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State briefs

Bethany Drysdale, 27, has joined the media relations staff of the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt said Drysdale will work with Media Relations Manager Chris Chrystal to promote Nevada as a tourism destination worldwide and provide information to news and travel media for stories that showcase Nevada’s attractions and inspire people to visit.

“Our media relations department is instrumental in obtaining stories about Nevada’s exciting and often surprising attractions that influence readers, viewers and listeners all over the world,” said Hunt, who chairs the commission on tourism.

Drysdale came to the tourism division from RKPR Inc. in Reno, where she handled tourism public relations activities for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, the Lake Tahoe Incline Village/Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort Spa & Casino, the Reno-Tahoe Regional Marketing Committee and other clients of the agency.

October named Cyber Security Awareness Month

Joined by Attorney General Brian Sandoval, Gov. Kenny Guinn has declared October “Cyber Security Awareness Month.”

Sandoval, who is chairman of the state’s cyber crime task force, said nearly two-thirds of Nevada households have a computer and there are more than 200 million Internet users nationwide. He said the prevalence of computers in America has spawned a new type of criminal who preys on users who don’t know how to protect their computers and their personal information.

“Computers went from being an option to a necessity virtually overnight,” he said. “And as we become increasingly reliant on new technologies, cyber criminals are finding more ways to take advantage of the technology users.”

He said the purpose of the task force is not only to hunt down and prosecute individuals who commit computer-related crimes but to inform the public how to better protect themselves.

The task force has established a link with Internet Fraud Complaint Centers and works to promote the safe and ethical use of computers and the Internet through public education and outreach.

Derby raises $108,000 since announcing congressional bid

Jill Derby, who represents western Nevada on the Board of Regents, says she has raised $108,000 in contributions toward her run for U.S. Congress in the two weeks since she announced her candidacy.

“I have found incredible support and a hunger for new leadership in Washington,” said Derby, the only announced Democrat seeking the seat vacated by Jim Gibbons in his run for governor.

She said those contributions included support from Democratic office holders Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Shelley Berkley.

“I’m running for Congress because we need a change in Washington,” she said.

“With my deep roots in this state and 17 years as a college and university regent, I will be a strong, independent voice for Nevada values in Congress.”

Two Republicans have announced they are running for the congressional seat – Secretary of State Dean Heller and Gibbons’ wife, Dawn Gibbons.