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AM News Brief: Philo Heads To UVU, Insulin Cost Control Passes & Expanded Telehealth

Photo of Philo Farnsworth statue.
Utah Valley University will soon house the statue of Philo T. Farnsworth. Farnsworth was born in Beaver, Utah, and developed the first all-electronic television system. This and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, March 11, 2020


Abortion Ultrasound Passes — Without Women Senators

Under a bill passed by the state Senate Tuesday, Utahns seeking abortions would have to undergo an ultrasound while the person performing that ultrasound describes the fetal images. But it passed without any of Utah’s six women senators, Republican and Democrat, who walked off the floor during the vote. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Telehealth Expanded To Address Coronavirus 

With hopes of helping to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Intermountain Healthcare announced Tuesday they’re expanding telehealth services across the state. The system — called Connect Care — would allow patients to talk with a doctor remotely via a phone app or the Intermountain website. With two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Utah and close to 100 people tested, health officials say anyone concerned about the virus or experiencing flu-like symptoms should call a healthcare provider before heading to a hospital. — Jon Reed

Affordable Housing Passes With Significant Cuts

A $10 million affordable housing bill has passed the Utah House of Representatives, but that’s only a third of the money it originally asked for. The Senate already passed the bill but now it needs to agree to some technical changes the House made. The money will go towards building an estimated 1,400 private affordable housing units, but there isn’t any funding available for the rental assistance called for in the original bill. — Sonja Hutson

Control On Insulin Costs Passes

A bill aiming to increase insulin accessibility cleared the Utah Legislature Tuesday. The bill, which would put a cap on insulin costs, encourages healthcare plans to reduce the copay required to get a prescription. That cap would extend to people who are uninsured too. The legislation would also allow a pharmacist to refill a prescription for up to 90 days in some cases. Now, it heads to the governor’s desk. — Grace Osusky

Northern Utah

Philo T. Farnsworth Heads To UVU

Utah Valley University will soon house the statue of Philo T. Farnsworth. Farnsworth was born in Beaver, Utah, and developed the first all-electronic television system. His statue in Washington D.C.'s National Statuary Hall is being replaced by one of Martha Hughes Cannon — the first woman elected to a state senate in the U.S. The statue will be moved later this year. — Grace Osusky

Brigham City Explosion Results In Worker Death

A man was killed in an explosion Tuesday morning at HyPerComp Engineering in Brigham City. It's believed the unidentified man in his mid-30s was the only one in the building at the time. Investigators have not said what caused the explosion. HyPerComp manufactures pressure vessels often used in the automotive and aerospace industries. — Associated Press


National Environmental Policy Act Comment Deadline Ends

The deadline for public comment on sweeping changes to one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws was Tuesday night. A federal judge ruled against extending the comment period after an environmental group said it didn’t get enough information from the Trump administration for an informed comment on the changes. The Southern Environmental Law Center said this ruling has implications for environmental laws and limits the strength of the Freedom of Information Act. The firm is considering an appeal. The White House Council on Environmental Quality said it does not comment on ongoing litigation. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau


Utah Climber Death In Mexico

The body of Moab-based climber Nolan Smythe has been recovered from the base of El Gigante in Chihuahua, Mexico. Smythe died Friday during a rest on a cliff face while climbing with a partner. The ledge on which he was sitting broke loose from the face and severed the rope to which Smythe was attached, sending him 1,000 feet to the ground in Basaseachic Falls National Park. — Associated Press

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