Silver Dollars and Wooden Nickels: Shooter’s identity is public information

The Nevada Appeal’s Silver Dollars and Wooden Nickels feature recognizes achievements from the capital region and, then warranted, points out other acts that missed the mark.

S ILVER DOLLAR: Nevada got good news Wednesday. We’d had an inkling that the federal government would reimburse our state for costs it incurred during the government shutdown, but there was some uncertainty. Budget director Jeff Mohlenkamp confirmed Wednesday that the state will be repaid the money it spent operating federal programs during the 16-day shutdown. Anything less would have been insult added to injury.

WOODEN NICKEL: The Sparks Police Department declined to identify the boy who shot and killed a teacher, then himself, Monday morning at a middle school there. The city finally identified him days later, acknowledging a report that ran on Reno’s Univision affiliate. The police department cited an ongoing investigation; we’re not buying that. It would be one thing if naming the boy would endanger his family, but everyone at Sparks Middle School already knew who he was. The public deserves to have timely access to public information, and no police department or government entity should get to decide what public information to share and what to hide. Consider that we knew the identity of a boy suspected of killing his teacher in Massachusetts days before we learned the identity of a boy suspected of doing the same thing 30 miles north of Carson City. That’s wrong.

SILVER DOLLAR: Our region drew 25 visitors from eight states for last week’s Capital City Circles workshop at Western Nevada College. They were trained how to help families break the cycle of poverty and took part in a poverty-simulation workshop Wednesday. It’s great not only to see people gather for a noble cause, but for newcomers to get a glimpse of our fair city in all its fall splendor.

SILVER DOLLAR: Jon Hager, the leader of Nevada’s health insurance exchange, told lawmakers Tuesday that our state’s system is running much more smoothly than those in other states, as well as the federal system. Our system has had its share of glitches, as Hager acknowledged, but it apparently could be much worse.


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