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What to know in Nevada today: Jan. 9, 2023

Nevada State Police investigate a crash involving a plane on Jan. 7, 2022.
Nevada State Police Highway Patrol South
Nevada State Police investigate a crash involving a plane on Jan. 7, 2023.

Authorities said an SUV clipped the wing of a small plane after the aircraft made an emergency landing on a highway north of Las Vegas. State police said the two-seater plane was having mechanical issues and had to land Saturday morning on U.S. 95 near Kyle Canyon Road. The SUV's windshield was shattered when it struck the plane's wing while the aircraft was sitting on the shoulder. Authorities said the driver of the SUV and the two people aboard the plane were taken to the hospital as a precaution, but they noted the injuries were not life-threatening.

The Vegas Golden Knights ended a four-game home winning streak Saturday night, losing 5-1 to the Los Angeles Kings. The Knights have a few days off to regroup before hosting the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

As countries grapple with how to limit global warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the most extreme climate disasters, numerous companies at this year’s CES tech show in Las Vegas, which wrapped up over the weekend, hope to be part of the solution. Some help manufacturers source more sustainable materials. Others help them track the emissions of suppliers and even customers. One company engineered a common houseplant — pothos, the one with big heart-shaped leaves — to suck up 30 times as much pollution as a normal one. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm paid a visit to the show this year and expressed enthusiasm for clean energy opportunities and the unprecedented financial support for them that is now available.

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Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford won’t say if the state is investigating the six Republican electors who submitted fake electoral certificates declaring Donald Trump the winner of the presidential 2020 election. Ford, a Democrat, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the moment he decides to comment on the fake electors, someone’s going to say it's a partisan investigation. Ford said Friday during a press call with the Democratic Attorneys General Association about the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol that he would not jeopardize anything by commenting. However, the Review-Journal reports that Ford did say that he’s cooperating with and participating in the Justice Department’s investigation.

The Metaverse was a key theme during this year's CES tech gathering in Las Vegas that wrapped up yesterday. During the show, Taiwanese tech giant HTC unveiled a high-end VR headset aiming to compete with market leader Meta. A slew of other companies and startups touted augmented reality glasses and sensory technologies that can help users feel and even smell in a virtual environment. Still, a leading Metaverse expert says it's unlikely that many of these products will become widely available in the next few years, even in gaming. But big companies like Microsoft and Meta are investing billions, while many others are joining the race to grab some market share in supporting technologies.

The city of Reno and Washoe County issued a declaration of emergency on Friday ahead of a winter storm that was expected to arrive Sunday. An additional storm is expected in Northern Nevada starting on Monday and may carry into Tuesday. The emergency declaration allows the municipalities to request additional resources and increase their staff, generally for responding to the storms. Snow and water already in the region from a storm over New Year's weekend factored into the decision to issue the emergency declaration, according to a release.

Governor Joe Lombardo has issued his first two executive orders, cancelling COVID-19 policies and urging state officials to address state worker gaps. In a Friday statement, Lombardo said he "repealed and rescinded" COVID-19 mandates made by the previous administration. He followed by calling on state leadership to "address workforce vacancies and return state workers back to in-person, normal office operations by July 1. Lombardo has said his administration's priorities would align with his campaign promises and his staff will work with lawmakers from both parties to achieve the governor’s goals.

Authorities in Las Vegas say a 16-year-old high school student-athlete died after suffering a medical emergency and collapsing during a varsity flag football game at her school. The student was identified as Ashari Hughes by the Clark County Coroner’s Office. Her cause and manner of death are still pending. The principal at Desert Oasis High School said staff members immediately began providing medical aid when Hughes collapsed during Thursday's home game. In a statement Friday morning, CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara said the school district was grieving with the child’s family.

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The Venetian Resort is kicking off the Lunar New Year with week-long celebrations. The hotel revealed a 16-foot-tall Year of the Rabbit display featuring a healthy and friendly rabbit surrounded by greenery and gold coins to represent prosperity. The Grand Canal Shoppes also revealed an illuminating Golden Dragon art installation paired with live entertainment. Guests will have the opportunity to watch a parade of dancers throughout the Venetian and the Palazzo Waterfall Atrium spreading luck and longevity during a lion dance ceremony on Jan. 23.

The new Nevada governor’s chief of staff said the administration plans an “unprecedented investment” in schools. Ben Kieckhefer, chief of staff for Lombardo, said the administration will pursue school choice and floated pay raises for state employees. He also announced two executive orders that will task the Department of Administration to pursue solutions to the 24% employee vacancy rate in state agencies and repeal all remaining COVID-19 emergency executive orders, many of which have been gradually lifted over the past months after then-Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak ended his own emergency order.

A former Nevada state prisons chief who left the position in 2019 is returning under Lombardo. The governor's chief-of-staff confirmed Friday that James Dzurenda will head the state Department of Corrections. He is due to start Monday. Dzurenda held the job for three years under former Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval before resigning under Sisolak. Nevada state prisons have been beset in recent months by inmate violence, staffing shortages, a high-profile escape in September and the resignation in October of the prisons chief who had the job for almost three years. Nevada has almost 10,000 prison inmates and 2,850 employees at 18 prisons, conservation camps and transitional housing centers.

KNPR’s Morning Edition Host, Rick Andrews, joined Nevada Public Radio as an announcer in 2003, shortly after we split into two stations.
Briana Joseph is the afternoon and weekend announcer at Nevada Public Radio. She hosts during national syndication from NPR. You’ll hear her voice during All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.