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AM News Brief: Air Force Exercises, State Budget & Federal Employees Say 'No' To BLM Move

Photo of military airplanes flying in a v formation.
File: 388th Fighter Wing of Hill Air Force Base
Hill AFB will be conducting a weapons evaluation exercise focused on the effectiveness and accuracy of what the air force calls "precision guided air-to-ground munitions."

Monday morning, March 9, 2020

State

Utah’s First Coronavirus Case

Utah health officials announced on Friday the state’s first case of Covid-19, the infection of the coronavirus. The patient, a Davis County resident over the age of 60, is believed to have been exposed on the Grand Princess cruise ship and had been back in the state for about a week. The Davis County Health Department says so far, no other cases have been found and this doesn’t represent a community spread. The patient has been released to recover at home under a county-issued isolation order.Read the full story. — Ross Terrell and Jon Reed

State Budget Proposal

A state legislative committee has approved Utah’s draft budget, which includes big wins for mental health programs and money to increase state employee salaries. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Restructuring Education Funding

The Utah legislature is working to expand on how the state can spend money that is earmarked for education. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Northern Utah

Hill AFB Drills

People near Hill Air Force Base the week of Mar. 9 may notice increased flying. The base will be conducting a weapons evaluation exercise focused on the effectiveness and accuracy of what the air force calls “precision guided air-to-ground munitions.” Tests will be conducted at the Utah Test and Training Range in the West Desert. — Grace Osusky

Four Ogden Police Officers Found Justified In Shooting

Four Ogden police officers have been found justified in shooting and killing a man last August. Weber County Attorney Chris Allred cleared the officers of wrongdoing in the death of 26-year-old Jovany Mercado of Ogden who died at the scene. A Jan. 30 letter shows Allred told Police Chief Randy Watt the officers shouted to Mercado to drop a knife a total of 23 times before they opened fire and a report obtained by the Ogden Standard Examiner found the officers fired 20 bullets and hit Mercado 16 times. — Associated Press

Region

Employees Say “No” To BLM Move

Half of the Bureau of Land Management’s staff asked to move from Washington D.C. to Grand Junction, CO, opted to leave the agency instead. New analysis from the Government Accountability Office found that the BLM has nothing in place to make sure the agency's goals for this move are met, like reducing costs. In a statement, the agency says the relocation "will be better positioned to better serve the American public." — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

Montana Democrat Aims At Turning U.S. Senate Blue

The mountain states region could play a big role in the fight to turn the U.S. Senate blue. Montana’s Democratic governor Steve Bullock will challenge the incumbent Republican senator. Monday, Bullock launched his campaign to take on Steve Daines. Bullock is a moderate who won the governorship in a state that voted for Trump by 20 points. His run for the U.S. Senate could be a game changer for Democrats nationally and it could take them one step closer to gaining control of that chamber in November. Trump tweeted his support of Daines late last month saying he was a “strong conservative.” — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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