Italian Earthquake Survivors Angered by Government Funeral Plan

Survivors of the 5.5 magnitude earthquake that demolished three medieval-aged towns near Amatrice, Italy, on Aug. 23 are angry with the Italian government because of plans to hold a state funeral for the victims. The state planned to hold the mass funeral at an airport hanger in a town far from Amatrice, where the deceased are currently being held, while the families watch on televisions from emergency tents in their hometown.

The Italian Premier, Matteo Renzi, reversed the decision in response to the outraged families’ calls for the government to “give their dead back.”

The funeral will now be held on Tuesday, Aug. 30, in Amatrice at a Catholic retreat home for the elderly. Renzi and other Italian officials will be in attendance.

The death toll in the aftermath of the earthquake is estimated to be 297. Only 231 bodies have been recovered.


Louisiana Bus Driver Crashes, Kills Two

A Louisiana bus driver crashed and killed two people and injured several more in a multiple-vehicle collision on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. He was driving volunteers to Baton-Rouge, where severe flooding caused by heavy rain has devastated the state over the last month.

The driver has been identified as Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez. He is an undocumented immigrant and does not have a driver’s license.

One of the individuals who was killed was a fire chief, headed to the scene of another automobile accident. A motorist involved in the crash with the charter bus died from injuries sustained.

Five people were airlifted from the scene and 41 others were treated for injuries.

Rodriguez is detained and is waiting to be indicted for multiple charges, including negligent homicide. Other criminal charges are pending.


Last Town Hall Over Washoe County School Overcrowding

On Monday, Aug. 29, Wooster High School hosted the last town hall meeting discussing the overcrowding of Washoe County schools, known as ballot question WC-1.

Voters who are pushing the ballot questions are hoping to raise sales tax from 7.725 percent to 8.265 percent in order to obtain the money schools need to make the adjustments for overcrowding. The school district says it needs around $20 million annually in order to accommodate the amount of students they have.

Many elementary schools are considering the year-round system in order to maintain a manageable number of students in the classroom at one time. A portion of students and teachers would be on break at different times during the school year. Four middle schools and high schools may also need to offer double sessions in order to ease overcrowding.

If WC-1 tax is favored in November’s election, Washoe County will have the highest sales tax rate out of any Nevada county.

Madeline Purdue can be reached at and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.