Year: 2020

On the hook

6 in 10 Nevadans with student loans can’t make payments, survey says

BY: - December 31, 2020

Stacey Shadoff found herself unemployed after the Dress Barn, where she worked part-time as an assistant manager, closed down toward the end of December last year. Two month later any hopes of quickly finding another job were dashed after a statewide shutdown of nonessential businesses was put in place due to the quickly spreading coronavirus. […]

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A wretched year: The Nevada Current’s staff looks back on 2020

BY: - December 30, 2020

Note: Each writer on the Nevada Current staff was asked to highlight some of their work  from this atrocious year, and say whatever they wanted to say about it. We did this same thing at the end of 2019, which was our first full year of publication. If we do the same thing at the […]

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Prelude to a disaster: From ‘no confirmed cases’ to unprecedented shutdown

BY: - December 29, 2020

Note: This is the second of two stories tracking Nevada’s early response to the coronavirus. Both stories draw heavily on email correspondence among state, federal and local officials in the first three months of the year. The first story can be read here.  The federal government “is increasingly directing attention from the federal level to […]

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In the Mojave Desert, the preservation of life

BY: - December 29, 2020

The Mojave Desert is nothing short of magical. Its history is encapsulated in the very grains of the limestone rocks. It is culturally significant to the many Tribal Nations who have called these lands home long before the first colonial settlers, and the hundreds of unique wildlife species need the desertscape to survive. This month, […]


Prelude to a disaster: How Nevada prepared as COVID descended 

BY: - December 28, 2020

Note: This is the first of two stories. 2020. It was supposed to be a banner year for Nevada, especially Las Vegas, where the biggest problem was what to do with too much of a good thing – as many as three-quarters of a million fans expected for the NFL Draft in April, and too […]

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Nevada charter schools got millions in PPP loans

BY: - December 24, 2020

As state budget cuts have strained the public education system, Nevada’s publicly financed charter schools have been able to shore up operations with millions of dollars from the federal Paycheck Protection Program designed to help businesses and nonprofits. Nevada charter schools this year accepted $31 million from the Paycheck Protection Programs. The federal funds, which […]


Not an L, not a V, not a Nike swoosh: Nevada’s K-shaped recovery

BY: and - December 23, 2020

The complex Nevada economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession can be explained by one letter of the alphabet – the letter K. The “K-shaped recovery” describes how white-collar jobs are able to prosper during the COVID-19 pandemic, while blue-collar workers are forced out of the labor market or subjected to unsafe working conditions […]

Unpaid utility bills are stacking up, assistance programs will likely fall short

BY: - December 23, 2020

With hundreds of thousands of Nevadans still unsure how they will pay next month’s rent, there is still a lot of focus on helping people whittle down unpaid rents and keeping people housed during a pandemic. But what about the mounting backlog of unpaid utility bills? According to NV Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Schuricht, the company […]

Congress passes ‘first step’ in pandemic relief with $900B package

BY: - December 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Widely labeled inadequate before it was even passed, Congress on Monday night cleared and sent to President Donald Trump the first major COVID-19 relief measure since the spring, a bill that would provide $900 billion in pandemic-related aid. “This relief package includes less than I would have liked, but this is the best […]

What’s in the $900B relief bill—and what’s out

BY: and - December 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Congress passed a bipartisan emergency relief bill intended to aid Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Summaries from House Democratic appropriators say it includes: DIRECT CHECKS —$166 billion in another round of economic impact payments that will go directly to Americans. —$600 direct checks for individuals that begin phasing out at an income […]

DETR paints itself as overburdened but adapting to ‘beyond a tsunami’ of claims

BY: - December 21, 2020

The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation has made significant strides in addressing its backlog of unemployment claims, according to the department’s top administrator, but with new claims still flooding the state, any gains may be difficult to notice. DETR Director Elisa Cafferata on Friday appeared before legislators on the Interim Finance Committee to get […]


Communication and truth: An evaluation of an evaluation

BY: - December 21, 2020

Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara had a performance evaluation on Tuesday. The next day, he ignored it. Headlines after last week’s meeting conveyed the Board of Trustees gave Jara a lukewarm evaluation. That’s true. The average score on the 28 suggestions for growth and improvement was 2.5 out of 4. That’s a C+. […]