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Gov. Gary Herbert Signs Bills On Abortion, Polygamy And Affordable Housing

Gov. Gary Herbert signed 151 bills Saturday, including a $10 million affordable housing bill, a bill essentially decriminalizing polygamy and a controversial bill to ban elective abortions should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

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Friday evening, March 27, 2020

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Brian Albers / KUER

The Utah System of Higher Education Board of Regents voted Thursday to raise tuition at seven of the state’s eight public universities. 

“The snow’s going sideways, it’s swirling,” said Billy Barr, from the abandoned silver mine he lives in at more than 12,000 feet in altitude in the Rocky Mountains.

We’re all social distancing these days, and it’s unclear when exactly that will end. But Barr has been doing this for almost 50 years. He’s the only full-time resident of Gothic, Colorado. 

“I'm the mayor and chief of police,” he said. “I hold elections every year but I don't tell anybody when they are, so it works out really well.”

Ethel Branch is the former attorney general of the Navajo Nation. A few weeks ago, when she went grocery shopping in Flagstaff, Arizona, she noticed that the shelves were already pretty bare. That worried her. For shoppers from the nearby Navajo Nation, a grocery store can be hours away.

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Courtesy of SugarHouse Industries

Companies across Utah have been suspending their normal operations due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, some businesses, like Ogden’s Own and Sugarhouse Industries, have shifted their production to meet the growing demand for gloves and masks and even things like sanitizer. 

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.

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Since people in Utah began widely practicing social distancing a few weeks ago, local law enforcement has reported a spike in domestic violence calls. But that number only reflects part of the problem, since many people don’t report abuse to police. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Jennifer Oxborrow, the executive director of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, who says the global pandemic is intensifying abusive relationships.

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As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to increase, Utah’s hospitals and doctors are preparing for a surge that many predict is inevitable. 

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

President Trump told governors his administration is working on publishing guidelines for state and local governments to use to determine whether to increase or relax social distancing rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The announcement came ahead of the White House's regular news conference on its response to the pandemic.

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David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — When the Millard county commission declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, their county became the 19th in Utah to do so in a little over two weeks. 

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KUER Corrections

Recent Story Corrections

Feb 21, 2020

Moab Hospital Medical Director Asks Tourists To Stay Away From National Parks

Correction 3/16/2020 10:23 p.m. MT: A previous version of this story misstated the date 1,900 cars visited 1,900 cars visited Arches National Park. It was March 15, 2020. 

Moab Business Owners Push Back Against County-wide Event Ban

Correction 2:21 p.m. MDT 3/12/2020: A previous version of this story misstated the area that would be included in the ban. The ban would apply to all areas of Grand County.

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A Guide To Staying Safe, Healthy (And Sane) During Social Distancing In Utah

Ways to help local restaurant staffers who are out of work, tips for keeping kids busy while you work from home, ideas for where get some sunshine (while keeping at least six feet apart) and more.

Local Headlines From KUER

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Friday evening, March 27, 2020

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Brian Albers / KUER

Friday morning, March 27, 2020

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NPR News

Coronavirus cases in the United States continue to soar and virus-related deaths are mounting, with America's total fatalities doubling in just two days.

The country's top infectious disease experts are saying the U.S. may been a long way from the peak of the outbreak.

With only her dog for company, a 4-year-old girl survived alone in the Alabama woods before an army of volunteers and law enforcement came together to find her not far from where she was last seen two days before.

Evelyn Sides, who goes by Vadie, wandered off into the woods near Loachapoka, Ala., Wednesday afternoon.

Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the world's leading composers, died Sunday at the age of 86. The Polish Ministry of Affairs announced his passing in a tweet. No cause of death was given.

The Polish-born composer established himself while still in his 20s with jarring atonal works such as Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, and came to be widely admired by music fans and musicians far outside traditional classical music circles.

A planeload of health care supplies arrived in New York City on Sunday from China, part of an effort the White House says will expedite the arrival of goods that are badly needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The nation's leading expert on infectious diseases and member of the White House's coronavirus task force says the pandemic could kill 100,000 to 200,000 Americans and infect millions.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said based on modeling of the current pace of the coronavirus' spread in the U.S., "between 100,000 and 200,000" people may die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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