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PM News Brief: Returning To The College Classroom, Fatal Weekend Accidents & Invasive Quagga Mussels

Photo of quagga mussels
National Park Service
Quagga mussels are invasive in North America and can plug water lines, remove plankton, and damage pipes and boats. Over Memorial Day weekend, 54 people received citations for violating state laws to prevent the species from spreading.


Tuesday evening, May 26, 2020


Seven Fatal Memorial Weekend Car Accidents 

Seven people died in car accidents on Utah’s roadways over Memorial Day weekend according to the state’s highway patrol. Though, none of the accidents happened on roads monitored by state troopers. However, troopers arrested more than 50 people for driving under the influence. And UHP cited 119 people for going more than 100 miles per hour. A UHP spokesperson said that’s the most tickets he’s seen issued for such high rates of speeding over the holiday weekend. Memorial Day marks the start of the 100 deadliest driving days each year in Utah. But the number of people on the road has been down since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. — Ross Terrell

More Than 100 COVID Deaths

Utah has now had 101 deaths due to COVID-19. Health officials announced three more deaths Tuesday. They were all over the age of 60 and hospitalized at the time of their death. So far, the state has had more than 8,600 cases, though more than 5,300 are considered recovered. Health officials also reported nearly 199,000 Utahns have been tested. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Invasive Quagga Mussels 

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources cited 54 people who violated state laws to prevent the spread of invasive quagga mussels. Citations are for either avoiding inspections or transporting boats with plugs still in. Quagga mussels are a freshwater species indigenous to Ukraine, but invasive in North America. They can plug water lines, remove plankton, and damage pipes and boats. Technicians inspected more than 5,700 boats and decontaminated 142. — Caroline Ballard


The U To Resume In-Person Classes This Fall

The University of Utah plans to resume in-person classes this fall, but it will look different than normal. Chris Nelson with the university said they may adapt a hybrid model; some students may attend a class online while others will do so in-person. He also said the university will likely run multiple small sections for large classes. Nelson said nothing is set in stone, and they expect to release more details on the fall semester next month. Utah State University also announced Tuesday it plans to have hybrid classes in the fall. Westminster College, in Salt Lake City, said it will resume in-person classes this fall too, albeit with an adjusted academic calendar. — Jessica Lowell

Tabernacle Choir Applications Opening Soon

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is looking for new members. The 360 person, all-volunteer choir will open applications on June 1 — 30 days earlier than usual. Becoming a choir member takes nine months, including three phases of auditions and specialized training. Applicants must be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in good standing, live within 100 miles of Temple Square, and be between 25 and 55 years old. Because of COVID-19, the choir has not performed publicly since March, and canceled its world tour this summer. — Caroline Ballard


Five Rescues In One Day In Washington County 

Sgt. Darrell Cashin has worked with Washington County’s search and rescue team for eight years and this past Sunday was the busiest day he’s worked. Cashin said his office got five different requests all within a few hours of each other. He said that if this pace keeps up, it’ll be their busiest year to-date, which is something he never expected with the coronavirus pandemic. Cashin’s worried that all the calls could pose additional infection risks for his team but they’re doing what they can to protect themselves, like wearing PPE and face shields and placing masks on their patients. Read the full story. — David Fuchs

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