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PM News Brief: Vaccines, Drivers & Wolverines

Photo of a wolverine
National Park Service
Conservation groups are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to come up with plans to protect wolverines, which scientists say are at risk of extinction, in the three years since a federal judge ordered the agency to do so.

Monday evening, Feb. 3, 2020


Rally For “Red Flag” Gun Law

Utah Moms Demand Action, a gun control advocacy group, was on Capitol Hill Monday, pushing a “red flag” bill that failed in the Legislature the last two years. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Handy, R-Layton, would allow a judge to issue an order to temporarily confiscate guns from someone deemed an extreme risk to themselves or others. — Sonja Hutson

Dropping Vaccination Rates

Vaccination rates for Utah’s kindergartners dropped 4.6% between 2009 and 2018. That was the third largest drop in the country for that period. The report from Health Testing Centers analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control on the MMR, D-Tap, Chickenpox, Polio and Hepatitis B vaccines. Utah also fell short of the target vaccination rates for Polio and Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Health officials set target thresholds of 95% of the population being vaccinated for these in order to avoid outbreaks. — Caroline Ballard


Drivers In The Storm

A winter storm dropped a record snowfall Monday on the Salt Lake Valley with some areas getting as much as 18 inches. But with early warnings from the Department of Transportation and several school closures, the morning commute was far lighter than usual. The Utah Highway Patrol reported a 57% reduction in traffic compared to an average Monday. — Jon Reed

Officer Involved Shooting

A man was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Millcreek Monday. The Salt Lake Tribune reports officers responded to a domestic dispute between a woman and her adult son. The son was shot in the home’s yard by officers, who said he had a gun. An investigation by West Valley Police is ongoing. Evergreen Junior High temporarily went on lockdown as a result of the shooting, but shortly returned to normal operations. — Caroline Ballard

New Sundance Film Festival Director

The Sundance Film Festival has found its new leader from within, promoting Sundance Institute documentary program director Tabitha Jackson to festival director. Jackson becomes the first woman, the first black person and the first Brit to head the Park City festival for independent film. She follows previous director John Cooper. — Associated Press


Wolverine Protections

In 2016, a federal judge ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make protections for wolverines. Over three years later, the agency is facing a pending lawsuit by conservation groups for failing to come up with those plans. Right now, about 300 wolverines remain in the U.S., including some in our region. Scientists say that low of a number puts them at risk of extinction. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

Guilty Plea In Alaska Cruise Murder

A Utah man has agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his wife during a 2017 cruise to Alaska. Kenneth Manzanares previously pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. A change of plea hearing is scheduled for Friday. The plea agreement signed by Manzanares states he and his wife, Kristy Manzanares, had been arguing about his behavior when she told him she wanted a divorce. The document states that Manzanares acknowledged hitting his wife, seeing blood, striking her again and having no memory after that. — Associated Press


Fewer Missionaries In Liberia

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is reducing the number of its missionaries in Liberia due to the country's economic problems. The church announced Sunday that 23 missionaries who were close to ending their assignments in the West African nation will return home in the next few days. Eight other missionaries who had been preparing to go to Liberia have been temporarily assigned elsewhere. A church spokesman says there are adequate supplies for the 99 people who will remain at the Liberia Monrovia Mission. — Associated Press

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