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PM News Brief: BYU Honor Code Change, Rural Broadband & Utah Lawmaker On Colorado Wolf Effort

BYU honor code rally photo.
Kelsie Moore/KUER
Brigham Young University has updated its Honor Code to eliminate a clause that banned homosexual behavior. This photo was taken at an April protest where people advocated for the university to reform its Honor Code system.

Wednesday evening, Feb. 19, 2020

NORTHERN UTAH

Updated Honor Code

Brigham Young University has updated its Honor Code to eliminate the clause that bans homosexual behavior. The previous version of the Honor Code allowed for what it called “homosexual orientation,” but said that students were prohibited from “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.” Now, the entire section relating to homosexuality has been removed. The school still bans any sexual relations outside of a heterosexual marriage. — Caroline Ballard

Rural Broadband Coming To Northeast Utah

More than 3,000 rural homes, farms and businesses in Duchesne and Uintah counties will get access to broadband internet thanks to a new program. The Reconnect Pilot Program, established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will provide grants and loans to help rural communities cover the costs of installing broadband facilities. Broadband Now, an internet service provider, says nearly 600 people in Duchesne and Uintah counties — around 1% of the population there — don’t have any access to the internet. — Grace Osusky

Correction 11:04 p.m. 2/19/20: A previous title of this story misstated the location this program will impact.
STATE

Minors & School Threats

A Utah House committee is divided over whether to require restorative justice for minors who make threats against a school. The bill in question, sponsored by Murray City prosecutor and Rep. Andrew Stoddard, D-Sandy, would make threatening a school its own crime prosecuted as a misdemeanor. Under the version of the bill presented at the outset of a House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice committee meeting Wednesday, if a minor makes the threat, the school would be required to put them through a program that focuses on rehabilitation rather than the juvenile court system. After Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, voiced concerns about local control, the committee voted to delete all mentions of the program from the bill. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

REGION

Utah Lawmaker Pushes To Condemn Possible Colorado Wolf Reintroduction

A Utah state Republican is pushing a resolution to condemn Colorado if voters there decide to pass a November initiative to reintroduce gray wolves into the southern Rockies. Rep. Logan Wilde says Colorado shouldn’t put the public in charge of this kind of decision and worries the wolves will enter neighboring Utah, though the resolution appears to be just a finger wag at Colorado. Read the full story. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

NATION

Utah Woman Charged With Attempted Kidnapping in Philippines

An American woman charged with human trafficking for allegedly attempting to smuggle a 6-day-old baby out of the Philippines has been arrested on an additional count of kidnapping. Jennifer Talbot from Utah, who was out on bail, was presented to reporters in Manila Wednesday by officials from the National Bureau of Investigation. She said she objected to the press conference without her attorney and the embassy present. Prosecutors say she planned to board a Delta Air Lines flight to the U.S. with the baby on Sept. 4. After discovering the baby, airline staff called immigration personnel, who arrested Talbot at the airport. The baby was turned over to government welfare personnel. — Associated Press

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