‘Nother one. ūüôā


During the State of the University address on Feb. 7, University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson spoke about Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval’s recommendation for $10 million dollars to be committed for the state’s proposed Knowledge Fund.

The fund would be used to underwrite research at Nevada‚Äôs three research institutions ‚ÄĒ UNR, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the Desert Research Institute. Johnson said the Nevada state government also proposed $800,000 to go toward a Student Achievement Center at UNR, which is expected to be open sometime in late 2015. During the Assembly Ways and Means Committee meeting on Feb. 11, Steve Hill, director of the Nevada Governor‚Äôs Office of Economic Development, says that the Knowledge Fund is currently one of the state‚Äôs highest priority projects.

The Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Bill 449 in 2011; the Knowledge Fund was a part of that…

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Another story by me and my partner, Stephanie!


On Wednesday, the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services discussed Assembly Bill 28, a bill to revise the definition of sentinel events relating to the health and safety of patients.

State Health Officer and Medical Director for Mental Health and Developmental Services, Dr. Tracey Green, testified on the bill with Nevada State Statistician, Jake Kvam and Health Program Manager to the Office of Public Health Informatics, Julia Peek. The current definition of a sentinel event is any unexpected occurrence involving a hospital or healthcare facility in which a patient dies, acquires an infection, or serious physical or psychological injury. Green says AB28 requests a change in definition because terms used in the bill such as ‚Äúunexpected occurrence‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúrisk thereof‚ÄĚ are two issues created by the current definition.

‚ÄúThese terms are ambiguous,‚ÄĚ Green says. ‚ÄúThey are not statutorily defined, therefore, individual facilities and the‚Ķ

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I loved getting to know this woman — she was very kind and I think she there are a lot of good things ahead for her.

I kinda wish I could do a profile on each lawmaker. But…ain’t nobody got time for that! ūüėČ


After a long day of taking care of business as an assemblywoman, 42-year-old Lesley Cohen sometimes likes to pull out her yoga band and stretch her back in her office. Yoga is one of Cohen‚Äôs favorite pastimes ‚ÄĒ¬†it relaxes her and gives her comfort ‚ÄĒ though she has less time to commit to it, now that she‚Äôs arrived in Carson City.

Cohen was appointed to her seat by the Clark County Commission in Dec. 2012 to replace former Assemblywoman April Mastroluca. Prior to that, Cohen says she’d never given thought to pursuing a significant position within the Nevada Legislature.

‚ÄúBecause I was appointed, I didn‚Äôt come in here with a list of goals,‚ÄĚ Cohen says. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs more [like] I‚Äôm going to go in and be a good legislator. I want to be a part of the process and be active on the committees.‚ÄĚ

As the 2013 legislative…

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Benjamin Franklin’s inspiring 13 virtues


da MAN

I’m currently reading¬†The Autobiography of Ben Franklin for a core humanities¬†class. I came across studying these thirteen virtues for my own self-help, which is magic that Franklin wanted to intentionally put on the reader. All I can say is that these are great virtues and need to be followed more often to calm nerves about life — well, for mine, anyway.

Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation

Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversations

Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time

Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve

Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing

Industry: Lose not time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions

Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; speak accordingly

Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty

Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think you deserve

Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes or habitation

Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles or accidents common or unavoidable

Chastity:¬†Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation

Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates

The last two weeks have been quite busy and I’ve finally found some action to report on! Here’s a story my NVMA teammate Paul and I wrote on Monday. We’ll be posting a video later.

Visit Paul’s blog: http://renosignal.com/


American Indians from all across Nevada gathered in front of the Legislature building in Carson City on Monday to offer their support for Senate Bill 82, which would prohibit bear hunting in Nevada.

About 50 people participated in the protest‚ÄĒ dancing, singing and burning incense around the skull of a black bear.¬†As cars passed the event on South Carson St., drivers honked their horns in support of banners that read: ‚ÄúStop Killing our Bears‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúSave our Bears.‚ÄĚ

Raquel Arthur, President of the Northern Nevada chapter of the American Indian Movement (AIM), says the demonstrators were there to give a voice to the bears. Many American Indians consider the bear to be a sacred animal.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôre here to support the bill in hopes that the lawmakers will look out their window and actually see us,‚ÄĚ Arthur says.

