COVID trace app and the man whose crazy idea ‘jump-started’ the plan

Entrepreneur Andrew Pascal built a company that builds apps.

So when the Las Vegas resident considered what he could do to help Nevada during the pandemic and learned of the challenges inherent to contact tracing, the answer seemed clear enough.

His company would develop a contact-tracing app. Or so he thought.

Pascal, 54, did become a driving force in bringing to the state the COVID Trace app that launched on Monday. But not in the way he first envisioned.

Early in the pandemic, Southern Nevada Health District investigators were calling each person who tested positive for the coronavirus to request the names of close contacts who might have become infected. The investigators would in turn advise these contacts to self-quarantine to curb the spread of COVID-19. But as cases mounted, investigators were quickly overwhelmed, and backlogs piled up.

“Are you kidding me?” Pascal said in an interview this past week,

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Man charged with murdering Newark education advocate who was found dead in his home

A man was arrested Wednesday and charged with murdering a Newark education advocate in his home last month, authorities said.

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Joshua Wise, 28, of Newark, was charged with murder and weapons-related offenses in connection with the death of Johnnie Lattner, 55, of Newark, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office announced Thursday afternoon.

Lattner was found dead in his Mt. Pleasant Avenue home on Aug. 17 and while his death was originally considered suspicious, it was not ruled a homicide until an autopsy was performed, the office said.

An investigation was launched and Wise, who knew Lattner, was arrested Wednesday, officials said.

No other details were released Thursday, as the investigation into Lattner’s death remained active, the office said.

Lattner was the co-founder of PULSE (Parents Unified for Local School Education), a non-profit organization that was formed by parents as an advocacy group for students in Newark.

The group held

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