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AM News Brief: High School COVID-19 Cluster, Proposed National Monument & Utah Homes In Fire Zones

Burn scars on brown grass near large home.
Whittney Evans
/
KUER
An analysis of parts of the United States with high risk for wildfire shows Utah and California have the largest number of homes in those danger zones. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, September 1, 2020

Northern Utah

Pleasant Grove High COVID-19 Cluster
Pleasant Grove High School has been identified as a coronavirus cluster location. Classrooms were closed Tuesday as teachers and students prepare for a hybrid model of learning. A press release from the Alpine School District, Utah County Health Dept and the city of Pleasant Grove reported 67 active cases of COVID-19 — 41 are students and 26 are teachers. When the school reopens Thursday, students will be split into two groups and attend in-person every other day. About 2,200 students are enrolled in 10th through 12th grades there. — Diane Maggipinto


State

Third-Party Candidates Address Utah
Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins and vice presidential nominee Angela Walker joined a virtual meeting with the Salt Lake Democratic Socialists of America Monday night. Hawkins first proposed a Green New Deal to fight climate change and provide jobs around 10 years ago and said that the Democrats "took the slogan, diluted the content and now have buried it." Libertarian VP candidate Spike Cohen is holding a rally in Salt Lake City Tuesday. He said if he and presidential candidate Jo Jorgenson are elected, one of their top priorities would be eliminating the government's role in healthcare. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Utah Homes In Fire Zones
An analysis of parts of the United States with high risk for wildfire shows Utah and California have the largest number of homes in those danger zones. The data analysis firm Cape Analytics assessed geospatial imagery data to look at new home construction over the last ten years in Western states with consistent forest fires. E & E News reported that California's total was highest, at more than 10,000 homes. Utah came in second place with 6,144 houses. Colorado was third. The report also listed cities that added the most homes in the urban-wildland interface. The top 12 were in Utah and California. St. George topped the list for Utah and was second overall, with nearly 1,100 new houses in high-risk zones. Utah had the at-risk most homes per capita with 193. — Diane Maggipinto

Follow KUER’s coverage of Utah’s 2020 Fire Season.


Region/Nation

Navajo COVID-19 Update
Navajo Nation health officials recorded 20 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death, bringing the total number of deaths to 503. Nearly 98,000 tests have been administered with about 9,800 positive results since the start of the pandemic. The Navajo Nation lifted its stay-at-home order on Aug. 16, but President Jonathan Nez is asking residents to leave their homes only for emergencies or essential activities. The Utah Navajo Health System is reporting 471 cases on the Utah portion of the Nation. — Diane Maggipinto

Group Seeks National Monument Status For Threatened Land
A Washington-based conservation group is working with the Fort Mojave Indian tribe to establish a new national monument in our region. The proposed site would encompass an area around Spirit Mountain in Southern Nevada. The area known as Avi Kwa Ame was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places two decades ago. Las Vegas sprawl is increasingly a threat though, and a pair of wind energy projects were recently tabled due to their ecological and cultural impact on the site. Tribal leaders say the site is sacred to native peoples who lived along the Colorado River. If approved, the site would become the fourth such federal monument in Nevada. — Paul Boger, Mountain West News Bureau

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