According to the AIM, the bear is a sacred animal…

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Investigative Reporting Tips from Vanity Fair’s Suzanna Andrews


My data and narrative journalism professor, Alan Deutschman, introduces some really amazing and inspiring journalists to the university. I mean, these people work for big time papers and magazines.

The guest he brought to us this week grabbed my full attention and is probably my favorite guest he’s brought so far. It was Suzanna Andrews, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, who writes features and investigative articles on business, politics, culture and crime — in her definition, her theme of writing is “abuse of power”.

She’s also written for other numerous publications such as The New York Times, GQ, Rolling Stone, and Reader’s Digest. She was also a story consultant to ABC’s “20/20”. She’s won a couple of Front Page awards for her features on Vanity Fair.

As a class assignment and in order to prepare to ask her questions, we were required to read two of her most impacting articles, Murder Most Yale¬†and Arthur Miller’s Missing Act¬†(I suggest you read both of them — they’re really good).

Both feature stories required so much investigation, stalking, credible information, and main sources. How did she do it all? Andrews shares her helpful investigative tips to the class and especially her experiences while writing these stories.

Murder Most Yale¬†is a feature investigative article by Andrews based on the murder of Yale student, Suzanne Jovin, in 1998. It’s a case that is still under investigation today; they say it’s the “college version” of the Jon Benet Ramsey case. Andrews focuses the timeline of the night of the murder in her story, but mainly focuses on the people that surrounded Jovin’s life to find more information on the case.

Jovin’s story was first published in the New York Times¬†— and Andrews said that this story “needed a lot of play”

Finding Personal Recommendations

As you may have noticed in the article, the police weren’t as involved. Andrews said with most crime stories, there will be slim chances that a reporter will get information from the police. Instead of constant calls and emails to set up interviews, Andrews recommends following them instead.

As a semi-experienced reporter, I find it difficult how to contact the main sources I need to talk to for my stories. Some connections may not always lead you to that significant source, but apparently the ones you’d never think who would have any contact with them might actually do! Andrews said during her investigation to find Jovin’s closest friends to interview them, she gotten from a word-of-mouth that a¬†restaurant owner nearby Yale was pretty popular among the students — they loved him. When Andrews approached him, he was able to connect her with Jovin’s friends.

Andrews said each story has source circles; you have to work your way into the hub. You start interviewing those on the outside of the circle: Aquaintinces –> Close friends –> Parents –> Suzanne.

“It gives me time to think about the story and what to collect,” Andrews said. “When I get to the center of the story, I feel like I know the story as much as they do, or better.”

If you get enough attention, your sources might come to you

Andrews said she had a difficult time getting a hold of Jovin’s parents for an interview. After attempts with a few phone calls with them, she had to end up emailing them the interview instead. During the phone calls, the mother could not stop sobbing and the father refused to talk.

“I was horrified calling the parents,” Andrews said. “It was clear to me that they were grief stricken and angry.”

Andrews said you can’t always fire questions; sometimes its best to play it off as a conversation.

“There’s that element of authenticity, too,” Andrews said. “You want to get people to talk.”

However, Jovin’s younger sister approached Andrews with a phone called and accepted an interview. Somehow, she found Andrews.

Andrews said getting in contact with James Van de Velde was one of the most difficult parts writing the story. Van de Velde was Jovin’s professor and thesis adviser, and is a suspect of her murder. Andrews said she could only get a hold of Van de Velde’s emissaries or friends. One emissary of Van de Velde’s that Andrews got to interview was a woman. Like the rest of Van de Velde’s friends, it was expected that this woman would say nothing but good words about the professor. However, Andrews said the woman had different thoughts about Van de Velde and saw him the night of the killing.

“(The story) consumed my life,” Andrews said. “It’s a psychological rage.”

Andrews said during the time of writing this feature, she played out possible scenarios in her head and timed the driving and distances within the area of where Jovin’s body was found.

