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PM News Brief: Primary Children's Lehi, Huntsman Running Mate & Utah's Coronavirus Plans

Photo of Michelle Kaufusi and Jon Huntsman
Huntsman and Kaufusi Campaign
Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi is the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Jon Huntsman.

Friday evening, Feb. 7, 2020

STATE

Huntsman Chooses Running Mate

Gubernatorial candidate Jon Huntsman introduced his running mate today: Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi. In a news release, Huntsman said the Provo mayor would bring an important local perspective to his administration. Kaufusi was elected the city’s first female mayor in 2017. Her husband, Steve Kaufusi, is a former BYU football defensive line coach. Huntsman is seeking a third term as governor. He previously served five years in the seat before becoming a U.S. ambassador to China and later, Russia. — Nicole Nixon

Preventing Coronavirus In Utah

There are no identified cases of coronavirus in Utah at the moment. But the state’s Department of Health said Friday at the Capitol that it’s taking preventive measures should an outbreak occur. The department has investigated 10 Utahns who it identified as at risk for the coronavirus. So far, test results for eight have come back negative. Other efforts include educating community partners like businesses with ties to China, where the outbreak began, on how to prevent, spot and report the virus. — Rocio Hernandez

License Plate Restrictions

Utah Lawmakers have advanced a tighter ban on personalized license plates that have disparaging words after a plate that said "DEPORTM" sparked debate on social media. The state Senate Transportation Committee voted Thursday to forward a bill for full Senate consideration that would further restrict what can be said on vanity license plates. Officials say the bill would ban plates that disparage anyone based on characteristics like race, citizenship status, religion, age or gender. — Associated Press

Get Your Marriage License Online

Utah County has launched a digital application for marriage licenses on its website, and it's available to all state residents. Officials say the online application takes about 10 minutes and requires both people to use one device to fill out a form. They also have to take pictures of themselves and their IDs so the system can verify identities. Officials say the couple is then emailed a PDF version of the marriage license. — Associated Press

NORTHERN UTAH

Utah County Growth Explosion

Utah County is expected to see the most growth of any other county in the state, adding more than one million people by 2065. With that in mind, residents are now looking to urbanization as one of the main ways to manage the influx, according to a new study that gauged residents’ preferences on several growth scenarios. About 11,000 people weighed in and said they want to see growth concentrated in dense, urban centers, with easy access to jobs, entertainment and transit. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Primary Children’s Hospital In Lehi

Intermountain Healthcare officials Friday unveiled new details about a Primary Children’s Hospital campus planned for Lehi. They say the facility will provide trauma and emergency services, intensive care units, and mental health services. They also say the new campus will help address the rapid growth in Utah County and the urgent need for quality pediatric care. Construction on the 38-acre campus starts later this year, with plans to open in 2023. — Jon Reed

Humane Society Scam

The Utah Humane Society is warning residents in the Ogden and Sugar House areas not to give money to a scammer. The group says they’ve gotten calls from a number of concerned residents who say a female solicitor has been going door to door asking for donations on behalf of the charity. In a press release, officials said the public should be wary of giving money to solicitors without contacting the organization to verify. They suggested using a non emergency number to contact police if they see it happening. — Jon Reed

REGION

Avalanche Activity

Mountain West skiers have been enjoying plenty of deep powder this year. But it also comes with some hazards. Craig Gordon of the Utah Avalanche Center says it’s been a good year for snowfall in the Mountain West but there is a downside — the dense, heavy snow creating a dense layer on top of lighter snow. He called it a “dangerous combination in our mountains.” And along with these conditions, the region is also seeing unusually warm temperatures — even rain in some places. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

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