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AM News Brief: Spring Forward, Rural Broadband & Temple Closures

Photo of sunset over Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers
/
KUER
Spring forward this weekend. Daylight Saving Time ends officially Sunday at 2 a.m. This and more in the Friday morning news brief.

Friday morning, March 6, 2020

State

Encouraging Tier 3 Fuel Production

Refineries who have been slow to start producing Tier 3 fuel would still be eligible for a tax break under a bill moving through the state legislature. Tier 3 fuels are cleaner and reduce tailpipe emissions, which can help improve air quality. Most refineries in Utah have started producing them, but two smaller ones have not. Right now, refineries have until 2021 to start producing the cleaner fuels, but under a proposal from Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, they could still receive a tax credit if they start before 2025. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Scholarships For Students With Criminal Records

Students with criminal records could soon be eligible for two scholarships offered by the state. A bill which cleared a House Committee Thursday would change the requirements for the Regents' and New Century Scholarships. The bill has already passed the Senate, and it now heads to the house floor. — Jessica Lowell

Utah Pushes Back On Trump’s Coronavirus “Misinformation”

A state coronavirus-response team in Utah is calling comments from President Donald Trump “misinformation” and warning people to stay home from work if they show symptoms that match the virus. In a tweet Thursday, the task force led by Republican Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox posted an audio clip from Trump's wide-ranging interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity in which he said that many cases of coronavirus are mild and that some people still go to work. A spokeswoman for Cox says he was not involved in the tweet. Cox is a candidate in the race to replace outgoing Gov. Gary Herbert. — Associated Press

Northern Utah

UVU Mental Health Clinic

Utah Valley University has converted the former home of the school's presidents into a mental health clinic for students and community members. The new facility on the Orem campus opened this semester. It's expected the clinic will provide training for students in the university's Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program. Students therapists will be supervised by faculty and provide individual, couples, family and premarital therapy. — Associated Press

Region

Rural Broadband

A new report from the National Association of Counties found that most rural areas in America have really bad broadband connections. The problem is especially acute in the Mountain West. For the most part, only wealthy enclaves like Jackson Hole have good broadband. The report blamed flawed data given to the FCC by the broadband industry that suggested connections were higher. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

Federal Lands Study

Federal lands are much better at reducing habitat loss and protecting endangered species than private ones. That’s according to a new study out Monday from Tufts University and the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife. The report found that habitat loss for imperiled species in the U.S. was more than twice as great on private lands than on federal lands. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

Nation

Daylight Saving Ends

Spring forward this weekend. Daylight Saving Time ends officially Sunday at 2 a.m. Set clocks forward one hour before turning in for the night Saturday. — Diane Maggipinto

World

LDS Temple Closures

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is temporarily closing several temples around the world over concerns about coronavirus. They include the year-old temple in Rome Italy, as well as those in Taipei, Taiwan, Seoul, South Korea, three in Japan and a temple in Hong Kong. Steps are also in place to help LDS missionaries in hot spots that include Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia. Church leaders say mission start dates will be postponed or missionaries reassigned, and those nearing the end of their missions will return home early. And worship services in many of those areas, as well as in Seattle, have been shortened or suspended. — Diane Maggipinto

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