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AM News Brief: Dinners Added For Students, Social Distancing Without A Home & Missionaries Released

Photo of people standing near a school bus and a cart holding packaged food.
Jon Reed
/
KUER
The Salt Lake City school district will provide dinner three times a week to children in the district under the age of 18 starting Wednesday. This story and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, April 1, 2020

State

Making Rent

The first of the month means rent for many Utahns, but checks from the $2 trillion federal relief fund signed by President Donald Trump last week likely won’t arrive until late April. A record number of Utahns have filed for unemployment benefits because of business closures due to the coronavirus outbreak, but they are still on the hook for paying rent and other bills due April 1. The Utah Apartment Association says the best thing renters can do is communicate with landlords. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Releasing Missionaries

Officials from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Tuesday that missionaries returning to the United States from abroad will be temporarily released from their assignments. Church leaders have been attempting to return every missionary to their home country because of the COVID-19 outbreak. That group includes thousands who have returned to Utah over the past two weeks. The missionaries can choose whether to resume their service as soon as possible or delay up to 18 months. — Lee Hale

Northern Utah

School Meals Extend To Dinner

The Salt Lake City school district will provide dinner three times a week to children in the district under the age of 18 starting Wednesday. Since schools closed because of the coronavirus, the district has been supplying breakfast and lunch during the week. But now families can also get a sack dinner on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The school district will partner with the Utah Food Bank to open up the meal service to the public even if kids aren’t enrolled in school or aren’t eligible for free and reduced meals. Fifteen school sites in the city will be distributing dinners. — Ross Terrell

Hobbitville

Salt Lake City is under contract to purchase Allen Park, a nearly seven acre swath in a historic area of Sugar House that’s also known as “hobbitville.” The park was threatened by development when an interested buyer last year floated the idea of building on the property. In her announcement, Mayor Erin Mendenhall says funds will come from park-designated impact fees. That money must be used on new open space or parks. acres The land was bought nearly 90 years ago by Dr. George Allen, who, with his family, developed it into an oasis of quirky buildings along the winding Emigration Creek and built cages for his collection of exotic birds. Allen Park will remain closed to the public while city leaders evaluate its potential uses and gather community input

Region

Creating Distance Without A Home

People experiencing homelessness are at greater risk for getting and spreading COVID-19, and several homeless residents have tested positive for COVID-19 around the region, from Denver to Boise to Las Vegas. Community leaders and shelters are trying to take precautions and are setting up testing at shelters. But shelters around the region have asked for community help to make sure they can stay operational during this time. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau 

Read more from KUER: Utah Homeless Shelters Keep Guests Less Than 6 Feet Apart, But Implement Measures To Stop COVID-19 Spread

Grand Canyon Gets First COVID-19 Case

The first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Grand Canyon National Park. Rangers say despite the virus affecting a local resident of Grand Canyon Village on the south rim, the park remains open. The Park Service has closed some of its more than 400 sites, but won't say precisely how many. In the last week, gates closed at Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah. — Diane Maggipinto

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