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AM News Brief: Summit County Shifts To Yellow, Green River Water Release & Voles In Love

Photo of two voles.
Courtesy University of Colorado Boulder
A new study on prairie voles published by a University of Colorado Boulder researcher details the brain activity that shows a desire to be with a partner. This story and more in the Friday morning news brief.

Friday morning, May 22, 2020

State

Governor Hopefuls Talk With Equality Utah

All four Republican candidates for governor participated in a forum hosted by the LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Utah Thursday. The group said this is a first in state history. All the candidates pledged to give members of the LGBTQ community a seat at the table when discussing policies that affect them. Utah’s primary is June 30 and the voter registration deadline is June 19. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Northern Utah

Yellow For Summit And Wasatch Counties

Summit and Wasatch Counties have moved to the yellow, low risk phase of pandemic response joining the majority of the state. Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order Thursday evening allowing the two counties to transition out of the orange, moderate phase. Summit had been the first coronavirus hotspot in Utah, but it only had 11 new cases over the past week. Now, Grand County and Salt Lake and West Valley cities are the only locations still in the orange. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Mental Health Calls Increase In Utah County

Utah County emergency officials report a 34% increase in the number of calls for mental health and wellness checks since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. They attribute the spike to anxiety related to the coronavirus, and Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon says other factors may include stress related to potential unemployment or home isolation. County law enforcement responded to 62 suicide-related calls from Feb. 1 to May 20. During the same time period in 2019, there were 46 similar calls. — Associated Press

Holiday Transit Schedule

The Utah Transit Authority's trains and buses will run on a Sunday schedule on Memorial Day Monday. But as part of the agency's move to low-risk operations, not much changes as reduced service is still in place. Crews will also be replacing TRAX rail on South Temple between Main Street and West Temple. A bus bridge will link Arena and Courthouse on the Blue and Green Lines, and Courthouse to Library on the Red Lines today through Sunday. Additional bus extensions will connect Ballpark to Arena for the Blue and Green TRAX lines, and Ballpark to Library stations on the Red Line early next week. Trains will return to regular reduced service next Wednesday. — Diane Maggipinto

Water Release On Green River

The Bureau of Reclamation will release water from Flaming Gorge Dam on the Green River starting next Tuesday. The agency says the move is based on the conditions of the reservoir and river, along with snowmelt projections, recent storms and weather forecasts. Reclamation said rafters, fishermen and anybody recreating or working along the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam should be cautious and aware the water will run high, swift and cold. — Diane Maggipinto

Region/Nation

Sex Reassignment Surgery For Idaho Prison Can Move Forward

In a 7-2 ruling the U.S. Supreme Court has denied the state of Idaho’s request to suspend a transgender inmate’s sex reassignment surgery. Last August, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the state of Idaho to provide gender confirmation surgery to transgender inmate Adree Edmo. Idaho appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court and asked it to put Edmo’s surgery on hold. The high court could still overturn the 9th Circuit ruling if it decides to hear Idaho’s appeal. Edmo’s surgery which is now scheduled to take place in July and will be the first court-ordered gender confirmation surgery of a prison inmate in the nation. — Amanda Peacher, Mountain West News Bureau

Voles In Love

A new study on prairie voles published by a University of Colorado Boulder researcher details the brain activity that shows a desire to be with a partner. Prairie voles are among the 5% of mammals, including humans, that mate for life. Researchers said the study could help develop therapies for autism, depression and other mental health issues. Read the full story. — Allison Herrera, Colorado Public Radio

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