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News Brief: Backlog, Water Tax & Fewer Candidates

Photo of Arches National Park.
A California couple died while hiking to Delicate Arch, a popular area of Arches National Park, on Friday.

Monday evening, December 2, 2019


Clearing The Rape Kit Backlog

State lawmakers are pushing for more funding to clear a sexual assault kit backlog. The Associated Press first reported this weekend that the backlog has increased since a 2017 law gave the state crime lab more money to clear it. It has around 1,900 untested rape kits, and each month, it receives around 120 new ones. Read the full storySonja Hutson


Proposed Water Tax Hike For Washington County

For a second year in a row, the Washington County Water Conservancy District has proposed a property tax increase to help pay for capital projects and rising inflation. It’s something that’s only happened four times in the nearly 40 years that Ron Thompson has been the district’s executive director. The conservancy district’s board will vote on its proposed tax rate increase at 6 p.m. Wednesday during a public meeting at the district office. Read the full storyDavid Fuchs, St. George, Utah

SR-89 Collision 

The Utah Highway Patrol says three people are dead after two vehicles collided Sunday around 7:20 p.m. on SR-89 in Kane County. UHP says a Ford van was heading southbound when it crossed the centerline and hit an SUV going northbound. Highway patrol officials say three people in the SUV died from their injuries. The driver of the van was airlifted to a hospital in St. George, but their injuries are currently unknown. — Roddy Nikpour

Arches Hiking Accident

Grand County Sheriff Lt. Kim Neal says a couple from California died on Friday while hiking to Delicate Arch, a popular area of Arches National Park. The two were 65-year-old Toshiaki Amimoto and 60-year-old Etoko Amimoto. Neal says their son, 30-year-old Ryo Amimoto, suffered serious injuries but survived. — Roddy Nikpour


Mountain West Presidential Candidates

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is the latest Mountain West candidate to drop out of the 2020 presidential race. Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper dropped out in August. Colorado Senator Michael Bennett is still hanging on but is currently polling at zero. All three men touted their ability to woo conservatives in a region that leans red. But in a crowded Democratic field, they struggled with name recognition and financial support. There are now 16 Democratic candidates vying for their party’s nomination. Read the full storyNate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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