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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Captive Dolphins
3:47 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

"Flipper" Trainer Wants Captive Dolphins Freed

It’s safe to say Americans have something of a love affair with dolphins.

Ric O’Barry has a lot to do with that.

O’Barry is the man who trained the dolphins that starred in the 1960s TV show, “Flipper.’’.

O’Barry may have fueled the love affair but he’s spent the last 40 years trying to undo it. He’s in Las Vegas to speak tonight about dolphins in captivity.

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Politics & Policy
3:41 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Cowboy Express Reaches Nevada

Credit Getty Images

The Grass March, or as some call it the Cowboy Express, has made its way from West Coast and is crossing Nevada. Horseback riders are on their way to Washington, D.C. to deliver collective petitions.

It all started in late summer, when Commissioner from Elko Grant Gerber drafted first resolution that supposed to bring attention to Nevada’s public land mismanagement. Later other ranchers from neighboring counties wrote their own resolutions on federal government’s overreach of lands and joined the riders

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Food & Dining
3:03 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Vegetarian In Vegas

Credit Getty Images

Today, October 1st, is World Vegetarian Day. Did you have a tofu scramble for breakfast to celebrate? Or were you blissfully unaware of the occasion as you made your way down the buffet line, heaping bacon strips and sausage links on your plate?

Vegetarians say that not only are there health benefits to a meat -free diet, but it’s better for the planet as well.

So where among Las Vegas steakhouses and buffets can locals and tourists find creative vegetarian cuisine?

GUESTS

Al Mancini, food critic

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UnrulyHomes
7:42 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Tarkanian Pushes To Outlaw 'Unruly' Homes

A man’s home is his castle – at least until the neighbors complain.

When things in the castle start to get unruly, a Las Vegas City Council member wants police to step in.

The City Council tomorrow will consider a bill that could affect gatherings in your home.

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Health & Science
7:23 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Is Nevada At Risk For Ebola?

Credit Getty Images

The deadly Ebola virus is in the news every day, but how likely is it to arrive in Nevada? Once here, would it spread?

If only there were a way to predict the likelihood of disease outbreaks.

A University of Nevada, Reno disease expert says there is.

GUEST

Jim Wilson, associate research professor at the School of Community Health Sciences, UNR, disease forecasting expert

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Environment
4:36 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Drought Cutting Into Northern Nevada Ranchers' Profits

In Nevada, the prolonged drought is eating into the profits of ranchers and farmers. Orovada rancher Ron Cerri said it will cost about $100,000 to feed his heard of 400 head of cattle this winter.

Hay prices are currently between $200 and $250 per ton, a price that will Cerri and his Rebel Creek Ranch hard with each cow consuming one to one and a half tons of hay over the winter.

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Politics & Policy
4:33 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Control Of Congress And The Fate Of Nevada

  

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid has led the majority in the Senate for almost eight years. And in that time, he has used his power to hamper efforts to build a nuclear waste dump in Yucca Mountain, and brought money for roads into Southern California.

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Politics & Policy
4:31 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

The State Could Lose Some Food Stamp Funding

Hundreds of needy Nevadans have been waiting more than a month for a response to applications for food stamps, or the SNAP program. The state's poor timeliness rate drew the attention of federal officials, who have threatened to take away some funding for the program if Nevada doesn't improve. So how can the state handle the flood of food stamp applicants? How many more employees need to be added to meet the goals set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture?

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Politics & Policy
7:51 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Organization Seeks Volunteers For Israel

Volunteers from the U.S. work on Israeli army base.
Credit Volunteers for Israel

For more than 30 years, Americans have journeyed to Israel to volunteer for noncombatant civilian work with the Israeli Defense Forces. In that time, some 30,000 Americans have been stationed on Israeli bases packing medical supplies, or repairing machinery.

Other volunteers update equipment for the reservists, paint numbers and bumpers and ladders of trucks that carry tankers, and working in the kitchens on base. The typical work week runs from Sunday afternoon to Thursday afternoon.

