weather icon Clear

Veterans official visits Nevada

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin made a request of community leaders in attendance — including Nevada National Guard Adjutant General Brig. Gen. William Burks — during a proclamation signing at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Nevada this summer.

“If everyone could please take out their cell phones, find your contact list, and pretend you are putting in a new friend,” Shulkin said. “I’m going to ask you to put in the Veterans Crisis Line because sometime, maybe 3 o’clock in the morning, if someone needs help, you’re going to be able to find this.”

The number: 1-800-273-8255.

Shulkin visited Reno to meet with community leaders and sign the “Be There” resolution to stop veteran suicides. Community leaders who signed the resolution included: Shulkin, Burks, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s chief of staff, Mike Willden, and Dr. Melissa Piasecki, executive associate dean of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

“When it comes to 20 veterans a day taking their lives, it’s just a number we cannot accept,” said Shulkin, who emphasized September is suicide awareness month. “We have to do a lot more.”

In January, the month before Shulkin became VA secretary, about 30 percent of calls to the Veterans Crisis Line went unanswered. With a few changes to the automated system the process has been streamlined and now about 99 percent of calls are answered, he told the Reno audience last week.

Shulkin said he hopes to bring some of the successes of the VA’s “no wrong door” philosophy to combat homelessness among veterans and apply that to suicide prevention.

“These types of trainings and gatherings raise awareness and have done amazing things for us, even though it hasn’t got us down to zero, which is the ultimate goal,” Burks said. “We’ve come a long way in combating this scourge on our society. But there’s still a lot to do.”

Emerson Marcus is a technical sergeant with the Nevada National Guard.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
4 teens arrested at Pahrump Fall Festival with guns, drugs

Capt. David Boruchowitz said deputies who were patrolling the fall festival on Friday, Sept. 23 were notified about a teen who had reportedly threatened another with a firearm.

Some COVID-19 metrics inch up in Clark County, Nevada

After declining for 10 straight weeks, COVID-19 hospitalizations plateaued in Clark County this week and increased slightly statewide.

B-I-N-G-O: Event marks return of fundraisers at Hafen Elementary

Several dozen families participated in the event which provided numerous prizes for players, according to Tanya Carson, who served as the main organizer of the Sept. 16 event.

100-acre Basin Solar in Pahrump project killed amid public outcry

The project was planned for the western side of Pahrump, on lands bordered by Basin Avenue, Betty Avenue and Bannavitch Street. The 20-megawatt, photovoltaic solar array was projected to have generated enough electricity to power approximately 6,000 homes.

SEE PHOTOS: CASA Luau breaks fundraising record

“This was our best ever luau, netting over $20,000,” CASA Executive Director Kathie McKenna said of the annual fundraising event.