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News Brief: Uranium, Cheatgrass & A New Mental Health Center

Dry cheatgrass covers rolling hills.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
A study found that grazing does not help reduce cheatgrass, which is a highly flammible invasive plant that has become a problem in the Mountain West. This and more in the first Thursday news brief.

Thursday morning, December 12, 2019

Northern Utah

Friday, Davis County will celebrate the opening of a new Receiving Center which gives adults with mental health or substance abuse problems a chance to recover. The Center's pilot project aims to change how law enforcement interacts with individuals. Officers from Bountiful and Layton City Police may forego citing or arresting offenders and instead take them to the Receiving Center. There, clients will be connected to recovery resources. Davis County Receiving Center is the only program of this kind in Utah. — Diane Maggipinto

Southern Utah

What More U.S. Uranium Mining Could Mean For San Juan County

The federal government could start buying more domestic uranium if the President acts on recommendations from a working group he created this summer. The recommendations have not been made public. But sources familiar with the report told Bloomberg News it directs the federal government to add new domestic uranium to its stockpile. That could increase operations at the White Mesa Mill, in San Juan County. The company that owns the mill claims the waste from that production would be minimal. But environmental advocates say water testing around the mill has already shown evidence of contaminants, including uranium. Read the full story — Kate Groetzinger, Blanding

Region

Fighting Cheatgrass

Researchers from a number of states, including Idaho, Colorado and Nevada, have found that grazing does not help get rid of cheatgrass. The findings were based on 14 years of data from the Great Basin area. The invasive weed is highly flammable, and tends to make wildfire more frequent and extensive. — Rae Ellen Bichell, Mountain West News Bureau

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