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AM News Brief: Hunting Cougars, Proposed Nature Park & More Charges Against Ex-Utah Football Player

Photo of a cougar in Zion National Park.
U.S. National Park Service
A new study shows that hunting cougars won’t reduce conflicts between cats, humans or livestock. This story and more in the Monday morning news brief.";

Monday morning, Feb. 24, 2020

State

Bill To Ban Elective Abortions Unveiled

A bill to almost entirely ban abortion in Utah was unveiled Friday. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Dan McCary, R-Riverton, would ban abortions at all stages of pregnancy, except in cases of rape, incest, if the mother’s life is at risk or if the fetus has a lethal defect or severe brain abnormality. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Northern Utah

Provo Beer Brewhaha

Provo city leaders narrowly voted last Tuesday to allow breweries in parts of the downtown area, sparking a broader debate over the changes residents want to see. Two days later, opponents of the decision filed a referendum to put the issue to voters. If enough signatures are gathered, residents will be able to vote on the issue in November. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

More Rape Charges Against Former Ute Football Player 

An ex-football player with the University of Utah, accused of raping a 17-year-old girl, is facing additional charges after prosecutors say he also raped two women. Wide receiver Terrell Perriman is now charged with eight felonies, including three counts of rape. Perriman initially faced a single count of rape and a charge of aggravated kidnapping on suspicion of assaulting a teen girl he met on Instagram. Prosecutors added to the charges Friday, saying he raped two women in Salt Lake County. A defense attorney says Perriman didn't rape the teen. He didn't respond to a message about the additional charges. The football team dismissed Perriman on Friday. — Associated Press

Conviction Overturned

The Utah Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of Meagan Grunwald. She was convicted at age 17 of being an accomplice in a police officer's killing in 2014. Chief Justice Matthew Durrant's opinion released Friday said there is a reasonable possibility the jury would not have found Grunwald guilty if there hadn't been an error in jury instructions. Grunwald was alleged to have driven the car for her boyfriend during a deadly police chase in which Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Cory Wride was killed. — Associated Press

Proposed Utah County Nature Preserve

Proponents of a nature park and preserve in Utah County are asking state lawmakers for $5.6 million. A coalition of more than two dozen government entities, civic groups and private landowners are working on a proposal they're calling the Walkara Way Project. Their goals include restoring habitat for ospreys, bald eagles and waterfowl and constructing walking trails, fishing spots and bird watching towers. The 1,000-acre park would span Provo, Orem and Vineyard. — Associated Press

Southern Utah

Protecting Slickrock From Future Lease Sales

Moab and Grand County officials breathed a sigh of relief Friday, when the Bureau of Land Management announced it had pulled prime recreation land from an upcoming oil and gas lease sale. But the fight to protect Sand Flats Recreation Area isn’t over yet. Grand County Councilwoman Mary McGann said she’s going to fight to have the Sand Flats Recreation Area, which is above the county’s main aquifer, removed from all future lease sales. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger, Blanding

Region

Study Finds Hunting Cougars Doesn’t Reduce Conflict

A new study shows that hunting cougars won’t reduce conflicts between cats, humans or livestock. The study looked at California, which does not have cougar hunting, and compared those findings to 10 western states that do. That includes all of the Mountain West states. The researchers analyzed cougar populations, human-cougar interactions, cougar livestock attacks and deer populations. Researchers didn’t find any statistical difference between states with hunting and without. It was published last week in the journal Plos One. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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