You are the owner of this page.
A1 A1
top story
Hospital merger completed

ELKO — LifePoint Health and RCCH HealthCare Partners have completed their merger and will now begin operating as one company under the LifePoint Health name. The combined, privately held company includes regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers, and post-acute facilities in more than 85 non-urban communities that span coast to coast.

“As part of the LifePoint network, Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital is now connected to an even stronger network of community hospitals, regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers and post-acute facilities that spans 30 states,” said a Nov. 16 announcement from NNRH. “This will give us new opportunities to grow and thrive in the rapidly evolving, competitive healthcare landscape.

RCCH is owned by certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management LLC. As a result of the merger, LifePoint’s common stock is no longer trading on NASDAQ.

LifePoint’s headquarters will remain in Brentwood, Tennessee. David M. Dill assumed the role of CEO. The $5.6 billion purchase agreement was announced in July.

As a result of the merger, LifePoint shareholders are receiving $65 per share in cash for each share of LifePoint’s common stock they owned, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes. This represents a premium of approximately 36 percent to LifePoint’s closing share price on July 20, 2018, the last trading day prior to the announcement of the merger. Few changes are expected at Elko’s hospital.

“While there are great opportunities ahead, much about how our hospital operates today – including our dedication to our patients, employees, physicians, and community – will remain the same,” stated the announcement from NNRH. “We do not anticipate any changes in how our patients access our hospital and healthcare providers. People throughout northeastern Nevada can continue to count on our dedicated staff and physicians at NNRH to provide excellent care that makes our community healthier.”

Groups say Nevada's old mine sites could help meet energy goal

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A think tank and an advocacy group say Nevada could adapt old mines and former industrial sites to meet an aggressive clean energy benchmark that voters have endorsed with a statewide initiative.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Rocky Mountain Institute identified more than 2.8 million acres of already disturbed land statewide that appears ripe for renewable energy development.

The Nature Conservancy also is partnering with the Nevada Mining Association to change state regulations to encourage the use of old mine sites for green power projects.

“Nevada can lead the way in the West on this,” southern Nevada conservancy official John Zablocki said. “I think on this issue, it’s really there. We want to make it easier to develop on these sites.”

Zablocki said the federal Environmental Protection Agency has supported efforts by his organization, the institute and the Wilderness Society to promote policies and incentives to spur development on what he called overlooked former mines, landfills and other industrial sites.

A state administrative rule now lists renewable energy development and storage as an acceptable post-production use for shuttered mining operations.

Question 6, the measure to promote renewable energy, passed on Nov. 6 and must pass again in 2020 to take effect.

It would amend the state constitution to raise to 50 percent by 2030 the amount of solar, wind or geothermal electricity provided by electric utilities in the state.

The current benchmark is 25 percent by 2025. The state’s dominant electric utility, NV Energy, says it already has a 24 percent clean-energy portfolio.

The report by the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Institute used existing EPA data on potentially contaminated industrial “brownfield” sites in Nevada. Many already have access to roads and transmission lines.

It found a potential to produce enough geothermal energy to meet about one-third of the new green energy standard, enough wind energy to meet the standard two times over and enough solar energy to meet the standard 20 times over, the Review-Journal reported. A surge in large-scale green energy development in recent years has put some conservation advocates in an awkward spot.

Though they favor renewables, they don’t like seeing large expanses of once-pristine public land torn up and covered with wind turbines and solar panels.

Kyle Roerink, spokesman for the Nevadans for a Clean Energy Future group that promoted Question 6, said the initiative merely seeks to raise the state’s renewable energy benchmark, not take sides in thorny debates about wind versus solar or utility-scale versus rooftop solar panels.

The campaign was underwritten by California billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer, founder of the group NextGen Climate Action.

top story
Elko educator John Tierney selected for state advisory board

CARSON CITY — Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero announced the formation of an advisory cabinet made up exclusively of teachers around the state, and including one representative from Elko County School District.

John Tierney has been an educator for more than 30 years, and was the 2016 recipient of the Michael Landsberry Teacher of the Year award.

“Teachers are such an important voice in education and I’m grateful that 21 of them from throughout Nevada are willing to serve in this capacity,” Canavero said. “We learned during the recent development of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act how important stakeholder feedback is during every policy discussion. The State Superintendent’s Advisory Cabinet will provide that same kind of voice in discussions made at the state level about state education goals.”

Three initial topics Canavero has identified are raising achievement of all students, supporting low-performing schools, and addressing recruitment, diversification, and retention of future teachers in the state.

The 21 teachers selected came from 81 applications statewide.

Cabinet members from the Clark County School District include Richard Knoeppel, Brad Evans, Jeffrey Field, Renee Paterson, Mercedes Krause, Deborah Whitt, Kenneth Belknap, Michael Lang, Daniel Liles, Christine Herbert and Jeanine Roser.

