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AM News Brief: Bears Ears Management, Salt Lake Budget & Federal Aid For Navajo Nation

Photo of Bears Ears Buttes.
Erik Neumann
Public comment on improving parking and the trailhead for the House on Fire trail is now being accepted by the Bureau of Land Management's Monticello Field Office. This and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, May 6, 2020

State

Census To Resume Field Operations

The Census Bureau will resume counting homes across Utah in person this month, after pausing field operations in mid-March due to COVID-19. The Bureau originally planned to restart the count in June, but it deemed Utah one of 13 states where it’s safe to begin early. Around 73,000 households, most in rural parts of the state, will receive a census questionnaire on their doorstep, which can be mailed back or filled out online or by phone. The count will not resume in communities with high infection rates such as the Navajo Nation, according to the Bureau. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City Looks To Past Downturns For Budget Projections

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall unveiled the city’s budget Tuesday night. She said city officials expect revenue from the first quarter to be less than 2019, but by the last half of this year, they are hoping to see revenue return to normal. Officials drafted the budget based on the current trends in sales tax since the pandemic started, and they also looked back to the 2008 economic downturn for guidance, according to Mendenhall. She said they hope there's room to invest in future projects like outdoor spaces and city buildings. There is also currently $9 million allocated to housing stability in the budget. — Jessica Lowell

Southern Utah

Comment Period For House On Fire Trail

Public comment on improving parking and the trailhead for the House on Fire trail is now being accepted by the Bureau of Land Management's Monticello Field Office. House on Fire is part of Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah, and features archeological sites of native dwellings and granaries that are hundreds of years old. It gets up to 8,000 visitors each year, making it one of the most heavily trafficked areas. The BLM's proposal includes developing a parking area, closing shoulder parking, marking a new loop trail and installing a toilet and picnic area. Public comment is open through June 4 and can be submitted online or by mail. — Caroline Ballard

Region/Nation

Navajo Nation Receives Awaited Federal Aid

The Navajo Nation will receive $600 million in federal funding to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts. So far, the Navajo Nation has designated $4 million of its own funds to fight the virus. The federal funding is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act, passed by Congress in March, which allocated $8 billion to Tribes in the U.S. The money was frozen due to an ongoing lawsuit, but the U.S. Treasury announced Tuesday it will begin distributing the funds this week. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Dreaming Of Bugs? Blame COVID

This pandemic isn’t just spreading a virus, but sparking a world-wide increase in vivid dreams. And people are sharing them on websites and on social media. Researchers are starting to analyze these dreams, and already seeing a pattern: many started out being about getting the virus, but are now more about staying at home. And they say some of the dreams may just be a symptom of people finally getting enough sleep. Read the full story. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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