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News Brief: Homeless Pedestrians, Boy Scouts Suit & Weber State Inauguration

Image of scouts uniform.
iStock.com / AmyKerk
A potentially ground-breaking lawsuit is being filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. against the Boy Scouts of America. This and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, Jan. 7, 2020

Southern Utah

Controversial Washington County Road Project

The latest chapter to build a two-mile bypass road through Washington County’s Red Cliffs National Conservation Area has come to a close. County officials have said for decades that the so-called “Northern Corridor” is needed to alleviate future traffic, but not everyone agrees. The Bureau of Land Management Office in St. George received 16,000 comments before the scoping period ended Monday night. The 90 day public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement will open later this year. — David Fuchs, St. George

Northern Utah

UDOT Safety Improvements

The Utah Department of Transportation and South Salt Lake City plan to improve safety for pedestrians along 3300 South near the new South Salt Lake homeless resource center. These changes come after a series of fatal accidents. UDOT will be installing signs, signals and lighting in the area. Safety improvements in the area will begin as soon as this weekend and continue over the next several months. — Jessica Lowell

Weber State Inauguration

Tuesday afternoon, Weber State University will inaugurate its 13th president, Brad Mortensen, a year after he took office. Mortensen says he’s looking forward to improving Weber State’s enrollment, retention and graduation rates, and that the university is focused on aligning its academic programs to meet the state’s workforce needs. Today also marks the Ogden-based university’s 131st anniversary. — Rocio Hernandez

Tesla Crash

A man behind the wheel of a Tesla that hit another car and left three people critically injured in Salt Lake City is suspected of driving intoxicated. Police Sgt. Keith Horrocks says the car's battery burst into flames after it ran a red light and crashed Sunday morning. A hazardous-materials crew extinguished the fire. Two men in the Tesla and a woman in the other car, a Nissan Sentra, were taken to hospitals in critical condition. Horrocks says investigators are weighing criminal charges against the Tesla driver, who is hospitalized. — Diane Maggipinto

Region

Transportation Gases

When it comes to greenhouse gases, much of the attention is being paid to energy production. But since 2017, the transportation sector has actually been the biggest emitter nationwide. According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration every state in our region has reduced emissions. But Wyoming and Montana are among the top overall emitters per capita in the country. In Utah, there was more than 19 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per person in 2016, which ranks 33rd nationwide. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau

Nation

Boy Scouts Lawsuit 

A potentially ground-breaking lawsuit is being filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. against the Boy Scouts of America. It seeks to establish Washington as a venue for men across the U.S. to sue the Scouts for allegedly failing to protect them from sexual abuse by scout leaders. The eight plaintiffs live in states where statute of limitations laws would prevent them from suing the BSA based on claims of long-ago abuse. Utah is among those states. The plaintiffs' lawyers say D.C. is an appropriate venue because the Boy Scouts were incorporated there and have a congressional charter. — Associated Press

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