Representing their respective school districts are LeAnn Morris, Carson City; Jerri Kerns, Lyon County; Jennifr Grennan, state public charter schools; and Kasey Smith, Pilar Biller, Jennifer Hill, Sara Stewart-Lediard, Jennifer Hoy, and Nicolette Smith for Washoe County.

Teens vandalize new Nevada war memorial

CARSON CITY (AP) — A memorial honoring 895 Nevada residents who have died in wars and conflicts dating to the Civil War has been damaged days after its dedication.

The Nevada Appeal reports the Battle Born Memorial on the Capitol grounds suffered cosmetic damage last week just three days after Gov. Brian Sandoval dedicated it.

The damage was reportedly caused by four teens, two riding BMX bicycles and two on Razor scooters.

It includes cracks to three slabs of the black granite platform that stretches the length of the memorial.

Police say the juvenile suspects were recorded on video cameras located between the memorial and the Supreme Court building.

Authorities have not said if any arrests have been made.

Migrants fearful, anxious in aftermath of Tijuana protests

TIJUANA, Mexico — Many Central American migrants camped in Tijuana after crossing Mexico in a caravan said Monday that a protest over the weekend by residents demanding they leave frightened them and left them even more anxious while they try to get into the United States.

The angry protests have been fed by concerns raised by President Donald Trump’s month-long warnings that criminals and gang members are in the group and even terrorists, though there is no evidence of that.

About 500 people demonstrated in an affluent section of Tijuana on Sunday against the caravan. Dozens of protesters then marched to an outdoor sports complex near downtown where 2,500 migrants are staying, sleeping on dirt fields and under bleachers after arriving at the border city a week ago.

Dulce Alvarado, 28, from Lempira, Honduras, said she was stepping out of a corner grocery near the stadium carrying her 2-year-old son when she was surrounded by the demonstrators chanting “Get out!” and “We don’t want you here!”

“I was very scared,” Alvarado said.

A Tijuana police officer saw them in the crowd and helped them get out and behind police tape marking off the block where the sports complex is located. The protest eventually ended peacefully.

Tensions have built as nearly 3,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in recent days after more than a month on the road — and with many more months likely ahead of them while they seek asylum in the U.S. The federal government estimates the number of migrants could soon swell to 10,000.

U.S. border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s main crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by the migrants themselves that had more than 3,000 names even before the caravan arrived.

For most of this city of 1.6 million, the arrival of thousands of Central Americans is not noticeable. Most migrants stay within a three-block radius of the sports complex that faces the towering metal walls topped with barbed wire at the U.S.-Mexico border.

But many residents fear with the passage of time their presence will take its toll and crime could go up. Since 2016, thousands of Haitians who also tried to get to the U.S. ended up settling here, while at the same time, Tijuana has taken in thousands of Mexicans deported from the United States.

Tijuana also has been struggling with drug violence and some say they do not want the caravan bringing more problems.

The United States has dramatically increased border security in preparation for the caravan’s arrival, closing lanes at ports of entry to place cement barriers topped with razor wire that can be quickly moved to block passage should there be a mass number who try to force their way into the country.

But the lane closures have also made it harder for cross-border residents to go back and forth into the U.S. to work and shop. The San Ysidro port of entry is one of the world’s busiest border crossings, with more than 40,000 vehicles and 34,000 pedestrians using it daily.

On Monday, U.S. authorities closed off northbound traffic for several hours and closed a pedestrian lane at the crossing to install new security barriers, after a tip that people were gathering in Tijuana to rush the border checkpoints.

“Waiting until a large group of persons mass at the border to attempt an illegal crossing is too late for us,” said Pete Flores, director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection in San Diego.

Meanwhile, legal groups argued Monday that a judge should prevent the Trump administration from enforcing its ban on asylum for anyone who illegally crosses the U.S.-Mexico border.

U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar did not immediately rule on whether to issue a temporary restraining order during a hearing in San Francisco. The request was made by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which quickly sued after President Donald Trump issued the ban this month in response to the caravans of migrants that have started to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that said anyone who crossed the southern border would be ineligible for asylum. The regulations, which will remain in place for three months absent a court order, could potentially make it harder for thousands of people who enter the U.S. to avoid deportation.

“Individuals are entitled to asylum if they cross between ports of entry,” said Baher Azmy, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights. “It couldn’t be clearer.”

In recent years, tens of thousands of immigrants each year have shown up in the Arizona desert or on the north bank of the Rio Grande in Texas, surrendered to immigration agents and requested asylum. The Department of Homeland Security estimates around 70,000 people a year claim asylum between official ports of entry.