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News Briefs

News Brief: Flu Death, Hunting Revenue & Temple Decommissioned

Photo of hunter.
KUER File Photo
States in the Mountain West are taking steps to bring in more revenue from hunting and fishing permits. This and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, Jan. 8, 2020

State

Budget Preview

Gov. Gary Herbert is set to release his budget recommendations Wednesday morning. Herbert is likely to continue prioritizing education spending — which has received increased funding for the past two years. The budget will have to contend with the $160 million tax cut approved by the legislature and the governor last month. It will also reflect recent changes to Medicaid after the federal government approved Utah’s Medicaid expansion plans in late December. — Sonja Hutson

Southern Utah

Flu Death

A Utahn has died from complications of the flu. Southwest Utah Public Health Department officials confirm the person was under the age of 65 and lived in one of the five counties in its district, which includes Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane and Washington. Another 172 people have been hospitalized in what officials are calling a moderate flu season so far. A Salt Lake County Health Department official says there has been a high number of cases of Influenza B, which typically isn't seen until the end of the season. — Associated Press

Northern Utah

Temple Decommissioning

The decommissioning of the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City has begun. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints closed its largest temple last month for a four-year renovation. "Decommissioning” means removal of sacred items from the temple before construction starts. The process takes several weeks to complete and when it’s finished — the temple will no longer be considered a dedicated building. The structure anchors Temple Square, and was first dedicated in 1893 after 40 years of construction. — Grace Osusky & Diane Maggipinto

Canyons Sticker Program

The Utah Department of Transportation and Unified Police launch a new pilot program Tuesday aimed at improving traffic in the Cottonwood Canyons during heavy snowfall. Applicable to canyon residents and employees, the program awards stickers to cars that comply with snow tire and chain requirements after inspection by the agencies. Those vehicles can then pass through when the traction law is in effect that requires all-wheel drive or chains. Cars without stickers are subject to inspection by law enforcement to ensure compliance with the traction law. — Diane Maggipinto

Region

Hunting Revenue

States across our region are taking steps to bring in more revenue from hunting and fishing permits. Many of them now require hunters to apply for a small game license before they are eligible for a big game permit. Those changes appear to have increased revenue in a number of our states. Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources says revenue from all licenses sales went up nearly 3% from 2018 to 2019. — Ali Budner, Mountain West News Bureau

Adoption Fraud

The Arizona elected official accused of paying women from the Marshall Islands to give up their children for adoption in the United States has quit his post. Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen's resignation Monday came after county leaders suspended him. Petersen has been charged with illegally paying women to come to the U.S. to give up their babies for adoption in three states that include Utah. — Associated Press

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