Does Andrews think Van de Velde killed Jovin? She said yes, but she doesn’t have an exact reason why she was so drawn to write this story.

“I kind of wondered that myself,” Andrews said. “I felt like I was lead to it. I didn’t feel like I was going to nail the professor, but the story latches on to you.”

Andrews’ Arthur Miller’s Missing Act is¬†based on playwright, Arthur Miller (Death Of A Salesman, The Crucible, A View From the Bridge and ex-husband of Marilyn Monroe) and the abandonment of his son, Daniel Miller, who was diagnosed with down-syndrome as an infant. ¬† ¬†Miller cut Daniel out of his life immediately and never mentioned him when he brought up his children in books, interviews and even at his wife’s funeral. For 40 years, Daniel was kept as a secret. When Miller died in 2005, it was known to the public that he did not leave a will, but he actually did, and left Daniel a good portion of his money to last him for the rest of his lifetime.

Andrews said it was almost a possibility that Vanity Fair didn’t run article due to the intense emotion of the story and that it could offend those who have a child of down-syndrome of their own. But everyone knew it was a story that deserved attention.

Rebecca Miller, Daniel’s sister and a daughter of Miller’s, is now a close member of her family. Rebecca didn’t allow Andrews to speak to Daniel. In fact, Rebecca and her husband, Daniel Day-Lewis, were disgusted by Andrews’ story. Andrews said she thinks Rebecca was afraid for the safety of her brother.

“This story was fought very hard by Arthur Miller’s family,” Andrews said.

Andrews had the chance to speak to one of Daniel’s caregivers, however. Andrews said she was on the web for days just to find connections between Miller and Daniel. She ended up on a Vietnam Veteran chatroom and spoke to a member who saw Daniel at a party. The member she spoke to in the chat room ended up being the husband of Daniel’s caregiver.

Andrews said when she called up the caregiver for an interview, the caregiver said, “It’s about time.”

After Andrews’ lecture, I feel that I can be more confident in expanding my choices when writing a hard or feature story. So I think I have until tomorrow to meet one-on-one with Andrews in Professor¬†Deutschman’s office until she has to go back to her home in New York City. I would love to see if I have time ¬†to have coffee with her for a more personal talk, but even just a handshake and a short conversation might do well — whatever the outcome is, it’s worth it, right?

Follow Suzanna Andrews on Twitter!: https://twitter.com/AndrewsSuzanna

Here is my very first article with the Nevada Media Alliance! I actually wrote this article before I attended the event. Funny thing is, this was also my very first time attending a state legislature event.

When I went yesterday with my partners Paul, Jeri, Riley and Lindsay, I was expecting a whole bunch of people gathered outside of the legislature. The party was actually inside the building.

I felt a little nervous interviewing some people. I studied some faces on the legislature site the night prior, thinking to ask them basic questions like “How’s your first day going?” “How do you think the legislature will turn out for you this year?”

And the answers I get: “I’m not allowed to answer that” or “Optimistic. Hey, one question, one answer!”

I guess it wasn’t the day to do it! I still have some learning to do.

There were a ton of prayers, sing-a-longs, oaths, and colorful flowers and families lighting up the room. It was definitely a day to celebrate than to work. I had to leave for class after the committee reported to Governor Sandoval that the legislature was ready to rock the 77th session.

Can’t wait for this experience to get rolling! I have more to post later today. ūüôā



Attending the opening day of the Nevada Legislature is similar to starting the first day at a new school: there are rules that need to be followed‚ÄĒrecesses, meeting and greeting new people, proud family members in awe of your accomplishments, and going over what‚Äôs going to happen during the session. Additionally, there are some important and specific details to know before you make an appearance at the first day of the 77th session, so you have a better understanding of what‚Äôs going on. With the help of viewpoints from local reporters who have years of experience covering the legislature, we‚Äôve identified four things that a person should expect when they attend the first day of the Nevada Legislature on February 4.


The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. inside the legislative building at 401 Carson Street in Carson City.  Make sure to dress formally, because…

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