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News Brief: New St. George Highway, Avalanche Fatality & Navajo Law

Photo of closed terrain at ski resort.
Chelsea Naughton / KUER
Backcountry conditions Tuesday are tricky, according to the report from the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center. The combination of new, heavy snow and recent strong winds have created unstable conditions atop a crumbly, weak base.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Northern Utah

Avalanche Fatality

The 45-year-old snowboarder who died in an avalanche on Sunday is identified as Raymond Matt Tauszik of Salt Lake City. Avalanche forecasters who investigated said Tauszik left Park City Mountain Resort through a backcountry gate and was riding alone without a beacon. The slide was triggered in a steep rocky section called Dutch Draw, where another rider died in an avalanche in 2012. Backcountry conditions Tuesday are tricky, according to the report from the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center. The combination of new, heavy snow and recent strong winds have created unstable conditions atop a crumbly, weak base.  — Diane Maggipinto

Southern Utah

Public Comment Period For Planned St. George Highway

A renewed effort to create a roughly two-mile section of highway to bypass St. George is under way in Washington County. Known as the “Northern Corridor,” the idea has generated controversy for decades. The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are in the early stages of developing a study to determine the environmental impacts of the latest version of the project and are seeking public input. The public comment period for the scoping phase of the project will end on Jan. 6. Read the full storyDavid Fuchs, St. George

Region

Vaccine Summit

Around 60 people gathered in Colorado’s capitol Monday for a discussion about vaccines; specifically, reasons why they say people shouldn’t be required to get their children vaccinated. Colorado and other states in the Mountain West have some of the lowest rates of kindergarten vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella. A spokesperson with Colorado Vaccinates, a coalition of groups with the goal of increasing vaccination rates in the state, said it’s gearing for legislation in 2020 that could change that. — Rae Ellen Bichell, Mountain West News Bureau

Navajo Law School

Diné College, the first post-high school institution established by an American Indian tribe, is now working to create a law school. At a recent symposium on the Navajo Nation, talks centered on topics ranging from the college's original mission and accreditation to student courses, judicial advocates, and which communities might be served by a law school. The director of the college's Navajo Sovereignty Institute, Rex Lee Jim, said the proposed law school ideally would specialize in emerging areas of American Indian law that are significant to the Navajo Nation economy. Diné College has campuses in Arizona and New Mexico. — Diane Maggipinto

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