening when the council members have indicated they would like a better geographical distribution?
 

GUEST

Bristol Ellington, assistant city manager, Henderson

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