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Health & Science
7:36 am
Mon September 29, 2014

UMC Closes Cystic Fibrosis Clinic, Patients Relocated

Las Vegans who suffer from cystic fibrosis have gone to the same location for about 40 years to receive treatment that ultimately saves their lives.

Operated out of University Medical Center, the visits typically last several hours, and the patients interact with numerous specialists and health care workers during their treatment days. On September 30, UMC will close the clinic, but treatment will continue out of a private practice.

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Sports
7:32 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Reno Man Has Honus Wagner Card, But Is It Real?

Honus Wagner.

If it’s real, it could be worth millions of dollars.

And a Reno man currently toiling away in the warehouse of a food bank would have enough money to buy a new house and pay some bills.

The most coveted baseball card of all-time is the T206 Honus Wagner. Jason Mars paid $177 for the card on Ebay, and the only thing standing between him and riches is the need to prove the card’s authenticity.

So what makes the Honus Wagner card so valuable, how many of them are still in circulation, and how can experts determine if the baseball card is authentic?

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Newscast
6:22 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Giant Harley Dealership Opening Next To Vegas Sign

The famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is getting a new next-door neighbor in the form of a sprawling Harley-Davidson dealership. The 55,000-square-foot business is scheduled to open later this week and offers motorcycles, rentals, clothing and accessories. Owners say it's the first store on the Strip to sell the bikes.

Politics & Policy
3:39 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Advocacy Group Says Nevada Needs To Do More To Promote Electric Cars

A new report finds Nevada needs to support the installation of more charging stations, and offer rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles.
Credit Tesla Motors Inc.

A nonprofit group that advocates on behalf of energy efficiency in six Western states is lobbying Nevada to do more to promote the use of electric cars, especially following Tesla Motors’ decision to locate its $5 billion battery factory in Storey County.

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project says in a report that Nevada needs to implement a series of policies to create the infrastructure needed to support the mass deployment of electric vehicles.

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sheriff
3:37 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Joe Lombardo Has The Strip But Not The Police Union: Can He Become The Next Sheriff?

Joe Lombardo doesn't have the vote of Las Vegas police union. But he has a raft of campaign contributions, much of that from resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.

The question is whether or not that's enough for him to beat popular former police Capt. Larry Burns in this November's election.

Lombardo talks to KNPR's State of Nevada about the police union, militarization of police, use-of-force policies and his reputation as a research-based decision maker.

GUEST

Joe Lombardo, Clark County sheriff candidate

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News
8:36 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Non-English Speakers Face Social Barriers

Credit Getty Images

Immigrant numbers in Las Vegas have grown significantly over the last decade, and job opportunity for these people may hinge on how well they can speak English.

According to a study released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution, more than 200,000 working adults in Las Vegas do not speak English proficiently. That ranks us among the highest in the nation for this population.

Despite all the jobs available within the service industry, many believe non-English speakers would have access to greater opportunity if they become proficient in the language.

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wrongful arrest
3:56 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Clark County DA Says Harper Didn't Do It, So Why Was He Arrested?

North Las Vegas police had Patrick Harper dead to rights for murder.

Just one problem: He didn’t do it.

Arrested for allegedly shooting a young woman in the head, the 16-year-old Mojave High School student told police he was at a football game when the killing occurred.

Harper spent the next two weeks in jail until a private investigator proved he was telling the truth. Video surveillance footage from an AM/PM confirmed his alibi--he was at the store some 2 miles away from the site of the murder at about the same time that it occurred.

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Sports
3:52 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

On The Big Screen: Bishop Gorman Faces St. John Bosco

Bishop Gorman is undefeated after five games this season. Next up on their schedule is undefeated Southern California powerhouse St. John Bosco.

A win against St. John Bosco would put the Gales one step closer to that holy grail, a national championship. Currently, USA Today ranks St. John Bosco at No. 1; Bishop Gorman at No. 2. But then there are four games against Nevada teams and another playoff run to try to win a sixth straight state championship.

