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PM News Brief: Angel Moroni Removed, Spencer Cox Endorsement & In-Person Graduation

Photo of the statue hanging from a crane after being removed from the building
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Construction crews removed Angel Moroni from the highest spire of the Salt Lake City Temple Monday morning.

Monday evening, May 18, 2020

STATE

Spencer Cox Leads In Latest Poll

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox has a seven point lead in the Republican primary race for governor. That’s according to a new poll from UtahPolicy.com and KUTV. Cox has the support of 39% of likely Republican voters. Former Gov. Jon Huntsman is right behind him with support from 32% of voters. Meanwhile, 23% favor former Utah House speaker Greg Hughes and just 6% said they would pick former Utah GOP Chair Thomas Wright. The primary will take place June 30 and the voter registration deadline is June 19. The election will be conducted entirely by mail, except in San Juan County. — Sonja Hutson

Aimee Winder Newton Endorses Spencer Cox

Former 2020 gubernatorial candidate and Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton has endorsed Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox’s campaign for governor. Winder Newton’s run ended in late April when she did not receive a nomination at the Utah Republican Party state convention, and didn’t gather enough signatures to make it on the ballot. In a video released Monday by the Cox campaign, Winder Newton said the lieutenant governor has “unquestionable character” and “experience working in the trenches.” — Sonja Hutson

In-Person Graduation Petitions

In most parts of Utah, people can now gather in groups of 50 or less. But the changes don’t help many high school and college seniors, who are still missing out on a key rite of passage: graduation. Some schools are offering virtual commencements or drive-through ceremonies, but they aren’t enough for many students across the country. According to the website change.org, the biggest trend on the site right now is students pushing their school administrators for graduation alternatives. There are over 500 petitions nationwide and at least five in Utah. Most are asking schools to postpone ceremonies until they can be done in person or to find larger venues that would allow attendees to spread out. — Jon Reed

COVID-19 Update

Utah has now had nearly 7,400 confirmed COVID-19 cases. But 57% of those have recovered. That’s according to new numbers released Monday by the state’s department of health. Officials reported no new deaths and so far have tested more than 174,000 people. About half of the state’s cases have been in Salt Lake County, with Utah County having the next highest number of cases. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

NORTHERN UTAH

Stoddard To File Bill Inspired By Lauren McCluskey

Utah state Rep. Andrew Stoddard, D-Sandy, plans to sponsor a bill that would create penalties for police officers who share private photos of victims. It comes after the Salt Lake Tribune reported an officer kept and shared explicit images of Lauren McCluskey, a University of Utah student whose ex-boyfriend shot and killed her on campus in 2018. The university said it found no evidence that the officer inappropriately shared the photo. Still, Stoddard said police have “a long way to go in terms of building trust with victims.” He intends to file the bill for next year’s general session. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Angel Moroni Removed

Construction crews removed Angel Moroni from the highest spire of the Salt Lake City Temple Monday morning. The 12 feet tall statue has sat atop the temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1892. The March 18, 5.7 magnitude earthquake that shook northern Utah did some minor damage to the temple and knocked the iconic trumpet from Moroni’s hands. The temple is currently closed for four years of renovation. A spokesman for the Church said they had already planned to take down Moroni and the capstone but the earthquake moved up that timeline. — Elaine Clark

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