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PM News Brief: Salt Lake City Protests, Wildfires Burning & Highest Four Day COVID Increase

Photo of riot police in Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall described the streets of Salt Lake City as “quiet and calm” Sunday morning. Saturday’s protests against police brutality started peaceful but turned violent as the day went on. This and more in the Sunday news brief.";s:3:

Sunday evening, May 31, 2020


Highest Four Day Total Of COVID-19 Cases

The Utah Department of Health reported 264 cases of COVID-19 Sunday. The last four days have seen the highest number of new cases in the state since the start of the pandemic. Twelve more people have been hospitalized, and there has been another death — a male under the age of 65 from Wasatch County. Southwest Utah, which includes Washington and Iron counties and Bear River — the health district for Cache and Box Elder Counties — have had the highest rate of increase over the last week. Bear River’s cases have more than doubled. — Elaine Clark

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Utah Transit Authority Resumes Service

The Utah Transit Authority says all TRAX stations are now open. Some stops had been closed after Saturday’s protests. Bus service to Library Station and other shuttered stops has been restored. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Ninth Street Fire And Tabby Canyon Continue To Blaze

Utah’s fire agencies have reported two wildfires burning in the state. The Ninth Street Fire is burning 35 acres in the hills east of Ogden. The blaze has damaged a Rocky Mountain Power substation, downed several power lines and threatened 72 homes. The fire was 15% contained as of 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon, with officials anticipating strong winds. The Tabby Canyon Fire ignited on Stansbury Island Saturday evening. It is currently estimated at 4,157 acres and no structures are threatened. The Tooele Fire Warden tweeted that it is human caused. Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire in Ogden. The Bureau of Land Management issued a fire prevention order on Sunday afternoon in regards to the Tabby Canyon Fire for all of their lands in the vicinity of it. Read the full story.David Fuchs, St. George

Utah Against Police Brutality Issues Statement On Protests

Organizers of Saturday’s protest against police brutality in Salt Lake City say they planned a peaceful event but the violent turn stemmed from a community’s frustration about racial biases and police violence. Utahns Against Police Brutality issued a statement Sunday, saying they’ve met with elected officials to discuss police reform. They’ve also proposed a civilian council to provide oversight of local law enforcement. But the group says they haven’t seen any action as a result. The protest was in response to the in-custody death of George Floyd but also Bernardo Palacios, who was killed in an officer-involved shooting by Salt Lake City Police last Saturday. Mayor Erin Mendenhall said Salt Lake City Police welcome feedback from the community on their training and restraint policies. — Emily Means

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall Recaps Weekend Events

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall described the streets of Salt Lake City as “quiet and calm” Sunday morning. Saturday’s protests against police brutality started out peaceful but turned violent as the day went on. In response, Mendenhall enacted a citywide curfew from 8 p.m. Saturday until Monday morning at 6. She said they may consider ending it before it’s set to expire but they law enforcement and elected officials need to make sure they have Salt Lake City under control first. The National Guard remained on hand throughout the day to make sure the situation didn't escalate. Law enforcement made 41 arrests Saturday while 21 officers sought medical attention, mostly for heat exhaustion. The mayor thanked people who wanted to help clean up but cautioned them in doing so, saying that went against the point of the curfew. She said wait until city officials announced organized activities. Read the full story.Ross Terrell

Utah Business Revival Holds Smaller Event Than Planned

As tensions flared among protesters and police in downtown Salt Lake Saturday night, another demonstration was underway in Tooele County. The event was originally slated as a concert to protest social-distancing during COVID-19. But after a state judge issued an injunction against it Friday — arguing it posed an imminent health risk to public safety — organizers scrambled to find a new location. In the end, a few hundred people still showed up to the Benson Grist Mill near Grantsville, rather than 5,000 as originally planned. Attendees set up picnics and were encouraged by organizers to bring food from a local restaurant. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Southern Utah

St. George Takes Part In Nationwide Protests

This weekend, protests against police brutality and discrimination against black Americans broke out all across the country, including in St. George. Diamond Sluka attended a demonstration outside police headquarters Saturday. Sluka said police have repeatedly discriminated against her in Southwest Utah. “We’re tired and it’s time for St. George to get on board,” she said. Saturday’s event also featured speakers from the Southern Utah chapters of Black Lives Matter and the American Civil Liberties Union. — David Fuchs, St. George

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