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smart meters
4:00 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Can Smart Meters Cause Fires?

    

Smart meters, which wirelessly transmit energy usage from a home to the power company, might be the cause of a handful of fires in northern Nevada.

Fire investigators in Reno and Sparks have asked the state Public Utilities Commission to investigate the meters. They believe nine fires since 2012, including one that killed a 61-year-old woman, could be tied to problems with the meters.

The Nevada Fire Marshal is also looking into the matter. He expects to report on what he's found within the next two weeks.

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Education
1:27 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Washoe School Board Will Buy Out Pedro Martinez

The Washoe County School Board voted Tuesday to buyout Superintendent Pedro Martinez in exchange for him leaving.

After more than an hour of public outrage, the school board voted to end the long debacle with the superintendent that began this summer when the board illegally fired him.

The agreement was hashed out in a long mediation overseen by a district judge and received final approval in a 5-2 vote at the board's public meeting.

But Martinez says this wasn't the way he thought it would end.

"We went in asking for an apology. Frankly, I wanted to stay"

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Health & Science
9:46 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Nurses March For Pandemic Awareness

Thousands of nurses will march down Las Vegas Boulevard Wednesday to bring awareness to shortfalls in protecting health care workers in the U.S. and abroad in the event of a pandemic.

In light of the current Ebola crisis,  the Registered Nurse Response Network  worries that proper protocols may not be in  place in our own backyard. A recent scare in Sacramento forced the question of why a patient showing Ebola-like symptoms was left unattended for more than half an hour.

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Education
7:30 am
Wed September 24, 2014

CCSD Looks At Sex Ed

Dozens of parents stormed a school board meeting on Monday to express concerns about possible changes to the sex ed curriculum in the county.

Clark County School District officials say they are not proposing changes to sex ed. but they have been quietly gathering feedback on a new curriculum in case it comes up in the legislature.

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Civic Life
3:19 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Chinese Heritage, Tony Hsieh And The Reinvention Of Downtown

Credit Getty Images

When Tony Hsieh of Zappos announced his plans for Downtown Project, he was hailed as a visionary. Critics and proponents have weighed in since then, describing the effort as everything from gentrification to transformational.

But author Eric Liu has a different take. He thinks Hsieh's effort to revitalize downtown is uniquely Chinese. And he can find evidence of Chinese heritage not just in Hsieh's work, but also in the sculpture of Maya Lin and the work of other Chinese Americans.

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Business
3:05 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Is Stability The New Normal In Las Vegas Real Estate?

Home prices in the greater Las Vegas area were steady from July to August with the median price for a single-family home at $200,000.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported the median home price in August was up nearly 10 percent from the same month last year. Year-over-year, the median price is up 24 percent. The $200,000 median price first reported in July was the first time Las Vegas homes sold at that level since August 2008.

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Civic Life
8:34 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Metro Officer Involved In Deadly Shooting Hired By Union

Officer Bryan Yant was involved in one of the most controversial, and expensive, shootings in Metro’s history. After he killed Trevon Cole, a small-time drug dealer who was unarmed, Metro paid the Cole family $1.7 million, the largest in department history.

Yant wasn’t fired, though. After a coroner’s inquest jury ruled the shooting justified, Metro brass relegated him to the police version of Siberia, a desk job.

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Politics & Policy
8:12 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Nevada Republicans Hope To Overtake Justin Jones

Nevada republicans are salivating at the chance to become the majority party in the state Senate this year.

Justin Jones, an attorney, holds one of the few seats Republicans think they can take to overcome the Democrat’s 11-10 majority. Republican candidate Becky Harris is vying for Jones’ Senate seat.

It’s hard to beat an incumbent, so challengers nationwide typically resort to negative campaigns. It’s no different in Nevada.

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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 shirts advertising girls direct to your room, intently waving handbills at passersby. These "porn slappers," as they are called,  are a source of 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 in 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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