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PM News Brief: Record Brine Shrimp Harvest, Hill AFB Impact & Utah Shakespeare Festival's Fred Adams

Photo of Fred Adams
Courtesy of Utah Shakespeare Festival
Fred C. Adams, founder of the Utah Shakespeare Festival, died Thursday at the age of 89. "

Thursday evening, Feb. 6, 2020

STATE

Romney Faces Utah Republican Leadership

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney was the lone Republican to cross party lines in his vote to convict President Donald Trump on Wednesday, becoming the only senator who’s ever voted to remove a president of the same party from office. Thursday, he met with Republican legislative leadership at the Utah Capitol to explain his vote. Hours later, Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, opened a bill file for a joint resolution to censure Romney. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

SOUTHERN UTAH

Expanded Drilling, Mining And Grazing in Southern Utah

The Trump administration has finalized plans to expand drilling, mining and grazing in Southern Utah. The area is home to Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monuments, which the president shrunk two years ago. The new management plans will open thousands of acres for development within the former boundaries of those two monuments. The presidential proclamation shrinking the monuments is currently being litigated by tribes and conservation groups. Read the full story. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau; David Fuchs, St. George; Kate Groetzinger, Blanding

Founder Of Utah Shakespeare Festival Dies At 89

Fred C. Adams, founder of the Utah Shakespeare Festival, died early Thursday morning at the age of 89. Adams founded the Festival in 1961. Now, over 100,000 people from all over the world travel to Cedar City to attend the Tony and Emmy award winning Festival each year. In a press release Thursday, Utah Senate President Stuart Adams (no relation) and Sen. Evan Vickers remembered Fred Adams as a “true hero” who contributed significantly to Utah’s arts and culture. — Grace Osusky

NORTHERN UTAH

Bringing In The Brine Shrimp

Close-up picture of many brine shrimp.
Credit Saul Dolgin via Flickr

A record number of brine shrimp eggs were harvested from the Great Salt Lake this season — which runs from October to the end of January. Brine shrimp eggs are used as commercial fishing bait. Each year the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources harvests between 25 million to 35 million pounds. This year, that number grew to 44 million pounds. Harvesting prevents the lake’s brine shrimp from overpopulating. Overpopulation threatens the health of the lake which harms wildlife that rely on shrimp as a source of food, like migratory birds. — Grace Osusky

Hill AFB Economic Impact

According to its own 2019 economic analysis, Hill Air Force base had a $3.7 billion impact on Utah’s economy. The report was released Thursday. It says $1.47 billion of that impact is in job creation and that over 30,000 jobs for the community were created indirectly. There are currently 27,650 people working at the base between Salt Lake City and Ogden. The average annual pay for an employee is around $49,000. — Caroline Ballard

NATION

Victim Advocate Elizabeth Smart Assaulted

Utah kidnapping and rape survivor Elizabeth Smart says she was sexually assaulted on an airplane in 2019. Smart said on “CBS This Morning” on Thursday that she was sleeping when she felt someone's hand rubbing her inner thigh. She says the last time someone touched her without permission was when she was kidnapped as a 14-year-old girl. Smart spokesman Chris Thomas says the July 19 attack is being investigated by the FBI and Delta Air Lines. FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker said she could not confirm or deny an investigation exists. Delta said it's cooperating with the investigation. — Associated Press

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